Forever Under Construction

I Object!

Posted in Christmas by homeyra on December 16, 2006

christmas-tree.gif

When I read Shirin’s post, I tought it was an exaggeration of an isolated incident. Then there was this rabbi story at the airport, now this:

A Toronto judge has banished a Christmas tree from the lobby of a provincial courthouse, saying the “Christian symbol” might alienate people of other faiths.

Religions, Civilizations and History do not belong exclusively to a peculiar tribe. All humans should be able to participate, get informed, get involved or ignore, even dislike.

I haven’t seen a Christmas in a Christian country for years and I might be unaware of some new phenomenon. It’s increasing commercialisation can be very annoying but the festive atmosphere is fun for all. Isn’t it better to participate, enjoy and learn about each other?

I don’t know about you, but on the eve of 25th I’ll be somewhere with a real tree and a not so real Santa Claus 🙂

Update: If there is a flaw in the attitude toward this harmless tree, better correct the attitude rather than excommunicate the tree )

Update 2 by Dear Professor: In reality, Christmas is the archetypal multi-cultural Humanist feast: it was actually imported by Roman soldiers who had (re)discovered in ancient Persia the primal worship of the sacred Sun-Bull “Mithra”, the Iranian version of their own King-God Jupiter [the Pater/Fathir/Father of humankind].

PS. I have also learned this “updating” style from the Dear Professor

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21 Responses

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  1. proggiemuslima said, on December 16, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    My hubbie and I will be with my Mom. She is Christian. We are not, but I know that it means a lot to her for us to spend the day together. 🙂

  2. kamangir said, on December 16, 2006 at 7:05 pm

    With all respect, I support the judge’s decision.

  3. homeyra said, on December 16, 2006 at 9:05 pm

    Have a great evening Muslimah and my greetings to your Mom 🙂
    Kamangir, I guess I am tired of other people telling what I can do or what I cannot do. By nature I don’t like limitations, and all that seems as serious lack of imagination to address the issue, if there is any. I have always liked living among or knowing people who are very different. I prefer the “celebrate our differences” stand, to uniformity.

  4. joojeh said, on December 16, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    Support the judges decision? A Christmas tree MIGHT ALIENATE people of other faiths? Why not ban the Maple Leaf, it might alienate people of other nationalities…
    And while you’re at it ban the symbol of justice from the courthouse, it might offend the outlaws.
    How absurd can one be? I guess there’s no limit … just like ignorance which is boundless!

  5. Bluebear2 said, on December 17, 2006 at 4:19 am

    This morning we awoke to a commotion outside.
    There were several large US Post Office trucks, a pickup truck with a large trailer, about 20 cars a huge crowd of people, TV cameras and a Santa Claus.
    Our neighbor was been blessed as the recipient of the yearly Christmas gift giving done by the post office.
    They received beds, mattresses, clothes and other household things.

    The Christmas spirit is still alive here in the land of the Grand Satan.

  6. homeyra said, on December 17, 2006 at 7:15 am

    I am too ignorant to pretend to summarize thousands of years of history by spending a few hours a day on my blog.
    By instinct I never feel good when we exclude or eliminate something.
    If there is a flaw in the attitude toward this harmless tree, better to correct the attitude rather than excommunicate the tree 🙂
    Thinking it over, there is a witch hunt aspect that bothers me: we get obsessed with symbols rather than our own attitude.

  7. peoplesgeography said, on December 17, 2006 at 12:51 pm

    Well said Homie. Interesting post and comments. My non-Christian or non-observant friends are just lovely in sending Christmas cards and being aware of the rituals. I try to extend the same courtesy and wish people a Happy Eid or Hanukah or whatever.

    Here’s a spooky anagram for you (you may already know of it, and it seems apt on a couple of levels here 😀 ) : Satan = Santa (rearranged)!!!

    Land of the Great Santa seems to be appropriate, doesn’t it, since Santa Claus (the saint formerly known as St Nicholas) as we know him was invented by none other than Coca Cola …

    Here’s extending Christmas cheer to you all 😉

  8. Dr. Victorino de la Vega said, on December 17, 2006 at 2:19 pm

    This is what years of Marxist/Hebrew brainwash can do to the minds of Western judges: banning Christmas trees on the ground that they are “offensive” to other faiths [read: offensive to Israeli Zealots and Saudi Islamists]!

    How stupid.

    How Zionist.

    The Wahhabi Taleban of Riyadh and Qandahar would be proud of that bigoted Canadian judge.

    In reality, Christmas is the archetypal multi-cultural Humanist feast: it was actually imported by Roman soldiers who had (re)discovered in ancient Persia the primal worship of the sacred Sun-Bull “Mithra”, the Iranian version of their own King-God Jupiter [the Pater/Fathir/Father of humankind].

    Rightwing rabbis and Wahhabi Islamist thugs always hated Mithra and Christmas: hence their “moralistic” tall tales about Abraham/Ibrahim, Aaron/Haroun and the Golden Calf!

  9. homeyra said, on December 17, 2006 at 3:29 pm

    BB2 from the land of the Great Santa! I might have to edit the blogroll PPGG:)
    Dear professor I am happy to see you back and in such a great shape!
    I was afraid that you had disappeared on me! Viva il bravado di gr8 Dottore in his fight against the new dark age!!

  10. peoplesgeography said, on December 17, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    LOL By Jove, I enjoyed your answer, Dr V. Homeyra, I think BB would enjoy that wordplay. Here’s to multicultural humanism at its finest, 😉

  11. Dr Victorino de la Vega said, on December 17, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    Well dear Homie, PG,

    Thanks for the compliment!

    THE problem we face today is that rightwing Neocon thugs in Washington and Yerushalaym and bigoted Wahhabi Islamists in Riyadh (and their many salaried agents in the governments of the UK, France and America) are both doing all they can to destroy our shared Humanist heritage: yes they hate Humanism because they’re opposed to the idea that all men are brothers, children of the Cosmos, earthly incarnations of the spiritual idea of God/Good (Jupiter in Latin, Mithra in Persian).

    In countries, such as Iran, Lebanon, Iraq and America, culture is essentially syncretic, bringing together Western rationalism and Eastern wisdom: “Occidental” Christians celebrate Christmas, an essentially Pagan/Iranian feast while “Oriental”/Islamic Iranians and Turks celebrate “Infidel” European heroes such as Alexander the Great (Iskandar) and Saint George (Khoder).

    Borrowing from each other, sharing and mingling: this is precisely what open, multi-cultural societies are all about.

    In racist countries such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, religious leaders and rightwing politicians preach a Gospel of hatred based on the Hebrew Old Testament: their monomaniac culture is based on the servile imitation (“Al-Taqlid” in Arabic) of the racist prophets of Israel who viewed classical humanism as a decadent Gentile (“Goy” in Hebrew) philosophy that had to be destroyed in the name of Yahweh/Elloh/Allah.

    This Hebrew/Saudi worldview constituted the ideological underpinning of the Taleban regime of Kaboul: this is what prompted them to destroy ancient statues of Buddha and Shiite Husayniyyât throughout Afghanistan.

    This is what prompted the Saudi and Israeli governments to raze many ancient churches their own archeologists had unearthed in Galilee and the Hejaz: bigoted fanatics have always been eager to rewrite history in order to “purify” their national culture…

    This is Barbary pure and simple: Israel’s Neocon and their Wahhabi soul-mates have to be stopped before it’s too late!

  12. homeyra said, on December 17, 2006 at 5:31 pm

    Dear Professor, I have no doubt about your erudition, it is just difficult to believe that their is a mega-will to destroy humanism.
    Some years ago I was appalled to see a documentary about this “sepah-e-Sahabe” (I don’t know its international name) in Pakistan. They had chained 4 year old kids in a dark and gloomy basement, because they were not reciting properly the Quran… It is beyond imagination. From what I have read, the Brits were quite efficient in the area to promote extremism in the last centuries, what ever it took against the Ottomans… years later it seems it has become like a second nature to them.
    I am more eager after this post to celebrate Christmas! I spent the afternoon doing some shopping for my “infidel” friends 🙂
    PS: The radio silence by Naj is due to what she thinks is a poor connexion since she arrived to Teheran. I might not have to moderate for a while the Naj-Professor exchange of idea 🙂

  13. Bluebear2 said, on December 17, 2006 at 6:16 pm

    Well homeyra, it looks like you have a rather enlightnening discussion going here.
    Thank you Dr Victorino de la Vega and others for insights I did not know.

    As a child in Wisconsin we celebrated both St. Nicholas day in early December with stockings hung on the mantel full of fruit and nuts and other good things. We also celebrated Christmas with the tree and all.

    Now I find here in California very few know of St. Nicholas.

    I suppose it may be a matter of the strong European and Germanic heritages where I grew up.

  14. Bluebear2 said, on December 17, 2006 at 6:17 pm

    Oh I forgot: “from the land of the Grand Santa”

  15. homeyra said, on December 17, 2006 at 6:45 pm

    BB2, I am just applying Von Goethe’s wise words:
    I speak only of what I can praise 🙂

  16. […] All this haggling about Christmas trees and Menorahs is just starting to get silly. [See related posts from Homeyra and Shiren.] […]

  17. kamangir said, on December 18, 2006 at 5:53 pm

    Homeyra,
    I appreciate a person who is open to see others’ way of living, but I am not sure I like it when the majority practices forcing others to accept its values. I am sure this tree thing is just a tiny event, and not showing anything, but I think it is important to always remind ourselves that others have rights, too.

  18. homeyra said, on December 18, 2006 at 6:22 pm

    Kamangir, I agree on principle.
    It bothers me to use my rights to limit other people rights on such matters.
    As long as I am not taken “by force” into a church, a mosque or a synagogue or anywhere else, why should I be offended to see other people celebrate what they like? Specially if it concerns something joyful.
    Also as a minority, I can but understand that the majority has more visibility. I won’t take that as a personal threat.
    As I said above, I haven’t been in a western country during Christmas for years, maybe there is something new that I totally miss.
    In Iran I have always liked this period when Armenians and other Christians are celebrating.
    Maybe I have a prejudice. I prefer to look toward Hafez’ position:

    I have learned so much from God
    That I can no longer call myself
    a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew.
    The Truth has shared so much of Itself with me
    That I can no longer call myself
    a man, a woman, an angel, or even a pure soul.
    Love has befriended Hafiz.
    It has turned to ash and freed me
    Of every concept and image my mind has ever known.

    You and I we both have this heritage of tolerance.

  19. homeyra said, on December 18, 2006 at 9:36 pm

    Think over:)
    The truth is that I don’t understand the reason of the resentment. Kamangir, what in you opinion bothers the others in these celebrations?

  20. peoplesgeography said, on December 19, 2006 at 5:14 am

    Nice quoting of Hafez, Homeyra. If I may, I do also appreciate Kamanjir’s dissenting opinion – protecting minorities against any tyranny of the majority, as well as the vaunted separation of Church and State, is important.

    Above all, here’s to more of that cultural syncretism as propounded so well by Dr V. and which is a part of the wonderful Persian heritage. — Your fellow cosmopolitan at heart.

  21. Bluebear2 said, on December 19, 2006 at 5:43 am

    “Sacramento, Land of the Great Santa: Lair of the Blue Bear”

    LMAO! 😆 😆 8)


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