Thanks to this week’s guest scriptwriter, Giles Fraser.

Merry Christmas to all J&M readers! We’re back next week with an oldie.

Discussion (71)¬

  1. Quine Duhem says:

    I don’t know why, but I always feel inclined to slap someone who uses the word ‘hegemony’. That goes double for the inclusion of ‘secular liberal’, too.

  2. Laripu says:

    There are starting to be groups of ex-Haredi people who go back to school in their twenties, after leaving the ultra-Orthodox communities into which they were born. Some succeed. Some can’t take it and commit suicide. All recognize the injustice done to them.

  3. jean-françois gauthier says:

    umm, giles, hate to break it to ya, but kids are extremely unhappy in these jewish orthodox communities. it’s a documented fact (see below). more than half of their children are leaving the community, with 20 % leaving the religion altogether. of course, that’s according to the hippies over at the pew research centre. i would be curious to see any evidence of more than half of the kids leaving the “miserably grey[,] one-dimensional” world of liberal secularism.

    in medieval times, cities like venice and constantinople had wholly independent communities living within them. people would be called “greek” or “rum” or “bulgar” for generations, never being considered native, forever trapped in their cultural island. venice gave us the word “ghetto”. constantinople fell, became istambul, communities remained, centuries passed, genocide and mass deportation ensued.

    but wait, i’ve got an idea. why not call it “separate but equal”? that sounds tolerant.

    meanwhile, back in the real world, here are some inconvenient facts:

    here’s how the ungrateful children of orthodoxy see it; it’s not pretty:

    what a mistake they must feel they made, though, what a miserably grey, one-dimensional world they now live in: “Today, the 24-year-old and her now partner, Yossi partake regularly in group sex and nudist gatherings.” they must sorely miss the vibrant culture of their former community.

    happy solstice everyone.

  4. […] Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “maths”, came with a note: […]

  5. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    It is progressive parent’s wishes
    That their progeny grow up superstitious
    They don’t give a dam
    Always muttering islam
    Proselytizing, , only more vicious.

  6. Adelaide B Kent says:

    How true. But why is Jesus on the ‘liberal side’? Plenty of ‘Christian schools’ are not much better

  7. Son of Glenner says:

    Another excellent limerick from Nassar.

  8. tfkreference says:

    Both Jesus and Mo are on the liberal side in this episode. I wouldn’t read too much into that – other than interfaith rivalry, perhaps.

  9. W. Corvi says:

    tfk, I think you are exactly right – the jewish schools need to liberalize by teaching about christianity and islam, but of course not the reverse.

  10. Gingit4 says:

    You can add Catholic convent schools for girls to the list of schools that have ruined many lives. I can attest to this.

  11. […] read Giles Fraser’s Comment is Free piece that inspired Jesus and Mo. It is, predictably, retrograde in the […]

  12. Jam says:

    With Moses dominating both from behind do I read a subtle hint at the common root and syncretic nature of our erstwhile protagonists, or do I really need a holiday?

  13. pink squirrel says:

    “Muslims. They are serial offenders in their…..
    ….Borg-like values of their distinctiveness. They seek to maintain their religious convictions and way of life. They refuse all that nonsense about religion being a private matter.”

    “They stand strong against the elimination of diversity”
    really Giles?
    not the islam I have heard of; which delights in eliminating diversity

  14. hotrats says:

    I don’t think the Guardian is doing either its readers or its reputation any favours by giving publicity to this astonishingly moronic reaction to a clear denial of care to the children concerned. I note their recent forays into SJW virtue-signalling have had all comments suppressed, in the hope of sustaining a narrative that, judging by the comments when they were allowed, grates with its well-educated readership.

    How can any of us be ‘immeasurably richer’ at the prospect of a young man, born and raised in the UK, wearing a religious uniform, unable to understand or speak English, and destined to become an unemployable ornament of an alien culture that practices infant mutilation, child abuse and open misogyny?

  15. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Well, in terms of experiences, hotrats, we’re all considerably richer than he is (channeling The Fast Show there).

  16. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Not The Fast Show, it was one of Harry Enfield’s characters.
    Oh! The shame.

  17. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Is it just me or does Moses look like Joe Wilkinson?

  18. FreeFox says:

    I have no idea who Harry Enfield or Joe Wilkinson are, but I wish you a happy Christmas, Acolyte of Sagan, and your family. I hope you can spend it with your loved ones and have much fun with your grandchildren.

    And to Author and all other patrons of the C&B the same. Cheers! ^_^

  19. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Cheers, FreeFox. Mrs o’S and I are spending tomorrow with the little brutes and most of our offspring at the brutes’ house. It will be the first time our eldest has had the pleasure of hosting a family Christmas, but at least she has dinner under control, or as she so sweetly put it, “It’ll be a nice change for you, Dad, cooking dinner in a different kitchen”!
    I shan’t wish you a ‘happy’ Christmas, though I dearly wish I could, but I sincerely hope for a safe one at the very least, for you, your family and your community, whilst trusting that you will manage to find a way to enjoy yourself in some way.
    All the best, my friend.

    The same to all here; however you choose to celebrate (or not) remember; if you can’t be good, be bad in style.

  20. Grumpy says:

    Seasons greetings Author and patrons of C&B. Looking forward to more shenanigans from J&M in the coming year.

  21. dr John de Wipper says:

    FF, AoS, Grmp:
    Same to you, and all others!

  22. Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous new year, mates. It’s been grand chatting wit’ ya here in the Cock and Bull. May Author continue in his brilliant ways. And may the more vulnerable among us (cough FreeFox) stay safe and healthy. Acolyte and Haggis and all the rest of you, have a great one. Hang in there. We live in very interesting times, both good and horrible. (for example, a Canadian post doc working in a lab in Texas has just found a way to use nano tube technology to convince nerves to reconnect in a severed spinal chord. We are living in the future, and the past, at the same time. Ain’t it grand. But I digress.) Back on point: Enjoy the season.

  23. Son of Glenner says:

    Been a lurker in the dark corner of the C&B for a year or two, finally outed myself. A Scot, a vegan, an atheist, an OAP, a drunkard, but not necessarily in that order. My father was a writer of verse, doggerel really – similar to Nassar’s but not so satirical, hence my moniker. I’d like to buy drinks all round, but I’m not sure if I can afford it, so I’ll just say Merry Xmas to all regulars and lurkers, and a Happy New Year – when it comes, as we superstitiously say in Scotland.

  24. Welcome, Son of Glenner. You can always afford a round of virtual drinks at the C&B, so thankee kindly and I’ll have a Rechart’s Red. Merry Christmas.

  25. dr John de Wipper says:

    Welcome. I ‘ll have a (real-life) Weizenbeer (or some of them) on your virtual account, and wish you pleasant days and “all you may wish for” in 2017.

    The last part is of course aimed at all and every regular (&irregular) C&B visitor.

    Special great wishes to Author.

  26. HaggisForBrains says:

    A cool Yule to all my friends at the C&B, especially regulars of old, AoS, DH, FF, NBH, hotrats, and all the rest. Welcome to fellow Scot Son of Glenner, and special good wishes for a prosperous New Year when it comes, to Author (praise be upon him). George & JG Smith’s 15 yo all round! Who says Scots are mean?

  27. Son of Glenner says:

    I should have included very special Xmas wishes, HNYWIC, & many thanks to mine host at the C&B, Author (pbuh). I’ll buy him a virtual double Talisker but I’m too much of a grumpy old bugger & skinflint to stand my hand all round.
    Thanks for the welcoming messages. You’ll maybe change your minds when I start repeating for the umpteenth time anecdotes that were pretty boring first time round.

  28. Laripu says:

    To jean-françois gauthier: great post and you’re right. Even apart from the fact that many in the ultra-orthodox grow up unhappy (which is certainly true) I want to ask: is a culture worth protecting if it does seriously bad things? I say: some cultures ought to modify themselves. The Haredi are one example: their children should get full secular education, from secular schools; they can teach religion after school, and on Sundays. Another is the culture that practises ritual clitoridectomy (aka female circumcision). And what about the Christians that will pray to death a kid with appendicitis instead of getting treatment?

    Bonne Année!

  29. DC Toronto says:

    Heh. It’s quite funny to see all the “critics of religion” wishing each other a merry Christmas without a hint of irony.

    I get that as a secular person we can still partake in the spirit of goodwill and good wishes. But your bias is showing just a bit too much gents (and ladies).

  30. oake says:

    DC Toronto “Heh. It’s quite funny to see all the “critics of religion” wishing each other a merry Christmas without a hint of irony.”

    What’s ironic about it? It’s a public holiday where people get together to enjoy themselves. Is religious belief a prerequisite for partaking?

  31. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    DC TORONTO, I find it very funny when a person refers to him/herself in the plural. Puts that person in exhalted company.
    “My name is Legion for I am many”.
    “We are not amused”.

    But still, happy Christmas to you all, DC.

  32. As a Jew and a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, I must highly commend this cartoon.

  33. I find it amusing when someone like DC Toronto shows up with an introductory jab at the assembled company. “But your bias is showing just a bit too much gents (and ladies).” Say what? What does this sentence even mean?

    If you “get” that as a secular person I can still appreciate the holiday season, please tell me what you see as ironic in my wishing my mates a good one. And please let me know what bias you see as “showing a bit too much”. I call troll on this one.

    DC Toronto, you could take a lesson from Son of Glenner’s first post. That’s the way to join this crowd and be welcomed. You’ll still get the attention you seem to crave. Much better than throwing vague and incomprehensible nasturtiums at the regulars.

  34. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Darwin, I think it must be our Westerners’ Christian bias he’s alluding to, because we’re not mentioning all of the other religions’ famous late december celebrations that have lent their name to this particular time.
    In other words, by mentioning one particular Middle-Eastern myth instead of all of them (is there enough space on the internet for that, I wonder?) we are failing to be inclusive. Obviously it is our duty as atheists to not only not believe in all religions to the same degree, but to also give them equal representation when we do decide to become hypocrites and take advantage of a religious festival to kick back and relax for a couple of days.

  35. DC Toronto says:

    I was hoping for a more … enlightened reaction to my comment. Maybe a bit of self awareness. Thanks Acolyte … yes, it is rather biased to be following the religion of your youth or the majority of your countrymen while conveniently ignoring the many others in existence on the planet. A simple “happy holidays” will allow one to share in the spirit of the holiday without favouring one religion over the others.
    My apologies AoS. It’s not so much referring to myself in the plural as my atrocious grammar. I was of course referring to anyone who considers themselves atheist or agnostic. and in fact, those of other religions who wish to enjoy the holiday spirit when I said “we”. I probably should have said people rather than person to keep it clear.

  36. DC Toronto says:

    oake – maybe you are not aware of the origins of the “Christ” in Christmas? I would suggest that some level of belief is a prerequisite.

    Dar – as noted above, Sagan understood. Have a read. And to answer your question, I’m not new. I’ve been reading for several years and have made comments before. I guess it’s on you that you didn’t notice. Besides, I didn’t realize you were the arbiter of appropriate posting for this website. did I miss an announcement somewhere? Should I be on a mailing list? Or are you the self appointed pope of posting?

  37. DC Toronto says:

    This reminds me of my youth. I tired of the typical long hair rock and roll aesthetic and hierarchy in my youth. I yearned for something different and saw it in alternative music and punk rock. Shaved most of my head, bought a pair of docs and whoosh … I was a punk. The impression from outside was that it was a community that welcomed the outsider and the misfit.
    turned out it was not different. My new “friends” broke into the same types of cliques and hierarchy as my old “friends”. that was when I realized that all people have significant traits in common.
    the “church” is no different. And neither, it seems, the J&M community. They too can be quite offended if you call out their hypocrisy. To borrow from the PEOTUS (which I generally hate to do, but it seems like it will hit a nerve with y’all) …. Sad.

  38. DC Toronto, my bad for not noticing you are not new here. And no, I am not the arbiter of posting. I just like to see people eschew name calling. Now that we have all this straight, and I understand what you were on about, thanks to Acolyte, my opinion of your post has been validated. You call hypocrisy, and I call bullshit.
    Let’s see if we can get back to polite banter, shall we.

    The point you raised, in your rather obnoxious way, is certainly valid. I’m reminded of my own teen years, sadly so long ago, when I found myself watching, with great reverence, a religious ceremonial dance put on by the Coal Tyee first nations. The question occurred to me: Why am I watching this with reverence when I have such contempt for my own culture. This is equally lathered in horseshit.
    Maybe this is my version of your disillusionment with the punk movement.

  39. DC Toronto says:

    Yes, Dar, I guess you can troll. Or do you actually think that wishing Merry Christmas while openly disputing and disdaining the Christian faith is not in the least hypocritical? And what name do you think I called you?
    To suggest I’m obnoxious in calling out your hypocrisy while you mock one of islams sacred tenets by reading comics about mo …. well, I guess it really is in the eye of the beholder my thin skinned friend.

  40. The name I heard was “hypocrite”. And not so much aimed directly at me as at the assembly.
    I was raised a Christian. And in my culture, we celebrated Christmas. I see no hypocrisy in keeping the parts of my culture that I love while rejecting the parts I dislike. Like Tim Minchin, I really love Christmas.
    Strange that I hadn’t noticed your previous posts. DC Toronto is not a nim I wouldn’t notice. Did you by any chance change your user name? Whatever, you’ve had your star turn ineffectually slapping us around. I think I shall ignore you from now on. Doesn’t seem likely we’ll be friends.

  41. Actually, DC Toronto, it looks like we just got off on the wrong foot from the start. So scratch that comment about us unlikely to become friends. I will try to be less reactive in the future. The C&B is a friendly pub and I hope it stays that way. Have a virtual pint on me while I contemplate the various ways in which, no doubt, I truly am a hypocrite. We all are to some extent, eh. Cheers, mate.

  42. Cytrynian says:

    DC Toronto, some aspects of reality are better understood when you have had your stick up in the a(…) removed. Almost impossible surgery.
    An example – there are people who get Big Lebowski and those who do not. I would be far from calling the latter morons. So should you be from calling people hypocrites just because you do not understand that one can celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday. And that pertains to your comments about irony too, perhaps you can see only one – in your face – layer of it.
    In fact you remind me of my religious schoolmates who expressed righteous anger when they learned that my family of declared, unchristened atheists celebrated Xmas almost the same way they did, just without the religious element. And believe me there can be much in it when you remove the bullshit – warmth, family and joy e.g.
    In conclusion, I suspect, it is a matter of the mindset – yours would serve you well in times of the Spanish Inquisition! 😉
    To all – I hope your Christmas time was enjoyable.
    To the Author – thank you for the J&M 🙂

  43. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    DC, so what do you suggest we re-name thursday so as not to exclude non-Thor worshippers, or Saturn’s day because some minority cults don’t adore the mighty Saturn?
    Do we re-name the planets to ensure inclusivity? Am I showing bias when asking for a Mars bar?

    Mmm, I wonder how Mrs o’S would react if I dropped my hypocrisy and started calling out to Shiva and Allah at those special moments.

    Happy (non-specific but totally inclusive) holy days.

  44. DC Toronto says:

    One of the oft repeated themes in the J&M strips is when our favourite religious heros (and one stand in) are oblivious to their own hypocrisy. I see many virtual pats on the back in the comments for being so much more enlightened than our religious friends and neighbours.
    Darwin, I was going to suggest to you that maybe you simply believe in 1 more Christmas myth than I … but since we’re extending olive branches, I won’t. Well, I guess I sort of have done, but I’m thinking you’ll recognize the source of that quote (are we crossing comment threads now? is that even possible???)
    Cytrynian – reread my initial comment. There was no mocking nor name calling. That came after the pile-on for pointing out the blindingly obvious. And to be fair, it was not so much name calling as labelling behaviours. The vocal denial and push back reminded me of conversations with some of the true believers …. who can not fathom that what they’re doing could possibly be criticized.

    In fact, you’ll see in my comment that I acknowledge that a secular person can take much from the holidays. You seem to have glossed over that part of my comment.
    Often our reactions to others comments reflects more about ourselves than about the original comment. It seems to be that way for your comment …. but maybe that’s just me 🙂

  45. DC Toronto says:

    AoS – good one. I would tell them to sleep on it and that they’ll feel better in the morning. As for the planets … no intelligent person believes in those ancient gods anymore (we’ve come so far! we have new and better gods!) …. I don’t think we need to rename them. It would be much too confusing now and many textbooks would need to be rewritten. Then again, we switched from imperial to metric measurements a couple of decades back and that only took 1 generation to resolve itself.
    As for the Mrs. Hopefully she is calling out to her own favourite deity and can’t hear what you’re saying.

    Happy holidays to you and the rest of the assembled.

  46. oake says:

    D C Toronto “oake – maybe you are not aware of the origins of the “Christ” in Christmas? I would suggest that some level of belief is a prerequisite.”

    Ah, I see! You are assuming that the celebration didn’t exist before it was co-opted by the founders of Christianity, and given the new name “Christmas”.

    Naturally, for reasons of clarity, I refer to it by the name “Christmas”, because that’s the name people nowadays use, but that’s as far as it goes.

    And I don’t believe I’ve been impolite to you (apologies if I have), but I’m not sure your misplaced sarcasm (i.e. “maybe you are not aware…”) passes the politeness test.

  47. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    DC, re “ Then again, we switched from imperial to metric measurements a couple of decades back and that only took 1 generation to resolve itself.“;
    it did? Not for this 6ft, 14 stone Luddite it didn’t!

  48. DC Toronto says:

    oake – I was feeling a bit of the pile on in the reaction to my initial comment. My sarcasm may have been slightly misplaced. Although reading your latest post, I can’t promise I won’t fall into that trap again.
    No, I’m not assuming that the celebration was original to the Christians. I’m aware of the change of dates of Jesus birth and a reasonable amount of the back and forth about the origins of Christmas. But I will give Christians credit for at least changing the name when they co-opted the holiday.

    You say “Naturally, for reasons of clarity, I refer to it by the name “Christmas”, because that’s the name people nowadays use, but that’s as far as it goes.” But how in any way does that make it clear? You are referring to a long standing Christian holiday by it’s Christian name, yet you claim you don’t celebrate said holiday in a Christian way. That’s about as muddled as you can be. You need a paragraph with every Merry Christmas you wish just to keep it clear what your intentions are. If that’s not attempting to co-opt the Christian holiday I don’t know what is.
    I could almost say it’s deliberately misleading, but I don’t think that’s your intention. You can correct me if I’m wrong. Then again, maybe it is deliberate, more in the line of not offending anyone with your true beliefs rather than state them clearly. but I’ll leave that to you to ponder.

  49. DC Toronto says:

    AoS – I don’t know how old you are, but my kids think that if it was 70 degrees outside they would melt the moment they left our air conditioned house, whereas I might take a light jacket in case there’s a breeze
    I still have trouble with converting the temps of the stove. Somewhere around 200 c the standard rule of x2+30 no longer applies. I see Jamie Oliver will now occasionally put the temps in both c and f configurations for his North American market.

  50. oake says:

    DC Toronto, yes, you’re right that I just go along with Christmas celebrations, rather than offend people who wish to celebrate it as a Christian event by starting a debate on its origins. Why would I spoil their enjoyment by challenging their beliefs? I’m an atheist, not a missionary, and my beliefs are my own.

    Deliberately misleading? Are you seriously suggesting that I should apply a disclaimer every time I wish somebody a “good Christmas”, for fear that they might not understand that my good wishes are unconditional? I leave it to religious people to dictate to others how they should celebrate the occasion.

    And perhaps you can tell me what I need to do differently to avoid accusations of hypocrisy in future?

    Oh, and may I wish you a Happy New Year, however you decide to spend it.

  51. DC Toronto says:

    oake – a simple Happy Holidays encompasses all of those goals. And it won’t offend your muslim and jewish (or any other denomination) friends and acquaintances. Instead, you lead them to believe that you celebrate the Christian holiday.
    that’s hypocritical my friend.
    To be clear, I’m not suggesting that I don’t carry my own hypocrisies. But this forum is a place where hypocrisy is called out. Read the strips. I’m starting to feel like the barmaid having a conversation with my favourite religious customers as they defend the blatantly obvious contradictions in their beliefs.
    you can decide for yourself if you want to continue on your ways and what works best for you. but don’t expect everyone to ignore the hypocrisy. If that’s what you want, then it merely compounds the hypocrisy that you’re here judging the religious believers when you refuse to confront your own attitudes.

  52. oake says:

    DC Toronto

    “oake – a simple Happy Holidays encompasses all of those goals. And it won’t offend your muslim and jewish (or any other denomination) friends and acquaintances. Instead, you lead them to believe that you celebrate the Christian holiday.
    that’s hypocritical my friend.”

    Sorry, DC, but that’s utter nonsense. Here in England, nobody says Happy Holidays. The holiday is called Christmas.

    And everybody, regardless of religious belief, wishes their family, friends, colleagues a Merry/Happy/Good Christmas. Do you think I object when my Muslim colleagues wish me a Happy Christmas? Do you think they’re leading me to believe they celebrate it as a Christian holiday? Are they a bunch of hypocrites in your view?

    Different people celebrate Christmas in different ways – the common factor is the universal goodwill. Although you seem determined to restrict your goodwill to those whose celebrations meet with your approval.

    And you might do well to look up the meaning of the word “hypocrisy”, since you seem determined to deploy it anywhere and everywhere.

    And, finally, for your information, I very rarely post on this forum, and you will not find a post of mine that judges anybody. That I leave to people like you.

    Feel free to have the last word, and my best wishes to you and yours.

  53. Cytrynian says:

    DC, ‘Often our reactions to others comments reflects more about ourselves than about the original comment (…) but maybe that’s just me.” – well, you clearly explained yourself after the 4 posts long exchange.

    “I acknowledge that a secular person can take much from the holidays. You seem to have glossed over that part of my comment” – I would believe if not for the “but” and “bias” part you yourself seem to have glossed over. Well, as you said, perhaps a misplaced sarcasm or that subtle layer of irony I and many others missed.
    Almost midnight here, I think that despite our fnords we would in concord drink whatever we customarily drink to the better new year!

  54. DC Toronto says:

    oake – google the definition of hypocrisy.

    If your muslim friends know you are a Christian then they are not hypocrites to wish for you to enjoy your celebration. They are not wishing for themselves to enjoy a holiday they don’t celebrate, they are directing the comment at you … a Christian (at least to the best of their knowledge since you apparently keep wishing for them to enjoy Christmas).
    But in any event, you’ve lost the plot friend. My comment relates to the wishes on this site, not what you do when you walk down the street. In every day life we all do what we do to get along. Sometimes betraying our true thoughts is a good way to do achieve that goal.
    But you are here, chuckling at a comic that points out the hypocrisy of religious believers. Is this, of all places, not a place for suspension of our own hypocrisies?
    You claim that you do not judge others. But I would argue that the cartoons you read on this site do just that in pointing out the flaws of many religions and their followers. Maybe you disagree with most of them. I don’t know. But you have judged me. My comment was that we shouldn’t be hypocrites in this forum. I’m not judging you for doing it, just suggesting an alternative. And applying the correct label to the behaviour. You have decided that I’m judging the others on this site through those actions. I wholeheartedly dispute that notion.
    And of course I do wish you and your family very Happy Holidays and the best of the season.

  55. DC Toronto says:

    Cytrynian – are you suggesting that there is not a strong bias towards the Christian version of the solstice holidays in many countries of the world? There certainly is in Canada and the US. And in the UK according to my friend oake.
    I don’t know where you are in the world, maybe you don’t have the same experience that I do at this time of year. But the fact that Christmas is your go to salutation tells me that you come from a nominally Christian background and that you’ve not been able to shake much of what you absorbed in that environment. Feel free to correct this understanding if I’ve got it wrong.

  56. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    DC, you are kind of negating your own point here by wishing us happy holidays as ‘holiday’ was originally ‘holy day’. Pretty much the only breaks from work the average workers used to get were the religious feast days, hence the Christmas holy day, Easter holy day, and so on.
    Speaking for myself, I don’t celebrate Christmas as holy days, I use the opportunity afforded by them to celebrate what’s important to me.

  57. Cytrynian says:

    Be corrected. Being a Canadian you should be familiar with a notion of integration. I was BLESSED with opportunity to integrate rather than with necessity to shake off. Even if it is obvious we do not have the same experience I am sure we would get the same vibe at the Nomeansno concert despite your disillusionment with punk.

  58. two cents' worth says:

    DC Toronto, you wrote, “… we switched from imperial to metric measurements a couple of decades back and that only took 1 generation to resolve itself.”

    This made me smile because, despite the many decades since my elementary school years, when the USA was supposedly converting to the metric system, it has yet to catch on here. Those who aren’t scientists or mechanics are still using imperial measurements for practically everything–and even scientists and mechanics often use imperial measurements in regular (non-work) life. I suspect that one of the reasons is because it’s easier to estimate things in imperial measurements because they are human-centric–the length of an adult’s foot, the amount that can be held in a cupped hand, the smallest change in temperature that a human can detect, etc. Man is the measure of all things, and all that. Americans–keeping up our reputation as people who want to be independent of foreign powers such as the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission 😉 .

    The thread on Christmas greetings made me smile because it reminded me of the time when a colleague asked me about Christmas. She had been raised Jewish, but was non-religious, and had recently adopted a daughter from Central America. She wanted to celebrate with her daughter at Christmastime–baking cookies, getting together with friends and family, exchanging gifts, etc.–but didn’t want to call the holiday Christmas or Hanukkah. I suggested that she call it Yule.

    That thread also reminds me of various Miss Manners articles about conventional expressions, designed to indicate good will but not meant to be taken literally.

    And, besides, most people in the USA have the day off from work or school on December 25th because it’s Christmas Day. So “merry Christmas” may be taken by anyone in the USA (whether or not they follow any religion) as meaning “have a blast on December 25th!”

    For what it’s worth, I tend to wish people “happy holidays” so I don’t have to guess what they celebrate. “Happy holidays” also works here in the USA (unless you run across a zealous Christian) because, 1 week after December 25th, there’s another holiday when most people have the day off from work or school: January 1st, New Year’s Day.

    So, barmaid, give the house another round of eggnog (or whatever they’re drinking) on me, so we can all celebrate together, regardless of whatever each of us is celebrating individually. Personally, I’d like to be celebrating Festival of Sleep Day today (see ), but I had to celebrate it yesterday, the last day of the paid winter break offered by my employer. There’s still time to celebrate Fruitcake Toss Day today, but I’ll have to buy a fruitcake–nobody gave me one as a gift this season. And I happen to like most fruitcakes, so if I were to toss one, I’d most likely toss it piece by piece into my mouth. (See )

    Posted on the 10th day of Christmas 😉 .

  59. DC Toronto says:

    Interesting point AoS … like a bank holy day or summer holy days right? I think I shall decree that my protest was correct and shall not be diminished. (I can do that right?)
    Cytrian …. I understand the Canadian ideal of multiculturalism as accepting all faiths. I was speaking to people who are secular but are appropriating a Christian holiday (how’s that for brining in a current social liberal bugaboo). I was not negating their faith, I felt that I was *ahem* “helping” them to realize it more fully. Unless you’re suggesting there is now a new faith that entails rejecting all tenets of the Christian faith except the holy days. Christian lite perhaps? Great taste but less filling.
    two cents … of course you like fruitcakes …. that’s how you tolerate all of us 😉

  60. Cytrynian says:

    Oh, this discussion still goes on! Thank you DC. I realize now that by decorating my christmas spruce I became a believer. Not sure which religion though. A Roman saturnalian mid Winter celebrator or a Viking, or Koliada celebrator? Same goes with numerous pre christian easter-like customs like decorating eggs, e.g. Maybe I am an Osiris worshipper, who knows… Or maybe it is a not-so-new behavioral flaw that entails embracing all nice and colourful customs by people who like to eat and spend free time with their families. Unless you find decorated eggs less tasty and less filling of course.

  61. Cytrynian says:

    Oh, DC, Canadian multiculturalism ideal as accepting all faiths? This seems like something Moses would likely say here 🙂

  62. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    DC, a nice try but your argument doesn’t hold water. I wasn’t just playing on words, the original holidays really were the holy days on the Christian calendar, but over time lost the holy connection. I simply see Christmas the same way; once a specifically Christian celebration but now a mid-winter free-for-all with no compulsion to include the religious aspect.
    Would I be a hypocritical atheist if I were to enjoy Hallowe’en too?

  63. DC Toronto says:

    Cytrynian …. glad I could help 🙂

    For some reason I’m not getting your Moses reference regarding multiculturalism …. probably a smh moment once you expand on it.

    Aos …. if you really want to dig into it, I said holiday. You may have identified it’s root, but the current definition of the word is more broad than that as noted by my usage. And it can mean many things to many people. In my life I have taken both Christian and jewish “holy days” off from work as well as a variety of cultural days (May 24, Canada Day, “Civic Holiday” at the beginning of August, Labour Day … Family Day …).
    You’ve taken my initial point out of context again. I was speaking of the people here about their comments on this board. In the real world, the transition from purely religious celebrations to more secular is a continuum … there is not necessarily a fine demarcation point. All hallows eve has lost virtually all of it’s religious connotations … the more lax Christians among us are typically twice a year Christians (Xmas and Easter) not thrice a year Christians. I’m not aware of churches holding special services on Halloween. So while technically you could be correct about Halloween, practically speaking you are not.

    My final point of proof … Charlie Brown does not mention the church in his Halloween special, unlike his well known Christmas special.

    I believe this is my ‘drop the mike’ moment ….

  64. Micky says:

    Great cartoon, dull thread.

  65. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Great name, dull comment.

  66. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Clearly not the best time to swing by and belatedly wish everyone my fondest season’s greetings. I might have waded in with a ‘Happy Yuletide’ But that too is the Pagan pre-Christian holy day.

    Likewise Samhain (pronounced sowen) was the pre-Christian Gaelic end-of-summer festival used for repairing fueds and remembering the dead. The Catholic invasion, applying the usual MO, all but subsumed it with the aforementioned All Hallows Eve but vestiges remined among the readily superstitious Irish. Thus Hallowe’en, as y’all might know it, is perhaps best described as a latter day fight back by neo pagans who, if they had only applied a bit more thought to their rejection of their religious upbringings, would have become full blown atheists themselves.
    The fundamentalists of the other tribe here in Ireland totally rejects Halloween but I remain unconvinced which of those traditions their sectarian hatred is directed at. Perhaps they never got invited to the right fancy dress parties.

  67. WalterWalcarpit says:

    DH, I’m with you on the mixed up reactions that our conditioning leads us to.
    I get that we should acknowledge diversity and be wary of trampling on ancient cultures but I draw the line on showing respect, let alone reverence, when the meaning, message or manifestation is a religious one.
    Why does mutilation get a free pass just because someone says it is spiritual?
    One Law for All is a great slogan to live by.

  68. Cytrynian says:

    Thanks god (oops…) our religious conditioning did allow us to rest on Saturdays, Sundays and some even on Fridays. All these legal provisions of labour law for 40h working week are just an outrageous, communist sequestration of Christian and Jewish religious traditions. Any full-time atheist should denounce the idea of an off work day. Two-day off work break is even worse, syncretic mixing of religious superstition. Please, no serious answers to that.:)

  69. Friendly Extremist says:

    It kind of shocks me whenever I see either Jesus or Mo taking the liberal position… O.O


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