Friday, December 23, 2005

The Dr. Helen Playpen

There are some commenters on this blog who wish to discuss extraneous topics. I understand that some need an outlet for this type of "chat room" so am designating this post as an area where commenters can speak with each other without interrupting the topic at hand. Please note that in the future, should you wish to belittle, harass or just plain annoy other commenters, you will be sent to timeout in the Dr. Helen Playpen where you will be free to pontificate your views with all other interested parties. Thank you for your cooperation.


Blogger Loquitur Veritatem said...


11:50 AM, December 23, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:59 AM, December 23, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And meanwhile, Dr. Helen, a slightly premature Happy Chanukah to you and yours and best wishes for a great 2006.

1:06 PM, December 23, 2005  
Blogger Helen said...

auld pharte,

Happy holidays--I would say Merry Christmas but don't know if that is appropriate anymore...

1:14 PM, December 23, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. Merry Christmas works for me.

2:06 PM, December 23, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, that was really well explained and helpful

2:09 PM, December 23, 2005  
Blogger ronin1516 said...

merry Chriatmas to the entire InstaFamily!!!

8:06 PM, December 23, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm at a loss. I can't seem to come up with a suitable extraneous comment...

I hate spinach!

Nah. No passion behind that.

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Hapy Kwaanza, Merry Yule, etc, etc to everyone. The idea is enjoy the season, regardless of the label.

8:34 PM, December 23, 2005  
Blogger Steve Skubinna said...

But... you're stifling freedom of expression! Dissent is patriotic! Bush=Hitler! Why do hot dogs come in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight?

9:10 PM, December 23, 2005  
Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

I prefer to pontificate on other people's space, not in free space.

10:07 PM, December 23, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I raise a glass to whatever God you happen to worship (as long as your God doesn’t want you to cut my head off – because then we have a problem). To the Christians in the house, well, Merry Christmas, one and all.

For the record, I’m rather partial to spinach, and okay – the whole hotdog / bun thing is freaking me out.

To Greg Kuperberg, I’m trying to put up a quick site with a thumbnail bio, as it’s only fair – I did ask you. The trouble is I’m a bit fussy about design, so a day or two in and it will be there Then I’ll give an address.

Greg, I ran straight to the design board when you asked me to identify myself, and I left off the discussion we were having. You had responded:

“Your summary of the problems that the United States faced in Iraq before the invasion very clearly shows how much worse we have it now in that country. It could be better for Iraqis (depending on what course it eventually takes), but it certainly isn't better for Americans.”

I respectfully disagree. (I also disagree anonymity on the web is objectionable, too, but that’s for another time). I have no time for argument just now, but I will say I appreciate your point of view, and when you do get the chance to see my bio I’ll email the address, and maybe we can pick this up using our email rather that Helen’s bandwidth. (The page is almost finished, just content now, really, so maybe in the first few days of the New Year. The design is hot – by the way). However you happen to celebrate this season, I hope it makes you smile in your sleep.

Merry Christmas, Helen! Thanks for the great blog.


11:03 PM, December 23, 2005  
Blogger Greg Kuperberg said...

Jeff: Merry Christmas to you too. To be honest, I'm not sure exactly what I celebrate at the end of December. Whatever it really is, I don't mind calling it Christmas. But that's a discussion for some other blog entry, I suppose.

As is the war in Iraq. It's up to Helen to start such a discussion in her blog, or not.

11:48 PM, December 23, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Helen said: “There are some commenters on this blog who wish to discuss extraneous topics.”

Jeff said: “. . .and maybe we can pick this up using our email rather that Helen’s bandwidth.”

Greg responded: “But that's a discussion for some other blog entry, I suppose. As is the war in Iraq. It's up to Helen to start such a discussion in her blog, or not.”

It seems Helen has made such an accommodation to “start such a discussion in her blog” in this very thread and you might note: I offered an alternative to her blog as an option to continue the dialogue we had begun previously here. Admittedly, the war in Iraq was a digression from the original thread’s subject, which was Family Ties if I recall correctly, but not a digression I instigated – rather, I was responding to a rip you made on the administration. Also, I don’t believe Helen began the political end of the discussion, so where was your corrective rectitude then?

My offering to continue the earlier dialogue was a courtesy, as was my willingness to undo my anonymity (I wasn’t linking to a dead page; I came with no promise of self-revelation).

You response here was rude, I think, as well as non sequitur.

One last thing: I had intended to mention - in the “Family Ties” thread, I agreed with the last comment you made regarding taking ameliorative action rather than nurturing a grudge. It’s my practice.


1:36 AM, December 24, 2005  
Blogger Greg Kuperberg said...

Jeff: I didn't mean to brush you off. I took Helen's "playpen" entry here to mean that the commenters should stay on-topic, not that she really wanted an "open mike" blog entry. It's Helen's blog and it's up to her to control the topic.

The "Family Ties" entry sort-of slid into Iraq. Helen herself mentioned Condi Rice, and I expanded on that, then someone named DRJ brought up Iraq. All of that was before the present reprimand about playpens.

If you want to talk about Iraq, we can talk about Iraq. Although my interest is in a public discussion somewhere rather than one-on-one e-mail.

4:02 AM, December 24, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the real point of our host is for posters to be polite to one another, and refrain from insults of a pesonal nature.

The wild changes in topic didn't seem to be a big deal, really. Rude statements were.

Of course, no one here is guilty of being rude to other posters, right?

10:54 AM, December 24, 2005  
Blogger DRJ said...

I'm Christian, but I am delighted to wish my Jewish friends and acquaintances Happy Channukah and similarly to wish a Happy Kwanzaa to those who celebrate that holiday. Ditto for other holidays, whether I celebrate them or not. I know it's not PC anymore, but why is there suddenly so much sensitivity about saying Merry Christmas to Christians?

1:36 PM, December 24, 2005  
Blogger Helen said...


"Why is there suddenly so much sensitivity about saying Merry Christmas to Christians?"

In the mind of the PC crowd, my guess is that they align Christians with men, heterosexuals and capitalists--you know the oppressors of all others. Why say Merry Christmas to them and acknowlege their power? I say screw it and just give the greeting that is most appropriate--Merry Christmas to my Christian friends, Happy Hannukah to my Jewish ones etc.

3:55 PM, December 24, 2005  
Blogger Ken Mitchell said...

Steve & All; The reason why hot dogs come in packages of ten, while buns come in packages of eight, is that you're supposed to eat the other two hot dogs sliced into macaroni & cheese.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Merry Yule, Happy Kwanza or Solstice; have I forgotten anyone?

But as a Jew, I believe that just because it isn't my birthday, that doesn't mean I can't help friends celebrate!

4:35 PM, December 24, 2005  
Blogger Greg Kuperberg said...

I'm not Christian, nor in any meaningful sense Jewish. My father is ethnically Jewish, but his parents became atheist in their teens. My mother was raised as a Polish Catholic, but she also became atheist in her teens.

So it is easier for me to recognize the distortion of Christmas as a Christian holiday, and even more so Chanukkah. As explained here, Chanukkah is not the most important Jewish holiday (which is Yom Kippur), nor even in the top five. It has been played up just because of Christmas, even though its historical origin is resistance to Greek assimilation. Saying "Happy Channukah" is a bit like saying "Happy Divorce Day" to your divorced friend. You may not remember his birthday, but you remember that he drinks a beer on the day of his divorce because it's the same week as your birthday.

For that matter, Christmas is not by any logic the most important Christian holiday. That ought to be Easter. Most American Christmas rituals are unmistakably pagan. Christmas has somewhat more religious interpretation in Catholicism than in Protestant Christianity, but if anything more is done on Christmas Eve. The traditional Catholic Polish celebration is a Christmas Eve dinner followed by the midnight Mass. (After all, it's called Christmas.) My family actually did the dinner, complete with a communion wafer, when my Catholic grandmother visited. We even opened the presents on Christmas Eve. It was clearly more important than Christmas Day.

That's why I said that I don't know what I really celebrate on Christmas, or more precisely from Christmas to New Year's Day. It isn't Chanukkah and it isn't Christmas. I'm probably celebrating the end of the year. But I don't mind calling it Christmas.

The reason that there is suddenly so much sensitivity about saying Merry Christmas has nothing to do with the mind of the PC crowd. It is a strange contest between American commercialism and pseudo-religious rightist propaganda. Christmas merchants have been saying "Season's Greetings" and "Happy Holidays" for many years in order to sell to all customers. Fox News decided this year to campaign against this capitalist strain of political correctness and blame it on liberals. Bill O'Reilly is the leader of this ugly and hypocritical campaign. It's common reactive bullying, which is antithetical to the teachings of Christ.

4:53 PM, December 24, 2005  
Blogger Yosemite Sam said...

I love it when people naturally react to Leftist PC bullies and their continual assault on traditional American culture, they are the ones who are called bullies by the Left. Just yesterday, the Medway, MA school district changed Christmas tree to Magic tree and is disallowing the wearing of Red and Green hats in the formerly Christmas, now Winter concert. Christmas songs that have been sung for years are changed to remove the word Christmas. This isn't a figment of Bill O'Reilly's and Fox News' imagination.

5:19 PM, December 24, 2005  
Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

I always find it amusing when nonbelievers remark with assurance on what is antithetical to the teachings of Christ.

5:54 PM, December 24, 2005  
Blogger Greg Kuperberg said...

Yes, what O'Reilly is doing is bullying, regardless of what happens in Medway. One of the classic aspects of reactive bullying is to distort and exaggerate what other people do in order to claim that they are the real bullies. O'Reilly made a similar accusation against Plano, TX, which turned out to be grossly distorted.

If you are going to complain about Medway, it is important to report the whole truth. Originally the Medway Middle School had planned a production of "Jesus Christ, Superstar". That is what really bothered the non-Christian parents. If the school teaches its kids that Jesus Christ is a superstar, that's very different from just putting up a Christmas tree. The same school officials that did not mind a play with blatant Christian proselytization then panicked and banned everything. I don't know if the officials genuinely respected the complaints, or if it was spiteful over-accomodation. Over-accomodation is of course another part of reactive bullying.

6:03 PM, December 24, 2005  
Blogger DRJ said...

"One of the classic aspects of reactive bullying is to distort and exaggerate what other people do in order to claim that they are the real bullies."

Gosh, Greg, when I first read this quote from you it reminded me of ... you. After all, to blame the secularization of Christmas on Fox News and Bill O'Reilly is a bit reactive, don't you think?

6:14 PM, December 24, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It must be nice to live on Planet Kuperberg, a world of complete rational discourse, no errors in fact or judgement, sensitive interpersonal skills, and absolute cultural and moral relativism.

But we are all reacting to it, instead of simply allowing Planet Kuperberg to follow its own self-righteous orbit, alone.

6:26 PM, December 24, 2005  
Blogger Yosemite Sam said...

That's the first time I've ever heard Jesus Christ, Superstar called " blatant Christian proselytization". What color is the sky in your world? I seem to remember evangelical Christians being angry about the portrayal of Jesus in that play.
But anyway, I don't see how you have countered my point. Regardless of their reason, the Medway school district has done as I have stated. Other school districts have done similarly and the singing of a few songs from a 60's musical is far from a First Amendment violation. People are tired of the ceaseless attacks on long standing traditions that have been enjoyed by many generations.

6:43 PM, December 24, 2005  
Blogger Greg Kuperberg said...

DRJ: I very clearly did not blame secularization of Christmas on Fox News and Bill O'Reilly. I think that Christmas has long been secularized by retailers, up to and including Wal-Mart and Target. (Although O'Reilly does his part, despite his campaign.) I also don't personally care whether Christmas is secularized or not.

Rather, I blame Bill O'Reilly for perverting the slogans of Christmas for a campaign of intolerance against non-Christians. Although as the clever "Happy Holidays" caller revealed, he also wants to be Mr. Tolerant.

Yosemite Sam: If some Christians are offended by the content of Jesus Christ, Superstar, that is all the more reason that public schools shouldn't produce it just before Christmas. You have a point about one thing. I assumed that it was non-Christians who objected to this play, but it may have been evangelical Christians! Either way, the school is wading deep into religious waters with plays like this. They might as well have shown The Passion of the Christ or The Life of Brian. Or hey, all three. (It would be interesting, although maybe grim in the end, if some high school showed all three of these movies the week before Christmas.)

Despite what Medway thinks, it is not about red and green hats. The school didn't have to ban the hats, and probably they didn't want to either. I don't know if they banned the hats because they were morons or soreheads, but certainly liberals didn't make them do it.

7:31 PM, December 24, 2005  
Blogger Yosemite Sam said...

" don't know if they banned the hats because they were morons or soreheads, but certainly liberals didn't make them do it."

Interesting comment. I certainly don't think there is some evil cabal of liberals out there that are trying to destroy Christmas, but I do think that decisions like the one in Milford are driven by a kind of overly zealous pandering to a tiny minority of people that complain about any representation of Christmas.
I would also say that since this is Massachusetts, the school's administrators are most likely of a more liberal persuasion and that they did it(the bans) for PC reasons.
Also, they weren't going to perform the Jesus Christ Superstar play, just a few songs from the play at a winter concert next month.

9:49 PM, December 24, 2005  
Blogger Greg Kuperberg said...

Actually Jesus Christ, Superstar is a musical, or a "rock opera". So it's almost all songs. The second page of the article that you cite suggests that they were going to perform the whole thing, since one of the students was scheduled to perform a line from it.

If you don't think that there is a liberal cabal out to destroy Christmas, then basically you and I agree. But the phrase from Fox News is "war on Christmas". I guess I would agree that there is a lot of overzealous pandering of many kinds out there. But there is no report in this case that anyone complained about "any representation of Christmas", only that two parents complained about Jesus Christ, Superstar. They may have been so overzealous that they pandered to a non-existent minority.

I would just as soon leave all of this pro- and anti-Christmas shadow boxing to other people.

On that note, Merry Christmas to all!

11:02 PM, December 24, 2005  
Blogger ronin1516 said...

About the PC, leftist Christmas-hating types. Just pay them no mind, and they will get tired of complaining and whining and go away. Now, if only we could get public oficials and school administrators to grow a spine and not cave in to the Christmas-haters complaints. If I were a school administrator, I'd ask the whiners to go home and home-school their kids, so that they could teach their kids in any manner they choose. Plus, a swift kick in the pants might help too!!

10:17 AM, December 25, 2005  
Blogger Greg Kuperberg said...

It would nice to have some named examples of influential parents who actually hate Christmas, not just school administrators who over-accomodate hypothetical parents.

The only recorded objection in the Medway case is that two parents didn't like Jesus Christ, Superstar in the public school. Actually, I'm not sure any more that songs from this musical are inappropriate in public school. You could argue it either way. Either way, Jesus Christ, Superstar is not a Christmas tradition.

Since no one has named names, I'm going to quote Henry Ford from 1921 on his theory of who the problem is:

Chicago board of education, scene of much Jewish agitation, approves recommendation of subcommittee to remove Christmas from the list of official holidays in public schools. In response to demands of Jews, the Revere, Massachusetts school board consents to remove references to Jesus from Christmas exercises in public schools.

1:13 PM, December 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

assistant village idiot:

i am a non-believer who is, i think, as well qualified to remark on what is anti-thetical to the teachings of christ as any christian. i didn't just up and decide willy-nilly not to believe. i did so after six years of attending a christian school and watching christians in action at school and church.

i don't know about where you are, but here most churches are closed this christmas morning. why, holding services would cut into that all important gift-opening time.

and you christians wonder why the rest of us fail to be inspired by your faith.

2:17 PM, December 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


greg quite clearly did not blame the secularization of christmas on o'reilly or foxnews.

he said they were blaming that secularization on liberals.

did you even bother to read the post?

2:19 PM, December 25, 2005  
Blogger DRJ said...

Greg - "I blame Bill O'Reilly for perverting the slogans of Christmas for a campaign of intolerance against non-Christians."

It sounds good to say that Bill O'Reilly and Fox News are intolerant to non-Christians, but is it really offensive to you that stores sell Christmas trees in December or that people wish each other Merry Christmas? If Walmart doesn't want to sell Christmas trees, most people will still shop there but some won't. Why not let the market decide? I'm Christian and in December I want to wish people Merry Christmas and buy Christmas products, but I'm happy to exchange appropriate holiday greetings with people of other religions. Why do you feel so bothered that you describe my desire to experience Christmas (as opposed to a generic winter holiday) as a campaign of intolerance? And how in the world does any of this pervert the "slogans of Christmas"?

anonymous 2:17 - "i don't know about where you are, but here most churches are closed this christmas morning. why, holding services would cut into that all important gift-opening time.
and you christians wonder why the rest of us fail to be inspired by your faith."

Where do you live? Ask any minister and they will tell you that Christmas and Easter are far and away the biggest attendance days for Christian and Catholic churches. You must live in a very blue state if your churches aren't having services today, and frankly I don't believe you. Further, don't blame religion if believers are sometimes hypocritical. Non-believers are, too.

anonymous 2:19 - "did you even bother to read the post?"

Why no, I don't bother to read any posts before I comment, because like you I just like to hear myself talk. But now that you've exposed my secret, perhaps I will refrain from commenting on the internet - at least until you troll on to another site.

4:01 PM, December 25, 2005  
Blogger Greg Kuperberg said...

DRJ: No, I really don't care that Wal-Mart sells Christmas trees. It's also fine with me if people wish each other Merry Christmas, or if Wal-Mart wishes its customers Merry Christmas. But the market decided differently on that last point. In order to maximize market share, Wal-Mart says "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas". That's fine with me too. I never cared one way or the other.

What is intolerant is the title of John Gibson's book: "The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought". The associated television campaign is equally intolerant. They have updated an old Jewish conspiracy theory, going back at least to Henry Ford in 1921, by replacing "Jewish" with "liberal". It shouldn't fool anyone if they replace hatred of Jews by hatred of abstract multiculturalism. It may no longer be anti-Semitism, but it's still intolerance.

Casting conspiracy theories certainly is a perversion of the spirit of Christmas. It isn't turning the other cheek, as Christ recommended in the Sermon on the Mount.

I will admit one thing though: You personally didn't fabricate the "War on Christmas". I hope that you don't worry about this nonsense today, of all days. I hope that you have a Merry Christmas.

6:05 PM, December 25, 2005  
Blogger DRJ said...

Greg -

On a minor point about how the market will handle Christmas: I think the jury is still out. Some stores will market Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other holidays explicitly; Others will opt for more secular advertising. If there is a "war on Christmas", I think this is the beginning rather than the end.

I also agree that I don't care if Walmart or other merchants explicitly mention Christmas. After all, phrases like Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays have been used by merchants for years. In the past, however, it was clear that merchants were looking for variety in advertising and were not deliberately avoiding use of Christmas phrases, whereas now many merchants are obviously avoiding any reference to Christmas in their advertising and displays. I do resent it when a merchant explicitly and intentionally avoids references to Christmas, and I factor that in when I decide whether to make a purchase.

Not surprisingly, I'm not that upset with John Gibson's book - although I haven't read it, I don't plan to buy it, and at this point I don't share his level of concern. He has written a book that reflects his opinion, and the market and the persuasiveness of his opinion will tell us whether people agree or disagree with him. With rare exception, I think dissemination of ideas is a good thing and I'm sure you, as a scholar and academic, also value the free dissemination of ideas. Ultimately, the only way to exterminate bias (whether it is bias against liberals, Jews, or anyone else) is by exposing it to the light of public opinion.

For the record, then, I view this as a market issue where people use their pocketbook to support merchants who sell products they want to buy. If Walmart is selling Christmas products, I'm buying. Otherwise, I'm not. John Gibson wants to energize consumers who feel the same way, much like Ralph Nader encouraged consumers to demand better cars from the auto manufacturers. Merchants may not like it, but I don't see the need to call out the thought police on this issue.

I'm at a loss on how to specifically respond to your theory that liberals are bearing the brunt of modern-day anti-Semitism. Drawing parallels with anti-Semitism in this case is inflammatory but, at a minimum, I fail to see how wanting to preserve Christmas can be seen as an attack on liberals, let alone how it can be equated to anti-Semitism. My best guess is that you believe any attempts to retain Christian traditions in America are in fact attacks on liberals, since liberals generally value secular principles. It may surprise you, but I could understand that viewpoint. Central to liberal ideology is the notion that we must all get along, hence tolerance is one of the highest liberal/secular values. As a conservative, I embrace the notion that while we must coexist, we don't all have to agree.

Thank you for your Christmas wishes. It has been a wonderful weekend. Best wishes to you and your family as well.

7:24 PM, December 25, 2005  
Blogger Greg Kuperberg said...

DRJ: There is an enormous, immortal market for an end-of-year gift-giving holiday that is usually called Christmas, but is sometimes renamed Chanukkah or Kwanzaa. The holiday itself has more in common with the pagan Yule celebration than with the Christian "Christ's Mass". The only real market question is what retailers should call this holiday. We seem to agree that it hardly matters.

I doubt that John Gibson's book reflects his opinion. The book, and the Fox News rants that go with it, seem insincere as well as obnoxious. They are at best preaching to the choir, but even some of the choir is disgusted (to judge from the Amazon reviews). As an academic, I don't value the dissemination of insincere cynicism. I agree that it is protected by the First Amendment. That's all that can be said for it.

The subtitle "How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought" can only be read as an attack on liberals. It isn't an attempt to retain Christian traditions. It's a mockery of Christianity (unless you think of a siege mentality as specially Christian). It reminds me of a character from Narnia: Shift the Ape, the faithless demagogue who dressed a donkey in a lion's skin and called it Aslan.

What started me on this, by the way, was a comment near the top of this page: "In the mind of the PC crowd, my guess is that they align Christians with men, heterosexuals and capitalists--you know the oppressors of all others." It's not very different from what Gibson and O'Reilly have to say. Otherwise I would just shrug it off, like you. As you suggest, I'm responding to it where it appeared, because it's an open forum.

8:21 PM, December 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg Kuperberg wrote:

"I doubt that John Gibson's book reflects his opinion. "

It does seem as if Planet Kuperberg can read minds, as well. Is the word "omniscient" appropriate?

What a snob. I wonder how much room exists in his personal life for error? Not much, based on his dogmatic and inflammatory rhetoric.

Most of us allow some room for error in our world view.

10:02 PM, December 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...or perhaps greg is right?

12:03 AM, December 26, 2005  
Blogger $CAV3NG3R said...

assistant village idiot - " I always find it amusing when nonbelievers remark with assurance on what is antithetical to the teachings of Christ."

It's is always funny to me when christians, evangelicals in particular think they 'know' what a non-believer commenting on religion has no iota of an idea about. Then again, the bible is supposedly the infallible word of God aka "God is not man that he should lie, neither the son of man that he should repent..." So on some level I do understand where they acquire this certainty from.

For what it's worth, I'm one of those who have been opportuned to be in a couple of places spiritually. I come from a family that has as many christians as there are moslems (west african) who happen to live together without rancour. What that means is that my mom was born to a muslim family went to a catholic high school married a man who attended the apostolic faith, decided to raise their family as Catholic. So I grew up catholic, joined the Rosicrucian (Amorc) a masonic like entity for a couple of years before I quit. I then became what might be called a fundamentalist christian (so-called, born again, spirit-filled, tongue speaking types) for ten faithful years (faithful as in the whole prayer and dry - no orange-juice drinking - fasting,no sex, no dating unless you want to marry her kind of thing). So Mr. assistant village idiot some of us do know what we are talking about since we've seen more than both sides of the coin.

Of course however, since you've got the inspired, no-error Word. We simply do not have anything sensible to say as we are under the influence of him that worketh in the children of disobedience yada yada yada. Give me a break!

Meanwhile as per the whole holiday thing. Maybe this is one thing you folks can learn from west africans(most), a single extended family usually composes of people of two supposedly diametrically opposite faiths islam and christianity but on christian holidays the moslems visit and have fun with the christians and vice versa. A country like Senegal with a 95% muslim population even has fun on christmas while facing the east and doing their thing. The animists among us join in the fun as well.

When someone wishes you a merry christmas even though you're jewish, realize that it's not like they are proselytizing, they are just wishing you well. It's the thought that counts. Even though I now tend to abhor all that is religious, if you wish me a happy chanukah or (dare i say it?) Krazy kwanzaa, I'll smile and wish you the same. It's the thought that counts. Nobody is trying to convert you by wishing you well. Gawd people need to lighten up. It's like the whole I can't stand my family because we don't share the same political ideals thing. That's just sad. Where I come from we can argue from now till eternity about politics but we'll be doing it over some good Sergeant brown (Satzenbrau) or Guinness and laugh about it at the end of the night. That said, Happy Christmas, Merry Chanukah, A jolly winter solstice and a Naughty kwanzaa to all........!

10:52 AM, December 26, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


i live in tennessee. there was a tennessean story on december 8th about churches not having services on christmas morning. i'd link it but you have to pay for an archived story.

as for blaming religion for its hypocritical followers--it's not so much that i blame religion as an action as i blame churches, the followers and the particular faiths in which i find hypocrites in large numbers. isn't there a bible verse in which the so-called "faithful" are rebuked for the destroying the faith of others through their actions?

10:54 AM, December 26, 2005  
Blogger DRJ said...

Anonymous 10:54 - Good post. Sadly, your point about churches is well-taken.

12:19 PM, December 26, 2005  
Blogger Gina said...

are you guys having fun yet ??? LOLOLOL

11:42 PM, December 26, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*sigh* Im still looking for my Blohesphere Fame.. Maybe when im legal. lol.

5:25 PM, December 27, 2005  
Blogger Freeman Hunt said...

Then again, the bible is supposedly the infallible word of God

I know very few Christians who believe this. Perhaps you over generalize your fundamentalist experience.

9:53 AM, December 28, 2005  
Blogger a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Greg seems willing to 'shrug at the piss Christ' and to advocate turning the other cheek but not to be able to shrug off a possibile misundersttanding of another blogger, which would be the fault of the other.

8:09 PM, February 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:45 AM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:51 PM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger tman said...

Thanks so much for the blog.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Childrens Playpens

2:15 PM, December 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Childrens Furniture

10:45 AM, January 06, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


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