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Author Topic: British vicar bars Father Christmas from carol service
Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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"Season's Greetings" has been a staple Christmas card greeting for many, many years, certainly as far back as I can remember. It's nothing new.

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Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

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Dactingyl
Anchovy of a 1000 Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
quote:
Originally posted by Dactgyl:
Can I just clarify my position because I think we're arguing two differnt points:

- Do I think there's a religious basis to the Vicar's actions? Yes, I agree with the general response that there isn't an intrinsic link between Christian Christmas beliefs and Father Christmas/Santa Claus thus he had every right to ban the man from his church.

- Do I think that it's "political correctness gone mad"? Not quite but I suspect it's reactionary to such things as shops and Christmas cards using the phrase "Seasons Greetings".



I think you're reaching a bit there, though. Why can't you just take it on its own merits, that someone came to his church dressed as Santa, and he was trying to make the point that Santa has nothing to do with Christmas in its guise as a Christian festival? The debate within Christianity about the secularisation and commercialisation of Christmas significantly pre-dates the whole "political correctness" brouhaha. Indeed, when Paul VI removed St Nicholas from the official canon of saints in 1969, it was generally interpreted as a veiled criticism of the commercialisation of Christmas.

I personally don't feel it's reaching, however, I am willing to concede that his reasons may be closer to your scenario.

I am well aware that this isn't a new debate as I regularly attended church up until 2002 and know the whole 'commercialisation of Christmas' hoo haa going on ever since I can remember.

BTW, this is a CofE church so what the Pope declares isn't particularly significant.

quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
quote:
Originally posted by Dactgyl:

- Do I agree with his actions? No. Whatever symbology or terms people use around this time of year, most still associate it with the Christian festival of Christmas regardless of their dogmatic value. I think he's going to catch far more flies with an all encompassing attitude rather than by drawing a 'them and us' line.

Well, I suppose, if he hadn't asked Mr Cuff to remove his Santa suit before entering the church, then that percentage of the population who want to wear a Santa suit at all times would feel more comfortable coming to his church as opposed to any other. But is the percentage of the population who want to wear a Santa suit statistically significant?
I'm going to assume you're being faceious here. Rev Storey specifically says his aim is to

quote:

"reclaim the Christian story of the birth of Jesus Christ as being the heart of the celebration"

I think we can safely assume this isn't limited to stopping people wearing Santa costumes to church. I don't necessarily believe his mission is misguided I personally wouldn't go about this the same way.

quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
On the other hand, by asking Mr Cuff not to wear the Santa suit, he's triggered a debate (including this one) over whether or not it's appropriate that a Christian festival should be usurped, even within the Church, by a figure with his roots in paganism and which is currently as much a symbol of Mammon as anything else.

So I imagine the Rev Storey will be satisfied with his day's work, actually.

I think we've reached the key point where we disagree here. This is the type of story which five years ago wouldn't have got a footnote in the local paper, however, with the current climate and debate it's on an international news website. Regardless of whether he would have held this opinion five years ago before the debate became mainstream, in the current climate this type of story tends to polarise opinion. (I'm trying to remember the name of the phenomena - I thought it was the polarisation effect but that's something different).

Personally I feel that if people still associate non-Christian symbology along with Christian symbology to the Christmas festival then they will carry on doing things like going to Midnight Mass, Church on Sunday morning or the Candlelight carol service. Should the lines be drawn between Commercial and Christian Christmas' then people who predominantly celebrate with the former will not be so inclined to do thing associated with the latter. YMMV.

EDITTED to correct one shocking typo. There are probably others.

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Dactingyl is meant to sound a bit like Christingle.

It's not very good but I couldn't think of anything else.

Sorry.

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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FWIW, I can remember "Season's Greetings" cards from when I was a kid, more than 20 years ago. They're certainly not a new development.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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"Season's Greetings" cards and decorations were around during my childhood, and I'm about 15 years older than Mosh and Trollface are (separately, that is, not combined). So we're talking at least as far back as the late 1960s.

My Jewish sources tell me that the evolution of Hanukkah from a minor, non-gift-giving religious holiday to a major, gift-giving, commercialized holiday* was at least partially driven by the increasing commercialization of Xmas during the second half of the 20th century. Perhaps the use of "Season's Greetings" developed in response to that evolution.

*In the US, and among non-Orthodox Jews.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Wikipedia says The Season's Greetings was used in cards from the late 19th century. I couldn't find a picture of a Victorian card with that phrase, though - all the ones I looked at mentioned Christmas somewhere.

quote:
Victorian Christmas cards bore a variety of salutations, including "Compliments of the Season" and "Christmas Greetings." By the late 19th century, "With the Season's Greetings" or simply "The Season's Greetings" began appearing. By the 1920s it had been shortened to "Season's Greetings," and has been a greeting card fixture ever since.
This page shows a card from 1909 that says "Holiday Greeting".

It's only in the last couple of years that I've heard the idea that "Season's Greetings" has anything to do with deliberately secularizing Christmas...

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VeebleFetzer
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Dactgyl:
This is the type of story which five years ago wouldn't have got a footnote in the local paper, however, with the current climate and debate it's on an international news website.

I'm sorry, but I simply have to take issue with you here. The coverage this story is getting is exactly what it would have had five years ago – I know because I was right here on this board chatting about just this sort of thing.

I'll go further: the media coverage twenty years ago would have been very much the same – I was writing jokes for the News Huddlines at the time, so this is precisely the sort of story I was on the lookout for. Nor would it have been any different 30 years ago, when it would without a doubt have made a short item on Nationwide.

The fact that it's on an international message board tells us nothing apart from the fact that the members of this board (who happen tolive in different countries) think its worth talking about. A quick glance at the currently active topics ought to tell you what that's worth.

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I'd rather be with you people than the finest people in the world!

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VeebleFetzer
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Spam & Cookies-mmm:
quote:
Originally posted by VeebleFetzer:
quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
… in exactly the same way as Christians every year complain about the commercialisation of Christmas.

Except in America, where they complain about the un-christmasing of Commerce.
I present to you, my first ever Franken-quote sigline!
Gosh, what can I say. I feel honoured… as, I'm sure, does Dara… it was a joint effort, but team-work is what this board is all about. I'd like to dedicate this to Santa, without whom I'd have nothing… well, perhaps not nothing, but I certainly not those nice socks he brought me last year.

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I'd rather be with you people than the finest people in the world!

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Andrew of Ware, England
A-Ware in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz:
quote:
Originally posted by Dara bhur gCara:
I can't decide if this makes you a "heathen" or an "apostate." One of the two, certainly.

It makes no difference, Dara. To us, Andrew must always be a "heretic".
Charming! That's what I like about this board. The feeling of acceptance. [Smile]

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Andrew, Ware, England

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by VeebleFetzer:
I was writing jokes for the News Huddlines at the time, so this is precisely the sort of story I was on the lookout for.

I hesitate to hi-jack such a profoundly important thread as this, but I used to listen to the News Huddlines about twenty years ago, so must have laughed at some of your jokes. Thank you very much.

Andrew, there is no point in you trying to blame Dara or me for your wicked denial of the doctrine of transubstantiation. I'm not saying that you deserve to be ejected from church, unless you have been dressing as Santa again, but merely that no matter how much Dara and I may like you (and may I remind you of a very convivial evening in The George, on the corner of Liverpool Street and Bishopsgate, some time ago), your misguided faith can only be a matter of grave concern to us. I say nothing about your opinions or even your dress sense, though you might consider wearing some nice blue cords and a v-neck sweater to the next snopesters' gathering, like many well-attired snopesters often do. It gives an air of calm authority, which is sadly lacking in many of today's feral youths and santa impersonators.

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
I hesitate to hi-jack such a profoundly important thread as this, but I used to listen to the News Huddlines about twenty years ago, so must have laughed at some of your jokes. Thank you very much.
I was just about to post the same thing, Zachary. Many thanks, Veeblefetzer, for entertaining me on the way to (or was it from?) the football when 20 years younger...

On the matter of "PC gone mad" I will re-post this article:

THe Phoney War on Christmas

just to reassure people who think that recent years have seen some kind of thought-police approach to darling Christmas traditions such as children's nativity-play bloopers, and tacky street-lighting displays.

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I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

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VeebleFetzer
We Three Blings


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Zachary, Embra, that's very kind of you, but I can assure you that my contribution to your listening pleasure was nugatory at best.

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I'd rather be with you people than the finest people in the world!

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Ah, but the nugatory bits were my favourite.
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Andrew of Ware, England
A-Ware in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz:
Andrew, there is no point in you trying to blame Dara or me for your wicked denial of the doctrine of transubstantiation. I'm not saying that you deserve to be ejected from church, unless you have been dressing as Santa again, but merely that no matter how much Dara and I may like you (and may I remind you of a very convivial evening in The George, on the corner of Liverpool Street and Bishopsgate, some time ago), your misguided faith can only be a matter of grave concern to us. I say nothing about your opinions or even your dress sense, though you might consider wearing some nice blue cords and a v-neck sweater to the next snopesters' gathering, like many well-attired snopesters often do. It gives an air of calm authority, which is sadly lacking in many of today's feral youths and santa impersonators.

Transubstantiation? The '39 Articles of Faith' of the Church of England does not accept such a doctrine. I do believe in consubstantiation. Is that any help?

Alas, as far as I know, my Father Christmas outfit will not be needed this year. My church's annual Contemporary Christmas Service does not need it this year...

quote:
Join us - and our angel tour guide -
on an exciting and unpredictable multi-media journey
exploring Christmas and its place in history.

Maybe I should dust off my angel costume.

Now as for me wearing cords and 'V' neck sweaters. Is the world ready for this?

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Andrew, Ware, England

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Kahuna Burger
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
FWIW, I can remember "Season's Greetings" cards from when I was a kid, more than 20 years ago. They're certainly not a new development.

Yeah, no one seems to believe me when I say that my family has always said "happy holidays" as far back as I can remember.
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Barbara
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Tarquin Farquart:
Another legend tells how a terrible famine struck the island and a malicious butcher lured three little children into his house, only to kill and slaughter them and put their remains in a barrel to cure, planning to sell them off as ham.

Short pig, eh?

Barbara "teeny todd" Mikkelson

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
a malicious butcher lured three little children into his house, only to kill and slaughter them and put their remains in a barrel to cure
A version of this story is retold in The Dutch Twins by Lucy Fitch Perkins, one of a series of Twins books that I used to read when small. I remember how it used to horrify and excite me!

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I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

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