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Old 12-03-2012, 01:12 AM   #2001
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I wonder about this every time I see tornado damage or some other natural disaster in the US on our news and someone says they thank god their house was spared. If someone was interviewed that lost their house then they thank god they were spared. Conveniently, those who lose their lives aren't around to say anything. Then there is the 'god moves in mysterious ways' and 'he is testing me' arguments. I get so annoyed at this slippery type of illogic.
Stephanie
I like to say it's a no-lose position for them. An explanation for everything.


It's like a story that uses the "it was all a dream" line to explain away anything that doesn't make sense.


What's kind of scary to me is for how long I did NOT question.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:27 AM   #2002
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After all the conversations on this thread over these past several months and the soul-searching I've done this year, I honestly felt a little hypocritical putting it up last night. I kept thinking to myself, "What would my SCS people say?"
I think the last thing you need to worry about is what people here will say! This is a supportive group--we're not here to judge you.

As the years have gone on, I've weeded most of the overtly Christian decorations out of my Christmas stuff. But I do own two nice nativity sets, and if my kids want to put them up, I'm okay with it. Some years they also want to put up the little Christmas town, which somehow acquired TWO churches. We put them on opposite sides of the town and deem one RC and the other Protestant.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:35 AM   #2003
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Yes, I think of that, too, Kathy.

My mind boggles when sports teams pray for victory. Which team wins proves God's power??? Again, boggle.
I'm always shocked people don't think he has something better to be worrying about,.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:44 AM   #2004
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I think the last thing you need to worry about is what people here will say! This is a supportive group-- we're not here to judge you.

As the years have gone on, I've weeded most of the overtly Christian decorations out of my Christmas stuff. But I do own two nice nativity sets, and if my kids want to put them up, I'm okay with it. Some years they also want to put up the little Christmas town, which somehow acquired TWO churches. We put them on opposite sides of the town and deem one RC and the other Protestant.
Speak for yourself! ROFL

We do it up something fierce from Halloween on.
We have a graveyard in our courtyard, the house inside decorated including my china cabinet. Then I'm usually lucky enough to have time on Halloween day or the next to pack that all up from the china hutch and switch it to a fall/harvest theme with leaves and birds and golden orange olive colors.
After Thanksgiving, as soon as I have a free day considering I work retail (lucked out this yea I worked late on Fridya and NOT on Thursday overnight) I pack up the hutch again and pull out Christmas decorations. The hutch has three shelves and each has a theme. It's all lit with strands of light and glows and is gorgeous. The tree is real and goes up with colored ball ornaments (turquoise, olive, red white and clear) as well as a few collected in that color scheme and ones from my school days and the kids'. My tree skirt is the skirt from my wedding dress. The mantel is decorated with stockings on hooks that spell Joy plus silver garland.We ave colorful foil snowflakes hanging from the ceiling. There is also a red tinsel tree right next to the fireplace and a silver one with frosty blue balls in the bathroom!

We visit Santa and this year there has been more questions about what we do versus others. I tell them about Jesus in a historical sense but tell them I don't believe in the God stories. They can decide later on when they are older and learn more. We dont' do Elf on the Shelf (talk about creepy). We visit family and friends, make donations, leave gifts for people

Basically I'm like a big old kid during the holidays and love every little bit of it. I start telling people happy holidays from Halloween on.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:25 PM   #2005
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I absolutely decorate for the secular version of Christmas! I love decorating for holidays. Halloween and Christmas are my two favorites. I also own one nativity scene that I put out (it's very small, just Joseph, Mary, and Jesus). It was a gift from my mother and it has sentimental value.

I don't see it as hypocritical. I'm not pretending to celebrate the birth of a religious figure. I'm just enjoying various aspects of a holiday.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:04 PM   #2006
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Xtine - she puts the X in Xmas
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:06 PM   #2007
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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There is also a red tinsel tree right next to the fireplace and a silver one with frosty blue balls in the bathroom!
Blue balls in the bathroom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:56 PM   #2008
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You know it. Lol
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:27 PM   #2009
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Blue balls in the bathroom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LOL
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:22 PM   #2010
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Blue balls lol

I also decorate for Christmas. I also love Christmas music, even the religious ones. Songs don't have to be true for me to enjoy them, whether it's religious music, or cute non-sensical children's music.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:39 PM   #2011
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We do it up something fierce from Halloween on.
We have a graveyard in our courtyard, the house inside decorated including my china cabinet.
Oh, Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday. I would honestly trade Christmas for another Halloween. We too create the graveyard on our front lawn with the likes of "Brock Lee" "Anita Knapp" "Chris P. Bacon" and of course "Seymore Buttes" on the tombstones. We also host a small, amateur haunted garage for the town. I make all of our costumes and have to have two of my own (one school appropriate and one to wear out because my husband DJs at the bar every year). I also love Day of the Dead which I teach about in my Spanish classes. It's like Memorial Day on steriods. Day of the Dead has become very secular for me and is just a cool chance to remember those who have passed on. I love the old Aztec aspects of the celebration!
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:21 PM   #2012
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Blue balls lol

I also decorate for Christmas. I also love Christmas music, even the religious ones. Songs don't have to be true for me to enjoy them, whether it's religious music, or cute non-sensical children's music.
There is nothing like playing Christmas carols on the piano.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:56 AM   #2013
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We dont' do Elf on the Shelf (talk about creepy). .
Your decorating sounds so lovely, although exhausting!

But what is Elf on the Shelf?!
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:13 AM   #2014
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Your decorating sounds so lovely, although exhausting!

But what is Elf on the Shelf?!
Elf on the Shelf started as a children's story and doll that was used to relay messages back to Santa and who was an elf scout. The deal is that parents move the doll each night so when the kids wake up each morning the elf has moved. He is apparently mischievious and pulls all kinds of pranks during the night. If you check Pinterest for Elf on the Shelf you'll find a ton of examples that parents have created. I've never read the book and we also don't do the doll, but I know that my daughter's class has one.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:09 AM   #2015
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Elf on the Shelf started as a children's story and doll that was used to relay messages back to Santa and who was an elf scout. The deal is that parents move the doll each night so when the kids wake up each morning the elf has moved. He is apparently mischievious and pulls all kinds of pranks during the night. If you check Pinterest for Elf on the Shelf you'll find a ton of examples that parents have created. I've never read the book and we also don't do the doll, but I know that my daughter's class has one.


Re: Elf on the Shelf - I've seen lots of posts about this on FB recently. Many young moms are complaining that this tradition has become so competitive in their circles of friends. They keep posting more and more elaborate things that the Elf does and all the moms are trying to outdo each other.

Of course, then the kids hear about it, and there is pressure on the parents for them to have their Elf do amazing things. It sounds like it can be more stress at an already busy time for parents.

I think I'm just as happy they didn't have this when my kids were small.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:24 AM   #2016
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Oh, Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday. I would honestly trade Christmas for another Halloween. We too create the graveyard on our front lawn with the likes of "Brock Lee" "Anita Knapp" "Chris P. Bacon" and of course "Seymore Buttes" on the tombstones. We also host a small, amateur haunted garage for the town. I make all of our costumes and have to have two of my own (one school appropriate and one to wear out because my husband DJs at the bar every year). I also love Day of the Dead which I teach about in my Spanish classes. It's like Memorial Day on steriods. Day of the Dead has become very secular for me and is just a cool chance to remember those who have passed on. I love the old Aztec aspects of the celebration!
I love Halloween too!! When I was a new stamper with very few stamps, I used my Halloween stamps to make Christmas cards!! I coloured the witch's dress in red and green, and hung little candy canes from the dead spooky trees. Inside, I wrote "Merry Christmas from the Halloween gang!"
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:24 AM   #2017
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My older son and a circle of his friends think it is super creepy. So far as I know only one kid in the class has parents doing it. They were discussing it one morning about how it spies on you and moves around the house at night. Totally creepy they say lol
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:26 AM   #2018
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I love Halloween too!! When I was a new stamper with very few stamps, I used my Halloween stamps to make Christmas cards!! I coloured the witch's dress in red and green, and hung little candy canes from the dead spooky trees. Inside, I wrote "Merry Christmas from the Halloween gang!"
*like*

In college I was on the college committee (we had different colleges at the university sort of based on the majors etc) anyway we wanted to host a party/dance but wanted to be as inclusive as we could so in early Dec we had a Nightmare Before Christmas party with halloween decorations on the trees and easter bunny stuff and all kinds of odds and ends.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:37 PM   #2019
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Ahhh so that's what Elf on a Shelf is!

Funny. We have a small plastic Sebastian the Crab from The Little Mermaid, and for a bunch of years, DH and I would move it around for the other to find. Sometimes it was days before it was noticed. I think it started when he went out of town once and left it in a funny place.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:12 PM   #2020
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Apparently, sometimes the elf does big pranks that require clean-up the next day. Yeah, that's not my world. I don't own an Elf on the Shelf. I don't have any children, so it's not an issue for me. However, I can't imagine purposely making a mess so that I could blame it on an inanimate object and then have to clean up after said inanimate object. Who are these parents who feel that their kids don't make enough messes so they should add unnecessary messes for themselves to clean?!? Well, next time I finish off a bottle of wine, I'll just pretend it was a prank by a neighbor's creepystalkerelf.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:13 PM   #2021
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Ahhh so that's what Elf on a Shelf is!

Funny. We have a small plastic Sebastian the Crab from The Little Mermaid, and for a bunch of years, DH and I would move it around for the other to find. Sometimes it was days before it was noticed. I think it started when he went out of town once and left it in a funny place.
Aww! That's sweet!
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:45 AM   #2022
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Smile St Nicholas Dec 6th anyone?

Never heard of Elf on the Shelf. Interesting!

Being of German heritage I grew up celebrating St. Nick's. I believe Dec 6th is the day to honor St Nicholas. He morphed into Santa over the years as you probably know. We put out stockings on Dec 5th - usually my dad's socks thinking we'd get more in a bigger sock - and received candy, nuts and fruit.

I continued this with my kids. I would also give them each a new ornament for the tree. They could take them with them when they set up housekeeping when grown. My daughter always thought my mother made this up because she didn't know anyone else who did this. When she visited Germany several years ago she finally was convinced that this was a real tradition.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:36 AM   #2023
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Santa brings a small ornament and puts it in my daughters tiny stocking as a way of letting us know he still remembers her. The kids really like that. They know which ornaments on the tree are from that, or sometimes Santa gets a cool Star Wars ornament and adds it to the tree as a surprise too
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:52 AM   #2024
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Santa brings a small ornament and puts it in my daughters tiny stocking as a way of letting us know he still remembers her. The kids really like that. They know which ornaments on the tree are from that, or sometimes Santa gets a cool Star Wars ornament and adds it to the tree as a surprise too
How sweet. Lovely way to remember.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:44 AM   #2025
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Blue balls in the bathroom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Oh dear.....
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:46 AM   #2026
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I absolutely decorate for the secular version of Christmas! I love decorating for holidays. Halloween and Christmas are my two favorites. I also own one nativity scene that I put out (it's very small, just Joseph, Mary, and Jesus). It was a gift from my mother and it has sentimental value.

I don't see it as hypocritical. I'm not pretending to celebrate the birth of a religious figure. I'm just enjoying various aspects of a holiday.


Same here. My SIL made me a ceramic nativity set and I don't always display it, but not because of religious reasons, but simply lack of space!! I do enjoy displaying it as it reminds me of the all the work she put into it.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:26 AM   #2027
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We do the xmas thing here too, but because of Santa. We put up lights, a tree, and an occasional chachki. We exchange presents, and have a nice dinner, but it's all very informal. It's sad to say, but the focus here really is on Santa and the presents (not just what we get, but also what we give). Yep, we're materialistic here. LOL!
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:41 AM   #2028
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Here is a blog post from No Country for Women where the writer doesn't celebrate a secular Christmas

...
I get surprised when ex-Christian atheists instead of celebrating a day off work, celebrate Christmas. Christmas is a Christian holiday, a religious holiday ó it is about the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Atheists donít believe in god or in Jesus or in holy spirit. Atheists are not Christians, they do not need to participate in Christian holiday.


Many atheists even celebrate the pagan festival of winter solstice. Why do they need to celebrate a Pagan festival? It is true that many rituals of modern Christmas celebrations are pagan. But it isnít a very good reason for atheists to celebrate Christmas. Atheists are neither pagan nor Christian. They donít uphold ancient pagan superstitions, so why do so with those which happen to be popular at Christmas time? Thereís nothing about ancient paganism which is any more rational than modern Christianity...


So are we just so used to tradition, doing it for the kids, feel we have to celebrate something or what? Come to think of it, what about Mardi Gras and Easter?



I personally like the idea of Solstice just because I really need light to feel OK and relish the day when daylight starts to increase.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:18 AM   #2029
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I don't need to believe a religious story to enjoy the tradition or rites. I've celebrated Passover. I go to weddings of people married two other times. I give a little extra on Vetrans Day even tho I'm not from a military family. I celebrate Thanksgiving even tho I don't have small pox lol.

A lot of what we as a family and community do is about renewal. We visit friends and neighbors, bring lights into and into our house, bake and share food, give to charity more focused than the rest if the year.
I really give very little thought to jesus or religion even when I'm belting out carols.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:57 AM   #2030
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I've never been one to turn down an excuse to party.

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Old 12-06-2012, 10:27 AM   #2031
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Many atheists even celebrate the pagan festival of winter solstice. Why do they need to celebrate a Pagan festival?

I don't think this question makes sense. The winter solstice is not a pagan festival. It is the position of the sun which occurs on the the shortest day and longest night of the year and is the result of the Earth's rotation. Why not celebrate a regularly occurring natural event that marks something as significant as the begining of longer days and therefore more sunlight? Those of us who have celebrated the winter solstice have celebrated as the pagans have, not because the pagans have.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:39 AM   #2032
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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So are we just so used to tradition, doing it for the kids, feel we have to celebrate something or what? Come to think of it, what about Mardi Gras and Easter?
I guess my feeling is, why NOT celebrate the season, everyone else is! So they have religious reasons, but not everyone does. Should we just ignore it and pout on Christmas Day that nothing is open?


It's such a huge public holiday, it would be silly to ignore it.


Mardi Gras is celebrated more in some areas than others. I've been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. (Back in the seventies.) Now they know how to throw a party. But most people probably don't celebrate that. Easter - again, even schools here don't necessarily get any extra time off for Easter, not the public schools, not in my district.


When we get time off for Washington's Birthday, are we supposed to celebrate Washington, or just use it as an excuse to have some fun on a long weekend?

You get my drift. You have time off, long-standing traditions of family gatherings, what's the problem.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:22 PM   #2033
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Just goes to show how educated some people really are, doesn't it. I mean, if you're gonna spout off about something, why not make sure you've done a bit of research? Geeze! Between the blog post and the pat robertson comment a while back, I'm ashamed I live on the same earth as some of these people, yet alone call some family. When I talked to my parents today, I told them I do not watch FOX news or follow pat robertson, boy did the subject change quickly. I was off the phone within minutes b/c they "had things to do". My parents are big followers of NPR and FOX news. UGH!

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Old 12-06-2012, 03:20 PM   #2034
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Just goes to show how educated some people really are, doesn't it. I mean, if you're gonna spout off about something, why not make sure you've done a bit of research? Geeze! Between the blog post and the pat robertson comment a while back, I'm ashamed I live on the same earth as some of these people, yet alone call some family. When I talked to my parents today, I told them I do not watch FOX news or follow pat robertson, boy did the subject change quickly. I was off the phone within minutes b/c they "had things to do". My parents are big followers of NPR and FOX news. UGH!

Christi
I'm a huge NPR and Minnesota PR follower also! NPR broadcasts are the same throughout the country, aren't they? Conservatives in our state legislature are always bemoaning how liberal MPR is so it's difficult for me to envision a traditional Fox News fan also being a NPR fan. Interesting. I catch Fox news on occasion so that I'm aware of some of the rhetoric. I also watch MSNBC but since I tend to be very liberal I have to consciously acknowledge instances of bias

I debated about posting because I don't want to turn this thread into yet another political CE thread. Though I did hear a report on NPR that the Mormon Church has launched a website to clarify it's position on gay marriage and homosexuality. I'll have to see if I can find the podcast. The gist of it was that it's not a sin to have urges but to act on those inclinations is and so while the church will continue to oppose gay marriage, they would like their gay members to stay with the church. Aarrggghh! Irritates me to no end!
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:34 PM   #2035
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I'm enjoying my after dinner news session and came across this

Ellen DeGeneres Christmas Commercial Upsets One Million Moms

It really fits exactly in our discussion of religious versus secular Christmas except instead of being a "how dare atheists celebrate Christmas", this one is "how day a lesbian celebrate a Christmas".
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:26 PM   #2036
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I love how she's nothing more than a lesbian LOL What a crock! because we all only identify as the life we live based on our genitalia and sex life.

Heck if we only are supposed to identify based on sex life I'm practically dead!
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:38 AM   #2037
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I love how she's nothing more than a lesbian LOL What a crock! because we all only identify as the life we live based on our genitalia and sex life.

Heck if we only are supposed to identify based on sex life I'm practically dead!
HA! You're not the only one! LOL!

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Old 12-10-2012, 01:04 PM   #2038
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Atheists around world suffer persecution, discrimination: report | Reuters

I don't think this is news to anyone in this thread.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:16 PM   #2039
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Funny thing happened to me this weekend. Not funny "ha-ha" but funny "odd". We had a death in the family. This part of the family is VERY Catholic...old school Catholic. Rosary the night before, then mass the next day...hearing music and talking about life and death it occured to me that the reasons DH gives for religion are so very true. It had to have been of comfort for those left behind to hear their father/husband/brother say "I'll see you on the other side" before he drifted off. It gives something to almost look forward to for those left behind believing that they will meet again somewhere. I suppose it adds comfort to the one leaving as well...to be lying there knowing they are leaving and thinking they have someplace to go. It left me feeling really very empty inside. I am still not able to shake the feelings I am having. Am I at a crossroads? Is that what being at a crossroads means? In my mind, I don't believe any of it but in my heart, it pains me to know that I will never see this man I loved so dearly ever again. I think this is probably the first funeral I have been too since I stopped believing and maybe that is part of it. I have not stepped foot inside a church (for worship anyway) since I can't remember when; maybe that has something to do with it as well. I don't know...just feeling really strange the last couple of days over this. Probably should stop listening to "Into the Mystic" too, probably not helping, huh?
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:37 PM   #2040
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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Funny thing happened to me this weekend. Not funny "ha-ha" but funny "odd". We had a death in the family. This part of the family is VERY Catholic...old school Catholic. Rosary the night before, then mass the next day...hearing music and talking about life and death it occured to me that the reasons DH gives for religion are so very true. It had to have been of comfort for those left behind to hear their father/husband/brother say "I'll see you on the other side" before he drifted off. It gives something to almost look forward to for those left behind believing that they will meet again somewhere. I suppose it adds comfort to the one leaving as well...to be lying there knowing they are leaving and thinking they have someplace to go. It left me feeling really very empty inside. I am still not able to shake the feelings I am having. Am I at a crossroads? Is that what being at a crossroads means? In my mind, I don't believe any of it but in my heart, it pains me to know that I will never see this man I loved so dearly ever again. I think this is probably the first funeral I have been too since I stopped believing and maybe that is part of it. I have not stepped foot inside a church (for worship anyway) since I can't remember when; maybe that has something to do with it as well. I don't know...just feeling really strange the last couple of days over this. Probably should stop listening to "Into the Mystic" too, probably not helping, huh?
Well I would say right now you are in a more emotional state. When you stop to just think about it, it might be comforting now to think that, but do you think when YOU are dead, anything matters? That's probably the important personal question. If you do believe it matters, then yes, you are at a crossroads and should do some thinking and/or reading or whatever.


My BFF is not at all religious, but when the subject comes up, she somewhat apologetically explains that it gives her comfort to think of her parents "watching her." Frankly, that creeps me out. lol
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