Sjoerd Kuyper over Zwarte Piet en het Sinterklaasjournaal (column)

English: The helper of Sinterklaas. Nederlands...

De helper van Sinterklaas. (Foto credit: Wikipedia)

Wat een hetze toch omtrent die helpers die zwart werden door dat zij door de schouwen kropen (kruipen).
Men vergeet het ludieke van de vele Sint en zwarte Piet vertelling maar sommige anti-zwarte pieten maken het nog onnozeler door kinderen allerlei helpers voor te stellen, zoals u schrijft, die– onnozelheid troef! – zich schminken in alle kleuren van de regenboog. Binnenkort gaan de homo groepen of degenen die tegen de seksverschillen zijn hiertegen protesteren omdat de holebi’s in het belachelijke worden getrokken.
Enkel in december komt hij nog te Sint Niklaas wonen en zorgen zijn medewerkers, zoals zij buiten Nederland worden aanschouwd dat alles in goede banen wordt geleid. De hoofdknecht of CEO van Sint Nicolas is een zwarte en nu blijken de Noorderlingen zich daar tegen te verzetten omdat Marokkanen zich willen vereenzelvigen met de ‘goedheilig man’ ook al komt hij uit Turkije en hebben de Arabieren of arme negerkindjes er eigenlijk weinig met te maken en Surinamers nog minder.

Waar niemand zich schijnt aan te ergeren zijn gewoonweg allerlei leugens over een man die al eeuwen geleden zou gestorven zijn maar nu toch uit Spanje zou komen, waar hij zou leven omdat hij niet meer in Mira of permanent in Sint Niklaas woont wegens de koude.

Saint Nicholas arriving by boat

Sint Nicholas of Sint-Niklaas of Sinterklaas of gewoonweg Klaas die per boot aankomt omringd door zijn vele knechten zwarte pieten en zwarte mieten (Foto credit: Wikipedia)

Niemand lijkt zich te storen aan volwassenen die hun kinderen allerlei verzinsels als waarheden presenteren en ze zo voorbereiden op een leven vol leugens waar “een leugentje om bestwil geen kwaad kan”.
Dat men zich daar eens tegen zou gaan verzetten, dat toont men dat men tot rechtvaardige mensen komen die getrouw willen zijn aan de waarheid en aan rechten voor iedereen. Nu worden die kinderen namelijk als onnozele wichtjes verondersteld alle verhaaltjes als waar te nemen of overal grote lessen in te zien van hoe alle zwarten domme mensen zouden zijn of hoe Surinamers toch maar enkel goed zouden zijn om te lullen of de dommerik uit te hangen. Zijn die mensen die denken dat kinderen zo dom zijn niet de domsten?

Staan die mensen die moord en brand schreeuwen tegenover een groep die een traditie wil hoog houden, terwijl zij zelf andere tradities hoog houden, niet voor aap?

Laat hen die Sinterklaas willen vieren en die hun kinderen niet laten willen weten dat zij geschenken kopen voor hen, laat hen toch het plezier van het Sinterklaas spel. Later zullen die brave kinderen ook wel beseffen dat het louter om een ‘spel’ of ‘traditioneel feest’ ging en geen afspiegeling van onze werkelijke maatschappij. (Dat zou maar pas erg zijn. En dan zouden wij ons echt vragen moeten gaan stellen over al die volwassenen die zich zo intensief bezig houden met die fantasiewereld.)

+++

  • Saint Nicholas’ entry, Black Pete in tow, brings more racial debate to Netherlands, Belgium (foxnews.com)
    Across the Netherlands and Belgium, celebrations in which Saint Nicholas rolls into town surrounded by a host of “Black Petes” have come under increasing pressure year by year from complaints about racism. Pete is usually played by a white person who paints his face pitch black, dons a frizzy wig and gives himself bright red lips — stereotypes that disappeared from most countries decades ago.
    +
    efforts at softening Pete’s image have failed to subdue bad blood between the pro- and anti-Black Pete camps in the Netherlands, where resentments over immigration have simmered for years. Liberals want to abolish the tradition, while the right-wing firebrand Geert Wilders and his anti-immigration Freedom Party have proposed legislation that would keep Pete black — by law.

    “There is a war underway against Black Pete,” said Martin Bosma, the party’s culture spokesman. “Ministers and mayors are working to give this loyal helper another color. That must not happen. Our culture should not be damaged from on high. This law must protect Black Pete.”

    Last year, more than 2 million people endorsed a Facebook petition to keep Zwarte Piet’s image unchanged. That’s nearly one-eighth of the entire Dutch population, indicating the depth of emotion over the issue.

  • With Saint Nick’s entry comes racial controversy (dailymail.co.uk)
    “The last few years, Pete is at least as popular. Kids cling to him, ask him questions, hold his hand,” said Raf Rumes, the secretary of the Flanders Saint Nicholas Guild.

    In another new touch, almost half of the Petes greeting kids in this town’s Saint Nicholas “mansion” — a yearly holiday attraction — are played by women. At the fun house, which reopened this week for a month-long run, children squealed as female Petes showed them Saint Nicholas’ dining room and sleeping quarters for all of the Petes.

  • Dutch court sidesteps debate on whether ‘Black Pete’ is racist stereotype (theglobeandmail.com)
    The Netherlands’ highest administrative court refused Wednesday to wade into the increasingly acrimonious national debate around “Black Pete,” the sidekick to the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus.

    Opponents call Pete, who is often played by white people wearing blackface makeup and a frizzy Afro wig, a racist caricature. Most Dutch people insist he is a harmless fantasy figure.

  • With Saint Nick’s entry comes racial controversy (star-telegram.com)
    Van Bellingen insists democracy is not about numbers alone.

    “It is about the will of the majority and the rights of the minority,” he said. “As a majority you have to be sensitive and show empathy for things that are hurtful to a minority.”

    Van Bellingen agrees with Rumes that children should take center stage in the festivities — just without Black Pete.

    “Saint Nicolas is a great celebration in itself,” he said. “Only, I think you need to get rid of Black Pete to turn it into a party for everyone.”

  • With Saint Nick’s entry comes racial controversy (usnews.com)
    In this town named after Saint Nicholas, Yuletide cheer is being clouded by controversy over the good saint’s helpers.

    Across the Netherlands and Belgium, celebrations in which Saint Nicholas rolls into town surrounded by a host of “Black Petes” have come under increasing pressure year by year from complaints about racism. Pete is usually played by a white person who paints his face pitch black, dons a frizzy wig and gives himself bright red lips — stereotypes that disappeared from most countries decades ago.

    Sint-Niklaas with a church and statue honoring the saint has long been one of the focal points of the celebrations. A grand entrance this Sunday is expected to bring tens of thousands of kids flocking to the “home of the saint.”

    Yet even in this bastion of saintly tradition, questions are starting to be asked about Black Pete.

  • With Saint Nick’s entry comes racial controversy (hosted.ap.org)
  • With Saint Nick’s entry comes racial controversy (nzherald.co.nz)
  • With Saint Nick’s entry comes racial controversy (sfgate.com)

Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands

In addition to Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet and Geert Wilders wants mandatory blackface at Dutch festival we would like to give the word to the Editor of ‘Defend Christmas‘  not because we would be in favour of that heathen festival which lures many Christians in taking actions against the Will of God, but because we all should know that we do live in a mixt society where there are many sorts of people, different cultures and different colours having to find a place to live in peace with each other.

Like Christmas isn’t really the point of contention some people make it out to be. It has been celebrated in different ways by different people in different cultures around the world since before the birth of Jesus Christ. The world’s largest Christmas community online and the Internet’s oldest ongoing celebration of Christmas contend that Christmas is special for that fact alone. For them

The diversity of thought around the season needs to be celebrated — not condemned.

Defend Christmas

For nearly 200 years the Netherlands have carried on the St. Nicholas tradition of Zwarte Piet, a black elf-like character that only last year was condemned by critics as a racist caricature. Traditionalists tell Defend Christmas that they are organizing counter protests and the Winter Festival of 2014 will feature more Black Petes than ever, all but guaranteeing this issue will once again be at the forefront of media discussions of Christmas.

The complaints against Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete, began outside of the country, which does not have a long term history of racial issues, and it has exploded into an emotional debate as Christmas traditionalists inside the country cry foul.

While the character of St. Nicholas, both in a historic sense and in contemporary practice, has some similarities to Britain’s Father Christmas or America’s Santa Claus, the tradition of St. Nicholas is decidedly different in the Netherlands. Sinterklaas, as he is known, shows up in mid-November in many communities, usually riding a white horse and wearing the traditional Bishop’s robes of St. Nicholas.

Nicholas was, in fact, a Catholic bishop of world fame who lived in the 5th century. His tradition in the Netherlands is as much — still — a religious tradition as it is a seasonal celebration. He comes into town sometimes with dozens of assistants known as Black Petes. And together — Nicholas and Zwarte Piet — they determine which children are well behaved. They visit schools, hospitals, churches, stores and even private homes for weeks at a time leading up to St. Nicholas Day, traditionally observed on December 6th.

Children respond by singing Sinterklaas songs leaving out wish lists and water and hay for the horse. If St. Nicholas happens by while checking on their behavior, the next morning children may find chocolate coins or letter, candy treats, pepernoten, and little gifts in their shoes. Everyone hopes for sweets, not coal or a little bag of salt. In some families he may stop by every night, but usually just once or several times—and not if the children have been naughty that day or forgot to sing their songs. By tradition St. Nicholas hands out the goodies while Zwarte Piete doles out the bad stuff.

While there is some history of Zwarte Piet taking on darker and more sinister forms of punishment his character over time has become more one of whimsy and mischief. Ironically, it is the character of Sinterklaas that has remained more serious while Zwarte Piet has come to bring the more light-hearted element to the proceedings.

Last year the Jamaican chair of the UN Human Rights Commission condemned the practice of Black Pete. “The working group cannot understand that why it is that people in the Netherlands cannot see that this is a throwback to slavery and that in the 21st century this practice should stop. As a black person, I feel that if I was living in the Netherlands I would object to it,” she said.

Those comments cast an international media spotlight on the Christmas traditions in the Netherlands and led to hundreds of protesters marching on a park in The Hague in support of Dutch traditions.

This summer a court agreed that Black Pete is racist and encouraged organizers to change the tradition. In response the mayor of Amsterdam has vowed to gradually reduce the presence of Black Pete and to diminish his traditional characteristics.

While race hasn’t been at the forefront of issues in the Netherlands it has increased in focus. In fact, local media reports that complaints of race discrimination in the Netherlands have doubled in the past year, in part due to the controversy over Zwarte Piet.

Surveys also show an overwhelming sense that political correctness has taken root in the Netherlands, adversely affecting not only tradition but race relations overall.

Expect more strife this Christmas from the Netherlands.

Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands

++

Additional reading:

  1. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  2. Focus on outward appearances
  3. The imaginational war against Christmas
  4. Sancta Claus is not God
  5. Manna from Sint Nicholas

+++

  • Geert Wilders draws up a law to preserve Zwarte Piet (dutchnews.nl)

    The anti-immigration PVV is drawing up legislation which would ensure Zwarte Piet, Sinterklaas’s servant, remains black and that songs remain unmodernised.

    MP and party media strategist Martin Bosma has ‘worked all weekend’ on the bill to make sure that Piet remains black at official council Sinterklaas events, PVV leader Geert Wilders told television show Vandaag de dag.

    ‘We want to protect our culture,’ Wilders said. The idea that Zwarte Piet, played by white people in blackface make-up, is a sign of racism is ‘too ridiculous for words,’ Wilders said.

  • Who profits from the production of blackface? (africasacountry.com)
    Some tried to turn blackface into brownface (only in the Netherlands) while others are still trying to convince us that Black Pete sets a fine example for black people. In any case, anti-blackface protestors have not been silent.Recently, anti-blackface campaigners have again drawn attention to the economic dimension of blackface. It is quite apparent that the Dutch state and its economy are profiting generously from their annual blackface partay. The Dutch spend more on the Sinterklaas celebration than on any other public holiday – think presents, but also lots of Sinterklaas related stuff from toys, candy, and chocolates to wrapping paper. It comes to no surprise then that campaigners are critically examining who exactly is profiting from the production of blackface.
    +
    using caricatures and stereotypes of black people in the design of, for instance, children’s toys is also common practice. The act of consuming blackface has now become a disposable act, unrelated to any political issue and completely emptied out of its historical context. This also, partly, explains the huge outrage (and all the tears) that anti-blackface campaigners are faced with; they are disturbing the natural order of things (blackface). As many have argued before me,
    +
    A collective of people, including the action group Mad Mothers NL, sent letters to the Sesame Street Workshop Corporation in the US and demanded that Black Pete be scrapped from the Dutch version of the program. Black Pete will now no longer appear on the show or be used for promotional purposes. Another example is Playmobil, who will no longer be selling plastic Black Petes. These actions are important because they demonstrate that international companies are indeed weary of supporting blackface – as they should be – and that protesting does help in some instances.
  • Who profits from the production of blackface? (ecowastribune.com)
    Dutch department store group De Bijenkorf (known for the Black Pete’s on a rope spectacle) is internationally owned, more specifically by Selfridges, a chain of high-end department stores in the UK.To that end, campaigner Eduard Mangal posted the following to the Facebook page of Selfridges:

    Mr. Anthony Graham of Wittington Investments, and Mr. Paul Kelly of Selfridges do you support racial offending actions that can hurt your business and ignore court decisions? Do you really support blackface? Talk to your management in the Netherlands and please respond!

    He also posted this to the Facebookpage of De Bijenkorf (who deleted the whole topic):

    Why does the Bijenkorf not respect the decisions of the [Dutch] court, the Board for the Protection of Human Rights and the UN working group of experts on peoples of African descent, that the blackface character “Zwarte Piet” is a racist caricature, confirming stereotypes? Why does the Bijenkorf [- your store in the Netherlands! – continue to offend people by] decorating their store with blackface characters?

    On September 26th, Selfridges responded to Eduard Mangal by basically saying that they are fine with promoting blackface because De Bijenkorf styles their Black Petes differently every year and take the “Dutch Centre for Folk Culture and Immaterial Heritage” into account.

  • Entire stock of Sinterklaas toys sold in one day (24oranges.nl)
    There’s already Sinterklaas treats in the shops, we’ve spent the summer in controversy with ‘Zwarte Piet’ and now in Ede, Gelderland, there’s a run on toys featuring the soon to be phased out black festive helper.Online webshop Lobbes.nl based in Ede has sold all its Fisher Price Sinterklaas sets in one day. We’re not talking millions of sets, but the run on the toys did not go unnoticed. ​Fisher Price has announced that it will stop producing its traditional sets following complaints related to the figure of Zwarte Piet deemed racist by the courts.
  • Black Peter banned from Albert Heijn ad campaigns (deredactie.be)
    Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn is getting rid of Black Peter (Zwarte Piet). Saint Nicholas’ (Sinterklaas) trusty –and controversial – side-kick will only be depicted on candy in-store, according to the Dutch daily ‘Algemeen Dagblad’. Black Peter is still welcome in the Belgian Albert Heijn branches.
  • Wilders Calls for Measure Supporting Tradition of Black Peter, Says It’s Children’s Party Figure……. (tundratabloids.com)

    Wilders said he was ‘so angry’ over the discussion, the law is designed to “protect our culture,” and the discussion on Zwarte Piet and racism is’ too ridiculous for words, “Wilders said. “It’s a children’s party. This has nothing to do with racism. “ I hope there is a majority, then we can at least maintain that tradition.”

Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

The sun did not yet go under for the Summer 2014 or Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas), Sancta Claus, the Santa, and all Winter presents were already to be found in the shops. In Flanders in May we had already a garden centre which presented a huge Christmas show, with all the new decoration gadgets for December 2014. That month there was also lots of protest having to be confronted as consumer with the Christmas period, whilst Summer had yet to start.

Intocht van Sinterklaas in Amsterdam

Sinterklaas and his servants in Amsterdam

In the Low countries we for centuries do have a children festival where on the night of 5 December presents are brought by a so called saint Nicolas and his servants who are called “zwarte pieten” “black guys” (often translated in English as Black Peters or “Black Pete“, thinking a Piet is the name of a Peter or Pete instead of the slang for a worker or guy, a toff, a bigwig or “Johnnie”). This labourer who helps to make, transport and delivers the presents by going through the chimneys, by which he becomes so black, has been the dispute already since 2012, but got in real high discussion last year. We thought we had seen it all, but this year many communities bear the consequences from the zwarte Piet” (“Black Pete”). They are afraid to have black persons standing next to Sinterklaas on the ship or on the road, on horses close to Sinterklaas risking to receive a fine or to be put in jail. Those against the colour of the ‘black petes’ have clearly forgotten that the white bishop had worked in Turkey and brought his helpers from there en from Spain, where he found Moors or Moroccan people who were willing to help him to bring goods to the poor and need, plus to the small children who could be made happy with a surprise.

Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan had to hear in July that the Amsterdam District Court found the character of Zwarte Piet a racist caricature.. He was advised to reconsider his licensing of the annual Sinterklaas parade where the Saint enters the city on a boat with several balck sevants on the deck. In August van der Laan got back to them and said that the character of Zwarte Piet would change over the next four years; the black paint, red lips and afro wigs would be ‘toned down’.

On television several shopkeepers declared even not willing to sell black greasepaint these months, because it could be associated with them liking a Black Pete, and as such being ‘discriminating black people’. What those people against the black Pete do not want to see is that the blackness of the person has nothing to do with discrimination or by preferring black slaves. Zwarte Piet or Black Pete is a helper and not a slave of Saint Nicholas. Either on the 5th of December (in Holland) or the 6th of December (Holland and Belgium -except some parts of Flanders, Holland, North France and German districts, where they have Sint Maarten on the 11th of November in) several children in the Low Countries look forward for  Saint Nicholas’ Day (6 December) where they can have a day where they can play freely with their presents of ‘the holy man’.

The whole situations seems to get out of hand when we do hear that even people are receiving death treats on both camps. In August the judicial advisor to the anti-Zwarte Piet movement, Frank King, removed himself from the judicial process around the issue after receiving several death threats, the Algemeen Dagblad reported. In an interview with the AD, King says that his heart is still in the case, and that he may get involved again some time.

“If the topic makes it to the European Human Rights Court, they can call me”,

King tells the AD.

Every one should have to have the right to have a defence layer or professional advisor, not having to mean that this adviser totally agrees with the person he talks for. from Leiden is done. Frank King believes that there is some kind of schism between what he thinks he is doing, and what others think he’s doing.

“I seem myself as lawyer of the counter-movement against Zwarte Piet. But the supporters see that differently. They now see me as the face of the counter-movement. And are directing their anger at me.”

Recently, the lawyer has received threats and abuse on all levels of communication. He receives the worst by mail. He is threatened, and he is abused because he has parents from Suriname.

“One mail said that I should have been put on a 17th century slave ship, just like my ancestors.”

King has had enough of the abuse, as well as the case, which is taxing in time. Though King does emphasize that he is proud of his involvement, and proud of the progress made.

Geert Wilders and his followers do have a problem with coloured people and made it that several Dutch people have become weary about the black coloured people and traditional black figures. In Belgium and Holland or the Netherlands we even do not know any more what we are allowed to say for a person with an other skin than the Caucasian race. There was a time we were not allowed to say ‘zwarte’ (‘black’) any more and had to say ‘neger’ (niger) but then this was not as seen as polite any more so ‘negro type’ and ‘negroïde’ were introduced. After a while this was not done any more and we had to use “immigrant” (“immigrant”) but soon this was considered to be a sobriquet and was to be replaced with “allochtoon” (foreign, alien, allochthonous), which is now also nearly becoming a nickname or giving a sign of ‘giving the other person the stigma’ of being a ‘profiteer’. This really indicates in our regions we are getting a real race problem.

Sinterklaas en ZwartePiet

Classic drawing of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet (Saint Nicholas and Black Pete) every young person in the Low Countries formerly grew up with

For centuries at schools across the country, children sang songs referring to the skin tone and character of the black servant “…even if I’m black as coal I mean well…”, “Saint Nicholas, enter with your black servant”, etc,. Many object that in some old songs about Zwarte Piet, he is presented as not being a very clever boy, even  being a little bit stupid, a little bit clumsy, more akin to a child than an adult, the same generalisations previously applied to black people, but which can no longer be made explicitly.

Now nothing may be black any more or it would be associated with denigration. As a joke in 2012 already a funny video was introduced where a “zwarte piet” was presented as a worker you could hire or buy to do all the little and harder works in the household and at the office or could even be used as you masseur or “puppy” or “doll” in bed.

The whole situation became so ludicrous that several funny video’s turn up and even companies are making advertisement spots, like we could see one, last night for fund recruitment for cancer treatment, where we could see a “Zwarte Pieten” training school in Africa which had lost so much money because nobody wanted a black Pete any more, they nearly could continue working but a solution was found having new recruits with white bold children wanting to learn for ‘piet'[(Sorry no video available of this (yet)].

Concerning supermarkets not willing to present anything any more which refers to ‘Zwarte Piet’ a satirical video was already placed on Youtube. It was first presented on The PowNews of October 9, 2014: The Albert Heijn wants Zwarte Pietwegjorissen” (take them out of the picture), but the helpers are not pleased with it and do not want to give up their job, which they like very much. Therefore a boycott was set up before the Alber Heijn supermarkets by the helpers of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) in Appie, Oostzaan.

  • Geert Wilders wants mandatory blackface at Dutch festival (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
    If Wilders wants to ban changing songs’ lyrics, then he will have very much work to do. Throughout history, old songs have been adapted with new lyrics. Protestant churches in the Netherlands and elsewhere have changed the lyrrics of their hymns and psalms frequently. Does Wilders want to jail the Protestant dignitaries responsible for that? He can’t jail all of them, as most are already dead. The Belgian national anthem’s lyrics have changed many times.
  • Santa’s helper is a racist caricature (newint.org)

    It’s been a month since Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan announced his decision to cancel Christmas. Or at least that’s how Anneka Hendriks laughingly describes it to me. Hendriks is one of the hundreds of people in Amsterdam who enjoy painting their faces black, donning afro wigs and gold hoop earrings, and celebrating the festive season by masquerading as Zwarte Piet (Dutch for ‘Black Pete’).

    ‘Hundreds’ is a conservative estimate; it’s probably more like thousands or tens of thousands when the rest of the Netherlands is taken into account.

  • The Netherlands plan a nationwide consultation on the controversial Black Pete tradition (independent.co.uk)

    The Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands has announced that he will be organising a consultation on the role that ‘Black Petes’ should play during the festive opening of the Sinterklaas season this year.

    Minister Lodewijk Asscher plans to bring relevant parties together to discuss possible changes to the controversial tradition ahead of the televised event on 15 November. The talks will include the national broadcaster and the council of Gouda, the host town.

    Asscher says: “Last year things were very polarised. Everyone should be able to enjoy the festivities again.”
    +
    The Dutch have indeed taken a clear stance in defence of their beloved Pete. The Prime Minister Mark Rutte reflected the feelings of the majority of the population when he responded to criticisms by saying: “Black Pete, that already says it, he’s black. We can’t change much about that”.

  • Dutch ‘Zwarte Piet’: Innocent Holiday Tradition or Inadvertent Racism? (ny.thedailydigest.org)
    When I was a little kid (“little” being ages 10 through 17), I lived in the Netherlands Antilles and in the Netherlands. That was back in the 50s.
    +
    I remember them (sometimes there were dozens of them) running and clowning around with their burlap sacks — scaring the daylights out of some little kids might be a better term — in parades, shopping centers and, as legend had it, coming down the chimney while you were sleeping.
  • Dutch ‘Zwarte Pieten’: Innocent Tradition or Inadvertent Racism? (themoderatevoice.com)
    going back 60 years, Zwarte Pieten were white adolescents with painted black faces (supposedly from the soot picked up scaling down all those chimneys), thick, painted-on, bright-red lips, lots of frizzy black hair, many other “ornaments” such as big gold hoop earrings…and beautiful Dutch blue or green eyes. (No colored contact lenses in those days).

    They were Sinterklaas’ knechten (servants) who would help Sinterklaas deliver sweets and gifts to those kids who had behaved throughout the year and would leave only a lump of coal for those children who had not been very nice. Legend and rumor also had it that they would stuff kids who had been naughty and bad into their burlap sacks and haul them back to Spain, or Morocco, or Turkey or wherever current folklore had it that the Zwarte Pieten came from.

  • The Dutch Christmas with Zwarte Pieten in Blackface (usslave.blogspot.com)
    From Forbes, “The Unbearable Whiteness of Piet-ing: Dutch Santa’s Blackface Elves,” by John Giuffo (Contributor), on 4 December 2012 — Christmastime in Amsterdam has a special kind of magic, and a unique kind of controversy.
     +
    White lights slide down buildings and arch across shopping streets, multiplying their twinkle in canal reflections. No garish multi-color, animatronic ego contests anywhere. You will hear Christmas music, but you’re not assaulted, and dreams of restraining orders against Bing Crosby never fill your head (unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said of his children). No one is trampled in shopping frenzies, no one gets arrested for assaulting line-cutters, and the gift giving comes in early December, separate from the more low-key holiday of the 25th. Family members write sardonic poems for each other. Poems! Glühwein – a sort of hot Christmas sangria – warms hands and bellies. And Sinterklaas arrives not on a reindeer-pulled sleigh laden with loot, but on a white horse, accompanied by a small cohort of his helpers, the Zwarte Pieten, or Black Petes – white revelers coated in blackface.
  • Virtual Advent Tour & Giveaway: The Dutch Celebration of Sinterklaas (leeswammes.wordpress.com)
    Sinterklaas has been a tradition in the Netherlands for hundreds of years. Originally, this bishop came to bring money to the poor, but these days it’s a children’s celebration.
    +
    Just like lots of children all over the world believe in Santa Claus, in the Netherlands it’s Sinterklaas they believe in and usually stop believing in around 7 or 8 years’ of age.
    +
    Zwarte Piet has sweets in his bag (although in the old days he would use his bag to transport naughty children back to Spain!), notably pepernoten, which are small, slightly spicy biscuits (cookies). Usually Zwarte Piet will throw these around and kids collect them from the floor (when outdoors they get a fistful in their hand).

    Pepernoten

  • Sinterklaas, A Historically Correct (But Politically Incorrect) Children’s Tradition (urbantimes.co)
    The Dutch picture the character of ‘Zwarte Piet’ (translated Black Pete) as helper with a controversial black African look: blackface, curly wig, red lips, sometimes Creole earrings. The outfit is colourful, topped of by a cap with feathers and a ruffle like a Renaissance page.
    +
    This year, the usual discussion has been overrun by the decision of the former Dutch colony Suriname to ban Sinterklaas completely. Up until now Sinterklaas had been celebrated in Suriname the same way as in Holland: with a white priest coming from Spain on a boat with his black helpers… Evidently, this custom doesn’t fit in a country where white people only account for 5% of the population.
  • be what you want to be (piadrent.blogspot.com)
    The helpers are called ‘Black Petes’ and they are funny and a bit stupid.

    This may have been fine half a century ago, but in today’s day we find that discriminative and offensive. So there is a restyling movement for Black Petes happening right now. First, we will be calling them Petes, and second, their skin tone is becoming more flexible.

Focus on outward appearances

Paying so much attention and loving so much setting great store by outward appearances of the Christmas holiday season you may wonder how much those people screaming about the de-consecration did not themselves are part of the secularization.

One of the best things about the month of December is not the beginning of the winter season or furrylittlegnome’s birthday but the smell of Christmas trees!  Originating in Germany in the sixteenth century, the tradition of a Christmas tree has evolved over time.

A Christmas tree farm in Iowa, United States.

A Christmas tree farm in Iowa, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

writes Sophia Petrillo from The Golden Girls in O Christmas Tree where she looks at the American common Christmas trees Balsam Firs and Fraser Firs – the latter found in the Eastern United States.

On December the 8th she wrote:

While reading the news online this morning, furrylittlegnome learned some interesting facts. While 88% of Americans will have a Christmas tree in their homes this season, 83% of these Christmas trees will be artificial or “fake”!

What proves it has nothing to do any more with having a sent in the closed homes, or to have some natural green in the season where there are not many blossoming flowers.

Some bloggers apologies already for being so, so late not having set up their Christmas decorations

I’m aware that I should have been in full Christmas mode in September when the first decorations hit the stores. Beach balls to Christmas balls, in the blink of an eye… {Holidaisical}

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a...

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a photo of you in front of the xmas tree or you could just ask them to take a photo with you and pretend that your girlfriend is a sexy santa assistant See where this picture was taken. [?] (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Langan, currently Business Services Director at the Penn Emblem Company, does find his joy in the music, which we do have to hear everywhere all the time on the streets, shopping malls, train stations and airports. think about those people who have to work in those places for many hours and have to hear those songs over and over again, many days after each other.

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the music.

writes John Langan

I love the old standards by Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, and the newer standards by The Killers and The Pogues (if you don’t know the raw passion of “Fairytale of New York”, you are missing out). So many new songs come out this time of year, a lot for free through iTunes and other places on the World Wide Web. A few are great (“Christmas, Baby” by G Love, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Barenaked Ladies), and some are so stunningly awful they defy description. Each year I add to my already great playlist of holiday music… and just play it all day. Love, love, love! {Holidaisical}

He does not want any complaints:

Life is too short, my friends. There is no reason to be angry in a season dedicated to peace and love… or any other time. So Uncle Ornery… don’t worry about gifts this year. Be cheerful instead, and that can be everyone’s gift. And Jackwagon… Shop online! And Good Catholic… I feel your pain because I used to be you. I use to go to church every week, now I don’t for whatever reason. So excuse me this year if I sit in the wrong seat, or say the wrong thing. Just like everyone else, I’m just doing my best.

Southern Virginia farm of Christmas trees of v...

Southern Virginia farm of Christmas trees of various types. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The transplanted American, living in Australia for the last 30 year, in Family and “the Christmas tree farm“, is aware that the traditions of Christmas are many and varied, depending on the cultural heritage and family practice. It are those family practices which may give the love for a sort of celebration which is placed in the memory form childhood. Her parents and grandparents started the Corsi Tree Farm in southern Ohio.

Thousands of people in the Cincinnati area will travel to the Corsi Tree Farm this year, not just to cut their own Christmas tree, but to have an old fashioned experience with country music, animals and hospitality.  It is probably a tradition that will disappear one day, but for now it is alive and well in Hamersville, Ohio. {the Christmas tree farm}

Because some people do have multiple Christmas trees, their business perhaps could be blooming very well. Marie Haigh who lives in Pottstown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has 5 to be exact. Her first memory of picking out a Christmas tree was walking outside in our front yard and picking an evergreen tree. Her daughter’s memory will be similar.
Her reason for so many trees:

 I just love Christmas trees. I love decorating them. I love looking at them. It is the best Christmas decoration. I would be happy if it were the only Christmas decoration we had. {Sunday Snapshots (of Christmas trees)}

Like several people the writer of Sunday Snapshots (of Christmas Decorations), who learned to knit from her mother-in-law a few years ago, hates decking for Christmas when it is frigid outside. Her blog features her knitting designs, current knitting WIPS (works in progress) whether or not they are designed by her and even failed projects. Occasionally, she takes a much needed break from knitting, such as after the birth of her daughter. During such times, her blog focuses on her family along with the hobby that has her current attention, bouncing between sewing, gardening, card-making and cooking. She lets her child make some ornaments out of Crayola model magic clay, which gives something creative to this whole set of putting up the tree where she as mother also shows her decorating talent. Her daughter Elly went to a “fairy garden class” and made some beautiful “Angel garden”. At the end of the season this daughter was upset that her parents put away the Christmas decorations. {Missing Santa}

English: A Christmas Tree at Home

A Christmas Tree at Home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whilst she and her daughter may have no lack of inspiration others may get such a lack of inspiration it is driving them bonkers.  A runner that loves to bake, her runs have been out of obligation, not bad but certainly not awesome.  To cap off her great day, of an 1:30 minute run she went to pick out her very first Christmas tree. {Inspiration for 500 Alex…}

Heidi a caffeine-aholic, living in Western Colorado, also shows the roots of her loving the Christmas tree.

To say my Mom loved Christmas and kept it well was an understatement.  She baked jillions of cookies, decorated multiple trees and hosted a holiday open house with tons of different appetizers, cookies, Scandinavian delicacies, and drinks.  She loved to show off her decorated home and culinary skills, and particularly loved that people she invited brought others with them and that the parish priest would stay until the very end of the party and take home leftovers.  She was in the middle of planning her holiday party when her recurring cancer landed her in the hospital.  She died Christmas Eve.  I like to think she went to party with the angels for Christmas, and they took her at that moment to make Christmas extra special for her.

Nice to hear that this sad moment in her life on such a special day did not ruin her “Christmas”.  Understandably she may get a bit melancholy,

but mostly, I try to decorate, cook and entertain in the way Mom would have.  I celebrate Christmas and celebrate Mom.

Mom had a shed on her New Mexico property she called the Christmas Shed–packed to the rafters with all manner of Christmas decor.  I brought a few things home with me, a tub marked Norwegian Tree, and a few of her treasured trolls.  Mom’s mom was Norwegian, and Mom identified with all thing Norwegian.  The tub had ornaments, linens, and candlesticks painted as a Norwegian man and woman in their traditional finery.

Here again we see that figures come in the Christmas story which have nothing to do with the birth of Christ nor with the place of his birth. I wonder what “Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Union, ManU, The Masters, “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments for boys and girls, dog stuff, from {Holidaisical}, beads and garland have to do with the birth of Christ in that “good tree” .

Trolls are beloved by Scandinavian people and according to Mom, these must be complimented on their beauty and charm.  If you dare speak of them in terms of ugly, homely or scary, they will play pranks on you at night. {Celebrating Christmas, Celebrating Mom}

She has “A snowman tree”, “A kitchen tree” with tiny kitchen utensils and cookie cutters, “A silver and gold tree with spun glass ornaments” and the “big tree” with ornaments from her childhood and those her family has collected over the years.

 It’s traditional to use an ornament as a decoration on a wrapped gift.

I also set out a pair of Christmas plates, also painted by Mom.  The Santa one has Mom and Dad’s names as well as the names of their friends of the time, on Santa’s list.

Mulled wine steeping (Swedish glögg)

I would say on cold day a Glühwine or Mulled wine, vin chaud (“hot wine”), [In Italy: vin brulé (“burnt wine”)] the spicy warm wine with cloves, grated nutmeg, and cinnamon or mace, orange or mandarins, elderberries, blueberries, cherries, red and black currants and blackberries, may not be lacking. In the Netherlands, the drink is known as bisschopswijn (literally “bishop’s wine”). Bisschopswijn is drunk during the Sinterklaas holidays. It uses oranges instead of lemons as an ingredient.
When Madeira wine and Port wine are used we call it Douro, or like in the Minho Provincesvinho quente“. In Canada they call it also Caribou, thought my family in law living there still call it “bisschopswijn”.

An other “warming up drink” may be the traditional Scandinavian spirit Aquavit, distilled from potatoes and spiced with caraway, dill, cardamom, and anise.

 It pairs nicely with fish and is usually served in tiny glasses and meant to be sipped and savored.

For us this is the time, after a good big walk, to say “Skoal!”

Jeffrey Bing who values faith, family, fun, football, and following sports of all types, for the past 21 years, Christmas morning was, without fail, about early morning wake ups with the kids to see what Santa had brought for them.

From “Baby Hannah” walking behind her big truck at 7 months of age, to Alec and Rebecca each being equally (if not more) interested in what Santa brought to their twin than to them in their 11th month of age first Christmas, Christmas morning has been about joy, discovery, and sharing.

Once again we can see that this family had their traditional “Christmas Santa” event. But the “Santa” was not standing for “Sanct” or “Holy“. It was all about a Nordic figure and nothing with a Palestine or coloured man, whose name was Jeshua, born in the tribe of king David, who became better known in the West as Jesus Christ or Issou, “Ya Zeus” (“Yea-Zeus”), meaning “Hail Zeus”.

Though many may say, like bill:

Christmas is not about the toys, the trinkets, and the packages. Christmas is about love, family, friends, and sharing. And Christmas, for a certain 44 year old man in middle America, is about joyful memories. Today’s will add to that collection.

but always in those memories, on the different blogs, we nowhere find a reference of Christ Jesus, which they call the reason of the season. Is it than not strange they not mention this Jewish man more? How does it come that they may forget the “most important reason of the season” and would not talk more about this man had done for humanity? Jeffrey Bing his blog was one of the exceptions where I could find something written on Christian values and on Jesus, being the Christ or Messiah, having given his life for us.

So should we not wonder ho much the Christians absorbed from other religions or pagan practices and got carried away from their real ‘reason of the season’?

Bill recognises:

Maybe being absorbent opens us up to taking in new vital nutrients. Take all of this with a grain of salt, as its coming from a guy who hasn’t missed too many meals, even back in the day. I’ve got the old videos to prove it.. {Absorption rate}

Christmas is about tradition, and for the Bings, tradition has included full days of family time and not leaving the company of the nest on the magical day.

But the times, they are a changin’, and change brings new traditions, and new people, into our lives. And new can be good, even if it takes red tie giving sweeties away on Christmas day, to spend time with sweeties of their own.

Red ties, red eyes, red sweaters, red letters. Amen. Change can be a good thing. {Red Letter Day}

Would it all not be better to come to the core of the business and celebrate the holy day Jesus himself gave? Namely the 14th of Nisan, the day also god asks us to remember the exodus of His People and to remember the New Covenant. there we can see the red, not from a Father Christmas, the figure Coca-Cola created with the red coat, but the red from the blood of the man Jesus, who offered himself for the sins of many.

in today’s world much of the original meaning of Christmas has been lost in the hustle and bustle of this most wonderful time of the year.

writes a Texan (girl?) on “Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.” — Margaret Thatcher

it is frankly a little disheartening to me to think that one can celebrate Christmas without mentioning Christ at all.

she continues and looks at Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to earth as a little baby in order to live a perfect life,

and die on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sin in order that our relationship with God might be restored and we can spend eternity with him.

But soon she also goes into talking about traditions, believing

it is very important to keep Christ in many of our Christmas traditions so that we can remember what He has done for us – but some things we do, we do for FUN – and that is perfectly okay too. Jesus did say, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

She found it fun to identify which ones were, a part of her growing up, and which ones she wants to continue in her new family. Then people come to see that the Christmas traditions may be totally different, from one family to an other. Then they either have to go for one or the other tradition or have to make a blend. that is what they think, but nobody has the courage to really do thorough research and come to the conclusions according the Holy Scriptures and commandments of God. Most Christians do want to keep the tradition. That is the difficult part the apostles Paul and John were talking about when they wrote about Jesus his words of being part of the world, being in or outside this world and choosing for the World of God.

Those in the world want to keep on to those fun Traditions, and that is what makes them not so different form the gentiles or non-Christians. they are mostly concerned about:

  1. Christmas Trees
  2. Gift Giving
  3. Stockings
  4. Caroling
  5. Mistletoe
  6. Santa Claus
  7. Gingerbread Houses
  8. Christmas Cards
  9. Advent Calendars
  10. Christmas Eve Candlelight Services

Traditions very dear to many people their heart.

Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio is the site of t...

Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio is the site of this Christmas display with over 3.5 million lights. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But should our heart not be with Christ Jesus, and should our thoughts not be filled with his teachings? Did Jesus not enough explain it has nothing to do with outside appearances, but has all to do with the inside of the hearth and the following of God His commandments and not following the world.

Who do you want to follow? Do you want to follow traditions, because you are ashamed that people would give some nasty remarks, because you do not join in in the festivities to show off with the ‘nicest tree’, the most ‘Christmas decorations’ in the street and do not join the Christmas parties with lots of “heavy music”?

+

Preceding article: The imaginational war against Christmas

++

Additional reading:

  1. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  4. History of Christianity
  5. Birth of Christ – articles
  6. The nativity story
  7. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  8. God’s Special Gift
  9. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  10. Christmas trees
  11. A season of gifts
  12. Sancta Claus is not God
  13. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  14. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God
  15. Warning! Get Out of Her – My People!
  16. What do you want for Christmas

+++

  • O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! (how2makelemonade.wordpress.com)
    One of my favorite parts of Christmas is decorating for the season.  Christmas decorations just make a house look so warm and cozy.
    +
    My style for Christmas is pretty traditional.  I like the traditional Christmas colors, red, white, and green.  Plus many of my ornaments look vintage, but most of them came from Target.  The vintage ornaments give the tree a classic feel that doesn’t look like some fancy designer did it.
  • Oh Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches (charlieandmummy.wordpress.com)
    Normally by this time of year I am well and truly into the Christmas spirit organising the concerts at school and performing with band. It feels strange to not be out playing carols and concerts, but good to not be dashing around like a crazy lady. Instead we will be enjoying every little detail of Charlies first Christmas.
  • O Christmas Tree (lillian888.wordpress.com) reblogged from> O Christmas Tree on which I like the photo’s, and where you can find a decorated ladder, strings of lights and a very tall ceiling.
    +
    Here are some truly fantastic Christmas trees. Remember how I was thinking this might be the year I create a theme tree? These photos are full of inspiration!
  • On My Christmas Non Tree Tree (chasingtheblackwood.wordpress.com) you may find an other ladder tree, where scented candles shall have to bring in “happy Christmas scents”.
  • Hunting for a Christmas Tree (magnuspittmanblog.wordpress.com)
    After we found our perfect tree one of the workers cut it down for us and then we got a ride back down to the farm entrance with our tree!  We had a busy rest of the weekend so the tree is not decorated yet, but stay tuned for more photos when we are able to put it up!
  • Oh Christmas tree, MY Christmas tree (longwalksanddarkchocolate.com)
    With all of the ornaments laid out on the kitchen table this year, I made a decision.  I was going to split them and ship them!
    +
    What was in it for me?  To be honest, as I packed all the cute, kiddie looking ornaments, I was dreaming of a tree similar to one I’d encountered on Pinterest, with a woodland animal theme.  You might think I’m not sentimental enough and that I should be pining for the ornament that a 6yr old made in art class.  Well, I did keep a couple that were made by their own little hands.  However, not for my tree; just for the memory.  I much prefer the memories of spending time with them and our conversations and laughter to things.
    +
    We can’t dwell on the past and the way things were.  Things and people change and we can’t allow ourselves to get bogged down in the yesterdays and how things used to be.  We grow, people pass on, family members move, more members are added.
  • Christmas Traditions: Ornaments (ourlittlefamilyadventure.wordpress.com)
    Growing up, my brother and I always received a  new Christmas tree ornament. It was either a beautiful handmade glass ornament or something to commemorate a special event that year. It was something to be cherished and saved to be hang up the following year. My mother saved all these ornaments. When I was married, she gave me a collection of Christmas tree ornaments for my new family tree. It was collection of cherished Christmas memories. There was a Baby’s First Christmas ornament from the day I was born, ornaments from places we’d been, and sports I’d played in school. It was all right there in the box. It’s a great tradition I’m happy to pass down to my children.
  • Christmas Tree (fallinginchocolat.wordpress.com)
    In Belgium we have this holiday called ‘Sinterklaas’ on the 6th of december, and tradition is that in the weekend after this holiday we go buy our christmas tree and decorate it. So Today is the 7th and a saturday which means we went to buy our tree. I must say every year me and my mom have some debate over the tree ( bigger ! no smaller ! ) and how to decorate it.
  • ADVENTageous for Dec 8: Christmas Tree (moredrunkordrunker.wordpress.com)
    Not many in Great Britain held the tradition of a decorated tree until a print featured Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (both of German heritage) standing near their Christmas tree.Ukrainians decorate their Christmas trees with an artificial spider, as a Ukrainian legend holds that tinsel originated when a spider wove cobwebs all over a Christmas tree at night and the rising sun turned it to silver. Finding a real spider web on Christmas morning is considered good luck, not a reason to immediately call an exterminator.
  • Worshipping created things. The outward acts of their idolatry. Idolatry is Forbidden. (proclaimingthegospelofchrist.wordpress.com)
    “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. (Acts 17:29)
    +
    It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth

The imaginational war against Christmas

American debate on celebrations and holiday season

In the United States we see a debate is going on about the celebrations or holiday season. Several camps are claiming the 25th of December as their special event, belonging to their group.

English: Father Christmas on T. Armstrong & Co...

Father Christmas on T. Armstrong & Co’s Christmas float. – Do you see the connection with ice-bears and the birth of Christ? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The conservative Christians and the Tea Party members claim everything of Christmas is sanctified and belongs to the Christian community and may not defiled by the heathen atheists.

Call to encourage Christian people to worship God

Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert wisely advised that if atheists want their country to be free and safe, they should encourage people to worship God. Gohmert, who has a penchant for tweaking people who do not believe in God, was delivering a speech about the lack of attention given to Christians who are persecuted around the world. Although he also declared that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world, as an aside he argued that only nations that turned away from the Judeo-Christian God have ceased to exist.

“No country has ever fallen while it was truly honouring the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

“So if you were completely areligious, completely atheistic, but you wanted to have a free country, and you wanted to have it safe and protected, then it would sound like — from historical purposes — that it might be a good thing to encourage those who believe in God to keep doing so,”

Gohmert said.

“Because when a nation’s leaders honour that God, that nation is protected. It’s only when it turns away that it falls.”

Historicity of birth of Christ

According many historians it is proven that Jesus was not born on the 25th of December, so they wonder why so many Christians keep wanting to celebrate the birth of Christ on that day of the birthday of the goddess of light. Likewise I would like to ask those Christians, like Sarah Paling who says Father Christmas belongs to the Christians and is in honour of God, what this mythical elf had to do with the event which happened on the 17th of October 4BCE, when the Jew Jeshua (Jesus Christ) became the first-born in the family of Miriam (Myriam/Mary/Maria) and Joseph (Yosef/Iosíf/Josef), from the tribe of king David? What have all those Christmas trees to do with the land of Palestine or Bethlehem, were Jesus was born? (There were and are no such trees in that region).

Poster campaign against Christmas

In the United Kingdom there are also some fanatics from a banned Islamic hate group that have launched a nationwide poster campaign, but they go a step further than the American atheists because they denounce Christmas as evil.

Organisers plan to put up thousands of placards around the UK claiming the season of goodwill is responsible for rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, promiscuity, crime and paedophilia. They hope the campaign will help ‘destroy Christmas’ in that country and lead to Britons converting to Islam instead. though those Muslims should also notice many Islamic families also put the Christmas tree in their living room and give each other presents in this so called Christian holiday season. I do agree also by that population we see the pagan rituals have won above faith and they took over the western traditions, saying the same thing like Christians say about Halloween,

“It is just for fun”.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation and America Atheists in the United States also started a campaign to give non-believers a voice in a Christian dominated space and taking back something what belongs to them and not to Christianity.

Holiday season rooted in pagan festivals

Real Christians should make use of the holiday season to make clear to the Christians who celebrate the Yule fest or “Kerst-mis”, “mass of Kerst” (later made in “Christ” in Anglo-Saxon countries), Yuletide or Christmastide and to Muslims that Jesus is the son of God, who is really born, whilst God can not be born nor die, because He is an eternal Spirit.

In West Europe, before the population was christened they celebrated the end of the year and the dark period and remembered the Wild Hunt, the god Odin and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Modranicht, (Old English “Night of the Mothers” or “Mothers’-night”). It was an event held at what is now Christmas Eve by the Anglo-Saxon Pagans where a sacrifice may have been made, and for the Germanic people (like in Belgium) the Germanic Matres and Matrones, female beings attested by way of altar and votive inscriptions, nearly always appearing in trios, to which the Roman Catholic Church placed their Holy Trinity. The earthly spirits and natural spirits where transformed into the natural spirit Jesus who came in the place of the goddess of light and became the Light itself, but would also be the same person as the air spirits or heavenly spirits, becoming the Holy Spirit who at the same time would be God the Father and God the Spirit. Though the Divine Being God Who is One Himself is Spirit according to the Holy Scriptures.

“God is Spirit; and those who worship him must worship spiritually and truly.” (John 4:24 TCNT)

God Himself is not immaterial; He has a Spirit-body (ie 1Corinthians 15:44-54; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 1:7; Matthew 28:2-4), a Being full of Spirit power, a body with parts. Jesus contrary is a man of flesh and blood who really could be tempted (God can not be tempted) could be tortured to death and was made higher than angels to whom he was lower, but God was, is and always shall be the Most High, Almighty Who knows everything, whilst Jesus had still to learn everything and even did not know when he would be coming back.

“For he (Jeshua/Jesus Christ) is the radiance of the Glory of God and the very expression of his Being, upholding all creation by the power of his word; and, when he had made an expiation for the sins of men, he ‘took his seat at the right hand’ of God’s Majesty on high,” (Hebrews 1:3 TCNT)

“To this Peter and the Apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men.  (30)  The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, whom you put to death by hanging him on a cross.  (31)  It is this Jesus whom God has exalted to his right hand, to be a Guide and a Savior, to give Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.  (32)  And we are witness to the truth of this, and so is the Holy Spirit–the gift of God to those who obey him.” (Acts of the apostles 5:29-32 TCNT)

“He appeared among us as a man, and still further humbled himself by submitting even to death–to death on a cross!  (9)  And that is why God raised him to the very highest place, and gave him the Name which stands above all other names,  (10)  So that in adoration of the Name of Jesus every knee should bend, in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth,  (11)  And that every tongue should acknowledge Jesus Christ (originally יהושע Messiah) as Lord (Master) – – to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:8-11 TCNT)

Christians having to choose either to belong to pagan world or to have their own religious world

The Christians should know that they may live in this world but do not have to be active in al the things of this world. As children of God we should not differ from God His best servant, Jesus who is lord of all. As long as that man who did not know when he would return (remember: God knows everything) we should follow the Master teacher, the tutors he trained and the stewards till the time appointed by the Father. So also we, when we were children, were in servitude under the rudiments of the world;  but when the fullness of time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem those under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  Having now become sons we should no longer be a servant of this world, but a son; and if a son, also an heir of God.  Formerly, not knowing God a Christian may have served beings which are not really gods;  but when converted and baptised they should Now know God, what He likes and what He does not like. Once a person came in the faith he or she should take care not to turn again to the weak and imperfect rudiments, keeping to the traditions of heathen people or gentiles.

The apostle Paul writes:

” My point is this–As long as the heir is under age, there is no difference between him and a slave, though he is master of the whole estate.  (2)  He is subject to the control of guardians and stewards, during the period for which his father has power to appoint them.  (3)  And so is it with us; when we were under age, as it were, we were slaves to the puerile teaching of this world;  (4)  But, when the full time came, God sent his Son–born a woman’s child, born subject to Law–  (5)  To ransom those who were subject to Law, so that we might take our position as sons.  (6)  And it is because you are sons that God sent into our hearts the Spirit of his Son, with the cry–‘Abba, our Father.’  (7)  You, therefore, are no longer a slave, but a son; and, if a son, then an heir also, by God’s appointment.  (8)  Yet formerly, in your ignorance of God, you became slaves to ‘gods’ which were no gods.  (9)  But now that you have found God–or, rather, have been found by him–how is it that you are turning back to that poor and feeble puerile teaching, to which yet once again you are wanting to become slaves?” (Gal 4:1-9 TCNT)

Christians should remember that their rabbi Jeshua (Jesus Christ) charged his followers to follow his Fathers instructions and to love one another. Jesus warned them that it could well be that the world would hate them because of their (our) choice to follow him. We should know that the world hated Christ before us.  We either have the choice to follow the traditions of the world and showing them that we not only are part of the world but also want to be in the world; Or if we were of this world, the world would be a friend to its own; but because we are not of the world the world hates us.  We should remember the word which Jesus said to his apostles that a servant is not greater than his lord and that if they have persecuted the send one from God (Jesus the Messiah), they will also persecute his followers; if they have kept Jesus his word, they will also keep ours.  But all these things they will do to us, on his account, because they know not Him that sent Jesus. and that is the whole problem. They do not want to know God who sent his prophet to save the world. Today the world should have no pretext for their sin.  It is true that those who hate Christ Jesus also hate his Father. In Christ we should put our hope because we have seen the Works of God in his hands. The whole world has received the opportunity to get to read the Words of God, to listen to them, to study them and to get to understanding for those Words came from the God Who does not tell lies.  so when He says ‘This is my only begotten beloved son” it up to us, living in this world to either accept that Nazarene Jew as the son of God or to make him like so many pagan do with the nature elements and other man of the world (Presley, Spears, Maradonna, Madonna, Jackson, Cyrus, Cano, 1D a.o.)
With Jesus the promise in the Garden of Eden became fulfilled, and the Word of God became a reality, which the world can face now. Jesus came to live in this world so that the word written in their law may be fulfilled.  After Jesus died (remember God can not die) his Father, the Only One God gave them light from His Power, the Pneuma or Holy Spirit. When this Comforter had come, whom Jesus as mediator between God and man, had send them from the Father, the Spirit of truth which proceeds from the Father, he testified of Jesus and the apostles also started to testify without fear about their teacher, because they had been with him from the beginning and had seen all the things Jesus had done in the name of his Father, the God of Abraham.

” I am giving you these commands that you may love one another.  (18)  If the world hates you, you know that it has first hated me.  (19)  If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world–that is why the world hates you.  (20)  Remember what I said to you–‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have laid my Message to heart, they will lay yours to heart also.  (21)  But they will do all this to you, because you believe in my Name, for they do not know him who sent me.  (22)  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have had no sin to answer for; but as it is, they have no excuse for their sin.  (23)  He who hates me hates my Father also.  (24)  If I had not done among them such work as no one else ever did, they would have had no sin to answer for; but, as it is, they have both seen and hated both me and my Father.  (25)  And so is fulfilled what is said in their Law–‘They hated me without cause.’  (26)  But, when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father–the Spirit of Truth, who comes from the Father–he will bear testimony to me;  (27)  Yes, and you also are to bear testimony, because you have been with me from the first.” (Joh 15:17-27 TCNT)

A pent-up woman using strong men for the opposite they believed in

Sarah Palin addressing a Labor Day rally sponsored by the Tea Party Express (Manchester, NH), September 5, 2011

The American politician, commentator, author, former youngest person and first woman to be elected half-term Governor of Alaska and failed vice presidential candidate, registered Republican since 1982, Sarah Palin, née Heath, said

“Today, in too many respects, it’s politically incorrect to acknowledge that Jesus is the reason for the season and Christ is the main part of Christmas,”

If Thomas Jefferson were alive today he would probably go on Fox News to complain about the war on Christmas.

The freedom of the Constitution of the United States

Page one of the original copy of the Constitution

Page one of the original copy of the Constitution of the United States, the supreme law of the United States of America, Created September 17, 1787, Ratified June 21, 1788

She told the audience of students that the U.S. Constitution was written by and for moral and religious people, and that nonreligious people probably were incapable of appreciating its principles.

“If you lose that foundation, John Adams was implicitly warning us, then we will not follow our constitution, there will be no reason to follow our constitution because it is a moral and religious people who understand that there is something greater than self, we are to live selflessly, and we are to be held accountable by our creator, so that is what our constitution is based on, so those revisionists, those in the lamestream media, especially, who would want to ignore what our founders actually thought, felt and wrote about in our charters of liberty – well, that’s why I call them the lamestream media,” Palin said.

Adams who was sixty-one when he took office and by whom theological uncertainty had turned him toward a secular vocation also was not so sure about the divinity of Christ and being the God born on the 25 of December. He was a real searcher and wanted to discover as much he could in the books of law, political theory, moral philosophy, or economy from classical Greece and Rome to Enlightenment Europe. No theoretical works could escape his critical eye. and we can imagine he was also very critical of what churches said and what the Bible said. He was not an abstract political thinker; rather, he read and wrote to understand and solve the problems of society in his own day. At the outset of the Revolution he believed that the superior virtue of the American people would prove sufficient to maintain a balance between liberty and order in the new republics being formed by the states. In his Thoughts on Government, written early in 1776, and in his draft of the Massachusetts Constitution three years later, he advocated popular governments with checks on the abuse of power adequate to maintain their republican purity. I think it would be in-acceptable for him that a political party took the country in banishment like the Tea Party does. what that movement does is also against the idea of Jefferson who wanted a a free and democratic government and wanted to avoid the weakness of the Old World standards. Closely associated with liberal, enlightened circles in ParisThomas Jefferson sympathized with the revolutionary impulse but sought to direct it into moderate and pacific channels of reform.The sorting and synthesizing habits characteristic of Enlightenment thought, having a state free of the connection with religion, formed the core of his thinking.

The challenges posed by the American Revolution (1775–1783)—creating a new nation, defining its form of government and politics, and shaping the kind of nation that the United States would become and the kind of people it would have—lent practical urgency to Jefferson’s investigations of the natural, social, and political world. {International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences | 2008 |}

Two of the three key measures of Jefferson’s lawmaking had to do with the life of the mind and individual liberty; all three embodied his devotion to Enlightenment ideals. Arguing that any alliance between church and state was dangerous to individual liberty and the health of the political realm, Jefferson insisted on strict separation of church and state, denying government any power to direct what citizens should believe or do in matters of religious belief and observance. Jefferson’s proposed system of public education embodied his view that an informed citizenry was essential to the success of republican government. Finally, his measure for proportioning crimes and punishments reflected the profound influence of Marquis Cesare di Beccaria’s (1738–1794) Treatise on Crimes and Punishments (1764), in particular Beccaria’s commitment to humanizing law and setting aside old barbarous punishments as inconsistent with a modern, just legal system. {International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences; 2008}

Although he never confused France with America, Jefferson became an ardent friend of the French Revolution and in time assimilated some of its radical doctrine into his political philosophy. He sought to engender amiability and, wherever possible, to grasp “the smooth handle.” Business was conducted through day-to-day consultation with the secretaries. The cabinet met infrequently, but when it did, usually on critical foreign problems, Jefferson invariably managed to produce a consensus. He led without having to command; he dominated without ruling. {Merrill D. Peterson; A Reference History; 2002; Peterson, Merrill D.}

Liberty of choice and combination of theism, materialism, and determinism

As he viewed the American experiments in government from Europe during the 1780s, Adams lost faith in the political virtue of his countrymen. He saw them repeating the mistakes of Europe, especially in the feverish pursuit of luxury, with its inevitable social and political corruption and its nurturing of class antagonisms. Today we can see how the Tea party and the Republican Party are aiming to go back to the 18th century European tradition and would like to steer to the same mistakes the men in charge of that time had taken.

The French Revolution had further strengthened Adams his belief that political freedom could be preserved only by a balanced government effectively controlling the natural rivalry of men for wealth and distinction and that state and religion should be kept separate. Therefore I do find it so strange Palin is always waving with those bright founders of the American constitution to get the Americans believe in her system which totally opposes the ideas of the founders of the United States of America. It is true that he believed that the quest for equality would inevitably bring chaos and the loss of the freedom that the French revolutionaries sought. He clearly sought constitutional separation of powers.

The Adamses had also been fond of Joseph Priestley, the English scientist and political radical, who attempted to combine theism, materialism, and determinism, a project that has been called “audacious and original”. They where well aware of this man his ideas about Jesus not being God and our task not to worship him like a god. They strongly believed in the free and open exchange of ideas, advocated toleration and equal rights for religious Dissenters, which also led Priestley to help found Unitarianism in England.

So very strange some very conservative Christians who are very devout Trinitarians today use those names to get their ideas in favour and have people to celebrate pagan festivals as their own Christian festivals.

Secularists and their look at religious themes in Christmas celebrations

She seemed to imply that Jefferson, who spent his summers at a home not far from the present-day site of Liberty University, may have been inspired by the religious college founded in 1971 by televangelist Jerry Falwell.

“Thomas Jefferson and his thinking, I believe that much of it fundamentally came from this area, having spent his summers here, having spent influential years here, two miles away from Liberty University,” Palin said. “Man, there’s something in the water, perhaps, around here – again you are fortunate you get to taste it.”

Palin said Jefferson would likely agree that secularists had set their sights on destroying the religious themes in Christmas celebrations.

“He would recognize those who would want to try to ignore that Jesus is the reason for the season, those who would want to try to abort Christ from Christmas,” she said. “He would recognize that, for the most part, these are angry atheists armed with an attorney. They are not the majority of Americans.”

Protection of atheists

Palin said there was a double standard that protected atheists at the expense of the religious.

“Why is it they get to claim some offense taken when they see a plastic Jewish family on somebody’s lawn – a nativity scene, that’s basically what it is right?” she said. “Oh, they take such offense, though. They say that it physically even can hurt them and mentally it distresses them so they sue, right?”

“But heaven forbid we claim any type of offense when we say, ‘Wait, you’re stripping Jesus from the reason, as the reason for the season,’ but heaven forbid we claim any type of offense,” Palin said. “So that double standard, I think Thomas Jefferson would certainly recognize it and stand up and he wouldn’t let anybody tell him to sit down and shut up.”

Though, Thomas Jefferson did not believe in Jesus being God and wanted a free America were people of different opinions could share the land and live in peace together, respecting each-others believes. He believed in a beneficent natural order in the moral as in the physical world, freedom of inquiry in all things, and man’s inherent capacity for justice and happiness, and he had faith in reason, improvement, and progress.

Jefferson’s political thought would become the quintessence of Enlightenment liberalism, though it had roots in English law and government. The tradition of the English constitution gave concreteness to American patriot claims, even a color of legality to revolution itself, that no other modern revolutionaries have possessed. Jefferson used the libertarian elements of the English legal tradition for ideological combat with the mother country. He also separated the principles of English liberty from their corrupted forms in the empire of George III and identified these principles with nascent American ideals. In challenging the oppressions of the empire, Americans like Jefferson came to recognize their claims to an independent nationality. {Encyclopedia of World Biography; 2004}

Was it not the intention of the founding fathers of America to get rid of all the boundaries they had to endure in their different countries at the European continent? Was their intention not only to protect those who had certain believes, be it in the Supreme High Being, in spirits of the world, or in nothing of that sort? And did they not want to protect atheists not at the expense of the religious, and protect the religious not at the expense of atheists ?

Defending her believes in Christmas

EXPRESS-TIMES

Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin signs her new book “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas” and greets customers during an appearance at Barnes and Noble on Nov. 12, 2013, in Bethlehem Township, Pa.

The former vice-presidential candidate has also written a book, Good Tidings and Great Joy – Protecting the Heart of Christmas, published by HarperCollins, about the real meaning of Christmas.

She writes:

A tree is best felled if you do it yourself, preferably from your neighbour’s plot or your own. If you do have to buy a commercial tree, watch out for the ones sold as “holiday”, “pine” or “fir” trees. These are not Christmas trees, and Christmas is all about Christmas! Keep the saw handy: after Christmas you can chop up the tree for your burner.

Buy some felt. Collect some fur from whatever pelts you have about the house. For a really wild “frontier flair”, ask a parent to saw buttons from antlers: any species will be fine. Hoohah! “You won’t find that on Pinterest!”

A gun is a great gift because it opens up a whole world of accessories.

Every year buy the Guiness Book of Records and read aloud from it. One year, you might be in it (as, for example, 2008’s most searched name on the internet).

You may wonder how a Christian can advertise to have guns and how it would not harm to point your 30-06 rifle to an other human being.

Perseverance in retaining enjoyable memories

Christmas in the post-War United States

Christmas in the post-War United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Palin recounts news stories from recent years—such as a North Carolina college temporarily banning students from selling “Christmas” trees—to mount evidence that there are Americans trying to “destroy” the holiday. She generally refers to her foes as “secular leftists” and waffles between how formidable they are, saying “these guys aren’t just a few malcontents with lawyers” and dismissing them as a “few haters and cranks.” Palin prebuttals critics who would say she’s tackling a “non-existent problem” but doesn’t present any shattering new statistics to move the perennial debate.

A central trope in the book is Palin’s disgust and frustration at people saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” While hitting on various points about the commercialization of the holiday (it’s good, it’s bad, it’s beside the point), she extolls businesses like Hobby Lobby that use religious imagery in advertisements and shames businesses like Target and Wal-Mart who have eschewed ­Christmas for more politically correct terms.

Reviled and marginalized citizens in American society

Palin argues that Christians are being reviled and marginalized in American society — and that Christian faith should be more central to culture, politics, schools and public squares. Some chapters lean heavy on the Evangelicalism, as she recounts Biblical stories and advocates for more Christ in Christmas. “God,” she writes, “is the only cure for what ails us.”

About that last bit she is right. God is the only cure and people should concentrate more on Him, the God of gods, and should abstain from everything which goes against God His rules, the commandments He has given. His commandments make it very clear that people may not bow down in front of human made images (crosses, statues) but also not honour or decorate trees, honouring gods or natural beings. (Is the Christmas tree not a decorated tree?)

Offensive well-wishes

When people say ‘Happy Holidays’ this is considered offensive for Sarah Paling and many conservative Christians in the United States. She does not seem to see that there is no coordinated campaign against uttering Christ’s name but rather, a seeming gradual shift over decades to awareness that not everyone celebrates Christmas. “Happy holidays,” for those who say it, is not disrespectful but a catch-all phrase to which the hearer can impute anything he or she wants; presumably Palin’s faith in the Nativity is not so weak that a person failing to mention Christ in alluding to the celebration could shake it.

Palin’s claim that “the homogenization of the holiday season” is underway is hard to square with the reality that last year, shows including “The Big Bang Theory,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office” and “Grey’s Anatomy” broadcast Christmas specials. In all the Western countries on television and radio stations people can see and hear nothing but Christmas specials. Christmas is inescapable in pop culture from more than a month out — after all, Palin’s Christmas book came out in November, more than a month before the holiday, so that it could be promoted enough and become a holiday sales record.

Critique of “the war on Christmas” and separation of church and state

, staff reporter for Salon’s entertainment section, writes:

This critique of “the war on Christmas” leaves aside a tenet Palin and her fellow warriors hold dear: that Christmas has become more about Santa and “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and gifts under the tree than about the glorious birth of Jesus Christ. Per the display copy connected to Palin’s book, “Palin defends the importance of preserving Jesus Christ in Christmas—whether in public displays, school concerts, and pageants, or in our hearts.” It’s hard to come up with a counterargument to this because, aside from the long-standing separation of church and state (not a new practice), no one is preventing those who celebrate Christmas from hosting pageants or keeping Jesus in their hearts.

Celebration for Santa Claus

Jon Stewart waded into the “war on Christmas” on The Daily Show on Tuesday December 3, mocking conservative personalities like Bill O’Reilly, who was driven to ask “what holiday is Santa celebrating?” after seeing a Macy’s ad depicting Santa Claus helping customers with a “holiday gift list,” as opposed to a Christmas gift list.

“That is a good question,”

Stewart said sarcastically.

"Father Christmas" is often synonymo...

“Father Christmas” is often synonymous with Santa Claus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Santa, or Sinterklass (sic), (Sinterklaas) is celebrating the Feast of Saint Nicholas, which originated in the Netherlands in the Middle Ages and occurs every December 6th. But you might not have heard about that because like every other December holiday, it was long ago sucked into the insatiable black hole that is Christmas.”

Protecting the integrity of Christmas isn’t just about God when you look at all the controversy going on. For Palin Christmas is about patriotism and strangely enough also about the liberty and rights of the American people. Christmas, in Palin’s eyes, is the All-American holiday. Nativity scenes “acknowledge the very real history and identity of the vast majority of our citizens.” (her words) for her. They are according to her a part of “our National Heritage” and should be protected.

A tradition began years after the constitution

The NSM rally on the West lawn of the US Capitol, Washington DC, 2008

To me either she knows and ignores that Americans really began to celebrate Christmas widely only in the second half of the nineteenth century or she wants to get all other thinking people, those with not the same religious believes as her, being pushed in the corner or even better shoved out the country. No wonder so many Neo-nazis are liking her and the weapon industry do not mind providing money for her.

The Americans would do better to think of the reasons why so many left Europe and how many had found out that their church had fooled them with many dogmas. The Puritans who came to the New World to escape religious intolerance in Europe, didn’t celebrate Christmas at all. It was outlawed in New England from 1659-81. The God loving people knew their Bible better than many people today, who keep up the sacred book to wave to the people and shout to them about hell and damnation, but not read it.

Papist extravagance and pagan festivals

The immigrants from the 17th and 18th century wanted to see a New World were people could live together no matter of which denomination they were. But they did not like the Catholic or Papist extravagance. As far as they were concerned “Christmas” was a fourth-century innovation adapted in part from the pagan festival of Saturnalia. To this day there are home-grown American Christians that frown upon the celebration of Christmas because it’s not in the Bible. For them, as for the Puritans, Christmas is a gaudy distortion of the original message of Jesus. Also in many other countries, lots of real God loving people detest any connection with pagan festivals.

In the west of Europe we are full of Celtic and Germanic traditions and so it is understandable that many more people would have problems to desert those heathen activities. The Old colonist had abandoned those rituals, but now the Americans have come back home, into the 17th century Europe.

Danger looming around the corner

Some people may consider Sarah Palin to be a charlatan of no harm because she shall never reach her goal. But they could be mistaken. In Europe we have seen already other ‘charlatan’ who have made it to the top and who have destroyed many other peoples lives. Americans would better look at what happened in Europe, with such nationalism Sarah Palin is trying to imagine or to imprint in the minds of many Americans. Ad some financial crisis’s and we could come back 1930s (if we are not yet there). In Europe we have seen what sort of political figures and monsters it has created. There was also presented an ideal picture of family values, youth camps, and nice family celebrations with national holidays.

First every one shall have to comply with the Christian holidays of a certain Christians group and afterwards no other religious celebrations shall be recognised and would be considered to be an infringement on the national values, even become a danger for the nation. So no Hannukkah any more the state shall say in a few years time, in case the citizens are not careful enough to keep their liberties high in the meaning that liberty is protecting the freedom of the other.

Christians should better notice the trend of the marketeers making all efforts to push the ‘Holiday Season’ trough the throat of every body, making them guilty not to spend enough on Holiday Season Gifts.

Palin doesn’t seek the original Christmas (a fourth-century invention), the traditional American Christmas (they didn’t celebrate it), or consumerism-free Christmas (you Communist!). The festival Palin wants to retrieve is the Christmas of her youth. Palin’s Christmas is a medley of joy-filled eating, present opening, charitable giving, and idiosyncratic family tradition.

Candida Moss writes.

Real Christians should look for the real reason behind the season and be aware of their actions with national, worldly activities and with pagan celebrations..

+

Please read also my article on Christadelphian World: Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights

bloggers-for-piece-badgePeace in the community is only possible
when the citizens in that community respect the other people living around them,
no matter which colour or which believes they may have.

Peace can only be there when people are willing to give each other the freedom
to have their own celebrations,
but also by not claiming something as only their own,
forgetting the real historicity.

In case people want to be of the world or in the world that is their own choice.
Christians do have to make the right choice but to respect the choices of others,
having their own celebrations, but distancing themselves from them, not promoting them themselves.

Give peace a chance
and join the movement for peace,
becoming a Peace Blogger.

++

Additional reading:

  1. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  4. History of Christianity
  5. Birth of Christ – articles
  6. The nativity story
  7. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  8. God’s Special Gift
  9. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  10. Christmas trees
  11. A season of gifts
  12. Sancta Claus is not God
  13. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  14. ‘Tis The Season To Be Cranky: Religious Right Gears Up New Round Of ‘War On Christmas’ Claims
  15. The atheist’s Thanksgiving dilemma  Whom to thank when there’s no recipient?
  16. Religious, political, spiritual—something in common after all?
  17. Double Standard for Americans Celebrating Christmas?
  18. Sarah Palin’s New Book About the “War on Christmas,” As a Recipe
  19. Sorry, Sarah Palin: There’s no war on Christmas
  20. Sarah Palin: ‘Angry Atheists’ Wage War Against Christmas
  21. Jon Stewart skewers Sarah Palin and Bill O’Reilly’s defense of ‘inexorable black hole that is Christmas’
  22. Sarah Palin Is Here to Save Christmas, Thank God
  23. ‘Christmas is evil’: Muslim group launches poster campaign against festive period
  24. Muslims in Malta condemn anti-Christmas poster campaign
  25. Introducing Buy Nothing Christmas + Learn About Buy Nothing Christmas Here.
  26. Tea party has roots in the Dallas of 1963
  27. A small circle taking a nation hostage
  28. Victims and Seekers of Peace
  29. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  30. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God
  31. Warning! Get Out of Her – My People!
  32. American Revolution
  33. Americanism
  34. Constitution, U.S.
  35. Declaration of Independence, U.S.
  36. Enlightenment
  37. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  38. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  39. What Jesus sang
  40. Weekly World Watch 12th – 18th Sept 2010‏
  41. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  42. What do you want for Christmas
  43. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  44. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ

+++

James and his snowman (from the 1982 film) mee...

James and his snowman (from the 1982 film) meet Father Christmas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Rep. Louie Gohmert Still Yammering About Christian Countries Or Whatever (wonkette.com)
    So how is Gohmert trying to help us save us from ourselves and the total destruction of these United States? Supporting increasing the minimum wage? Encouraging the uninsured to enroll in Obamacare? Free abortion on demand? Hahaha, don’t be Ridiculose. Gohmert’s save America plan today is so much simpler than all that commie nonsense.
    +
    we are thiiiiiiiiiis close to the end of America, and we’ve already been teetering on the brink, what with our sex educating of our children, which has practically turned us into the Soviet Union. (Gohmert spent a summer there, you know, so he is A Expert on that too.)
  • Atheist Billboards: Deliciously antagonistic or just a step too far? (theirishatheist.wordpress.com)
    Driving in America is an utter terrifying ordeal, filled with collapsing infrastructure, lunatics behind pieces of large machinery, and completely arbitrary traffic laws an interesting experience. Mainly because as you drive along, you get a good feel for the commercial values of each region of the States in the form of billboards. For example, Wisconsin. A casual traveler through Packer territory will swiftly come to realise that the hardy folk of Wisconsin value cheese, adult videos, and fireworks above all else. Or in Iowa, where they prefer outlet malls, country radio stations, and second-rate Mexican restaurants.
    +
    I didn’t realise that the Times Square billboard war was continuing until yesterday when Christian author Benjamin Corey wrote an article on the most recent salvo. Mr. Corey identifies himself as a ‘formerly fundie’ progressive Christian who works for a better level of understanding between the various factions of Christianity as well as people of other (or no) religious persuasions. Mr. Corey, having recently written an article deriding the so-called War on Christmas, took issue with the most recent atheist message to go up in Times Square. Sponsored by The American Atheists, the ad essentially asks “Who needs Christ on Christmas?” and proceeds to cross out ‘Christ’ and replace it with ‘Nobody.’
    +
    Billions of Christians are going to sit down, exchange presents, sing beautiful songs, eat delicious food, go to Mass or services, and show goodwill and kindness to others. Including atheists. And Jews and Muslims and Hindus and everyone else where Christianity is the philosophical majority. Christmas is celebrated for more than a month, it’s probably the singular most influential feature of Western culture. And you know what? It’s Christians who made it that way. Christianity is why I’m guaranteed a few days to be with my loved ones without work hanging over my head. Christianity is why all those pagan practises that they appropriated have survived for thousands of years so they could be enjoyed by us today. Christianity is why Christmas trees are everywhere, why charities do so well this month, and why I can’t listen to “Oh Come Oh Come Immanuel” without cold chills.
  • Louie Gohmert: Atheists should encourage prayer to boost national security (thedailyblogreport.wordpress.com)
    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) seemingly tied Christianity to U.S. national security during a bizarre speech on the House floor on Thursday, the Huffington Post reported.
  • Louie Gohmert: Atheists should encourage prayer for national security (examiner.com)
    Glenn Beck picked a really bad time to claim the Religious Right was dead. That very same day, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), the exact same Congressional representative he vowed he would become the “worst nightmare” of to get him to run for the Senate, embraced one of the most asinine Religious Right talking points possible.
  • The war on Christmas trees (coupleofatheists.com)
    Every year of my life the home I lived in had a Christmas tree. Weather that was when I lived with my Atheist father or during college when I stayed with my Catholic grandparents- the tree was always there. For me, it is a symbol of another year ending and preparing for another to begin. It is a reminder of family memories that could have only been made in its presence. When I was a little girl, Christmas eve was one of the only times that everyone came together- and that has remained true well into my adult life.Christians blame Atheists for the “War on Christmas” but as much as they hate when we object to giant manger scenes on government property… they also are unhappy when we embrace the secular side of the holiday… so what if we turned it on them.

    +
    There is nothing biblical about the fir tree- that is simply Winter Solstice witch craft… thankfully we are addressing this now so you can (hopefully) make right all the wrongs you have done in regards to disrespecting the celebration of the birth of Christ.

  • Sarah Palin Disgraces History With Claim Adams and Jefferson Support Her War on Christmas (politicususa.com)
    If there is one distinguishing feature unique to conservatives, it is their predilection for war. They will declare war on anything, seemingly for sport, but primarily to advance their sick agendas whether it is war against Muslims, women, the poor, gays, or equality; they just love war. It is interesting then, that conservatives of the Christian persuasion claim there is a war on their religious liberty when they are prohibited from forcing compliance to their religious dogmata on the entire population, and then there is their annual outrage that they are victims of the “war on Christmas.” Of course, the aggressors, according to conservative Christians, in the war on Christmas are the dreaded atheists who, interestingly, enjoy the winter “holiday” season as much as the next American, but resent the fact that any sector of government uses their tax dollars to promote the religious aspect of the uniquely commercial holiday.
    +
    Thomas Jefferson, a deist, eschewed everything divine about biblical Jesus; particularly what he called the “contrary to the laws of nature” virgin birth and resurrection story. What Jefferson did appreciate about biblical Jesus was the humanitarian ethics of goodwill toward human beings, charity for the poor, and his inherent humanism that Jefferson himself espoused.  To make his point, Jefferson gathered 4 translations of the gospel accounts, edited out each and every “contrary to natural law” part, and compiled humanistic Jesus into his version of the gospels minus Christ’s miracles, Christ as divine, and especially the virgin birth and resurrection. In fact, Founding Father Thomas Jefferson wrote to another Founding Father, John Adams, in 1823 that “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” So much for America’s resident dunce counting on Thomas Jefferson joining her in fighting against “atheists trying to abort Christ in Christmas” or the “reason for the season” that is as absurd as a star guiding wise men to Bethlehem around December 25.
  • Atheists to Bill O’Reilly: ‘Religion does more than just hurt people. Religion kills people.’
    On Friday night on his Fox News Channel show, Bill O’Reilly made a show of attempting to understand the motivations and thinking of the people he deemed “angry” atheists, asking, “Are they that bitter against religion?”
    Raw Story spoke with Dave Muscato of American Atheists, Inc. to find out whether there was any merit to O’Reilly’s charges, which were part of the cable host’s annual protest against the so-called “War on Christmas.”
  • Makes Total Sense: Rep. Louie Gohmert Says If Atheists Want to Be Free, They Should Promote Christianity
    Gohmert previously received some lovin’ on Friendly Atheist when he introduced the Church Act, a bill that exemplified the literal opposite of church-state separation by proposing a plaque to honor the religious services that were once held inside the Capitol. Prior to that, we noted that he openly blamed the deadly mass shooting in the Aurora movie theater on the godless state of American high schools.