Author Topic: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'  (Read 14735 times)

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LadyClaire

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2011, 11:13:49 AM »
Thank you, LadyClaire - that is incredible!!!

You're welcome! It's truly the weirdest thing I've seen. I so badly want to go knock on their door and ask "why? WHY is the tree upside-down?? Why is the deer looking at it? What does it mean??", but I suspect the beer cans decorating the tree have a lot to do with it.

Firecat

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2011, 01:04:58 PM »
My first thought was, "You say 'pagan' like it's a bad thing!" >:D.

The letter writer is a whackadoo and needs to mind his/her own business.

POD.  >:D

whiterose

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2011, 01:14:56 PM »
I honestly thought that Christmas lights were based on Hanukkah lights. After all, Hanukkah is a winter holiday, and Christianity is a spin-off from Judaism.

And since when does "pagan" automatically equal "incompatible with Christianity/Judaism/Abrahamic religions" and thus "evil"?
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Auntie Mame

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2011, 01:39:20 PM »

And since when does "pagan" automatically equal "incompatible with Christianity/Judaism/Abrahamic religions" and thus "evil"?

For the past 1,000 years or so.
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LEMon

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2011, 05:32:34 PM »
Let's see, off the top of my head, what is truly Christian about "traditional" Christmas celebrations:
Tree - nope
Lights - could connect it with the star, but dated from before Christ
Fire in the fireplace - nope
Presents - could connect with the wise men, but also dated from before Christ
Holly - nope
Mistletoe - nope
Decorating the house - nope
Festive meal - nope
Santa - nope
Near as I can remember, most were borrowed/assimilated from other traditions that were already being celebrated, as was the date.  They were just made part of the Christian celebration.

acicularis

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #35 on: December 22, 2011, 06:34:54 AM »
Let's see, off the top of my head, what is truly Christian about "traditional" Christmas celebrations:
Tree - nope
Lights - could connect it with the star, but dated from before Christ
Fire in the fireplace - nope
Presents - could connect with the wise men, but also dated from before Christ
Holly - nope
Mistletoe - nope
Decorating the house - nope
Festive meal - nope
Santa - nope
Near as I can remember, most were borrowed/assimilated from other traditions that were already being celebrated, as was the date.  They were just made part of the Christian celebration.

So, if you're a Christian and find the lights and other trappings of the holiday meaningful (or just plain fun, and not inappropriate), then have at it! If you're not Christian and enjoy it, go for it! If you're Christian, but don't consider those things appropriate for your Christmas observance, then by all means leave those things out. But don't fuss at the rest of us. I think some people just go looking for offense.

Amava

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #36 on: December 22, 2011, 06:51:43 AM »
So, if you're a Christian and find the lights and other trappings of the holiday meaningful (or just plain fun, and not inappropriate), then have at it! If you're not Christian and enjoy it, go for it! If you're Christian, but don't consider those things appropriate for your Christmas observance, then by all means leave those things out. But don't fuss at the rest of us. I think some people just go looking for offense.

Oh I agree with you so much! How about everyone just celebrate the holidays that they find meaningful,with the rituals that they find meaningful and the meaning the rituals have for them, and let others celebrate the way *they* want! It's nothing to fight or fuss over!

Don't get me wrong, I think discussing and studying the origin of rituals, holidays, etc, is super interesting and fascinating. But it should never become a discussion about who is *allowed* to do what, or who has "dibs" on something, or what is "wrong".

SadieBaby

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #37 on: December 22, 2011, 08:06:51 AM »
About that upside down Christmas tree...I think that was a fad a few years ago.  I know that one department store in a mall near me had an upside down tree, fully decorated (but not with beer cans!) among their aisle displays for at least two years in a row.  DH and I used to marvel at it when we walked by.

The deer or the stump I can't help you with, but they seem like a whimsical bunch of people in that house!

wyliefool

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #38 on: December 22, 2011, 09:12:57 AM »
The deer is trying to eat the tree and it's trying to escape by climbing the other tree but it's having a hard time because of course it doesn't have legs.

 ;D

As to this story, America would be so much of a better place if everyone could just quit trying to tell others how to live their lives. And if all these alleged 'christians' like the anon. letter writer would read the part of the Bible where Jesus says 'Judge not, lest YE be judged.'

Thipu1

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #39 on: December 22, 2011, 10:09:01 AM »
About that upside down Christmas tree...I think that was a fad a few years ago.  I know that one department store in a mall near me had an upside down tree, fully decorated (but not with beer cans!) among their aisle displays for at least two years in a row.  DH and I used to marvel at it when we walked by.

The deer or the stump I can't help you with, but they seem like a whimsical bunch of people in that house!

The up-side down tree came into the public eye a few years ago.  At the time, it was suggested for households with cats although I'm sure an inventive cat could find a way to get into it.

Certain areas of Brooklyn are famous for their over the top holiday decorations.  When we visited Dyker Heights the variety of visitors was almost as interesting as the lights themselves. 

At their request and using their cameras we took photos of Asian and European tourists.

Women wearing saris or chadors and pushing strollers were among the crowd as were Orthodox Jewish families.  We have no doubt that there were more than a few Pagans present but Pagans aren't as recognizable as these other folks.

Mr. Thipu helped direct traffic while a resident of one of the homes got her car out of the driveway. 
'Wow!', he said,  'This must drive you nuts!"
'Well, yes it does but it's only for a few weeks and it makes so many people happy.'

Regardless of religious beliefs, isn't an innocent way to make people happy a good thing?


Isisnin

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #40 on: December 22, 2011, 11:34:02 AM »
About that upside down Christmas tree...I think that was a fad a few years ago.  I know that one department store in a mall near me had an upside down tree, fully decorated (but not with beer cans!) among their aisle displays for at least two years in a row.  DH and I used to marvel at it when we walked by.

The deer or the stump I can't help you with, but they seem like a whimsical bunch of people in that house!

....
Regardless of religious beliefs, isn't an innocent way to make people happy a good thing?


Absolutely POD!  I'm don't have kids, nor am I religious but always decorate outside the house for Christmas (and Halloween) just because I know (from having been a child) kids enjoy it. 

Personally, I like the simple look of white lights, but decorate with colored ones and Santa, deer and a snowman because I remember loving the colored lights when I was a kid.

Sophia

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #41 on: December 22, 2011, 11:59:03 AM »
Weren't Christmas trees originally hung upside down?  Just a vague memory I have.

Judah

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #42 on: December 22, 2011, 01:43:06 PM »
The meaning behind the upside-down Christmas tree. What?  Don't you believe everything you read on the Internet?
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artk2002

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2011, 01:05:29 AM »
Does anyone remember 'Silverlock' by John Myers Myers?

It's a wonderful fantasy novel that takes a smug business school graduate through all the major religious practices and mythologies of the world.  Part of the fun of the book lies in picking out the references.  There are also many song parodies that may not be parodies at all. 

If I had a decorated house that received one of those letters, I would be sorely tempted to invite people of  all beliefs to gather on the lawn and sing the Silverlock version of 'That Old Time Religion'.  As I recall, one verse runs along the lines of:

'Let's give a cheer for Isis.
She'll help us in a crisis.
Her cult is very nice
And it's good enough for me.'

'Gimme that old time religion (etc) with enthusiastic clapping and swaying. 

Okay.  I'm going back into my hole now but, how I would love to see that sort of thing!

One of my favorite books (I have several copies, including an early edition.)  "Old Time Religion" shows up outside of that. Here's a credit to Pete Seeger. I've heard a number of variations at SCA events over the years.
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MC Clapyohanz

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Re: Mich. Residents Receive Letter Calling Christmas Lights 'Pagan'
« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2012, 01:22:09 PM »
How nice of the nutty religious person (people) to dictate (or try to, anyway) how others should act and what they should do for the holidays. If the roles were reversed, they would be making a huge fuss about their rights to practice how they see fit.  ::)

It's none of their business how others celebrate Christmas or any other holiday, as long as it stays within the bounds of the law. They need to get over themselves and worry about their own selves instead of what others are doing or not doing.