Archive for the ‘secularism’ Category

Whose war on Christmas?

‘Tis the Season of stupid comments about Christmas and a “war on Christmas”.
Funny, but people forget about, or are just plain ignorant of, the FACT that some Christians did not like Christmas based upon its pagan origins and traditions (pretty much all of them are Pagan). 

Christmas was banned in Puritan England and New England as well as Scotland.  Other Protestant faiths refused (and some still refuse) to celebrate Christmas.  It wasn’t until 1870 that Christmas became a federal holiday!

I’m going to grab this comment as a pretty good summary of the state of Christmas in the US:

Christmas is actually a perfect example of the way that a nearly homogeneously Christian dominant culture has segued into a pluralistic one. Christmas is a national holiday mostly because it’s always been one and the inertia is too strong. But Christmas has been co-opted by secular society to the point that it is celebrated by the popular culture as a nonreligious holiday. All the Christmas specials about the “true meaning of Christmas” being abstract notions like “giving” and “caring” and “family” and so on.

The other part of this is that lots of voters still believe that America is a “Christian” country–whatever that means–and any politician who so much as suggested demoting Dec. 25 from its status as a federal holiday would be committing political suicide for no tangible benefit.

So, there really isn’t a “secular war” on Christmas and Christians, it’s that some people don’t realise that the holiday has become secular, rather than religious.

Ritual and meaning in post Christian society… (via this fragile tent)

I found this to be an interesting post. This seems to apply very strongly to US society where the religious right is trying to make the US a “Christian Nation” rather than the secular one it was founded to be.

Ritual and meaning in post Christian society... Religion, according to sociologists like Durkheim, plays a vital role in society. It unites and solidifies our morality, our world view and facilitates social cohesion. According to Durkheim, religion is very real; it is an expression of society itself, and indeed, there is no society that does not have religion. Since Durkheim, there have been many discussions about the value of religion to society. Some have been critical, and seen organised re … Read More

via this fragile tent

Oi vey

It seems an orthodox Jewish teenager’s davening on a US Airways plane caused the plane to make an unscheduled landing in Philadelphia.

It seems the flight attendant saw the leather boxes of the kid’s tefillin with what she thought were wires coming out of them and flipped out. The Captain didn’t have an idea of what was going on. The crew in post 9-11 caution decided to land in Philadelphia to have the suspicious objects investigated.

The NY Daily News Article opened with the line “What schmucks”.

Although, were the crew being schmucks? They see something suspicious and its their duty to look out for the safety of their passengers. Yes, a little bit of knowledge might have stopped an embarassing situation.

But the US is a Christian nation.

Justin’s 100 Treatises

I found this blog through another post on the Secular state.

Justin is a very intelligent young man who likes to cover political, philosophical, economic issues, and the topic of secularism and religion. In fact, part of me wants to defer to him on the topic of secularism and religion as he is wise beyond his age in thse matters.

He has just finished a three part post on Afghanistan that is most cogent and insightful regarding history and nation building. Unfortunately, the west likes to place its constructs upon a society which cannot work. The concept that nations can be built upon geographic, rather than cultural and ethnic lines is the cause of much conflict in Europe (Balkans), Africa, and Asia. Justin addresses the extreme multicultural society comprised by Afghanistan. Actually, Justin doesn’t mention that this area combines Iran, Pakistan, and India by the nature of ethnic and cultural identites (e.g., Pashtuns).

I hope that decision makers consider Justin’s comments and I hope those who read this take a look at Justin’s blog.

I wish young Justin well.