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#152 Jan 03 2013 at 8:30 PM Rating: Default
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
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What I've realize is that this "movement" isn't about being inclusive to other celebrations, but not offending atheists. I've never heard other religious people complaining about Christmas, only not equally being represented.


It's both. As someone who is Wiccan, I don't get offended if someone wishes me a merry Christmas, but I vastly prefer to say Happy Holidays to people because then I don't have to worry about the off chance of offending them, AND I am equally representing all holidays. I could just as easily say Happy Yule, but then people look at me funny. Smiley: sly


While it's technically both, it's definitely more about not offending atheist more than other religions. Maybe I should clarify with "major religions".

Elinda wrote:
gbaji wrote:
A little late, but...

The right to express their beliefs in a public venue, just like any other expression? If group A is free to put up a display with Santa and Rudolf in a public place, but group B is not free to put up a display with Baby Jesus in the same public place, and the only reason for the discrepancy is that one is an expression of religion while the other is not, then that absolutely is a violation of the right of free speech of group B. How can it not be? You're singling out just religious speech to be barred from public places.

Where did this happen?



Not that it isn't happening, but I don't hear too much uproar about Santa, the Easter Bunny, Rudolph, Snowmen and Halloween decorations.
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#153 Jan 03 2013 at 9:50 PM Rating: Good
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Christmas in Scandinavia is sort of divided into the Christian part and the old traditions. The Christian part of Christmas is very toned down here.

You call it Christmas, we call it Jul (Yule). You call him Santa Claus, we call him Julemanden (The Yule Man, Tomten in Swedish) and he replaced Julegeden (The Yule Goat) as the bearer of gifts (straw goats are still used for decoration, especially in Sweden). Santa Claus's appearance resembles that of a Yule gnome from old traditions. The Yule gnomes were house gods that you had to keep happy with food. That's why you guys set out milk and cookies for Santa Claus.

Christmas isn't a Christian ceremony here, it's a national tradition. It's part of the Danish national culture. It's not about Jesus, it's about having a good time, giving/receiving gifts and eating loads of food and treats and drinking Yule beer and snaps (aquavit). I take it Christmas is a far more Christian celebration in the US?

Edited, Jan 4th 2013 4:55am by Mazra
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#154 Jan 04 2013 at 7:30 AM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
I take it Christmas is a far more Christian celebration in the US?

The Christians claim the holiday as it is supposedly the birth day of their savior and all. The culture has usurped it though. It's the only religious holiday that is recognized by the government as a national holiday.

It's all about stuff. Decorations are over the top. The flashing, blinking super-sized blow up lawn ornaments make the white tailed deer cry.
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#155 Jan 04 2013 at 9:51 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
The right to express their beliefs in a public venue, just like any other expression? If group A is free to put up a display with Santa and Rudolf in a public place, but group B is not free to put up a display with Baby Jesus in the same public place, and the only reason for the discrepancy is that one is an expression of religion while the other is not, then that absolutely is a violation of the right of free speech of group B. How can it not be? You're singling out just religious speech to be barred from public places.

Think about that for a minute. If we're going to allow other expressions in a public space for some reason, then we can't make the fact that an expression might be religious in nature a criteria for allowing it in the first place. To do so is a clear violation of free speech.

The First Amendment prohibits restrictions on free speech but it doesn't guarantee a platform for your speech, much less a publicly funded one. If you weren't allowed to display your nativity anywhere or on your own property, it would be a restriction of free speech. On the other hand, the First Amendment has also been broadly considered to prohibit intermingling of Church & State. Displaying a nativity on public land absolutely runs afoul of that clause.

Since you're always free to exercise free speech by putting a manger in your front yard per the 1st Amendment but there's no way to display one on public land and not violate the separation of Church & State, the lesser "evil" is obviously to restrict them from public lands and let you have a big Jesus Party any place where you own the real estate.
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#156 Jan 04 2013 at 7:51 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
The First Amendment prohibits restrictions on free speech but it doesn't guarantee a platform for your speech, much less a publicly funded one.


Correct. However, if a publicly funded platform is being provided for forms of speech, religious forms should not be excluded purely on the grounds that they are religious. A platform should neither be provided nor denied simply because of the religious nature of the speech. But that's exactly what we're doing when we allow Santa displays on public land, but not a nativity scene.

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If you weren't allowed to display your nativity anywhere or on your own property, it would be a restriction of free speech.


Same with Santa displays. We're not talking about what can be put on your own property, but whether the religious nature of some form of speech can be used to exclude its presence on public land even when other forms of speech are allowed.

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On the other hand, the First Amendment has also been broadly considered to prohibit intermingling of Church & State. Displaying a nativity on public land absolutely runs afoul of that clause.


And I disagree with that consideration. I mean, if we all agreed, there's be no point in arguing (well, not much of one anyway Smiley: sly ).

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Since you're always free to exercise free speech by putting a manger in your front yard per the 1st Amendment ...


Again, we're always free to put a Santa display on our front yards as well, but we don't argue that since we can do that, it's ok to prohibit them from public spaces, do we?

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...but there's no way to display one on public land and not violate the separation of Church & State, ...


I disagree with this though. So try making an argument that doesn't rest on the assumption that your position must be correct (ie: circular).


Quote:
... the lesser "evil" is obviously to restrict them from public lands and let you have a big Jesus Party any place where you own the real estate.


Again, I disagree. There's no evil here at all. If cities want to have displays for Christmas (or whatever), they cannot make religion a criteria for acceptance of any given display. That's what the 1st amendment actually says. That it has been interpreted and manipulated over time and precedent until we apply it in the exact opposite manner is precisely what I'm arguing about and against.

You wouldn't justify limiting other forms of speech to just property people own, so why this one? By doing that, we're singling out just religious speech for additional restriction. Which would seem to be in direct violation of the 1st amendment. We should be treating religious speech exactly the same as any other form of speech. Why is it so hard to simply disregard the religious nature of something when making a decision? Is it offensive? A baby in a manger? I'd assume not. Is it something associated with the holiday being celebrated? Yes. Then allow it. Why is that hard?

We grossly over complicate this issue IMO.
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#157 Jan 04 2013 at 8:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well, you can feel free to throw a hissy fit over not believing in the separation of Church & State but given that's how the courts have interpreted it, it really doesn't matter. I mean, I can base an argument on "Free speech means only in a hole deep in the center of the earth" and just say "I disagree!" as a retort but who cares? Here in Reality Land, that separation trumps your free speech argument.
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#158 Jan 04 2013 at 9:08 PM Rating: Default
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Elinda wrote:
Mazra wrote:
I take it Christmas is a far more Christian celebration in the US?

The Christians claim the holiday as it is supposedly the birth day of their savior and all. The culture has usurped it though. It's the only religious holiday that is recognized by the government as a national holiday.

It's all about stuff. Decorations are over the top. The flashing, blinking super-sized blow up lawn ornaments make the white tailed deer cry.


Given the fact that many decorations include three wise men and baby Jesus and that Christmas, along with Easter, are the two biggest church attendance days, I will counter to say that your claim is BS that atheists like to say in order to make them feel better for being in the minority.

Of course there are many people who celebrate Christmas iconoclastic, but to argue that the majority has "usurped" it is misleading.
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