Archive for Christians

Overnight: Petrer, Spain: Festival of Moors and Christians

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Spain

Just as we have our Civil War reenactments, the Spanish have them, too, but not that Civil War - one which came much earlier, between the 8th and 15th centuries. You can read more about it here.

Festivals commemorate these battles - between Christians and 'Moors' (Muslims from Morocco though not only - hence the name) all through Spain. This video is from the festivities in Petrer.

These festivals are not loved by everyone. You can read about opposition to them here.

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Freedom Of Speech vs. Freedom of Religion

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Religious

Oh, boy. It seems when you use the US Bill of Rights to defend one extremist position, you might discover yourself trampling on another. And so we find the case in the Michigan City of  Warren, with their Mayor, Jim Fouts.

From THE RAW STORY:

A Michigan mayor who says that he believes in freedom of religion has refused to allow atheists to set up a so-called “Reason Station” inside City Hall, saying it could upset Christians visiting the nearby “Prayer Station.”

Yes, you read that correctly. 'A Prayer Station'' for Christians, good. A 'Reason Station' for Atheists, bad.

As an individual or an organization, you can preach and promote a belief, but you cannot preach or promote logic and reason. That, it seems, is unconstitutional and violates the Bill of Rights.

“I emphasize one thing,” he (Mayor Fouts) added. “The government cannot restrict an individual’s freedom of speech, but an individual cannot restrict the government’s freedom of speech.”

Yet that's exactly what the Mayor did. He restricted freedom of speech. What Fouts seems to have overlooked is what happens when the government restricts an individual's rights to the same freedoms it grants.

Religious Freedom may mean freedom from religion. At least expounding that belief does. But evidently that's not so in the City of Warren, Michigan.

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Morning Links

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links
Image: Politicususa.com

Ted Nugent Loving Republican Tom Tancredo Getting Crushed in Colorado Governor’s Race

If Our Founding Fathers Were All Christians, Why Did They Say This?

This Woman Stripped Her Dress Off While Onstage In The Name Of Feminism. Point Well Made.

Billionaire Home Depot founder issues an almost apology after calling Progressives a bunch of Nazis

Westboro Baptist Church To Protest Fred Phelps' Funeral, Says Daughter

Atheists Sue to Remove ‘Ground Zero Cross’ From 9/11 Museum

The Stress Of Being A Computer Programmer Is Literally Driving Many Of Them Crazy

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It's Official -- Jesus And Santa Claus Are White

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Jesus Santa Claus

Fox News would never steer us wrong. To go along with that gold standard, one of Fox's premier personalities (What, you didn't expect me to call her a journalist, did you?) has declared, without any room for doubt, that these two historical figures, Santa Claus and Jesus of Nazareth were White. Period. End of discussion. Here's Megyn Kelly and her panel to set us all straight.

This entire conversation is based on an article by Aisha Harris in Slate.com. In that piece, Harris suggests that other races could represent Jolly ol' Santa, or maybe even a penguin. Despite Megyn K's assertion to the contrary, Santa isn't real and therefore he doesn't have to actually be White. He could be Asian. He could be Black. He could be... well, even a penguin. That way the racial stigma of Santa wouldn't be ingrained in children of other races, thinking Santa isn't really for them.

Now the argument against all of this by Megyn Kelly and her Fox panel is demonstrative of their shallow thinking. Start first with Santa. According to Kelly, he was real. Sorry Megyn. Santa is a legend. Now historians over the years have said that he was based on a real character - Saint Nicholas. Underline the word 'based,' not he really was Santa Claus. Santa is about as real as Sherlock Holmes or James Bond.

Wikipedia does a pretty good job of giving the genesis of today's legend of Santa Claus:

The modern figure of Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, which, in turn, was part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of Christian bishop and gift giver Saint Nicholas. During the Christianization of Germanic Europe, this figure may have absorbed elements of the god Odin, who was associated with the Germanic pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky. Over time, traits of this character and the British folklore character Father Christmas merged to form the modern Santa Claus known today.

So if this iconic character is nothing more than legend, why can't he be of another nationality? What harm does that do? Why doe's Megan feel she must promote racial stereotyping UNLESS she herself is racist?

Now for the suggestion by Aisha Harris in her piece that perhaps an answer to the racial issue is to turn Santa into a character that is animal like -- in this case a penguin. That's crazy. We all know that can't be, because as the crack Fox experts pointed out a penguin can't carry all those gifts. C'mon. Let's get real here.

Okay, a penguin can't carry all those gifts but white Santa can? What rationale can you be using to draw that conclusion? And say, how big is that sleigh that he can stow all those gifts? And how strong is that team of flying reindeer led by Rudolf the Red Nose wonder? That sleigh must be much bigger than even Noah's Ark to carry all those toys. That's a lot for 8 reindeer to pull through the sky. I hope Santa's careful who's roof he parks it on because something that size would surely crush my house, and most of my neighborhood.

Let's get real here. Santa is a fictional character and should be treated as fun -- not discriminatory. And he belongs to the imaginations of all people, not just White people. He could be any race, color, nationality or animal species. Who cares just so long as he brings you the gifts you wanted for your holiday.

Black Jesus

Now moving onto Meagan's other low wattage statement of fact-- Jesus is White? Really? Unlike Santa, Jesus most likely did exist as one person. But look at where he came from? Asia. Yes, Bethlehem is in what is modern day Israel and Israel is technically Asia. Now the inhabitants of that region, from the statues and paintings that still remain indicate the Pharaohs  and his/her followers had African features -- dark skin, larger lips, and bone structure. One thing none of the artifacts indicate is that any of the people of that time, born in that region, have the more modern-day, typical White features, unless they were the Romans. I don't think anyone's claiming Jesus was the love child of Mary and one of the invading troops.

I'm not sure where Meagan went to school, how much anthropology she knows of that era, but it's evident that she's not correct, once again.

So let's stop the stereotyping and the stigmatizing of iconic people, real or fictional, to suit just one self-serving purpose. Leave Jesus and Santa Claus alone. It's what they represent, not the pictures of who they may be that matters. Megyn and panel, try checking your bigotry at the door before you come on camera next time.

You really owe the world an apology. And in the spirit of Jesus and Santa, we're most likely to grant it.

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The REAL War on Christmas has a theme song: "Ka-CHINGle Bells" + bonus Daily Show VIDEO!

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war on christmas daily show 3

If you're not familiar with Stan Freberg (a comedy genius), then watch the video above and then please do yourself a huge favor and get to know him better. He was a huge influence on me personally, and is rarely mentioned any more. His satirical talents and wicked sense of humor were unprecedented back in the 1950s and '60s.

Which leads me to the Los Angeles Times an op-ed by Jonathan Zimmerman (who teaches history and education at New York University). He chronicles the deteriorating meaning of Christmas as it devolved into blatant commercialization to satisfy corporate greed and the insatiable global obsession with profit.

He starts out by mentioning everyone's favorite former Alaskan Half-Gov, Exploita McSellBooks, by noting her rage at "angry atheists"... as she hawks her own commercial Christmas products for all the personal gain she can wring out of them.

Take it away, Jonathan:

Despite what Palin and Wildmon would have you believe, the first war on Christmas was waged by devout Christians. The holiday wasn't a reflection of their religious heritage; instead, Christmas was a sin against it.

ruh roh smaller

Start with our Puritan forebears in Massachusetts, who between 1659 and 1681 made it illegal to celebrate Christmas. (Lawbreakers were fined 5 shillings.) As the Puritans correctly argued, there was no historical or biblical reason to think that Christ was born on Dec. 25. The date was chosen because of its proximity to the winter solstice, making Christmas a pagan holiday in Christian garb.

But there was more.

Yes, there was much more. Please follow the link to learn all about it. Read it and weep, Sarah Palin. Zimmerman ends with this:

The most important war over Christmas was fought between God and Mammon, and it ended long ago. I don't have to tell you who won.

Now because you've been good, fake Santa brought you all a special treat:

The inimitable and brilliant Jon Stewart manages to sum it all up in one sentence:

By the way-- You're upset with a department store, because in their effort to get you to buy a Swarovski crystal Hello Kitty snowman figurine, they're not invoking Christ's name enough.

war on christmas daily show 2

war on christmas daily show

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Video WTF? Of The Day- "Christmas easier to spell than Hanukkah" posted on church sign

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Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, Florida-

You just gotta wonder why there was no one there to stop them. Just incredibly boneheaded.

NORTH PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A holiday joke or offensive message? A North Palm Beach pastor didn't think anything was wrong with the message; however, others didn't agree.

"It was not really offensive, just poor taste," said Rabbi Alon Levkovitz with Temple Beth Am.

(snip)

Humor lost on those who called the church demanding the sign be taken down. "I heard someone say, 'Christmas is easier to spell than Hanukkah'. It made me smile," said Butzberger.

"I think it's the wrong message to send to their members, but, as a Jew, I am not offended," said Levkovitz.

He says it is merely the comparison of faiths that is offensive. "If the church tries to celebrate one of the most important holidays by putting down another faith, it's definitely not the spirit of Hanukkah or Christmas."

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Jeb Bush Got It Wrong -- Again

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Obama closes Vatican embassy

The Bush family of blunderers is at it again. First it was GHW  'no new taxes' Bush,  then the ever-challenged scion GW 'Iraq is my game' Bush, and now older brother, Jeb 'Lost in the' Bush. Can a family really be that misinformed collectively? Two Presidents and a governor and not a penny of common sense among them?

Well, seems the Bushes could easily be a sketch on SNL once again -- "Meet The Foot-in-Mouth Family."

According to HuffPo reports,

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) called out President Barack Obama for closing the U.S. embassy to the Vatican, questioning whether the decision was political "retribution" for Catholic opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

Here's the actual tweet: (from @JebBush on Twitter)

Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican? Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare.

There's just one small problem. The Vatican Embassy isn't actually closing. It's moving. A bit of a difference there, but subtly has never been a Bush family trait.

For cost saving purposes, some $1.4 million per year, the current standalone embassy will relocate to a larger compound shared with the U.S. Embassy in Italy, as well as the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. New address. Same embassy.

Okay, it's possible Jeb the dunce missed this, but then to accuse Obama's decision as being a political "retribution" for Catholic opposition to the Affordable Care Act. That takes some balls. And Jeb doesn't have them.

Apply this logic and see where it takes you. Obama is closing (or moving) the US facility to the Vatican, Pope Francis's home, because of fear over the the Catholic Church's take on healthcare? That's what Jeb's saying. But it's also not true. The Church is absolutely for the Affordable Care Act.

It was just a few days ago that the Pope, the Holy See, came out publicly and nailed the US Republicans to the holy cross for their discarding the poor in favor of the almighty dollar?

Doesn't Jeb have a TV or radio? Is he too ignorant to know how to turn it on? You can't have missed the Pontiff's speech. Even Fox News covered its contents, before labeling Francis a heretic.

Pope Francis, in his first apostolic exhortation has condemned the trickle down economics, the mainstay of the Reagan-GHW Bush fiscal plan. Pope Francis also denounces tax evasion and economic inequality, and he exhorts governments to ponder a saying that “not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood.”

That condemnation, my dear readers, is of the Republican Party platform and programs. It is though, what the the church says is categorically "unchristian."

So letting logic dictate, if anyone wanted to shut the Vatican Embassy down, it would be Bush's GOP party. Fortunately, no such move is planned. A cost cutting effort to bring our budget under control is being exercised by Obama. It's called fiscal prudence, not political retribution. That's the Tea Party's game, not Obama's or the Democrats.

Jeb, you're the acorn that didn't fall far from the Bush-- but the fallow one that never took root. Time to abort.

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