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Why do we have a White House Christmas tree?


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#16    eight bits

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:09 AM

Even apart from the perennial - "See? The Roman Catholic Church stole Christmas trees from the pagans! The Lutherans tried to give the trees back, but there weren't pagans left, so the Lujtherans kept them." - I don't think of a Christmas tree as a religious symbol.

One way or another, people have lit controlled fires at the winter solstice long before Christ made corporal. It feels good just to look at a fire in the cold weather, and even better at night, which comes early these days. And regardless of the weather or the time of day, people like shiny things anyway.

So, what better seasonal indulgence than a big honking tree, loaded with lights and stuff that shines?

I mean, you have to get your story straight. If this time of year isn't actually related to the anniversary of Jesus' birth (which it isn't), then what's the problem?

It's not like Obama's flying the White House flags at half staff on Good Friday.

Edited by eight bits, 24 November 2012 - 07:12 AM.

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#17    Q-C

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:19 AM

I see you have made up your mind. I have not.

Our nation is transforming and evolving in many ways. I asked opinions about another old national habit/tradition/mores.

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#18    Q-C

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:32 AM

View Posteight bits, on 24 November 2012 - 07:09 AM, said:

Even apart from the perennial - "See? The Roman Catholic Church stole Christmas trees from the pagans! The Lutherans tried to give the trees back, but there weren't pagans left, so the Lujtherans kept them." - I don't think of a Christmas tree as a religious symbol.

One way or another, people have lit controlled fires at the winter solstice long before Christ made corporal. It feels good just to look at a fire in the cold weather, and even better at night, which comes early these days. And regardless of the weather or the time of day, people like shiny things anyway.

So, what better seasonal indulgence than a big honking tree, loaded with lights and stuff that shines?

I mean, you have to get your story straight. If this time of year isn't actually related to the anniversary of Jesus' birth (which it isn't), then what's the problem?

It's not like Obama's flying the White House flags at half staff on Good Friday.


I get the history of lit trees. But that is not the history of our Nation's Christmas Tree. It has had in its history carols and religious ceremonies and church choirs and nearby nativities and Menorahs.

I'm glad its meaning is pagan for you. But that doesn't speak for everyone, nor for its symbolism to religion. The core of our nation in the past.

I am not trying to take away its symbol of paganism from anyone, but am questioning about its very real symbol of religion/Christianity/church/christ for many in the United States.

I wonder if  its time should end in the future. OR at least the name.

Edited by QuiteContrary, 24 November 2012 - 07:33 AM.

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#19    pallidin

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:41 AM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 24 November 2012 - 07:32 AM, said:

I get the history of lit trees. But that is not the history of our Nation's Christmas Tree. It has had in its history carols and religious ceremonies and church choirs and nearby nativities and Menorahs.

I'm glad its meaning is pagan for you. But that doesn't speak for everyone, nor for its symbolism to religion. The core of our nation in the past.

I am not trying to take away its symbol of paganism from anyone, but am questioning about its very real symbol of religion/Christianity/church/christ for many in the United States.

I wonder if  its time should end in the future. OR at least the name.

That 'time' simply will not happen in the foreseable future, unless radical muslims take-over the US.
In the meantime, please continue sending your Christmas gifts to me.


#20    Q-C

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:53 AM

View Postpallidin, on 24 November 2012 - 07:41 AM, said:

That 'time' simply will not happen in the foreseable future, unless radical muslims take-over the US.
In the meantime, please continue sending your Christmas gifts to me.

I respect your opinion.

However, I see the very real possibility of it becoming more and more offensive in the future, and thus being transformed as time goes on, by savvy politicians or maybe our first athiest President.

It has undergone changes (watering-down the religion, changing the religious entertainment) in its history already, from pressures, and concerned groups.

Sorry, we don't exchange christmas gifts, but if an errant one arrives (meant for my neighbor :P ), I'll send it post haste!

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#21    Norbert Dentressangle

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:04 AM

Because the Christmas tree is nothing to do with Christianity (Norwegain Spruces weren't native to the Middle East), and is, if its origins could be tarced back to anything beyond the 19th c., if anything a pagan symbol.
i suppose people be clamouring for the whole thing to be called "Winter Break", to avoid Offending anybody next. Or perhaps Festivus.

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#22    pallidin

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:07 AM

:yes: I'll PM my mailing address. :w00t:


#23    Norbert Dentressangle

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:08 AM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 24 November 2012 - 05:29 AM, said:

The White House has several Christmas Trees inside. What do stars at the top symbolize? There is no way that past Presidents when this tradition began, and has been upheld...when this was a "Christian" Nation, that the tree was in any way meant to be pagan. Its (that is our National Christmas Tree) history is traditional, its symbolism is Christian. Citizens pay for it, I wondered how long it will last?
Most people aren't actually offended by the notion of "Christmas", probably because not many people give any thought to the religious associations. of all the things that the Citizens might be tempted to take up arms against, the fact that there's an annual tradition of sticking a tree up with the word "Christ" atatched to it would be unlikely to be very high on many people's lists.

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#24    JasonExplosion

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:45 AM

Why is this even under discussion? :no:

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#25    pallidin

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:48 AM

And why do we have a "White" House.
Perhaps it should be re-coloured in a rainbow motiff. (being sarcastic)

Look, changing American traditions to "appease" and "non-offend" is just getting rediculous.


#26    pallidin

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:51 AM

View PostJasonExplosion, on 24 November 2012 - 08:45 AM, said:

Why is this even under discussion? :no:

Because you're in UM, with wild ideas speculated; sometimes for the better, othertimes not.


#27    Q-C

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:00 AM

View Postpallidin, on 24 November 2012 - 08:48 AM, said:

And why do we have a "White" House.
Perhaps it should be re-coloured in a rainbow motiff. (being sarcastic)

Look, changing American traditions to "appease" and "non-offend" is just getting rediculous.

The White House has another name.
Yes, you have your line, and it has not been crossed, you are not offended. And apparently no one else who has posted is either. But what about where others draw the line, to feel included? Should you decide for them?

From day one, the President and First Lady have made opening the doors of the White House a priority. "It’s the “People’s House,” as Mrs. Obama often calls it, “It’s a place that is steeped in history, but it’s also a place where everyone should feel welcome. And that's why my husband and I have made it our mission to open up the house to as many people as we can."

http://www.whitehous...-william-allman

Edited by QuiteContrary, 24 November 2012 - 09:02 AM.

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#28    Norbert Dentressangle

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:11 AM

View Postpallidin, on 24 November 2012 - 08:48 AM, said:

And why do we have a "White" House.
Perhaps it should be re-coloured in a rainbow motiff. (being sarcastic)

Look, changing American traditions to "appease" and "non-offend" is just getting rediculous.
Darn right, surely that's offensive to non-Whites. :(

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#29    _Only

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:13 AM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 24 November 2012 - 05:05 AM, said:

But it is called a "Christmas" tree. It is not a pagan symbol at the White House. Are there angels on the WH tree? A nativity maybe? Christian symbols?

Much as the holiday evolved (or devolved depending on what purists you ask) to being the Christian one, it is pretty much moved on from that to become the gift sharing, mistletoe, and snowman holiday. Maybe one day it will change even more, and possibly be owned by Taco Bell.

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#30    Norbert Dentressangle

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:14 AM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 24 November 2012 - 09:00 AM, said:

The White House has another name.
Yes, you have your line, and it has not been crossed, you are not offended. And apparently no one else who has posted is either. But what about where others draw the line, to feel included? Should you decide for them?

From day one, the President and First Lady have made opening the doors of the White House a priority. "It’s the “People’s House,” as Mrs. Obama often calls it, “It’s a place that is steeped in history, but it’s also a place where everyone should feel welcome. And that's why my husband and I have made it our mission to open up the house to as many people as we can."

http://www.whitehous...-william-allman
*gasps* The People's House?! The phrase "The People's" was always used by Commie dictatorships, wasn't it. The People's Commissars, the People's Court, the People's Revolutionary Front. This is proof that while he may not be an Atheist, or a Muslim, he's without doubt a Commie.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention.


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