We all remember when Christmas ruled the holiday roost – it’s a subject that comes up every year now, as reliable as Black Friday. “Christmas” salutations dominated the seasonal vernacular until equality-minded people called the linguistic saturation “alienating”. “Not everyone wants to have a Merry Christmas,” they said.
While that’s technically true, these arguments always struck me as excessive: perhaps a spawn of the frivolous 90s. It’s political correctness taken to misguided, hyperbolic heights.
I learned almost everything about “Christmas” from my Jewish father. No, he didn’t sit me down and tell me about Mary and the Three Wise Men – popular culture taught me all that business – but he did revel in the festival of Christian light. God, did he love it! One particular Christmas sticks out: the year he bought a 15-foot Christmas tree. Dr. Barry Belonsky was not a man of moderation, to say the least.
That Christmas morning my father bounced around the living room snapping shots of my sister and I opening our gifts. I can’t exactly remember what I received that year, probably something superhero related, but I recall being struck by my father’s enthusiasm. And it confused me.
Of course I loved Christmas – what kid doesn’t? But I couldn’t understand how this Jew from South Africa could be so keen on a foreign holiday. It wasn’t until much later in life, after I had [mostly] outgrown superheroes, that I understood my late father’s enthusiasm. Whether my reasons and his are the same, I’ll never know.
Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ – an obvious statement, yes, but one that’s central to my appreciation for the holiday. While I may not recognize him as my lord and savior, it’s important, I think, to reflect on this man’s life. For better or for worse, this admirable, generous man’s legacy has shaped history. His charitable ways have inspired billions of people. Christ’s image brings hope to the seemingly hopeless. It would be culturally irresponsible and selfish not to appreciate such an influential figure. That’s the first reason I’m affected by this festive commemoration. The second reason aims less for the head and more for the – gulp – heart.
That 15-foot Christmas remains lodged in my memory for more than just the hard wood. That’s the last time I remember my family being together for a holiday. Well, my family in that childish context. Two of the key figures from that year – my grandfather and my father – have since died. Two more, meanwhile, have joined the Belonsky fun: my niece and nephew. It’s a pretty good trade, if you ask me. And, no, I don’t think my father – nor my grandfather – would balk at my seemingly flippant mortal barter.
My father loved Christmas because he enjoyed being with his family, a rarity for a workaholic doctor. That’s something many of us neglect to do: appreciate those we call “family”. As we all know or will learn, blood doesn’t constitute family. It’s a fragile yet necessary collective comprised of the people from from which we learn something, the people with which we laugh, cry and scream; the people with whom we are, well, familiar.
Seen in this light, Christmas becomes nothing more than a day during which we can all relax with the people we love most. “Have a Merry Christmas” becomes a reminder: a plea to enjoy the people you love, because you never know when they’ll be gone.
So, on that note, “Merry Christmas” to all and, yes, a to all a good night.
Then you shouldn’t have said what you wrote in your last post,
“Yeah, Christâ€™s birth isnâ€™t big on our list of religious celebrations”
It was stupid and thoughtless and offensive. As if what you do for Christmas makes any damn difference at all. Sometimes, you should just shut up or think before you speak.
Thanks for the reply, “zeami99,” but I really must object. Had you understood my message at all, you’d realize that my appreciation of Christmas isn’t based in religion at all. It’s an idea, not a holy event. Yes, Christ may be holy to some, but to others he’s an admirable person. Yes, his birth should be celebrated, but it doesn’t have to be religious. Those who root Christmas solely in sacred beliefs aren’t living up to the holiday’s true meaning.
no one cares what your thoughts about Chrsitmas are: it clearly is not imporrtant to you, and just as you don’t speak for all gays, your word on Christmas is not important.
What an ignorant thing to say toward all who believe in Christ. Christ’s birth is the true meaning of Christmas. You apparently have more belief in Mariah Carey. It is you who lives up to no meaning.
well my appreciation of christmas is family too and giving and sharing with others. donations. gifts. the look in your partner’s eyes when you surprise him. 🙂
By the way I love Charlie Brown.
Ok, zeami99…that’s a little harsh. Andrew has made it clear for a long time that his intent for this site is to be snarky and flippant. You can decide not to visit this site. And how is Christ’s birth not being big on his celebration list offensive? So what? How does that affect you at all? Not everyone believes in Christ as a savior. I could care less that Christmas is the day Jesus was supposedly born, I care about being with my family, and the snow, and the bittersweet feeling of having all my siblings back under one roof for a day or two. Jesus has nothing to do with it. I think Andrew wrote about good ole J.C. very respectfully in the above post and think it was appropriate to post a reflection on Christmas. Maybe YOU should think before you speak, are you so miserable that on Christmas Eve you’re going to insult a blogger you’ve never even met just because he’s reflecting on the meaning of Xmas in his life? Get a grip, man, have some egg nog, take a nap, throw a snowball, do anything but bitch and moan.
Merry Christmas Andrew!
May your father’s spirit live on and rub off on others.
Definitely agree with Andrew on this one. i’m a born again Pagan who celebrates Yule…one of the original holidays where all the christmas traditions come from. It makes no difference to me what you celebrate this time of year. No I don’t take jesus as my Savior, but he was still a great man deserving of a holiday…even if it is celebrated the wrong time of year, and his followers steal other’s traditions, and most of his followers clearly don’t really get what he was all about (Pat Robertson, the Pope, Fred Phelps, Zeami99). But the idea of the Political correctness is just silly. If people weren’t so stuck in their own tiny little world, they could at least recognize the other holidays this time of year and wish people a happy that when the time comes. Hannukah was three weeks ago, so Happy Hannukah, Yule was the 22nd, so Blessed Yule to you all, Festivus was yesterday, so Happy Festivus. And today and tomorow is Christmas…So Merry Christmas to all of you. Instead of being generic (happy holidays) maybe people should just educate them about other religions and cultures – might make the holidays more meaningfull to everyone then.
wow, this post is stupid and annoying on so many different levels. First, I hate thewhole “political correctness is fascism” line of thinking; it just reeks of the 90’s neo-conservative backlash against any attempt to think outside the norm; not everyone worships Santa, you know. Second, as an athiest who celebrates Christmas, i don’t give jack shit about jesus, and don’t feel any obligation to “reflect on this man’s life.” i celebrate Christmas to be around my family and friends, i don’t go shoving Jesus down people’s throats. You can’t disconnect Jesus from religion, so to say that we should celebrate Jesus without having it be religious is absolutely innane.
I don’t understand why people get so bent out of shape about saying Happy Holidays. To me it just seems plain stupid to tell someone to have a Merry Christmas if I don’t know whether or not they celebrate it. I have lots of friends who do and I wish them a Merry Christmas but that’s about it. Don’t most people know who in their circle celebrates and whoe doesn’t? I’ve always thought of this country as a multi-cultural place where people have different beliefs. Your perspective seems a bit subjective since you grew up celebrating Christmas whether or not your father was Jewish. Not everybody did and to plenty of people it’s just another day.
I don’t think it’s impossible to separate Christ from Christianity. Many Christians seem to do it fairly well.
Even though I’m certainly not a Christian, I think Christ’s message was a radical one that still has not been embraced for its true power–particularly by the people claiming sovereign authority over it.
I think, however, Andrew has it right when he says, “It would be culturally irresponsible and selfish not to appreciate such an influential figure.” This is a season meant, as everyone here admits, to bring together in love. Is it so much to ask that we remember that this holiday means something spiritual to others? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we were able to appreciate difference? That is, after all, what we queers strive for in others.
I think one may celebrate Christ’s message without the entanglements of Christian history and practice. His message of love and acceptance, in my mind, may be seen as an attempt to eliminate the distance between bodies, an attempt to overcome the boundaries that separate us. And I think that is an important message, an radical message, in today’s world. A message that belongs to a rich legacy of love that includes figures like Martin Luther King Jr and Ghandi.
(This is not to say, of course, that Christmas has a monopoly on this message. Political correctness is not always a bad thing.)
hells kitchen guy
sorry, but your father’s actions weren’t charming – just self-hating. He should have either reveled in his Jewishness or rejected his heritage or converted.
Actually , zeami99, most historians agree that Jesus was actually born in April. The reason Christmas is celebrated in December is because it was easier for the newly converted Roman pagans, as it was around the time of their ceremoniies of the Winter solstice. Maybe in the spirit of “your’ Christmas, you might try to emulate the man you so claim to respect and celebrate.
The men in my office rebelled this year & we banned gift-giving. It was getting out of hand, and none of us could find any meaning in buying $20 Starbucks Giftcards for a dozen people.
The only one who was upset – and she was very upset – was our Chinese Buddhist secretary. She skipped work to buy a tree, set it up in the middle of our office, and decorated it herself while mumbling unpleasant things about how our mothers raised us.
Christmas might be religious to some, but for others it’s a secular [& commercial] holiday. Like it or not, that’s what it is these days in this country.
Lighten up people. Geez.
Actually, alex38, most historians agree there is no historical evidence that any person named Jesus Christ ever lived, let alone had a birthday.
Most of what “Christ” taught actually came from Plato long before him.
The biggest legacy Christianity leaves us with is violence, hatred, warfare, the crusades, the Inquisition, torture, and especially for this audience hatred of gay people.
So, I’ll take my holidays without the CHRISTmas, thanks.
Way to cut down someone’s dad and the memories the one has of him.
What a charming blog entry. Absolutely charming and so apropos to the holiday season. Thank you for posting it.
As to the grinches and Scrooges and “holier than thou’s” … hope you enjoy your holiday’s however you choose to celibrate or choose not to celibrate. To me, it does seem a bit harsh to judge what brought a dead man joy in his family life, though.
Still, it was an absolutely charming post. Blessed Yule Everyone!!!
BTW, Christmas is celebrated on December 25 because that is celbration of the birthday of Mithras the Roman God of the Son. It is also the final days of the Saturnalia, the topsy turvy carnival of the Roman society, a major holiday.
So the early church, in seeking a day to celebrate the nativity of the Christ, chose the 25th of Dec. to slide the Son into the place of the Sun … the army worshiped Mithras and the Church wanted to pull the soldiers into Christianity without to big a struggle. AND the rest of society could keep it’s big party of Saturnalia going but around Christmas instead of Saturn.
This post was very nice! Well-written and thoughtful. Happy Holidays!
People still visit this site?
â€œIt would be culturally irresponsible and selfish not to appreciate such an influential figure.â€ Yes,Jesus was quite influential; he inspired some of the most batshit crazy religious followers, who through out the ages, have gone on to murder and torture millions of people in his name. I think it is irresponsible and selfish to ignore and whitewash that shit. The only appreciation i have for Jesus, is Jim Caveizl-Jesus, who looked totally HOT getting his ass whipped while carrying a cross.
The Ghost of Christmas Past
Sorry if I disappoint any righteous folks, but if the Christmas we have come to know and love celebrates anyone, it’s the great god of Capitalism. Especially if you consider X-Mas didn’t even take on it’s present traditions to the masses and importance to retailers until the Industrial Revolution/Victorian Age.
And with that being the case, I know it will bring tidings of great comfort and joy to those who would usurp and bastardize Christ’s message of love and peace (for a few votes and a campaign contribution or two) and their sycophants that America is now in the throes of a great and glorious religious revival. All Hail the Mighty Buck!! A Platinum Visa is our Lord!!
PS. I think Jesus got the hint and left his Birthday Party for Easter around 1937, though rumor has it that the Easter Bunny had started to through attitude around 1962. Last I heard JC headed over to the Ascension of Baha’u’llah with his posse.
I’m very new to this site, and am dismayed that this post is one of the first things I am reading. I can’t believe anyone in our community has fallen so blindly into the right-wing trap of “the war on Christmas.” There is no war on Christmas. First, most stories about towns, schools, etc that have outlawed Christmas are exaggerations or outright lies. People can still say Merry Chrsitmas, they can clebrate with carols and trees. We just know now that in doing so, we should also rejoice as others celebrte this time of year as well. It’s more inclusive, not less. Second, most of the corrupting parts of Christmas (crass commericalism) are to be blamed on Christians themselves. We pagans do not spend thousands to give gifts in celebration of the longest day of the year.
But my biggest concern is that this faux fear that the fundies are propagating is nothing more than thinly veiled racism. There was no worries about anyone saying Happy Holidays or Season’s greetings so long as it was understood that the celebrant was either acknowledging Christmas, New year’s or even Chanukah. But I believe that the fears of “the holiday season” are a retaliation against Kwanzaa. Basically the fundies latched onto the “war on Christmas” diatribe right after Kwanzaa beacame a part of our holiday celebrations. Convenient, no?
I also echo what many other posters have commented on about Christians’ co-opting of a Pagan holiday. So if I want to keep Christ in Christmas, I guess I will give him his props this Spring, which most scholars (biblical included) acknowledge as the most likely time of his birth.
Please save the fear-mongering to Bill O et al. To all – Merry Christmas, Happy Winter Solstice, Happy Chanuka, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year’s, Happy Boxing Day, Happy Holidays, and Season’s Greetings.
Hmm. Gay men that have a lot of free time to get testy on Xmas Eve. That must be a first.
The winter holidays–despite crass commercialization and an overweening fondness for rituals, traditions, and an air of festivity that didn’t seem to matter as much the rest of the year–mean one thing above (or beneath, depending on your perspective) all else: An opportunity to celebrate our connections with others. Usually, this is the family to which you are born. For many of us, it is about the ‘family’ we choose. For some, it is the jealousy and lamentation seemingly forced upon them by everyone else, from the television to the office. The inescapable Chorus of Conformity is just a little louder; our reactions to it, more polarized. Whether you celebrate this particular occasion or not, it is hard to escape the reminder that we’ve all been compelled to re-evaluate what it means to each of us.
I read earlier that Towleroad will be on an ‘abbreviated schedule’ through the New Year, and expect things will slow down at Queerty, too. At first, I thought to myself, “Gee, it takes a lot of people to write one person’s weblog, these days.” A reflexive bit of cynicism, to be sure, but then I thought, “Don’t these people deserve to spend time with their loved ones (pre-determined or optional), and isn’t it a far better thing that they do?” If our ‘spirits’ are like some of our most commonly used toys–cellphones, computers, music players–then they need to plug into something larger to be recharged, to be updated, to receive fresh content.
Some families, in turn, plug into their God. Others get their connectivity from a credit card. We can endlessly judge who is filling his or her life with the ‘right’ sort of stuff, but it suggests we’ve found a superior alternative…and that’s usually no less hypocritical than the false cheer and highly ornamented emptiness we disdain.
It took a very long time before I could sincerely accept a “Merry Christmas” or a holiday gift from someone who pathologically forgot that I was Jewish. Presents and greetings are not meant to be tools of vengeance and oppression (unless you’re a Trojan, perhaps). I had to learn to accept them as offerings of the other person’s emotional interest, rather than rebel against them as shallow gestures or passive-aggressive demands for assimilation. Other people’s expressions of their respective faiths are not meant as threats, especially if they can be appreciated as demonstrations of your connection to something other–not necessarily larger, not necessarily better–than yourself. Eventually, I believe, we all give up pushing things away so that we can enjoy having people near.
Merry Christmas, L’chaim, and many happy Return Policies.
I was so happy you were letting Christmas go with a super-ignorable Mariah Carey video (I didn’t even know what it was until I stopped to write this). And then you have to **** it up with “Merry Christmas.” I have a friend like your father, a Christmas-celebrating Jew. Don’t you guys get it? You dodged the Christmas bullet. You have every right and reason to ignore it as best you can. How can you NOT take advantage of this wondrous, historic privilege? Why anyone would CHOOSE to partake of Xtianity baffles the living shit out of me.
Wow , what a bunch of drama queens.
Merry fucking christmas and have a fucking shit hot new year.
Americans need to learn to stop taking everyfuckingthing so seriousely.
WOW.. my first post and it is about Xmas. To worship Christ and to believe in the fiction called the bible is just an excuse to admit you are delusional. I was raised Baptist and we were taught that every word of the bible really happened as stated. Well in the 30 years that have elapsed since then it is commonly accepted now that the bible is a book of examples/fairy tales to explain a moral situation. How long before the entire idea of Christianity will have been debunked because that is the road it is currently correctly headed down. Xmas should be a time for people to express their love and admiration for each other and enjoy the company of those who make the rest of the year tolerable. So to all of you who choose to worship the Christ, I really would suggest you actually read the book you are talking about and quit judging all those around you and become more tolerant because that is after all what the book teaches. It is good you have chosen to be an example now try to be a good one. Have a great Xmas and take care.
hells kitchen guy
Jay said it better than I. Jews have the privilege of not having to indulge in this insanity. For them willingly to enter into this crass excuse for a holiday baffles me. Now, Halloween or New Year’s Eve I can understand.
I thought this post was a very sweet, well-written remembrance, and meditation of sorts. I enjoyed reading of your father, the 15 foot tree, and taking the time to describe how you personally interpret the season for yourself. Right on.
Your father sounds like a fascinating, fun and sweet person who really loved you, and made something special for you. He sounds like a broad-minded, humorous and loving guy.
And I’m no church-goer or true believer, but Christ’s message of love and tolerance is pretty powerful. I’m not religious at all, but respect him as a secular philosopher as much as any great thinker.
I find it quite sad that so many of the commenters in this thread are so vituperative, so angry, so ferociously juvenile in their pretty vile denunciations.
Hey, fellow gays? If you’re trying to prove haters’ assertions that us fags are irrational crybabies and damaged, overwrought queens, you’re doing a great job here.
I appreciate the Editor’s story. I’m going to enjoy my Christmas too, not as a religious exercise, but because it has meaning for me. Lighten up, and maybe do some reading instead of sloganeering. Most of Christ’s message was concerned about caring for the less fortunate, not your sex life. Get over yourselves.
(On a lighter note, I stopped in here because Andy Towle is taking another of his six-day weekends, lol. “Oh It’s Christmas? See you in February, kthxbai!”)
Apart from the name, Christmas has very little to do with Christ.
Most Christmas traditions (the Christmas tree, the Christmas meal, mistletoe and holly…) are secular traditions that pre-date Christianity. You don’t have to be a Christian to celebrate them.
I understand and respect and appreciate the spirit of your post. To me, Christmas is a time to think about the birth of Christ, the penultimate gift from God. It was God’s way of saying, “You’re never hopeless. Sometimes you may need help, but it’s not just divine intervention you need. You have what you need within yourself, and to prove it, I’m going to become one of you to show the ultimate power of and love dwelling inside the human spirit.” That’s amazingly inspiring. And if we all look inside, whether you believe in Christ or not, you know there’s something there stronger than all the hate, disdain, fear, shame and blackness that manifests itself against you. Christmas is about a light coming to us in the darkness. Whether that light is seen in a father’s enthusiasm and love, a Midnight Mass celebration or the quiet embrace of a loved one, it all contributes to the bettering of the world, and that’s what counts.
The man christian’s refer to as their lord and savior “Jesus” wasn’t born in December. To say that one chooses this day to celebrate or remember is fine, but Christians act like this is the holiest day known when in reality it’s NOT the day their christ was born at all – by all accounts it isn’t even close.
I really enjoyed the story, it was very touching thank you.
Oh and by the way, Merry Christmas.
What I found to be a charming anecdote about Xmas turned out to be a shitstorm of controversy! I am an atheist, but I believe you can celebrate the holiday without embacing the absurdity of modern-day Christianity. Like many other posters have noted, it is a day to spend time with your friends and family members regardless of your religious persuasion. But I geuss whenever the topic of faith is introduced, tempers will flare. Is that really what “Jesus would do”?
Lighten the fuck up you bitter, bitter queens. It’s disgusting how self-righteous some of you’ve become the very thing some of you blame the “right wing” for while you’re acting just as batshit crazy.
Celebrate the people you love. There’s enough hate to go around all year long. Why not enjoy family, friends and loved ones and just allow other people to celebrate the holiday in which they chose be it Christian, Jewish, etc?
When we get stuck with President Romney or President Huckabee (yes, kids, it can happen), all the people who bitch and moan about all the oversensitivity and political correctness bullshit will get a REAL taste of what it’s like when religion gets forced down our throats. They’ll see how wrong they were to take the matter so lightly.
This is my simple philosophy: religion should be like Britney Spears’ pussy. It’s perfectly fine when appreciated PRIVATELY; that is, in homes or churches, not getting out of a car for the world to see, and for willing participants only. And and leave the government the hell out of it.
I really never fully understood what a drama queen was until I read some of the ate-responses to a great memory. The fun your father must have had with that tree is great, the memories he engendered lasted far longer than the “presents”. That is what this time of year is abour for me. Sweet memories of many who are no longer here in flesh. I wish all of you a fun and joy filled season…even those of you who quiver at the though of joy or fun.
A lump of coal for you, yarapa. Since when do you get to define joy or fun for anyone but yourself? Sheesh. This is the root of most problems, folks. Nosybodies. The “I know what’s best your you” crowd.
Hey prof, I know where you can put that piece of coal…light it up and enjoy the smoke.
“Jesus has nothing to do with it.”
Are you kidding me? It’s called Christmas.
Notice CHRISTmas. And the Christ in Christmas refers to Jesus Christ. Get real. It’s fine if you want to be on the secular Christmas bandwagon, but atleast acknowledge why Christmas is celebrated. At least Andrew did that. My goodness, show some respect or don’t celebrate at all.
“acknowledge why Christmas is celebrated…”
Shopping, days off, partying, over-eating, over-spending, re-gifting, getting drunk. It’s a very spiritual time.
hells kitchen guy
ProfessorVP once again proves that he has no sense of humor, no sense of style, no sense of fun (and I suspect no friends). I feel sorry for him, I really do. He’s an anachronism. He would have been great in 1917 Russia or 1939 Germany, but in the United States, where – no matter how dire the political situation may appear – we can take time to smell the roses and even ignore all the crap and have fun.
“Shopping, days off, partying, over-eating, over-spending, re-gifting, getting drunk.” Sounds good to me!
*sigh* People like Professor (rolls eyes) VP and his ilk tempt me to despair. Such bitterness and self hate is very disheartening.
Anyway, Andrew your remembrance was very sweet to read. Sounds like your Dad truly understood the ideas behind Christmas…and shared that with you.
Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah.
Merry Christmas Andrew!
By the way, I certainly hope you’ve grown immune to misguided comments like those of ‘zeami99’ and ‘wtf?’. I really have trouble to see how one could react to a post like this in that sort of manner.
Alan down in Florida
Merry Christmas Andrew. As a non-observant Jew I have no problem with celebrating a man (who, if he actually existed – see the book “The Jesus Mysteries”) who was born, lived and died a JEW!! Jews honoring other Jews. Seems perfectly natural to me.
Lovely post, Andrew. But I think that what has inspired the (honest) anger in many posters is a slight unclarity in your setup. As a Jew, I have no problem with being wished a merry Christmas. What frightens me is the thought of being expected or forced to wish others a merry Christmas. Which isn’t very far from being gay and being expected or forced to act straight. I think participating in the spirit of the season is wonderful if one wishes to do so. But add the element of coercion, however subtle, and I start seeing camps and ovens and gas showers.
I also do not celebrate the religious aspects of Xmas, and I also wish people “Happy Holidays” because one never knows how people personally celebrate during this time of year and, unlike the RW Christofascists, I do not try to force my beliefs – or non-beliefs, in this case – down other peoples’ throats (especially when there are so much nicer things to be forced down ones throat). If Xmas didn’t exist, it would have been necessary to invent it. I do not believe in this “War On Christmas” conservative bullshit I hear Bill O’Reilly and his right-wing flying monkeys spew every year, a phony story which the absolute majority of people in this country laugh at because I believe most are like me and celebrate the holiday because they love a season of goodwill and giving and (supposed) peace. Besides, most of the “christians” I see who are rabid about Christmas aren’t very Christian at all. I’m just a big fag who loves the holidays. Fuck those that try to make me feel guilty about how I celebrate it. And Happy Festivus, everyone!!! (and BTW, how come I never see “The Nutcracker” on TV anymore? It sure beats those soupy and inane Xmas movies they show every year).
Ursa, it is not a great surprise to me that you go through life like some sort of wind-up Alan Sues (he was the queen on Laugh-In) doll, sighing and rolling your eyes 24/7.
Hells, I was going to take a holiday day off from pointing out how completely vapid, unoriginal and illiterate you are, however…
I actually never wrote there was anything wrong with â€œShopping, days off, partying, over-eating, over-spending, re-gifting, getting drunk.â€ All I said was that those things are why Christmas was celebrated.
In case I never mentioned this, Hells, you don’t KNOW anything, don’t contribute anything in your- and I use the term loosely- writing, and are outrageously lazy. As a holiday gift, I will provide your reply: “Professor, you are a psychopath released when Reagan emptied the mental hospitals, so impoverished you line your winter coat with dead cats.
L – A – Z – Y.
hells kitchen guy
Actually, ProfessorVP a rigorous analysis of the dialectic of religious mores actuates a programmatic response through metholodological pro forma advocacy of lumpenproletarian cyclical initiatves.
In other words, Happy Holidays!
Hey kids – no fighting, it’s Christmas!
I wish someone a Happy Birthday when it’s not *my* birthday, I wished friends “selamat hari raya” when in Indonesia and Happy Eid while in Turkey although I don’t submit to Allah, and I’ve filled out the table at seder although I’m not one of the Chosen People. I never found it repressive to respect anyone else’s beliefs.
Meanwhile, Professor: “religion should be like Britney Spearsâ€™ pussy. Itâ€™s perfectly fine when appreciated PRIVATELY” – I’m so stealing this line from ya.
I find the differences in opinion and levels of ire amusing. But I have to strongly suggest that “bitch republic” do homework. There is no doubt whatsoever that Jesus Christ lived, walked this planet and was crucified. There is incredibly hard physical as well as documented evidence of this. To say that a man that changed the history of the world, and still continues to, didn’t exist is ignorant at best. I for one do believe and consider myself a Christian. But that’s for me and just me. I do not require it from any of my contemporaries. I wish and pray it for them, but do not require it. If I did, I would be in direct contradiction of the Jesus I believe in.
I will this thought, knowing the risk of a lewd and hateful comment. I believe if the “physical” Jesus were still walking the earth, he would be in gay bars everywhere. Simply because we are the absolute worst at living out his teachings. He was an outcast from the word “go”, just as we are. He would definitely feel a need to minister to a subculture that He already identified closely with. We scream “accept me, accept me” and fail to realize that being gay might be the only thing you have in common with another human. Yet we fail to be accepting of others within our culture that do not line up to our standards. It does not require every other gay person to fall directly in line with your beliefs, values or politics. Do you require all gays to be into or reject anything else? why are your “hot buttons” so vulnerable and exposed? Let us disagree on mature levels that contain respectful rhetoric instead of resulting to hateful and spiteful stabs and jeers.
C’mon guys, this is Andrew’s blog and he therefore has the freedom to express himself in the way he sees fit. I’ll be the first to admit, somedays, I roll my eyes and move on (not often, Andrew)but I do NOT leave hateful and hurtful comments against one of my gay bretheren simply because he may feel differently about an issue or topivc than I do. That wouldn’t be very Christ like, now would it. I enjoy the memory of his father he shared and cannot imagine anyone finding it offensive. My Grandpa always read the Christmas Story out of the Gospel of Matthew on Christmas Day. I would give anything to sit at his feet and hear it again from his “hillbilly lips”. Is that so terrible?
Andrew, bless you for sharing a cherished holiday memory with your readers. I hope you cherish that memory for the rest of your days.
Guys, disagree if you will, but lets
Thanks, Andrew! I loved it..that was beautiful!
I can’t believe the ugliness that reared it’s ugly head in the way of comments! Yech Like you, zeami99…what the f#??!! Disgusting! I suppose you consider yourself a christian??!!
Remember jesus’ words concerning the day of judgement, “Many will say, Lord, Lord, but I will say to them, Get away from me…I never knew you!!!!
Many professing christians are exactly such people…. peace everyone.And you too, Andrew.
zeami99 thanks for showing us the true love that comes from christmas.
Hellskitchenguy, thanks for judging assimilated Jews. I assume you are orthodox because if you are not Jewish and observant you can just keep out of this.
Can’t we all just get along?!?!…
Christmas comes but once a year.
Gregg, I have done my homework. I suggest you do yours. There is considerable doubt as to whether a person named Jesus Christ ever lived. The Romans kept meticulous records and although Pontius Pilate ruled Jerusalem during that time, there is no record of the Romans having crucified anyone named Jesus Christ or anything similar.
There are no contemporary reports of his existence, only the works written many decades and centuries after he was supposed to have lived.
The one historical reference that many Christians point to is one small paragraph in Josephus, which was proven to be a forgery not very long ago. Previously, all original manuscripts of Josephus had been believed to have been destroyed. However, an older original manuscript of Josephus was found that does not mention Jesus. Scholars estimate that the forged addition of the paragraph referencing Jesus was added in the 3rd century C.E. by Christians trying to provide historical evidence for Christ.
Also the Gnostic gospels known as the Dead Sea Scolls show that early Christians believed Christ to be a symbolic figure, not an actual person who lived.
I don’t have any problem with Andrew or his father celebrating Christmas, nor even wishing anyone else a Merry Christmas, but when he says that Jesus is a figure worthy of respect and recognition, I highly disagree.
Jesus is a myth and religion is the root of all evil.
Hisurfer, you’re welcome the religion-Britney line; wear it in good health. Gregg– “Câ€™mon guys, this is Andrewâ€™s blog and he therefore has the freedom to express himself in the way he sees fit.” Who on earth said he doesn’t?
Zeami, shut up, you are on this high an almighty horse, yet clearly not in the Christmas spirit at all. Seriously, get over yourself.
Christmas is no longer solely about some man from thousands of years ago that may or may not exist, (and even if he had, almost all religious professors will agree that he wasn’t born in the time of December) No, now it’s about love, family, acceptance, togetherness, and sometimes, consumerism.
A merry XMAS to you all.
Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men. (And women and sheep and goats and dogs and cats and penguins and everything)
In the interest of being PC:
May your holiday be filled with love and joy. May your candles burn bright whether it be for 5 days, 8 days or 12 days. May your god(s)smile down upon you and may you all enjoy a safe and happy new year.
In the interest of controversy: Bitch Republic, please consider that while the Romans were indeed meticulous about their records, a great many of those records have been lost in the past 2000 years.
The sacking of Rome.
The Medieval eras.
The Council of Nicea.
WWI and WWII.
Please take that into account. I agree, we have no proof of Jesus existence. His name would not have been “Jesus” either. “Jesus” is Greek. “Jesus” would have been known as “Joshua, Son of Joseph.” (Pretty common name)
ahem! just got back from an extremely irresponsible and selfish Jesus-religion-free Xmas family celebration, where we ate the best food ever, played blackjack and exchanged gifts. Just so you know, you don’t need organized religion or Jesus or someone to tell how to think and wag their finger at you for not appreciating Jesus and guilt trip you into doing the right thing, or the moral thing, and loving the people around you. and as much fun that i much celebrating xmas, i’m still not that big of an arrogant asshole to presume that everyone would appreciate it if i told them “merry christmas.” get over yourself.
I was gonna let all the bitchin’ to this lovely and thoughtful post go ’cause what do you expect from certain bitter queens with lots of time on their hands but I have to answer Macpunk’s diatribe on the “WAR ON CHRISTMAS!” Yes a lot of this is bunk pushed by FakeNews to outrage the fundies but a lot of it is true. I live in Cambridge, MA. and while I love it here, the p.c. quotient can be a little high and people do often get put off if you say “merry Christmas”. As for Kwanzza…puh-leeze! I’m half black and none of my family, or our friends, hell anyone that I know celebrates that bullshit. That was a “let’s go back to Africa” type holiday started in the 1970’s that no black people celebrate…just guilty white liberals with a stick up their ass like macpunk and the other bitter fags here who instead of embracing the family aspect of Christmas like the Queerty editor who posted this topic, choose to stew in their bitterness and ruin it for everyone else. I’m not religious but love this holiday and yes, the all the holiday lights, so a merry fucking christmas to all you bitter bitches.
Loved your post, Andrew. If everyone thought like that the world would be a much happier and nicer place.
PJ, when I said the Romans have no records of “Jesus Christ or anything similar” I meant any other derivatives of his name as it might have been known locally at the time. It actually would have been Yeshua (Aramaic) or Yoshua (Hebrew) or even Yahushua (as some Hebraic experts claim), not Joshua. Joshua is the English translation of Yoshua. Whatever you call him, there is no evidence he was a real person.
The papacy wouldn’t edit any references to Jesus nor would the Council of Nicea. If anything, they’d fabricate records to try to provide proof of Jesus, which it has been proven they did do.
I should no better to get involved in this discussion but…
“most historians agree that Jesus was actually born in April”
We really have no idea when Jesus was born. It is basically true that the celebration of Christmas was made to coincide (or nearly) with the winter solistice so as to help prevent Christians from attending pagan festivities.
“most historians agree there is no historical evidence that any person named Jesus Christ ever lived, let alone had a birthday. Most of what â€œChristâ€ taught actually came from Plato long before him.”
There’s scant historical evidence regarding the life of Jesus outside of the gospels (and even the gospels tell us very little). One non-Christian source is the so-called Flavian testimony in Josephus. The Jewish historian/general Josephus lived around the same time as Jesus and he mentions the trial of Jacob/James the brother of Jesus called the Christ. Some people dispute this passages authenticity. Still do you really think that Paul and the evangelists made up a religion centering around a person who never existed?
Yes, they made up a religion around a person who never existed. Do you believe Dionysus ever existed? What about Osiris or Bacchus? They were all born to virgins and died for the sins of their people, too.
What about Mithras? Did he ever live? Guess what. Mithras was the son of God born to a virgin as well. What about Zeus. Do you think Zeus ever existed? No? Well neither did Jesus.
Funny thing, talking about political correctness as a negative.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it wasn’t very long ago when it was perfectly acceptable to use all kinds of derogatory terms to refer not just to gay people but to almost every minority (including-yes-the jews). Fortunately our society decided to be a bit less discriminatory in how language is used, eg. changing fireman to fireperson. And recently some have stopped referring to a season in which many people celebrate many holidays as an exclusively christian season.
It’s nice that you celebrate christmas but it’s also nice that I don’t. I fail to understand why you insist on laying claim to this period as one exclusively yours in which whatever way you choose to celebrate is the only culturally appropriate one. Isn’t it odd how you and the conservatives agree here, and shouldn’t even the densest person realize that that’s a warning sign?
I find it somewhat odd that as a person asking for tolerance you advocate, well, not tolerating people here. Celebrating alternative lifestyles is very much what this blog is about. If you want society to tolerate leather daddies or drag queens, no matter how obnoxious or silly they seem, is it really that much to ask for you to tolerate other holidays?
No, not even tolerate. Just admit that they exist. As the phrase goes, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Either stop excluding here or stop complaining about exclusion. You’re being just as bad as the most anti-gay conservative on this one. It may seem massively brash to ask you to not discriminate in your season’s greetings (that’s a good alternative phrase), but you have to get over it. It’s nice that your blog is snarky. You know who else is snarky? Ann Coulter. She too calls on us to get over this silly political correctness. You should know better by now.
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