Give Me Some of That Watered Down Religion

 

A friend posted this morning that today would normally be a great day, one of his favorites of the year. The last work day of the year. People bringing in food for a potluck lunch. Then sitting around chatting and not working, eventually landing on discussing Star Wars. This year it is just Wednesday.

It reminded me of my work’s Christmas Holiday Party this year. It was last week over Zoom. No one in my branch went and I don’t know if anyone did. The directorate would always have a meetup on the first Friday on the month in the Before Times. They kept advertising virtual ones during the year so maybe some people are still attending them. I was then reminded of a different Holiday Party years ago. I was in the military and we were having a commander’s call in November. They called the company grade officer in charge of the party to come up and give the details. He lead off with “The Christmas Party will be…”. He was stopped and corrected to say Holiday. I think he said Christmas one more time before being corrected again and finally saying Holiday Party.

A few years later, in a different unit, we were having our summer picnic. The chaplain was unable to attended so the commander asked a captain to say the blessing. She was open with her faith, which is probably why she was asked. It was so different than what the chaplain would have delivered. The standard prayer is so watered down, seemingly along the lines of “Dear Spiritual Being that may or may not exist”. Her prayer was to Jesus and full of thankfulness.

I understand that we are not a homogenously Christian culture. It is still odd to call it a Holiday Party when everyone knows what holiday it is referencing and what the theme of the party is. I was struck by the blessing because it demonstrated how anodyne the typical chaplain prayers are when someone who hadn’t been through military chaplain courses gave a prayer.

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  1. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    I want Christians to Christian it up around Christmas. It’s a free country. 

    • #1
  2. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    I want Christians to Christian it up around Christmas. It’s a free country.

    “Christian it up” gives me a good feeling.

    • #2
  3. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    I think the shift to ‘holidays’ was an effort to not disclude Jews which is an admirable thought. But the militant quality it has now is to prevent atheists from going on the attack. And it feels like cowardice. 

    Whether Christ is a fact or not, Christmas is. Our culture has long celebrated that day and the day prior by canceling work and giving gifts – and anyone can play with no belief or worship required. 

    Non-believers get; pretty lights and decorations to look at, festive (though overworked) songs to listen to, access to seasonal foods and other folkways in part of the dreariest, least colorful of all seasons. 

    It seems odd that we welcome holiday greetings from soulless corporations while choking on Christmas greetings from Christian souls, but that is what we have become. 

    • #3
  4. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    The old adage, if you were charged with being Christian would there be enough evidence to convict. Happy Advent.

    • #4
  5. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    TBA (View Comment):
    I think the shift to ‘holidays’ was an effort to not disclude Jews which is an admirable thought

    I’m going to say that the holiday that spawned ‘Holiday Party’, ‘Holiday Season’ etc was Kwanza not Hanukkah.

    • #5
  6. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    Christmas here in Korea is basically treated as Valentine’s Day Part 2, for some reason…despite a large Christian population.

    • #6
  7. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    TBA (View Comment):
    It seems odd that we welcome holiday greetings from soulless corporations while choking on Christmas greetings from Christian souls, but that is what we have become.

    May be where I live now, but the mailman and all the other delivery folk, all the cashiers, all the fast food workers – not one time have I heard anything but “Merry Christmas”.  How refreshing! And when I say that to someone, I always get a happy face.

    Only corporate decorations do the “Happy Holiday” thing.

     

    • #7
  8. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    The left does not like our culture.  It will do anything to eliminate it.  The corporate world and the state are too spineless to do anything but do what the left says to.

    • #8
  9. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    I am Jewish and always wish my friends and anyone who serves me “Merry Christmas”.  This year has been thoroughly depressing, and I am not feeling very merry.  It almost hurts to have to say Merry Christmas from behind a mask.

    • #9
  10. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    I used to work for Dell computer in Austin, the company was still small enough that I bumped into Michael Dell from time to time, though he had no idea I existed.  Once around this time of year, a co-worker started complaining loudly that the holiday party wasn’t called a Christmas Party.  On and on she ranted that people were taking Christ out of Christmas and no one’s suggestions that it wasn’t a big deal could silence her. 

    Finally, unable to take it anymore, I poked my head above the cubicle and piped up with, “You do know that Michael Dell is Jewish, don’t you?”  

    She got quiet and stopped her rant after that revelation.  It was awfully nice, I think, for Michael Dell to have a party this time of year, no matter what he called it.  He was not required to spend all that money for a huge party for the entire company.  

    Happy holidays to everyone, and Merry Christmas too.  The best part of Christmas is in getting presents, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  There’s also a religious celebration, but that has little to do with what we as a nation observe.  

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    I am Jewish and always wish my friends and anyone who serves me “Merry Christmas”. This year has been thoroughly depressing, and I am not feeling very merry. It almost hurts to have to say Merry Christmas from behind a mask.

    I’ll still wish you a happy birthday, when it rolls ’round. We can both agree on when a happy birthday should be.

    • #11
  12. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    I’m going to say that the holiday that spawned ‘Holiday Party’, ‘Holiday Season’ etc was Kwanza not Hanukkah.

    Yep – the fake holiday created in the 1960’s by a communist.

    • #12
  13. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Skyler (View Comment):

    I used to work for Dell computer in Austin, the company was still small enough that I bumped into Michael Dell from time to time, though he had no idea I existed. Once around this time of year, a co-worker started complaining loudly that the holiday party wasn’t called a Christmas Party. On and on she ranted that people were taking Christ out of Christmas and no one’s suggestions that it wasn’t a big deal could silence her.

    Finally, unable to take it anymore, I poked my head above the cubicle and piped up with, “You do know that Michael Dell is Jewish, don’t you?”

    She got quiet and stopped her rant after that revelation. It was awfully nice, I think, for Michael Dell to have a party this time of year, no matter what he called it. He was not required to spend all that money for a huge party for the entire company.

    Happy holidays to everyone, and Merry Christmas too. The best part of Christmas is in getting presents, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There’s also a religious celebration, but that has little to do with what we as a nation observe.

    According to legend, Saint Nicholas threw three bags of gold into a poor persons house so his three daughters didn’t have to resort to prostitution. Gift-giving has deep Christian roots.

    • #13
  14. davenr321 Coolidge
    davenr321
    @davenr321

    I’m with the Pilgrims and the Roundheads on Xmas!

    Bah, Humbug!

    • #14
  15. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Skyler (View Comment):

    I used to work for Dell computer in Austin, the company was still small enough that I bumped into Michael Dell from time to time, though he had no idea I existed. Once around this time of year, a co-worker started complaining loudly that the holiday party wasn’t called a Christmas Party. On and on she ranted that people were taking Christ out of Christmas and no one’s suggestions that it wasn’t a big deal could silence her.

    Finally, unable to take it anymore, I poked my head above the cubicle and piped up with, “You do know that Michael Dell is Jewish, don’t you?”

    She got quiet and stopped her rant after that revelation. It was awfully nice, I think, for Michael Dell to have a party this time of year, no matter what he called it. He was not required to spend all that money for a huge party for the entire company.

    Happy holidays to everyone, and Merry Christmas too. The best part of Christmas is in getting presents, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There’s also a religious celebration, but that has little to do with what we as a nation observe.

    And yes, there’s this too. 

    I suppose what I mind is the badgering – either way. People who hiss ‘Merry Christmas’ at cashiers who have been instructed to say “Happy holidays” aren’t heroes either. What if everyone, just spit-ballin’ here, says what they like and everyone else chalks what is said up to good will? 

    • #15
  16. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    I am Jewish and always wish my friends and anyone who serves me “Merry Christmas”. This year has been thoroughly depressing, and I am not feeling very merry. It almost hurts to have to say Merry Christmas from behind a mask.

    Christ was definitely a Jew. Look at how he suffered so. Additionally, the story has Herod massacring male babies. Christmases have been difficult before and they will be difficult again. But humans and their traditions endure. 

    • #16
  17. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Bishop Wash: I was struck by the blessing because it demonstrated how anodyne the typical chaplain prayers are when someone who hadn’t been through military chaplain courses gave a prayer.

    I’m all for having chaplains in the military.  If having someone around to recite encantations helps my Marines kill people better, I’m all for it.  Killing is the business and anything that helps some deal with the business of killing is to be encouraged.

    Chaplains have always been allowed to worship as they see fit with their congregants.  The problem lately is the chaplains who presume that they should treat everyone in the military unit as their congregant.  There are some ways to pray when among people who choose to listen, and there is another way to pray in front of people who have no choice but to stand there and listen to you while in formation.  Confusing the two is down right rude and it’s a damn shame that some chaplains have been so boorish to make this an issue.

    I once was in formation, among the officer staff, when a chaplain exceeded that rule of decorum.  He went into an extended  hell fire and brimstone sermon.  I’m polite enough to sit through a brief generic prayer, or a talk about virtues, but he was too much to bear.  I broke ranks and left the formation.  When he finished, I returned to my place in the formation.  No one questioned me about it at all.  

    • #17
  18. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but there has been a turn – a turn away from the spiritual, in the genuine spiritual sense. Both Europe and the United States have gone off the rails secular and beyond. Having a holiday party, virtual or in person, is up to the participants. I have found an abundance of good cheer and blessings. Even in the midst of COVID, I can testify that “Christmas came just the same” (ok – it’s tomorrow) – My sister in MD works for the state in Child Support. Her crew met in a parking lot – they had a card exchange and left gifts on each other’s porches which included pans of lasagna and ziti! Our local police force delivered toys. Don’t travel said Fauci and CO? Cars are pouring in to our area, the supermarkets are packed – lights and decorations are more abundant than in past years – our local church St Rita’s added an extra mass today for those with health challenges due to COVID, so for Christmas Eve, a 2:00 PM, a 4:00 PM, Midnight Mass (which will be sung by the priest) and tomorrow Chrismas services – which can all be accessed on line as well.

    My niece and her boyfriend built a big garden bench for my sister from scratch. stained, weather-proofed and delivered by borrowing a friend’s plumbing truck. She was beyond thrilled (we are lovers of the garden). 

    So Christmas will always be, as long as we have we.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiOBwLLSpI4

    Merry Christmas!

    https://saintritaparish.org/

     

    • #18
  19. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    Christmas is an anticlimactic plastic thing when devoid of faith.  But it is still why people get days off in the United States and have parties, even when they are secular or practice other religions.  

    I don’t know why that’s controversial.  

    I am not offended by different holidays, mind.  Just the whole thing is nonsensical.  

    Designating “holiday parties” in December as catchall things is like saying “Happy Holidays” at Thanksgiving because Veterans’ Day is on November 11, and there are lots of people in the US who don’t like the Pilgrim story… 

    I mean… there is a reason December 25 is a national holiday. 

    I think companies should have New Years’ Parties and be done with it.  ;)

     

     

    • #19
  20. Shauna Hunt Coolidge
    Shauna Hunt
    @ShaunaHunt

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but there has been a turn – a turn away from the spiritual, in the genuine spiritual sense. Both Europe and the United States have gone off the rails secular and beyond. Having a holiday party, virtual or in person, is up to the participants. I have found an abundance of good cheer and blessings. Even in the midst of COVID, I can testify that “Christmas came just the same” (ok – it’s tomorrow) – My sister in MD works for the state in Child Support. Her crew met in a parking lot – they had a card exchange and left gifts on each other’s porches which included pans of lasagna and ziti! Our local police force delivered toys. Don’t travel said Fauci and CO? Cars are pouring in to our area, the supermarkets are packed – lights and decorations are more abundant than in past years – our local church St Rita’s added an extra mass today for those with health challenges due to COVID, so for Christmas Eve, a 2:00 PM, a 4:00 PM, Midnight Mass (which will be sung by the priest) and tomorrow Chrismas services – which can all be accessed on line as well.

    My niece and her boyfriend built a big garden bench for my sister from scratch. stained, weather-proofed and delivered by borrowing a friend’s plumbing truck. She was beyond thrilled (we are lovers of the garden).

    So Christmas will always be, as long as we have we. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiOBwLLSpI4

    Merry Christmas!

    https://saintritaparish.org/

     

    Bless you and Merry Christmas! Where do you live? I forgot!

    • #20
  21. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    “Who the heck is offended by Christmas!?” 

    “Well you might offend the *$#@#s, and the $##@#$#^%s, and the atheists.” 

     

     

     

    • #21
  22. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):
    “Well you might offend the *$#@#s, and the $##@#$#^%s, and the atheists.” 

    It’s a holiday.  Why do some people feel a need to fight?

    • #22
  23. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):
    “Well you might offend the *$#@#s, and the $##@#$#^%s, and the atheists.”

    It’s a holiday. Why do some people feel a need to fight?

    That’s a line from the song. “It’s a completely unoffensive and politically  correct holidaaaay.”

    • #23
  24. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Skyler (View Comment):
    The best part of Christmas is in getting presents, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    Otherwise.  I don’t care if I get presents or not.

    • #24
  25. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    The best part of Christmas is in getting presents, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    Otherwise. I don’t care if I get presents or not.

    Well, you’re getting older and that’s natural.  But when you were younger, I’ll bet you did like those presents, though there are exceptions.  

    • #25
  26. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Shauna Hunt (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but there has been a turn – a turn away from the spiritual, in the genuine spiritual sense. Both Europe and the United States have gone off the rails secular and beyond. Having a holiday party, virtual or in person, is up to the participants. I have found an abundance of good cheer and blessings. Even in the midst of COVID, I can testify that “Christmas came just the same” (ok – it’s tomorrow) – My sister in MD works for the state in Child Support. Her crew met in a parking lot – they had a card exchange and left gifts on each other’s porches which included pans of lasagna and ziti! Our local police force delivered toys. Don’t travel said Fauci and CO? Cars are pouring in to our area, the supermarkets are packed – lights and decorations are more abundant than in past years – our local church St Rita’s added an extra mass today for those with health challenges due to COVID, so for Christmas Eve, a 2:00 PM, a 4:00 PM, Midnight Mass (which will be sung by the priest) and tomorrow Chrismas services – which can all be accessed on line as well.

    My niece and her boyfriend built a big garden bench for my sister from scratch. stained, weather-proofed and delivered by borrowing a friend’s plumbing truck. She was beyond thrilled (we are lovers of the garden).

    So Christmas will always be, as long as we have we. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiOBwLLSpI4

    Merry Christmas!

    https://saintritaparish.org/

     

    Bless you and Merry Christmas! Where do you live? I forgot!

    we’re in NW Florida

    • #26