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mlyonsd
08-20-2005, 09:19 AM
School District Steals 'Christmas' in August

Saturday, August 20, 2005


PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — For 21 years, the South Kitsap School District in Washington state called the two-week vacation around Christmas winter break.

But in May, with no fanfare, the school board decided that it was political correctness run amok and voted to go back to calling it Christmas break. That move was criticized by a few dozen people and this week, the board did an about-face.

Among those who blasted the board's original move to call it Christmas break was Sheldon Levine, a member of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Levine said in a letter to school officials that they could be sued over the matter because he thought the action violated the state constitution, which says public schools "shall be forever free from sectarian control or influence."

"I just felt that it was not sensitive to the other people in the community that aren't Christian, and also for Christians that don't want the government involved in their religion," said Levine.

But critics of Levine said the board caved in to a vocal minority, allowing them to steal Christmas in August.

"If everybody calls it Christmas, and calls it Christmas break, why is it these people insist on this political correctness that we must call it winter break? It's being dishonest," said Jim Huff, who was the president of the South Kitsap School Board (search) when Christmas was put back on the calendar.

An attorney who specializes in such church-state issues said there's never been a court ruling on a case exactly like this, but said it's laughable to think that using the term "Christmas" break would somehow violate the Establishment Clause (search) of the Constitution.

Saulbadguy
08-20-2005, 09:22 AM
Who cares what the hell they call it? I have to work through it! :(

stevieray
08-20-2005, 09:28 AM
Who cares what the hell they call it? I have to work through it! :(

Like half your time at work isn't spent here.

Mr. Kotter
08-20-2005, 09:30 AM
Like half your time at work isn't spent here.

You sound jealous, Elvis. ;)

FTR, Good for this school. :clap:

Saulbadguy
08-20-2005, 09:35 AM
Like half your time at work isn't spent here.
:D Thank goodness for the public sector!

Saulbadguy
08-20-2005, 09:36 AM
FTR, good for this school. :clap:
I tend to agree. Don't make something in to something its not, just for the sake of being PC.

stevieray
08-20-2005, 09:47 AM
You sound jealous, Elvis. ;)

FTR, Good for this school. :clap:

Hardly. I would much rather work than be here during the day..

jAZ
08-20-2005, 12:18 PM
You know, I can see at least *some* legit arguments that can be made for undoing *some* of the church-state rules/laws/policies... but This is the one "rule" that I can't see an argument for undoing.

It's not like you can argue that Christmas is a secular religous holiday. It's not just a holiday that excludes atheists. It's not like it isn't a government institution singling out one religion over another.

There really is no defense for calling it "Christmas Break".

Jenson71
08-20-2005, 12:20 PM
You know, I can see at least *some* legit arguments that can be made for undoing *some* of the church-state rules/laws/policies... but This is the one "rule" that I can't see an argument for undoing.

It's not like you can argue that Christmas is a secular religous holiday. It's not just a holiday that excludes atheists. It's not like it isn't a government institution singling out one religion over another.

There really is no defense for calling it "Christmas Break".

Well, if there was no Christmas, would we have it (a break)?

Saulbadguy
08-20-2005, 01:30 PM
Hardly. I would much rather work than be here during the day..
You sound like a man who truly has a passion for his job. I wish I could do the same. Cheers, man. :toast:

Saulbadguy
08-20-2005, 01:30 PM
Well, if there was no Christmas, would we have it (a break)?
Most likely. We have "spring break".

Jenson71
08-20-2005, 01:36 PM
Most likely. We have "spring break".

Do you know why there is no fall break?

Saulbadguy
08-20-2005, 01:39 PM
Do you know why there is no fall break?
Because there is nothing there to break the fall.

BigMeatballDave
08-20-2005, 02:32 PM
Do you know why there is no fall break?Cuz Summer just ended?

go bowe
08-20-2005, 02:56 PM
You know, I can see at least *some* legit arguments that can be made for undoing *some* of the church-state rules/laws/policies... but This is the one "rule" that I can't see an argument for undoing.

It's not like you can argue that Christmas is a secular religous holiday. It's not just a holiday that excludes atheists. It's not like it isn't a government institution singling out one religion over another.

There really is no defense for calling it "Christmas Break".i disagree with respect to your statement: "It's not like you can argue that Christmas is a secular religous holiday."

although i'm not quite sure what a "secular religious" holiday might be, i think it can be persuasively argued that the Christmas holidays are just that - holidays..

take memorial day, for example...

how many people do you know that participate in some (war) memorial activity?

but everybody is off that monday whether or not they participated in a memorial of some kind...

holiday in today's world means paid time off...

the reason for that holiday/paid time off soons ceases to matter, it's the time off that's important to people, all people...

but we don't change the historical name of memorial day just because it's become nothing more than another paid day off for most people...

Christmas and the Christmas holidays are holidays to just about everybody, because they are paid time off (holidays)...

and what about all those who decry the commercialization of Christmas?

isn't their complaint that Christmas has become a secular and commercial celebration rather than a religious one?

i generally support the aclu (well, sometimes), but i think the school should change it back to Christmas break again and let them sue if they don't like it...

by the time the case gets to the supremes, president bush will have appointed at least two new justices and one can reasonably expect that they won't be quite so finicky about total and absolute seperation of church (and all things religious) and state and recognize that as far as the secular world, christmas is paid time off and the time of year where you have parties and give people stuff, and nothing more for many, many, people in america these days...

for those who celebrate it as a religious holiday, Christmas will always be well, a religious holiday...

for those who don't, then they celebrate it as paid time off and parties galore and have no reason to be offended by the historical name of the holiday...

for those of other faiths, nobody's forcing them to participate in Christmas as a religious holiday rather than a secular one...

and nobody's forcing them to take the time off with pay either...

while i understand with the legal reasoning behind all these school and courthouse bans on all religious content, i think they have gone overboard...

and i really expect that trend to stop once the new justices are seated...

Pitt Gorilla
08-20-2005, 03:20 PM
Do you know why there is no fall break?
Uh, many colleges have a fall break. What do you mean "no fall break?"

Saul Good
08-20-2005, 03:20 PM
Roberts is replacing a moderate justice (fourth most conservative), and the next judge likely to retire (Rehnquist) is the third most conservative justice. Nothing is really likely to change. Now if Souter and Rehnquist both retire, that would swing the balance to 5-4 conservative (from the current 5 liberals, 1 moderate, 3 conservative). Plus, there is no guarantee that anyone appointed by Bush will be conservative. After all, 6 of the sitting justices have been appointed by Republicans IIRC, and only 3 of the 6 can really be called conservative if you consider Roe V Wade to be the defining issue.

go bowe
08-20-2005, 04:21 PM
Roberts is replacing a moderate justice (fourth most conservative), and the next judge likely to retire (Rehnquist) is the third most conservative justice. Nothing is really likely to change. Now if Souter and Rehnquist both retire, that would swing the balance to 5-4 conservative (from the current 5 liberals, 1 moderate, 3 conservative). Plus, there is no guarantee that anyone appointed by Bush will be conservative. After all, 6 of the sitting justices have been appointed by Republicans IIRC, and only 3 of the 6 can really be called conservative if you consider Roe V Wade to be the defining issue.i don't really think roe v wade is the defining issue at all...

roe v wade is settled law and i seriously doubt that it will ever be overturned...

probably additional restrictions will be put on it, but abortion is here to stay...

i was talking about the cases prohibiting prayer and ordering ten commandments be removed from courthouses and the like...

wasn't o'connor on the majority in those cases? i really don't remember...

but if she was, she is being replaced by a guy who is much more conservative and who would quite likely vote with the conservatives on the court on those issues...

and, despite what most right wingers say, isn't kennedy considered somewhat of a conservative on some issues?

the court got that 4 vote minority in all those cases from somewhere...

Saul Good
08-20-2005, 05:44 PM
i don't really think roe v wade is the defining issue at all...

roe v wade is settled law and i seriously doubt that it will ever be overturned...

probably additional restrictions will be put on it, but abortion is here to stay...

i was talking about the cases prohibiting prayer and ordering ten commandments be removed from courthouses and the like...

wasn't o'connor on the majority in those cases? i really don't remember...

but if she was, she is being replaced by a guy who is much more conservative and who would quite likely vote with the conservatives on the court on those issues...

and, despite what most right wingers say, isn't kennedy considered somewhat of a conservative on some issues?

the court got that 4 vote minority in all those cases from somewhere...


I don't really think there's any such thing as settled law, at least not when the population is split pretty much right down the middle. That's why NARAL is pitching such a fit. I could forsee a situation in which Roe V Wade was overturned. I think that would be a good idea, as it would then give each state the right to make it legal or illegal. Taking the morality question out of play completely, I just don't see it as a right enumerated in the Constitution.

O'Connor is the 4th most conservative judge currently sitting on the court. IMO, the most conservative in order are:
1. Scalia
2. Thomas
3. Rehnquist
4. O'Connor
5. Kennedy

O'Connor is pretty much right down the middle. There's a case to be made that she's on either side, but she's more or less a moderate. Roberts appears to be more conservative, but it appears that he's a strict constructionalist. Hopefully he'll simply read written law and interpret it, not extend it, ignore it, or completely rewrite it so that it's more to his liking like most of our justices seem to do.

Kennedy is somewhat liberal. He's not far left like Ginsburg, but he's clearly left of center. If there's a 7-2 or 8-1 decision either way, he's probably not in the minority. If there's a 5-4 conservative ruling, he is among the dissenters more often than not.

Scalia, Thomas, Souter, O'Connor, Kennedy, and Stevens were all appointed by Republicans. Souter and Stevens are clearly liberal, especially considering who nominated them.

All hell will break loose if Breyer, Souter, Ginsburg, Kennedy, or Stevens step down under a Republican president's watch.

Jenson71
08-21-2005, 01:53 AM
Uh, many colleges have a fall break. What do you mean "no fall break?"

Uh, I don't have a fall break. But I do have a spring break. What's the deal?

Nightfyre
08-21-2005, 05:20 AM
I strongly disagree with this stance. Why name it christmas break? It is totally avoidable, why create the conflict? It seems to me, that they are just picking a fight.

luv
08-21-2005, 07:49 PM
When I was in school, I never heard anyone say, "Hey! How was your winter break?" It was always; "Hey! How was your Christmas break?"

I remember our StuCo once made a banner for the Holidays that read "Happy holidays! Have a great winter break!" It was done up in black and white, and at the bottom they put: This banner is politically correct. I thought it was funny.

If everyone calls it Christmas break, why call it winter break just to appease the ACLU?

Logical
08-21-2005, 07:54 PM
When I was in school, I never heard anyone say, "Hey! How was your winter break?" It was always; "Hey! How was your Christmas break?"

I remember our StuCo once made a banner for the Holidays that read "Happy holidays! Have a great winter break!" It was done up in black and white, and at the bottom they put: This banner is politically correct. I thought it was funny.

If everyone calls it Christmas break, why call it winter break just to appease the ACLU?Seems appropriate to call it Winter Break because it encompasses four holidays and the days in between Christmas Eve, Christmas, 6 days New Years Eve and New Years. now if you were only getting off the Christmas Eve and Christmas day holidays I can see it being called a Christmas holiday break.

Logical
08-21-2005, 07:58 PM
Uh, I don't have a fall break. But I do have a spring break. What's the deal?Typically most colleges do have a fall break for Thanksgiving it is just usually not a full week. Most give the Wed before Thanksgiving (to travel home), Thanksgiving and the Friday after Thanksgiving off for their students. Some actually call it fall break, most call it Thanksgiving break.

Mr. Kotter
08-21-2005, 08:11 PM
.... It is totally avoidable, why create the conflict? It seems to me, that they are just picking a fight.

You mean, kinda like the very small, but vocal minority of non-religious or non-Christian types have been doing for the last 50 years or so?

Jenson71
08-21-2005, 08:43 PM
Typically most colleges do have a fall break for Thanksgiving it is just usually not a full week. Most give the Wed before Thanksgiving (to travel home), Thanksgiving and the Friday after Thanksgiving off for their students. Some actually call it fall break, most call it Thanksgiving break.

Oh, we have a Thanksgiving break.

jettio
08-21-2005, 09:11 PM
I think it is fair to say that the use of the Phrase "political correctness run amok" is running amok about 5x faster than anything that ever ran amok before or since.

jAZ
08-21-2005, 10:08 PM
Holidays celebrated during December that are placed below the Christian holiday when you name it "Christmas Break"...

Jewish:
* What: Hanukkah
* When: Mid December
* How Many: ~6 million

Islam:
* What: Ramadan
* When: falls in December some years
* How Many: ~5+ million

Kwanza:
* African Americans
* Dec 26-Jan 1
* ~13+ million

Pagan:
* Winter Solstice
* Approx Dec 21st
* ~1 million

Total % of population celebrating these non-Christmas December holidays?

~10%

luv
08-21-2005, 10:15 PM
Holidays celebrated during December that are placed below the Christian holiday when you name it "Christmas Break"...

Jewish:
* What: Hanukkah
* When: Mid December
* How Many: ~6 million

Islam:
* What: Ramadan
* When: falls in December some years
* How Many: ~5+ million

Kwanza:
* African Americans
* Dec 26-Jan 1
* ~13+ million

Pagan:
* Winter Solstice
* Approx Dec 21st
* ~1 million

Total % of population celebrating these non-Christmas December holidays?

~10%
I'm sure there are even more non-christians that celebrate Christmas as well. Only not as Jesus' birth. That's the day when good ol' Saint Nick comes down the chimney.

luv
08-21-2005, 10:18 PM
Seems appropriate to call it Winter Break because it encompasses four holidays and the days in between Christmas Eve, Christmas, 6 days New Years Eve and New Years. now if you were only getting off the Christmas Eve and Christmas day holidays I can see it being called a Christmas holiday break.
Call it winter break if you want. I grew up calling it Christmas break. It wasn't until I reached high school that I heard we could no longer call it that. What other people call it really makes no difference to me. I will still call it Christmas break. The ACLU can sue me. It's more a force of habit than it is a matter of denial for me.

jAZ
08-21-2005, 10:20 PM
I'm sure there are even more non-christians that celebrate Christmas as well. Only not as Jesus' birth. That's the day when good ol' Saint Nick comes down the chimney.
I'm one of them

... and yet I don't feel any compultion to alienate those tax-paying, voting, full-fledged citizens who don't and celebrate something else instead that month.

Logical
08-21-2005, 10:23 PM
Call it winter break if you want. I grew up calling it Christmas break. It wasn't until I reached high school that I heard we could no longer call it that. What other people call it really makes no difference to me. I will still call it Christmas break. The ACLU can sue me. It's more a force of habit than it is a matter of denial for me.Actually when I was going to MU in the 70s they called it the Holiday Break so neither was applicable or an issue.

jAZ
08-21-2005, 10:24 PM
What other people call it really makes no difference to me. I will still call it Christmas break. The ACLU can sue me.
Are you a public school teacher?

If not, then let me point out what should be totally obvious to everyone:

The ACLU isn't trying to stop you from personally calling it Christmas anything. They are trying to stop public institutions (public schools) for mandating a schoolwide recognition of a Christian holiday.

If you are a public school teacher, then I guess could sue you.

luv
08-21-2005, 10:28 PM
Are you a public school teacher?

If not, then let me point out what should be totally obvious to everyone:

The ACLU isn't trying to stop you from personally calling it Christmas anything. They are trying to stop public institutions (public schools) for mandating a schoolwide recognition of a Christian holiday.

If you are a public school teacher, then I guess could sue you.
Nope not a school teacher. Meant no harm to anyone else. I'm not that politically minded, but I just like to give an opinion from time to time. Don't mind me. :)

jAZ
08-21-2005, 10:31 PM
Nope not a school teacher. Meant no harm to anyone else. I'm not that politically minded, but I just like to give an opinion from time to time. Don't mind me. :)
No worries, and then by all means feel free to call it Christmas Break. You have every right as an American citizen.

Donger
08-21-2005, 10:40 PM
What a bunch of crap.

I'm not religious at all, but as long as no one is forcing me to accept Jesus as my savior, call it what it is based on historical precendence.

jAZ
08-21-2005, 10:48 PM
What a bunch of crap.

I'm not religious at all, but as long as no one is forcing me to accept Jesus as my savior, call it what it is based on historical precendence.
Looks like "Winter Break" it is then!

Donger
08-21-2005, 10:50 PM
Looks like "Winter Break" it is then!

Actually, I think you'd need to revise that. Anyone that thinks that schools have a break during that period of the year for any reason other than 'celebrating' the traditionally agreed-to date of Jesus' birth is full of sh*t.

jAZ
08-21-2005, 10:54 PM
Actually, I think you'd need to revise that. Anyone that thinks that schools have a break during that period of the year for any reason other than 'celebrating' the traditionally agreed-to date of Jesus' birth is full of sh*t.
Maybe, but as you suggested "historical precendence" should be followed and in this case "Winter Break" is what they were calling it up until recently.

jAZ
08-21-2005, 10:55 PM
Actually, I think you'd need to revise that. Anyone that thinks that schools have a break during that period of the year for any reason other than 'celebrating' the traditionally agreed-to date of Jesus' birth is full of sh*t.
I'd say that the Jews might disagree with you on that one.

luv
08-21-2005, 10:57 PM
Maybe, but as you suggested "historical precendence" should be followed and in this case "Winter Break" is what they were calling it up until recently.
Not where I'm from. Like I said, it wasn't until I reached high school that it became a big deal. Hence the black and white holiday banners we made. Time for a google search. Yay!

Donger
08-21-2005, 10:57 PM
Maybe, but as you suggested "historical precendence" should be followed and in this case "Winter Break" is what they were calling it up until recently.

Since they only started calling it 'winter break' somewhat recently, I don't consider that to be 'historical precedent.'

Donger
08-21-2005, 10:59 PM
I'd say that the Jews might disagree with you on that one.

Perhaps in Israel.

Anyone that disputes that the traditional break in this country during that time of year is not based on observing Christmas is either intentionally or by shear ignorance ignoring the truth.

jAZ
08-21-2005, 11:00 PM
Since they only started calling it 'winter break' somewhat recently, I don't consider that to be 'historical precedent.'
It's always best to be able to pick and choose your own personal "historical precedence", huh?

Donger
08-21-2005, 11:02 PM
It's always best to be able to pick and choose your own personal "historical precedence", huh?

Personal? I beg to differ. Take a peek back in time and see how this specific break has been referred to. Only until quite recently has it not been called what it is.

jAZ
08-21-2005, 11:05 PM
Personal? I beg to differ. Take a peek back in time and see how this specific break has been referred to. Only until quite recently has it not been called what it is.
You get to choose which of the two "histories" you prefer to recognize... it's always nice to have "options".

Donger
08-21-2005, 11:07 PM
You get to choose which of the two "histories" you prefer to recognize... it's always nice to have "options".

I choose the one that existed before, say, the last 30 years. You know, the one with a few thousand years behind it. In other words, the one with 'precedence.' If you prefer the flavor-of-the-month variey, knock yourself out.

Logical
08-21-2005, 11:10 PM
Actually, I think you'd need to revise that. Anyone that thinks that schools have a break during that period of the year for any reason other than 'celebrating' the traditionally agreed-to date of Jesus' birth is full of sh*t.Really is that a fact. I grew up and was in grade school in the 60s and it was always called the Holiday break, was that way at MU in the 70s as well. I know we had a Christmas Pageant but the break was called the Holiday Break.

jAZ
08-21-2005, 11:11 PM
I choose the one that existed before, say, the last 30 years. You know, the one with a few thousand years behind it. In other words, the one with 'precedence.' If you prefer the flavor-of-the-month variey, knock yourself out.
Well, if you want ancient historical precedence, let's go with the Pagan's "Yule"... or is that the wrong one that "existed before"?

Donger
08-21-2005, 11:15 PM
Really is that a fact. I grew up and was in grade school in the 60s and it was always called the Holiday break, was that way at MU in the 70s as well. I know we had a Christmas Pageant but the break was called the Holiday Break.

I'm sure it varied/varies. But, my point is that there is a reason that there is a traditional break during that time of year. Call it whatever you/they will, but to deny that it's origination is not centered around the assumed birth of Christ is simply idiotic.

Donger
08-21-2005, 11:15 PM
Well, if you want ancient historical precedence, let's go with the Pagan's "Yule"... or is that the wrong one that "existed before"?

Again, if the vast majority of this country's population were Pagan, you'd have a point.

jAZ
08-21-2005, 11:17 PM
Again, if the vast majority of this country's population were Pagan, you'd have a point.
Cause institutionalizing the religion of the vast majority of the popultion into our public school system is exactly what this nation was founded upon.

Donger
08-21-2005, 11:20 PM
Cause institutionalizing the religion of the vast majority of the popultion into our public school system is exactly what this nation was founded upon.

If they were forcing the non-Christians to celebrate Christmas and the tenet of Christianity, then I'd agree with your disdain. Since they were not, and aren't, I do not.

You are taking this far too seriously, as do most 'free-thinking' liberal types.

jAZ
08-21-2005, 11:20 PM
I'm sure it varied/varies. But, my point is that there is a reason that there is a traditional break during that time of year. Call it whatever you/they will, but to deny that it's origination is not centered around the assumed birth of Christ is simply idiotic.
Who's denying it?

The only people denying it are those who are arguing that it's a secular holiday and thus should be kept.

I'm arguing that it's a very religous one, and public schools is exactly the wrong place to institutionalize religous holiday's.

jAZ
08-21-2005, 11:23 PM
If they were forcing the non-Christians to celebrate Christmas and the tenet of Christianity, then I'd agree with your disdain. Since they were not, and aren't, I do not.

You are taking this far too seriously, as do most 'free-thinking' liberal types.
They are doing just that... Taking time away from other activities is a central aspect of worship. Taking time off from school and identifying that time off as "Christmas" is one way of celebrating a Christian holiday.

There is no getting around that.

Donger
08-21-2005, 11:24 PM
Who's denying it?

The only people denying it are those who are arguing that it's a secular holiday and thus should be kept.

I'm arguing that it's a very religous one, and public schools is exactly the wrong place to institutionalize religous holiday's.

Calling it what it is is not the same thing (by any stretch) as 'institutionalizing' it. No one is forcing these kids to become Christian or practice Christianity, are they?

Donger
08-21-2005, 11:26 PM
They are doing just that... Taking time away from other activities is a central aspect of worship. Taking time off from school and identifying that time off as "Christmas" is one way of celebrating a Christian holiday.

There is no getting around that.

Nonsense. They are simply acknowledging the historical significance of that calendar date.

If they were doing more than that (which is exceedingly minimal), I'd agree with you.

jAZ
08-21-2005, 11:31 PM
Calling it what it is is not the same thing (by any stretch) as 'institutionalizing' it. No one is forcing these kids to become Christian or practice Christianity, are they?
Christmas does not define what that break it about. It is a large part of it, but it doesn't define it entirely. Calling it Christmas isn't equal to "calling it what it is". It's calling it what many but not all do with it.

Hell, only 1 day of the 2-3 weeks of the holiday break is even dedicated to Christmas. Certainly New Years Eve isn't Christmas.

Your arguments are changing as you try to bob and weave yourself out of this logical corner you've found yourself in.

But nothing you say has any merit on this issue.

jAZ
08-21-2005, 11:33 PM
Calling it what it is is not the same thing (by any stretch) as 'institutionalizing' it. No one is forcing these kids to become Christian or practice Christianity, are they?
When did the establishment clause become the "forcing them to practice" clause?

luv
08-21-2005, 11:34 PM
I'm not trying to persuade anyone. A few things I found in my search though.

Public schools, municipalities, and even many Christians have fallen prey to the disinformation often propagated by the American Civil Liberty Union’s allies and other “Scrooge-like” groups that the mention of Christmas, the singing of Christmas carols, and the display of traditional Christmas symbols are violations of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause. But this claim -- that the First Amendment forbids any public expressions of holiday spirit that smack of religion -- is worthy of coal in the stocking. It’s not true, and that’s why people need to understand what the law really says.

That was the goal the Alliance Defense Fund had in mind when it started its Christmas Project. And ADF will continue it this year and every year as long as necessary to clear up misconceptions about seasonal religious expression on public property. Despite what groups like many in the ACLU would have Americans believe, here’s the honest truth:

-- The U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled that public schools must ban the singing of religious Christmas carols or prohibit the distribution of candy canes or Christmas cards.

-- School officials may refer to a school break in December as “Christmas Vacation” without offending the Constitution.

-- School officials do not violate the Constitution by closing on religious holidays such as Christmas and Good Friday.

-- No court has ever held that celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas as religious holidays requires recognition of all other religious holidays.

-- Although under current court rulings a public holiday display must not convey a message endorsing a particular religion’s view to the exclusion of all others, religious Christmas displays are not completely banned as some people believe.

Donger
08-21-2005, 11:36 PM
Christmas does not define what that break it about. It is a large part of it, but it doesn't define it entirely. Calling it Christmas isn't equal to "calling it what it is". It's calling it what many but not all do with it.

Hell, only 1 day of the 2-3 weeks of the holiday break is even dedicated to Christmas. Certainly New Years Eve isn't Christmas.

Your arguments are changing as you try to bob and weave yourself out of this logical corner you've found yourself in.

But nothing you say has any merit on this issue.

My argument's not changed an iota, jAZ, as you know. Again, anyone that denies that the traditional break at that time of year is not founded on the assumed date of Jesus' birth is denying the simple truth.

That doesn't mean that Jesus actually was born at that time 2000 years ago.

Nor does it mean that we all need to accept him as our savior.

It's a a simple acknowledgement of history.

And those that refuse to do so only look more stupid with each post.

luv
08-21-2005, 11:38 PM
Christmas does not define what that break it about. It is a large part of it, but it doesn't define it entirely. Calling it Christmas isn't equal to "calling it what it is". It's calling it what many but not all do with it.

Hell, only 1 day of the 2-3 weeks of the holiday break is even dedicated to Christmas. Certainly New Years Eve isn't Christmas.

Your arguments are changing as you try to bob and weave yourself out of this logical corner you've found yourself in.

But nothing you say has any merit on this issue.
How can someone take something so simple and turn it into a debate? Don't you get tired of being the only one with merit? Have you actually substantiated anything that you've said in this thread? I haven't, but I'm not the one telling others they have no merit.

Donger
08-21-2005, 11:39 PM
When did the establishment clause become the "forcing them to practice" clause?

How exactly do you define 'establishing?'

Logical
08-21-2005, 11:40 PM
-- No court has ever held that celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas as religious holidays requires recognition of all other religious holidays.
I could be wrong but I am pretty darn sure that Thanksgiving is not actually a religious holiday in any religion Christian or otherwise. I believe it was started based on being thankful for a bountiful Autumn Harvest and was a shared experience with the local indigineous indians.

Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with a feast shared among friends and family. In both Canada and the United States, it is an important family holiday, and people often travel across the country to be with family members for the holiday. The Thanksgiving holiday is generally a "four-day" weekend in the United States, in which Americans are given the relevant Thursday and Friday off. Thanksgiving is almost entirely celebrated at home, unlike the Fourth of July (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_of_July) or Christmas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas), which are associated with a variety of shared public experiences (fireworks, caroling, etc.).

Donger
08-21-2005, 11:44 PM
I could be wrong but I am pretty darn sure that Thanksgiving is not actually a religious holiday in any religion Christian or otherwise. I believe it was started based on being thankful for a bountiful Autumn Harvest and was a shared experience with the local indigineous indians.

And who exactly were they thanking?

jAZ
08-21-2005, 11:46 PM
Luv2Rite,

Do you know what a "Red Herring" is?
the disinformation often propagated by the American Civil Liberty Union’s allies and other “Scrooge-like” groups that the mention of Christmas, the singing of Christmas carols, and the display of traditional Christmas symbols are violations of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause. But this claim -- that the First Amendment forbids any public expressions of holiday spirit that smack of religion -- is worthy of coal in the stocking. It’s not true, and that’s why people need to understand what the law really says.
The argument advanced in this article you posted is a Red Herring.

They are deliberately mis-stating the arugment against their cause so that they can make it seem foolish. As I said to you before... the ACLU isn't trying to stop all "the mention of Christmas, the singing of Christmas carols, and the display of traditional Christmas symbols"...

... the ACLU and others wish to restrict certain activities within a very narrow aspect of life. They don't want Christian, Muslim, Jewish or Pagan religous activities institutionalized within a goverment institution like public schools.

That's far different (though easily confused with) an individual student in this school choosing to exercise their right to worship their religion privately and personally.

Their (our) objections are limited to restricting the actions of those like school teachers, princlipals, administrators who in their roles as paid state employees are acting as an extension of the state/federal government in the public schools.

I don't know the exact line in the sand, legally, but personally I'd say Student Council would fall outside that scope... and the student council should be allowed to act however they prefer on this matter.

luv
08-21-2005, 11:47 PM
I could be wrong but I am pretty darn sure that Thanksgiving is not actually a religious holiday in any religion Christian or otherwise. I believe it was started based on being thankful for a bountiful Autumn Harvest and was a shared experience with the local indigineous indians.

Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with a feast shared among friends and family. In both Canada and the United States, it is an important family holiday, and people often travel across the country to be with family members for the holiday. The Thanksgiving holiday is generally a "four-day" weekend in the United States, in which Americans are given the relevant Thursday and Friday off. Thanksgiving is almost entirely celebrated at home, unlike the Fourth of July (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_of_July) or Christmas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas), which are associated with a variety of shared public experiences (fireworks, caroling, etc.).
They have thanksgiving pageants in schools too. What about people who are not originally from this country? What if they feel no ties to that traditional holiday? It may not be religious, but it is the same thing as the minority not wanting it officially called Christmas Break. Everything we do is not going to include 100% of the people. Laws are even passed by majority. Not everyone agrees with them, but they better sure follow them.

luv
08-21-2005, 11:50 PM
I don't know the exact line in the sand, legally, but personally I'd say Student Council would fall outside that scope... and the student council should be allowed to act however they prefer on this matter.
Why would the student council fall outside the lines? They may represent the students, but they represent the school as well. In posting stuff, they must follow the guidelines of the school.

Donger
08-21-2005, 11:50 PM
They have thanksgiving pageants in schools too. What about people who are not originally from this country? What if they feel no ties to that traditional holiday? It may not be religious, but it is the same thing as the minority not wanting it officially called Christmas Break. Everything we do is not going to include 100% of the people. Laws are even passed by majority. Not everyone agrees with them, but they better sure follow them.

Sh*t. I was born and raised in the UK. And yet I was still asked repeatedly if the English celebrated 'the Fourth of July.' Even the multiple seconds of 'you've got to be f*cking kidding me' stare did nothing with some of them.

jAZ
08-22-2005, 12:03 AM
Why would the student council fall outside the lines? They may represent the students, but they represent the school as well. In posting stuff, they must follow the guidelines of the school.
I'd say they fall outside because they DON'T represent the administration... they represent the students.

The administration might demand that they follow student guidlines, but that demand by the administration doesn't make it legally or constitutionally valid.

It's not a perfectly clear issue because it probably has everything to do with how the council is legally setup and funded.

If it's student organized, student run and student funded, then there are no strings that the administration could use to legally regulate the activities (beyond the standard student code of conduct).

luv
08-22-2005, 12:06 AM
I'd say they fall outside because they DON'T represent the administration... they represent the students.

The administration might demand that they follow student guidlines, but that demand by the administration doesn't make it legally or constitutionally valid.

It's not a perfectly clear issue because it probably has everything to do with how the council is legally setup and funded.

If it's student organized, student run and student funded, then there are no strings that the administration could use to legally regulate the activities (beyond the standard student code of conduct).
So they could put up whatever they wanted in this case and would not be forced to take it down if it offended one or more of the students who don't celebrate Christmas?

Nightfyre
08-22-2005, 12:10 AM
I'm not trying to persuade anyone. A few things I found in my search though.

Public schools, municipalities, and even many Christians have fallen prey to the disinformation often propagated by the American Civil Liberty Union’s allies and other “Scrooge-like” groups that the mention of Christmas, the singing of Christmas carols, and the display of traditional Christmas symbols are violations of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause. But this claim -- that the First Amendment forbids any public expressions of holiday spirit that smack of religion -- is worthy of coal in the stocking. It’s not true, and that’s why people need to understand what the law really says.

That was the goal the Alliance Defense Fund had in mind when it started its Christmas Project. And ADF will continue it this year and every year as long as necessary to clear up misconceptions about seasonal religious expression on public property. Despite what groups like many in the ACLU would have Americans believe, here’s the honest truth:

-- The U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled that public schools must ban the singing of religious Christmas carols or prohibit the distribution of candy canes or Christmas cards.

-- School officials may refer to a school break in December as “Christmas Vacation” without offending the Constitution.

-- School officials do not violate the Constitution by closing on religious holidays such as Christmas and Good Friday.

-- No court has ever held that celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas as religious holidays requires recognition of all other religious holidays.

-- Although under current court rulings a public holiday display must not convey a message endorsing a particular religion’s view to the exclusion of all others, religious Christmas displays are not completely banned as some people believe.
yeah, but if kids were forced to sing christmas carols and it went to the supreme court, the court would rule that singing christmas carols is a part of worship, and therefore unacceptable as a sanctioned school event.

jAZ
08-22-2005, 12:11 AM
How exactly do you define 'establishing?'
Take your pick:

"To make a state institution of..."
and
"To bring about"
and
"To make firm or secure"
and
"To cause to be recognized"

Just about any of the textbook definitions apply...

Nightfyre
08-22-2005, 12:12 AM
They have thanksgiving pageants in schools too. What about people who are not originally from this country? What if they feel no ties to that traditional holiday? It may not be religious, but it is the same thing as the minority not wanting it officially called Christmas Break. Everything we do is not going to include 100% of the people. Laws are even passed by majority. Not everyone agrees with them, but they better sure follow them.
Not really, no. Thanksgiving is a national holiday, not a holiday of worship. If they want to stay in the nation, then they shouldnt object to our national holidays. if I want to stay in PUBLIC schools, I shouldnt be subjected to PRIVATE religion.

luv
08-22-2005, 12:14 AM
yeah, but if kids were forced to sing christmas carols and it went to the supreme court, the court would rule that singing christmas carols is a part of worship, and therefore unacceptable as a sanctioned school event.
Many schools still do holiday pageants. They still sing Christmas carols, but they also include things from other religions. I think that's a good thing. Everyone feels included, and the children learn about other religions. But for the ACLU to come in and sue a school for calling it Christmas break whenever that school is not apparently breaking any laws by doing so is ridiculous.

Logical
08-22-2005, 12:15 AM
And who exactly were they thanking?A supreme being, nature, what have you. Pretty sure the Indians participating did not believe in a Christian God as was also true for the Deists of the time.

jAZ
08-22-2005, 12:16 AM
So they could put up whatever they wanted in this case and would not be forced to take it down if it offended one or more of the students who don't celebrate Christmas?
It's a fine line...

If they are using school resources (ie, the wall) then maybe the school has control in that case.

If the student council decides to print up flyers and hand them out and some student pays for the paper and the copies...

...then StuCo could get away with it.

That doesn't mean that the students who elected the StuCo members would agree with it. They might choose to remove those members of the council who took such action. But as a student only organiztion, the controlling interest is the student body, not the school.

Again, there are plenty of legal technicalities that could make the StuCo fall under the administration's umbrella. Ie, state money being spent on the posters, or hanging them on the walls of the building paid for by public tax dollars, etc.

luv
08-22-2005, 12:19 AM
A supreme being, nature, what have you. Pretty sure the Indians participating did not believe in a Christian God as was also true for the Deists of the time.
I'm pretty sure the Pilgrims thanked God. They invited the Indians to join them in celebration. The Indians probably had no clue what the Pilgrims were even saying, so they were probably just there for the food.

jAZ
08-22-2005, 12:19 AM
Many schools still do holiday pageants. They still sing Christmas carols, but they also include things from other religions. I think that's a good thing. Everyone feels included, and the children learn about other religions. But for the ACLU to come in and sue a school for calling it Christmas break whenever that school is not apparently breaking any laws by doing so is ridiculous.
That's just the point...

By doing so, it's very easy to argue that the school is not only violating a law... it's violating the constitution itself.

In particular the "Establishment Clause"...

http://www.answers.com/establishment+clause&r=67

Logical
08-22-2005, 12:20 AM
I'm pretty sure the Pilgrims thanked God. They invited the Indians to join them in celebration. The Indians probably had no clue what the Pilgrims were even saying, so they were probably just there for the food.As I was trying to point out not all Pilgrims were Christians, many were Deists.

luv
08-22-2005, 12:24 AM
As I was trying to point out not all Pilgrims were Christians, many were Deists.
I'd like to thank the trees and the grass and the river for this food I am about to eat. PLease bless it for the nourishment of our bodies. Thank you nature for helping us make it here.

To me, that makes absolutely no sense. How can nature bless food?

Mr. Kotter
08-22-2005, 12:24 AM
As I was trying to point out not all Pilgrims were Christians, many were Deists.

Do you know much about the Plymouth colony, Jim? Especially, early on?

Mr. Kotter
08-22-2005, 12:31 AM
As I was trying to point out not all Pilgrims were Christians, many were Deists.

Pilgrims were among the most intolerant of early American settlers and Christians.

Diests in any significant number, came much later....and to places like Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and New Amsterdam (New York). If there were Deists in early America, they'd have been down the coast in Jamestown....

Logical
08-22-2005, 12:48 AM
I'd like to thank the trees and the grass and the river for this food I am about to eat. PLease bless it for the nourishment of our bodies. Thank you nature for helping us make it here.

To me, that makes absolutely no sense. How can nature bless food?To a Deist or an American Indian it makes perfect sense. God is in all things in these belief systems.

Logical
08-22-2005, 12:52 AM
Christian deists agree with Jesus that buildings for worship are not necessary. As Jesus said, "True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth." We worship (honor) God through our good atttitude and thoughts, and by our good deeds. Christian deists do not believe that Jesus intended to organize an institutional church. Those who claim that Jesus founded the "Christian church" point to Matthew 16:16-19. Here, the disciple Peter proclaimed his belief that Jesus was the Jewish messiah, and Jesus responded by saying to Peter, "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." This, of course, is the scripture that the Roman Catholic Church uses to claim that the church holds the keys to heaven. It is alleged that Peter became the first "bishop" in the City of Rome, and Peter passed on the "keys" to the bishops (popes) who succeeded Peter.

Mr. Kotter
08-22-2005, 12:55 AM
Christian deists agree with Jesus that buildings for worship are not necessary. As Jesus said, "True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth." We worship (honor) God through our good atttitude and thoughts, and by our good deeds. Christian deists do not believe that Jesus intended to organize an institutional church. Those who claim that Jesus founded the "Christian church" point to Matthew 16:16-19. Here, the disciple Peter proclaimed his belief that Jesus was the Jewish messiah, and Jesus responded by saying to Peter, "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." This, of course, is the scripture that the Roman Catholic Church uses to claim that the church holds the keys to heaven. It is alleged that Peter became the first "bishop" in the City of Rome, and Peter passed on the "keys" to the bishops (popes) who succeeded Peter.

So Jesus urging his followers to commune and have fellowship with other followers was not important?

Logical
08-22-2005, 01:01 AM
So Jesus urging his followers to commune and have fellowship with other followers was not important?

As Jesus said, "True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth." We worship (honor) God through our good atttitude and thoughts, and by our good deeds


"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

luv
08-22-2005, 01:03 AM
As Jesus said, "True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth." We worship (honor) God through our good atttitude and thoughts, and by our good deeds


"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Once again, this is doing things publicly for the glorification of yourself and your righteousness instead of God's. God sees through people like that. Most of the time, it isn't hard for humans to see through either.

Mr. Kotter
08-22-2005, 01:08 AM
As Jesus said, "True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth." We worship (honor) God through our good atttitude and thoughts, and by our good deeds


"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Is there or is there not, a distinction between hypocritical and public profession of faith intended to be a show, and followers choosing to gather together with people of like mind and spirit for their own spiritual edification and growth?