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Source: (consider it) Thread: Too much Santa
bib
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My whinge for today is about the excess of Father Christmas/Santas that appear at this time of the year. When I was a child, Father Christmas came on
Christmas Eve and our only other contact with him was going to the large department store for a special photo. These days there is nothing special about Santa. He is at every shopping centre, Christmas parade, Carols by Candlelight, school function, special hospital visits etc etc. The clued up children of today know that the Santas are frauds and I've even heard one kid say "O no, not another Santa". It is all part of the secularisation of Christmas and the push to commercialise everything. I don't mind Santa, providing the real reason for our Christmas celebration is conveyed, but with this excess of Santas we are rapidly losing the battle. One adult was even heard to say "oh please, not Jesus. What's he got to do with Christmas?' As Scrooge would say "Bah Humbug".

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"My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring"

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american piskie
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One can never have Too Many Santas
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Boogie

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For us Santa always stayed 'out there' on the periphery of Christmas. Mum and Dad never mentioned him and we never mentioned him to our boys.

My niece is doing the same with the twins (they are three years old)

None of us has enjoyed the season any the less for the lack of the big red bloke.

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Erroneous Monk
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I suppose it depends what you think believing in Father Christmas means. At our church Christmas Fair, Father Christmas is highly likely to be black or mixed race, reflecting the ethnicity of volunteers and the congregation. Regardless of beard, I'm sure the children must appreciate that he (and on at least one occasion, she) is not the same person as the white man at the local shopping centre. But I'm not sure that even the believers regard it as essential to them to believe that there is a specific individual who *is* Father Christmas.

I wonder what the equivalent of the Creed would be for Santa/Father Christmas? What do believers regard it as necessary to believe? Interesting conversations with the 10-year-old (no longer a believer) about this.

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

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Erroneous Monk
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quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:


I wonder what the equivalent of the Creed would be for Santa/Father Christmas? What do believers regard it as necessary to believe?

Thinking further, would e.g. Bob Dylan's "Must Be Santa" be regarded as essential beliefs?

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

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Golden Key
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Are you familiar with Kneeling Santa ornaments? (DuckDuckGo) If you switch to the Images page there, you can see a boatload of them.

They let you have both Jesus and Santa, in balance.
[Cool]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Are you familiar with Kneeling Santa ornaments? (DuckDuckGo)

[Projectile]

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Forward the New Republic

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Golden Key
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LOL. They're not for everyone. But some people who feel caught between find them a great relief.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Alan Cresswell

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Next thing someone will suggest it's possible to have too much chocolate.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Bishops Finger
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I didn't know Santa was present at the Nativity of Our Blessed Saviour... [Eek!]

Scripture reference, please?

(BTW, it is totally impossible to have too much chocolate. The Lord has revealed this to me in a dream, so it must be true.)

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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BroJames
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You just woke from your dream too soon - just before the part where Santa hot on the heels of the kings pops in to the stable with a bag of chocolate coins and an orange, and asks for a carrot for his reindeer. [Two face]
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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
I didn't know Santa was present at the Nativity of Our Blessed Saviour... [Eek!]

This year my nephew is absolutely insistent that their nativity scene should include a dinosaur. Santa is comparatively routine.

Besides, Santa is based on St Nicholas - and I don't see any particular theological difficulties with the idea of St Nicholas kneeling before Jesus!

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Uncle Pete

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My God! I just agreed with Marvin! [Razz] [Eek!]

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Even more so than I was before

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Lyda*Rose

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Marvin the Martian:
quote:
This year my nephew is absolutely insistent that their nativity scene should include a dinosaur. Santa is comparatively routine.
That reminds me of the octopus and lobsters in the nativity play in "Love Actually". All God's creatures belong in the Holy Barn.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Uncle Pete:
My God! I just agreed with Marvin! [Razz] [Eek!]

Blind pigs and acorns, old chap [Biased]

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Bishops Finger
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I always wake up from my dreams too soon...

Point taken re St. Nicholas, of course, and he can be a useful teaching aid in churches' Advent services... [Snigger]

I hope that whoever takes the Crib Service at Our Place this year is truly creative and imaginative when it comes to actually making up the Crib. The Kidz usually are... [Help]

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Marvin the Martian:
quote:
This year my nephew is absolutely insistent that their nativity scene should include a dinosaur. Santa is comparatively routine.
That reminds me of the octopus and lobsters in the nativity play in "Love Actually". All God's creatures belong in the Holy Barn.
You beat me to it! I was just going to post about Nativity lobsters.

[Big Grin]

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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Og, King of Bashan

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quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Marvin the Martian:
quote:
This year my nephew is absolutely insistent that their nativity scene should include a dinosaur. Santa is comparatively routine.
That reminds me of the octopus and lobsters in the nativity play in "Love Actually". All God's creatures belong in the Holy Barn.
In the spirit of Caganer, I say the more figures the merrier, especially if it draws the kid towards the nativity scene. Ours includes a tree ornament that looks like our old dog, guarding the baby Jesus. Why not?

As for Santa, is this really new? The Arthur books were first coming out when I was a kid, and I was seriously obsessed with Arthur's Christmas, which plays on the theme of Santa seemingly being everywhere. Arthur wants to buy Santa something for Christmas, but can't find the right present. Then one day while shopping, he realizes that he sees "Santa" somehow eating at every restaurant in the city. So he makes him a huge (and disastrous) smorgasbord of every dish he saw him eating that day. So if they were writing books about the proliferation of Santas in 1985, it's hardly a "these days" phenomenon.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

Besides, Santa is based on St Nicholas - and I don't see any particular theological difficulties with the idea of St Nicholas kneeling before Jesus!

Our priest mentioned this on Sunday. Sure, kneeling Santas might be a bit kitsch, but assuming you're not attempting a perfect historical reconstruction (and if you are, most people's nativity scenes are in trouble...) then there's no problem at all placing St. Nick in his proper place, kneeling in adoration before the Christ child.
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rolyn
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Never heard of santa back when I was a kid brought up in the sticks.
We had an old guy doing the Father Christmas at the annual village party. Trouble was the garment he wore was a hooded red robe more akin to the Grim reaper so consequently he scared the crap out of half of us.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Uncle Pete:
My God! I just agreed with Marvin! [Razz] [Eek!]

Blind pigs and acorns, old chap [Biased]
It's a Festivus miracle! [Biased]

quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
I hope that whoever takes the Crib Service at Our Place this year is truly creative and imaginative when it comes to actually making up the Crib. The Kidz usually are... [Help]

Crib Service?

(I think I actually may have asked in a previous year what a Crib Service is. If so, apologies that my memory extends no further.)

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Bishops Finger
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/slight tangent alert/

Crib Services seem to be quite popular in the UK these days.

Ours is held at 5pm on Christmas Eve - a simple child-friendly service, with a few carols and prayers.

Instead of a Serious Sermon or Highbrow Homily, the Christmas story is told in an interactive way, with children (and any adults who wish!) taking part as Mary, Joseph, The Usual Suspects, etc. Suitable 'props' are provided, and some churches invite kidz to come ready-dressed as angels, shepherds, wise men (yes, I know..), etc.

Those participating are asked to construct/assemble/lay out a Nativity scene, using wood or pottery figures (we have a couple of decent sets), which is blessed at the beginning of the Midnight Mass.

All quite low-key and informal, but very enjoyable, and growing in numbers year-by-year.

/end(?) of tangent/

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Nick Tamen

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Thanks!

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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M.
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(Ducks in to discussion) Ah! This makes me remember the year the church nativity set had a dinosaur in it. I always thought the theological ramifications were interesting.

(Ducks out before a host can scold me)

M.

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Pigwidgeon

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Apparently this Pastor has had too much Santa as well.

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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Pangolin Guerre
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I was chatting with a friend of mine this morning, a chaplain at a boys school, just before he was heading into chapel with the senior boys. As a curative to saccharine Santas, he was planning to tell them of the Nicaean dust-up wherein Nicholas punched out Arius.

There is a superb Argentine film, Tiempo de Revancha from around 1981, which has a shop window with a mechanical Santa with some very creepy minor keyed children's choir bookending the film. (Available on youtube, but the close of the film is not for the sqeamish.)

Feliz Navidad, indeed.

[ 13. December 2016, 22:54: Message edited by: Pangolin Guerre ]

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Apparently this Pastor has had too much Santa as well.

What a jerk!

However, that page did have a
link to "A Lovely, Non-Traumatizing Way To Break The News About Santa To Your Kids" (HuffPost). ISTM it could actually make a kid's life *better*.

Oh, and I'm impressed that the pastor article took the time to teach readers about the real St. Nicholas.
[Smile]

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Apparently this Pastor has had too much Santa as well.

What a jerk!
Speaking of things that might keep someone from setting foot in a church.

quote:
However, that page did have a
link to "A Lovely, Non-Traumatizing Way To Break The News About Santa To Your Kids" (HuffPost). ISTM it could actually make a kid's life *better*.

Not quite the approach we took with our kids, but it did remind me how, when our oldest figured it out, he spent about 10 minutes processing it, then got a gleam in his eye and asked if he could help be Santa for his little sister. He really got into to it, too.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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Sweden has won the Santa Winter Games.

It does not appear that they have jousting or axe throwing as part of the competitions.

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Stercus Tauri
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We just heard that our 3 year old grandson dictated a letter for his mother to send to Santa Claus, telling him not to come on Christmas Eve. He doesn't want a big strange man showing up in his house in the middle of the night. I don't believe I ever heard anything like that before.

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Thay haif said. Quhat say thay, Lat thame say (George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal)

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Golden Key
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ST--

I've heard of kids being scared that way, though not of writing to Santa about it.

If the kid still wants Santa in some way, perhaps St. Nick (or an elf, in his place) could be persuaded to quietly leave gifts *at the door* during the day and/or when everyone's out? Maybe with a note from an elf?

FWIW, YMMV.

[ 14. December 2016, 05:24: Message edited by: Golden Key ]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Golden Key
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Nick--

quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Apparently this Pastor has had too much Santa as well.

What a jerk!
Speaking of things that might keep someone from setting foot in a church.

Yup. Not a parent; but if I were one of those parents, I'd read/watch "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" with the kid, and ask if they can think of anyone else whose heart seems "three sizes too small". If I had the resources and thought it wise, we might consider making a batch of cookies, and giving it to the pastor (along with the book) to nudge his heart along.

[Two face]

ETA: And, of course, give him a Kneeling Santa ornament...and/or perhaps sneak one into the church's Nativity scene...or the decorations...

[ 14. December 2016, 05:51: Message edited by: Golden Key ]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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The Phantom Flan Flinger
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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Apparently this Pastor has had too much Santa as well.

Surprised we made it to 13th December...

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http://www.faith-hope-and-confusion.com/

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by The Phantom Flan Flinger:
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Apparently this Pastor has had too much Santa as well.

Surprised we made it to 13th December...
Ack, I understand that we're all different parts of the Body of Christ, but does He really need so many arseholes?

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Bishops Finger
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[Killing me]

[Overused]

Karl, that must surely be worthy of addition to the Quotable Quotes List!

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Alas, I can claim no credit; I got it from my vicar.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Pangolin Guerre
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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Apparently this Pastor has had too much Santa as well.

You see, it's that sort of behaviour that earns a person a "martyrdom". Except that he is smote for being a jerk for Christ. It accomplishes nothing. And makes Baby Jesus shake his head.

[ 14. December 2016, 20:46: Message edited by: Pangolin Guerre ]

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
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If some atheist guy did that, the world would be hand- wringing about the war on Christmas. Suck it up, Pastor. It was your people who decided personal devotion on a high holy day was less important than non believers conforming to public displays of pine fronds, sleigh bells, and snow motifs.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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Kelly Alves

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quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
I was chatting with a friend of mine this morning, a chaplain at a boys school, just before he was heading into chapel with the senior boys. As a curative to saccharine Santas, he was planning to tell them of the Nicaean dust-up wherein Nicholas punched out Arius.

Punched him? I thought he just gave him a firm yet rhetorically devastating slap in the face.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Pangolin Guerre:
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Apparently this Pastor has had too much Santa as well.

You see, it's that sort of behaviour that earns a person a "martyrdom". Except that he is smote for being a jerk for Christ. It accomplishes nothing. And makes Baby Jesus shake his head.
Every year a handful of clergymen get into trouble for 'revealing' that Santa doesn't exist. But the birth of Christ was special before the Santa obsession took hold, and will be after Santa morphs into something else, so I don't understand why Christians should be so indignant.

Myself, I don't think I was ever heavily into the Santa myth. If I was, it wouldn't have been due to my parents' desperation to uphold the fantasy. They didn't come from a Santa-focused culture.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Every year a handful of clergymen get into trouble for 'revealing' that Santa doesn't exist. But the birth of Christ was special before the Santa obsession took hold, and will be after Santa morphs into something else, so I don't understand why Christians should be so indignant.

Some of the people who are indignant are probably Christian and some are probably not. The indignation has nothing to do with an yo parents being Christian, it seems to me, and everything to do with the rudeness and interference of these pastors who take it on themselves to raise other people's children for them.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
The indignation has nothing to do with an yo parents being Christian . . . .

Sorry. That should have been "any parents." [Hot and Hormonal]

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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SvitlanaV2
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I referred to 'Christian' parents because they had allowed their children to listen to a talk being given by a clergyman.

It's generally known that clergymen believe and say things with which many modern parents disagree. Parents should bear that in mind if they don't want their kids to be given funny ideas!

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
I referred to 'Christian' parents because they had allowed their children to listen to a talk being given by a clergyman.

Huh? They didn't "allow" their kids to listen to this pastor. He just started yelling at them while they were standing in line to see Santa at a shopping mall.

quote:
It's generally known that clergymen believe and say things with which many modern parents disagree. Parents should bear that in mind if they don't want their kids to be given funny ideas!
Generally known by whom?

Certainly there are some members of the clergy (like this guy) I wouldn't want my kids exposed to if I could help it. But I know lots of modern parents who are happy for their kids to listen to many clergymen and clergywomen. Unless, of course, "modern parents" really means parents who don't believe in God and don't want their kids exposed to anyone who does and might talk about it. But then, they presumably wouldn't be "Christian parents" anyway.

Sometimes it seems that the church-world you describe bears almost no resemblance to the church-world I am familiar with. Are things really that different on either side of The Pond?

[ 18. December 2016, 02:33: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
They didn't "allow" their kids to listen to this pastor. He just started yelling at them while they were standing in line to see Santa at a shopping mall.

Oops, sorry! You're right. But that makes it easier for the parents, though; all they have to do is tell their kids that this was a random shouty nutter, and not to believe a thing he said.

quote:

Certainly there are some members of the clergy (like this guy) I wouldn't want my kids exposed to if I could help it. But I know lots of modern parents who are happy for their kids to listen to many clergymen and clergywomen. Unless, of course, "modern parents" really means parents who don't believe in God and don't want their kids exposed to anyone who does and might talk about it. But then, they presumably wouldn't be "Christian parents" anyway.

Sometimes it seems that the church-world you describe bears almost no resemblance to the church-world I am familiar with. Are things really that different on either side of The Pond?

British children are increasingly unlikely to have any contact with the clergy. That's because their parents, who may well see themselves as Christians, have become very reluctant to send them to Sunday School. The British mostly see religion as a private thing, and think children should be left to choose for themselves rather than be exposed to religious dogma at an early age.

Moreover, Britain is a place of 'fuzzy faith'. The Christianity of the non-practising person has less and less to do with the orthodox theology propounded in church sermons and rituals. Parents are okay with that, and see no reason why it should be different for their children.

Faith schools are popular, but that's less for religious reasons and more because their standards, discipline and values are attractive. And I don't think the clergy spend much time visiting schools now, although I'm sure it varies from place to place.

[ 18. December 2016, 12:28: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Steve Langton
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As a white-haired senior citizen with a beard I can get far too much Santa - I'm guessing most of you don't get kids going "Ho Ho Ho!" at you even in July and August....

I don't agree with what the pastor did at the mall; but I'm increasingly thinking that if we want a 'real Christmas', then Christians have to very positively dissociate themselves from the Santa thing, and especially from all the stuff that portrays him as a polar demi-god with elves and reindeer, which has nothing to do with anything Christian.

Positively we might try to reinstate a proper St Nicholas festival, on the saint's actual feast day, as an occasion for giving to those who really need stuff.

One of the things that worries me a bit is that Santa has now become almost the only religion which is actually allowed to have people persecuted for saying it isn't true; which is a bit dodgy considering that those who actually, for example, sack teachers for misjudging whether their class is ready for it yet, are as adults presumably not true believers themselves....

I've no objection to the idea of a 'Winterval' for those who don't have the benefits of faith to spice up an otherwise miserable bit of the year; and indeed no objection to joining in a lot of it. I'll be going to a sporting event on that Bank Holiday Tuesday, for instance. But basically the whole thing has become overdone yet increasingly empty - believing in 'Christmas' as a thing yet without the actual Christ is a bit meaningless. It's pretty much doing a "Bah! Humbug!" job on itself these days [Smile]

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Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
One of the things that worries me a bit is that Santa has now become almost the only religion which is actually allowed to have people persecuted for saying it isn't true...

Yes, that is outrageous. How are you supposed to feel good about your religion if you can't persecute those who deny it? You're right - more faith-based persecution is just what this degenerate modern world needs.
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rolyn
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That's one thing that really bugs us about secularists, their just too bloody nice [Mad]

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Nick Tamen

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Thanks for your reply, Svitlana. It does help me get a better perspective. Things aren't quote to that point here*—yet. I can imagine it may come. I'll admit you've raised some other questions for me, but I'll let them go for now; they'd be too much of a tangent.

* To be clear, by "here" I mean my corner of the American South, not the US as a whole. There may well be places elsewhere in the country more like what you experience, but church is still very much part of the woof and warp here.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Erroneous Monk
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
As a white-haired senior citizen with a beard I can get far too much Santa - I'm guessing most of you don't get kids going "Ho Ho Ho!" at you even in July and August....


I just ALOLd at this. At work. Are you sure it's because you resemble Santa?

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

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