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UserFriendly seems to have hit the nail on the head regarding the origins of secular winter celebrations.
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Hi, Liberal Christian.
In fact, a Quaker. I’m as liberal as you will find.
A George Will essay on this subject sparked the article in the Economist and another in the Washington Post. The wide agreement across those three sources (with the Economist sort of standing between the Post and Will ideologically, albeit from a British view) is notable, and one of them, at least, said that the younger crew is further to the left than their elders. I’ll look that up for you, though.
A interesting question, I agree. We don’t tend to qualify things very well.
It’s amusing- I think we’re reading the same stuff, and coming to different conclusions. But that is also wonderful,and good, so I’m not complaining.
WHich version of FnP are you reading?
Also, you went seemlessly from talking about anti-Christian bias to anti-conservative bias.
Be careful about that. There can be liberal Christians and conservtive atheists.
And Tom, thanks for asking for proof. I hate it when people chase each other’s tails with groundless arguments. It helps make this blog better!
And what priests have been indicted for such thoughtcrimes? Also, if it is in the domain of a priest to discuss politics, is it not in the domain of the parishoner to be sure that he does not do so in an immoral way?
I have two editions, 1972 and 1997. I prefer the older one because it has poetry sprinkled throughout.
I use the 1997, although I do have access to the latest one when I’m at home, which I just searched for and can’t find *chuckles* but I believe is 2000 or so.
Could I ask, how do you define conseravtive/liberal christianity?
I’d also add that though most of the symbols are borrowed from pagan religions, those religions haven’t been practiced by more than a handful of people for a very very long time. Those symbols became thoroughly Christianized, in that most ordinary folks didn’t know about the old meanings. For many generations in this country, Christmas was most definitely a solemn religious holiday, albeit with a healthy dose of fun thrown in. Recently, it seems as though the PC police want to roll back the clock to the pagan days so that Christ can be ignored during this season. Christianity is being specifically targeted and discriminated against. There’s no rebellion against Channukah. A menorrah can be called a menorrah and not be taken down. God forbid you have a Christmas tree or throw a Christmas party. Someobidy might be offended. *grumble*
I’m so glad I found this blog.
Intelligent discourse. Now, I happen to disagree, but let the discussions begin.
I’ll start with Jerry:
1. Please give some sort of proof or substantiation to that claim. Basically, what you are saying is that hiring practicies bias against one side or another based on their beliefs. That works for either side equally as well. What you have to show to gain any traction with that point (at least in universities), is that universities throughout the nation bias against conservative thinkers. And I’m sure you’ll agree that there are significant numbers of conservative universities, and professors.
2. Media. This just seems to be a general rehash of the “liberal media” arguement. Regardless of if we accept the arguement, we’ve seen over the last years that the media does impact viewership. The largest viewed news shows? Those on Fox News. The most impact on viewer’s views? Please look at the PIAP study on common misconceptions regarding the war in Iraq, and Fox News.
3. Media Cont. Please show me how the media are attacking and destroying christmas for all those who want to celebrate the “Christian” version of it.
Onto Funky Dung:
1. I agree with you about adoption of the holiday.
2. And every other day there is an article about how moral values won the election, and how that should be reflected in the government. I also do not see “jesusland” ever used in any mainstream media outlet. Please show where it has been. Regardless, talk about issues, talk about what happened, does not mean a vast conspiracy. In a country where the seperation of chruch and state is of the greatest importance, it does strike a chord with many people that a majority voted based on morals, and not issues. Whether that is good or bad is up for each individual to decide.
3. Spying. Please reference? explain? Etc. We do it to mosques, I know. Are we using the FBI and CIA to infiltrate christian as well as muslim churches?
4. yes, yes you do. Please show examples of the ACLU attacking christians for practicing their beliefs on private property. The same comment regarding the non-Christian half not tolerating Christians could be made about the Christian half not tolerating Non-Christians…. and I can find you many many cases of people trying to put G-d into situations where not everyone believes in him.
It also greatly depends on what you mean by liberal and conservative. Christian c/l or c/l Christian? The Body of Christ needs to get poltical and religious language straight.
Pardon the joke, but I’ve heard Quakers described as Unitarians with an attention span. That wasn’t always so. Quakerism was more Scriptural than it is today in most instances and thus more “conservative”. “Faith and Practice” describes a pretty “old school” faith. I’ve met Jewish Quakers and Buddhist Quakers. Once upon a time, that wouldn’t be possible.
It must be noted that at no point in the history of Western Civilization has Christmas ever given Christ more than a polite nod.
The modern Christmas replaced a bachanalian Christmas that preceeded it. It’s always been about having a good time; all that’s varied is whether that good time was spent sharing gives with your family or getting drunk with whores.
That’s an interesting little article. It lists UCal, Berkerly, Harvard, and Stanford.
It’s central arguement is that younger professors are more liberal. And my question is… where is the young conservative professor core?
We can see throughout the nation that in different areas different age groups/parties are doing well. Promiment Republicans in campaigns are ruling the day- leadership in democratic campaigns doesn’t get as much press, and tends to be a bit older.
But regardless, your point was that liberal hiring practices are affecting the politics of professors in universities. You need to show a harm- why is this bad? Loss of discourse? What? Quantify it please, so I can know your point. You also need to show your point- you can provide articles that show a slight, tiny, tiny bit of information saying that professors are mainly liberal, but that has nothing to do with hiring practices. Maybe more liberals are applying to be professors (to be a professor, you need to have a degree- degree holders are typically more liberal than not). Please, more info.
My family are actually all new convinced Quakers, starting about 7 years ago. My family’s background on both sides is rather conservative Christianity, from Baptists through Roman Catholics, I believe.
My knowledge admittedly has gaps.
But I know that the holiday was initially created by a Roman emperor to co-opt the high holiday of the Sun Worshippers in the empire. That’s why it’s so close to the solstice.
I know that early Protestants tended to denounce it because it paid very little attention to Christ. The Puritans went so far as to illegalize it in the American colonies.
I know that at least in cities it was a drunken raucus activity in the nineteenth century.
Also, if you look at it, all of the symbology surrounding it is pagan. The tree, the wreaths, the burning of yule logs, these are all germanic pagan symbols. Any Christian meanings have been tacked on afterwards to explain to young children why we do the silly things we do.
Once again I state my discomfort with the Church’s decision to co-opt a pagan holiday in a bid to win converts. It’s confusing for Christians and non-Christians alike. The “holiday” that’s celebrated before Thanksgiving is about money, not faith.
As for Christianity rising to prominance in politics, wake up and smell the blue coffee. It seems like every other day there’s an article about blue-staters lamenting that the inhabitants of “Jesusland” reelected Bush. There’s more than enough anti-Christian invection in the mass media.
Churches aren’t being infiltrated? Really? How about people spying to make sure nothing political comes from a pulpit?
Need I continue? I’m not saying we’re living under tyranny, but roughly half of this country is growing increasingly intolerant of conservative Christians and/or Christian conservatives. People and organizations shouldn’t have to cower in fear that if they attract too much attention the ACLU will sic their lawyers on them.
Orthodox, Hicksite, or something else? My grandfather was a Quaker (a rather Deistic one, though) and I have a great deal of respect for the faith. I’ve read “Faith and Practice” (put out by the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting) a couple times. I disagree with the renunciation of all outward sacraments, but I find certain aspects of the relationship to the Holy Spirit (the Inner Light) to be quite inspiring.
Philly Yearly Meeting is my meeting- actually, my Meetinghouse is Horsham meetinghouse back home…. one year older than the Phildadelphia meetinghouse (we just had our 200 year anniv. of the meetinghouse being built… originally founded in 1716 though).
Quakerism isn’t liberal by default. While the beliefs are quite heterdox when compared to “high church” Christianity, the faith has a very conservative history. The trend toward liberal “spirituality” over conservative “revealed religion” is relatively recent.
Quakers are a big part of my family history. My paternal grandfather’s lineage left Wales in 1683 in order to practice Quakerism freely in Pennsylvania. William ap John and his fellow emmigrants founded Merion Township. My paternal grandmother’s lineage includes Thones Kunder, an influential Quaker who helped found Germantown.
My grandfather’s meeting was in Wrightstown.
Quit whining.There is no vast anti-Christian conspiracy.
Really depends on which group/history you are following, at least, from what I have read.
This although, is not my strong point- more my father’s. I am still discovering/understanding/reading. Takes time.
The Eucharist is an internal affair. Whether a pastor/priest/minister commits thoughtcrime against the state is another matter.
1. A lot of ink has been spilled on the liberal bias in American Universities. Check out: http://www.economist.com/World/na/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3446265
I’ll address the others after my wife’s concert. 🙂
Um, where did the massive attack against Christmas come? Let’s see, Christmas is brought to the fore before Thanksgiving has even occured: Christians themselves are more active and vocal than ever before.
The FBI is not investigating churches or households that practice Christmas. The same cannot always be said for our neighborhood Muslims and their holidays.
Politicians are not denouncing Christmas on any large or persuasive scale.
Now that we have a resurgance of religion, and specifically Christianity in America, how can you claim that Christmas is being attacked?
Well Tom, it doesn’t take a conspiracy. For instance, the lack of conservative professors is not the result of conspiracy, it’s just that in order to get into academia, you need to write about things that hiring and editorial committees consider significant. In the humanities and social scientists, a conservative thinker may not be discussing problems that liberal hiring and editorial committees consider interesting. So nobody is overly prejudiced, but things have a way of maintaining the status quo.
Now extend that same sort of groupthink to CBS, the NY Times, ABC, and NBC as well as academia and the “chattering classes” of well-off people that derive most of their opinions from these entities, and there you go. Anti-Christian bias. And without any help from the FBI or whatever. One reason why Christians are so vocal, as you mentioned, is that we realized that we have to say things pretty loudly before anyone hears!
Well, the Christmas tree also has its roots as a German tradition, partially in memory of St. Boniface’s cutting down a sacred tree that the Goths worshipped. And so what if there’s some pagan symbolism? That doesn’t mean that it’s debauched per se. I know that we have some pagan traditions mixed in with things, but it doesn’t compel me to get drunk.
The date for XMas falls close to the solstice, and if what I heard was correct, was specifically set to help woo members of the Mithraic cult.
I’m not surprised that people have abused the season at various times, but that still doesn’t mean that people have *always* done so, as your post implied. And celebration is legitimate for the birth of the Savior. The Bridegroom is with us at last! Jesus Himself said that it was only natural to celebrate while the Bridegroom was here. Lent will come soon enough.
Well, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with having a good time, given that we’re *celebrating* the birth of the Savior. I don’t know that bit about polite nods, but I assume that with such a sweeping generalization you could show good proof for any given Western country that reverence for Christ was token. I’m skeptical of this, but would be curious to hear your proof, given that the history of culture is a growing interest of mind. (What of the Slavs and Greeks, perchance? Did anyone aside from the West have a better track record? I don’t know if your historical work extends that way.)
You yourself have advocated people taking notes during Mass as a tool to suppress heresy. You cannot now feign moral indignation that people would “spy” on an event that is open to the public.
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