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Why do we have a White House Christmas tree?


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#46    keninsc

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:08 PM

Will ya'll stop prodding her? She's not listening......which makes her a great political extremest. She got a point and by God we're going to hear it regardless of what else is said, or it's relevance to the topic at hand.

Let me know when you're ready to listen (I just know this is going to lead to denials and an argument)


#47    eight bits

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:17 PM

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I see a menorah lit by a rabbi and our President, to ensure religious equality as part of a National Christmas Tree lighting, as not just a shiny candle holder.

That's fine, but it is both. Another person may see a different "something meaningful beyond the literal" than you do or than I do. Well, you've noticed that by now:

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I honestly thought most would agree the tree symbolizes a specific religious holiday tradition in our country.

The shiny candleholder part, though, should be the same for everybody. It, too, is a carrier of meaning.

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I can't believe Christmas trees have no religious connotation for our Christian Presidents.

Probably they do. But I can't believe that an American adult wouldn't have many other connotations as well, not just religious ones. Don't get me started on mine :) .

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#48    QuiteContrary

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:33 PM

View Postkeninsc, on 24 November 2012 - 02:08 PM, said:

Will ya'll stop prodding her? She's not listening......which makes her a great political extremest. She got a point and by God we're going to hear it regardless of what else is said, or it's relevance to the topic at hand.

Let me know when you're ready to listen (I just know this is going to lead to denials and an argument)


The decorated and lit tree is not a religious symbol. It has been adopted by some religious groups. But the tradition and history of it are not strictly "christian" by a long shot.
It is a harmless pretty tradition.
On one hand It fosters sharing of faiths and that is a good thing. On the other hand, "religious" objects have many different meanings to many different people of all faiths and even those of no faith in a god.
Christ wasn't even born in December, so it can't be linked to him.
The term Christmas and its religious connotations in our country have long been forgotten by many people. It's a secular or at least mostly a  nonreligious holiday.


Edited by QuiteContrary, 24 November 2012 - 02:34 PM.

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#49    QuiteContrary

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:38 PM

View Posteight bits, on 24 November 2012 - 02:17 PM, said:

That's fine, but it is both. Another person may see a different "something meaningful beyond the literal" than you do or than I do. Well, you've noticed that by now:



The shiny candleholder part, though, should be the same for everybody. It, too, is a carrier of meaning.



Probably they do. But I can't believe that an American adult wouldn't have many other connotations as well, not just religious ones. Don't get me started on mine :) .

I still struggle with the historical choice of a decorated and lit pine tree in December and the church choirs and such. But I see that is apparently just me.

Keep your eyes wide open and don't run!

P.S. Just to be clear, because sometimes I am not. I do not believe...
in the existence of a large previously unknown undiscovered hairy biped roaming North America.
But I like to hear the accounts, read the books, watch the shows, discuss and argue about the phenomenon.

#50    Rafterman

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:56 PM

Do you know what the National Retail Council would do if the Government suddenly decided it would no loner recognize Christmas?

"You can't have freedom of religion without having freedom from the religious beliefs of other people."

#51    QuiteContrary

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:03 PM

I don't anything could stop black friday shoppers. It's an Olympic sport. And I know some are on steroids.

View PostRafterman, on 24 November 2012 - 02:56 PM, said:

Do you know what the National Retail Council would do if the Government suddenly decided it would no loner recognize Christmas?

I don't think anything could stop black friday shoppers. It's an Olympic sport. And I know some are on steroids.

Keep your eyes wide open and don't run!

P.S. Just to be clear, because sometimes I am not. I do not believe...
in the existence of a large previously unknown undiscovered hairy biped roaming North America.
But I like to hear the accounts, read the books, watch the shows, discuss and argue about the phenomenon.

#52    pallidin

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:49 AM

Give it up. Christmas is an amazing, wonderful and awesomely beautiful thing to see in the dead of winter.


#53    Admiral Rhubarb

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:12 PM

View Postpallidin, on 25 November 2012 - 08:49 AM, said:

Give it up. Christmas is an amazing, wonderful and awesomely beautiful thing to see in the dead of winter.
Though I do feel sorry for Santa in Australia. Those fur-lined coats and hats* must be no joke. You might have thought that he'd have a change of clothes for antipodean climes, mightn't you.


* Have you ever wondered what fur it is? I bet it's Reindeer. It sevres as a reminder to Prasher and Blancer and whatever they're all called not to slack. :santa: :gun: :cry:

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#54    QuiteContrary

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:39 PM

View Postpallidin, on 25 November 2012 - 08:49 AM, said:

Give it up. Christmas is an amazing, wonderful and awesomely beautiful thing to see in the dead of winter.

No where did I say we should do away with the lights and sounds and decorations at christmas time. Not one mention of it.

My only question I had in this whole thread is the  participation of our Presidents'   in a National Christmas Tree lighting which has had Judeo/Christian religious accompaniment and connotations.

Decorate every tree from shore to shore! It is pretty and colorful and warming in winter.

I love it too. Though we do without the shopping and gift giving to everyone we've ever met.

I have no agenda against holiday decorations. And never said I did.

There is a gingerbread house on my counter (daughter and hubby made it) and the house smells like cinnamon and apples.

We will bake cookies and a traditional eastern European bread my grandma made every November and December.

No lights though, my husband has had too many back surgeries and is having another next month.

We enjoy our neighbors' lights and always drive around to look at them.

And every household lets off the big fireworks here, like you would see at a city display. It's amazing.

No campaign against holiday decorations. Never even thought of ending them.

Edited by QuiteContrary, 25 November 2012 - 04:42 PM.

Keep your eyes wide open and don't run!

P.S. Just to be clear, because sometimes I am not. I do not believe...
in the existence of a large previously unknown undiscovered hairy biped roaming North America.
But I like to hear the accounts, read the books, watch the shows, discuss and argue about the phenomenon.

#55    _Only

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:49 PM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 25 November 2012 - 04:39 PM, said:


My only question I had in this whole thread is the  participation of our Presidents'   in a National Christmas Tree lighting which has had Judeo/Christian religious accompaniment and connotations.


I'll say it again; the connotations have been almost completely lost in the transformation to a holiday of Santa Claus and snowmen. The figures of Jesus and Mary are now just like any other ambiguous Christmas character.

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#56    QuiteContrary

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:46 PM

Yes, and I've no doubt other share your opinion but...there are others who do not.

the ACLU (I think in the 70's) made sure the Nativity scenes were moved away from the National Tree, so they must not think of them as ambiguous, nor those who support/called for  the ACLU's actions. Therefor the National Tree had religious accompaniment around it, along with church choirs. What did they sing?

Have they also moved the ceremony date earlier and earlier, away from "Christmas"? So i can't be alone here in my wondering.


Try putting up displays like Nativities etc in public schools here or at city halls, or singing about christ in schools here. They do upset people.

Someone cares. People are making sure public/Federal places are  all-inclusive. How many schools still allow Christmas trees in the halls?

I only say the President of our Nation,  who especially now represents more people in our nation than other past Presidents,  made me think about questioning the ceremony.

I look at Obama and I see a major change toward an "Everyone is Welcome" as the First Lady says. So I asked how  others here felt about the past religious undertones of the ceremony as exclusive to our heavily white American Judeo/Christian past.


Not to be ugly. Not to cancel holiday decorations. But what I thought an honest question I have no answer to.

Edited by QuiteContrary, 25 November 2012 - 05:53 PM.

Keep your eyes wide open and don't run!

P.S. Just to be clear, because sometimes I am not. I do not believe...
in the existence of a large previously unknown undiscovered hairy biped roaming North America.
But I like to hear the accounts, read the books, watch the shows, discuss and argue about the phenomenon.

#57    Purplos

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:14 PM

People get offended for fun these days. "Being offended" is practically an industry.

It's a tree. The tree doesn't ban abortions, or stop stem cell research, or force people to their knees to worship some holy god. The tree sits there looking pretty.

Stop being offended about a tree or what it might symbolize. If you have an issue with a law or something that actually affects people *gasp!* then go deal with that. People who waste all their time an energy on symbols and semantics do not facilitate change.

There is SO much energy wasted over the window dressing instead of what's actually going on in the room.

Edited by Purplos, 25 November 2012 - 06:16 PM.

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#58    Sakari

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:23 PM

I could care less what someone elses family has in there house for Christmas, or if they celebrate it. Or what they eat for dinner every night.That is there business.

Just like it is not anyone elses business what I do around Christmas time.

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#59    Admiral Rhubarb

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:18 PM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 25 November 2012 - 05:46 PM, said:

Yes, and I've no doubt other share your opinion but...there are others who do not.


Try putting up displays like Nativities etc in public schools here or at city halls, or singing about christ in schools here. They do upset people.

Someone cares.
Mainly the people who make a hobby out of finding things to be Offended about.

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#60    QuiteContrary

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:28 PM

But we are losing these displays in public places. They are being removed/outlawed.

This isn't my personal movement. I haven't supported it by demonstrating or financial support or letter writing.

You have nothing to fear from me. It's happening without me.

It's a minor thread in forum of threads such as  "aliens ate my cereal". And it shouldn't be discussed?

Edited by QuiteContrary, 25 November 2012 - 07:30 PM.

Keep your eyes wide open and don't run!

P.S. Just to be clear, because sometimes I am not. I do not believe...
in the existence of a large previously unknown undiscovered hairy biped roaming North America.
But I like to hear the accounts, read the books, watch the shows, discuss and argue about the phenomenon.




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