Arkansas Society of Freethinkers Denies "War on Christmas" Charge

Dec 5, 2012 Full story: arkansasmatters.com 233

The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers today rejected the claim that it is making war on Christmas.

"Those who stand up for the rights of children to be free from coercion aren't making war either on religion or Christmas," said ASF spokesperson LeeWood Thomas. "Rather, this is a case of a church forming an alliance with local government to violate religious freedom. So we in the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers feel compelled to take a stand on behalf of the parents under the U.S. Constitution."

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“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#1 Dec 5, 2012
"It's about the separation of church and state. Public schools educate children of every faith tradition. We must be sensitive to that and never allow public schools to promote one brand of religion over any other." ~ Anne Orsi

"Not every religion accepts the New Testament as holy. Therefore, such a sectarian religious bias in a school-sponsored event excludes Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and many others, including the non-religious." ~ LeeWood Thomas
Hal

Concord, MA

#2 Dec 5, 2012
Then why do schools teach children about the different faiths? Stop beiing so naive in your thinking. Children should be exposed to all types of faith. How else will they learn how to chose for themselves if people like you chose for them?

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#3 Dec 5, 2012
Beyond standard history class exposure and mythology class exposure, I'm not I want the school systems teaching my child about any religions.

If I really believe that they would get equal exposure to all types of faiths and non-faiths, I'd be more open to it. But I'm not that naive.
guest

United States

#4 Dec 5, 2012
While people fuss and worry over the ever standing tradition of celebrating Christmas in schools, they are completely oblivious to the striking failure of the government schools to fulfill their primary responsibility - educating students in the core academic areas of language, mathematics, science and history.

It's a clear case of swallowing a camel and straining a gnat.
Guest

Paragould, AR

#5 Dec 5, 2012
Of course the "FreeThinkers" are waging a war against Christmas and Christianity it is to be expected in the end times . If this parent objected to her child going to this play held at a church she could have kept him home , it's back to minority rules and let the Atheist win another one. But no matter how hard they try God will win in the end and pity the people who denied him.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#6 Dec 5, 2012
If only it were an "ever standing tradition" --

The Massachusetts colony actually had laws against celebrating Christmas as it was thought to be too catholic.

It was not until after the Civil War that Christmas began to seriously affect American cultural and religious life.

Congress did not begin adjourning on Christmas Day until 1856. Public schools in New England were often open on Dec. 25, as were many factories and offices.

The celebration spread, and in 1870 Christmas was declared a federal holiday by Congress. As late as 1931, NINE states still called for public schools to remain open on Christmas Day.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#7 Dec 5, 2012
Guest wrote:
Of course the "FreeThinkers" are waging a war against Christmas and Christianity it is to be expected in the end times . If this parent objected to her child going to this play held at a church she could have kept him home , it's back to minority rules and let the Atheist win another one. But no matter how hard they try God will win in the end and pity the people who denied him.
Ah yes, the threat of eternal torture from an all-loving deity. Get's you off just thinking about all the pain and suffering, doesn't it.
scott

Latrobe, PA

#8 Dec 5, 2012
Seriously...let the kids enjoy Christmas.
guest

United States

#9 Dec 5, 2012
Hedonist wrote:
If only it were an "ever standing tradition"
It is.
The Massachusetts colony actually had laws against celebrating Christmas as it was thought to be too catholic.
That's false. Besides, this is Arkansas, not Massachusetts.
It was not until after the Civil War that Christmas began to seriously affect American cultural and religious life.
That's a denial of historical fact.
Congress did not begin adjourning on Christmas Day until 1856.
Again, that's false.
Public schools in New England were often open on Dec. 25, as were many factories and offices.
Highly doubtful. But again, this is about Arkansas schools, not New England schools, factories and offices.
The celebration spread, and in 1870 Christmas was declared a federal holiday by Congress.
That doesn't change the fact that Christmas has ever been celebrated in schools.
As late as 1931, NINE states still called for public schools to remain open on Christmas Day.
Wrong again. You're just making stuff up hoping to bolster your position. It ain't working.

Since: Mar 11

Chicago, IL

#11 Dec 5, 2012
Well said and 100% accurate. Many people do not celebrate Christmas so why should those children have it forced down their throats? How would a Christian family feel about their kids being forced to stand and observe Ramadan practices? Or pagan winter solstice festivals? Oops that hits a little close to home :))
Hedonist wrote:
If only it were an "ever standing tradition" --
The Massachusetts colony actually had laws against celebrating Christmas as it was thought to be too catholic.
It was not until after the Civil War that Christmas began to seriously affect American cultural and religious life.
Congress did not begin adjourning on Christmas Day until 1856. Public schools in New England were often open on Dec. 25, as were many factories and offices.
The celebration spread, and in 1870 Christmas was declared a federal holiday by Congress. As late as 1931, NINE states still called for public schools to remain open on Christmas Day.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#12 Dec 6, 2012
guest wrote:
<quoted text>
It is.
<quoted text>
That's false. Besides, this is Arkansas, not Massachusetts.
<quoted text>
That's a denial of historical fact.
<quoted text>
Again, that's false.
<quoted text>
Highly doubtful. But again, this is about Arkansas schools, not New England schools, factories and offices.
<quoted text>
That doesn't change the fact that Christmas has ever been celebrated in schools.
<quoted text>
Wrong again. You're just making stuff up hoping to bolster your position. It ain't working.
I noticed that you repeatedly called me a liar but NEVER provided any data to counter any of my statements.

So why don't you go do the research yourself and learn about this long held tradition.

Let me give you a more detailed history to help you start your research --

The first mention of December 25 as the birth date of Jesus occurred in A.D. 336 in an early Roman calendar. The celebration of this day as Jesus' birth date was probably influenced by pagan festivals held at that time. The ancient Romans held year-end celebrations to honor Saturn, their harvest god; and Mithras, the god of light... As part of all these celebrations, the people prepared special foods, decorated their homes with greenery, and joined in singing and gift giving. These customs gradually became part of the Christmas celebration.

The Puritans of Massachusetts Bay frowned on Christmas revelry, considering the holiday a Roman Catholic affectation. A law in the colony barred anyone from taking the day off work, feasting or engaging in other celebrations on Christmas, under penalty of a five-shilling fine. The law was repealed in 1681, but Christmas celebrations remained unpopular in New England and other colonies for many years.

That did not change after the Revolution, because many Americans viewed Christmas as a Tory custom, a reminder of the expelled British. Although Christmas became popular in the South as early as the 1830s, other regions were apathetic.

Congress did not begin adjourning on Christmas Day until 1856. Public schools in New England were often open on Dec. 25, as were many factories and offices. Many Protestant churches refused to hold services, considering the holiday “Pope-ish.”

Not until after the Civil War did Christmas begin to seriously affect American cultural and religious life. European immigration increased sharply after the war, and many of the newcomers came from countries with strong Christmas traditions. Germans, Italians, Poles, Swedes, Norwegians and others brought the holiday and many of its features, including Christmas trees and Santa Claus, to America in a big way.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#13 Dec 6, 2012
scott wrote:
Seriously...let the kids enjoy Christmas.
I agree complete!

But let's NOT use it as an opportunity for Christians to use my tax money to proselytize to my children.

There are enough secular aspects of Christmas for ALL kids to enjoy, including Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Humanists, etc.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#14 Dec 6, 2012
Guest wrote:
Of course the "FreeThinkers" are waging a war against Christmas and Christianity it is to be expected in the end times . If this parent objected to her child going to this play held at a church she could have kept him home , it's back to minority rules and let the Atheist win another one. But no matter how hard they try God will win in the end and pity the people who denied him.
Why do you think this is just about non-theists? Don't you think Jews have had enough of you cramming Christmas down their children's throats too?

Since: Mar 11

Louisville, KY

#15 Dec 6, 2012
Hell I already have the Trans Siberian orchestra CDs as well as the Wife's pop Christmas CDs ready to go.

We have fun with the tree and gifts and goodies wifey even has a Mrs. Claus outfit that is yummy :P
Gluteus Maximus

Bethpage, NY

#16 Dec 6, 2012
Hedonist wrote:
Beyond standard history class exposure and mythology class exposure, I'm not I want the school systems teaching my child about any religions.
If I really believe that they would get equal exposure to all types of faiths and non-faiths, I'd be more open to it. But I'm not that naive.
So, you think a 30-minute play based on a TV show that your kids will probably watch anyway amounts to the state TEACHING a religion?? You atheism must be very weak if it can't overcome something as innoucuous as Charlie Brown.
Gluteus Maximus

Bethpage, NY

#17 Dec 6, 2012
Givemeliberty wrote:
Well said and 100% accurate. Many people do not celebrate Christmas so why should those children have it forced down their throats? How would a Christian family feel about their kids being forced to stand and observe Ramadan practices? Or pagan winter solstice festivals? Oops that hits a little close to home :))
<quoted text>
A play based on a television cartoon is FORCING down one's throat? Exaggerate much?? By the way, my child just this week performed in a school band concert and guess what? Musical selections ran the spectrum from traditional Christmas music through Kwanza to Hanukkah. Did I make a public scene? NO!! Our faith and respect for others is strong enough to withstand such a horrendous onslaught of religion (did you catch my bitter irony there?)
Gluteus Maximus

Bethpage, NY

#18 Dec 6, 2012
Hedonist wrote:
<quoted text>
Why do you think this is just about non-theists? Don't you think Jews have had enough of you cramming Christmas down their children's throats too?
I love how words like "cramming" and "forcing" only go in one direction. Atheists over the past 50 years have made staggering advances aimed at removing ALL religion from the American scene, in a most forceful manner. People are now banned from wearing tiny religious jewelery or leaving a bible laying on their desk at work becuase someone somewhere may be "offended" (how these things are offensive remains a mystery). Don't you dare talk to us about "cramming".

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#19 Dec 6, 2012
Gluteus Maximus wrote:
<quoted text>
So, you think a 30-minute play based on a TV show that your kids will probably watch anyway amounts to the state TEACHING a religion?? You atheism must be very weak if it can't overcome something as innoucuous as Charlie Brown.
We're not talking about my religious skepticism.

We're talking about impressionable young school children whose reasoning skills have yet to mature.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#20 Dec 6, 2012
Gluteus Maximus wrote:
<quoted text>
A play based on a television cartoon is FORCING down one's throat? Exaggerate much?? By the way, my child just this week performed in a school band concert and guess what? Musical selections ran the spectrum from traditional Christmas music through Kwanza to Hanukkah. Did I make a public scene? NO!! Our faith and respect for others is strong enough to withstand such a horrendous onslaught of religion (did you catch my bitter irony there?)
Good for them. As they say, music is universal! All faiths and non-faiths should be acknowledged at this time of year (and any time for that matter).

It's good that we have so many different ways our children can enjoy the holiday festivities.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#21 Dec 6, 2012
Gluteus Maximus wrote:
<quoted text>
I love how words like "cramming" and "forcing" only go in one direction. Atheists over the past 50 years have made staggering advances aimed at removing ALL religion from the American scene, in a most forceful manner. People are now banned from wearing tiny religious jewelery or leaving a bible laying on their desk at work becuase someone somewhere may be "offended" (how these things are offensive remains a mystery). Don't you dare talk to us about "cramming".
Gee, pretty much ever since "god" was added to our Pledge and put on our money. Yep, we're forcing ourselves into your lives big time.

Your atheophobia is noted.

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