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The War on Christmas!

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posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 09:51 AM
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BH,

Okay, so 75% of Americans are Christain, and 25% are not.

If a public tree (that in some cases is put up and paid for by taxes) is put in a town (like Boston) it should be called a Christmas tree. And the 25% who are not Christain can call it something different, if they like.

Why, should the great majority be force to have their public tree renamed for a small minority?? That is the basic problem.

Hey, Hillary lover...this thread is about the war against Christmas symbols in todays America. The Chirstmas tree is one of those symbols, spare us the debate over its meaning, symbols are always taking on new meanings.

-- Boat




posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 10:02 AM
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Originally posted by Boatphone
If a public tree (that in some cases is put up and paid for by taxes) is put in a town (like Boston) it should be called a Christmas tree. And the 25% who are not Christain can call it something different, if they like.


Isn't that what's happening? Some are calling it a Christmas tree (you and your Christian friends) and some aren't (me and my ... friends). WHAT"S THE PROBLEM THEN???

What am I missing??? HELP!



Why, should the great majority be force to have their public tree renamed for a small minority?? That is the basic problem.


Renamed? Is there a naming ceremony? Is there a plaque that says "This is a HOLIDAY tree and don't call it anything else or you will be arrested"?


[edit on 12-12-2005 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 10:12 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Renamed? Is there a naming ceremony? Is there a plaque that says "This is a HOLIDAY tree and don't call it anything else or you will be arrensted"?


Yes! That Government of Boston and many other cities have been pressued to change the name.

Here is a link to the story...Christmas Tree Fight in Boston!

Canada is trying to get the tree back because of the name change!

Thanks for trying to understand this problem.


-- Boat

Text of Story.



Halifax — He's not quite as grumpy as the Grinch, but Nova Scotian Donnie Hatt is saying some pretty un-Christmasy things about Boston after bureaucrats there renamed his Christmas tree a "holiday" tree.

In fact, the East Coast logger so resents the politically correct label assigned to his prized white spruce -- which he chopped down himself last week in a spirit of giving -- that he's suggested the tree be shipped home.

Boston should "just put 'Return to Sender' on it because we sent it as a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree," Mr. Hatt told a local newspaper this week.

For the past 34 years, Nova Scotia has sent a carefully selected Christmas tree to Boston as a gesture of gratitude to the New England city for the speedy help it gave Halifax in the aftermath of the December, 1917, explosion that killed and injured thousands of Haligonians.

This year, the tree was described in City of Boston news releases as a "holiday tree." Had Mr. Hatt known the evergreen would be draped in a generic, secular term, he said, "I'd have cut it down and put it through the chipper."

Mr. Hatt's comments have caused headaches across the country and made headlines in both the United States and Canada. Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm was asked to comment on the tree kerfuffle Wednesday during a trip to Calgary.

"When it left Nova Scotia, it was a Christmas tree," Dr. Hamm said.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has also jumped into the fray.

Yesterday, Mr. Menino said he considers Nova Scotia's gift a Christmas tree -- not a holiday tree, despite the wording on city press releases.

"A Christmas tree is a Christmas tree is a Christmas tree," he said with a sigh.

The short-tempered rants actually started in Boston earlier this week when lawyers hired by conservative evangelist Jerry Falwell threatened to sue the city for what they described as state attempts to secularize Christmas. They cited the renaming of the Nova Scotia Christmas tree as a prime example.

Mr. Hatt piped in when he caught wind that his tree, which he offered as a Christmas gift, had been stripped of its Christian meaning.

The angry exchanges have tarnished the cherished Christmas tradition between Nova Scotia and Boston, which began in 1971. In addition to a symbol of thanks for Boston's assistance in the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion, the tree is a symbol of friendship and economic ties between the two East Coast cities.

In Nova Scotia, the search for a tree is a serious, six-month affair, involving the entire province.

The only other time Nova Scotia asked to have the tree returned was when it learned that one red spruce had too few lower branches.

In Boston, the Nova Scotia Christmas tree has become the focal point for the city's biggest Christmas event, when tens of thousands of people gather in the Common at the beginning of December to see the tree lit up.

The event features performers from Nova Scotia and the Premier usually attends, as he plans to next week.

Mr. Menino said when he flips the switch in the Common next week to illuminate the tree, he'll be calling it a Christmas tree.

"I never heard of a holiday tree," the mayor said.

In Boston, the tree flap has divided residents. An on-line poll conducted by a local television station revealed that many people resent the ambiguity of the term "holiday tree."

"A Christmas tree. That's what it is,'' wrote one resident. "And thank you to . . . the good folks of Nova Scotia for giving Boston these beautiful CHRISTMAS TREES year after year. Merry Christmas!!!"

However, others said state organizations should try to include people of all faiths in the holiday season.

"Regarding the Christmas tree generously donated by Nova Scotia, I hope we can all celebrate it. Nonetheless, this tree is on public property and supported largely by tax dollars from many who vehemently support the separation of church and state," said another in an e-mail.

Meanwhile, some Nova Scotians say Mr. Hatt's comments were in bad taste and hope Bostonians don't believe the province really wants the tree back.

Peter Spurway, a spokesman for the Premier, said Nova Scotians remain grateful for the efforts of Boston residents more than 80 years ago.

"He's entitled to his own opinion," Mr. Spurway said of Mr. Hatt, adding he regrets that the logger's comments got relayed back to Boston. "It's too bad really. We share so much with New England and have so much in common.

"This [annual tree gift] was a symbol of appreciation and respect."




[edit on 12-12-2005 by Boatphone]



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 10:22 AM
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Originally posted by Boatphone
Canada is trying to get the tree back because of the name change!


Donnie Hatt is now known as Canada?
I didn't know we were thought of as having a population of one.

Also from the article,


Meanwhile, some Nova Scotians say Mr. Hatt's comments were in bad taste and hope Bostonians don't believe the province really wants the tree back.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 10:24 AM
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Boat, I have read that article and it doesn't answer my questions either, that's why I thought there may be some hope of getting my answers from a real person with whom I can interact.


So you're mad that person A pressured person B to call the tree a Holiday tree, and person B decided to comply, right?

If you don't care what I call it, why do you care what person B calls it?

As long as no one is forcing YOU to call it something you don't want to, why do you care? I mean person B could have stood up for calling it a Christmas tree if that was really important to them, right? It must not mean as much to them as it does to you, for example, because I can't see you complying under pressure.

Seems to me, that if you're mad at anyone it should be Person B for being a wimp. Or else, you could just decide to not be mad at anyone and continue to call it a Christmas tree and say Merry Christmas to everyone you meet.

Why let this ruin your holiday? How can you even think that a simple word can undermine your religion? This 'war on Christmas' is totally in your head.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 10:27 AM
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Well, it just makes zero sense to call a Christmas Tree a holiday, tree...i mean why do it?

It's hurts many and helps none...sorry i can't explain it any better.


-- Boat



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by Umbrax

Originally posted by Boatphone
Canada is trying to get the tree back because of the name change!


Donnie Hatt is now known as Canada?
I didn't know we were thought of as having a population of one.

Also from the article,


Meanwhile, some Nova Scotians say Mr. Hatt's comments were in bad taste and hope Bostonians don't believe the province really wants the tree back.


It is Mr. Hatt's Christmas gift, and he has a right to comment on it. He worked hard getting that tree, and he was told it was to be the City of Boston Christmas Tree.

-- Boat



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 10:37 AM
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Whatever happened to "...a rose by any other name..." ?

Call it what you want. Calling a cow an eagle won't make it fly.

Calling you a @!#*% won't make it true.

Call me whatever you want. Just don't call me late for supper.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by Boatphone
It is Mr. Hatt's Christmas gift, and he has a right to comment on it. He worked hard getting that tree, and he was told it was to be the City of Boston Christmas Tree.

-- Boat


You commented was "Canada is trying to get the tree back."
The statement is not accurate at all.
I never refuted Donnie Hatt's right to speak his opinion. But that is all it is, his opinion. The article that you used to support the claim that "Canada is trying to get the tree back" actually makes it clear that Canada is not trying to get the tree back.

Also it is not Mr. Hatt's gift to Boston it is Nova Scotia's gift to Boston. Nova Scotia has been sending Boston Christmas trees for the last 34 years. It was Hatt's tree, he donated it so it would be used by Nova Scotia as the annual gift to Boston.
It's a shame he chopped down a tree that has been in his front yard for 36 years just so that others could use it to further divide America.
It seems every subject in the news is twisted into an "us versus them" fight.

Publicly calling a Christmas Tree something other than a Christmas tree is silly. As would be calling a Menorah a Holiday candle holder.
But rallying people up or suing over the name calling of Holliday tree is just as foolish.
This whole thing has gotten way too much attention. In my opinion this is just another dog wagging to polarize America.
They Live, We Sleep.
It is about time people began to rise above their insignificant differences and not jump on the "us versus them" bandwagon.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 11:33 AM
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Originally posted by Boatphone
Well, it just makes zero sense to call a Christmas Tree a holiday, tree...i mean why do it?


How about because I want to? It may make no sense to you, but it makes sense to me. Why don't you just accept that it makes sense to some even though you can't understand it?



It's hurts many


How does it 'hurt' anyone? If you're going to say that somebody's hurting, at least tell me how they're hurting, because I cannot see the wounds. And if it's a free speech issue, that what someone is saying is hurting your feelings, hey, this is America. We (still) have free speech. Isn't that a good thing? Are you against free speech?



sorry i can't explain it any better.



You know why that is? Because your argument (when you really think about it and break it down) doesn't make logical sense. That's why I have such a hard time understanding it. On one hand, you say that I can call it anything I want, but on the other hand, you want to dictate what some other people call it.

Why don't you just feel free to call it whatever you like and let everyone else have that choice, too!



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 12:18 PM
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If a Christmas tree is now a holiday tree, then I shall rename the Koran "toilet paper".

As usual, the liberals are going ape # trying to be PC. Seriously, it is a Christmastree, NOT a holiday tree. You can't just rename something because it doesn't include every religion...

And this is coming from someone who definitively dislikes ALL religion.

[edit on 12-12-2005 by American Mad Man]



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man
If a Christmas tree is now a holiday tree, then I shall rename the Koran "toilet paper".


Okay. I won't be calling it that but you can call it whatever you like. (See how this works?)



You can't just rename something ...


Why not?



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Okay. I won't be calling it that but you can call it whatever you like. (See how this works?)


Yeah, I do see how this works. Every time you don't like the proper name for something, you just rename it.



Why not?


Because it is idiotic!

It's a damned Christmas tree. Guess what - I am not a Christian. But the thing is called a Christmas tree, just like Swiss Chocolate is Swiss Chocolate, just like a German Shepard is a German Shepard, and just like a space station is called a space station.

You can't rename Swiss Chocolate English Chocolate because you don't like Swizzerland, you can't rename a German Sheppard an American Sheppard because you don't like Germany, and you can't rename a space station an ocean station just because you don't like space



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 12:57 PM
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I think I understand Boat’s problem here, and it really boils down to tradition. The fact is the tradition of the Christmas has been around since the mid 1800’s. It has always been called a Christmas tree since it’s erected during the Christmas holiday.

When you generalize something you take away from the meaning of it. Boat is upset that big corporations in an attempt to please everyone and even some areas of the government are willing to bypass the traditional name for the tree in replace of another one that is perhaps less offensive.

Every culture, race, religion or family has some traditions that they hold dear to them, and I am sure you can understand his position from this perspective. This is indeed an American tradition, true it hasn’t always been, but the fact remains it is very big part of our society and some people value these traditions and don’t wish to see them replaced with generalizations.

In fact it would seem a majority feel this way since you see a reversal from last year with big stores such as Macy’s using the generic “happy holiday” slogan have now switched back to Merry Christmas.




After using the more inclusive "Happy Holidays" in its ads and in-store promotions last year, Macy's is now embracing "Merry Christmas." And, after hundreds of phone calls, Lowe's stopped selling "holiday trees" and switched to "Christmas trees."


I am speaking from a traditional stand point… Surly there must be something traditionally that you hold dear to you and wouldn’t want changed simply to appease those that don’t agree or are perhaps offended? If you choose not to respect this tradition then I have to assume you choose not to repsect any tradition from any culture or belifes otherwise you would be bias in your opinions.

The very thought of having a tree in your home during the month of December is Christmas in nature so why call it something other than that? I am not saying you have to go along with it or celebrate it, but there is no need to change the tradition of it.




[edit on 12-12-2005 by CogitoErgoSum1]



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 01:03 PM
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At this point in the spirit of Christmas and peace on Earth, good will toward men, this should be settled once and for all in the only rational way possible.

We'll meet in a mutually agreed upon location, strip to the waist and armed with oak cudgels and daggers in our teeth, fight until the blood of our enemies stains the newly fallen snow a viscous steaming crimson. Only then, howling upon the fresh corpses of fallen adversaries, will one side or the other be justified in naming the tree.

Of course the whole having to mutually agree upon a location may snag things up a bit.

[edit on 12/12/2005 by yeahright]



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 01:04 PM
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this latest effort by the far right to "defend Christmas" is silly when you realize these people obviously have no knowledge about the history of the observation of Christmas in this country. It goes back to the Puritans who did not observe Christmas and saw it as pretty much criminal to do so because of it's roots in Roman Pagan traditions. It's observation continued to be frowned down upon by most Christians until the late 19th/early 20th century. That's when the modern mix of materialism and sentimental stories about kids and Santa Claus became the domestic version of Christmas. Until now religious groups have fought the materialism of the holiday but the latest group of "defenders" seem to be not only embracing it, but trying to force business to use Christmas in their marketing efforts via boycotts against firms using the words "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". They're not really protecting a tradition as much as they are pushing a new poltical agenda. I think this is really about a few radical groups/people using an issue to draw attention/money to themsleves and their own political agendas. In simplisitc crude terms it's a bunch of BS.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 01:15 PM
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Delta 38,

As I have stated before this thread is about the tradition of Christmas and the Christmas tree in America today; not the history of Christmas.

BH,

Here is another example:

Say you lived in a town called Deerkill, Ma. Your whole family for generations has been living in Deerkill, Ma. In your town the great majority of townsfolk been been their for generations.

Then one day a small group (we will say of eight people) move into your town. They all happen to belong to a deer worshiping cult. They find the name "Deerkill" to be offensive to their religion. So, these eight people in the town of 16, 000, get the government to change the name to "A Town, Ma. Now this name includes everyone...

...Is this a correct action taken by the government? Does it value everyone opinion, I believe no. Do you?



-- Boat



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 01:18 PM
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You have voted American Mad Man for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.


Thanks for the support, I was losing steam.


-- Boat



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 01:39 PM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man
Because it is idiotic!


Ooohh! Good answer! Really helpful! :shk:


Originally posted by Boatphone
BH,

Here is another example:

Say you lived in a town called Deerkill, Ma. Your whole family for generations has been living in Deerkill, Ma. In your town the great majority of townsfolk been been their for generations.

Then one day a small group (we will say of eight people) move into your town. They all happen to belong to a deer worshiping cult. They find the name "Deerkill" to be offensive to their religion. So, these eight people in the town of 16, 000, get the government to change the name to "A Town, Ma. Now this name includes everyone...

...Is this a correct action taken by the government? Does it value everyone opinion, I believe no. Do you?


A. If I live in a town called Deerkill, I'm already offended.
Sorry.
B. I loathe tradition, so that's probably why I don't get all the sentimental attachment to a word.
C. Using your example, the people who want to call the tree a Holiday Tree did not just move into town. They've been here all along, but nobody cared. In fact, the founders of the town made sure everyone would be pleased with the name, but the deerhunters overrode the founders intentions and named the town what they wanted in the first place.

The whole, thing, of course, goes back to the US Constitution, and its requirement that the government in the US not have a preferred or official religion, coupled with the resistance by many Christians to having symbols of non-Christian religions placed in public places.

The percentage of people in the US that are Christians is totally irrelevant. If ONE person in the US was a Christian, they would have the right to ask that public funds be used to display a Christmas tree. If the government entity to which they placed the request said No, then that government entity would be barred from using public funds to display any OTHER religious symbology.

Likewise in the reverse. If public funds are used to display a Christmas tree, then public funds MUST be made available to display symbology from any OTHER religion. That's what the Constitution requires.

It is quite possible to make the argument that calling a Christmas tree a "Holiday" tree is an attempt by a government (City of Boston in this case) to circumvent the US Constitution by erecting a well-known (if inaccurate) Christian symbol while denying display of other religions' symbology.

Furthermore, the Christmas tree did not originate in the US. It's not some bastion of American tradition. Only in the minds of people who have their panties in a twist about this whole thing, is the Christmas tree an American tradition.

O Tannenbaum



In the German-speaking countries the Christmas tree is part of the pre-Christian tradition of the "12 Rauhnächte" (12 harsh or wild nights)
...
The decorated tree was originally a pagan tradition in Germany's upper Rhine region. A decorated holly tree was brought into the house and even placed in the village square.


The thing is. No one is forcing you to do anything. You're trying to force your beliefs on everyone. And that's just not the American way. Not yet, anyway.



posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 01:47 PM
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BH,

Please, be honest. You really think the government has the right to rename things even when a majority of people are against it? What if those in government are getting kick-backs from the super rich, do you think thats okay to have a small minority of super rich over ride the popular vote?!!?


Also, the town in my example was NOT founded by deerhunters, it was founded my Native Americans who had a fable about a killer deer...a deer God.

You really did skip over by renaming of a town argument, i gotta call you out on it.

-- Boat



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