A Jew complains on behalf of Christians

(102 Posts)
Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 19:10:41

Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as “Holiday Trees” for the first time this year which prompted CBS presenter, Ben Stein, to present this piece. I think it applies just as much to many countries as it does to America . . .

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, “Merry Christmas” to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crib, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it.... no one will know you did. But if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

Eh? confused

What is this meant to be about?

Christmas trees are pagan originally. I can't imagine God really cares what we call them.

kenanddreary Tue 20-Nov-12 19:14:58

Which bit do you think is BU then OP?

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 20-Nov-12 19:15:59

Started with Yule logs, and then Albert brought Christmas trees over from Germany I think.

B1ueberryS0rbet Tue 20-Nov-12 19:18:39

So ....... is he in favour of them being called holiday trees then?

I see lots of stuff on cbeebies about devali so as long as we all know about and respect each others' traditions then why is it offensive. Are jews and christians enemies? i didn't think so confused so I don't know if Christmas tree would upset anybody jewish or otherwise.

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 19:18:57

The right-on 'concern' and 'protection' of 'the feelings' of 'other faiths' to 'justify' the stopping of cultural/religious things is what he has identified as U, everyone.

Do you or do you not agree? Is U or not?

TheLightPassenger Tue 20-Nov-12 19:20:58


the first half of the quoted e-mail is accurate, up to "where the America we knew went to". After that is misattributed.

B1ueberryS0rbet Tue 20-Nov-12 19:21:16

oh right, i think i get what he's saying. that we shouldn't be so determined to remove any evidence of our own god to avoid causing offence to another person's god that we delete God altogether.......

Is what U or not?

Christmas trees?

I think it's reasonable to have trees and call them what you like. If Obama calls them holiday trees, fair enough. If someone else wishes he didn't call them that, that's their business. It's not IMO an issue anyone should be taking up on behalf of anyone else, and it's got bugger all to do with faith so far as I can see.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 19:23:23

> ...but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school ...

not here in the UK it isn't.

I don't know why they'd refer to Christmas trees as 'Holiday trees' any more than we think twice about saying that it falls on a Tuesday this year, that being named after a god.

But, doing so is not 'pushing Christians around' hmm. Get a grip Mr Stein. Using a different word is not persecution. If you want to defend Christians who are being persecuted, go to various Islamic states in Africa, or Pakistan...theistic countries.

TheLightPassenger Tue 20-Nov-12 19:25:03

I think it's a far enough point for a non-Christian to make, that they aren't at all bothered by Xmas trees being called Xmas trees, rather than holiday trees.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Tue 20-Nov-12 19:26:12
Nancy66 Tue 20-Nov-12 19:26:32

it's less of a big deal in the US though - it's been 'the holidays' for a long time and people say 'happy holidays' all the time rather than 'merry christmas'

Louboo2245 Tue 20-Nov-12 19:27:13

Just looked this up as I liked the spirit of it, turns out it's been doing the rounds for a while, but is one of them there urban myths.

noblegiraffe Tue 20-Nov-12 19:27:32

Snopes also says that the White House has never declared that Christmas Trees will be called holiday trees.

So the OP is just bollocks, and misattributed bollocks.

kenanddreary Tue 20-Nov-12 19:28:21

Well what do you think OP? You started the thread so would be good to hear your opinion.

For what it's worth I think it is BU to stop faiths being open about their celebrations so if this is accurate and he did actually say this then I wholeheartedly agree with him. Every faith should be able to refer to their celebrations/festivals accurately. If I wish to use the word 'Christmas' then I should bloody well be allowed to! Since when has the use of the word 'Christmas' or the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ been offensive? This guy is simply saying that although he isn't Christian himself it doesn't bother him in the slightest if others wish to openly celebrate the Christmas season. And rightly so.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 19:28:50

Its a red herring. I don't know anyone who cares about traditional religious labels being attached to festivities.

> I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country.

It didn't come from anywhere because its patently untrue. Writing 'Honestly' at the end doesn't make it so. This is a thoroughly disingenuous piece.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 19:32:18

Oh...so its another 'winterval' style myth? hmm

It makes me quite cross that these sort of faked-up whinges get currency when people actually are being persecuted and discriminated for their faith or for their lack of it.

I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

No-one claims that it's an atheist country, NO-ONE. They do claim it's a secular country, which it is and which is mentioned in the FIRST AMENDMENT.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof


Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

hmm Doesn't even deserve a response.

What a load of bullshit.

CaseyShraeger Tue 20-Nov-12 19:39:05

Stephen Fry's advice to be deeply sceptical of any anecdote/factoid that starts with "Apparently..." seems apposite.

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 19:39:55

Grimma, disingenuous how? what about the actions of our local county councils then? No bf in public, 'winterval', no christmas notices allowed on the notice board, BA not allowing crosses...

what part of this is disingenuous? I think aggressive secularism DOES push Christians around in the name of 'not offending anyone'.

I think you are the one who is being disingenuous here, to deny the above. And don't twist this into being aggressively Christian, remember the original point:

[as a member of a religious minority] I am NOT offended by the Christian symbols of Christmas.

Which agenda the progressive secular branches of the state (such as 'holiday trees'), push.

Post defending Christians and Jews and trashing atheists, nice.

FWIW, I am one of those Godless heathens and I celebrate Christmas (or whatever mishmash of traditions we are doing now, it's not really a Christian holiday). I also variously do Hanukkah, Eid, Diwali depending on which of my religious friends wants to feed me.

I really don't understand why people fall for the line that atheists either object to Christmas or that they have no values or morals. Prejudiced, badly researched, mean, unChristmassy shite.

Secularism has nothing to do with what British Airways, a private company, does or does not allow its employees to do, since secularism is the separation of church and state.

Your local CC is probably full of idiots not atheists. Just saying.

noblegiraffe Tue 20-Nov-12 19:43:54

No one has banned bf in public, I've never heard winterval used seriously, and see tonnes of christmas stuff wherever I go. BA's uniform code is their own business.

Don't talk such shite.

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 19:47:49

Well, it isn't really their business, if there is one rule for one and another rule for everyone else, is there?

It is not shite! A woman was reprimanded and banned for bf in a local sports centre 'because she would offend'.

Denial really doesn't take the problem away, you know.

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 19:51:09

Here is the abstract from the ruling:

The article reports on the move undertaken by Nadia Eweida, a devout Christian, to address the religious discrimination practiced by the British Airways (BA) in Great Britain. She appealed against an employment tribunal ruling. The company has a dress code that mandated employees to hide or remove the crucifix while on work. After the tribunal rule on her behalf, she returned to work and the airline changed its dress code, permitting them to wear crucifixes while on work.

Note the word CHANGED. Because it was UNFAIR and DISCRIMINATED against.

Who is talking shite?

Dawndonna Tue 20-Nov-12 19:53:35

You are obviously looking for trouble. It is unusual for anybody to be told off for breastfeeding.
British Airways are a private company. UKIP helped her take it to court.
Winterval etc is a myth.
We all know it, now, pack it in.

You are talking shite, since you said that was down to 'aggressive secularism' when it had nothing to do with secularism or the government in the slightest.

TheVermiciousKnid Tue 20-Nov-12 19:56:50

OP, you clearly failed to check the nonsense you posted on Snopes - no need to get arsey with others on here! Sounds like you're trying to stir...

MrsDeVere Tue 20-Nov-12 19:57:41

No really,
you are talking shite.

noblegiraffe Tue 20-Nov-12 19:58:07

What has bf in public got to do with religion anyway? confused

CaseyShraeger Tue 20-Nov-12 19:58:58

Winterval is a myth. It was an umbrella marketing term to cover a range of events (some relating to Christmas, some relating to Diwali, some relating to Ramadan and Eid, some relating to Hanukkah, some relating to Chinese New Year, some relating to regular New Year, some relating to shopping, that ran in 1997-1998. Christmas activities were still billed as "Christmas" (and Diwali activities were still billed as Diwali, and Chinese New Year activities were still billed as "Chinese New Year", etc., etc.).

When you repeatedly cite "examples" that are complete bollocks and are easily verifiable it doesn't predispose your audience to take your argument seriously or to assume that you have painstakingly researched your other examples, you know.

Also, if the tribunal, i.e. the court, ruled in her behalf, that the rules were discriminatory - you really can't bloody argue that it's secularism gone mad!

Can I still agree with BFing in public, sing carols and be an aggressively secular (where it applies to compulsory religion in schools) atheist OP? Is that OK with you?

I also don't really understand why someone can't wear a crucifix under their clothes rather than on top. Why do I need to see it? Is that the point of it? confused

Catkinsthecatinthehat Tue 20-Nov-12 20:03:32

Oh god, Winterval. that old chestnut. It was coined to cover the winter festival season from Halloween to Chinese New Year

From Wikipedia ^The programme of events in 1997 included theatre and arts events; marking of Diwali; candlelit tours of Aston Hall; an outdoor ice rink; a German-style Christmas market; Christmas lights in the streets; and a New Year's Eve Party. The front cover of the promotional brochure used the word "Christmas" three times and featured a photograph of the City's official Christmas tree. Each of its six pages featured the word "Christmas" in text or images.^

Softlysoftly Tue 20-Nov-12 20:03:43


Is this a thinly veiled dog at them thar moooslims op? You realise noone but the people who propofgate this bullshit actually cares if you have Christmas, crosses etc etc.

Bf in public is legally protected as well you know? Under sex discrimination law.

Actually fuck it I give up <<shoots self due to countrys godlessness>>

Softlysoftly Tue 20-Nov-12 20:04:57

Dig not dog obviously.

I bloody love Christmas, but I feel pretty pushed out as it should be called Yule.

A little bit of Christmas in my life
a little bit of Hanukka by my side
A little bit of Holi's what I need
A little bit of celebrating Eid
A lbit of Fassika in the sun
El diu de los muertos all night long
Hina Matsuri here I am
A little bit of Yule makes me your man...

Keema, that is brilliant.

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 20:08:24

Because you say so Mrs DeVere.

Why should I painstakingly research an is this unreasonable topic on MN? Do you, everytime you post, or do you talk about impressions and feelings? FFS this isn't a PhD document...

OK, there is NO crowding of Christianity by secular progressive forces. It DOESN'T EXIST, because you have decreed it doesn't.

The legal abstract proving that BA applied said secular progressive judgements and was required to change their policy because the discrimination was prove, is also shite. Because you say so.

The Gramski effectiveness and success of the last 30 years of state education is rather impressive.

Softlysoftly here is a thinly veiled dog for you.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 20:09:13

>A woman was reprimanded and banned for bf in a local sports centre 'because she would offend'.

offend who? confused Not any atheist I've ever met. If someone had told me that when I was bf'ing in public I'd have told them to stop being stupid.

[as a member of a religious minority] I am NOT offended by the Christian symbols of Christmas.

Me neither. I don't know anyone who is. I don't know of any real examples of christian symbols being repressed in the UK.

The piece you quote is disingenuous (that's a polite word for it) in many ways, starting from the premise that the White House ever rebranded Christmas trees as Holiday trees. Read the snopes links ...its a lie. There are other statements that are palpably untrue - I quoted one, here's another 'where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God?' - seriously, in America, - its a secular state which means they can worship (or not) exactly as they want.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Tue 20-Nov-12 20:10:11

YABU to post unmitigated bollocks OP.

And FWIW I'm an atheist happy for women to BF in public, love singing carols and don't get offended when people wish me 'Happy Christmas' or whatever religious celebration of their choice. I do, however, get offended by bollocks being passed off as 'so and so says'.

CaseyShraeger Tue 20-Nov-12 20:10:38

Nadia Eweida LOST her case at employment tribunal. She LOST her case at Employment Appeal Tribunal. She LOST her case in the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court refused to hear a further appeal. She took it to the European Court of Human Rights in September this year but I've not heard that they've issued a judgment yet.

BA did change its policy because it was getting hacked off with the obsessive press coverage, but Ms Eweida blatantly wasn't discriminated against.

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 20:11:10

sorry, proven and Gramsci

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oh yes TBS - almost as bad as that bastard baby, now what was it???


GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 20:15:15

Keema ...unecessarily inflammatory (even if technically, I suppose, accurate)

gordyslovesheep Tue 20-Nov-12 20:15:18

Christians are NOT REQUIRED to wear a cross - it is not part of being Christian to wear one so she wasn't discriminated against

WINTERVAL: is inclusive and a way of marking winter festivities which include many different festivals and faiths, all of whom pay council tax thus deserving representation. Winter festivals usually include a tree and Santa

Unless people are barricading churches NO ONE is stopping anyone from celebrating Christmas - you ARE being sill

and C+P spam emails does not a factoid make grin

I don't get your attitude OP. If I'd posted a whole heap of steaming shite on MN which was then proven to be a whole heap of steaming shite I think I'd probably shut the fuck up and slink off.

Have you considered that as an option?

I had a good giggle last year with a friend of mine who is Jewish about everyone thinking we were out to ban Christmas. She was asked, in hushed tones, by a teacher at her DD's school whether she wanted more 'Jewish' content in the school play. She informed them that she didn't care and thought it was great that she was finally an exotic minority (she is from NY originally).

People also assume that my atheist self wants to ban Christmas. Sorry to disappoint but one of my favorite things is to curl up with some Bailey's, The Muppet Christmas Carol and a turkey sandwich.

Seems to me that you are the joyless, prejudiced one, not us fun-loving, BFing in public. Muppet Christmas Carol fan atheists. I even regularly drop off mince pies on Christmas Day to my local homeless shelter (when I'm not working there that day). I'm a terrible atheist. Richard Dawkins will probably be round to spank me.

MrsDeVere Tue 20-Nov-12 20:16:23

But your whole thread is based on your outrage about things that didn't happen.
I am not asking for a Phd.
Some facts would be nice though.

So does it bother you at all that the Whitehouse didn't do what you said they did? Or will you just continue to get annoyed about it anyway?

People have been banging on about Christmas being banned for years. It has never happened. Yet still they bang.

What is all that about?

Fakebook Tue 20-Nov-12 20:16:30

This has just reminded me of something I saw in one of our not so classy shopping centres today. They have UPSIDE DOWN Christmas tree decorations. there's loads of these upside down trees hanging with baubles and the star on the top, except they're hanging upside down. My dad and me were confused and hmm because they look so strange. It's like the star symbol that means the devil upside down, surely an upside down Christmas tree is bad luck too? Very strange.

Softlysoftly Tue 20-Nov-12 20:17:08

That bastard MrsTerryPratchett you mean, I just woke the baby snorting.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Tue 20-Nov-12 20:17:21

I'm not sure the BA woman won her case actually if you look into it, again at wikipedia (bearing in mind it's not always an infallible source)

if you look at citation no.9 on the article, it reveals that BA offered the compromise of a crucifix lapel badge. She rejected this, refusing anything other than the right to wear a cross on a visible chain, (in order to proselytize). Now there's a reason why BA don't allow visible chains, and it's to stop the occasional angry/drunk/overtired passenger trying to strangle someone.

It's also worth noting from the article that Ms Eweida indulged in a little religious persecution of her own - of her sinful gay colleagues. Which does beg the question about why someone who isn't keen on the gayers would work for an airline...

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 20-Nov-12 20:17:37

YABU.... Christianity and Christians are not under threat from anyone in the UK. However, they are not doing themselves any favours by adhering to centuries old prejudices and failing to progress. Today's decision by the CofE to reject the idea of women bishops, for example, simply confirms that here is an organisation enshrining values of inequality that are objectionable to society at large. The further religious organisations depart from accepted standards, the less influence they will have and the more challenges to their authority they should expect

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 20:17:51

Casey, what part of 'you can't wear a cross, but you can wear a bangle and you can cover your head and you can wear a turban' doesn't sound unfair to you? Maybe BA changed it because they were on a hiding to nothing? I have found that the man on the clapham omnibus to have quite a common sense feeling of fairness. Are you saying that the fuss was about nothing? I think not being allowed to wear a cross is very unfair when your colleague has her red wrist string or hair covered (all of which is lovely)... so if there was a storm, they kind of brought it on themselves.

And where is your meticulously researched proof to say she lost everything? Just asking...
What I reproduced was an abstract of an employment law finding. Or did I make that one up too?

CaseyShraeger Tue 20-Nov-12 20:17:52

Every example you've given that is checkable is unmitigated twaddle. And generally it's something that's been widely known to be unmitigated twaddle for years. If you are peddling it you are either being wilfully disingenuous or displaying breathhtaking levels of ignorance for someone who claims to be interested in this issue. Neither of those is likely to bring other people round to your way of thinking.

You don't have to painstakingly research the other examples, of course you don't - but when everything else you've said is twaddle no one is going to put much faith in your saying "but this one is TRUE". And just as you don't have t nresearch them we don't have to believe a word of it when you've given us no reason to do so and every reason to be suspicious.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gordyslovesheep Tue 20-Nov-12 20:19:50

Bangles, Turbans and Daggers are religious requirements - CROSSES ARE NOT

Sorry Softlysoftly, shhhhh littlesoftly shhhh.

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 20:20:55

Cog... you might not have noticed, but in the big scheme of things Britain Europe and US is in decline. Africa and Asia is in resurgance. Now, who in your calculations, do the CoE have to keep their eye on? The 1 in 10 old dear in Britain, or the vibrant congregants of another continent?

I am also a bit sad about this, but it doesn't prove what you think it does.

CaseyShraeger Tue 20-Nov-12 20:22:36
Softlysoftly Tue 20-Nov-12 20:23:21

Nothelping MrsTP.

I didn't understand a word of that last post opconfused

So it this an anti-Muslim rant or not? If so just speak up and say so and quit with the thinly veiled allusions.

ratspeaker Tue 20-Nov-12 20:24:27

YABU for posting an incorrectly attributed piece from the internet that's been around for years.

noblegiraffe Tue 20-Nov-12 20:25:57

I'm an atheist. In the last fortnight my 3 year old DS has learned about Divali at pre-school, about Noah's Ark with his childminder and started to learn Christmas songs as a nativity performance preparation with his music group. We're looking at primary schools and two out of the four in our area are explicitly CofE, the others have to do collective Christian worship. If there's aggressive secularisation taking over the UK, I'm not sure where.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 20:26:51

Abit...BA had a ban on jewellery. Not on items of religious significance per se. Some religions require the wearing of certain items, these were allowed (we're a secular country which doesn't discriminate against any religion, see) ; christianity does not require the wearing of a cross. She didn't take the option of a lapel badge which should surely have been enough if she'd felt that she really had to wear a cross. She was not discriminated against.

Anyhow.. so far the aggressive secularism seems to amount to a lady being told to take off a piece of jewellery and then being allowed to put it on again.

Oh gawd, I've only just realized who Ben Stein is! No wonder this post was a load of unmitigated shit, since apparently it came from the man responsible for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expelled:_No_Intelligence_Allowed this!]

CaseyShraeger Tue 20-Nov-12 20:28:24

BA allowed uniformed staff to wear items that were required by their religion (not just things that were "lovely"). And where possible the policy was that they should be hidden. Ms Eweida's religion doesn't require her to wear a cross, and if it did she could easily wear it under her clothes (which BA were perfectly happy for her to do).

You aren't currently BFing are you Softlysoftly? I may have to get offended and report you <stern glare>. I'll stop now. Just trying to use humour to unite all us not prejudiced and scary Muslims, Jews, atheists, Christians, not listed, pagans etc. Let's all join hands and sing KeemaNaans song on the last page.


GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 20:31:07

> Now, who in your calculations, do the CoE have to keep their eye on?
Er, the English (and possibly welsh?) - That's who the vote on women bishops in the Church of England affected. Not the wider Anglican Communion - some regions of which already have women bishops (including Swaziland, which was in Africa last time I looked).

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 20-Nov-12 20:32:54

The CofE (the clue is in the name) may be far more interested in reinforcing sexual and other prejudice by preaching to the converted of Africa but that doesn't make your point which seems to be that you think Christians are being deliberately singled out for ill-treatment in the UK. hmm

Time was when CofE was a by-word for inoffensive... tea, cakes, weddings and funerals. Some high profile cases - the homophobic B&B owners, silly women with necklace obsessions, nurses forcing prayers on patients - often backed by fundamentalist lobby groups mean Christianity is bizarrely managing to make itself pretty offensive at the moment. I think the rest of us are actually being pretty tolerant.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Tue 20-Nov-12 20:35:59

BA also offered Ms Eweida the option of wearing a crucifix badge on her uniform which she declined.

Article on Ms Eweida's case here

BrianAndHisBalls Tue 20-Nov-12 20:36:29

Are you ok ABit? You're normally quite erm normal aren't you? Why are you posting ages old crap that is all urban legendy??????

Kalisi Tue 20-Nov-12 20:37:08

Sigh, ok I'll join in the game shakes head in disbelief Who has offended you OP? Atheists? Muslims? Jews? Christians who are not 'hardcore' enough? Your original post has been revealed as bollocks, your subsequent examples have been found as bollocks and......
Dammit, I went and posted didn't I? Why why why must you entertain it Kalisi??

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 20:37:38

Abit... can I just ask if you've got any school age children, and if so have they ever been discriminated against when applying for state school places?

Because a lot of children in the UK have been in exactly that position.

Lets see...education of thousands of children versus whether a piece of jewellery is being displayed or someone spreads a rumour about the name of a festivity.

gordyslovesheep Tue 20-Nov-12 20:38:29

you missed out Sikhs with their turbans and bangles to quote the very odd OP'er

MissCellania Tue 20-Nov-12 20:44:40

Christians complaining about religious intolerance is like middle class white men complaining about racism and sexism.

Or fish complaining about water.

YellowTulips Tue 20-Nov-12 21:02:17

Given the probability of a supernatural omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent God actually existing is about as likely as finding a fat man, in a red suit with a white beard* in your fireplace on Christmas morning who cares what the trees are called?

* caveat my late Grandfather in jim jams still pissed from Christmas Eve grin

Catkinsthecatinthehat Fri 23-Nov-12 23:23:46

And with absolutely perfect timing Michelle Obama and her daughters were today filmed receiving the White House Christmas Tree. Carried to the White House by Shire horses pulling a cart with the words 'Christmas Tree' in large letters on the side.


How satisfying, Catkins.

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Sat 24-Nov-12 01:56:30

Lovely Catkins. I know the White House often does a menorah separately (even during the Bush years) but they always have done a Christmas tree. It's a major thing.

OP - Firstly, as everyone else has said the whole thing is rubbish. Even if it wasn't, it's quote cited from Ben Stein who, while a Jewish man (a Jewish man/woman/group is preferred to "A Jew" which can come across as aggressive) is not affiliated or speaks for any Jewish organization and is known these days for weird trivia knowledge and not being all there in the head.

Christianity has a high place of status in this country and while it is losing some of it and becoming more like the rest of us groups, the "discrimination" against them is nothing compared to regular discrimination, silencing, abuse and violence (including murder, particularly in the States) of those from other groups.

Tanith Sat 24-Nov-12 03:08:17

Keema, Yule is a Pagan festival, celebrated at Winter Solstice on or around 21st December.
Christmas is a Christian festival, celebrated on 25th December.

Separate festivals, separate religions. You can actually celebrate both if you feel like it.

ErikNorseman Sat 24-Nov-12 06:42:32

OP I think you are just a teeny bit racist

charitygirl Sat 24-Nov-12 06:56:12

OP - why haven't you acknowledged all the links posted to Snopes? Do you know what Snopes is?

cory Sat 24-Nov-12 09:40:00

not wishing to sound like a grinch, but the yearly Winterwaal thread is really one Christmas tradition I could do without.

bah humbug, to coin a phrase

That whole thing is a bunch of twaddle. American hand-wringing fox-news style twaddle.

Take this for instance...

"Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell."

If you "trash God" then you wouldn't believe in hell.

"Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says."

1) Many skeptics are equal opportunity skeptics and don't take much verbatim.
2) The author is supposedly Jewish so the NT would be questionable to them. Frankly I doubt that the author of the note is anything other than loud American conservative Christian that has C&Pd someone else's words and added to them. If they are common or garden American Christian then they don't question the bible.

"Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace."

Cyberspace, workplace, school. Three different things and not directly comparable. Arguing apples and oranges.

I like "Happy Holidays" because it includes me and my family, but I don't curl up and die if I hear "Happy Christmas" either.

cory Sat 24-Nov-12 16:46:25

Well as a Swede I get to call it Yule (or jul, to be exact) even though I am a Christian: we just don't have the word Christmas. And we celebrate on the 24th.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 26-Nov-12 09:44:57

That's interesting, cory. Its like 'easter' here - other europeans have names which allude to Christianity/Judaism I think but the British retained the pagan name for the springtime festival.

That guy stein is a master of false logic, isn't he? 'Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.'
Er, but discussion of God also passes freely in cyberspace, while lewd etc articles are also suppressed in the school and workplace. hmm

Anyone who can read that piece and take it in the least seriously could do with honing their critical faculties.

hackmum Mon 26-Nov-12 09:54:57

I agree, Grimma. It's funny how we put children in reins but cats are allowed to walk free. It's funny how Jews aren't allowed to eat pork but the internet is full of pictures of pigs. And so on...

I think I have posted before that my muslim husband was so offended by the roast (halal) chicken with roasties, veg we had last year on 25th Dec he had to have seconds so he could be offended some more wink.

There is one great leveller, it doesn't matter what religion you are the paper crowns out of the crackers never quite fit properly.

MorrisZapp Mon 26-Nov-12 10:31:38

I absolutely love the annual Winterval ruckus! It's as traditional for me now as flirting with Tall Steve at the office party.

Shame it seems to have died down a bit in recent years. I do enjoy a thorough debunk of errant nonsense, complete with endless linkable, verifiable facts thrown in for fun.

A guy in the guardian did a brilliant and hilarious winterval myth piece a few years ago. Worth linking here, if anybody's on a proper computer?


We could add a new festive date in the calendar. Debunk day? Once a year all these myths are put into a virtual pile and we can all dance around the cyber bonfire.

CaseyShraeger Mon 26-Nov-12 10:46:38

There's this one from Kevin Arscott and communities this from Oliver Burkeman (the Burkeman piece is probably the one you're thinking of, but the Arscott is worth reading)

MorrisZapp Mon 26-Nov-12 12:13:12

Oliver Burkeman, the very cove. Will read and enjoy both, tvm.

Merry Debunking, to one and all!

They didn't work for me sad

gotthemoononastick Mon 26-Nov-12 15:07:57

Why are people so unnecessarily chippy and rude on here?

Frontpaw Mon 26-Nov-12 15:10:02

I love christmas trees.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now