Should Christmas and Easter be a Public Holidays?

floatingegg
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Should Christmas and Easter be a Public Holidays?

I've returned to university after a six year hiatus, and for my degree program I'm taking a Canada specific political science course. It looks like we're going to be having a lot of class discussions, and I'd like to throw the idea out there that Christmas and Easter should not be public holidays. I've read quite a bit about this issue, but I'd like to hear what the rest of you think.


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I would say they shouldn't,

I would say they shouldn't, unless they made a perfectly secular version. Christmas could have a better case than Easter, though both are much older holidays than Christianity anyway.

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If the government tried to

If the government tried to return Xmas back to its original purpose, the winter solstice, the Xians would be the first to point out that it is Pagan and would violate the 1st Admendment, but as long as it's for Jesus, they see no problem.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


averyv
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christmas and easter should

christmas and easter should not be public holidays. it is a violation of church and state, not to mention a pretty disgusting display of greed and capitalism. watch a video of the 'next big toy' as the doors open on some poor walmart and then go watch videos of russian breadlines.

that said, im all for a day off. but: they should not be feigned around (they are by no means centered around) the particular items that they claim to be. the only people it is positive for are retailers, tho they have a pretty defensive base helping them make that fourth quarter turn. it may or may not be worth noting that i am a christian.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
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i cannot believe i just

i cannot believe i just published the words 'poor walmart' juxtaposed..


darth_josh
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I've heard stories about

I've heard stories about secular christians. I just never thought that I would see a post from one.
Do you have a specific denomination, averyv?

In the U.S., the post offices and other government facilities are closed if christmas falls on a weekday.
The government employees receive 'holiday pay' as outlined by their specific office. The charter for these offices begins in a Congressional bill. The bill is signed into law and appropriations schedules are made. Yours and my tax dollars are then given to people to observe this 'holiday' with no work expected from them.

The first amendment reads:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Ergo, government holiday pay is unconstitutional.
This has been argued in both countries(US and Canada) several times with the same results. Twice with unanimously written opinions backing up the holiday pay in the US.

Bridenbaugh v. O'Bannon (1993)
According to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, a government is permitted to give employees a religious holiday off as a paid vacation day, but only if the government can provide a legitimate secular purpose for choosing that day instead of any other day.

Metzl v. Leininger (1995)
Andrea Metzl, an Illinois public school teacher, filed a lawsuit to prevent the state of Illinois from (among other things) using of public funds derived from taxes that she paid to pay teachers for the Good Friday holiday.

Ganulin v. United States (1999)
Is it constitutional for the United States government to recognize Christmas as an official paid holiday? Richard Ganulin, an atheist lawyer, argued that it isn't and filed suit, but a U.S. District Court ruled against him.

Granzeier v. Middleton (1999)
With Circuit Judge Boggs writing the majority opinion, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the district court in all respects. First, the Court accepted that the courts had a valid secular purpose for closing on that day:

The Canada Labour Code provides for holidays with pay (s.192) in respect of the general holidays set out in the Code: New Year's Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day (s.166). In addition, the definition of general holiday includes any day substituted for any such holiday pursuant to section 195.

And I'm still reading this:
http://www.hrinfodesk.com/

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im catholic. just kidding.

im catholic.

just kidding. ive been around to several denominations and havent particularly cared for any of them. i was raised 'non-denominational' (which is codeword for 'top-40 christian')

Quote:
government holiday pay is unconstitutional.

i had never considered that before. that is a very good point.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


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i forgot to answer the

i forgot to answer the question. i am most closely associated with the unitarian universalists, but am not one myself. ive never considered 'joining a group' to be an important part of 'religion' (quoted to avoid the demonized version of the word)

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


darth_josh
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Well, I'd like to get to

Well, I'd like to get to know more about the way that you are a christian and a secularist. I understand Unitarian Universalists just accept everyone's view. A very tolerant form of religious fellowship. Is that a correct assessment?

If you could outline how you reached the secular conclusion that would go a long way toward my understanding of your position better.

I became a secularist by virtue of my atheism. However, there are many reasons to keep church separate from state disregarding the anti-religious one.

Here's a couple that I espouse:
1. Not everyone has the same ideology. It would interfere with government to try and include them all. Therefore the simple solution would be to exclude them all.

2. There are better ways to spend tax dollars.

3. Placing religious oriented material on government property causes the government to appear to be affiliated with that particular religion. This seems to be a way of excluding people of completely different faiths from their government.

What do you think?

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averyv
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Quote:I understand Unitarian

Quote:
I understand Unitarian Universalists just accept everyone's view. A very tolerant form of religious fellowship. Is that a correct assessment?

more or less this is how i look at it, yes. it was very recently that i found them, and im not totally sure about their particulars, tho i know that they have open discussion forums that are both riveting and very informative

Quote:
If you could outline how you reached the secular conclusion that would go a long way toward my understanding of your position better.

from a social perspective it just isnt very smart to be telling large groups of people that they should be believing any particular something (including government). from a view of the 'human experience' deciding whereyou stand on religion (and government) is a very defining and worthwhile process. having a 'nation' stand behind a particular pov has a real tendency to skew where the validity of these things might actually be.

note that i think religion being a part of government is horribly detremental to both. as well as making distinction of roles nearly impossible. thereby allowing some really freakin crazy shit to happen.

for reasons indicated in the above statement, all individuals of any and no religion should want the same thing.

as a relevant but unrelated point, one thing that i picked up in church along the way(ironically through anecdote and not example) that has really stuck with me has been 'showing clean glasses'. i.e. i could go railing on your glass, or endlessly praising mine, or trying to switch out your water foryou, but youre a big boy. you can do it yourself. and anyway, arent we sitting here enjoying water? just drink your drink.

if you see something relatively clean in front of another, you should probably ask about it. in the other case, it might be wise to just let the person make realizations for themselves and move on. evangelism through pure action is much preferrable to a lot of babble and social strongarms.

and maybe my glass isnt as clean as i thought. like maybe those floaties i thought were flouride (which i incorrectly assumed to be good for me) are actually the waste of an extremely deadly virus. conception is a bitch.

and anyway maybe they just like it like that. how that is any of my business i will never understand.

this is in agreeance with your statement.

Quote:
1. Not everyone has the same ideology. It would interfere with government to try and include them all. Therefore the simple solution would be to exclude them all.

and a sentiment that that sentiment should be widely understood. desire for dominance in point of view is frighteningly pervasive in our present state

and i recognize that the christian church has no small part in this. jerks.

Quote:
2. There are better ways to spend tax dollars.

oh my yes. religion is private venture. end of question. be a corporation if you want to sell your stuff. the sad part of this is that everyone is looking to buy with no concept whatsoever the actual reasons to adhere to a philosophy. the whole scenario right now is just very unfortunate, and the culmination of so many factors that its making my head hurt to think about it.

Quote:
3. Placing religious oriented material on government property causes the government to appear to be affiliated with that particular religion. This seems to be a way of excluding people of completely different faiths from their government.

i agree with this, but with context. ten commandments in the court room would be acceptable to me personally, assuming it were sitting next to something like the code of hamurabi and so on. however i agree that this becomes so complicated as to not be worth attempting. however, these do documents have historical relavance in our progression. this is NOT to say that mer'ca was founded on christianity. it was NOT. this is BIG pet pieve of mine. it just wasnt. you know this. but, then, it was an influential part of history and, the commandments in particular relative to legal precidence. (anonymous overarching bodies holding rules over peoples heads hasnt gone away since)

as a humorous side note, check out this article
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4310273.stm

and scroll down to the part about ten commandments statues being made to promote a movie. a charlton heston movie no less. uggh. what a way to treat a document you claim as sacred, huh?

as far as public schools go, if youre learning a lesson on something that would make a posting of the ten commandments relavent,then they can go up or whatever. but it should be strictly in a historical sense. public school f##s everything up. i do NOT want them anywhere near the beliefs of my hypothetical children

so, i hope that answered some questions. i think that (perhaps arrogantly), in general, my thoughts are in accordance with this sites philosophy. freethinking is very valuable to me. jesus would agree, tho im positive the pope does not.

i also came up with my denomination! we are christian pre-eventuexisterminists. of course you could just be a pre-eventuexisterminist, but you would be damming yourself straight to hell.

just kidding. anyway, hit me with a response s'il vous plait. i dont find reasonable conversation on either side of this issue very often.

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


darth_josh
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Thanks for continuing the

Thanks for continuing the discussion. Like you, I have found that the discussion goes YES or NO with no contextual analysis.

I didn't number these since they're closely tied with the same topic of symbols.

The Ten Commandments was actually a pretty good movie for its time. I've always 'preached' the importance of disregarding any messages that a movie might be trying to send out.
After all, they are just movies.
They only have 'meaning' when we give it to them for ourselves, in my opinion.

Therein lies the problem, in my opinion, with ascribing a value to a symbol such as a monument. We could argue the historical value of the ten commandments with regard to the formation of our governments, but that would seem to diminish the value of the people who made or disregarded those derivations. In the end, it was the people who took either their ethical ideas or moral practices and incorporated them all into the state with special regard to all.

Many atheists that are avid secularists, constantly cite Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury baptists as a law in and of itself. I feel they do this because their logical arguments are met with religious extremism. So, they look for a symbol that is in opposition to the offending symbol. Even George Carlin, a somewhat rational individual, had to replace the ten commandments with his 'three commandments' which he derived by examining their usage with regard to modern society. lol.

It should not go unmentioned that there are many statues that elicit bad emotions from some groups. I live in Tennessee. There are statues of civil war dignitaries everywhere. I have seen none dedicated to Union soldiers outside of the occasional grave marker. All of the robust figures on the local courthouse square are Confederate generals. One cannot make a conclusion that all of these men made contributions to our modern law practices during their time in history. Yet they remain. Upon their bases are their personal indictments against godlessness or their sanctimonius expressions of faith. Very little moral or historical references are made. These statues occasionally get vandalized. Then public money, our taxes, goes to the restoration and cleaning of them. Thereby creating this vicious cycle of destroy, restore, expense by the usurious exploitation of the public. It falls upon deaf ears when you explain that if the symbol were gone then so would the vandalism go.

For the christian pre-eventuexisterminists, I would guess that there are some symbols that cause a great emotional response via inspiration or even revulsion. By removing these symbols, I would posit that those emotions might be lessened thereby leaving only the problem or the person in front of the court's attention.

I am loathe to discuss secularism in education because I have three children currently in school. It gets even closer to home than politics at that point. I would admit that I become quite irrational with regard to my kids. lol.

Sorry if this one went too long, I started typing and it just went. Too bad that I'm not a 'spiritual' person because then I could excuse it by saying that I was channeling something/someone. lol.

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averyv
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i simply agree with the vast

i simply agree with the vast majority of your post, but i have a few points/questions id like to bring up

Quote:
We could argue the historical value of the ten commandments with regard to the formation of our governments, but that would seem to diminish the value of the people who made or disregarded those derivations. In the end, it was the people who took either their ethical ideas or moral practices and incorporated them all into the state with special regard to all.

i agree with this statement, though given what you say i would be much less inclined to argue the historical value of the ten commandments than their historical place. i would agree that to favor the historical value in discussion would have potential to discount the value of the individuals who considered them, tho consideration could not have occured without existence.

and again, youre right, its just too complicated to bother with. why have such a wasteful, devisive, and destructive discussion over something like 'value'? i would be more than happy to compare with and discuss and speak openly about it, but holding an emotionally charged symbol between us while it happens is not going to foster healthy conversation, community, or mutual understanding no matter what our actual opinions are.

Quote:
Thereby creating this vicious cycle of destroy, restore, expense by the usurious exploitation of the public. It falls upon deaf ears when you explain that if the symbol were gone then so would the vandalism go.

aye. and so it is with many modern issues. often the problems (e.g. gay marraige) are actually causing themselves. if the people would just take control of marraige (i.e. force the government to relenquish their control of it) any church could choose who they wanted to marry. don't want to marry a gay couple? while im sure they are very sorry not to use your services. im also sure they can manage elsewhere or not at all if there are no social-wide institutions holding a norm in place.

Quote:
For the christian pre-eventuexisterminists, I would guess that there are some symbols that cause a great emotional response via inspiration or even revulsion. By removing these symbols, I would posit that those emotions might be lessened thereby leaving only the problem or the person in front of the court's attention.

christian pre-eventuexisterminist symbols are (typically) personally defined and often based on life events. so, while there are certain symbols which are meaningful to me, they would typically not be recognizable by others, both to avoid the issue of the echo chamber and to encourage the sentiment of in-lak'ech (i am another you) by realization of the unity of difference and sameness.

i think that everyone does, and is as well off to as not, hold symbols of their own. problems occur when 'i' start to think 'you' should have 'mine' too.

institutional symbols, however, will make your typical pre-eventuexisterminialist's stomach turn. one proposed right of passage, in fact, is self-inducing vomit on the established institution of your choosing. typically we're not much for ceremonies, but some ideas are too fun to pass up.

Quote:
I am loathe to discuss secularism in education because I have three children currently in school.

i can understand your frustration. i just plain dont like the education system these days. it just sucks, and i wish there were some swooping action we could take to set those bastards straight. from the state of factory-town and urban schools to the budget to the general treatment of what is 'education' to the 'curriculum', standardized testing, the organization...to a question of "should we teach 'intelligent design' or evolution" ...like those two things are even relatable, mutually exclusive, or remotely belonging to the same feild or discussion. in my opinion, it is not even an institution worth talking about.

christian pre-eventuexisterminists also have a marked aversion to standardized truth. truth with a trademark tag cannot be found.

Quote:
Sorry if this one went too long, I started typing and it just went. Too bad that I'm not a 'spiritual' person because then I could excuse it by saying that I was channeling something/someone. lol.

pre-eventuexisterminists note this as an aspect of meta-determinism and cite it as validation for going on endlessly Smiling

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


darth_josh
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Time for me to say that, in

Time for me to say that, in my opinion, you are the most rational theist that I've ever had the opportunity to share ideas with on a message board ever so far.

Our common goal is secularism and I can tell that it is something that we both feel is worth our time.

We'll have to disregard the illegality of holiday pay for a moment.

We don't have a lot of allies. People have had their holidays and holiday pay for decades. They would dislike losing that extra money. For some, those holiday bonuses put food on the table. For others, it is really extra money that goes for charitible donations to feel good.
As evidenced by the tax rebate a few years ago, during a time of peace there is money available to give back to the people. When budgets are created, these monies are accounted for by estimating growth and projecting costs. Also, the projected revenues are placed in the separate column for a target. Normal companies work forward to the target. The government most often works backwards in that they determine their appropriations first.
I think the backwards system of government spending would be the first place to address the issue.
If the employees work those holidays then that is additional money both spent and made. Initially, a salary increase amounting to the holiday pay spread out over the year would garner some support from the workers. The additional revenue from the operational accrual of the holiday would then be profit to be redistributed to the people for the first year and then not collected for the second year allowing for growth and cost of living increases.

Any ideas?

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averyv
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Quote:We don't have a lot of

Quote:
We don't have a lot of allies. People have had their holidays and holiday pay for decades. They would dislike losing that extra money

yes most definitely. and i would think that this sentiment would not be limited to christians (tho most certainly an amazing chorus of persecuted whining would make itself known with a quickness). everyone likes a day off, and nobody wants to give up extra pay.

what would you say if i suggested that it were actually reasonable to give some sort of yearly bonus? for employees meeting x and y, having worked all year and whatnot, a one-time lump-sum extra added goodness is a worthwhile venture that, in my opinion, would not be simulated when spread over a year.

a garunteed day off is also reasonable, i believe. tho granted not necessarily on some specific day or with everyone or something, but just like...a free day or two for each individual a few individuals at a time throughout the month. or even all at once, just as it is now. i have no specific problem with shutting down for a day, and the benefits of family and social rest are certainly felt outside the realm of religion.

i personally think that these aspects of the holiday are not the harmful ones

perhaps the timing would need to be changed? the espoused reason, certainly. but: how much of the actual process must be different to achieve the desired change? i think that setting this boundary first will help to range our options and satisfy as many (apparently conflicting) constraints as possible.

if you will indulge me for a moment, as im sure this point holds much less meaning to you than i, i dont believe we celebrate something that should reasonably hold the moniker 'christmas' right now anyway. in fact, i find it to be a mockery of christianity, as it directly opposes several basic tenants of the philosophy. it, instead, seems to me to be a corporate/capitalist holiday parading alongside religiosity (and with quite an armament line, lest we forget), its goal and purpose, seemingly, to unify yearly economic upturn alongside, currently, the extra-added benefit of creating deviding lines where none actually exist.

however this is a point that, i feel, we can use to our mutual favor. if we are able to point to a direct social 'reason for the season' which is actually subverting whatever cause you might personally hold, it may be possible to shift the discussion away from a place where the typical 'fundie' would feel universally entitled to the Right.

then again, maybe not at all. what do you think?

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


averyv
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one other thing i think is

one other thing i think is worth mentioning:

the word 'secular' needs to be better popularly defined. 'secular', in the christian world, means (basically) 'not christian'. it is not seen as a worthwhile venture, certainly for many reasons, but primarily because it is commonly misconstrued for heresy rather than a reasonable divide that, i believe..and in contrast to other more socially prominent divides, actually factually does exist in terms of general human experience.

also, thanks for this

Quote:
Time for me to say that, in my opinion, you are the most rational theist that I've ever had the opportunity to share ideas with on a message board ever so far.

Smiling

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


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averyv wrote:Quote:We don't

averyv wrote:
Quote:
We don't have a lot of allies. People have had their holidays and holiday pay for decades. They would dislike losing that extra money

yes most definitely. and i would think that this sentiment would not be limited to christians (tho most certainly an amazing chorus of persecuted whining would make itself known with a quickness). everyone likes a day off, and nobody wants to give up extra pay.

what would you say if i suggested that it were actually reasonable to give some sort of yearly bonus? for employees meeting x and y, having worked all year and whatnot, a one-time lump-sum extra added goodness is a worthwhile venture that, in my opinion, would not be simulated when spread over a year.

That's not really conducive to getting tax dollars back into the public's pockets though.
I've got a dim view upon incentive pay even though I get a good portion of it from my job. It doesn't seem to make me work harder in the future. It seems only to make me proud of past accomplishments. Rewarding someone for doing their job happens on pay day. lol.

Quote:
a garunteed day off is also reasonable, i believe. tho granted not necessarily on some specific day or with everyone or something, but just like...a free day or two for each individual a few individuals at a time throughout the month. or even all at once, just as it is now. i have no specific problem with shutting down for a day, and the benefits of family and social rest are certainly felt outside the realm of religion.

Vacation time is much different from holiday. I see no problem with vacations for government workers. However, people can take vacations without hindering the government operations. Most companies do this by having a 'pecking order' established by seniority or priority. I see no reason not to imitate that since it has proven effective. Personal days would need to be regulated. Two a year would be extremely nice. I have used one in three years at my present job.

Quote:
i personally think that these aspects of the holiday are not the harmful ones

perhaps the timing would need to be changed? the espoused reason, certainly. but: how much of the actual process must be different to achieve the desired change? i think that setting this boundary first will help to range our options and satisfy as many (apparently conflicting) constraints as possible.

Agreed. But they are a part of the reward for following the tradition. Perhaps eliminating the exclusive 'holidays' would be the primary place to start. christmas and easter. Hanukkah and passover. Ramadahn. etc.
Labor Day is o.k. in my opinion because everyone works in some way.

Quote:
if you will indulge me for a moment, as im sure this point holds much less meaning to you than i, i dont believe we celebrate something that should reasonably hold the moniker 'christmas' right now anyway. in fact, i find it to be a mockery of christianity, as it directly opposes several basic tenants of the philosophy. it, instead, seems to me to be a corporate/capitalist holiday parading alongside religiosity (and with quite an armament line, lest we forget), its goal and purpose, seemingly, to unify yearly economic upturn alongside, currently, the extra-added benefit of creating deviding lines where none actually exist.

Even as a christian child, I felt like this.

Quote:
however this is a point that, i feel, we can use to our mutual favor. if we are able to point to a direct social 'reason for the season' which is actually subverting whatever cause you might personally hold, it may be possible to shift the discussion away from a place where the typical 'fundie' would feel universally entitled to the Right.

then again, maybe not at all. what do you think?

I feel as though the season needs to be demonized in the minds of the populace in the aspect you previously spoke of. The equating spirituality with commercialization. In other words, if there is no 'true' reason for the season then there should be no season.

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averyv
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your points are well taken.

your points are well taken. i wonder, do you know what level of employees are the majority recieving bonuses? i am not that familiar with the subject from that perspective, but i think it matters. i agree with your dim view of incentive pay... depending on what the incentive is. i.e. low-level jobs, a lump of money is typically ample incentive to not cause turnover. but, as i said, i am not knowledgable about the particulars of this case.

Quote:
Agreed. But they are a part of the reward for following the tradition. Perhaps eliminating the exclusive 'holidays' would be the primary place to start. christmas and easter. Hanukkah and passover. Ramadahn. etc.

how do you mean? hanukkah and passover and ramadahn dont have much of a public face. how would you eliminate those holidays and maintain personal freedom? i dont want people to stop celebrating their religious holidays...i want government to

at any rate, something that may be of some amount of use in this is regulations.gov, which is a public site where you may comment on federal regulations. i am not sure if holiday pay would fall in there or not, but it is worth checking out for plenty of reasons aside from this convo. use tor for extra added safetySmiling

Quote:
I feel as though the season needs to be demonized in the minds of the populace in the aspect you previously spoke of. The equating spirituality with commercialization. In other words, if there is no 'true' reason for the season then there should be no season.

ok, white t-shirt. on the front is the face-side of a $50 bill with the words printed 'the reason for the season'. on the back is some summary of or an image of the bill in which ulysses grant signed christmas into publicdom (likely for his total failure of a presidency)

it is not obvious, i think, and so i think you could use it as a conversation piece as the viewer's initial reaction to it is not likely to encompass the whole of the meaning.

anywy, what do you think?

"In depriving myself of the acorns... what have we learned? Nothing! Not one of us has learned!
"Which isn't my point, but very well could have been."
— Ashley Raymond, Olympia, 1989


darth_josh
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LOL. There are no open

LOL.
There are no open documents for discussion concerning any holiday.

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MattShizzle wrote:I would

MattShizzle wrote:
I would say they shouldn't, unless they made a perfectly secular version.

waaaiiiiiiiit a minute.........................are you proposing.......
a Festivus.....for the rest of us?
well i'm on board.

Fear is the mindkiller.


darth_josh
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Sorry, Fear. I meant that

Sorry, Fear. I meant that there weren't any open documents for discussion on the government site that avery posted.

Festivus is already celebrated by me. lol. It's when I come to work and complain about all of the other people in the world not working.

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darth_josh
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averyv, Since the

averyv,
Since the commercialization of christmas upsets you, would you be interested in participating at:
http://www.endchristmas.com/

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I think I'm only doing the

I think I'm only doing the pagan versions now...

also god hates bunnies