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Featured Is Christmas shallow?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Riders, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    I am a holiday scrooge. I personally find it to be a waste of money and I'm aggravated by the Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas conundrum in stores this time of year.

    It's become so commercialized, it's just not enjoyable to me. I don't feel like it's necessarily shallow. It's not my place to judge anyone else's traditions and joy. But, I have felt for a long time that my family needs to cool it on the present swapping and focus on doing something more meaningful - like involving our kids in a charitable endeavor or just enjoying each other's company without there being a reason and a frenzy of paper and wasted money.

    I resent the pressure and stress that the holidays, in general, yield.

    Ginger bread lattes and meals with my family, I do like.
     
  2. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    Please continue with your thoughts________________________ ( studied what means______________)
     
  3. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    Literal light but to me Jesus was talking about giving spiritual light.
    Jesus did Not become Messiah before his baptism, Jesus was Not baptized as an infant, but around age 30.
    So, Jesus became the light of the world at his baptism around age 30.
    That does Not have to mean Jesus at age 30 was baptized in late December.

    I find in Scripture the four gospel accounts make up one complete gospel.
    The gospel ( singular ) according to Matthew, the gospel ( singular) according to Luke, etc.
    Matthew and Luke are in harmony even if Not describing the exact details.
    Putting the gospel accounts together makes up one complete gospel account.
     
  4. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    According to Mark Jesus was recognized as God's son at his baptism, in Mt and Lk Jesus was God's son at birth, in John he was the pre- existent Son of God. Jesus was not recognized as Messiah until God raised him from death to life, in his lifetime he was not known as Messiah. That Jesus is the light of the world is post resurrection faith.

    Of course not, it is the symbolism of light over darkness that His actual birthdate.

    They do. But its important to be familiar with how they were compiled. Concerning the infancy narratives the details are important for they are 'symbolic' of who the Jesus of faith is, not historical detail.
     
  5. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    I think Christmas is what one makes of it. Many people are shallow spiritually, and their celebrations will reflect that. Many have rich spiritual lives and their celebrations will reflect that. Christmas has no “standard” for observance or celebration, so what one chooses to do is neither “right” nor “wrong,” unless the festivities are less than beneficial.
     
  6. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    Why not celebrate Christmas by spending some volunteer hours at a shelter? Instead of complaining that Christmas is shallow, make it more meaningful. Opting out completely just doesn't do anything to fix the problem.
     
  7. Khasekhemwy

    Khasekhemwy Last 2nd Dynasty king

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    Pardon my slow response. I'm glad those shelters work somewhere, as we've thousands of shelters and thousands of homeless sleeping on sidewalks or in vacant buildings and vacant lots, or under roaring yet lonely viaducts. I suspect that rather than the shelter system, it's the structure of a nation's economy which determines levels of extreme poverty.

    The USA basically has a fend-for-yourself system for able-bodied single males until they turn 65, and they're about to raise that Social Security eligibility age to 69 or 70. Only unemployed women with children can receive welfare, which itself is subject to a lifetime cap of 5 years' benefits, or move into most public housing projects. So we have lots of mothers with kiddies out on the street, too. Oh, what fun!
    o_O:emojconfused::anguished:
     
    #47 Khasekhemwy, Nov 13, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
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  8. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    We had good results with our system, and even saved money with it... less desperate people, healthier society.

     
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  9. Khasekhemwy

    Khasekhemwy Last 2nd Dynasty king

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    The “more complicated, traditional model” is norm in the US, yet public housing never came under the restrictions the Newt Gingrich Congress imposed on welfare, food stamps and Medicaid after the Republican Party swept into power upon their “Contract with America,” 1995. Each city’s housing authority (PHA) makes its own rules—which vary from “forget about ever getting an apartment” in Miami, Florida, where the available units are passed down in black or Cuban families who enjoy benefit of official corruption generation to generation, to liberal policies found in Minnesota or Utah.

    Of course weather plays a role. I doubt I could survive a winter outdoors in Finland; they’re bad enough here in Utah. After 1996, homeless single men were allowed to get rooms (with shared bath) or studio apartments in some projects, especially in northern states that get cold—Bismarck, North Dakota regularly sees -20˚F nights in January and they can’t leave guys out in the cold as Miami can. A diagnosis of severe mental illness usually brings Social Security eligibility, food stamps, Medicaid and housing. But without this, only access to housing, and only in some cities, awaits those who lose their homes.

    But even Miami’s not Africa or India. Religious charities such as the Salvation Army run centers that combine workhouse (a thrift store industry which funds it) with individual and group counseling, chapel attendance, pass privileges to 10pm and recreational outings to Miami Hurricanes college football games, Miami Heat basketball, the Pat & Phillip Frost Art Museum and Wolfsonian (Florida International University), Sea World and airboat rides over the Everglades, a sea of grass and turtles, alligators, frogs and mangroves.

    I got to go to the Glades and to a Florida Salvation Army retreat in the northern part of the state when I lived at the Miami center. I worked in the sorting room with a black lady called “Miss Betty” who treated me well. Unfortunately, she developed a circulatory disease in her legs and had to retire.

    I’m retired, too, having lost the use of my right leg from nerve problems occasioned by hypertension, now treated with drugs and lifestyle changes, thus at pasture on disability. But I still get around pretty good. I was an autistic boy. As I can speak and write (English only), a miracle of God seems to have intervened for me—as it will for anyone who wants off booze, out of the sketchy environments where alcoholics drink, away from the criminals one associates with and the thefts one commits. I don’t do those things today.

    The Mountain States Colorado, Utah and Arizona boast strong economies and it’s easy to make friends here, obtaining vital personal supports. I worked in a restaurant and then a phosphate plant as a junior engineer before retirement in 2017. I live in a senior citizens’ building with a majestic 9th floor view of Great Salt Lake, America’s version of the Dead Sea. Due to 4500ft continental elevation, summers are hot, winters snowy and subject to cold snaps.

    Best wishes
     
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  10. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    People have survived that, but back in the 50s sometimes police would go collect corpses of people who died, sometimes multiple per night in the cold. Mostly war veterans at the time I'm told. It took time for the country to get real social safety network going. Here it's mostly the leftists who care about the poor and education, the center and right wing only seem to care about saving money from them and blowing the money on less important things. Well, they do care for a time, just before elections...

    That doesn't sound like a bad way to live.
     
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  11. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    I go along with Dennis Prager's idea about Christmas. While it is not for me as a Jew, I would hate for society to be without it. It is a time of year when the world is a little brighter, a little more beautiful, a little more joyous, and people are a little kinder and friendlier.

    It makes no sense to complain "Well they should be that way all year." The fact is they are not. It takes a holiday to bring it out in people, and holidays by definition are special occasions.

    I also think that the Materialism complaint can end up being an excuse. If a person doesn't like materialism, then just avoid it. Gift giving is not materialism per se.

    Gift giving CAN get out of control. There are families that put dollar limits on presents or draw names so that they only buy a present for one relative instead of them all. There are people who make gifts or bake gifts, so that their gifts are ones of skill and/or time rather than money. Many people buy online in order to avoid the push and shove of crowd in malls.

    And one can always find non-materialistic things to on Christmas.

    It is traditional to go to church on Christmas eve or Christmas day. Many churches also have special musical programs earlier in the month. I realize that some folks are not religious, but for those who are, it's a good idea to remember that it is at its heart a religious holy day. Listening to the Christmas story and singing all those exquisitely beautiful hymns is the perfect antidote for materialim.

    Putting others who are needy first is also a cure for materialism. There are always plenty of missions and soup kitchens and homeless shelters that do special Christmas things and they need volunteers. Old folks homes are dying for volunteers to help with Christmas programs, or you can simply make arrangements to come with a few friends to come and do some Christmas Caroling.

    The arts will focus your mind on the beauty of Christmas rather than Stuffmart. After thanksgiving your local high school and college will have musical Christmas programs. There are traditional plays and music that you can attend, such as Handel's Messiah.

    And decking the halls or observing family traditions are not materialistic either. So go ahead and make apple cider and put up that tree. Watch the Grinch and It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmaqs Carol. And don't forget to wish people Merry Christmas.

    As for me, I keep "Jewish Christmas traditions," meaning I get together with friends and eat Chinese. :)
     
    #51 IndigoChild5559, Nov 13, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
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  12. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    Only if you don't go into the deep end.
     
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  13. Khasekhemwy

    Khasekhemwy Last 2nd Dynasty king

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    You can camp in winter if you have good equipment, but then you must carry that stuff with you everywhere you go; it will vanish if left unattended. I may have mentioned that most homeless folks die from the same causes others do, cancer and heart disease, but they tend to develop these at an earlier age, the high and unremitting stress levels leading to a reduced life expectancy. Deaths from hypothermia are strongly associated with drunkenness, when one’s ability to seek escape from extreme weather—at a cop shop, perhaps—becomes impaired.

    Lucky all those half-gallons of vodka I guzzled failed to do me in. My heart, brain, liver and kidneys remain in decent shape, a fact which testifies of the human body’s resilience. At 54, however, I’m aware I no longer have the reserve health capacity to get away with it anymore. Alcoholic drinking is something you stop by middle age if you wanna live. Cigarettes still keep me hooked, and the doctor wants me to quit. I dunno.

    Then we have Anders Breivik’s slaughter of 77 Norwegians in 2011, an event causing the relaxed atmosphere surrounding government in a national population only the size of Philadelphia’s to tighten. He had parked his van bomb in front of the PM’s offices, but killed mostly teens and young adults at a summer camp with a rifle. A spare two terrorist attacks, the Murrah Federal Building explosion and September 11, have ever claimed more lives in the USA, yet we’re immersed to the neck in security and ninja cops on the prowl for Muslim radicals.

    While horrid, this kind of conflict is preferable to the era of the World Wars, in which the US lost half a million men and women and Europe, about 35 million. I never had to go into battle; a rather scary thing to do.
     
  14. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend who keeps quitting cigarettes every now and then, his motivation is because he doesn't want others to suffer second-hand smoke. He gets back to them when stress strikes.

    Yes this is nothing compared to WW2. Most of my family tree is cut with Stalin's invasion of my country by deaths and insanity from the brutality of it. Then there were those who got wounded by Nazis or survived by luck their attack on civilian populace. Syrians and Yemenis aren't as lucky as us... I think of their lot often.
     
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