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05-26-1999, 04:02 PM
In the thread on prayer at graduation, this topic came up. Since that thread is long enough anyway, I decided to split it out.

Papabear said:Christmas is a national holiday, and government employees take it off, because the few that would elect to take another day instead would not be enough to take care of even a fraction of a regular business day's workload.
I'd say that really depends on what that workload entails. Where I work (for state government), I'd get more done if there weren't so many people around! There may be some instances where what you have said is true (for example, see below where I'm going to talk about schools), but I don't think it is correct as a general statement.
Tolerate religion in the same way you tolerate any other fable or superstition.
Who says I tolerate other superstitions? :)

Melin said, in the same thread: I simply point out that the Los Angeles Unified School District shuts down for Rosh Hoshana [sp?] and Yom Kippur, on the same theory. Too manny Jewish students who would take the day off anyway, and too manny Jewish teachers to be able to find substitutes for all of the classes.
Some suburban Chicago schools are the same way. And while I think it's still a bit touchy, I do think that is a valid reason (note that the reason is based upon how many students and/or teachers would be there on that holiday, not just because it's a holiday for one particular religious group). But I also think this is a case that is specific to schools and cannot be applied across the board to other governmental institutions -- and even in schools it needs to be watched to make sure a line isn't crossed.


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"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi

05-26-1999, 04:28 PM
I nominate David B. to be the one that gets to sort out all the logistics involved in reconciling the various religious holidays that federal workers feel they need to observe with day to day operations.

Why is it so hard to recognize (and accept) the practicality of closing down the government on a day that most Americans would refuse to work?

It seems that since the courts ruled against school prayer (a just and necessary ruling I might add) some liberals have decided to pursue petty, technical violations such as municipal creches (?) and federal holidays. There are certainly more worthwhile crusades out there.

05-27-1999, 06:04 AM
As a Federal employee and a Christian, I appreciate my employer's generous offer of closing down for Christmas. However I don't believe that the government SHOULD give Christmas off as an official holiday. The generous leave policy that all Federal employees have would allow them to take the day off, while keeping the "wheels of government" turning, albeit slowly. My chief complaint is that I get this day off automatically, without having to use any leave time, while my Jewish friends must use their leave for Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah. Ditto with those who are of other religious traditions. If there is supposed to be a separation of church and state (and where to draw the line is admittedly a debatable point), I would submit that there should not be an official Christmas holiday.

05-27-1999, 07:27 AM
I live in the state of Wisconsin, and two years ago they stopped giving Good Friday off for workers because the state suprememe court ruled that it violates the separation of church and state amendment. However, Christmas is still a holiday. Why the contradiction? I don't know, but I am going to try emailing politicians to ask them. You can too: wisgov@mail.state.wi.us.

05-27-1999, 08:02 AM
I live in the state of Wisconsin, and two years ago they stopped giving Good Friday off for workers because the state suprememe court ruled that it violates the separation of church and state amendment. However, Christmas is still a holiday. Why the contradiction?

Because Christmas is considered a secular holiday. Yes, I know, but the vast commercialization and celebration of the holiday makes it more than just a religious observance (remember, Christmas was pretty much a minor holiday until relatively recently). Christmas itself ties in with various other holidays; quite a few cultures have holidays around the time of the winter solstice.

Good Friday is purely a religious holiday. At the same time, selecting Good Friday as work holiday is no more a recognition of a religion than choosing Labor Day.

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05-27-1999, 08:52 AM
Rather than making a bunch of separate posts, I'll combine my replies into one.

PapaBear said:I nominate David B. to be the one that gets to sort out all the logistics involved in reconciling the various religious holidays that federal workers feel they need to observe with day to day operations.
If it pays more than what I'm making now, I'll take it! ;)

Why is it so hard to recognize (and accept) the practicality of closing down the government on a day that most Americans would refuse to work?
As I indicated in my message, there are cases in which it would make more sense (such as with schools). But until somebody shows me otherwise, I stand by my statement that it just doesn't matter for most others (such as the state where I work). The state allows for flexible work schedules that put some people here for hours when practically nobody else is around. Why is Christmas any different?

It seems that since the courts ruled against school prayer (a just and necessary ruling I might add) some liberals have decided to pursue petty, technical violations such as municipal creches (?) and federal holidays. There are certainly more worthwhile crusades out there.
Well, first I'm not exactly crusading against Christmas (I know I'd lose because, as RealityChuck noted, the courts have idiotically ruled it a "secular" holiday). Second, I think the fight against creches makes sense, since that is a prime example of a government body promoting religion. Just because it might not bother you doesn't make it less of a First Amendment violation.

earendel1 summed up my feelings quite well in his statement (no reason to completely requote it just to say "Yeah!").

Cheese Head said:I live in the state of Wisconsin, and two years ago they stopped giving Good Friday off for workers because the state suprememe court ruled that it violates the separation of church and state amendment. However, Christmas is still a holiday. Why the contradiction?
As Reality Chuck noted, the courts have ruled Christmas to be a secular holiday. It is fairly ridiculous to say the day representing the birth of the messiah, according to that particular group of religions, is a non-religious holiday? Yup, but that didn't stop 'em. They used some mumbo jumbo to claim that because it's been commercialized and all, that makes it less religious than, say, Good Friday. It's a massive stretch, but it allowed the courts to make a decision that didn't piss everybody off and still claim to adhere to the First Amendment.

Personally, if I were a Christian, I think I'd be rather offended at the courts ruling the birth of my savior was not a religious occasion...

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"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi

05-27-1999, 09:46 AM
Responding only to the last commont David B. made. I'm probably equal parts amused, annoyed and offended by the courts declaring the commemoration of the birth of my savior to not be a religious occasion. And really, that's my reaction to a lot of the stuff I hear and see at Christmas as well. As was commented on elsewhere (at least indirectly) there is no reason to believe that Jesus was actually born on December 25. It is MUCH more likely he shares my birthday (October 6). (if someone is curious, ask me for an explanation and I'll share one, but it isn't really relevant to the subject at hand). I love traditional Christmas Carols, but find most stuff about Santa, reindeer, gifts, and snow to be really annoying.
Anyway, while Dec. 25 was probably not when Jesus was born, it is the date when most Christians today celebrate his birth. Unfortunately, most of us celebrate this day by giving and recieving gifts and spending time with family. There is nothing wrong with these activities, it is just that I feel sometimes that we've forgotten the "true meaning of Christmas" (And if you watch a lot of the Christmas specials, the "True meaning of Christmas" is about giving unselfishly, or love or other similar things, not about the birth of a Savior). So, since I think that to a large degree, even a lot of the Christians I know celebrate the holiday for the "wrong" reasons, I'm inclined to agree with the courts that Christmas has lost a lot of its religious flavor. That doesn't mean I like it, just that I have more important things to do than act all offended that the courts recognized the secularization of the holiday, and tacitly gave their permission for such to continue.

05-27-1999, 03:28 PM
My parents are both atheists, yet they celebrate Christmas. My own religious beliefs are ... complex, but I celebrate Christmas too. It's a good holiday, and most of its symbols have become secular: pine trees, tinsel, Santa Claus, good will towards mankind, etc. It'd be nicer if it were just a new year's celebration so that people wouldn't feel oppressed by it, but there you go.

On a tangent, I've heard that the pine tree was a symbol of Saturnalia, the pagan snow festival that Christians were trying to co-opt when they moved Christmas to December. Is that true?

05-27-1999, 04:15 PM
Unfortunately, most of us celebrate this day by giving and recieving gifts and spending time with family. There is nothing wrong with these activities, it is just that I feel sometimes that we've forgotten the "true meaning of Christmas" (And if you watch a lot of the Christmas specials, the "True meaning of Christmas" is about giving unselfishly, or love or other similar things, not about the birth of a Savior).

Does anyone rememeber (and this was years ago) when Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, was on Saturday Night Live and talked about how we've all forgotten the "true meaning of Halloween"? Great stuff! :

"Halloween isn't about candy corn and trick-or-treats and cute little tots dressed up like Batman and Snow White. It's about blood and death! It's about vampires and evil headless phantoms and flesh-eating zombies! So this year, let's all try to remember the TRUE meaning of Halloween."

05-27-1999, 04:35 PM
The United States government will eliminate Christmas as a national holiday the same day that Israel does the same for Yom Kippur.

I am all for the separation of church and state, but David B. badly underestimates the number of people who will be willing to work on December 25th--regardless of whether or not they celebrate Xmas as a religious holiday.

Jews should not have to sacrifice leave for Passover--but to eliminate Christmas as a national holiday would, in my opinion, veer all the way from the "establishment" side of the First Ammendment pendulum toward the "prohibit the free exercise".

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05-28-1999, 07:07 AM
Edward said:The United States government will eliminate Christmas as a national holiday the same day that Israel does the same for Yom Kippur.
Israel is a "Jewish state." You aren't making the argument that the US is a "Christian state," are you?

I am all for the separation of church and state, but David B. badly underestimates the number of people who will be willing to work on December 25th--regardless of whether or not they celebrate Xmas as a religious holiday.
I do no such thing. I just say it should be up to those people to decide. Maybe only 5 people would show up at the office where I work. So what? The heat and lights are still on (they have to have guards there anyway), and we'd probably get more work done.

Jews should not have to sacrifice leave for Passover
And how would you work this? Everybody gets to take off every holiday they want without using vacation days?

--but to eliminate Christmas as a national holiday would, in my opinion, veer all the way from the "establishment" side of the First Ammendment pendulum toward the "prohibit the free exercise".
That's ridiculous! I never said anything about preventing anybody from taking the day off! In fact, I specifically gave a good way it could work pretty well (with the personal holidays).

I'd love to hear your explanation on how what I've said here at all veers towards prohibiting the free exercise of religion.



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"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi

05-28-1999, 09:37 AM
David - Constitutionally you are technically correct. But I still don't see a practical way for 5 or 10 percent of the federal work force to do anything but kill time on a day that everybody else has taken off.

What does the Jewish mail carrier do that day when the Christian mail sorters have taken the day off? Can the one athiest security guard out of a regular force of 20 be expected to adaquaitly protect an open Federal building on his own?

I'm sure there's some cliched (but appropriate) metaphore for what your proposing (baby/bathwater, forest/trees), I just can't think of it rigght now.

05-28-1999, 10:27 AM
DAVID B. -- Correct me if I'm wrong, but Christmas is, in this country, a holiday (meaning a day off from work, not a 'holy day') for almost everyone, without regard to religion. If you're Jewish or Buddhist or what have you, and your office closes for the day, you get the day off too. I assume that you're not objecting to everyone getting a day off, right? I mean, if it was "National Day Off" Day, that would be okay. The objection is that it was, at one time, religiously motivated. So here's the possible solutions: (1) Make every relgiously-based festival or observance a holiday for everyone -- Rosh Hashana; Samhain; Tet. This is unworkable for reasons I think are obvious. (2)Don't give anyone the day off for any religiously-based festival or observance, no matter how secularized it's become. My office-mate will take a day off for Yom Kippur, and I'll take a day off for Christmas, and we both will lose a day of vacation time doing so. The net effect of this is that we have both lost a "holiday" off, and gained another day, during the course of the year, when we will be expected to be at work. We have lost, in effect, one of our rare days off. But, because that day off happens to be Christmas, you apparently WOULD rather have everyone be required to work or take personal time. Is that correct? I don't want to misrepresent anyone's opinion. But if it is correct, I think it might win an award for "least popular idea" in the working world. The non-Christians I work with do not object to everyone having Christmas off, because they get the day off too, to do with what they will. They recognize that objecting to it being a company (or, in my case, government) holiday could only lead to everyone losing it as a day off. Why would they want to do that?

05-28-1999, 10:44 AM
(I'm going to again combine responses here.)

PapaBear said:David - Constitutionally you are technically correct.
Thank you. :)

But I still don't see a practical way for 5 or 10 percent of the federal work force to do anything but kill time on a day that everybody else has taken off.
As I've said, that depends on what they normally do. I work for a state agency. For most of my work, it doesn't matter if 95% of the other people around are here or not (especially for one day). Heck, today, being the last work day of the fiscal year and the day by which comp time must be used, about 75% of my unit is gone. But I'm still at work, doing what I usually do -- writing messages on the SDMB, er, wait... Seriously, though, my work is not interrupted. I have projects I'm working on, and I'm doing them the same as if everybody was here (actually, I'm getting more work done 'cus I'm not interrupted as often).

What does the Jewish mail carrier do that day when the Christian mail sorters have taken the day off?
This is a good example of the kind of thing in which cases you are correct. Like I said, there will be some of those cases, but I don't think it applies overwhelmingly.

Can the one athiest security guard out of a regular force of 20 be expected to adaquaitly protect an open Federal building on his own?
That building probably has to be secured no matter what. Heck, at our building, I think we have fewer security guards during a normal workday than when nobody is around.

Jodih said:Correct me if I'm wrong, but Christmas is, in this country, a holiday (meaning a day off from work, not a 'holy day') for almost everyone, without regard to religion. If you're Jewish or Buddhist or what have you, and your office closes for the day, you get the day off too. I assume that you're not objecting to everyone getting a day off, right? I mean, if it was "National Day Off" Day, that would be okay. The objection is that it was, at one time, religiously motivated.
Nope, I think you've missed the point. The point is that one group of religions (Christians) gets special governmental recognition of their holiday (government employees are given the day off) while other religions (and those with no religion) get no such recognition. It is government favoring one religious belief.

Obviously, I wouldn't object to National Day Off Day any more than I object to, say, Labor Day. But neither of those have anything to do with religion.

So here's the possible solutions: (1) Make every relgiously-based festival or observance a holiday for everyone -- Rosh Hashana; Samhain; Tet. This is unworkable for reasons I think are obvious.
Correct, which is why I never suggested it.
(2)Don't give anyone the day off for any religiously-based festival or observance, no matter how secularized it's become. My office-mate will take a day off for Yom Kippur, and I'll take a day off for Christmas, and we both will lose a day of vacation time doing so. The net effect of this is that we have both lost a "holiday" off, and gained another day, during the course of the year, when we will be expected to be at work. We have lost, in effect, one of our rare days off. But, because that day off happens to be Christmas, you apparently WOULD rather have everyone be required to work or take personal time. Is that correct?
That is correct to a point. I was about to get annoyed at you for not reading what I've written, but it appears that I wrote it in another thread, so I'll repeat myself.

I have a friend who works at a major company. That company deals with this by giving each employee 12 (or so) "personal holidays" in addition to sick and vacation time. These can be used on whatever holidays the employee deems fit (or, in the case of an atheist, on birthdays and anniversaries and the like). So the Christian uses them to take off Christmas, Good Friday, etc. The Jew uses them to take off Rosh Hashanna, Yom Kippur, etc. Thus, you wouldn't lose anything (though the Jewish person would gain the ability to take off the day that is holy to him without having to sit at home and waste a day on the day that means nothing to him).

The non-Christians I work with do not object to everyone having Christmas off, because they get the day off too, to do with what they will.
But I bet if you asked them, they would probably rather be able to take off one of their own holidays -- instead of having to use a vacation day to do so.

I believe what I have discussed here addresses all of your points and, of some importance, is Constitutional.

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"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi

05-28-1999, 01:44 PM
DAVID B. -- I don't know what you do for the government, but I am a government employee as well, and I can assure you that my office would be closed in every practical sense on Christmas regardless of whether the day was given to us as a holiday or not. It's not just that there wouldn't be anyone in my job or at my bureau; there wouldn't be any secretaries, any drivers, any supervisors, any janitors, any cafeteria workers. Now, you may argue that it's possible for individuals to continue to be productive in an empty office, but I think that the larger picture is that a business gets nothing done when 90% of its employees are gone, so it may as well shut down for the day. So I don't think giving everyone Christmas off in a country that is overwhelmingly Christian constitutes "special governmental recognition" or the "government favoring one religious belief over another," an argument that only applies to government employees in any case. Do you want to be the one to impose a governmental policy of no Christmas off, when everyone else in the private sector gets it as a holiday? Good luck.

My point is that we can't equalize this situation in a positive fashion -- that is, to the benefit of all the workers. There are only two ways to make it equal: Give everyone every major religious holiday off (which we agree is unworkable), or take away the holiday of Christmas, removing it as a day off given to ALL workers, and making ALL workers use vacation/personal days for holidays. How would that benefit the non-Christians? It seems to me that this "preferential" treatment (if indeed it is preferential to Christians, as opposed to merely being practical) works to everyone's benefit -- i.e., everyone gets an extra day off. But because you don't like the REASON why the day off is given, you would prefer to abolish it entirely. This strikes me as being more mean-spirited than promotive of religious tolerance.

05-28-1999, 01:50 PM
Jodih said:Do you want to be the one to impose a governmental policy of no Christmas off, when everyone else in the private sector gets it as a holiday? Good luck.
My point is that we can't equalize this situation in a positive fashion -- that is, to the benefit of all the workers. There are only two ways to make it equal: Give everyone every major religious holiday off (which we agree is unworkable), or take away the holiday of Christmas, removing it as a day off given to ALL workers, and making ALL workers use vacation/personal days for holidays.
Remember above where I said I was about to get annoyed with you? Well now I am. Are you reading what I write? I specifically went into an example of what would address the situation, be fair to all, and be Constitutional. You ignored it when giving your "only two ways to make it equal."
So here it is one more time. Please read it this time:I have a friend who works at a major company. That company deals with this by giving each employee 12 (or so) "personal holidays" in addition to sick and vacation time. These can be used on whatever holidays the employee deems fit (or, in the case of an atheist, on birthdays and anniversaries and the like). So the Christian uses them to take off Christmas, Good Friday, etc. The Jew uses them to take off Rosh Hashanna, Yom Kippur, etc. Thus, you wouldn't lose anything (though the Jewish person would gain the ability to take off the day that is holy to him without having to sit at home and waste a day on the day that means nothing to him).

Jodih continued:[/quote]It seems to me that this "preferential" treatment (if indeed it is preferential to Christians, as opposed to merely being practical) works to everyone's benefit -- i.e., everyone gets an extra day off.[/quote]
My god -- did you read anything I wrote? It most certainly does not work to everyone's benefit, since the Christians get their holiday off free while non-Christians have to use a vacation day to take off their holidays. What part are you not getting here?

But because you don't like the REASON why the day off is given, you would prefer to abolish it entirely. This strikes me as being more mean-spirited than promotive of religious tolerance.
Maybe if you actually read what I write before you respond to it, you'd get a clearer understanding of the discussion. <sigh>


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"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi

05-28-1999, 02:03 PM
jodih said:

Now, you may argue that it's possible for individuals to continue to be productive in an empty office, but I think that the larger picture is that a business gets nothing done when 90% of its employees are gone, so it may as well shut down for the day.

Sorry, but I have to agree with David on this one. I work as a government contractor, and it is MUCH easier to get things done when there are fewer people around. No interruptions, no crises that require all of us to work on something, and if it's a holiday, no clients to call with a crisis either.

I also agree with David on having general holidays people can use whenever they want. In my office, the way our contracts are structured, we have to take the holidays we get within the correct month. However, they do not have to be taken on the proper day. An example: almost no one takes Veteran's Day off in my office, although it is a holiday for us. Most people work that day and then take a "holiday" the day after Thanksgiving. I know that some of the Jewish people where I work do similar things at Christmas.

So, I agree David - it's a workable suggestion. Too bad more companies don't follow it.


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"There is such a fine line between stupid and clever." -- David St. Hubbins, Spinal Tap

05-28-1999, 02:06 PM
Falcon said:So, I agree David - it's a workable suggestion.
Thank you. After the way Jodih responded, I was beginning to think my messages were invisible. <sigh>

Too bad more companies don't follow it.
While it would be nice if companies followed it as well, my concern has always been with government following it. Privately-owned companies should be able to have whatever religious holidays the owner wants.


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"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi

05-28-1999, 03:36 PM
The really sad part is now that I am a State employee, I identify with getting more work done on a holiday when most people are off. I plan on working this Memorial Day, and know I'll be able to get a lot more done since I won't be continually interrupted!

05-28-1999, 04:34 PM
DAVID B. -- You can't imagine how desolated I was to find that you're annoyed. But I'll try to hang on to my composure long enough to respond. I assume that we are now talking about government employees only, right, as you've acknowledged that private employers can give whatever days off they want?

Practically speaking, the problem with it is that the government would be effectively shut down on major holidays such as Christmas anyhow. I know you disagree with me here, and it's a point that's hardly worth arguing about since neither of us have any way to prove our position. But if my secretary were Jewish and she came in to work on Christmas, she would be wasting her time as there would be no one here generating work for her to do. Same with the messengers, the copiers (the human ones), the drivers, and the rest of the support staff. Conversely, there might not be enough people around to keep things up and running on days that the government IS supposed to be open. Say I get twelve vacation days a year. I save them up and take 12 days off straight around Christmas, and so does everyone else that I work with. At that point, the government is effectively shut down, not for a day, but for twelve days. As it is now, we have a certain amount of vacation time and if we want to take a week off at Christmas, it eats into that time, which is an incentive not to do it. The holidays are spread out at a rate of roughly day per month, and you can't "hoard" them for a more favorable time if you don't feel like taking, for example, Memorial Day, off.

Philosophically, MY point, which YOU seem to be missing, is that I didn't see -- do not see -- how it hurts non-Christians that everyone has Christmas off. You say Christians get their holiday off "free;" well, non-Christians get the day off free as well. You would not object if the same thing occurred for Labor Day. You're sole objection is that some of the employees might use the day off for religious observance. But, you point out, a Jew must use a vacation day for, say, Yom Kippur. As a Christian, I must take a vacation day for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, which are also major Christian holy days -- in fact, to many, more important holy days than Christmas.

The bottom line for me is that a system such as you propose would be unworkable, and very few (okay, none) of the people I work with, regardless of religion, object to everyone being given the 25th of December off. Practically speaking, nobody works that day anyway.

Incidentally, I wouldn't think that anyone would read my posts and imagine that one of my faults (and lo, they are many) includes an inability to read. If I do not address a point you make it is because I missed it or I don't believe it merits a response. In such cases, feel free to make the point again, or to ask me point-blank how I would respond to it. It doesn't strengthen your argument, however, to demonstrate how quickly you can go from civil to snide.

05-28-1999, 05:19 PM
David objected to my comparing the United States and Israel, but I think the comparison is valid in this sense--most Americans are nominal Christians and most Israeli citizens are Jews. I was not trying to imply that the U.S. is a Christian state in the same sense that Israel is a Jewish state. I was merely noting that it would be as impractical for the government to be open on a day that the overwhelming majority of workers would take off for either religious or family reasons. While it would not be practical to give everyone a day off for religious holidays for minorities (Yom Kippur in this countrty; Christmas in Israel), I think that Jews should be allowed to take off for Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashannah, and Passover without wasting vacation time. Jodi is correct that Lent is a more important time for Christians than Christmas, but I don't think it's necessary to take the day off those days. It's not like Christmas or Passover, where it is a tradition to travel to visit family, or like the High Holy days where you are prohibited from doing any work. There's plenty of time to go to service after work. Personally, I would rather work those days as it takes my mind off of food.

05-28-1999, 10:49 PM
Jodih wrote:I assume that we are now talking about government employees only, right, as you've acknowledged that private employers can give whatever days off they want? Correct.
Practically speaking, the problem with it is that the government would be effectively shut down on major holidays such as Christmas anyhow. I know you disagree with me here, and it's a point that's hardly worth arguing about since neither of us have any way to prove our position.[quote] Ah, but I have already said it is possible to take a look at those situations. Maybe there are some such agencies (I've already identified schools and the post office, for example), but why should a few incidents cause us to agree with an unConstitutional act?

[quote]But if my secretary were Jewish and she came in to work on Christmas, she would be wasting her time as there would be no one here generating work for her to do.
And she could do nothing without others around? My secretary would love to have a day with none of us around. She could update the files, clean up the office, and get caught up on other things. Heck, sometimes she comes in on the weekend just to do those things because she can't do them with all the rest of us around giving her more work.

Say I get twelve vacation days a year. I save them up and take 12 days off straight around Christmas, and so does everyone else that I work with. At that point, the government is effectively shut down, not for a day, but for twelve days. As it is now, we have a certain amount of vacation time and if we want to take a week off at Christmas, it eats into that time, which is an incentive not to do it.
And so how are holidays different? If you use them all up around Christmas, you can't use them any other time -- just like vacation days. Sorry, but that's just not a logical argument.

The holidays are spread out at a rate of roughly day per month, and you can't "hoard" them for a more favorable time if you don't feel like taking, for example, Memorial Day, off.
We have people here who "hoard" vacation time so they can travel overseas. There was one guy who was gone for 6 weeks. As I said, your complaint is not a logical one.

Philosophically, MY point, which YOU seem to be missing, is that I didn't see -- do not see -- how it hurts non-Christians that everyone has Christmas off. You say Christians get their holiday off "free;" well, non-Christians get the day off free as well.[quote]
Oh, I get your point -- it's just that, well, you're wrong. Sorry. You seem to think that if everybody gets the day off, then it's ok. Well, it's not. Because those who are Christians are getting off their holy day while those who are not do not get their holy day off. If you can't see the problem here, I doubt that my repeating it over and over again for you will help your comprehension.

[quote]You would not object if the same thing occurred for Labor Day.
Now follow along here. Labor Day is not a religious holiday. The First Amendment addresses religion. Get it?

But, you point out, a Jew must use a vacation day for, say, Yom Kippur. As a Christian, I must take a vacation day for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, which are also major Christian holy days -- in fact, to many, more important holy days than Christmas.
So you're saying it's okay because it only favors Christians a little bit, not a lot? What a stellar argument.

Incidentally, I wouldn't think that anyone would read my posts and imagine that one of my faults (and lo, they are many) includes an inability to read.
Well, considering you ignored practically the entire message to which you were allegedly responding, you'll just have to forgive me for coming to that conclusion.

If I do not address a point you make it is because I missed it or I don't believe it merits a response.
But it wasn't just a case of not addressing a point -- it was a case of you saying there are only two alternatives, when you were responding to a message in which I proposed a third! It sure looked to me like you were ignoring it's very existence completely.

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"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi

05-28-1999, 10:52 PM
Edward wrote:I think that Jews should be allowed to take off for Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashannah, and Passover without wasting vacation time.
Then how do you feel about the system I mentioned? That way each person can take off the days that are holy to him/her and not worry about the rest.

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"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi

05-28-1999, 11:08 PM
Because you still vastly underestimate the number of people who would be willing to work on December 25th. It would not be practical to keep the U.S. government open with the few number of workers willing to work Christmas any more than it would be practical for the Israeli government to stay open with the few number of messianic Jews (a.k.a. Christians) willing to work on Yom Kippur.

On a side note, Israel has bigger problems with synagogue/state divisions than the U.S. Do you know that in Israel a Jew cannot get married unless the ceremony is performed by an Orthodox rabbi. I read an article in the Washington Post about how many Israelis fly to Cyprus to get married and circumvent this law.

------------------
"Interested in fashion, Harmonica?"
"There were three dusters like these waiting for a train.
Inside the dusters were three men. Inside the men were
three bullets..."
--Once Upon A Time In The West

05-28-1999, 11:29 PM
{{{Because you still vastly underestimate the number of people who would be willing to work on December 25th.}}}

Sorry, guys. The first time you make this mistake, I figure it's a typing error or brain fart. The second time I figure you really mean your error. He's not UNDERestimating the number of people willing to work on Christmas, in your opinion, he's OVERestimating it.

Carry on.

I ain't workin' Christmas, by the way.

-Melin

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I'm a woman phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That's me
(Maya Angelou)

05-28-1999, 11:39 PM
My apologies. I SHOULD have said overestimated. Thank you.

------------------
"Interested in fashion, Harmonica?"
"There were three dusters like these waiting for a train.
Inside the dusters were three men. Inside the men were
three bullets..."
--Once Upon A Time In The West

05-29-1999, 12:23 AM
It's been awhile since I worked in the business community, but I seem to recall that your general average business in the USA stayed open on one or more national holidays not connected to religion and the Federal and State workers got the national holidays as a day off.

Anyone care to comment as to which holidays their employer stays open with full staffing?

05-29-1999, 08:36 AM
David, after thinking about it last night, I have to admit your proposal is fair to both Christians and non-religious. The only catch is whether you can rustle up enough willing workers to come in on December 25th to make it worthwhile.

Of course, during wartime or a national emergency, it becomes a moot point. I'm willing to bet that many civilian workers along with servicemen had to work on Christmas during World War II.

------------------
"Interested in fashion, Harmonica?"
"There were three dusters like these waiting for a train.
Inside the dusters were three men. Inside the men were
three bullets..."
--Once Upon A Time In The West

05-29-1999, 09:03 AM
Edward said:David, after thinking about it last night, I have to admit your proposal is fair to both Christians and non-religious. The only catch is whether you can rustle up enough willing workers to come in on December 25th to make it worthwhile.
Thank you (didn't mean to keep you up at night thinking about it). :)

I would have to guess that the number of willing workers would at least in part depend on where you are. My office has some Jews, Muslims, Indians, etc. -- enough that I think it would be worthwhile (the odd thing is that the town is really a white Roman Catholic town, but for some reason, there seem to be a higher concentration of these groups working for the state <shrug>).

I remember, as a child, going to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago on Christmas Day. That's when my family would go every year, to avoid crowds. There were always plenty of staff -- usually of the non-Christian variety, but some Christians worked it as well (I imagine they got some sort of overtime bonus).

Per your other message about Israeli church- state problems -- I do indeed know about their problems. And one reason is because religion and government are so intertwined there. Thankfully, we have the First Amendment here.

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"It's a very dangerous thing to believe in nonsense." -- James Randi

05-29-1999, 10:52 PM
If you're Jewish or Buddhist or what have you, and your office closes for the day, you
get the day off too. I assume that you're not objecting to everyone getting a day off, right? --Jodih

Sorry, Jodi, but you're wrong. I am a Jew, and I resent like hell being forced to take Christmas off. Believe me, it's not like a day off, because there's nothing to do-- nothing is opened.

It wasn't so bad when I was in New York-- Dec. 25 is a normal day in Crown Heights, but I was in Indiana for a couple of Christmases-- you know what you could do? Go to a Chinese restaurant. THAT'S IT.

You cannot go anywhere on Christmas Day without something reminding you that it is Christmas.

The last several years, I have made a point of working on Christmas. I usually spend the day with disabled people who need assistance throughout the day, and don't have any family to be with.

Last year, I was with a Deaf-Blind autistic woman, who had no idea it was Christmas, and we had a lot of fun. But two years ago I was with a man with Down Syndrome whose mother had just died. He was missing her like hell. Staff had helped him put up a tree, and I did my best, but he was sad, and I was sad.

I do everything I can to make Christmas a regular day. It sure helps to be able to work.


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--Rowan

05-29-1999, 10:52 PM
If you're Jewish or Buddhist or what have you, and your office closes for the day, you
get the day off too. I assume that you're not objecting to everyone getting a day off, right? --Jodih

Sorry, Jodi, but you're wrong. I am a Jew, and I resent like hell being forced to take Christmas off. Believe me, it's not like a day off, because there's nothing to do-- nothing is opened.

It wasn't so bad when I was in New York-- Dec. 25 is a normal day in Crown Heights, but I was in Indiana for a couple of Christmases-- you know what you could do? Go to a Chinese restaurant. THAT'S IT.

You cannot go anywhere on Christmas Day without something reminding you that it is Christmas.

The last several years, I have made a point of working on Christmas. I usually spend the day with disabled people who need assistance throughout the day, and don't have any family to be with.

Last year, I was with a Deaf-Blind autistic woman, who had no idea it was Christmas, and we had a lot of fun. But two years ago I was with a man with Down Syndrome whose mother had just died. He was missing her like hell. Staff had helped him put up a tree, and I did my best, but he was sad, and I was sad.

I do everything I can to make Christmas a regular day. It sure helps to be able to work.


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--Rowan

05-29-1999, 10:55 PM
Umm, I have no idea why that posted twice. Could it be my new mouse?

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--Rowan

05-29-1999, 10:57 PM
David B said:

"In the thread on prayer at graduation, this topic came up."

Geesh David, you could at least credit me!

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Contestant #3

05-30-1999, 10:50 AM
Rivkah said:Sorry, Jodi, but you're wrong. I am a Jew, and I resent like hell being forced to take Christmas off. Believe me, it's not like a day off, because there's nothing to do-- nothing is opened.

It wasn't so bad when I was in New York-- Dec. 25 is a normal day in Crown Heights, but I was in Indiana for a couple of Christmases-- you know what you could do? Go to a Chinese restaurant. THAT'S IT.
Precisely (I was going to bring that up earlier, but it wasn't a main part of my argument and I didn't want Jodi to go off on a tangent with that and ignore what I was really getting at).

You cannot go anywhere on Christmas Day without something reminding you that it is Christmas.
Oh, I don't care so much about being "reminded" that it's Christmas -- people can celebrate whatever holiday they want. It's just that the government shouldn't be forcing us to work our schedules around their holy days.


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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

05-30-1999, 11:20 AM
Rivkah is forgetting one thing that is open on Christmas and gets a lot of business from both Jews and goyim--the moviehouse. I always try to see a movie on Christmas although my family wonders why I don't stay home. Even though it IS Christmas, I don't want to hang around with the family all day.

------------------
"Interested in fashion, Harmonica?"
"There were three dusters like these waiting for a train.
Inside the dusters were three men. Inside the men were
three bullets..."
--Once Upon A Time In The West

05-30-1999, 08:38 PM
Okay, a few comments...

Monty said:
Anyone care to comment as to which holidays their employer stays open with full staffing?

Monty, typically it's Columbus Day and Veteran's Day. Depending on the location, it can also be MLK day.

jodih said:
As a Christian, I must take a vacation day for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, which are also major Christian holy days -- in fact, to many, more important holy days than Christmas.

Yes, but as a Christian, at least we get off one of the most important days. And typically people don't need to take a day off for Ash Wednesday - they just need enough time to go to Mass. People of other faiths don't get ANYTHING off. This thread is making me think - Christmas is the only religious holiday that is a federal holiday. Would it really be so bad/difficult to take it away and make people take a vacation day? I don't think so - trust me, most people in the government take off the entire week before Christmas and the week after. One more day won't make a difference.

Oh, and David? Great posts, and now a great quote in the sig line. Woohoo!




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"There is such a fine line between stupid and clever." -- David St. Hubbins, Spinal Tap

06-01-1999, 10:04 AM
Falcon said to jodih:Yes, but as a Christian, at least we get off one of the most important days. ... People of other faiths don't get ANYTHING off.
I've tried to explain this to her several times over now. I only hope you have better luck than I. <sigh>

This thread is making me think - Christmas is the only religious holiday that is a federal holiday. Would it really be so bad/difficult to take it away and make people take a vacation day?
Would it really be so bad? No, I don't think so. But I don't kid myself into thinking it would be easy, either. :) A few years ago, somebody got it into their head that state employees here got too many days off, and that the legislature should take a few of the "minor" ones away. That didn't go over very well and died quickly. I would think a brouhaha over Christmas would be even worse. That's why I suggested the "mobile holiday" idea -- nobody loses anything, it's fair to everbody, and we go back to following the Constitution.

Oh, and David? Great posts, and now a great quote in the sig line. Woohoo!
:) Thanks!



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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-01-1999, 02:14 PM
The solution seems ridiculously simple...

Easy way: take the number of official "holidays" now given off above & beyond vacation. Then follow steps below after the "hard way."

Or, the hard way: Add up the holidays for different creeds (i.e. Yom Kippur + Rosh Hashana + ... for jews, Christmas + Good Friday + ... for Catholics & Protestants that celebrate it, Christmas + Kwanzaa for Christian Blacks, Kwanzaa + some reasonable Ramadan allotment for Muslim Blacks, etc. for Buddhists, Hindus, etc. etc... Now average together the holidays as they'd be observed by different faiths (strictly e.g. Christian = 7, Jewish = 6, Muslim = 8, Avg. = 7).

Now give everyone that either the "easy" or "hard" (Depending on how anal you want to be) number of "holiday" days to use at their discretion (above & beyond vacation).

You want to use them for Christmas even though you're Jewish? No prob. You want to work Christmas and take a longer summer holiday even though you're Episcopalian, no sweat. It's YOUR CHOICE when/how you observe "holidays." Bam! Done.

PS - BTW, that's what _I_ call freedom of religion: It's YOUR choice when/how to celebrate it.

06-01-1999, 02:52 PM
My location was open last Dec. 26th, and our center manager urged us all to come in for productivity's sake, since technicians generate revenue for the company. That's not really necessary, because most of us techs are 100% commissioned employees, and we all usually work on Saturdays anyway (bigger pay check, ya know?). NOBODY showed up, and this place is a virtual United Nations as far as races & religions go.

Out of curiosity, I asked the guys in our billing dept (who are all pakistani) why they didn't come in (they're always here on Sat because it's usually quiet & easy to get things done with no bosses around). They just said something to the effect of any excuse to take off is all we need. When I asked what the excuse was, one of them looked at me as if I had just asked permission to put my finger in his nose, & reminded me that Friday was Christmas.

Subsequently, the center manager has decided that the building will never again be open on (even minor) holiday weekends, since it costs $$ to light & heat the building, put a guard at the front door, and bring in hourly support staff who will have nothing to do if technicians don't show up to generate work for them. (Hourly employees: when there's nothing to do, that's what they do.)

While there probably are some businesses that can justify the expense of opening with only a few employees, I suspect these are in the extreme minority. I agree that it's not quite fair to force people to take a day off for holidays that they don't personally observe, but from a purely business standpoint, it's necessary. In government arenas, It might be a better idea to give employees floating holidays, according to Dr. Evil's sinister plan.

06-01-1999, 03:45 PM
I no longer work in a supermarket, but when I did there were a few holidays a year where the store was closed. Now because of competitive pressure, there is only one day a year where that store is closed--Christmas.

(Of course if you really needed to get something on Xmas but didn't want to go to 7-11, there's a Jewish bakery right next to grocery store...)

------------------
"Interested in fashion, Harmonica?"
"There were three dusters like these waiting for a train.
Inside the dusters were three men. Inside the men were
three bullets..."
--Once Upon A Time In The West

06-01-1999, 03:57 PM
As was kindly pointed out in the last post, I failed to explicitly state that my plan was only intended for the civil service... It was, but I'm rethinking that.

Initially, I thought we could just address the gummint sector because, in the private sector (i.e. people who can get fired if they do crappy work and aren't generally sucking our tax dollars off the governmental teat), this is treated as the non-issue it is and should be.

Then it occurred to me that what I'd really like to know is how many MILLIONS of our tax dollars have been spent studying, debating and analyzing this truly trivial issue at the local, county, state and national levels. That's not to mention defending against the frivolous lawsuits of every nutbag who sees the end of our civilization in a creche on the lawn of the town hall.

Note: I'd use something other than a creche as an example, but the blunt fact of the matter is anything else (menorah, kwanzaa candelabra, dead chicken... choose the religious icon of your choice), is celebrated as a sign of "diversity" rather than a sign of the impending return of the inquisition...

This made me realize that I get a little tired of the double standard: anything christian (and to some extent, Jewish) is a horrid breach of "the separation of church & state" (try finding that phrase in the constitution, by the way!) while any OTHER religious/cultural symbology is a "healthy display" of multiculturalism/diversity. Puuulease.

All of a sudden, we're dealing with a socio-cultural issue, rather than just the sep. of church and state. So, Come to think of it, let's do this across the private sector too.

How? I say bag the whole thing. Let's get smart like the Australians. Make the standard vacation allotment about 3x what it is now. Then we'll do 'em one better and dispense with Holidays altogether. (Odds are it would come out to be not much more productivity loss than the holidays and less vacation)

You want time off to celebrate the birth of Christ or his being nailed up to a tree? You want to observe a harvest festival, a day of atonement or a period of fasting? Need a day to pass what you ate at passover? Need time to commune with your revered ancestors, or your sacred cow? You want some time to lay a really potent OogaBoogaJuJu curse on your neighbor -- the one with the Dog that crapped in your azaleas? Or maybe you just need a few days to commune with your inner self? Well, now you got 5-6 weeks of vacation a year. Use it and quit bitching.

06-02-1999, 12:15 AM
In response to papabear's earlier comment that prayer being taken out of the schools was a just and good thing, I agree. Back when there was prayer in schools, the students were so bad, bringing guns to school, shooting each other, forming gangs, taking crack.. Yep things were a lot worse back then, all because of prayer.

06-02-1999, 12:22 AM
In response to papabear's earlier comment that prayer being taken out of the schools was a just and good thing, I agree. Back when there was prayer in schools, the students were so bad, bringing guns to school, shooting each other, forming gangs, taking crack.. Yep things were a lot worse back then, all because of prayer.

This is exactly the kind of moronic, ill-informed statement made by idiots who don't understand the idea of "cause and effect" for the sake of hearing their own voices. BTW, I defy you to defend your contention above that there were no gangs in schools in the 1950's, or any decade prior.

06-02-1999, 11:03 AM
DrEvil said:Then it occurred to me that what I'd really like to know is how many MILLIONS of our tax dollars have been spent studying, debating and analyzing this truly trivial issue at the local, county, state and national levels.
My guess is that it is somewhere very close to $0. Why study what won't be changed?

That's not to mention defending against the frivolous lawsuits of every nutbag who sees the end of our civilization in a creche on the lawn of the town hall.
So people who stand up to oppose breaches in the Constitution are "nutbags"?

Note: I'd use something other than a creche as an example, but the blunt fact of the matter is anything else (menorah, kwanzaa candelabra, dead chicken... choose the religious icon of your choice), is celebrated as a sign of "diversity" rather than a sign of the impending return of the inquisition...
Not by First Amendment defenders. They have fought against Menorahs and other religious objects as First Amendment violations just like creches.

This made me realize that I get a little tired of the double standard: anything christian (and to some extent, Jewish) is a horrid breach of "the separation of church & state" (try finding that phrase in the constitution, by the way!) while any OTHER religious/cultural symbology is a "healthy display" of multiculturalism/diversity.
Check out the thread I started (it's probably nearer to the bottom of the list by now) on separation of church and state with "Ganesha & Quayle" also in the title. It talks about a church-state decision involving the Hindu religion, "worry dolls," and an Earth Day altar (the judge ruled against all of these things, as well he should have).

All of a sudden, we're dealing with a socio-cultural issue, rather than just the sep. of church and state. So, Come to think of it, let's do this across the private sector too.
Maybe you are talking about a socio-cultural thing, but I'm not, and neither are most First Amendment defenders. That is why I continue to say we need to deal with government, not the private sector.

Make the standard vacation allotment about 3x what it is now. Then we'll do 'em one better and dispense with Holidays altogether.
Except for the "3x" figure, this is really no different than I proposed (and that you then essentially repeated in your previous message).


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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-02-1999, 01:05 PM
Responding to Monty who asked about businesses that stay open on holidays, when I worked in our local grocery store we were open Christmas and Thanksgiving, too. To keep parents from screaming, we closed at 7, and each kid only worked a four hour shift. I think the idea was, it's a holiday, people are cooking, they need the grocery store open. Of course we had maybe 3 customers all day.

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Cave Canem. Beware the Dog.

06-02-1999, 02:55 PM
Then it occurred to me that what I'd really like to know is how many MILLIONS of our tax dollars have been spent studying, debating and analyzing this truly trivial issue at the local, county, state and national levels.

My guess is that it is somewhere very close to $0. Why study what won't be changed?

How nice. I presented it as a question since I don't have an actual answer... If you have a cite, I'd be most interested, but guesses are by nature just that. My guess is that it's millions.

That's not to mention defending against the frivolous lawsuits of every nutbag who sees the end of our civilization in a creche on the lawn of the town hall.

So people who stand up to oppose breaches in the Constitution are "nutbags"?

Nope. Just those who hypersensitively cheapen the sanctity of the constitution and the amendments by turning every minor thing that comes along into a constitutional issue rather than something to be resolved among mature, grown people in their own community.

Note: I'd use something other than a creche as an example, but the blunt fact of the matter is anything else (menorah, kwanzaa candelabra, dead chicken... choose the religious icon of your choice), is celebrated as a sign of "diversity" rather than a sign of the impending return of the inquisition...

Not by First Amendment defenders. They have fought against Menorahs and other religious objects as First Amendment violations just like creches.

'Zat so. Amazing how lil' ole you can apparently define "First Amendment defenders" as well as their outlook and actions. Frankly, I consider myself a first amendment defender by guarding against ridiculous and paltry issues being dragged up to the level of a "constitutional debate." You certainly don't speak for me or for my actions/preferences relating to the constitution.

This made me realize that I get a little tired of the double standard: anything christian (and to some extent, Jewish) is a horrid breach of "the separation of church & state" (try finding that phrase in the constitution, by the way!) while any OTHER religious/cultural symbology is a "healthy display" of multiculturalism/diversity.

Check out the thread I started (it's probably nearer to the bottom of the list by now) on separation of church and state with "Ganesha & Quayle" also in the title. It talks about a church-state decision involving the Hindu religion, "worry dolls," and an Earth Day altar (the judge ruled against all of these things, as well he should have).

You started a thread! Wow! How about starting one addressing the question I posed (which you studiously ignored) about where in the constitution/amendments it says anything about separation of church and state. Freedom of religion, yes. Church and state, no.

All of a sudden, we're dealing with a socio-cultural issue, rather than just the sep. of church and state. So, Come to think of it, let's do this across the private sector too.

Maybe you are talking about a socio-cultural thing, but I'm not, and neither are most First Amendment defenders. That is why I continue to say we need to deal with government, not the private sector.

Yes I am talking about a socio-cultural thing, and you're certainly welcome not to. As for the first amendment defenders, unless you've somehow got elected king of them (us), why don't you quit speaking for them.

Make the standard vacation allotment about 3x what it is now. Then we'll do 'em one better and dispense with Holidays altogether

Except for the "3x" figure, this is really no different than I proposed (and that you then essentially repeated in your previous message).

Sorry, didn't realize you had a moratorium on ideas. However, as you yourself pointed out, there is one difference. I say it applies to everyone everywhere, not just civil service (could they take any more coffee breaks?) wonks.

One final question: How do you reconcile your "staunch" defense of the First Amendment (to such an extent that I find it inane) with your characterization of the courts holding Christmas to be a secular holiday as unacceptable? To put it another way, if you agree with it it's constitutional and right, if you don't, it's silly and wrong? Is that it? There are parts of our constitution I strongly disagree with, yet I still support them ([unlimited] right to keep & bear arms, e.g.). Can you say the same Mr. Constitution?

06-02-1999, 03:29 PM
DrEvil whined:How nice. I presented it as a question since I don't have an actual answer... If you have a cite, I'd be most interested, but guesses are by nature just that. My guess is that it's millions.
As I said, it was a guess, and I gave my reasoning why. You would guess it's millions? Bully for you. But you don't even have any reasoning for your guess, so I would guess we're at a standstill on that.

In response to my question if people who stand up to oppose breaches in the Constitution are "nutbags," you said:Nope. Just those who hypersensitively cheapen the sanctity of the constitution and the amendments by turning every minor thing that comes along into a constitutional issue rather than something to be resolved among mature, grown people in their own community.
And, since you're obviously an expert in this area, you can cite such cases in which the people didn't try to work things out before filing suit, right?

I noted that First Amendment defenders have fought against Menorahs and other religious objects as First Amendment violations just like creches. You said:'Zat so. Amazing how lil' ole you can apparently define "First Amendment defenders" as well as their outlook and actions.
What's really amazing is that you are making an issue of the term. Somebody who defends the First Amendment is a First Amendment defender. Not too tough. I'm not defining anything other than the normal use of English. And since some of them have done exactly as I described, I'm not defining their outlook or actions, either -- just describing what has occurred. What parts of this are you having problems understanding?

Next I suggested you "Check out the thread I started (it's probably nearer to the bottom of the list by now) on separation of church and state with 'Ganesha & Quayle' also in the title. It talks about a church-state decision involving the Hindu religion, 'worry dolls,' and an Earth Day altar (the judge ruled against all of these things, as well he should have)." Your immature response was to say:You started a thread! Wow!
Are you sure you're not Contestant #3 under a different name? I was giving you an identifier so you could look up the information. Obviously, you're more interested in behaving like a child instead.

How about starting one addressing the question I posed (which you studiously ignored) about where in the constitution/amendments it says anything about separation of church and state.
Actually, you asked no question. You made a statement. Since I know the statement to be true -- that the phrase is not found in the Constitution itself (though, for the purposes of this discussion, what you said was essentially meaningless), there was nothing more to be said.

I then said: "Maybe you are talking about a socio-cultural thing, but I'm not, and neither are most First Amendment defenders. That is why I continue to say we need to deal with government, not the private sector." You responded:Yes I am talking about a socio-cultural thing, and you're certainly welcome not to. As for the first amendment defenders, unless you've somehow got elected king of them (us), why don't you quit speaking for them.
Again, I have not claimed to be speaking for anybody. I have described the actions of people who have defended the First Amendment. If you can show that First Amendment defenders ARE talking about a "socio-cultural thing," then prove me wrong. Otherwise, stop acting like such a child.

I said: "Except for the "3x" figure, this is really no different than I proposed (and that you then essentially repeated in your previous message)." You responded:Sorry, didn't realize you had a moratorium on ideas.
Nobody said I did. However, I was merely pointing out that this was not really an idea that was new to this discussion.

One final question: How do you reconcile your "staunch" defense of the First Amendment (to such an extent that I find it inane) with your characterization of the courts holding Christmas to be a secular holiday as unacceptable? To put it another way, if you agree with it it's constitutional and right, if you don't, it's silly and wrong?
I never said it was "silly," though, yes, I do think it's wrong. Believe it or not, the Supreme Court is made up of people, and people are sometimes wrong. It is my opinion that they are wrong in this case, and I have already explained my reasoning. You are free to disagree, of course, but if you do, it would be nice to see some reasoning from your side, not just more of your snide little remarks.

There are parts of our constitution I strongly disagree with, yet I still support them ([unlimited] right to keep & bear arms, e.g.). Can you say the same Mr. Constitution?
I cannot really think of anything in the Constitution that I "strongly disagree with" (other than parts that have already been amended, like those dealing with slavery and Prohibition). I used to have a bumper sticker ('til I sold the car it was on) that said, "Support the Bill of Rights." People would come up to me and ask what it meant. They just couldn't understand that I supported the entire Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment, Second Amendment, etc. Apparently, you are trying to imply the same thing without knowing anything about me. Not a very bright thing to do, but then you haven't exactly been acting in an adult fashion. Perhaps it's time you tried.


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"Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand."
-- Neil Peart, RUSH, "Witch Hunt"

06-02-1999, 10:59 PM
(strictly e.g. Christian = 7, Jewish = 6, Muslim = 8, Avg. = 7).

Jewish = six? How did you come up with that number?

Even in Israel, where some holidays are only one day, it looks like this:

Rosh Hashanah-1, Yom Kippur-1, Sukkot-2, Simchat Torah-1, Shemini Atzeret-1, Passover-2, Shavuot-2, Tisha B'Av-1

Total: 11
In the US, it would actually be 20, then of course, if someone wants Purim, or a day or two of Hanukkah....

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--Rowan
Shopping is still cheaper than therapy. --my Aunt Franny

06-05-1999, 12:37 AM
Would this argument be moot if the name of the holiday was changed to something not religious?

but I was in Indiana for a couple of Christmases-- you know what you could do?
Probably about the same thing you could do in Crown Heights on Yom Kippur. These are state recognized holidays we're talking about and apply to government businesses so unless you were planning on going to the DMV or the library its not really applicable.