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Author Topic: Christmas, pagans and religious divergence
AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
quote:
Originally posted by Errata:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
It's fascinating/amusingly ironic from our POV how it is becoming increasingly de rigeur in the US (and now apparently in the UK) to substitute "Happy Holidays" for "Happy Christmas", when the vast majority of people in those countries are NOT going on holidays, unlike most of us Aussies, who do, and to whom "Happy Holidays" is such a cringeworthy and obnoxious Americanism.

The etymology of "holiday" is "holy day", meaning individual religious festivals or celebrations. The use of that term to mean taking off time for reacreation and travel is nothing but a cringeworthy and obnoxious Australianism. Using the term holidays to refer to a period of the year in which several significant festivals occur one after the other is the appropriate use of the original word. Your neologisms don't override it.
You and AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr seem to have missed the point that I was speaking as an Aussie. I have no problem with Americans using American idioms, only with faux-American Aussies who ape them.

Oh, pardon me for not intuiting that from this comment:
quote:
how it is becoming increasingly de rigeur in the US (and now apparently in the UK) to substitute "Happy Holidays" for "Happy Christmas", when the vast majority of people in those countries are NOT going on holidays, unlike most of us Aussies, who do, and to whom "Happy Holidays" is such a cringeworthy and obnoxious Americanism.
[/qb]
You stated that "Happy Holidays" was supplanting the traditional "American" "Happy Christmas." You were corrected on that. And Americans do not go "on holidays."

I still wish my non-USAan friends "Happy Holidays." When I say it, I mean it as a catch-all phrase, as someone earlier pointed out, for all of the holidays in our holiday season, which runs from Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November) through New Years Day. Because we Americans have an entire five week long holiday season, wishing others "happy holidays" is appropriate.

But, even for those Aussies taking on American airs, "happy holidays" is still appropriate. "Holiday" still means there what it means here, and there are two holidays which fall 7 days apart. An Aussie wishing another Aussie "happy holidays" should be considered correct.

And, even if you think it is "cringeworthy," you should, for the sake of good manners, accept it with the spirit it was given and thank the person offering the good wishes.

--------------------
"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
You seem to lack the basic understanding that Christians do not say that there are three "Gods".

No, I do understand that. That's why I understand (in the sense that I am able to listen to their arument) when Christians say that it is possible for Jesus to be both a god and yet also be a man, illogical as it may seem to others. I may not agree with their logic but it would be foolish for me mock their logic in the hopes of convincing them that three cannot be equal to one or that a god cannot also be a man.
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Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
You seem to lack the basic understanding that Christians do not say that there are three "Gods".

[lol]

Talk about basic misunderstanding... Ganzfeld was certainly not suggesting that Christians say there are 3 Gods. He was suggesting that an outsider might be tempted to "accuse" Christians of being polytheists due to the whole Holy Trinity thing.

After all, how could three be logically the same as one? The Father, Son and Holy Ghost... three entities... polytheism ho!

The point was that it would be wrong of either Ganzfeld or I to run around smugly claiming Christians are really polytheists because he and I accept that your religion states that those three entities are all one - God.

So despite it being illogical, I accept the Christian defintion of the Trinity. Accepting the definition does not mean I agree with it but it doesn't mean that I hold all Christians as a bunch of fools and liars.

If you and I look at a painting, I might think it is absolutely fantastic while you feel it is a bunch of elitist wankery posing as art. Now, which of us is right and which of us is wrong? I feel that the enlightened view is that we hold differing opinions, the fact that we hold differing opinions on the matter doesn't make one of us right and the other wrong -- it just means we have different opinions.

To paraphrase 4K "Different isn't bad, different means different".

--------------------
"victory thru self-deception"

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
No, I said quite the opposite: The Council of Nicea (i.e. the Bishops, not Constantine, although he was emperor at the time) moved Christmas AWAY from the solstice.

Saturnlia was celebrated on the 25th. Is it coincidence that this is when Jesus' birth date was moved to?

Besides which, that's a nice side-step which avoids the point that the celebration being on the 25th of December has nothing whatsoever to do with when Jesus was born.

quote:
If by "valid" you mean "they've got a right to believe it", no problem. As for "strong", well only they know that for certain but as I said I haven't seen any evidence for it, in fact only for the contrary.
What do you mean by evidence to the contrary? Are you talking about the Pagans on this board?

quote:
I'm saying it's a remarkable coincidence that the neo-"pagans" have only spring up in countries with centuries of Christian heritage. Maybe you could produce some evidence of significant communities of this type of "paganism" in majority non-Christian countries if you think I'm wrong.
You know, I'm honestly not sure what this has to do with anything.

quote:
Sorry, none of the above. Just repeating the allegation I've seen made (including here) by some neo-"pagans" that Christians have and do ruthlessly "persecute" them in an attempt to annihilate them.
Made by whom? Not by me. Which makes this kind of the king of all non-sequiturs.

Perhaps you could maybe explain what you're wibbling on about and what relevance it's got to anything I said?

quote:
Er...right. OK, I'm trying to construct some other possible meaning out of "if they didn't "celebrate Christmas" each year we'd forget that Jesus died for our sins." but I'm afraid I can't. And you accuse ME of being "unclear"?? [Confused]
It was my understanding that one of the central tenets of Christianity was that Jesus died for our sins. It's so intrinsic that the symbol of the church is the method of his execution - often with him in his death throes depicted on it. So, by reminding people of Jesus, we are being reminded of his sacrifice for us.

Or do those people with the "reason for the season" badges expect us to sing "Happy Birthday", or something?

quote:
It seems here we go again with the attitude that if a Christian knows and dares to state forthrightly exactly what it is he believes, without apologising for the fact that he believes it, he is ipso facto guilty of "sitting in judgment on others", "dogmatism", "smugness", "persecution" etc.
No, Peter, not "Christians". You. You don't get to cry "prejudice" and "persecution" when it's pointed out to you how closed-minded you behave a lot of the time. It's not religious persecution. It's you acting like an arse.

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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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Morgaine La Raq Star
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
...And isn't EVERY Sunday an official holiday in the US? Or has that also been sacrificed to the altar of "separation of church and state"?

I wouldn't call Sunday an 'Official' holiday in the US. Its part of the Saturday/Sunday weekend & while most government offices & some businesses (Chik-Fil-A restaurants come to mind) are closed on Sundays, there's still a booming amount of commerce that happens on Sundays, even before church is out. My experience is that most malls, resturants & other stores, if they are open on Sunday, open between 10-11am.

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Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
No, Peter, not "Christians". You. You don't get to cry "prejudice" and "persecution" when it's pointed out to you how closed-minded you behave a lot of the time. It's not religious persecution. It's you acting like an arse.

Well, I tried to point the same thing out in softer terms. I don't think I made an impact though.

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"victory thru self-deception"

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PeterK
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Hero_Mike:
PeterK, I'm afraid that I'll ask you to provide a cite about Christmas being declared a public holiday to facilitate churchgoing. I remember specifically that it was, at many times in history, exactly the opposite. The Cromwell years in England were an example of this.

Doesn't the fact that Cromwell famously suppressed it only give further weight to the fact that it was a longstranding tradition before his time?
quote:

I dare say that it was also only in "civilized" areas that churchgoing was ever mandatory for every Sunday, though a pilgrimage to travel for a more important church occasion (or "holy day") would be the precursor to the modern "holiday". Both involve travel and a break from normal duties. I dare say that I've been in predominantly Christian and even Catholic countries, with a local church but no local priest. In such areas, there was no practical way to satisfy the Sunday obligation.

And it was, and is, only an obligation where it is practicable. (A common rule of thumb is one hour's travel time.) Until quite recent times, even most tiny villages had a resident or nearby priest in most Catholic countries in Europe.
quote:

Furthermore, the transliteration of what passes for "Merry Christmas" in some European languages is best described as someone saying "Happy Holidays", or more precisely, "Happy Holy Days". The typical Christmas greeting in these languages - in overwhelmingly Christian countries, has no mention of "Christ" or "birth" (as a short-form for "birth of Christ") whatsoever. "Happy Holidays" is not necessarily a generic term of the political correctness era, but has basis in these literal translations.

Now you're really pushing uphill. What "languages" are you talking about? Certainly not the major European ones.
e.g. (Wikipedia)
quote:
The word "Christmas" is a contraction meaning "Christ's mass." It is derived from the Middle English Christemasse and Old English Cristes męsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038.[3] The words for the holiday in Spanish (navidad), Portuguese (natal), French (noėl) and Italian (natale) refer more explicitly to the Nativity. In contrast, the German name Weihnachten means simply "hallowed night."
I certainly don't get the impression that anyone saying "Happy Holidays" puts your emphasis on the "Holy".

Btw forgot to mention that our local Father Christmas is a Jew! And what some have celebrated as the "secular" or "pagan" Christmas tree, in fact derives ultimately from ANTI-paganism: the story of how St Boniface, the Anglo-Saxon who converted the Germans from paganism, chopped down the Druids' holy oak tree and planted his bishop's staff in the stump. Not only did the pagan gods fail to avenge this, but when winter ended it was found that a fir tree was growing from the oak stump. Illustrating nicely how Christianity was "planted" amongst pagan "roots". It became the custom in Germany to bring fir trees into the house at Xmas to celebrate the God who was born to die and rise again, who supplanted the man-made gods.

Thank you all for your interesting if at times extremely frustrating discussion. I hope no-one is "offended" if I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and may God bless you in the new year.

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Noemi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
And what some have celebrated as the "secular" or "pagan" Christmas tree, in fact derives ultimately from ANTI-paganism: the story of how St Boniface, the Anglo-Saxon who converted the Germans from paganism, chopped down the Druids' holy oak tree and planted his bishop's staff in the stump.

How exactly did the celtic Druids set up a holy tree oak tree in the lands of the German tribes?

Noemi

--------------------
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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Noemi:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
And what some have celebrated as the "secular" or "pagan" Christmas tree, in fact derives ultimately from ANTI-paganism: the story of how St Boniface, the Anglo-Saxon who converted the Germans from paganism, chopped down the Druids' holy oak tree and planted his bishop's staff in the stump.

How exactly did the celtic Druids set up a holy tree oak tree in the lands of the German tribes?

Noemi

That's the part of the tale you found unbelievable???

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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PeterK wrote:
quote:
I'm saying it's a remarkable coincidence that the neo-"pagans" have only spring up in countries with centuries of Christian heritage. Maybe you could produce some evidence of significant communities of this type of "paganism" in majority non-Christian countries if you think I'm wrong.
I think this complaint is easily understood when you consider that the religions we call "pagan" are those that were more-or-less replaced by Christianity. So it stands to reason that if there is any revival of these religions it will be in the areas where Christianity has spread, along with the traditions that have spread with it. It would be very surprising to find that non-Christian countries are experiencing a revival in European religions for the simple fact that European people and their traditions have also spread with Christianity (or vice versa, if you prefer). We have a thriving "paganism" in Japan (most people will go to a Shinto shrine for the New Year) but we don't call it that simply because it is not European in origin. I'm sure the same is true for other non-Christian countries. The places in the world where European paganism is thriving are places with many people of northern European ancestry, which also happen to be places with centuries of Christian heritage. Most of the Christian world has experienced no surge (that I know of) in European pagan beliefs.
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Noemi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
quote:
Originally posted by Noemi:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
And what some have celebrated as the "secular" or "pagan" Christmas tree, in fact derives ultimately from ANTI-paganism: the story of how St Boniface, the Anglo-Saxon who converted the Germans from paganism, chopped down the Druids' holy oak tree and planted his bishop's staff in the stump.

How exactly did the celtic Druids set up a holy tree oak tree in the lands of the German tribes?

Noemi

That's the part of the tale you found unbelievable???
Oh no, I though most of it was a stretch. That just happened to be the part that immediately leaped out at me as being so factually incorrect that I had to ask.

Noemi "I couldn' stop myself"

--------------------
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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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That Boniface story, if it were true, is a pretty frightening example of pagan persecution. But anyway, if it happened as in the tale that a new tree sprung from the stump or that one sapling survived the falling tree (depending on which version you read), why in the world would Boniface have interpreted that as a sign from his Christian god? If anything, wouldn't it mean that the tree spirits were too strong for his wicked axe? The whole story is incomprehensible to me, besides being entirely unbelievable.
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Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Noemi:
quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
quote:
Originally posted by Noemi:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
And what some have celebrated as the "secular" or "pagan" Christmas tree, in fact derives ultimately from ANTI-paganism: the story of how St Boniface, the Anglo-Saxon who converted the Germans from paganism, chopped down the Druids' holy oak tree and planted his bishop's staff in the stump.

How exactly did the celtic Druids set up a holy tree oak tree in the lands of the German tribes?

Noemi

That's the part of the tale you found unbelievable???
Oh no, I though most of it was a stretch. That just happened to be the part that immediately leaped out at me as being so factually incorrect that I had to ask.

Noemi "I couldn' stop myself"

According to
the Catholic Encyclopedia
quote:
To show the heathens how utterly powerless were the gods in whom they placed their confidence, Boniface felled the oak sacred to the thunder-god Thor, at Geismar, near Fritzlar. He had a chapel built out of the wood and dedicated it to the prince of the Apostles. The heathens were astonished that no thunderbolt from the hand of Thor destroyed the offender, and many were converted. The fall of this oak marked the fall of heathenism. Tradition tells us that Boniface now passed on to the River Werra and there erected a Church of St. Vitus, around which sprang up a town which to the present day bears the name of Wannfried. At Eschwege he is said to have destroyed the statue of the idol Stuffo. Thence he went into Thuringia.
Certainly not Druids, that's for sure! None of the references I've read make any mention of him sticking his staff in the trunk and a fir tree growing from it.

--------------------
"victory thru self-deception"

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Noemi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Thanks for finding that Salamander, I wasn't having any luck, I think because I was too focused in on the detail of his staff being stuck in the trunk. It makes much more sense in that version, although I'm now going to have to go and do some research on the connecion between Thor and oak trees. I've never run into that before.

Noemi

--------------------
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Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Ganzfeld:
That Boniface story, if it were true, is a pretty frightening example of pagan persecution. But anyway, if it happened as in the tale that a new tree sprung from the stump or that one sapling survived the falling tree (depending on which version you read), why in the world would Boniface have interpreted that as a sign from his Christian god? If anything, wouldn't it mean that the tree spirits were too strong for his wicked axe? The whole story is incomprehensible to me, besides being entirely unbelievable.

Well, to be fair, it would be a sign of persecution in the past. The pagans of that day are not well connected to the ones of the present.

I think only a handful pagan practioners would claim that their religion was handed down to them unbroken from the pre-Christian days. Quite frankly, I'd have to believe those claims to be rather suspect. I think most modern pagans (be they Wiccans, Druids or something else) would acknowledge that their religion is reconstructionist... although I think the Wikipedia article on pagans discusses this far better than I ever could.

--------------------
"victory thru self-deception"

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Salamander
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemi:
Thanks for finding that Salamander, I wasn't having any luck, I think because I was too focused in on the detail of his staff being stuck in the trunk. It makes much more sense in that version, although I'm now going to have to go and do some research on the connecion between Thor and oak trees. I've never run into that before.

Noemi

From what I can gather, it was a bunch of Germanic tribes rather than Nordic tribes. Their paganism wasn't what we'd consider to be the classic Nordic religion. From the article I quoted:
quote:
Great numbers of their rebellious subjects had lapsed into heathenism, or a mixture of Christianity and idolatry.
It seems that the locals were quite content to mix and match any religion that came their way. I wouldn't be surprised if the tribes mixed Thor worship with some sort of nature worship and ended up worshipping Thor's Oak Tree as a result.

The catch it seems is that Boniface's act of cutting down the oak tree was the cause of his eventual death. On a later return to the area he was killed by the Frisnians... because according to their Lex Frisionum, they had a right to kill him because he destroyed one of their shrines.

--------------------
"victory thru self-deception"

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Noemi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Salamander:
From what I can gather, it was a bunch of Germanic tribes rather than Nordic tribes. Their paganism wasn't what we'd consider to be the classic Nordic religion.

That is the true, but the Germanic and Norse gods are very much the same with slight differences in names and a few differences in the specific deities involved.

quote:
From the article I quoted:

quote:
Great numbers of their rebellious subjects had lapsed into heathenism, or a mixture of Christianity and idolatry.
It seems that the locals were quite content to mix and match any religion that came their way. I wouldn't be surprised if the tribes mixed Thor worship with some sort of nature worship and ended up worshipping Thor's Oak Tree as a result.
That is entirely possble, because other trees, particularly the ash have much more significance in the northern traditions than the oak. The reference to the oak tree just makes me curious because it seems so oddly specific. Was someone confused on the type of tree involved when the story was passed on? Was thre some sort of weird cobination of different religions going on? Did someone get both the god and the tree wrong?

quote:
The catch it seems is that Boniface's act of cutting down the oak tree was the cause of his eventual death. On a later return to the area he was killed by the Frisnians... because according to their Lex Frisionum, they had a right to kill him because he destroyed one of their shrines.
That is interesting especially in regard to my question about the oak tree. It makes it seem like this was something that was well established and widespread which doesn't seem to fit with an odd fusion between northern beliefs and something else.

Noemi "or is it that I'm too curious about these thing for my own good?"

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Salamander
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Unfortunately I'm not an expert on the Lex Frisionum or Frisnian history to tell you.

As a stab-in-the-dark (no pun intended), perhaps any sort of desecration was the sort of activity to end up getting you run through with a sword? That it didn't have to be a widespread symbol, just as long as someone said "Hey... that was my shrine!"?

Also, I'm not in a position to comment on the accuracy of the text(s) that recount the life of St Boniface. I wish I was, as I find history rather interesting.

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"victory thru self-deception"

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DevilBunny
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quote:
quote:
Actually, it's fetched from very close to home. The reason for the festive season for a number of people on this message board is not Jesus's birth. Next.
NO, as I explained, it ultimately is the reason why they are having a "festive season", even though some prefer to celebrate it in a totally non-Christian way.
Next time, try explaining it in a way that fits the facts.

The ultimate reason for the 'festive season' is the meterological event of the solstice. That is what the pagans celebrated that with Yule, the Romans with Saturnalia etc, and when Christianity came along it moved Christ's birthday to late December in order to absorb the existing festivals.

quote:
quote:
What makes you think that Pagans don't have real faith?
What makes you think they do?
Being one. And having that hard-won faith as the bedrock of my entire life.

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"For God has seven thousand names, and one of them is bastard"

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
You seem confused.

No, not at all. Thanks for your concern, though, really.

quote:
"Anarchy" means "the state of having no recognised leader or authority".
I own a dictionary, too.

quote:
And are you saying that the Jews refer to their religious authorities as a "hierarchy"? Or are you merely saying "Jews know how to look up "hierarchy" in a dictionary"?
Neither. The first displays ignorance, and the second is condescending, and thus more along your lines.

It is my contention that the organization of the Jewish faith traditions in the US is best compared to the congregational tradition of Protestantism. There are umbrella organizations uniting, for example, the Reform congregations of the US, but those organizations do not have authority over their member congregations.

You seem to believe there is, in the US, a set of Jewish religious authorities who form a structure in some way comparable to a hierarchy, and from whom US Jews would appropriately seek approval for their celebration of Hanukkah. I ask again: please explain who you think those authorities are.

Edited to remove a superfluous word.

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Salamander:
quote:
Originally posted by Ganzfeld:
That Boniface story, if it were true, is a pretty frightening example of pagan persecution. But anyway, if it happened as in the tale that a new tree sprung from the stump or that one sapling survived the falling tree (depending on which version you read), why in the world would Boniface have interpreted that as a sign from his Christian god? If anything, wouldn't it mean that the tree spirits were too strong for his wicked axe? The whole story is incomprehensible to me, besides being entirely unbelievable.

Well, to be fair, it would be a sign of persecution in the past. The pagans of that day are not well connected to the ones of the present.

I think only a handful pagan practioners would claim that their religion was handed down to them unbroken from the pre-Christian days.[...]

Yes, I know. I wasn't talking about modern paganism in that post.
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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
quote:
Originally posted by Mistletoey Chloe:
PeterK seems to be suggesting that "nonCs" should get neither their own holiday off nor that of anyone else. Hardly very fair.

[Eek!] [Confused]
Didn't you post that you thought that people who didn't celebrate Christmas should work on that day for regular pay? And since taking their own day off would count against their vacation bank, aren't you in fact suggesting that they get neither holiday, unless they are financially penalized for doing so?

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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Ms. Kringle
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by vanilla:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
I was replying to trollface's assertion that it was on 25th December. And no actually 6th January is not within the Christmas season, it is the start of the separate season of Epiphany.

Actually, the 12 Days of Christmas (Christmas season) begin December 25 and end January 6.

ETA: Or, if I could count, January 5. According to my cite though, the day the 12 days begins can be either December 25 or December 26 (therefore would end January 6).

Well, Epiphany is January 6th. The date the Wise Men arrived to pay homage to the Toddler Jesus (according to my mother the religion teacher, the theory is that they did not arrive until the kid was nearly three, but I digress).

Does the 12 Days Of Christmas include Epiphany? Or no?

Edited because I wanted to make sure that it was understood my last question was not meant to be snarky, I'm actually genuinely curious. I mean, I get the whole Advent season, and Christmas season, according to the Liturgical calendar. But, I honestly have no idea if the 12 Days of Christmas is meant to include Epiphany.

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Beware corporate zombies! They will purchase your brain on E-Bay!

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Noemi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Salamander:
As a stab-in-the-dark (no pun intended), perhaps any sort of desecration was the sort of activity to end up getting you run through with a sword? That it didn't have to be a widespread symbol, just as long as someone said "Hey... that was my shrine!"?

Possible, but I'm not an expert on the Frisians or their laws myself so it's hard to say. I was really thinking out loud about those aspects that seemed odd to me more than anything else.

quote:
Also, I'm not in a position to comment on the accuracy of the text(s) that recount the life of St Boniface.
That is really the crux of the issue, we're working with what is a secondary or tertiary source so there's no way to know how accurate the account we have now might be.

Noemi

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Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.
My blog, no guarantees about witty or intelligent content. My current projects.
Coveted Beads <---- our eBay store, new items being added somewhat regularly

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Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Noemi:
quote:
Originally posted by Salamander:
As a stab-in-the-dark (no pun intended), perhaps any sort of desecration was the sort of activity to end up getting you run through with a sword? That it didn't have to be a widespread symbol, just as long as someone said "Hey... that was my shrine!"?

Possible, but I'm not an expert on the Frisians or their laws myself so it's hard to say. I was really thinking out loud about those aspects that seemed odd to me more than anything else.
And that's pretty much what I was doing in return [Smile]

quote:
quote:
Also, I'm not in a position to comment on the accuracy of the text(s) that recount the life of St Boniface.
That is really the crux of the issue, we're working with what is a secondary or tertiary source so there's no way to know how accurate the account we have now might be.

Noemi

Oh... I think a tertiary source would be rather closer than I'd expect. I lifted it from a website so I figure it's got to be at least 5 or more iterations from the original text. It'd be highly exciting to speak to a knowledgable historian at this point to hear their opinion on the accuracy of the texts, whether the originals still exist and all that sort of stuff.

Unfortunately I don't know any [Frown]

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"victory thru self-deception"

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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
Once in Royal Circuit City


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quote:
Originally posted by Ms. Kringle:
Edited because I wanted to make sure that it was understood my last question was not meant to be snarky, I'm actually genuinely curious. I mean, I get the whole Advent season, and Christmas season, according to the Liturgical calendar. But, I honestly have no idea if the 12 Days of Christmas is meant to include Epiphany.

If Christmas Day is Day 1, Epiphany is Day 13. So it's the day on which the twelve days are officially over.

Nonny

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When there isn't anything else worth analyzing, we examine our collective navel. I found thirty-six cents in change in mine the other day. Let no one say that there is no profit in philosophy. -- Silas Sparkhammer

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AdmiralDinty
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Crap, I just had an interesting theory about the origins of Christmas down, and then I lost it all. The upshot was that the the Roman presbyter St. Hippolytus established the date of Christmas based on the date of Christ's death in the early 3rd century, at least forty years before the feast of the Unconquered Sun was established by the Emperor Aurelian. If anyone's interested, I'll spell it out in greater detail.

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"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

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Noemi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by AdmiralDinty:
Crap, I just had an interesting theory about the origins of Christmas down, and then I lost it all. The upshot was that the the Roman presbyter St. Hippolytus established the date of Christmas based on the date of Christ's death in the early 3rd century, at least forty years before the feast of the Unconquered Sun was established by the Emperor Aurelian. If anyone's interested, I'll spell it out in greater detail.

That sounds very similar to what Jason Threadslayer has said in previous discussions like this, so I'd definitely be interested in hearing the theory. It certainly makes much more sense to me than saying it was set that way specifically because of the pagan celebrations.

Noemi

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Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.
My blog, no guarantees about witty or intelligent content. My current projects.
Coveted Beads <---- our eBay store, new items being added somewhat regularly

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AdmiralDinty
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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The idea is that Jewish and early Christian scholars believed that a prophet died on the same day he was conceived or born. The Eastern Church set the date of Christ's crucifixion as April 6, while the West set it as March 25. Add 9 months and you end up with December 25 for the West and January 6 for the East.

Hippolytus made this point in the 220s. The date of the Birth of Sol Invictus was established in 274.

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"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

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Noemi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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That theory really has a lot more solid documentation than any of the other theories I've seen on how the date for Christmas was chosen.

(I'm pretty sure that is the same source Jason was using for his argument as well, but I'm not positive.)

Noemi

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Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.
My blog, no guarantees about witty or intelligent content. My current projects.
Coveted Beads <---- our eBay store, new items being added somewhat regularly

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AdmiralDinty
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Also, Saturnalia was never celebrated on December 25. During the late Republic it was celebrated from December 17 until the 24th. In the days of the Empire it was celebrated until the 22nd.

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"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Noemi:
quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
But I meant that the reason that Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December is because that's when Horus, Bacchus and Mithra were born.

Jason Threadslayer has tackled this issue far better than I can but there is much more evidence that the date was chosen because of the way people during that era felt the lived of famous men should run.
Oooh, I got cited. [Smile]

Anyway, the theory was that prophets should live a "perfect life", that is, they died on the anniversary their conception. Place Jesus's death on 25 March and you get 25 December.

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All posts foretold by Nostradamus.

Turing test failures: 6

Posts: 5481 | From: Decatur, GA | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by AdmiralDinty:
The Eastern Church set the date of Christ's crucifixion as April 6, while the West set it as March 25. Add 9 months and you end up with December 25 for the West and January 6 for the East.

I think you're a bit off. The Christians of Asia celebrated Easter on the Passover, the 14th of Nisan (thus, Quartodecimanism, or "Fourteenthism"). Pope Victor I excommunicated the Quartodecimans in 195 (for which he was criticised by St Irenaeus of Lyons and others). Later controversy (which the Council of I Nicaea resolved) resolved around whether to use the Sunday after the 14th of Nisan as calculated by the Jews or as calculated by Christians. (It was decided that date would be calculated by Christians.)

Epiphany, though, starts on 6 January and Old Calendrists celebrated Christmas on the 25 December... on the Julian Calendar, which is 7 January on the Gregorian Calendar. Perhaps you have one of these mixed up with a January Christmas.

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All posts foretold by Nostradamus.

Turing test failures: 6

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Jera
I Saw Three Shipments


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Here's a little christmas dinner table conversation for you all. Enjoy.

Grandma: So, did you hear how everyone is upset over the Christmas tree being called a holiday tree? The Christmas tree is not even a Christian symbol!

My sister-in-law: Ya! It's Wiccan.

I just shook my head. Some Wiccans need to purchase a history book.

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Jonny T
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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nah, you need to understand, everybody in the world who practiced any form of witchcraft at any time is retroactively a Wiccan. that whole Gerald Gardner, 1950s thing notwithstanding.

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Hello, I love you - won't you tell me your name?
Hello! I'm good for nothing - will you love me just the same?

Greetings from the dark side...

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