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Freedom of Religion

By ProtiusX ·
It?s about time people began to understand that freedom of religion is not freedom from religion and in this case specifically Christianity. Now I know that there is some who would rather not read articles that have been cut and copied so I will post the link to the article and then give my opinion.

Federal judge rules for Nativity display Town must allow Christian scene in public venue during this season

Now if you have been reading anything that I write you will know that I am about as far from anti-Semitic as one can get and not be a Jew. I love the Jewish people, I love Israel and I believe they are God?s chosen people. Now with that said I can only say Hallelujah when I hear that there are Menorahs being publicly displayed in any town across this great land. I congratulate those who stood up for their rights as Americans and sued to keep their right to freely and publicly express their faith. Now notice I did not say that the Menorahs should be removed and replaced with crosses. Nor did I say that the Muslim icons should be removed. What I advocate is equal rights for all and special rights for none. Every religion should be allowed to express their beliefs openly and publicly as long as it does not defame another or cause harm. I may disagree with my devout Jewish friends about the Ultimate truth in the Universe but that doesn?t mean that I hate them or that they shouldn?t stand with me as Americans and wish each other a very special Holiday season. So to my Jewish friends out there I say Happy Hanukah.

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The cry babies need to just sit down and shut up.

by mrafrohead In reply to Freedom of Religion

I didn't read the article. Probably won't, but I read your post, and wanted to throw in my 2 cents...

I don't claim any religion. I'm not athiest or agnostic. I believe there IS a god, but I think that the mass religions are a hoax. Created by man, to keep man in check. Though there is a truth in all of the BS out there, but at this point in life, I don't know enough to filter out the BS...

But, back on topic, I really think that all of the cry babies and whiners need to just STFU, and stop the nonsense. If I'm Jewish and want to display something of my religion, it's my right. Same with any religion. In America, it's a right. No one should be able to do anything about it.

Those that truly have a problem, stop the frivilous law suits. GROW UP, and learn to look the other way.

Those that get all pissed and try to get people to take things down because they are offended, well what about people like me? Those that ruin it for others offend me! Where are my rights in all of this nonsense? he he he

But I really think those that are standing up for themselves, deserve kudos. As long as it's legal and not hurting anyone, what's the problem?


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That pretty much does mean you are agnostic.

by Oz_Media In reply to The cry babies need to ju ...

"I believe there IS a god, but I think that the mass religions are a hoax. Created by man, to keep man in check. Though there is a truth in all of the BS out there, but at this point in life, I don't know enough to filter out the BS..."

"An agnostic does not deny the existence of God and heaven but holds that one cannot know for certain whether or not they exist. The term agnostic was fittingly coined by the 19th-century British scientist Thomas H. Huxley, who believed that only material phenomena were objects of exact knowledge. "

In a nutshell, open to proof but not specifically in belief of a single theory or religion.

I also do not FOLLOW specific belief religiously except that I have faith in myself to do what's right.

As for the rest of the post, I pretty much agree. LIve and let live ,right? As long as people don't thrust their beliefs on me against my wishes, then who cares. Everyone is entitled to faith, without it people are nothing.

Some have faith in A certain God or set of beliefs others do not, yet they find faith in other ways. Choice.

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actually . . .

by apotheon In reply to That pretty much does mea ...

I'd say that makes him a nondenominational Christian, or perhaps some kind of Deist or other monotheist that isn't associated with a particular religion. What mrafrohead said seems to me to equate to a positive statement of belief in God, not a denial of any strong beliefs.

Likewise, I don't consider myself Christian (or other monotheist), agnostic, Pagan (or other polytheist), or atheist. The way I look at things, it seems that whether or not you consider yourself a Christian is more a matter of interpretation than of Truth. That doesn't mean that I'm not sure whether or not God exists, but only that I don't think it's incorrect to say either that He does or does not. An agnostic would say that there's probably a Right answer and a Wrong answer, but he doesn't know what it is.

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by mrafrohead In reply to actually . . .


I really don't know what I would call myself...

I don't think I really care to have anything Christian associated with me... Though I will fess up, I don't know what a nondenominational one is...

I do know that I don't qualify for Agnostic.

In regards to what yourself and Oz have written, Oz, your post was very nice. But I don't think I fit the Agnostic angle.

Apotheon - the catch is, I don't believe that the God that I believe in, is the same God that everyone else believes in.

I originally types up this big ole huge statement about what I believe and don't and why I believe what I believe, but I deleted it all. I honestly don't think that anyone really wants to read what "I" believe...

But I do think that there's a God. I think we're all connected, but I can't explain how or why as of yet... But I do think that Mass religions are going about it all wrong.


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Agnostic means "I don't KNOW."

by jardinier In reply to That pretty much does mea ...

Whilst I have a strong faith in a higher power, and feel its presence in my life, I don't KNOW that there is a god or whatever.

For the benefit of those whom I regularly confuse or aggravate, my precise classification is:
agnostic relativist.

AGNOSTIC because I don't KNOW.

RELATIVIST because I believe that any number of different belief systems may be equally valid.

I can honestly say that I have never met anyone in my life of any religion who could convincingly say "I KNOW there is a God."

It is not FAITH that causes conflict between people of differing religions, but insistence that their personal beliefs are unquestionable facts.

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You said it mrafrohead!

by TomSal In reply to The cry babies need to ju ...

I'm right with you on that. You know its to the point at my nephew's school play (its a christmas play) they aren't allowed to sing tradional christmas songs and they aren't allowed to have the nativity scene and they aren't even allowed to have a lighted star on the christmas tree.

I kid you know. Yep you read it right...its a CHRISTMAS PLAY too.

My sister was outraged when she read the paper explaining this to the parents. My nephew though he's only 3 so he doesn't understand it fully, he just likes attention so he's excited to be in the play, so even though my sis hates what the school is doing -- she's showing excitement for her son.

This world is getting insane!

Before you know it we'll have to change the way we say "hello" because in some obsecure culture in the world they'll study that in some ancient text "hello" means "kiss my arse" and may offend someone.

Utterly pathetic all this PC crap is!

All it does is...

Give whiners more reason to whine
Make wimps and wussies out of us all

Oh no it might offend someone...TOO DAMN BAD...cry me a river, then you'll get over it and find out the world didn't end after all!

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Last Year

by ND_IT In reply to You said it mrafrohead!

When I was working at another plant, we couldn't call our Christmas party "The Christmas Party". To be politically correct, we had to call it "The Year End" party. What bunch of sh!t. We even had to make sure our theme wasn't too much like Christmas, just to make sure we don't offend anyone. But before our meal, we had a innovacation. Talk about hipocrisy.

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Hanukah, Christmas and the solstice

by In reply to Freedom of Religion

Hello, ProtiusX, we meet again! Okay, you know by now I'm not an American (although I have rellies in your country), but I am Jewish.

I haven't read the link yet, but what you say in your post is enough to tell me the gist of what it must contain.

Yes, you're right about Hanukah. It's a week-long festival, as you probably know, and it's just finished (yesterday, Wednesday).

It commemorates the rise of the Maccabeean revolt in the second century, BCE, when the Greeks were overthrown by the Jews, but it's my (private) belief that, in order to commemorate the Maccabees, the Jews took an existing solstice festival and tacked on the rest!

Why else light one more candle every night and call it the Festival of Lights, which takes place at the (northern hemisphere) winter soltice if not?

Having said all that, there's a very good reason why hanukiot (menorahs) and placed in the windows of each home.

Firstly, they look pretty, but that's beside the point, I guess! Mostly, it's because of how this lighting of the candles was done in Eastern Europe a couple of centuries ago, and I'm guessing that the vast majority of your neighbours who are Jewish are descended from East European parents / grandparents, etc.

So why in the windows? In those days, at the dead of winter, the growing and glowing light (an extra candle on each consecutive night) was supposed to frighten away the ghosts and ghoulies of the dark, the frightful, unknown things that penetrate religion from the dark world of folklore whether we like it or not.

Such "belief" is usually not part of the mainstream of the religion in question, but I think we've all suffered with this kind of thing, one way or another, throughout the ages, Christian and Jew alike.

These little things simply creep in; old wives' tales, etc., and are adapted or absorbed into the body of belief.

None of this offends me. Heavens, I walk down the street every day and see exactly the same thing in Christian households -- holly wreaths on the doors, strings of jingling bells blowing in the breeze -- all descendents of Christian old wives' tales to keep away the "baddies" at the darkest time of the year!

That's what Jesus was supposed to be, wasn't it? A light? Even he has traces of paganism attached to him, because as a solstice symbol, that's definitely pagan!

Of course, over here in hot and sunny Australia it doesn't quite work the same. The December solstice for us is bang in the middle of summer and it's light until well into the late evening.

Holly wreaths and jingling bells don't quite gel with the season here, but we nevertheless still enjoy it.

But on no account am I offended. I'm not even offended at the nativity scene (giant cardboard or wooden cutouts, glarishly painted! -- I think it's meant to be "modern" for the 21st century!)set out under the city clock tower (centre of the town) where it can't fail to be seen.

I must admit I cannot understand people who are offended by other peoples' religious symbols. I can only assume they're exceptionally blinkered people, and intolerance never got anyone anywhere. This is a free country -- world; well, most of it -- and freedom of religion is one of those things most of us hold very dear.

So thank-you, ProtiusX, for your good wishes, and in return I can quite easily say that I hope you have a lot of joy over the Christmas season, a fun-filled family day, and all the very best for 2005.



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East European Jewsish History and other traditions

by BFilmFan In reply to Hanukah, Christmas and th ...

I am sure that a number of people are not aware that Eastern European Jews are almost all descended from the people that lived in Khazaria.

The Khazars were a Turkic people who originated in Central Asia. The early Turkic tribes were quite diverse, although it is believed that reddish hair was predominant among them prior to the Mongol conquests. In the beginning, the Khazars believed in Tengri shamanism, spoke a Turkic language, and were nomadic. Later, the Khazars adopted Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, learned Hebrew and Slavic, and became settled in cities and towns thruout the north Caucasus and Ukraine. The Khazars had a great history of ethnic independence extending approximately 800 years from the 5th to the 13th century.

The earliest history of the Khazars in southern Russia, prior to the middle of the 6th century, is hidden in obscurity. From about 550 to 630, the Khazars were part of the Western Turkish Empire, ruled by the Celestial Blue Turks (K?k Turks). When the Western Turkish Empire was broken up as a result of civil wars in the middle of the 7th century, the Khazars successfully asserted their independence. Yet, the K?k kaganate under which they had lived provided the Khazars with their system of government. For example, the Khazars followed the same guidelines as the K?k Turks regarding the succession of kings.

At its maximum extent, the independent country of Khazaria included the geographic regions of southern Russia, northern Caucasus, eastern Ukraine, Crimea, western Kazakhstan, and northwestern Uzbekistan. The Khazars had their greatest power over other tribes in the 9th century, controlling eastern Slavs, Magyars, Pechenegs, Burtas, North Caucasian Huns, and other tribes and demanding tribute from them.

In addition to their role in indirectly bringing about the creation of the modern Balkan nation of Bulgaria, the Khazars played an even more significant role in European affairs. By acting as a buffer state between the Islamic world and the Christian world, Khazaria prevented Islam from significantly spreading north of the Caucasus Mountains. This was accomplished thru a series of wars known as the Arab-Khazar Wars, which took place in the late 7th and early 8th centuries. The wars established the Caucasus and the city of Derbent as the boundary between the Khazars and the Arabs.

Ancient communities of Jews existed in the Crimean Peninsula, a fact proven by much archaeological evidence. It is significant that the Crimea came under the control of the Khazars. The Crimean Jewish communities were later supplemented by refugee Jews fleeing the Mazdaq rebellion in Persia, the persecutions of Byzantine emperors Leo III and Romanus I Lecapenus, and for a variety of other reasons. Jews came to Khazaria from modern-day Uzbekistan, Armenia, Hungary, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and many other places, as documented by al-Masudi, the Schechter Letter, Saadiah Gaon, and other accounts. The Arabic writer Dimashqi wrote that these refugee Jews offered their religion to the Khazar Turks and that the Khazars "found it better than their own and accepted it". The Jewish Radhanite traders may have also influenced the conversion. Adopting Judaism was perhaps also a symbol of political independence for Khazaria, holding the balance of power between Muslim Caliphate and the Christian Byzantine Empire.

Under the leadership of kings Bulan and Obadiah, the standard rabbinical form of the Jewish religion spread among the Khazars. King Bulan adopted Judaism in approximately the year 838, after supposedly holding a debate between representatives of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths. The Khazar nobility and many of the common people also became Jews. King Obadiah later established synagogues and Jewish schools in Khazaria. The books of the Mishnah, Talmud, and Torah thus became important to many Khazars.

The major Khazar Jewish documents from that period were written in the Hebrew language. The Ukrainian professor Omeljan Pritsak estimated that there were as many as 30,000 Jews in Khazaria by the 10th century. In 2002, the Swedish numismatist Gert Rispling discovered a Khazar Jewish coin.

As a Jewish man, with a Lakota mother (she converted prior to marriage), I celebrate both Jewish traditions and Lahkota traditions. So you will find both Jewish and Lakota traditions and symbology being practiced and displayed and displayed in my home and office.

And I am in full agreement with you that religious displays don't offend me in the least. I see them as a celbration of the beauty of life, which is certainly a concept the Lakota understand is important.

So best wishes to everyone during the holiday season. And I will leave you with the last lines of A Christmas Carol, where Charles Dickens said it perhaps best of all:

"...and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!"

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book on Khazars

by john.a.wills In reply to East European Jewsish His ...

A readable book on the Khazars is Koestler: The Thirteenth Tribe.

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