Senators argue over Christmas
December 15th, 2010
05:22 PM ET

Senators argue over Christmas

With a stacked legislative agenda to pass before the end of the year, the latest battle in the Senate centers on when members will head home to their districts to celebrate Christmas.

After Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, left the door open to keeping the Senate in session through the holiday, Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl accused him of "disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians."

Read the full story about the fight in the US Senate over Christmas on the CNN Political Ticker

Editor's Note: A number of religious groups are joining in on the debate too.  Orlando megachurch pastor Joel Hunter, who has been sending the President scriptural devotions to his blackberry, said in a statement: “In the season when 'Peace on earth...' was declared at the coming of the Prince of Peace, there is no better time to ratify the new START Treaty that will make peace and our national security more certain."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Politics • United States

soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. DWTT

    Down With The Trinity

    December 17, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  2. cashline

    Christmas stopped being about religion when they created "Black Friday". About senators not working on Christmas, why should that stop them, they don't seem to do any work any other day of the year.

    December 17, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  3. Phillip

    This is all just a political ploy to delay Senate til after the lame duck session. You'll notice that the only ones complaining about it are Republicans.

    December 17, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  4. Irvin

    I'm not commenting in order to ridicule you or to say in any way that you are wrong for your beliefs.
    But when Reality said that the only reason you believe what the Bible says is true and correct is because the Bible told you so, you responded with, " I do not believe the Bible based upon what it says, I believe the Bible after my rebirth Jesus spoke of in John 3."
    Bruce, C'mon, EVERYTHING you know about God came from the Bible. You attest to a "Rebirth". You wouldn't know of the opportunity to be reborn if the Bible hadn't told you so.
    So your comment could be rephrase as such. "I do not believe the Bible based upon what it says, I believe the Bible because of what the Bible says Jesus said in John 3."
    I'm sorry Bruce, but such is the sickness of religon.

    December 17, 2010 at 7:47 am |
    • brad

      There's are always lots of interest in the question of "who's the true God: Jehovah, Allah, Zeus, so on". Non-believers particularly enjoy the question. But the question is like the Canadian river: a mile broad and a foot deep. Only a little examination shows why people have believed in various gods. From the earliest days, humanity has been aware of the Numinous, or the presence of some Divine Other. Religion is his response to that presence. The response is made using what man has at his disposal: culture, language, personality, etc. so the response comes out in different forms. Non believers need to dig deeper than the "many gods from the bronze age" mentality and examine the basic impulse which leads to religious expression.

      December 17, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • Reality

      (An-alytical Psy-chology)

      "The term numinous, based on the Latin numen ("will, the active power of the divine") was coined by Rudolf Otto (1917/1926) to define a "ca-tegory for the interpretation and evaluation" of nonrational manifestations of the sacred. According to Otto, the numinous is characterized by a "sense of one's creature state" (p. 10), mystical awe (tremendum), a presentiment of divine power (majestas), amazement in the face of the "completely other" (mysterium), demoniacal energy, and paradox."- answers.com

      December 19, 2010 at 12:54 am |
  5. toby

    After Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, left the door open to keeping the Senate in session through the holiday, Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl accused him of "disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians."

    What is "holy" and how is it measured? Can we touch it? Can we see it? Can it be observed or destroyed? You see folks, the word "holy" is simply a term that is bandied about in order to prevent scrutiny of a doctrine or ideology. Once we assign the word "holy" to something or someone, that thing or person is immune to criticism or inquiry. This is precisely why organized religion gets away with making outrageous and unprovable claims-they put it outside the realm of the natural world and thus remove it from being analyzed by the forces of reason.

    I say that there IS no such thing as holy. We can admire, respect, and protect only those ideas for which we all agree are worth protecting.

    December 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
    • Bruce


      In Christiandom holy means uncommon. To what? It is uncommon to all that is common. Only one is uncommon and that would be God. You are very accurate in what you say and your conclusion is true also, except, some have been gifted to see into the uncommon. That is not bragging, it is simply a fact. No wonder you have a problem with Christians. You are closer to total reality in it's fullest than you think. However, it is whom God choses and equips to see that actually see. Many out there think they see and distort it for all of you. I know it is as true and real as all that is common. BTW, what is common is unholy. That stands to reason, doesn't it.

      December 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
    • Reality

      Obviously, some of us are still suffering from the Three B Syndrome i.e. in Bruce's case being Bred, Born (or reborn) and Brainwashed in Christianity. One more time in honor of John Hick:

      "John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

      The Situation Today

      Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas (or Bruce) been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed."- J. Somerville

      And added note:

      It is very disturbing that such religious close-mindedness, violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

      December 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
    • Bruce


      I guess when you combine reason, belief and speculation you can almost follow any thread, but religion. That is sad. It is very difficult to listen to someone accuse a group of being closed-minded who, by the same definition, is also close-minded. I guess we can conclude by saying that it takes one to know one. Now that stands to reason.

      December 16, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
    • Reality

      "Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas (or Bruce) been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed."- J. Somerville

      Happy Birthday to Bruce et al!!

      December 17, 2010 at 12:03 am |
    • Bruce


      Many draw conclusions on the "what if's" you have come up with as if they are true and use that same logic in all their reasoning like you do. I was born in the USA and given the opportunity to choose the religion I wanted. No ifs, ands or buts. With that I made the choice I made based upon the information I researched and proved. Since you chose evolution without God you have taken the path you have, just like me. Since you live in America, a Christian nation, why are you atheist? Maybe for the same reason I am a Christian. That sounds reasonable to me.

      December 17, 2010 at 7:23 am |
  6. Scott

    What about all the poor suckers who have to work at WalMart on Christmas Day or VIRTUALLY THE ENTIRE POPULATION that has to work between Christmas and New Year's?

    December 16, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  7. Bruce


    I have to separate my hom-ophobic mind-set and balance how I view a hom-os-exu-al's sin. What you see out there in much of Christianity is a prej-udice hom-ophobia; not all. There may be some who can easily "just-say-no". I have to avoid any communication with them at the earliest onset of seeing what they are. I do not have negr-o-phobia or Jew-phobia or nat-zi-phobia and I consider myself non-pre-judice. I do not think there is a way for me to work around it either. Therefore, I will remain aloof toward that crowd. Hope they understand.

    December 16, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Well that is rather a va-gue and intriguing response. I'm not sure what to make that mystery! 🙂 But it sounds personal so I won't pursue it much further. Except to say that your reaction to gay people seems excessively fearful and apparently it's affecting your life. I have been told when that happens, it's time to seek some professional help. If you are hom-ophobic you are prejudiced no matter where the fear came from.
      As for being gay being a sin. We will have to disagree on that. I see nothing wrong with a person living their life with another person of the same s-ex. They are just like straights in every aspect except one.

      December 16, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  8. Bruce


    I think hom-ophobic is a real and true feeling. For me, it came early in my life, and, like getting sick on fish, it is hard to swallow the idea, so to speak. Morally, it is on the sin side of what I believe, however, like any act of sin a Christian has to place it in the same category and on the same level. Sin is sin. (more to come)

    December 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  9. JohnQuest

    Frogist, DADT still has a long way to go before it actually becomes law. As a side note, I think it was Sam Harris who pontificated about the amount of money and productive man-hours we lose every year due to religion. All the preying, religious attendance, ti thing, Christmas gifts and the like. Religion is costing us millions of man-hours and untold billions of dollars every year that could all be used for a better purpose than the glorification of a fantasy.

    December 16, 2010 at 9:46 am |
    • Frogist

      @JohnQuest: I know it's a long ways off but any step in the right direction is at least one step closer.
      As for the holidays, I'm grateful for the extra day off. I'll take what I can get with the cheap a$$ company I work for.

      December 16, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  10. Frogist

    Seriously, if anyone really believes this has anything at all to do with religion they are kidding themselves. This is all partisan politics. The Dems are pushing to do everything they really should have gotten done before now. And the Repubs are doing what they do best... nothing. They're stalling again. None of these people "respect" the holiday. But worse than that, I feel like none of them respect the job they were put there to do. The Dems can only find their chutzpah when they have nothing to lose. And the Repubs are all puffery, no substance. Sorry if I'm being harsh, but that's what I see.
    On the upside, I hear the House voted to repeal DADT. A spark of hope in the darkness.

    December 16, 2010 at 9:14 am |
    • Bruce


      Something I said has caused my comment to be moderated. I am breaking it down to see what caught the filter.

      The majority of what you say here is agreeable regarding the politics. It has become too much of an inside game and hardly ever focuses on America and Americans.

      December 16, 2010 at 9:57 am |
    • Bruce


      Looks like it is in here somewhere.

      The DADT repeal is another thing. I am as straight as an arrow and have been constantly approached by ga-ys all my life. Because of that I have a strong resistance toward them. I am ho.mo.pho.bic and it is not based upon ignorance or prejudice. I've tried toleration and I physically get sick. I wouldn't make it in today's military.

      December 16, 2010 at 9:58 am |
    • Frogist

      @Bruce: The word fragment that got caught is "hom-o" in "hom-ophobic".
      I find it refreshing to find someone who will admit to hom-ophobia. Good to get that out of the way. I am curious why you are though.
      I'm not sure what you mean by "approached by gays". If you mean some gay men find you attractive, I don't really see why that's something that creates a "strong resistance" to them as human beings with the same rights as you. I think you could take it as a compliment. I'm sure if you are approached by a member of the opposite s-ex, you wouldn't become strongly resistant to them. Most times a polite "I'm not interested" tends to suffice to a gay or straight person. Again I'm not sure what you mean by "I've tried toleration and I physically get sick."
      But I'm really confused as why your personal distaste for gays means you are opposed to DADT.

      December 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
    • Reality

      DADT still comes down to group showers.

      December 16, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • Bruce


      I keep getting moderated on this reply. Check the bottom. It may be in several comments.

      December 16, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
    • Bruce


      The shower issue is a strong point. Some would say it was a benefit for them to shower with other men due to gender and visa versa for the women. If a group of people are identified based upon their s-e-x-u-a-l preference then by reason alone you could come to the conclusion that they would be lusting after the straight people; male or female. Based upon my hom-ophobia I would have a serious problem dressing or showering with them. That should never be an issue in the military.

      December 16, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
    • Frogist

      Except they've been showering with gays already. The gays just haven't been able to say they are who they are. Besides, if lusting is to take place, you don't need to be in a shower to do so.

      December 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
    • Know What


      Re: your feeling of being "physically sick" at the thought of hom.ose.xual relations: Many (if not most) gays feel the same way about heterose.xual relations. I assume that they look at the opposite se.x and say, "Eeew!"... or at least there is just a neutral, no attraction kind of thing.

      I remember a scene from "The Bird Cage" when the gay father is talking to the mother of his child about the conception of the child (he tried it just to perhaps overcome his ga.yness). He said that afterward he went out and threw up.

      December 16, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  11. Preacher D

    From http://shameguily.blogspot.com

    "Jesus should not become a Bill in US senate house"

    I doubt what the senators understood as Christmas. I believe that debating with this greatest Birthday in human history is only a show of advertisement . Jesus should not become a Bill in US senate house. Give me a break please.

    Holiday is what they have been having . Ask the Senators if they have physical appointment with Jesus? If they understood Christmas they suppose to know that it is Spiritual issue not physical.

    December 16, 2010 at 4:22 am |
  12. Reality

    The Mess of the Myths of Christmas unfortunately continues:

    Said co-nclusion is supported by the studies of many NT and historic Jesus exegetes.

    Professor JD Crossan with great tho-ro-ughness examined all the existing scr-iptural writings from the first and second ce-nturies AD/CE. If you do not have his 505 page book, The Historical Jesus, see Google Books.
    Using these doc-uments plus the co-nclusions of the major NT exegetes in the past two hundred years, he compared Jesus' reported acts and sayings to when they were reported and how many reports were made. Those acts and sayings with single or later att-estations along with the current biblical scholarship negativity, were judged not to be done or said by the historical Jesus. Approximately 67% of the NT was judged to be in that category, i.e. embellishments of the facts typically made to compete with the "Caesar", "Al-exander" and Egyptian gods. See wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=Crossan_Inventory

    Use this latter site to analyze your NT references for "Crossan" acceptance, e.g. Matt 1:23
    26±. Jesus Vi-r-g-inally Conceived: (1) Gos. Heb. 1; (2) Matt 1:18-25; (3) Luke 1:26-38; (4a) Ign. Eph. 7:2; (4b) Ign. Eph. 18:2a; (4c) Ign. Eph. 19:1; (4d) Ign. Smyrn. 1:1b., was judged to be not from the historical Jesus but of th-eolo-gical importance.

    These same passages also are in direct conflict with

    (!5a) John 6:42
    (!5b) John 7:40-44
    (!5c) John 8:39-41
    (!6) Luke 2:27,33,41,48

    where Joseph is reported to be the father of Jesus.

    "In Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography (2000), Bruce Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a ma-mzer; someone whose irre-gular birth circu-mstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the co-mm-unity. He argues for the natural pat-er-nity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous co-nception. In his subsequent reco-nstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-identi-ty, his concept of God and his spiritual quest."

    "John P,Meier [Marginal Jew I,220-22] discusses the vi-rginal conception as part of his larger chapter on Jesus' origins. He earlier notes that both infancy narratives "seem to be largely the product of Christian reflection on the salvific meaning of Jesus Christ in the light of OT prophecies (p. 213). At the end of his examination, Meier concludes:
    "The ends result of this survey must remain meager and disappointing to both defenders and opponents of the doctrine of the vir-ginal conception. Taken by itself, historical-critical research simply does not have the sources and tools available to reach a final decision on the historicity of the vi-rginal conception as narrated by Matthew and Luke. One's acceptance or rejection of the doctrine will be largely influenced by one's own philosophical and theological presu-ppositions, as well as the weight one gives to Church teaching."

    You might also say that here was a man whose simple teachings were embellished to compete with the gods of Rome, Greece, Ba-bylon, Pe-rsia and Eg-ypt to the point that only about 30% of the NT is historical.

    With respect to the Three Kings:

    The Three Kings/Wise Men myth was developed from all types of analogous legends and OT passages pre-Jesus. See faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=369_Star_of_Revelation for a lenthly review.

    An excerpt:

    Gerd Luedemann

    "Commenting on the infancy narratives overall, Luedemann [Jesus, 124-29] concludes that Luke and Matthew represent "two equally unhistorical narratives." He cites the occurrence of a miraculous heavenly sign at key points in the life of Mithridates VI in a history written by Justinus (active in the reign of Augustus, 2 BCE to 14 CE). "

    John P. Meier (Notre Dame professor)

    "Meier [Marginal Jew I,211ff and 376] considers these traditions to be "largely products of early Christian reflection on the salvific meaning of Jesus in the light of OT prophecies" and concludes that their historicity is "highly questionable."

    Happy Mess of Myths to One and All!!!

    December 15, 2010 at 9:52 pm |
    • Bruce


      You have provided much information. The fact is that there is nothing we can put our finger on that was written during the time of Christ anymore. I guess I could find people that would support the way I believe and come up with come pretty convincing information. I don't see viable proof in anything you have provided though you did some extensive research. It is a matter of beleif on both Christian and atheist and each will find some ancient to say what we want someone to say in support of our cause. I believe Jesus is the Christ and it would take much more than logic or reason to ever make a dent in what I beleive. I am happy, content and at peace even when I am confronted on every side from those who believe that there is no God.

      December 15, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
    • Bob

      It is a matter of beleif on both Christian and atheist and each will find some ancient to say what we want someone to say in support of our cause.

      No, it is not a matter of belief on both the christian and atheist. The atheist rejects the concept of faith.

      Why do I reject faith? It's rather simple. Faith itself has led different people to reach wildly different conclusions on the nature of the universe. Which means one (or more of them are wrong). The Christian and the Muslim cannot both be right.

      Now, here's the kicker. How do you know your religion is correct? It could be the wrong one because if you're only using faith, which I've shown to be unreliable, it may have led you down the wrong path.

      Now here's the double kicker. If one or many religions can be wrong because they're basing their beliefs on faith, which I've shown is unreliable, then all faiths might be wrong. None may have it correct.

      That in my mind is the easiest way to think of the atheist position.

      December 16, 2010 at 9:13 am |
    • Bruce


      Look up the definition of reason. It is the combination of fact and belief. You have to have faith in your idea of being right. The Christian "faith" is not an assent to something, it is resting on the finished work of Christ. The faith is measured out to the individual from God and is not his own. I happen to know the difference based upon what I have experienced. It is not made up of matter so I can show it to you. It is a different kind of faith. I don't know about other religion's faith but I do know that all other religions are trying to do good or work there way to heaven.

      December 16, 2010 at 9:40 am |
    • Bob

      Bruce, it is not a combination of logic and belief. You're looking at the NOUN defintion. Ie, a casual event. You can have reasons for anything, from logical to illogical. It makes no difference.

      However the verb reason is to discuss with logic and/or conclude using facts.

      Furthermore, my statement isn't right or wrong strictly speaking and doesn't make a claim. It points out what is reflected in reality to show that faith is not a valid method for determining what is true or not.

      You're trying to equate your faith with logic by saying "reason includes both". It doesn't.

      December 16, 2010 at 10:01 am |
    • Bruce


      If reason was like you say, it would be comparible to science. However, reason is nowhere near science. Reason has to have belief as part of its foundation whether stated or not or reason and logic cannot connect the data. Additionally, if reason and logic were a true science everyone would have to submit to it as an established way of finding a conclusion. In fact, it is morals that bend reasoning in the direction a person want it to go. Therefore, there are many religions, including atheism if one uses reasoning.

      December 16, 2010 at 10:35 am |
    • Reality

      “I believe the Bible is inspired.” “Why?” “Because it says so.” Would your
      anyone let that logic pass if it came from the followers of any other book
      or person? “I believe x is inspired because x says so.” Fill in the blanks:

      x=Pat Robertson
      x=the ayatolloah Sistani
      x=David Koresh
      x=the Koran”

      more “logic”?
      “I believe there is One God Jehovah because He is revealed in the infallible
      Bible. I believe the Bible is infallible because it is the Word of the One God Jehovah.”

      December 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Bruce


      I do not know how to answer you except your reasoning is mortal, not immortal. That is the difference with seeing things differently than you and other reasonables. Your conclusion is inconclusive if you only are able to use what you see and what you know. I do not believe the Bible based upon what it says, I believe the Bible after my rebirth Jesus spoke of in John 3.

      December 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • Magic


      Do you know what 'delusional' means? That guy in the mental hospital *truly believes* that he is Napoleon...

      "Delusions are irrational beliefs, held with a high level of conviction, that are highly resistant to change even when the delusional person is exposed to forms of proof that contradict the belief."

      December 16, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
    • Bruce


      Yes, sir, I know exactly what delusional means without the written definition. My wife began to go through that transition at 35 years old and I lived the hell of that. What once was a very normal, calm, intelligent woman became Old Yeller, so to speak. There was no moral reasoning and I lived with it for 6 years. What you described ain't the same my friend. The difference between us is a different conclusion in normal logic. You would need to experience delusion for many years to really understand what you just said. Just because someone doesn't believe like you does not place them in that category.

      December 16, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
    • toby

      Great post! Unfortunately, as stated already stated by a believer in the Christian scheme, your arguments and evidence will not sway minds. Those who believe these ideas are impervious to reason and rational argument. Nice post though.

      December 16, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  13. Bruce

    Christmas and Easter are reinactments of an event held high on the Christian's list. However, there is no biblical reason to celebrate them on a special day or make them holy. One thing about them is that they are celebrated by Americans and are very special in many ways. Reid bothers me anyway and this is just another in a long list of his irritations. I would take issue with Thanksgiving because the Bible says that being thankful is the will of God.

    "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thes. 5:18

    December 15, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
    • Luke

      You would take issue with not taking a day off on Thanksgiving because the bible says to be thankful? I think the more appropriate thing to say here is simple: Thanksgiving is an American holiday shared by all Americans. Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrated by some Americans and ignored by many as well. Taking issue with working through Thanksgiving has nothing to do with religion.

      December 15, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
    • Bruce


      Even though Thanksgiving would not be considered a Christian holiday by some, it really is. It is the silent Christian holiday that is more biblical than Christmas or Easter because we are to be thankful as it is God's will. I am not concerned much about what others believe or feel or think or reason about this thought. Thanksgiving is more important to me for this reason.

      December 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
    • Luke

      Bruce – I usually engage in intellectual debate because I enjoy it. Today is not that day. Are you serious? Bruce, if what you said is even remotely true, could you please explain why Ireland, a deeply Catholic nation, does not recognize Thanksgiving as a holiday? Also explain why Muslim nations run by theocracies, who worship the same god as you, do not celebrate Thanksgiving? I'll details to your madness.

      December 16, 2010 at 7:06 am |
    • Bruce


      Thanksgiving would be more of an American tradition. If Catholics use the same Bible I do they would have to agree that being thankful is God's will. The Bible doesn't talk about the birth of Christ or His death as God's will to celebrate. Never would I deminish the celebration, it's just not God's will.

      Any religion can claim they worship the God of the Bible but their actions prove otherwise. God's character is developed in the believer through faith in God's Son Jesus Christ. Many of my fellow so-called Christians think they are worshiping the God of the Bible but they think their works gain His attention. They are no different. It is not of works at all. The Muslim's whole belief system is based upon how devoted they are to Allah through their prophet Mohammed's sayings. Their fanatics go so far as a literal translation of killing the infedel. My God does not approve that or encourage that in the New Testament or the age of Grace.

      December 16, 2010 at 7:55 am |
    • Bob

      Allow me to translate:

      "My subjective analysis of the message of the bible is far better then your subjective analysis of the bible."

      December 16, 2010 at 8:02 am |
    • Luke

      Bruce –

      You are a delusional and misguided human being, ignoring solid historical facts in favor of your foundationless belief system. You are essentially saying that I cannot celebrate Thanksgiving because I am not religious. Good man you are!

      December 16, 2010 at 8:38 am |
    • Bruce


      I really didn't have you in mind particularly when I made my statements. In fact, anyone can be thankful on Thanksgiving, however, it was set up by those who were Christian to focus mainly on being thankful of what God had provided. It was at the end of the harvest where most thanksgiving is done.

      December 16, 2010 at 9:19 am |
    • Luke

      Bruce – Indigenous people of North America were...uh...Christians? And at the time of the first Thanksgiving, women were not allowed to feast with the men. Is this what you had in mind when you think Thanksgiving is a Christian Holiday?

      December 16, 2010 at 9:24 am |
    • Bruce


      Nope! I had what I said in mind. Christianity has come a long way. Christ has given women the most influencial position in society and some look at the position and think it is below them or subserviant. Obama is the President, but, he listens to his counselors and does what they say. Obama is the target if it goes wrong, not the counselor. If the counselor is right they get what they wanted in the first place.

      December 16, 2010 at 9:35 am |
    • Luke

      Bruce – So let's get this straight. You have a vision in your head of what Thanksgiving is, which is counter to historical fact. Ok, I'm with ya buddy! I feel like patting you on the head and pinching your rosey cheeks. Then I'll mumble to my wife as I walk away, "children are just the cutest little things, aren't they?"

      December 16, 2010 at 10:33 am |
    • Bruce


      Then what has changed about Thanksgiving.

      December 16, 2010 at 11:18 am |
    • Luke


      Plenty. The first Thanksgiving was men only. Women were banished from feasting. Essentially all of the foods that we eat today also were not consumed either. Turkey was not a staple of the early meal. Settlers were dependant of the Natives' hunting and survival skills. As a gesture of good will, the Natives taught the settlers these skills and aided in preparing for harsh Northern winters with a huge meal. It became an American tradition, regardless of religious affiliation for all. It is one of the few holidays in America that unites all citizens, rather than divides like religious holidays. Just because early settlers were Christian (most of them), does not make it a religious holiday. That's like saying that since Hitler had a mustache, that all people that have mustaches are mass murders. It's a false equivalent and nonsensical at best.

      December 16, 2010 at 11:25 am |
    • Bruce


      Good info, thanks. However, I'll keep it as I said, a silent Christian Holiday that focuses on being Thankful along with many other Christians. I don't think the way I will be celebrating Thanksgiving will alter your evolutionary process one bit.

      December 16, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • Luke

      So Jews don't get to celebrate? Muslims? Non-believers? My Australian friends in town visiting? Please explain.

      December 16, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
    • Bruce


      I've met someone like you. They would pick up on one thing and it become an issue. I do not celebrate what every other religion or culture does, but, I wish them the best in their tradition or celebration unless it is something that goes completely against what I beleive.

      December 16, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
    • Luke

      Bruce – That doesnt even make sense. You are merely distoriting history and facts in favor of your opinion. Nothing more, and nothing less. It must be just a lovely way to pass through life.

      December 16, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  14. CatholicMom

    There is no sense in getting hot under the collar over whether or not Senators work through Christmas Day or not. What they have to do is a never ending job. I want them to have a Merry Christmas and come back to work all the more empowered and determined to do what we voted them into office to do. I want them to have time to contemplate Christmas, draw strength from their Church, to endure and persevere towards making right decisions that affect us all. Merry Christmas to ALL!

    December 15, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
    • Luke

      What makes you think the majority of Senators contemplate Christmas and draw strength from their Church? Is that what Joe Lieberman will be doing? The vast majority of Americans have a meal at home and open expensive and needless gifts. Then they get drunk and wish the holidays were over because they're so damn stressful. What makes you think Senators are any different? There's a shiat-ton of things to get done. Work is far more important than a day off.

      December 15, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Catholic Mom: I think what these senators have to realize is having Christmas off is a privilege. Muslims, hindus, even jews, don't get their holidays off. Heck not even all of us get Christmas off. So to me this idea of respecting their holiday feels like the privileged not appreciating what they have. If they really were about respect, they would "respect" some other religions with holidays for them too. The very least they can do is get the work done before Christmas gets here. I have to work straight thru till Christmas Eve. I don't see why they don't put their nose to the grindstone and do the same. Then they can have their day off and get back to work the day after, like the rest of us. While they argue about disrespect, they are wasting our time.

      December 16, 2010 at 9:27 am |
    • ScottK

      By the way, Harry Reid is not asking anyone to work on Christmas Day, he has only left open the option of them coming back to work on the following Monday the 27th and working through the 30th, just like every other working middle class American. As much as F O X would like you to believe, there is no war on Christmas. There should be, but there isn't. The only thing thats destroying Christmas is Christmas itself which has hijacked by commercial interests.

      December 16, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  15. Peace2All

    Cheesus Cryist... !!!!!! What a mess this whole 'religion' thing seems to be at times. I would like to see our policy makers who are making decisions on 'billions' of dollars and that affect the lives of all Americans to get the job done and stop stalling. I could be wrong, but I don't think our soldiers( I'm sure there are a few counter-examples to this) get to come home for 'Christmas' and ship on out again, so why not the high-paid politicians stay in session and get the job done.


    December 15, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
    • Bruce


      I agree with everything you said but your use of Jesus' name and religion.

      December 15, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Good to know. I am glad we are able to 'agree' on something, given our seeming lack of being able to find any co-mmon ground on the 'H-o-o-kers for Jesus' article.

      Thanks -Bruce...


      December 16, 2010 at 1:25 am |
    • David Johnson

      This is not about religion. It is about the Republican determination to not let Obama appear to be effective, by passing any legislation.

      December 16, 2010 at 7:36 am |
    • Bruce



      December 16, 2010 at 7:42 am |
    • Frogist

      @David Johnson: I'm with you on that. But the Dems should really have found their balls earlier and pushed some of this stuff through before.

      December 16, 2010 at 9:19 am |
    • Steve the real one

      @David Johnson: This is not about religion. It is about the Republican determination to not let Obama appear to be effective, by passing any legislation.
      I would agree but Obama does not need any GOP help to be ineffective! He is doing that by himself! Well along with all his CZARS that is! Forgot about the Super Majority did we??

      December 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Shilohgl

      The reason you wont be at work on Christmas.

      December 19, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  16. Bob

    I'm sorry, a holiday cannot be "disrespected". Perhaps the real problem lies with senators who think that the US Government should in fact give their religion special credence.

    December 15, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.