Making the Headlines

Is religion about war — or peace Obama or Osama, who is more representative of authentic religion? This article looks at Francis of Assisi and the Crucades

Heated debate again over ‘War on Christmas’ claims What’s your thoughts? Is political correctness stiffling Christmas? Is a secular Christmas religiously neutral?

U.N. chief: Climate change deal reached But how real is the deal? Greenpeace has retorted, “Don’t believe the hype, there is nothing fair, ambitious or legally binding about this deal … The job of world leaders is not done. Today they shamefully failed to save us all from the effects of catastrophic climate change.”

7 thoughts on “Making the Headlines”

  1. I think the War on Christmas is primarily about some Christians playing up their persecution complex. I think anyone who feels their holiday is threatened by a store clerk wishing them a happy holidays rather than a Merry Christmas needs way too much external reinforcement of their faith to consider that faith very strong. And I think that those looking to have their holiday enshrined on government owned and government property — especially when they want to keep other religions’ holidays OFF that same property — are looking for a privileged status for themselves and their faith. And from where I sit, it seems that’s what the “War on Christmas” is REALLY about.

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  2. I’ve been part of seasonal presentations in primary schools where we talk about the Christian meaning of Easter and Christmas, so I’ve thought a bit about those things. I wish I could draw a table…
    C1. Today, Christmas is the gift festival, the major in our country’s calendar.
    C2. In the Christendom era and for Christians today, Christmas celebrates the coming of Christ. The recent secular customs have grown on top of that, but the celebration of Christ is still alive and well.
    C3. Of course Christmas was plonked on top of the winter solstice festival, and symbols of that still remain (Christmas trees).
    E1. Easter is the chocolate festival, Australia’s 2nd-biggest festival.
    E2. In the Christendom era and for Christians today, Easter (the biggest festival of the year) celebrates the death & resurrection of Christ. The recent secular customs have grown on top of that, but the celebration of Christ is still alive and well.
    E3. Of course, our celebration was put on top of the existing spring festival, and symbols of that still remain (Easter bunnies).
    I don’t know much about the original festivals (I assume northern European pagan). I’m uncomfortable with speaking of “the REAL meaning” of Easter/Christmas, even though we’re talking about the meaning that actually matters.
    In the Christendom era and for Christians today, Christmas celebrates the coming of Christ. The recent secular customs have grown on top of that, but the celebration of Christ is still alive and well.
    And we (mostly) kept the naming rights for Christmas, but “Easter” comes from the E3 box. Although in many European languages the name for the festival is the the word for Passover, which describes the E2 box.
    I guess Christians who are the respectable establishment types want Christianity to still be part of the eastablishment, while rebels like me want the Church to recognize we are the minority, no longer in control, and be godly rebels against the system.

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  3. Jarred, LOL, I’m inclined to agree with you. The anabaptist tradition emphasizes separation of church and state and a ‘resident alien’ perspective, which ultimately leaves me rather blase about what governments and stores choose to do, provided they leave me alone in how I express my faith. Those seeking privileged status reveal themselves as theocrats by their actions.

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  4. Eric, I think you put the nail on the head. Not being an establishment type, in many ways I’d prefer the establishment to disown me and my path, just so the distinctions are clear. No faustian bargains with violent forces for me.

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  5. LOL! Well, I’m certainly not going to condemn religious veneration of phallic symbols for what I hope are obvious reasons. 😉
    However, I will lament that it seems like the only phallic symbol being venerated by some is one that brings only violence and death.

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