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Author Topic: Christmas Lights called Pagan  (Read 3184 times)

stephyjh

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Christmas Lights called Pagan
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2011, 03:03:47 am »
Quote from: MadZealot;36809
Ugh.  Been in retail management for 4 years now.  Best job to have if you like seeing the nastier side of human nature.  :mad:
 
On the other hand... I came out of a store the other day... there was a Salvation Army ringer with his bell & kettle.  As he dinged his dinger he kept saying Merry CHRISTmas Merry CHRISTmas Merry CHRISTmas to passersby.  In an above-average volume of voice.  
Not the way to win hearts & minds.  It crossed my mind to whisper some wise counsel in his ear.  In the end I just felt bad for the guy.

I hear ya. I'm a retail slave too, and this year has been particularly rough. I did like the few people (i.e.,  my coworkers other than my manager) being genuinely curious about what I actually do celebrate. But when my manager singled me out in front of the whole staff with a snotty comment about people who don't give a **** and told me he was going to put me on the first broomstick out of there, I went off. I read him the riot act about mainstream privilege and discriminatory language. I still haven't entirely forgiven him.
A heretic blast has been blown in the west,
That what is no sense must be nonsense.

-Robert Burns

MadZealot

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Re: Christmas Lights called Pagan
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2011, 05:28:12 am »
Quote from: stephyjh;36810
I hear ya. I'm a retail slave too, and this year has been particularly rough. I did like the few people (i.e.,  my coworkers other than my manager) being genuinely curious about what I actually do celebrate. But when my manager singled me out in front of the whole staff with a snotty comment about people who don't give a **** and told me he was going to put me on the first broomstick out of there, I went off. I read him the riot act about mainstream privilege and discriminatory language. I still haven't entirely forgiven him.

Your manager singled you out and clowned you about your religion... in front of the staff???  Jeebus.
Sounds like you have enough to make a harrassment/discrimination claim.  And a gaggle of witnesses to back your claim.  You have enough to go to Human Resources.
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

mandrina

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Re: Christmas Lights called Pagan
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2011, 10:48:44 am »
Quote from: Vermillion;36756
With all due respect, there are historical references for almost all of the Christmas symbolism, they're well documented. Modern Santa was invented by Coca Cola, not Hallmark. Pagans know where the Christmas tree and wreathe are from, that's what counts. History and historians also know.

 

I didn't say santa was invented by hallmark, I said some of the customs.  I know very well that the modern american santa is the cocacola santa.

As for history and historians, that's where Koi got her info.  I believe many of the more modern folklorists like Ronald Hutton stand there too.  

Just because everyone uses candles at night and evergreen greenery in the winter in northern europe does not mean that one stole the idea from the other.  It means that;s what's available to use.
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mandrina

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Re: Christmas Lights called Pagan
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2011, 10:59:53 am »
Quote from: mandrina;36828
I didn't say santa was invented by hallmark, I said some of the customs.  I know very well that the modern american santa is the cocacola santa.

As for history and historians, that's where Koi got her info.  I believe many of the more modern folklorists like Ronald Hutton stand there too.  

Just because everyone uses candles at night and evergreen greenery in the winter in northern europe does not mean that one stole the idea from the other.  It means that;s what's available to use.


also, as a point, alot of the old documentation is that the 19th and early twentieth century folklorists thought something looked like something they thought would be a pagan survival. They were the experts of the time, but people have gone back and looked at those and found, as mel mentioned, that the earliest mention of a christmas tree is the 16th century, mummers don't go back much further than the 18th century, and most of the christmas customs are adaptations of church requirements.  If one must have living plants in the sanctuary (as required by the Catholic church) in midwinter, in an unheated church, in northern europe, it certainly isn't going to be spring flowers now, is it?
Katrina

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entwife

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Re: Christmas Lights called Pagan
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2011, 11:57:08 am »
Quote from: MadZealot;36815
Your manager singled you out and clowned you about your religion... in front of the staff???  Jeebus.
Sounds like you have enough to make a harrassment/discrimination claim.  And a gaggle of witnesses to back your claim.  You have enough to go to Human Resources.

 
I do get some lovely people mixed in there too. Plenty of strangers have apologized for the hostile, demanding or rude people who preceded them... which I find especially touching as the given meany was just as much a stranger to them. There are people who compliment me specifically or the staff in general, people who stop to say a kind or encouraging word, and regulars who bring an instant smile with their cheery greeting. I really try hard to focus on those individuals, but sometimes the other sort just plain outnumber them to the point of breaking through my determination not to be stressed by others.

Great co-workers make a Tremendous difference in keeping your chin up during this difficult time when working retail. I guess what it really boils down to for me is that no matter what your spiritual path, no one has the right to beat you over the head with their religious choices or berate you for yours, no matter what time of year it is lol Our Jewish co-workers did a lovely thing this year. First day of Hanukkah they set up a menorah, dreidels with chocolate coins and game instructions, homemade latkes with applesauce and sour cream, and other tasty treats. Really a lovely gesture to educate and include all of us in their celebration. Sounds to me like that manager needs to be reminded that part of being a manager is not antagonizing your crew or belittling their spiritual path. That is a HR nightmare can of whoop-ass they Do Not want to open:whis:
Wishing you laughter

Ana

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Re: Christmas Lights called Pagan
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2011, 01:46:12 pm »
Quote from: entwife;36832
I do get some lovely people mixed in there too.


Where I live people just don't even realize that the traditional Christmas stuff that everyone uses to celebrate the season really isn't Christian or has anything to do with the birth of Jesus.  They just don't have a clue.  Honestly, the notes made me laugh, because yes, there was a grain of truth to it, but the part I always find disturbing is when people are abhorred that they would be "insulted" by being called pagan.  If you look at the note, it calls them "heathens" in a derogatory way.  The whole war on Christmas thing I think is stupid.  Around here there were tons of signs of "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" and "Without Christ there would be no Christmas."  The first, to me, is not true.  The second, however, is true.  There would be no Christmas without Christ.  I don't mind people telling me Merry Christmas, and I've told plenty of people the same thing.  But it always does make me laugh that so many people simply have no clue.  My children celebrate Yule with me.  To quote Emerald Rose's song "Now history tells us Christ was likely not a Capricorn, but if you want to share our Yule we don't care when he's born.  Come Celebrate the dawning of the Sun King's bright rebirth, and if you practice what you preach we'll all have peace on Earth."  and  "Santa's way more jolly than most Christians would require, and if he weren't so busy, he'd be dancing 'round this fire.  Now you can call it Christmas.  You've got us way outgunned.  But just you wait till Beltaine, then we'll see who's having fun!"

(taken from Santa Claus is Pagan, Too, by Emerald Rose)

So, from my standpoint, I'm glad that so many people are putting up trees and decorations for whatever their reason.  The energy still goes to a positive place.  People who want Christians to get back to their roots are just fine, but they should do it without creating negative energy pools.

entwife

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Re: Christmas Lights called Pagan
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2011, 11:42:54 am »
Quote from: Ana;36851


So, from my standpoint, I'm glad that so many people are putting up trees and decorations for whatever their reason.  The energy still goes to a positive place.  People who want Christians to get back to their roots are just fine, but they should do it without creating negative energy pools.

 

That's a big part of what drives me so nuts about a. the war on Christmas thing and b. the many many people who come out around this time of year to demand something for nothing and generally pour their meanness and misery out on others! Whether you are Jewish, Christian, Pagan, Buddhist or something else entirely, this time of year is generally known for concepts like Peace, Goodwill, Kindness in a celebratory way. Talking to co-workers yesterday, many there feel that this Christmas was the worst thus far for negative behaviors. It boggles my mind that So Many can apparently just easily convince themselves that their bad behavior is justified despite whatever spiritual path they claim so proudly. How far out of whack does your thinking and perception have to be to complain about people disrespecting your religion while you allow your children to damage things that aren't yours, leave everything they've thrown to the floor, try to return items to us from another store (or without a receipt or an entire year later etc etc) and verbally abuse us while doing so? lol :confused:

I do try to focus on the good people, but it is extremely difficult not to worry or stress when you are faced with this kind of thing in such volume. Like I said, lol, if you want to lose all faith or hope for humanity work retail! The only things worse are fast food and telemarketing... and I've worked those too:sick: People who wouldn't behave in these negative ways to retailers or fast food employees seem to save up their venom for telemarketers. I worked on charity incoming and outgoing calls for things like Cancer research, Jerry's kids etc and some of the worst verbal abuse I ever experienced happened then. :confused: No wonder I prefer animals, insects and plants to human beings:D:
Wishing you laughter

sailor

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Re: Christmas Lights called Pagan
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2011, 05:38:14 pm »
Quote from: entwife;36940
Whether you are Jewish, Christian, Pagan, Buddhist or something else entirely, this time of year is generally known for concepts like Peace, Goodwill, Kindness in a celebratory way.

 
Not so sure I'd call Hannukah a celebration of peace, goodwill and kindness. It's a celebration of a miracle after a war where the heros are people who would rather die than convert.

entwife

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Re: Christmas Lights called Pagan
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2011, 01:24:50 pm »
Quote from: sailor;36967
Not so sure I'd call Hannukah a celebration of peace, goodwill and kindness. It's a celebration of a miracle after a war where the heros are people who would rather die than convert.

Yes, it began with and commemorates those events. But, as I understand it Hanukkah is primarily a celebration of light triumphing over darkness, both literally and figuratively. Not only a sort of reaffirmation of things like purity over adulteration (the action of making something impure by adding extraneous, inferior or improper ingredients) and of spirituality over materialism, but also a ritual celebration returning the generosity of the love showed by God through the miracle that inspired Hanukkah.

According to the stories and/or discussions I have heard, Torah law says that the prohibition of impurity, if affecting the entire community, is waived. If the community, or all the ritual vessels, or even all the (sorry don't the proper word here) priests are considered to be ritually impure than it is still permissible to enter the Temple and conduct services. So the miracle of the only pure vessel of oil lasting eight days was, strictly speaking not necessary. I guess one might say that given the circumstances, the community's need for rituals of faith or interaction with Deity is greater than the need for pure oil for the ritual.

But, according to the story, God so loved his people that he suspended his laws of nature to allow the people to rededicate the compromised Temple without any waffling on standards of purity. This particular concept is the example focused on when looking at any inauguration, particular matters of education in general or most specifically, their faith. The thought being that compromising is anathema to education.

We are all faced with situations from day to day that might press us with the possible need for compromise, and some of those are acceptable and some not. But a teacher who wishes to pass on a set values that will weather all trials must, in thought word and deed, give to the student lessons that are completely free of any compromise of standards, no matter how acceptable it might be in the given circumstances. A seed that is scratched will carry that flaw throughout it's life as the plant it becomes, a flaw that never really disappears but can become more pronounced and potentially damaging as time passes. Or perhaps put more simply, begin as you mean to go, always set your best foot forward.

Part of the Hanukkah celebration with the Menorah is to return the love God showed through this miracle, by lighting more than the single candle that is strictly necessary. The dreidel game is meant to pass on concepts like generosity, giving some of what we have to those in need, as well as being mindful of one's faith even in the midst of fun and games. We all need to be playful, but we need to remember and stay true to the core set of values too.

Families gather together, play games (kids hid their school stuff and played with their dreidels to hide from the oppressors), eat oily foods (again a reminder of the miracle of oil lasting all those days) and even cheese (remembering the Maccabee feeding cheese to the enemy). All of which reminds us that we can and will survive the sacrifices and compromises we do have to make in life. Prayers of thanksgiving and honoring happen every day. Everything is geared toward focusing on what is important, all the values we should be living, practicing, and passing on, emphasizing positive goals over negative or destructive ones. Spirituality vs Materialism, Generosity vs Selfishness, Peace vs War, Kindness vs Cruelty, Love vs Hate, Goodwill vs Despair. While the flavor and focus may be slightly different, I really do feel that the concepts are basically the same. I could, of course, be wrong. That's just how I see and understand it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2011, 01:26:38 pm by entwife »
Wishing you laughter

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