New Christian movie about Christmas shows how evil us atheists really are.

So have you heard about the new Christmas movie coming out soon called Christmas with a Capital C? You’ll never guess what it’s about. Here’s a hint: It’s one of Bill O’Reilly’s favorite things to harp on starting right about this time of year. That’s right! It’s about the:

WAR ON CHRISTMAS!

When you first see the trailer you’ll think it’s a parody, but it’s not. Check it:

Is that just flabbergasting or what? The Digital Cuttlefish, which is where I saw this trailer first, pretty much sums it up:

No wonder people look at me strangely when they find I’m an atheist; this movie presents what they think atheists are, and I am not at all like that. Come to think of it, nobody is like that.

This is a beautiful piece of propaganda; in the trailer alone, the revisionist history about both the holiday and the country shine through. As most of us know (except, of course, the people who need to the most), the beginnings of Christmas in America (home of The War On Christmas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fox News) were not festive in the least. The Puritans had better, purer things to do on December 25th (for a couple of decades in the 1600’s, Boston even had a law prohibiting the celebration of Christmas!); a Christmas holiday as we know it did not begin until the 1800’s. Interestingly, celebrating Christmas (as opposed to observing it) spread with the notion of Santa, “The Night Before Christmas”, and commercial connections to stores and products, not with the story of the birth of god’s human sacrifice.

Yes, that’s right. The rise in popularity of the modern holiday of Christmas had more to do with Santa and good old fashioned materialism than anything having to do with the birth of Christ. Which shouldn’t be too surprising considering that the original holiday was dreamed up by the Catholic church to allow the Pagans to continue their Winter Solstice celebrations with the “proper” religious iconography in hopes that converting them would be easier. It’s basis in Pagan rituals is part of the reason so many True Christians® in the past made a point of banning it in the legal code of the time. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We’re here to talk about the delusion of Christian persecution this movie represents.

Apparently this film was in production back in February and is just getting noticed outside of the Christian nutcase fringe because it was shown at the Family Research Council’s Values Voters Summit last night. Seeing as a lot of news media actually give that convention of the religiously obsessed more attention that it probably deserves this was the first major exposure the film has had. Over at the official movie website we find the synopsis for the story:

Christmas has always been a exceptional time of love and tradition in the small town of Trapper Falls Alaska. Hometown of Mayor Dan Reed (Ted McGinley) looks forward to each year with enthusiasm to all the events, friends and family that fill this special season. Together with his brother Greg (Brad Stine) they dedicate time away from their adventure tour company to drape the town is [sic] Christmas cheer. When Dan’s old high school rival Mitch Bright (Daniel Baldwin) returns home after 20 years, Dan is immediately suspicious. Mitch is a highly successful big city lawyer who has never wanted anything to do with Trapper Falls or its people, so why now?

The rivalry re-ignites when Mitch takes offense to seeing the town’s flagrant violation of the constitution’s Establishment clause. Mitch wants the Nativity scene removed from the front of City hall and more importantly the word Christmas switched to Happy Holidays on all signs. Fifty years of tradition are now challenged not by an outsider but a former member of the community. As the conflict escalates it goes beyond one persons opinion but magnifies into an entire town problem when Mitch enters into the mayoral race to have Dan replaced.

In the heat of the legal battle and facing certain defeat, Dan’s wife Kristen (Nancy Stafford) and their daughter Makayla (Francesca Derosa) wanting to show the true meaning of Christmas are inspired to launch a “Christmas with a Capitol C” campaign as an effort to keep the town together. In doing so they discover the secret behind Mitch’s return but also reminds all of Trapper Falls that with the arrival of God’s Son, peace on earth and good will was to be given to all; even those whose heart seem closed to Him.

I have so got to find a copy and watch the whole thing just to verify that it’s as bad as it sounds from that plot description. Of course, the fact that the hyper-religious Daniel Baldwin is starring in it (as the evil atheist no less!) is already a pretty good sign it’s going to be terrible. It was originally supposed to be released straight-to-DVD this fall, but word has it they may delay it until 2011 in hopes of getting an actual theatrical release. Wouldn’t that be special?

Here’s the really interesting part. Apparently the movie is inspired by a song of the same name by a Christian pop group called GoFish Guys and it’s full of the sort of lyrics you’d expect from a song about the fictional War on Christmas:

Well I went to the coffee shop to get myself a mocha,
The lady at the counter said “Happy holidays”;
I said, “Thanks lady, I am pretty happy,
But there’s only one holiday that makes me feel that way.”

It’s called Christmas, what more can I say?
It’s about the birth of Christ
and you can’t take that away.
You can call it something else,
but that’s not what it will be.
It’s called Christmas with a capital “C.”

Woven between the lyrics are snippets of a comedy rant by Christian comic Brad Stine (who plays the hero’s brother in the movie) about how no one supposedly says “Merry Christmas” anymore. One of the more telling bits he says is “But nobody wants to say Christmas [inaudible] after Christmas. Why? I know why. You do too. It’s because it’s got “Christ” in it and after 2,000 years he’s still intimidating people. You see when a religious person says ‘I am the way’ people don’t want to hear it.”

Which, much like this trailer itself, shows us how Christians think we think as opposed to how we actually think. I can’t speak for all atheists, but I find it pretty difficult to be intimidated by something that doesn’t actually exist. I’m no more intimidated by the concept of God than I am the concept of the Bogeyman, but that will never sink in for the reality impaired.

Doubtless someone will claim I’m upset — which I’m not — about this movie because it reveals how atheists want to kick Christ out of Christmas, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I know some atheists who don’t celebrate the holiday at all and are annoyed by it, but the vast majority of atheists I know, and I’m one of them, celebrate the day right along with everyone else. We just leave out all the Jesus-was-born-on-this-day nonsense. The simple fact is that it’s as much a secular holiday as a religious one and has been for nearly a century and a half with the rise of commercialism and conspicuous consumption. It’s an excuse to give each other presents and who doesn’t love getting and giving presents? The retailers are certainly happy about it and work very hard to encourage as much participation as they can. On top of that, most of the rituals practiced have their roots in Pagan custom as much as Christian tradition and, while I may not be a believer in Pagan Gods either, they did have some fun customs which I enjoy partaking in. In fact I’ll go to a Pagan party over your average Christian party any day of the year. Some folks just know how to do it right.

And while it is true that many atheists will put up a fuss about a nativity scene on the lawn of City Hall (or other government building) the vast majority of us have absolutely no problems with one on the lawn of the downtown Church or in the window of a business or on your own front lawn. If a business wants to put up great big obnoxious signs saying Merry CHRISTmas that’s certainly within their rights, but if they want to go with Seasons Greetings or Happy Holidays then THAT’S FUCKING OK TOO. In fact, you Christians would really do your image a favor of you’d back off on insisting that everyone only use greetings which you approve of.

Face it. The holiday isn’t yours alone anymore. You don’t have to be happy about it, but you should acknowledge that what you think of as “Christmas” hasn’t had much to do with what it originally was for a very long time. The only reason it grew so massive in popularity is because a whole bunch of shit that had nothing to do with Christ got mixed into it. It’s an amalgamation of different faiths, myths, customs and traditions of which Christ’s birth is only a small part. It doesn’t matter how many times you claim candy canes were invented to symbolize Jesus (they weren’t) or that the 12 Days of Christmas is a coded reference to Christian concepts (it’s not) or whatever other popular piece of Christian revisionist history is making the rounds regarding this holiday, the truth remains that it’s a sloppy mess of secular, religious, and plain old myth making that happened to capture the attention of the masses.

And, honestly, it’s probably one of the best bits of Public Relations any religion could hope for. It makes a lot of people, Christian and otherwise, feel pretty damn good for at least a few days every year. Granted, it also stresses the fuck out of them for about three months, but when the day finally arrives it does seem to bring a little of that fabled good will towards all men that everyone — Christian, atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. — would love to see realized in this world. Why would you fuck that up by being so obnoxiously shrill over what a store decides to use as a greeting on their seasonal sale signs? Or any of the other obnoxious things you do to try and force everyone else to celebrate the day the way you think it should be celebrated?

If you want to focus on the story of Christ’s birth and whatnot then, by all means, make that the focus of your celebration. Go ahead and knock yourself out! We won’t mind! But let the rest of us celebrate the season the way we see fit as well. Be happy that something you had a hand in creating seems to bring some joy to the world even if it’s not exactly the way you had intended it to bring it about.

Or you could continue to be obnoxious pricks about it like you have the past few years with movies like this one and continue to wonder why Christians have such a bad image among non-Christians.

63 thoughts on “New Christian movie about Christmas shows how evil us atheists really are.

  1. I wonder if Ted McGinley was born again before or after he was on Married With Children. Of course I’m assuming he’s born again and not just picking up an easy paycheque.

  2. Well I suppose that Christians cannot accomplish their goal of converting the world without being just a little obnoxious about enforcing their customs. But I like that there is such a thing as a “Christian comic.” That is news to me; it conjures up images of Ned Flanders attempting standup. And I like that it is set in Alaska, the new Mecca of “small town” rednecks. But my favorite part is the woman who says that “rights don’t matter” because all that matters is Jesus; sounds like a Republican plank.

    But this perception of atheists as a threat to American culture and values is ironically reminiscent of the way that early Christians were perceived by the Romans. Even this issue of usurping each others holidays is sort of similar, as Les mentioned. But I do not mind Christian decorations in public places, so long as other faiths and ideas are allowed. Perhaps we can hang up those fancy scarlet “A” symbols in public places.

    The shoving was a bit much; seems almost like a veiled message to incite Christians to attack atheists. And, echoing Les, there is a special bit of bigotry in saying that a private store cannot hang up “Seasons Greetings” signs acknowledging that Hanukah and Kwanzaa are also taking place. There is no atheist “War on Christmas” but there clearly is a conservative Christian “War on Tolerance/Inclusion.” Not quite as catchy I suppose.

  3. I’m a Christian.

    I celebrate Christmas as a religious celebration, and would be horribly offended if you stood at the front of my church on Christmas Eve and shouted that we were a bunch of idiots.

    Of course, you haven’t gotten around to that yet, and frankly nobody else ever has as far as I know.

    The only thing I really know about the “War On Christmas” is two things, and that’s what I’m going to explain to you:

    1. People saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”

    2. ACLU types feeling that we shouldn’t have religious displays on the lawns of government property.

    So let’s look at them: The first is saying “Happy Holidays” because there were court cases that said that stores couldn’t say “Merry Christmas”…no wait. That didn’t happen. Okay, there were massive, million-man protests that people were saying “Merry Christmas”…no, wait. That didn’t happen either. Um…I’m going to skip further discussion on this, while I look for that juicy smoking-gun atheism plot to destroy “Merry Christmas”, since right now, I mostly see retailers going for bigger profits by being inclusive.

    So on to the next point…this will be easy: ACLU and religious emblems on the lawn. We all know that the founding fathers were Christians, and by that, I mean that we know they were really in favor of forcing their views of religion on everybody else. Um…

    We all know that the founding fathers didn’t care about which religion you were in favor of, as long as you believed in some version of the Christian God, and that’s why they…um…

    Okay…we all know that the 10 commandments were the basis of our constitution, which is…shit.

    Okay, this isn’t working out. I need to do more research, but be ready for a BLISTERING rebuttal when I get my facts together.

  4. “If a business wants to put up great big obnoxious signs saying Merry CHRISTmas that’s certainly within their rights, but if they want to go with Seasons Greetings or Happy Holidays then THAT’S FUCKING OK TOO. In fact, you Christians would really do your image a favor of you’d back off on insisting that everyone only use greetings which you approve of.”

    Amen to that! 😉

  5. Christmas changed when we started having large numbers of immigrants from Germany, Italy other continental countries. The Puritans stopped being formers of the lower popular culture long before then. Their descendants were busy being Unitarians and still ignoring christmas, good living and the general Catholic and Lutheran party hardiness.

  6. Oh MAN, the war on christmas is coming up? I’m always just left so tired from fighting back their assualt on All Hallows Eve. Well, into the breach my friends, kill them all and let Samhain sort them out.

  7. If someone gives me crap about saying “Happy Holidays”, I’ll tell them I didn’t mean to offend them and apologize for assuming they considered New Years a holiday.

  8. Coming soon…straight to video, and a church basement near you!!!!!!!

    Someone insists on stressing the word “CHRISTmas” will get Happy Yule, TaChiu, Bodhi, or any other december holiday I can think of. Actually, any business that insists on “Christmas” as opposed to any other word, they don’t either want or need my business. If they want to cater to Christians only, they don’t want my business, since I am not Christian.

  9. (BTW LOL @ JethricOne, funny!)

    Great write-up Les, per usual

    As an athiest, I have NO PROBLEM with nativity scenes at churches etc. I dont even mind them on city hall property, though thats the borderline. At that point, it HAS to be either all or nothing. Allowing religious scenes of one group and denying a seasonal display of athiests is clearly wrong legally.

    FAR more christians make a big deal out of an athiest BUS AD then any athiests ever make about an openly religious display on PUBLIC property.

    Oh well. So much for christian brotherhood and goodwill.

  10. DaBroad – “If they want to cater to Christians only, they don’t want my business, since I am not Christian.”

    I see Christmas as a secular holiday, more aptly named Capitalistmas. The hypocrisy from those who insist on using “Merry Christmas” as a greeting for (and from) EVERYONE offends me. The problem is that non-Christians also celebrate this holiday, while some Christians do not. It is a cultural holiday much more than a Christian one, in my view. The Save the Greeting movement is related to the same fanatical religions that are not called religions, but are nonetheless – think Tea Party, the new republicans, patriots and flag-lovers, even those enamored with science. Am I wrong in assuming that many atheists celebrate this cultural holiday just like most everyone else?

  11. If someone gives me crap about saying “Happy Holidays”, I’ll tell them I didn’t mean to offend them and apologize for assuming they considered New Years a holiday.

    Seriously, this is what gets me. On Christmas Eve, on Christmas, on the day after, I say “Merry Christmas.” I say it to my family, my friends, and to anybody else I talk to.

    And guess what…nobody ever corrects me.

    And outside those two days, when we’re into Thanksgiving, the mid-December buying season that has no holiday implications and the post-Christmas New Year’s time. It’s a festive holiday season, and I wish people merry throughout.

    In fact, I think it’s a bit odd to want to put the CHRIST back into Thanksgiving rerun on Saturday. (My peeve with the expression “turkey day” being a whole different issue.)

    Also @DaBroad…I don’t know if you’ve been in any churches lately, but this sort of thing isn’t basement fodder anymore. Many churches have multimedia systems built into the sanctuary, so stuff like this can be shown there (along with inspiring powerpoints, song lyrics, videos, etc.

  12. /facepalm

    Ok once again, Pagans does not fully = Christmas…

    the implication that Constantine was a “pagan” emperor in disguise, because he “retained the traditional pagan titles, and his coins still bore the figures and names of the old Roman gods. There is a distinct difference between the Constantine from 312-323 and the Constantine from 324 and after. In 312 he became the emperor of the western part of the empire, while Licinius became emperor of the east.

    The evidence points to a consistent if stormy progress toward accepting the Christian God as the one to whom exclusive service must be given . . . However, until his preparations for his final campaign by 323, he did not abandon his allegiance to the Sun god, even though he regarded himself as a servant of the Christian God . . . For twelve years the two allegiances were held in uneasy tension until the “God of Battles” claimed his own . . . The liberation of Rome was attributed to the Sun on a Medallion struck at the time. Soli Invicto Comiti continued to dominate the coinage. While other Western issues show the Sun’s orb resting on an altar. The protection of the gods of the empire did not disappear from the coins until after c. 319. (W. H. C. Frend, The Rise of Christianity, Fortress Press, 1985, 484).

    After 324 all this changed. In 324 Constantine defeated Licinius at the Battle of Chrysopolis, and he became sole ruler of the Roman empire. Now his ardor for Christianity new no bounds. In fact, so disgusted was he by the paganism of Rome, that he moved the capital of the empire to Byzantium, finishing it in 330, and renaming it Constantinople. He forbade pagan sacrifices and he decreed that there were to be no idolatrous worship and no pagan festivals of any kind

    Thus, there is no evidence that the “pagan” Constantine was somehow responsible for combining the celebration of Christ’s birth with paganism by moving it to Dec. 25. If anything, the evidence shows a Constantine who became so committed to the Christian faith that he was steadily moving toward disallowing all paganism.

    We cannot and should not stop the people of the world from celebrating at the time of the winter solstice. There is obviously something in us that makes us want and need to celebrate at this time of the year. Therefore we should not be surprised that at this time of the year even non-Christians are celebrating “Christmas,” that is, using many of the customs now called Christmas customs.

  13. You’ll have to forgive me, AngelSword, but I don’t recall ever mentioning Constantine or any of the stuff you mention in your comment.

    As I recall it was Pope Julius I who moved the date to December 25th back around 350 A.D. some 37 years after Constantine made Christianity legal in Rome. As I recall, and I don’t have time to cite a reference at the moment, part of his motivation was to absorb the Saturnalia festival that were popular in the area at the time.

    The fact is, however, that most of the traditions — the Christmas tree, kissing under mistletoe, gift exchanges, etc. — are Pagan traditions with no basis in Christianity. Christmas Mass is largely what the Christians brought to the holiday and, over the years as it spread around the world, differing cultures added in their own rituals and customs until we have the amalgamation that the holiday is today.

  14. I’ll go further than Les – a lot of the traditions date only from the Victorian Era. Think Christmas trees for one. In fact, the Wholly Babble mandates against Pagan traditions, like decorating trees.

    Anyhoo, no-one is trying to prevent people or businesses from celebrating any holiday thy want. The only thing that Secularists are trying to do is prevent the government from spending tax dollars on divisive sectarian rituals.

  15. prevent the government from spending tax dollars on divisive sectarian rituals.

    You think that might happen in our lifetime? Is it possible that an atheist could be elected President?

    Nah, not a chance! 😉

    Peace.

  16. Christians… contradicting themselves since year 0.

    Seriously, leaving aside the whole issue of Christmas not being a Christian holiday and the United States not being founded by or on Christianity, they can’t have it both ways. Dumbass lady says that the holiday is all about the giving and being nice to your neighbor and peace and harmony, etc. Then turns right around and says that if that takes away from the fact that it is Christs birthday, well then peace and love don’t matter anymore. If those are your priorities, then you’re pretty fucked up.

    Make up your minds, guys. Which is more important, Christ or the “spirit of giving”? If it came down to supporting the Spirit of Christmas or the fact that Christ is being celebrated, which would you choose? I choose the first one…. Call me old fashioned.

    btw: Mister Baldwin ain’t looking too good. It looks more like “The Zombie War on Christmas”

  17. Obsessions with Constantine aside, much of the “window dressing” of christmas, (not the Macy’s kind lol), comes from Germanic/Nordic sources it seems. IE pre-roman pagan/germanic.

    Snow. Heh. Candles. Bonfires. The “North”. Spruce/Fir Trees. The Yule Log. Wassail. Father Christmas in a blue coat fur lined coat. The date, being near the solstice. and I forget the rest. It’s pagan!
    Modern american christophiles dont seem to grok any of that. Somebody said the origin of modern christmas is basically the Victorians, and I think thats true. They were happy revisionists.
    So its endlessly amusing to witness the ignorant hoopla over what is now basically a hoiday (Capitalistmas someone said? lol) created in the 20th century, as far as all this infernal “gift buying” goes.. Just another cynical way to sell people crap.
    That said, I’ve celebrated Christmas pretty much all my life (LMAO). I LIKE to be nice to people and give gifts to my kids. Plus, when else will your house smell like fresh pine trees? (OK pine-sol doesn’t count)
    Even as a kid, my parents explained Christmas is just a fun way for people to remember to be nice and give gifts and play Bing Crosby and drink expensive liqour. HEHE, worked for me. I never beleived all that Jesus-y stuff anyway sinc I was raised in a secular home.

  18. Even as a kid, my parents explained Christmas is just a fun way for people to remember to be nice and give gifts and play Bing Crosby and drink expensive liqour.

    Who wrote the most successful Xmas song ever? Irving Berlin, a Jew. ROTFL

    Peace.

  19. I try to avoid churches, except for the rummage sales – although even that depends on what they’re raising money for. If it’s for their missionaries, forget it. If it’s for the food shelf, I’ll bring along some donations. I make it a point to ask before I start looking through stuff…one time I had an armful of stuff, and had to put it back because I found out at the checkout that the money was going to fund overseas missions.

    They looked at me like I was a crazy cock-a-roach.

  20. for starters ted mcginnley is gay.
    so there’s a bible buster.
    and the discussion i had in philosophy was that jesus was born in the spring anyway not december

  21. With apologies to your wife and my husband, I kind of love you, Les.

    First of all, EVERYONE says “Merry Christmas” where I live (Denver suburbs). I made a particular point of noticing this last holiday season because my mother likes to whine about this.

    Second of all, I will bet you 10 bucks this movie ends up on either Lifetime or the Hallmark Channel in time for Christmas. It sounds just awful enough to fit right in.

  22. .. I say “Happy Christmas”, and “Merry Birthday”. Just for fun. Whats funny to me is how people say merry x-mas I think because it sounds Olde world, or “English”, but the English themselves have long said “Happy Christams”. So much of our tradition seems to have been rather self-conciously borrowed from a popular *idea* about the “English model” (look at our grass lawns, our schools, our Psuedo-Victorian “value system”, this apparent tolerance for an “upper crust” sort of royalist class of wealthy persons).. All very romanticized, and a terrible model for a young secular humanist nation dedicated to the proposition of intrinsic equality-of-worth among peoples of all classes.. But I digress..

  23. This article and all the comments only serves to inflame Christians all the more… you do know that their “Scriptures” tell them that they will be hated, made fun of, and persecuted because of their allegiance to Jesus don’t you?!? So with every comment you make and leave you only make them more and more “Right” SO JUST DROP IT… or you are just like them.

  24. Jackson: Not even close. If you’re talking about comments getting them all bent out of shape and “confirming” their fears, then nothing… even staying silent is going to help that. If they heard nothing coming from us Atheists, they would come up with something else… the “Silent Atheist Threat” or something equally stupid. It’s not what we DO that get’s their panties in a bunch. It’s the idea that we have the temerity to say “We deserve the same rights as you, and we don’t want you stepping on ours.”

    If you’re talking about actions, then I only open my mouth when something like this comes up; something that specifically singles out Atheists as bad, and invents a “war” that we aren’t even involved in and casts me as the bad guy. It’s a political tactic designed to win you support from people who otherwise wouldn’t care. Invent a conflict and tell everyone that Atheists are on the other side of that conflict, then convince them that it is a fight the enemy cannot be allowed to win, and suddenly people who aren’t involved… who don’t have any axe to grind are signing up with the recruiter because they’ve been frightened into taking sides.

    It used to be that I could laugh at this, but when virtually all of the Republican candidates in this years elections are those who subscribe to the science/Atheism is evil camp, the last thing I’m going to do is “just drop it”

  25. Jackson condensed;

    “Hey, you, Parks, you’re just inflaming the situation – why not just go and sit at the back of the bus”

    Concern troll’s concern is noted.

  26. “Less time worrying about our rights…” Yep. That sums up the Christians. They can’t see that “our rights” are biased toward WASP-y Christian standards set forth since the founding of our country. I’m so sick of hearing all of them say, “Why can’t people just let us do our thing?” so on and so on. Here’s why: Christians are the majority in this country. “Your thing” is oppressive of others’ beliefs because it’s the accepted norm to have a nativity scene on Christmas. It’s become an American thing, not just a Christian thing. How about any other late December celebration? Sure, people can celebrate these things in their own homes or even put a display out on the lawn, but places like city hall will always choose the nativity scene. It’s just some stupid Christians with a lot of money. Yeah…they usually have a lot of money. Assholes.

  27. You cannot hate something that does not exist.
    I don’t hate fairys,pixies,dragons or leprechauns either..
    You would have to be crazy to hate something that has absolutely nothing to prove its existance.Just as you would have to be crazy to love that same thing.
    After all,Love and Hate are but 2 sides of the same coin…

  28. This is so sad to me that all of you people are arguing over this. Christians never claim or should claim to be perfect. We get angry too…that’s called being a human. As a christian it is very offensive to me and my family at how hard this world is trying to take God out of it. The population of actual atheists is way less that christians so I can’t understand why atheists feel they should have such an influence. Somewhere in the past you were obviously hurt or betrayed by a so-called “christian” to feel so strongly that God does not exist. If so, I am sorry b/c yes there are a lot of hypocrite christians out there that do give christianity a bad name. But the fact of the matter is how can you people ever deny that there is a creator? Have you ever looked around at all the miracles on this earth. Things don’t just happen. Everything has a creator. You mean you can take all the parts of a watch, throw them in a bag, shake it up an poof….you have a watch? It’s just not possible. I feel so sad for you that you have no faith and one day you will have to answer to God (as we all will). The Bible has been around for EVER and has never been destroyed. Wouldn’t you rather have hope in something and if it turns out to be wrong then you’ve lost nothing. But if it turns out to be true then you are in for a horrible eternity. In the end it’s hurtful to us that our children are not allowed to say Merry Christmas in school and they are being taught that they come from monkeys. Why is it okay for you to tell us that but not okay for us to share what we believe. It’s a double standard on your part as well. If you don’t believe it then who cares. If you’ve been exposed to the truth and don’t choose it then it’s your problem not ours. If you don’t agree with a movie then don’t go see it. There are plenty of horrible, trashy movies out there. I hardly think a sweet Christmas movie is going to warp anyone. I hold no hate against you guys but simply pray that you at least do your research. Lee Strobel’s books are great. I’m sure you’ve heard of him, but he was once an atheist too and decided to prove it. After extensive studying on the subject came to realize he was wrong. You just don’t have to be so hateful.

  29. To Christians and all else I say, correctly, Merry or Happy Solstice. In 46 BCE, well before christ Julius Caesar in his Julian calendar established December 25 as the date of the winter solstice of Europe.
    Fucking Christians Still think their lord was born on Dec. 25. Was Julius Ceaser a prophet? No. Christians are fucking suckers. If there is a god he has no use for people who blind themselves from the truth. Therefore, devout christians would be the last, if ever, to see heaven.
    Religion is the Root of ALL EVIL. If you must pray, do it in your closet.

  30. Jennifer Lee: You’re kidding right? Christians create a movie that is pretty much propaganda against Atheists and you say that Atheists are the ones who have a problem?

    The invented “War on Christmas” doesn’t exist you know. Atheists aren’t trying to destroy Christmas. This movie is a lie. It’s an attempt to elicit sympathy for a problem that doesn’t exist.

    The simple fact that most Christians seem to ignore is that people aren’t miserable if they don’t believe in Jesus or God. THEY are the ones that need to stop worrying about us, and stop worrying that we’re going to destroy them. If that happened, you would not hear another peep from me about it. I will happily live my life and not bother with religion.

  31. @Jennifer Evangelicals are the ones who think they should have an influence. They are the ones who come knocking on my door, uninvited, not atheists. That offends me, because they think they have license to invade my privacy in my own home. If Christians have a great/greater population, that alone should tell you that the religion is a fraud. The road to destruction is a wide one, and the path less taken is far more favorable.

    I am not an atheist, and the offense I take at evangelicals and other idolators is because I *do* believe in God. Jesus is not God. The Bible is not God. I am responsible for my own chosen behavior and do not need a scapegoat. Some of the kinship I feel with atheists comes from the fact that they don’t like evangelical Christianity, and neither do I. I have the idea that atheists and I differ in that I don’t allow God to be defined for me. I don’t have to reject God because of those who offend me with their proselytizing. What I think is that religion peddlers push people away from God. God and spiritual things are not for sale, and are available to those who are open to what lies within themselves.

    “Wouldn’t you rather have hope in something and if it turns out to be wrong then you’ve lost nothing. But if it turns out to be true then you are in for a horrible eternity.”

    So, that is why you are a Christian and are defending that religion now? Better safe than sorry? You make me really glad that I am me. LOL.

    Not everyone pretends that Christmas has something to do with things other than culture and capitalism, and it is presumptuous at minimum and insulting otherwise to thrust a Merry Christmas greeting at someone who is not part of that. Jesus was a Jew. Perhaps those who would follow him should convert to Judaism and have nothing to do with Christmas. Jeremiah 10:1-5 😉

  32. I see Jennifer has fallen victim to the fallacy of Pascal’s Wager.

    Not much point in engaging the rest of her comment.

  33. I like the constant appeal to their strength in numbers that we keep hearing from Christians; despite the fact that Christianity in this country declines every year. I cannot wait to hear people like Roberton and Limbaugh, or their future equivalents, lecture the nation about the importance of minority rights. I also wonder if Christians will continue to cite the importance of numbers when Islam inevitably becomes the world’s largest religion?

    But, at the moment, the Christian message seems to be “The meek shall inherit the earth… unless you challenge us, in which case we will use our numbers and won’t be quite so meek.”

  34. JChrist: I find your post odd. I hope that my post will be odd as well.

    Firstly, I believe that many (or at least some) Christians are in fact aware that Jesus was not literally born on Dec. 25. I think for many Christians it is understood that the date was chosen for symbolic and proselytizing purposes. They would not see it as Caesar “predicting” the day of Jesus’ birth; Caesar is irrelevant.

    At any rate; that the early Christians wisely usurped Dec. 25 in order to attract Pagan converts is, in my opinion, the least absurd part of the story. Belief in the virgin birth and in the incarnation of YHWH into some obscure 1st century dude are much more silly Christmas details. Christmas as a religious holiday is inherently stupid; the chosen date seems trivial by comparison.

    But, to your comment about Caesar not being a prophet; while Caesar probably isn’t an example, there is a traditional notion in Christianity of the “noble heathen.” You can read about it in Dante’s Inferno. Some of these righteous Pagans were thought to be prophetic; indeed, many early Christians considered Virgil to be a sort of prophet, which may be part of the reason why Dante chose him to be a central part of the story.

    But, since we’re on this theme of Christians borrowing from Paganism, and since you mention Caesar; Caesar of course adopted Octavian, later Augustus, to be his son (top example of a seemingly small act shaping history in incalculable ways.) Augustus, as you may know, was then known as “the son of god” due to the deification of the murdered Caesar. Jesus, if he existed, was probably born during Augustus’ reign, a reign where the “son of god” ruled most of the known world. It is difficult not to imagine that there was probably some influence there. But, even if there wasn’t, we see once more how unoriginal these Christian beliefs are. Belief that a human being can be the offspring of the divine, the central theme in the story of Christmas, seems as old as civilzation.

    Either way, I disagree that religion is somehow “the root of all evil” or that religious people should hide their faith. I would say that religion is the root of a great deal of evil, but not all, and that religious people should restrain themselves from imposing their religious beliefs on others. If they want to convert people they should do it with discourse, not the government.

  35. Positive: Except the “meek” that the RR keeps on about is the activist faithful…. and they are anything but meek.

    What I find interesting (and annoying) is that the RR goes on and on about their religious rights being stepped on whenever someone has the audacity to say “please keep your religion out of my face” as if it is their Constitutional right to not only preach but force me to listen, yet when Atheists say “You know… I don’t think you have the right to persecute me because of my beliefs” they become suddenly hard of hearing and forget they said anything remotely similar when they were being persecuted. The more adventurous of them say that those rights were not meant for people who don’t believe in God.

  36. Except the “meek” that the RR keeps on about is the activist faithful…. and they are anything but meek.

    Yes, as I said, they want to bully us.

    The more adventurous of them say that those rights were not meant for people who don’t believe in God.

    Right. On occasion you will hear them say that there is “no freedom from religion” which to me sounds as though they are implying that Americans do not have the right to be atheists if they wish to be. So who is trying to be the persecutor, exactly?
    These people claim to be the defenders of religion, yet they tried (and are probably still trying) to stop a Mosque from being built. The reality is that they want Christianity to have an exalted status, and any effort to put Christianity on par with other religions is therefore labeled “persecution.” Hence “Happy Holidays” is somehow offensive. They are spoiled by America’s freedoms, they have no idea what actual persecution looks like and therefore over-react to the mildest rebuke. The reality is that they are resentful of those freedoms when they are applied to non-Christians. They want this to be a “Christian country.” That is what these movies are about.

  37. Positive:

    Anecdote, here.

    I recently got into a discussion with someone, who complained (by way of question) why people who have the power do nothing – and why doesn’t the majority rule? Why does the minority get its way?

    I responded that, in essence, it’s a variant of distributed accountability – the more people there are, the less responsible each one feels. Therefore, the leadership will almost always come from the minority, for better or worse. For the most part, I think people do “better” and then rule by majority is a bad idea.

    They revealed this was about the War on Christmas, but also “everything”. I defended non-Christians. Ultimately, that ended the conversation on a sour note, and most of the comments were deleted.

    As to why majority counts: that’s how it used to be. You could get up at the towne centre a century ago and preach. Christianity is losing its power to possess and subvert cultures, and for some, that’s a scary form of exposure. It’s like being afraid of the outside, but living with neighbours who visit and never lock the door. It’s paranoid, but not completely baseless.

  38. It reminds me of John Lennon’s “Bigger than Jesus” comment. What he of course meant was not so much that The Beatles were better than Jesus, he explained, but that pop culture had supplanted religion as the main interest of the common people. Today IPods or Youtube, I suppose, could be said to be bigger than Jesus.

    However, even if religion no longer has a monopoly, the religious still have their tax breaks, there are still churches as far as the eye can see, and religion still holds a great deal of sway over politics. The religious right still dominates the Republican Party, which is (unbelievably) still the more influential of the two main parties. They are not powerless, despite their loss of total dominance, and one should always be on guard about their influence.

    The reality is that far from not being able to get up and preach, you can now get up on television and raise millions. And if you want to raise even more money you can speak (or make movies) about those dreaded minorities and secularists who are taking over America. Send me money, they tell their audiences, to stop the atheists and heathens from taking over.

    And this fear of the dreaded minority is not merely about religion. Race plays into it as well. Mexicans aren’t Muslims, but they might as well be in the mind of your average conservative. Too dark, too different. And what’s with that language? Espan-what? And paranoia over minorities always increases during tough economic times; whether that be the declining Romans concerned about the rise of Christianity or the Germans turning on the Jews or modern American right wingers in a state of panic over Sharia law in Oklahoma or the proliferation of burritos.

    I suppose, to sum this up, I see both points. On the one hand it is true, thankfully, that religion is losing influence and that, as you say, their paranoia is not completely baseless. Hopefully that trend will continue, and they will one day become the minority themselves… that will be an entertaining turn of events. On the other hand, it is also true that organized religion still has a great deal of power, and we should not ignore it.

  39. Well put positive. I agree that the absurdity of Christian mythology is almost boundless & the sarcasm I was attempting with the Caesar/prophet nonsense was not well thought out.
    My brief and brutish comments on religion (christian & Islam in particular) come from my experience of living in the bible belt where incarceration rates are the highest, and our schools test scores are the lowest. A direct result of the backward thinking perpetuated by the churches long practice of discouraging, no longer by threat of death but by a lack of funding, all profane education(knowledge gained outside of church) and their zealous attention to damning sinners. Here where if you don’t believe the earth is only 6000 yrs old you don’t hold much hope of gaining any public office.
    Now, I must argue that the difference between “the root of all evil” & “the root of a great deal of evil” is negligible. From time immemorial this God vs that God and Deity vs Demon has plagued man with war and shackled him with ignorance. The very nature of the Christian and Islamic faith is to impose their religious beliefs on others through “discourse” and when that doesn’t work they quickly turn to murder. Murder sponsored by governments INFECTED by fundamentalists thanks to the support of mere believers.
    Ok not all religions are bad, Hinduism is pretty cool. It conceives the whole world as a single family & it accepts all forms of beliefs and dismisses labels of distinct religions which would imply a division of identity. Hence, Hinduism is devoid of the concepts of apostasy, heresy or blasphemy. Friends of all, even the Atheist. Oh yea and their school’s test scores (where ever Hinduism is prevalent) are Awesome.
    I think religious nuts should read up on Attis of Phrygia, Horus, Buddha, Krishna, Romulus, Dionysus, Hercules, Glycon, Zoroaster, etc. then add Muhammad and Jesus to that mythological list and refrain from any more blind and foolish ASSHATERY.

  40. In some ways Hinduism seems preferable to the Abrahamic faiths. It does seem far more tolerant and inclusive. However, it is not an ideal religion either; such a thing does not exist. Many Hindus continue to embrace the caste system, a tradition which Hinduism has held for thousands of years. Gandhi, for one, tried his best to eradicate it, but to my understanding the caste system persists. Hindus do to my understanding have a concept of apostasy; the Jains and the Buddhists are not considered to be Hindus since they do not acknowledge the Vedas. And Hinduism also has these gurus who are, as it probably goes without saying, transparent con artists.
    I have read some Hindu pop-writings that claimed the veracity of psychic power and which were highly critical of “western science.” And though I’ve only heard a limited number of lectures from him, Deepak Chopra is another seemingly prominent Hindu who is very critical of the wall between science and religion, similar to the western creationist movements. Perhaps Hindus are not as anti-science as western fundies, but they are not without their share of anti-scientific sentiment.
    And while absurdity is present in all religion, you have to admit that the Hindu gods and myths are at least as far fetched as the Christian or Islamic myths, if not more so. Indeed, Hindu beliefs about the nature of Vishnu/Krishna seem remarkably similar to western Christology.
    Long story short, I do not see Hinduism as a great alternative to the religion’s of Abraham, though I admit that I know less about the religions of India than I do the Abrahamic faiths.

  41. Gosh, so many great comments on here…and everyone is so CIVIL!!!
    I would like to share with you my transition from devout Christian(baptized Episcopalian, then Baptist, the LDS), to a Pagan who still isn’t sure about the whole goddess/god thing…
    My first “religious” experience was at a Fundamental Baptist school that I went to in the seventh grade. These people were really scary and I wasn’t sure that I really wanted to go to this school, but what am I gonna do…my mom wanted me in private school. The preacher demanded to my mom that she should have me take my piano lessons from a real CHRISTIAN…my mom explained to him that my piano teacher was a devout Catholic, was a Nun in fact…but he was incensed that she would not change my piano teacher. Then they wanted me to start going to their church…but I was already going to the Mormon church, and was happy there. I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from the age of 9, until in my mid twenties. Some people find the rituals and dogma of LDS theology a little weird, however, I don’t feel they are any weirder than any other Christian sect/cult or any other religious dogma as well. Anyhoo…this preacher, he got talkin’ with the cronies in the church, and soon the kids started harassing me about not being a Christian, and I need to get saved, and when I said I already had a church and I didn’t want to “get saved”, THEY STARTED BEATING ON ME. Finally, my mom had enough and I started going to a Catholic school which I dearly loved…it’s where I discovered I had artistic talent…Thank you sister Marie….
    So fast forward, and my family decides to move to southeast Alabama because it’s way cheaper to live in THE PIT OF LIFE than it is to live in Vermont. Supposedly this is “the Bible Belt, and there are a majority of so called “christians” here. My experiences with them over the last 32+years is that they are angry, hateful, racist(both Whites and Blacks),greedy, and mean spirited. For the most part. There are isolated exceptions as there are exceptions to every rule. But I promise you…things deep down inside their SOULS haven’t changed much since the good ol’ days…like pre 50’s.
    It was this that changed my mind and heart/soul/whatever about “god” and “jesus” and “christianity”…and “the whole story”…Looking back on it now it’s as if I was hit by a bolt of lightning…all of a sudden after one last beating by someone pissed off because I was hangin’ out with my Black friends, it became clear to me that all I thought I knew WAS TOTALLY UTTERLY WRONG. The whole thing was one big story made up to keep everybody in line and in reality it meant nothing at all….
    It was really sad because I really wanted to believe but once that veil is lifted, well…

  42. Let’s be very clear with our terms, here. First, christians, as described in the Bible are people who believe that Jesus was the son of God, made flesh, who died for his/her sins and views Jesus as his/her savior, as a result. The Bible sets up guidelines for christians to follow to act as Jesus would in all situations, at all times. Bill O’Reilly, is not God’s spokesperson, nor is he the elected spokesperson for christians–with or without a capital “C.” As a Bible quoting, born, again, christian and minister, I can assure you that Bill O’Reilly’s views on just about everything rub me the wrong way. As for your atheism, well, that’s between you and God. I was a devout atheist for a long time and nothing kept me further from the Lord than smug, superior, self-righteous Christians. Personally, I think they are the devil’s single most powerful weapon. They not only keep atheists away from God, but drive believers out of churches. Ironically, the person who brought me to the Lord tried to destroy my faith once I was saved. So, please, do not assume that all christians think alike. For that matter, please believe me when I tell you that just because someone tells you that s/he is a christian, it doesn’t mean that Jesus would agree.

    Our country WAS founded by christians. Our founding fathers, while setting up a division between church (meaning any specific religion) and state, never intended for the United States to be populated by people who believed in any higher power that was not the God in the Bible. It was no accident that God is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution of the United States and that all of our money says, “In God We Trust.” Our nation was meant to be OK with it’s citizens not being Puritans or Methodists or any other Christian based religion, but that’s where the separation of church and state ended. So, when Bill O’Reilly rails against the PC movement to “Seasons Greetings” and the removal of Christmas Trees and lights and nativities from government property, he is, in fact, standing on solid, traditional ground. And, as a point of historical reference regarding the separation of church and state, while the White House send out Christmas cards and lit the tree on the lawn (and we still do) and we still swear in our president on a Holy Bible and Pledge Allegiance to our flag, as one nation under God; John Kennedy almost got passed over for consideration as the Democratic party candidate and, then, again, almost didn’t get elected because he was Catholic. Many people feared that America would become a papist country. Ironically, had Kennedy run against anyone even remotely more charming than Nixon, he would have lost and might have died an old man.

  43. Rev Reed: Except that “God” isn’t mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. The phrase is “our creator” which could be interpreted as God, Odin, Zeus, or even scientist at the IVF clinic. He isn’t mentioned in the Bill of Rights or the Constitution. The founders did not place “In God We Trust” on our money, “under God”, or require a Bible for any oath of office, and the White House’s Christmas traditions did not start with the Founders either.

    Christians co-opted a Pagan holiday for their own, so when Bill O’ Reily talks about the “War on Christmas” he is talking about a war that does not exist to preserve that which does not belong to Christianity.

    That solid, traditional ground is nothing but rituals enacted by leaders who happened to be Christians. They had no justification for doing what they did beyond the fact that no one stopped them. There is nothing in the Founding father’s documents, letters, or legal papers that suggests they would have condoned any of that.

  44. This going to be quite lengthy, but let’s see what the good Reverend has to offer.

    Rev. S. Reed wrote:

    Let’s be very clear with our terms, here. First, christians, as described in the Bible are people who believe that Jesus was the son of God, made flesh, who died for his/her sins and views Jesus as his/her savior, as a result.

    I don’t have a problem with that definition and it seems to me to fit the majority of people who call themselves Christian.

    The Bible sets up guidelines for christians to follow to act as Jesus would in all situations, at all times. Bill O’Reilly, is not God’s spokesperson, nor is he the elected spokesperson for christians–with or without a capital “C.”

    I don’t believe anyone here made either of those claims about Bill O’Reilly. He is, by your definition, a Christian and he has an influential show where he speaks opinions that a lot of other Christians agree with. No one assumes he speaks for all Christians, but to claim he doesn’t speak for any of them would be to deny reality.

    Jumping ahead a bit…

    So, please, do not assume that all christians think alike. For that matter, please believe me when I tell you that just because someone tells you that s/he is a christian, it doesn’t mean that Jesus would agree.

    Again, no one assumes all Christians think alike. In point of fact, we’re well aware of that as there are a number of Christians who are regular readers and contributors to this site, one of whom I do a podcast with, whom we have little to disagree with. Based on my own knowledge of Jesus’ teachings I’m sure there are quite a lot of Christians whom Jesus would have a problem with, many of them in the GOP.

    Now we get to the juicy bits:

    Our country WAS founded by [some] christians.

    Fixed that for you. Yes, some of the Founders were Christian. A lot were Deist. Some either were, or would have been considered to be, atheist. According to Wikipedia:

    Lambert (2003) has examined the religious affiliations and beliefs of the Founders. Some of the 1787 delegates had no affiliation. The others were Protestants except for three Roman Catholics: C. Carroll, D. Carroll, and Fitzsimons. Among the Protestant delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 28 were Church of England (Episcopalian, after the American Revolutionary War was won), eight were Presbyterians, seven were Congregationalists, two were Lutherans, two were Dutch Reformed, and two were Methodists, the total number being 49. Some of the more prominent Founding Fathers were anti-clerical or vocal about their opposition to organized religion, such as Thomas Jefferson (who created the “Jefferson Bible”), and Benjamin Franklin. However, other notable founders, such as Patrick Henry, were strong proponents of traditional religion. Several of the Founding Fathers considered themselves to be deists or held beliefs very similar to those of deists.

    So, yes, many if not most of them where Christians, but not all of them.

    Our founding fathers, while setting up a division between church (meaning any specific religion) and state, never intended for the United States to be populated by people who believed in any higher power that was not the God in the Bible.

    Please cite some reference to back up that claim. Having read a lot of the writings (both public and private) of the Founding Fathers myself, I can’t think of anything any of them said that would support your claim. Surely you can back that up with a citation, yes?

    It was no accident that God is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution of the United States and that all of our money says, “In God We Trust.”

    The Declaration of Independence is not a legal document that has any sway over the laws of the United States so what it says about God is largely irrelevant. The Bill of Rights doesn’t mention God at all. If you think it does then I invite you to show me where to find the reference. The only reference to God in the Constitution is in the date, which was written in the convention of the time by using “In The Year of our Lord”, beyond that there is no mention.

    As for “In God We Trust” on our money, you seem to be under the mistaken impression that the phrase has been there from the start. It has not. It didn’t appear on U.S. coins until 1864, almost 100 years after the the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1787, and even then it was a controversial decision. A law permitting (but not requiring) the motto to be used on coins was passed in 1865 and again in 1873, but it wasn’t until a law passed in 1908 made it a requirement to appear on coins, with the exception of the penny and the nickel. That’s 121 years after the Constitution. The nickel wouldn’t see the motto until 1938. It wasn’t until July 11th, 1954 that a law was passed requiring the motto on all coins and currency, bringing it to paper money. For those of you bad at math, that’s 167 years later.

    In short, your implication that “In God We Trust” being on our money was a direct decision of the Founding Fathers is, well, wrong and doesn’t support your claim that the founders intended this to be a Christian nation.

    Our nation was meant to be OK with it’s citizens not being Puritans or Methodsts or any other Christian based religion, but that’s where the separation of church and state ended.

    Again, you make a claim without citing anything to back it up. Here’s some of what I’ve read from the Founding Fathers in regards to their intent on the separation of church and state:

    “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” — Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82

    “We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions … shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power … we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society.” — John Adams, letter to Dr. Price, April 8, 1785

    “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.” — James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

    “Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity in exclusion of all other religions may establish, with the same ease, any particular sect of Christians in exclusion of all other sects? That the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute threepence only of his property for the support of any one establishment may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?” — James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments

    “If they are good workmen, they may be of Asia, Africa, or Europe. They may be Mohometans, Jews or Christians of any Sect, or they may be Atheists.” — George Washington, letter to Tench Tilghman asking him to secure a carpenter and a bricklayer for his Mount Vernon estate, March 24, 1784

    That’s just a small sample, but it sounds to me like these men were thinking of ALL religions and not just Christianity as you claim.

    So, when Bill O’Reilly rails against the PC movement to “Seasons Greetings” and the removal of Christmas Trees and lights and nativities from government property, he is, in fact, standing on solid, traditional ground.

    Not really. How much observance the government should give to religious holidays has always been a grey area in our country’s history. George Washington, for example, issued the first Proclamation of Thanksgiving, but Thomas Jefferson refused to do so during his time in office:

    I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling in religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment, or free exercise, of religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the United States. Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise or to assume authority in religious discipline has been delegated to the General Government. It must then rest with the states, as far as it can be in any human authority.

    But it is only proposed that I should recommend, not prescribe a day of fasting & prayer. That is, that I should indirectly assume to the US an authority over religious exercises which the Constitution has directly precluded them from…. I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct it’s exercises, it’s discipline, or it’s doctrines; nor of the religious societies that the general government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them. Fasting & prayer are religious exercises. The enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, & the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands, where the constitution has deposited it. I am aware that the practice of my predecessors may be quoted…. Be this as it may, every one must act according to the dictates of his own reason, & mine tells me that civil powers alone have been given to the President of the US and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents. — Thomas Jefferson, to Samuel Miller, January 23, 1808

    James Madison, as quoted previously, felt that Government shouldn’t have anything at all to do with religion which would include promoting it by participating in religious festivals. There’s nothing PC about that fact.

    That said, the courts have ruled that so long as Government doesn’t show preference for one religious festival over another and includes secular aspects of the holidays then they can get away with some overlap. Christmas trees are as much a secular symbol of the holiday as a religious one (and they’re more a Pagan symbol than a Christian one at that) and Candy Canes, despite recent attempts to claim otherwise, are also non-religious in nature. Nativity scenes are a harder argument to make, though most courts have ruled that if the government allows anyone to put up displays alongside the nativity scenes then you can put them on the courthouse lawn. It’s an all or nothing proposition: Either everyone gets to participate or no one does. It’s just a shame that Christians can’t be happy with that compromise.

    And, as a point of historical reference regarding the separation of church and state, while the White House send out Christmas cards and lit the tree on the lawn (and we still do) and we still swear in our president on a Holy Bible and Pledge Allegiance to our flag, as one nation under God;

    Yep, the White House sends out Christmas cards. Depending on who’s in office they may or may not use the word “Christmas” on them (there have been a number that went with Season’s Greetings). They also have a Christmas tree, which, as I said previously, is more Pagan than Christian.

    Yes, many Presidents swear in on a Holy Bible, but they don’t have to. The Constitution stipulates that they may affirm instead of swear (President Franklin Pierce took that option) and there is no requirement for the use of a Bible. Theodore Roosevelt did not use a Bible when taking the oath in 1901 and John Quincy Adams swore on a book of law. At least one current U.S. Senator was sworn in on a Koran.

    As for the Pledge of Allegiance, well, that’s a whole other bunch of entries by itself. Suffice it to say that, like In God We Trust, it wasn’t in the original Pledge and wasn’t added until 1954.

    John Kennedy almost got passed over for consideration as the Democratic party candidate and, then, again, almost didn’t get elected because he was Catholic. Many people feared that America would become a papist country. Ironically, had Kennedy run against anyone even remotely more charming than Nixon, he would have lost and might have died an old man.

    Yes, we know all of that. Not sure how it’s supposed to support your claim that the separation of church and state only applied to the various Christian sects and not all religions. Perhaps you cold elaborate?

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