Halloween
Posted: 30 October 2006 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]
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My children are not allowed to wear Halloween masks to school, because wait for it! they might scare the Christian children :shock: (actually, Dawkins suggested we call them the children of Christian parents). I am thinking: what is a Halloween mask compared to the teaching about hell?! This is absolutely idiotic. :x I have no idea how to explain this to my kids…

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Posted: 30 October 2006 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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You’re joking!

rolleyes

Is this in Toronto? And we’d thought Canada was better off ...

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Posted: 30 October 2006 03:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Yes, it is in Toronto.

And we’d thought Canada was better off ...

Robin Williams once said he likes Canada because we put animals on our money. Hmm, maybe we do. But we are indeed America’s 51st state. :wink:

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Posted: 30 October 2006 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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A bit of a side-note, but… what about political correctness the other way, when middle schools change the words to Christmas songs such as “Silent Night” to a more winter-esque festive theme for student concerts and celebrations?  (This was brought up by Bill O’Reilly as part of the “War on Christmas”)  If worrying about offending Christians is ridiculous, is worrying about offending non-Christians equally ridiculous or even more so since they are in the majority?  Just something to think about.  What do you guys think?

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Posted: 30 October 2006 04:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I remember as a kid in Czechoslovakia, nobody believed in God, but everybody celebrated Christmas. It was Jesus, not Santa, who used to bring us presents and everybody listened to ‘Jesus-was-born-in-excelsis-gloria’ kind of music, not Jingle Bells or Frosty the Snowman. Maybe because everybody knew that the whole Bethlehem thing was just a fairly tale, they treated it as such.

Holidays are for kids. Adults should worry about global warming (for example) and not about the ‘proper’ lyrics for Silent Night.  :x

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Posted: 31 October 2006 12:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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It’s an interesting question, HolyAvenger. Personally I’m not overly concerned about carols like “Silent Night”, Christmas trees, etc., so long as it remains at a superficial level. However probably the best way for schools to deal with sectarian celebrations is to devise something totally ecumenical: use it as an occasion to describe the entire range of different religious (and atheist) celebrations on and around that date. Talk about why it is that so many religions have celebrations around the solstice. It might be a fun intro to ‘comparative religion’ class.

But I don’t think we should get in the way of festivals and having fun. Makes us look like party poopers, and nobody gets jazzed by that.

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Posted: 31 October 2006 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yeah, but I think we all would have to admit that we’re uncomfortable on some level with our kids singing “Christ the savior is born” over and over again in school…  Traditional as it may be, it just doesn’t fly with my conception of separation of church and state and the role of public education. 

I made up my mind about tradition a long time ago, and I still maintain: “If tradition made any sense, it wouldn’t have to be called tradition.”

I agree with you that it seems we only hurt our cause by nitpicking about “In God we Trust” on money, congressional prayers and things like this, but on a larger scale, it’s all part of the complicit adjoining of religious tradition with modern culture, which makes our goals and efforts more difficult.  We’re trying to create a world in which religion is the “other,” viewed as fanciful and unrealistic, as opposed to the “default,” in the sense that most agree on it and it seems essential to our society and government.  So, I’m a bit torn on the subject of what’s worthwhile to deal with.  Obviously global warming and major political problems ought to take precedence.  Maybe one day we’ll be so happy and peaceful politically that taking God off of money will be our biggest problem!  :D

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Posted: 31 October 2006 06:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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[quote author=“HolyAvenger”]Yeah, but I think we all would have to admit that we’re uncomfortable on some level with our kids singing “Christ the savior is born” over and over again in school…  Traditional as it may be, it just doesn’t fly with my conception of separation of church and state and the role of public education. 

Sure. But on the one hand, it could be made a bit less sectarian by including songs and beliefs from other religions. And on the other hand, politically we have bigger fish to fry ... give ‘em carols at Christmas as long as we can have Darwin in the biology class.

[quote author=“HolyAvenger”]I made up my mind about tradition a long time ago, and I still maintain: “If tradition made any sense, it wouldn’t have to be called tradition.”

Again, yes, but there are traditions and traditions ... some are harmless and we shouldn’t make ourselves look like humorless prigs by opposing everything. To take one example, I do enjoy Thanksgiving ... perhaps not a traditionally ‘religious’ holiday, but a “tradition” which some will give religious significance to (by thanking god). I as an atheist can thank other things, and meanwhile can enjoy good food and company. Nothing wrong with that.

[quote author=“HolyAvenger”]We’re trying to create a world in which religion is the “other,” viewed as fanciful and unrealistic, as opposed to the “default,” in the sense that most agree on it and it seems essential to our society and government.  So, I’m a bit torn on the subject of what’s worthwhile to deal with.  Obviously global warming and major political problems ought to take precedence.  Maybe one day we’ll be so happy and peaceful politically that taking God off of money will be our biggest problem!  :D

Let’s hope so!  :wink:

But I think that generally our best bet is to be political realists about our prospects, and aim for those targets which are (1) achievable and (2) would make a real beneficial difference if achieved. So, for instance, we must push very hard for competent teaching of biology in all accredited schools. We must clearly push to keep religious indoctrination out of the classroom. But we must be politically flexible enough to distinguish the harmful teaching of religion as fact from the harmless singing of songs during celebrations. (Again, they can be made more harmless if done in the context of other world religions and even non-religious practices).

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Posted: 31 October 2006 07:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Yeah, but I think we all would have to admit that we’re uncomfortable on some level with our kids singing “Christ the savior is born” over and over again in school

Some years ago I sang in a choir at St. James Cathedral in Toronto. It took us about six months to get Vivaldi’s Gloria just right (or as ‘right’ as possible). There was obviously a lot of “Christ, bla, bla, bla” in it, in Latin, but I enjoyed every second of it. I agree with Dawkins that Beethoven could have written equally good symphony about our galaxy (for example), but he didn’t (for an obvious reason). I can’t personally let this all this disappear from my life; there is way too much beauty and human talent left in all this.

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Posted: 31 October 2006 07:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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What if the kids wore Jesus masks?

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Posted: 31 October 2006 07:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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[quote author=“rogerflat”]What if the kids wore Jesus masks?

LOL  LOL

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Posted: 31 October 2006 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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[quote author=“rogerflat”]What if the kids wore Jesus masks?

LOL

Yah, a mask of dead Jesus perhaps: like the ones they display in Catholic churches. Some of these can scare the hell out of you. :twisted:

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