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Discussion point (Christmas edition)

Christmas celebrations banned in Somalia, Tajikistan and Brunei.

Their gaff, their rules?

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45 comments to Discussion point (Christmas edition)

  • Cyclefree

    So long as when they come here, it’s our gaff, our rules.

  • Chip

    Brunei has an interesting future. Slowing oil production, aging infrastructure, low oil prices, up to 80% of workers in public sector, and to make this prognosis complete a decadent ruler nearing his end turns to religious dogma to absolve his sins and cow his people as it all begins to fall apart.

  • Thailover

    We’re told that we need to tolerate and respect Islam, when Islam doesn’t know the meaning of either term. A few months ago, Christians were literally being crucified by the roadside in Syria, and Obama performed a masterful piece of ignoring the facts. Now that MUSLIM refugees that are being persecuted…by ISIS?, no, by President Assad, and who SYMPATHIZES with ISIS…need shelter, no other Muslim nation will let them in….but of course our Embarrassment In Chief mandates their uncritical importation into the US. Oh, to those who would say that the “refugees” are being vetted, realize that America is getting it’s vetting information from the very government that Obama would like to depose.

    Watching this Obama regime is like watching a monkey fuck a football.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Only less interesting, Thailover. *sour expression*

    . . .

    “Their gaff, their rules” ends at the point where they commit serious aggression against persons who have not aggressed against them.

    The problems that libertarians and libertarianish conservatives have with “the State” include the issue of whether it’s proper for authorities to levy fines or penalties (financial punishments) for infractions of laws that in fact do not concern aggression in any proper sense.

    I go along with the standard take on this: If Dictator/King/Prince/Caliph/Prexy/Prime-Minister/Chancellor is running a slave regime, or a regime which involves terror or torture or assault and battery or murder for terror’s sake — which is generally “for the encouragement of the others,” or to get rid of a troublesome group, or to make some Grand Plan realizable, or for the sheer pleasure (!) of it — then anyone who aims to end the regime is not to be prohibited by the idea of “national sovereignty” or “their gaff, their rules,” provided the person or group is responsible and knowledgeable and has a reasonable chance of success.

    I suppose Brunei does not commit the absolute worst of sins if it simply requires that non-Muslims keep their celebrations and ceremonies out of the public square, and “punishes” infractions in some truly minimal way (exaction of a truly minor fine perhaps) and a warning, perhaps to include expulsion from the country if there’s a repeat offense. This would not even approach (non-anarchist) libertarian ideas of a proper regime, but there are worse things by far than that. However, it sounds as though Brunei goes farther than that already, and is prepared to go a whole lot farther still.

    Which would no longer count as “disapprobable but bearable”; but rather would move into “entirely unacceptable and intolerable” territory.

    So: It’s never wrong to free slaves, provided it can be attempted responsibly and seriously by knowledgeable people who have a good chance of success. (That includes going next door and beating the bloody bloke within an inch of his life, after observing months or years of his ongoing torture of his wife and kids. Morally speaking, that is. Comes under the head of “defense of innocent others.” There is some point at which human lives overcome even the doctrine of “my gaff, my rules,” or “my property is MINE,” or “my home is my castle.”)

    Unfortunately, in private life it’s mostly the irresponsible busybodies who like to (a) run other people’s lives, or (b) make other people miserable, who intervene; and it’s usually not by doing something drastic themselves, but rather by getting The Authorities on the case.

    Of course, all that’s only pertinent as an example of the same principles where individuals are the antagonists.

    I don’t think I’ll be moving to Brunei anytime soon. I do think the non-Muslims who are there are faced with a real issue, which is how far they want to risk their lives before they leave, taking their well-meant aid (peacekeeping) — if they are not Bruneians — with them. Or whether they think it the better moral act to stay and wage war if necessary.

  • Mr. Ed (Arkengarthdale, Richmondshire)

    We’ll know Erdogan has lost it if he uses the NORAD Santa tracker to send up his air force to shoot down Santa as he leaves Armenia.

  • Lee Moore

    I suppose Brunei does not commit the absolute worst of sins if it simply requires that non-Muslims keep their celebrations and ceremonies out of the public square, and “punishes” infractions in some truly minimal way (exaction of a truly minor fine perhaps) and a warning

    Yeah, kinda like a gentle government nudge in the direction of right-thinking behaviour. Thank God it could never happen here.

    http://www.samizdata.net/2015/12/you-can-take-my-plastic-bag-from-my-cold-dead-hands/

  • I do not accept the whole notion that “national sovereignty” trumps any moral calculus. My gaff, my rules only applies to private people on private property dealing with folks invited in. It is best to think of nations as mafias-with-tanks-and-aircraft-carriers and proceed from there.

    So no… it is not just fine and dandy for them to impose their religious bigotries at gunpoint.

  • I supported the NATO intervention in Kosovo on the grounds that the Serbs, having decided to start massacring people in the area, had in the process lost the right to govern the people there any more. I’m not sure if intervention was wise or not, but I have no sympathy for the Serbs and Russians who whine that “national sovereignty” was violated. A government’s right to govern ends when it starts killing people en masse.

  • llamas

    Tim Newman wrote:

    ‘A government’s right to govern ends when it starts killing people en masse.’

    I beg to differ, in degree. A government’s right to govern ends the moment it kills the first person it has no legitimate right or authority to kill ie a person who has not done anything to impact or degrade the liberties, person or property of another. What Perry de Havilland wrote.

    Merry Christmas, one and all.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Julie near Chicago

    Lee, you may not approve of it, I don’t approve of it, and yes, the regime might be using a “nudge” tactic; but none of that changes the fact that in the hypothetical situation I described, no one is being threatened with any but the most minimal use of force — the payment of an amount stipulated as being quite small on the first offense, and a warning that a second offense would carry a stiffer penalty. I suggested that that penalty might even include being declared persona non grata, but I did expect people to pick up on the idea that the second offense would also not carry any threat of serious damage to people or their property. That was poor judgment on my part, so I apologize.

    In the actual cases in the real ME (and elsewhere about the globe, both now and in the past), I say Perry and Tim have the right of it. I thought that I had given fairly full-throated support of this position myself, in my comment above.

    There may be reasons for a country not to involve itself with trying to stop terror and slaughter, but the alleged inviolable sovereignty of some murderous regime’s hellhole is not one of them.

  • Paul Marks

    Is a country private property?

    I suppose the Sultan of Brunei might say “yes” – very Hans Herman Hoppe.

    However, the Western tradition is that land “holders” under Feudal tenure have MORE (not less) rights than land owners under the law of the Roman Empire.

    It is odd how many people get this the wrong way round. It was in fact “Feudal” kings (starting with Charles the Bald of France in the late 800s) who admitted they had no legal right to take land from one family and give it another – that the will of the ruler (or rulers) was NOT the law.

    Nor can could a King (or any other form of government) violate the religious freedom of the Roman Catholic Church – but it was generally accepted that the King (or Republic) could violate the freedom of people to freely practice other religions.

    However…… another tradition was remembered. And there must have been people who believed in it – otherwise we would not know of it (as monks would not have kept copying old texts as they fell apart over time).

    The tradition of such people as the Christian Roman Emperor Valentinian (not a soft man – for example he had me who tried to avoid military service burned alive) – that it was not the job of a ruler to persecute either pagans or heretics. And that the Church should not use violence against pagans or heretics either.

    Even Oliver Cromwell (again did not a soft man) did not believe in persecution (even against non Christians) on THEOLOGICAL grounds.

    He did make an exception for Roman Catholics (ironically the first group of people that Feudal Kings had accepted they did NOT have legal power to persecute) – but on POLITICAL grounds.

    Roman Catholics argued Cromwell (echoing arguments made under Elizabeth the First) served a hostile POLITICAL power – the Pope of Rome (who then had an army and was in alliance with large scale powers). Therefore one could persecute them on national security (not theological) grounds – as a hostile force.

    Someone such as Donald Trump might make the Cromwell argument today – but in relation to Muslims.

    “You are not allowed in – not for what you BELIEVE but because of what you are likely to DO”.

  • Alex

    If every nation-state outlawed Christian celebrations would it be legitimate for Christians to take up arms to establish a new nation for themselves?

  • llamas

    Here is the rule in these matters:

    “An Act for establishing religious Freedom.

    Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free;

    That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do,

    That the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time;

    That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions, which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical;

    That even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the Ministry those temporary rewards, which, proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind;

    That our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry,

    That therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages, to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right,

    That it tends only to corrupt the principles of that very Religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments those who will externally profess and conform to it;

    That though indeed, these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way;

    That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own;

    That it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order;

    And finally, that Truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:

    Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know that this Assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of Legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare that the rights hereby asserted, are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.”

    I don’t care if it’s ‘just a little fine’ or a minor inconvenience – no man, be he ever so Sultan, has any right to tell another man whether or not he may profess the dictates of his conscience, so long as that profession does not infringe on the liberties, person or property of another.

    Speaking of Christmas – I’m alone in the office today. So I can play Elmore James tunes at full blast, no headphones. So here’s my Christmas wish for Samizdata.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJCH3xO-mYQ

    Every day
    Every day, that screen is blue
    Every day
    Every day, that screen is blue
    When you see me worried baby
    That’s where I go to get my news.

    Oh nobody loves me
    Nobody seems to care
    Yes nobody loves me
    Nobody seems to care
    But when there’s bad luck and trouble
    There’s going to be some comfort there

    I’m gonna pack my suitcase
    Move on down the line
    Yes I’m gonna pack my suitcase
    And move on down the line
    There there ain’t nobody worried
    And there ain’t nobody crying

    Every day
    Every day, that screen is blue
    Every day
    Every day, that screen is blue
    When you see me worried baby
    That’s where I go to get my news.

    Keep Calm and Play More Slide Guitar.

    Merry Christmas, one and all.

    llater,

    llamas

  • llamas

    Smoted! On Christmas? Come, now.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Fred Z

    ‘A government’s right to govern ends when it starts killing …’ – plus similar formulations. These are all moral formulations, which forget the lesson of the recent unpleasantness with Germany, namely:

    ‘A government’s right to physically govern ends when enough of its leaders, functionaries and institutions are physically destroyed.’

  • RRS

    From Cornell University’s “Fire Safety Guidelines For Holiday Displays”:
    University members are reminded to be respectful of the religious diversity of our students and colleagues and are encouraged to use an inclusive approach in celebrating the holiday season. Individuals and units demonstrate this inclusive approach by:
    • Focusing on the winter season rather than a particular holiday
    • Displaying symbols that visually represent holidays of several religions in combination with secular decorations of the season.
    GUIDELINES FOR INCLUSIVE SEASONAL DISPLAYS
    Winter Holiday Displays/Decorations that are Consistent with Cornell’s Commitment to Diversity and the University Assembly Guidelines:
    •• Snowflakes
    •• Trees (in accordance with Fire Safety Guidelines) decorated with snowflakes and other non-religious symbols
    Winter Holiday Displays/Decorations that are Consistent with University Assembly Guidelines But Should be Basis of Dialogue Within Unit or Living Area
    • Trees decorated with bows, garland and lights (in accordance with Fire Safety Guidelines)
    • Wreaths with bows (in accordance with Fire Safety Guidelines)
    • Combination of snowflakes, (in accordance with Fire Safety Guidelines), Santa Claus figure, and dreidel
    • Holly
    Winter Holiday Displays/Decorations that are NOT Consistent with Either University Assembly Guidelines or the University’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusiveness
    •• Nativity scene
    •• Menorah
    •• Angels
    •• Mistletoe
    •• Stars at the top of trees
    •• Crosses
    •• Star of David

    They’re Here !!!

  • Stonyground

    From the post by Llamas, I thought that this was interesting:

    “That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions, which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical;”

    So then, what am I to make of fake charities funded by my taxes that propagate untruths about the dangers of salt, sugar, fat, alcohol, being a tiny bit over an arbitrary ideal weight, etc. etc.? What am I to make of the BBC, funded by a form of extortion, broadcasting known falsehoods about climate change? No religion involved, but I appear to be being compelled to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which, not only do I not believe, but, in some cases, that I can actually demonstrate to be untrue.

  • Myno

    What constitutes the right to govern? The consent of the governed. In my opinion, that means on an individual basis. A person has the right to cast off a government, retracting any previously granted or de facto consent. Is this practicable? Hardly. But it’s moral. All else is heuristics and convenience… and endless fascinating discussion.

  • Rich Rostrom

    llamas:

    That it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order…

    The difficulty we face now is that certain religious principles “break out into overt acts” occasionally and randomly. Suppose there are a million Moslems in a non-Moslem country, instructed by Wahhabist/Salafist clerics. It is fairly certain that every year a few of them (five to twenty?) will commit “acts against peace and good order”, causing immediate bloodshed and destruction. It is also fairly certain that the other 999,980-990,995 will not. And it is clear that the beliefs and attitudes which cause the few to “break out” are shared by most if not all of the many. I.e. there are many potential actors against peace and good order, individually of low probability, but in aggregate almost certain.

    Should the civil government interfere? The connection between Wahhabi/Salafi Islam and acts of criminal violence is definite, yet attenuated. What can be done, in conformance to the ideals of religious freedom quoted above? What must be done to preserve peace and good order?

    Also

    Every day
    Every day, that screen is blue…

    The Windows user’s lament?

  • veryretired

    I’ve had the marvelous privilege of spending most of the last two days with my 6 1/2 year old grandson, because of the holiday school vacation, and one of the days SWMBO had a day off also, so we did stuff all day long.

    Some might find this a small thing, but for me it was, and is, a joy beyond explaining, although I’m sure many can understand why I say that, especially in this season.

    And so, the Sultan, and all the rest of the miserable scrooges that infest the world with their misery and spiteful hatred, can kiss my ample backside.

    Merry Christmas to all, and peace on earth to those of good will.

  • Thailover

    Perry wrote:

    “I do not accept the whole notion that “national sovereignty” trumps any moral calculus.”

    Indeed. My views fall in line with Ayn Rand on this one. The ONLY legitimate function of government is to protect individual rights. Any government that trounces on individual rights as a matter of course has NO legitimacy and therefore should not be recognized as a legitimate government….in the slightest.

  • Thailover

    And now for something totally different…

    RRS, I fully endorse Christians publicly displaying Nativity scenes. Nothing shows the utter ignorance of the typical Christian of their own religion like such “scenes”. The ubiquitous scene is of three wise guys (one always a black guy supposedly from Ethiopia), looking down upon a baby in a manger (i.e. food trough) with a star shinning down upon them. The major problem there is that such a “scene” is nowhere to be found in the bible. There wasn’t necessarily three wise guys (i.e. “kings” or magi (magicians) a.k.a. astrologers, rather there were supposedly three GIFTS. And it wasn’t the wise guys at the manger, but rather shepherds led by an angel, not a star.

    In an entirely different “scene”, the supposed “eastern star” led the wise men from “the far east” to a location in the west (a nice trick if you can pull it off) looking for Jesus and tipping off Herod (supposedly) and his attempt to kill all young babies inspired Mary and Joseph to skedaddle to Egypt. The wise men didn’t meet up with Jesus until he was 2 YEARS OLD and living in a “house” (KJV).
    Oh, and BTW, the shepherds were feeding their sheep new spring grass. So much for Jesus being born on the winter equinox, right?

  • Thailover, your criticisms are not particularly trenchant. You are right that only the number of gifts, not the number of bearers, is reported, but a nativity scene scene must show some number of wise men – three, bearing three gifts, is an obvious choice. A static nativity scene naturally shows both shepherds and wise men – the accidental implication that they arrived at the exact same time, and met each other as well as Joseph, Mary and Jesus is trivial. A newspaper astrology column today is headed “Your Stars” but then witters on about Mars, Venus, Saturn …, i.e. about planets. ‘Wise men’, i.e. astrologers, would have been very aware of the technical difference between a star and a conjunction of planets, but popular parlance – including atrologers’ own popular parlance – tended to ignore it then as now. The queen has an official birthday, which is not the day on which she was actually born; so does Jesus. And so on …

    The “utter ignorance” of economics displayed by socialists, or of Scotland’s history displayed by natz , is easy to demonstrate, and significant to discuss. These days, public nativity scenes demonstrate resistance to PC, and, in some places, courage, but not “utter ignorance”.

  • John B

    Lord Protector Cromwell banned Christmas in the First British Republic.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    There are no rights that are not ‘natural rights’; everything else is governmental permissions, as easily revoked as granted. A culture that is unwilling to commit to moral absolutes, applicable even to other cultures, is ultimately the plaything of its Powers-That-Be.

    Of course, this means ‘war to the knife’ between cultures with seriously conflicting views on natural rights. Who said life was easy?

  • Rosenquist

    I suppose this really depends on whether the ban is applicable only to Christmas celebrations in public places, which despite being nasty and oppressive is not an awful lot different from the ban on walking around naked in public spaces in any Western country. If the ban applies to celebrating Christmas on private property, then no, my respect for the sovereignty of states does not override my respect for individual rights.

  • Alisa

    Merry Christmas 😀

  • CaptDMO

    Ah yes, takes me back to the good old days when Christmas celebrations were made illegal, and fined.
    In Massachusetts.
    Apparently too much egg nog and cider was going on.
    Hat tip: Jeopardy!

  • the other rob

    Julie’s point about “infractions of laws that in fact do not concern aggression in any proper sense” reminds me of something that I’ve been mulling over recently.

    One half of it is the massive increase, in recent years, in offences that are malum prohibitum (wrong because prohibited) rather than malum in se (wrong in itself).

    The other half is the trend, in recent years, towards the creation of strict liablility offences, with no mens rea (or guilty mind) element, just the actus reus (or act itself).

    What concerns me is the confluence of these two trends. When we see burgeoning growth in the number of strict liability offences where the actus reus is merely malum prohibitum, it strikes me that this serves as a barometer. A society headed down that path is no longer free, in any real sense, but has become a dictatorship. Whether the dictatorial power is wielded by a collection of bureaucrats rather than a strongman is irrelevant.

    And, on that depressing note, Merry Christmas, one and all!

  • Thailover

    Niall, if you call a newborn baby Jesus in a manger and a 2-year old Jesus in a house “at the same time”, then there’s no rational discussion to be had here.
    Have a Merry Christmas.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Rosenquist gets it exactly right, in my conceited opinion.
    One thing to note is that even in Western countries, Christmas celebrations in public places need a permission to go ahead. (Unless it’s just saying Merry Christmas to everybody you meet on the street, of course: that might get you in jail in Berkeley or an Ivy League college town, but not elsewhere.)

    Another thing to note: if you buy a house in a country that bans Christmas celebrations in public places, then you can’t reasonably complain that your property rights are being violated: effectively, you have not paid for full property rights, so you should not expect full property rights.
    It’s when the government bans Christmas celebrations in private AFTER you have bought a house, that you have a right to complain. Not that your complaints will get you far, but you have the moral right.

  • Snorri Godhi

    …and Merry Christmas in this thread too!

  • Snorri Godhi

    A correction:
    if you buy a house in a country that bans Christmas celebrations in public places

    should have been:
    if you buy a house in a country that bans Christmas celebrations in private

  • Julie near Chicago

    Let me divert this feast of reason and flow of soul to a completely different topic:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

    AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!! 😉 😉 🙂

  • Mr Ed

    On the question of Oliver Cromwell, Christmas and the Commonwealth, the museum for the first Lord Protector has helpful background regarding the ‘ban’ on Christmas and the myths surrounding it.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Very interesting, Mr Ed. Thanks.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Thailover, you write,

    ” if you call a newborn baby Jesus in a manger and a 2-year old Jesus in a house “at the same time”, then there’s no rational discussion to be had here.”.

    It’s a non-literal depiction, a thing immensely common in art, sculpture, drama, song, poetry and storytelling worldwide. Hence Mr Killmartin’s reference to an “accidental implication” that they met at the same time. When someone tries to tell a whole story in one little model, they are likely to end up packing a lot of events into one scene, hence his “A static nativity scene naturally shows both shepherds and wise men”. A modern equivalent might be the way book covers or cinema posters often show all the main characters on the same image, even if they never appear in the same scene in the actual book or film.

    Writers of historical dramas and makers of biopics often make up for dramatic purposes scenes where, for instance, opposing generals meet in person on the battlefield when they never did in real life, with far less excuse than the illiterate peasant folk-artists who usually carved the figurines for the traditional scene round the crib. When the intent seems deceptive rather than symbolic such inaccuracy does bug me, but quite often it makes for a better story.

    Rational discussions can be had about such things. Art critics both professional and amateur have them all the time. Personally, the way people within a culture can “read” the iconography of that culture is a subject I find very interesting. Those illiterate medieval peasants were often familiar with a whole mental library of religious symbols, where a beehive symbolised St Ambrose and so on. In our culture we readily understand the difference between speech bubbles and thought bubbles appearing above the heads of characters in comics.

    I would go so far as to say that non-literal depictions are the norm and strict realism the exception. Shakespeare didn’t give a monkeys about putting the characters in Julius Caesar in what was then modern dress and having Cassius say “The clock hath stricken three”. It wasn’t that he didn’t know, it was that in his culture realism about such things was not just irrelevant but antithetical to drama.

  • Tranio

    Mr Ed A worthwhile read about Christmas in the 1640s, thankyou. What is interesting is that the populace did not support the ban and of course it was eventually rescinded.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Natalie, your comment sounds suspiciously like an endorsement of symbolism. Surely you can’t mean that the traditional Nativity Scene, or Crêche, is a symbol of the Christmas Story (either the Biblical account or the symbolic one)! *g*/sarc

    Seriously, a very good point and well stated. I hope Santa left two helpings of goodies in your stocking this year. :>)

  • Thailover

    Julie near Chicago;

    I got coal in my stocking. What does that mean?

    😉

  • Thailover

    Christmas celebrations banned in Somalia, Tajikistan and Brunei.

    http://losangeles.bitter-lemons.com/files/2013/12/grinch-smile.jpg

  • Right I’m sick of pandering to religion/civilization that has contributed fuck all to the global party for a millenium.

    But then I am an infidel so I must be wrong. I want them to have their sharia here. If any one of those pricelings or whatever step out of line they shall be given a trial under the word of that cunt Muhammed and punished accordinly and the gibbets and beheading and amputation-stations will be directly in front of Islamic embassies and consulates. Deal?

  • Thailover

    Natalie, I you want to call biblical scenes fiction, be my guest. But I highly suspect that most christians would consider the nativity scene to be a biblical account which they consider proper history. Hence my comments.
    I’m not at my best in this thread and probably come across as a Grinch. I actually like Christmas. I just think it’s loopy how often christians get all nutty about the nativity scene…(the “war on christmas” ilk)…that they often don’t even bother to get right or even know the events it attempts to depict.
    Cheers, and happy new year.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thailover,

    I believe that is deeply symbolic of the fact that if you go rooting around in your socks without looking, you might find them all stained with coal dust when you take them out.

    🙁 😉

  • Julie near Chicago

    Er, “them” = your hands. 🙁 🙁 :>))