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Christmas Cheer

mcgrew's Journal: The Christmas Tree 2

Journal by mcgrew

The Governor of Rhode Island raised a stink when he dedicated the "holiday tree". Christians howled in protest. Illinois' Governor raised a stink when he dedicated Illinois' Christmas tree. Secularists howled in protest. I think the whole damned thing is stupid.

The first amendment guarantees you the freedom of speech. It does not guarantee freedom from speech. Likewise, it gurantees freedom of religion. It does not guarantee freedom from religion. As Wikipedia points out, nowhere in the Constitution is "Separation of church and state". That was in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. The original text reads: "... I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

Everyone worships something. Some worship a god or gods. Bhuddists worship life. Most Americans worship money, even if they profess to worship a god. Many slashdotters worship science and/or technology. Some folks worship liberty. Some worship a sports figure, actor, or some other celebrity. Some worship themselves. Whatever you love more than anything else, that's what you worship.

The idea that holidays must be secular is dumb. We have Black Friday, the mammon worshiper's holiday, and nobody seems to want to be PC about celebrating that little bit of Satan's world. So why is it out of bounds for a business to say "Merry Christmas" or "happy Hannukah" or "Happy Islamic New Year" on Britain and Canada's Boxing Day?

If you want to put a Bhuddah or a Menorah in the statehouse, I see nothing whatever wrong with it. Bring 'em on. You want a Darwin footfish? Go ahead and display it. If pastafarians want to put a painting of the FSM, I won't object. But the Christmas tree has been a Christian tradition for hundreds of years, ever since we stole it from the pagans. It's not a "Holiday" tree, it's a Christmas tree.

Be fucking glad we're not fighting for a nativity scene like we should be allowed to -- it's a matter of free speech. Feel free to ignore it.

Worship whatever you want. But don't try to take away my freedom of religion or my freedom of speech in the name of political correctness.

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I found those two Quake Christmas carols patty recorded for me when she was 12. I created torrents, loaded them to a tracker -- and discovered that there were already peers out there! So I guess you could have had them all along.

The songs are "I Saw Mommie Killing Santa Clause" and "Rudolph the Four Legged Stroggie."

Hard to believe that it was half a lifetime ago for her.

I also found the Fragfest shoutcasts. I hesitate to torrent them, because the RIAA may slap me down, as they're full of RIAA music, even though they have a crappy bitrate; back then everyone was on dialup and files had to be small. If I do torrent them, search for "Springfield Fragfest". I may just strip out the music and leave in the funny parts (one that comes to mind is the Borg assimilating someone they might wish they hadn't).

The old Quake Christmas page is at archive.org. Wayback to thefragfest.com and look for a snapshot of December. Unfortunately, a lot in the archive is broken, especially the javascript, which seems to not play nicely with archive.org's javascript. You won't get the skins or other goodies from there, nor will you get the MP3s.

If you happen to run across the post where I pitted Art against Alice (my chatbot and somebody else's), please email me with a link.

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The Christmas Tree

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  • Just because you don't believe doesn't mean Dec. 25th isn't Christmas.

    It's like claiming that other countries don't have a 4th of July.

  • I've always felt the "separation of church and State" meant that the government wasn't supposed to give preference to one religion or another. Religious displays on public grounds were fine, as long as they didn't go overboard, didn't discriminate, and kept it limited to the major holidays.

    That is, no permanent, year-round displays. A Christmas tree was fine during the secular Christmas season -- early December to about New Year. A Nativity Scene during religious Christmas season -- Christmas Eve to Advent.

"Life sucks, but death doesn't put out at all...." -- Thomas J. Kopp

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