Christmas cards or Christmas letter

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babbling looney's picture
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What say you guys.  I sent out nice cards last year and wrote a personal note in each one.  I'm thinking of sending out a Christmas letter that is more chatty and possibly summarizes the year with a local slant.  Having a hard time trying to decide what to say...plus it has to go to compliance first 
My insurance agent sends a card with a gift certificate for an ice cream cone at a local frosty. 
What ideas do you guys have for Christmas communications.

now_indy's picture
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If you have an attractive family (I'm lucky, I'm the only ugly one), I would recommend doing a picture Christmas card. I have done one every year, and my clients always comment on it.  It's really more like something you would send your friends and family, and I think clients like that.

troll's picture
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babbling looney wrote:What say you guys.  I sent out nice cards last year and wrote a personal note in each one.  I'm thinking of sending out a Christmas letter that is more chatty and possibly summarizes the year with a local slant.  Having a hard time trying to decide what to say...plus it has to go to compliance first 
My insurance agent sends a card with a gift certificate for an ice cream cone at a local frosty. 
What ideas do you guys have for Christmas communications. I think you should send out a picture card of you in a golf shirt.

Indyone's picture
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Joe...you bad boy!  I did the Christmas card with a personal note last year and delivered some Christmas candy to my A list.  My quandry is that I have my assistant sign my cards too, and my wife made a really cool Christmas postcard with a family picture (she's a professional photographer).  I'm trying to decide if I should order a bunch of extras and put them inside my Christmas cards...just decided to send the family postcard inside my business Christmas cards.
I think the handwritten note means the most.  I've honestly come to detest all of those stupid Christmas "letters" I get that end up being no more than brag sheets (although I know you're smarter than that, Babs).
JMO

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babbling looney wrote:My insurance agent sends a card with a gift certificate for an ice cream cone at a local frosty.  Ice cream in December?That's thoughtful.Generic, mass produced gifts are just that: generic.  Your personal note will be much more appreciated than any small gift.

babbling looney's picture
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I think you should send out a picture card of you in a golf shirt.
Very funny.... my clients know what I look like, however, mabye that picture of me in a naughty Santa's helper outfit????  KIDDING!!! 
I guess I'll just stick with a card and personal note and candy for the A list clients like Indyone did.  I don't like those bragging letters either, but can't really think of anything that would be topical and appealing to all of my clients. 
While we are at it, this is pretty cool to send to your clients in their birthday card  http://www.dmarie.com/timecap/     Run one for your own birthday.
My clients thought it was interesting and it gives an opening to talk about inflation and the need for growth in their portfolios. 

vbrainy's picture
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just a simple holiday card with a handwritten signature.

Indyone's picture
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I like the time capsule idea...thanks...

forge1's picture
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I like the letter idea. If anyone has a good letter, please post it so that we could get some ideas on what to write.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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forge1 wrote:
I like the letter idea. If anyone has a good letter, please post it so that we could get some ideas on what to write.

I can send you my letter, but the info about my wife and kids won't really relate to your particular situation. 
Here's one I struggled with this year.  Christmas or Holiday cards.  At my house we send Christmas cards.  Jesus IS the reason for the season.  If you're independant it probably isn't an issue because it's your business.  You're not putting LPL on the card.  But since I work for Jones, what do you people think about Christmas vs Holiday.  FYI, I went the Holiday route.

babbling looney's picture
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I decided on cards this year after all. 
I send two kinds.  One religious themed to those I know will appreciate it (the majority of my clients) and one holiday secular (kind of nature themed) to the rest of my clients or to those I know don't celebrate religiously or who are not Christian.

mranonymous2u's picture
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The season was here long before Jesus even ever showed up on the scene to be the reason.
Further the season didn't even show up until many years after jesus had shuffled forth the mortal coil.
The season has it's origins in Celtic mythology (as do a very high number of other supposedly Christian rites and rituals) because they were written into the bible by St. Patrick's monks (St. Pat instituted the monastic systam and the first job was transcribing the good book, and what good is a good book if you leave out some of the good local stories?)
Want to keep the Christ in Christmas? Fine, then I won't call it a "holiday tree" I'll call it a Christmas tree and demand that it be taken down from the village square! I tried to compromise with Xtians and now they want more.
We've decide to keep Christ in Christmas at my house. Which means we go to Church and say "Joy To the World". But that's IT! No presents, no nothing! That's what Jesus would want!
Instead we celebrate Robtmas (Robt being my sobriquet of choice and legality) on June 27th. This is better, we think for several reasons. First of all is that it really IS Robt's birthday (as opposed to December 25th which is not Christ's birthday, assuming he was ever born in the first place) so it really is a reason to party anyway.
Secondly is the whole present thing, here in the North East, thousands and thousands of children are about to get gifts that they can't even use until the snow goes away! Bicycles, Barbie Lambos, footballs, baseball gloves... the list is endless. On Robtmas, you get a present, you go outside and use it!
Then there is the big advantage to the kiddies. For the other guy's birthday, how long do you get off from school? A week? For Robtmas you get TWO MONTHS off (depending on your geographical location, not available in all states)! 
Then there is the decorating issue. You'd better believe when you get the most flammable substance know to man, stand it in the corner, wrap it with cheap electric cords and turn the humidity down to "dessicate"! Meanwhile, dad is on the ladder, stringing lights across the icy roof, and he'll have to get them back down when it's even colder in January!
We've had great success with it so far. For one thing, we roll up all those June events into one, father's day, anniversaries, graduations, birthdays and make them part of the big day. We've also garnered a constituency among thos peole born with a month of Christmas both ways who, for years, got half their present on the first day (say Christmas, and the second half the second day (say their birthday, in mid January) I knew one guy, got half a model airplane for Christmas, got the other half for his birthday January 17th!
I don't worry about the Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays cards themselves. I wonder about the "Happy" part!
Send hate mail to the PM box!
Mr. A (and now you know why!) 

babbling looney's picture
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Mr A...I'm with you.  Personally I don't enjoy Christmas and only decorate my office because everyone else does.  I hate the tree and often just throw the lights out with the tree instead of taking them off an using them again.  What a pain.  I send out the cards because if I didn't people would think it strange.  I hate wrapping presents and see no point in spending all that time and money on something that is just going to be burned up in the trash barrel.  We should all just use brown paper bags from the grocery store.
My birthday is in the first week of Jan and my birthday also sucked every year because Christmas took up all the gift giving energy and money.
The only thing good about Christmas besides all the food and drinking that goes on is that the days start getting longer again.
I don't mind that people want to celebrate a religious holiday, even though it does have a dubious coincidental date that aligns with the Celtic celebrations. I see no need to spoil everyone else's fun.  No skin off my nose.  God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and all that.  Do what you want.
Bah humbug.   Send my hate mail to Mr A as well 

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WOW...
I hope I never get where you 2 are.
This is absolutely a great time of year. I enjoy every minute of the season. Between now and Dec.25th I will watch every stupid Christmas special like "A Charlie Brown Xmas", "It's a Wonderful Life", etc... We will go to a half dozen parties including one this weekend, Our house is already decorated & can be seen from space! The holiday will culminate on Xmas day when we celebrate a great tradition...I will wake up with 8 visiting family members in the house who have flown in from all across the country & for the next few days we will all fellowship with each other just to share how much we love one another. I wouldn't trade it for anything, especially all the neat "toys" that I get to play with with my grandkids.
God bless yee merry men!

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Hmm...seems like I touched a nerve. 
Mr. A.  You need counseling.  You are correct on a few of your points, however.  First, you are correct that having some sort of celebration during the winter solstice was the norm well before Jesus came to earth.  Pope Julius I named Dec 25th as the day to celebrate Jesus' birth probably to incorporate the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival.  It didn't become a national holiday in the US until 1870. 
Second, I believe you could be right about Him not being born.  From a theological standpoint, which is what you are trying to argue, He was never "born."  How can someone who was and is and is to come be "born."  Since our feeble human minds can't grasp that concept, we conceptualize it into the only thing we have that relates.  Our own birthdays.  Acutally historians would tell you that your Robtmas holiday celebration may be closer to the actual birthday of Jesus. 
Finally, I don't believe that Jesus would want us to celebrate his birthday without presents.  I believe the greed and expense some families show is not what He wants, but if we are going to celebrate the entire event, why not give presents that are symbolic like the three kings did.  Also, He was the gift.  What better symbol can there be than giving a gift that shows your loved ones that  you are willing to sacrifice to make give them happiness.  It doesn't come close to equalling the gift that was given to us, but it's the best we can do. 
I don't think that those of us who are Christians want more.  I think we want to have the freedom to worship, act and believe with the same freedoms that those of you who don't share our faith enjoy.  If I'm a kid in high school I can't pray before a test, I can't read my Bible in study hall, I can't wear a shirt with Jesus on it, I can't have a Christian club that makes it's members sign a statement of faith to gain access all because it might offend the Jewish, hindu, muslim, wiccan, or athiest next to me.  You have the right to believe whatever you want.  Just don't make me hide mine because you can't handle it. 
Sorry for the rant.  I guess he touched a nerve. 

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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I think I've decided to send Christmas cards this year.

now_indy's picture
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Good post Spiff, I too am mailing out Merry Christmas cards to ALL my clients.   If I had a Jewish CPA, and he sent me a Happy Hannuka card, I wouldn't be offended. 
I think Seinfeld said it best, "If someone asks me where Israel is, I don't freak out."

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Only one?
I must be losing my touch!
No, I'm sorry, there is NO evidence that Jesus, the Christ ever existed at all. The faithful have often come to the conclusion that this is just proof of "His" existence. There being no proof solely a test of the faithful's faith, which only a miracle maker could have made.
Babs,
I'm not quite really sour on Christmas, it's more I'm sour on the fundies who jump up and down on my last Noel Nerve with their "War on Christmas" rhetoric.
Christmas is NOT a religious holiday for the vast majority of Americans (or at least the vast majority of the tiny minority that think like I do). It's a spending orgy and there's no reason it has to revolve around the winter solstice. Might as well have it revolve around someone who would appreciate it, Robt.
I smile inwardly at the expectations of my wife and children that somehow, I'll be able to afford their endless list of wants. Somehow I do afford it, amazingly enough, but hey they're working on that.
Regi,
That has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, except that you decide to make time for each other for this particular year part. (Which, for me, is not culminated until I hear the plop plop fizz fizz of a good hangover cure on January Oneth... and then there's the SuperBowl parties to look forward to...)
BTW, as Christmas culminates in New Years Eve Champaign, one week later, Robtmas culminates one week later with the July of Fourth (where the bubbly has names like Budweiser).
Spiff,
Yes, the Christians do want more, more, more (or some of them do, I can't really say because I'm not a Christian, I'm Catholic, right?). They want the country to be recognized as "A Christian Nation" when the guy most responsible for the nation's existence (Ben Franklin) was about as anti religion as you can get (so was Lincoln, but that's a different story).
I know of no law that says a student can't pray before a test (quite the contrary, that used to be the response of the separationists "there will always be prayer in school as long as there are math tests.") Nor is there any law that says a student can't read, silently, anything that is not pornographic in study hall (I guess I'd have trouble defending kid's rights to read the terrorists handbook, or some white power tome or other book designed to educate and advocate for hatred. I would, but I'd have a hard time doing so.)
You can't have the Christian club, but they can't have the Jewish club or the Hindu club either. Everybody has the same rules and somehow you see that as persecution of Christians.
Giving presents is the best you can do? Teaching your children that happiness comes from material possessions... I'm sure you've heard of the camel and the needle's eye. I'm quite sure you can do better, this is not your best.
Just keep in mind, I'm just having fun here. I'm not entirely serious.
Mr. A

jeno1000's picture
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Happy Festivus to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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mranonymous2u wrote:
Just keep in mind, I'm just having fun here. I'm not entirely serious.
Mr. A

Good, cause there for a minute you were some sort of weirdo.  By the way, there are numerous pieces of historical evidence that Jesus did exist.  Pliny, Josephus, Tacitus to give you a few names to Google.  Enough with the theology.  On to the presents.

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"...there are numerous pieces of historical evidence that Jesus did exist."
+ "Good, cause there for a minute you were some sort of weirdo."
You obviously need only the thinnest gossamer thread to believe.
Oh, I AM some sort of wierdo! Believe it! Especially from the standpoint of a fundie Xtian. But Scienstismists fine me untennable as well.
I guess you could call me a
Mr. A

Incredible Hulk's picture
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Mr. A

I'll pray for you.

Hulk

mranonymous2u's picture
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Hulk,
I'll read a book for you.
Mr. A

Starka's picture
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mranonymous2u wrote: Hulk,
I'll read a book for you.
Mr. A

Why don't you read 66 books for him? (Start with Genesis.)

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I prefer non fiction.
Mr. A

now_indy's picture
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mranonymous2u wrote:
I prefer non fiction.
Mr. A

You may want to check out Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. He was a journalist at the Chicago Tribune who sounded a lot like you.  He was an atheist when he started the book, and was not when he finished it.  This may not convince you that Jesus is the son of God, but it may make you rethink your "he probably didn't exist" stance.
http://www.amazon.com/Case-Christ-Journalists-Personal-Inves tigation/dp/0310209307/
Good book.

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1. Christ doesn't show up in the Old Testament (I'm assuming that there are 66 books in the OT and that was what Starka was referring to, after all, that's where Genesis is, right?)
2. People being swallowed by whales and Guys making Red Seas part and Guys loading 2 of each animal onto boats and people eating Quinces and being banished from Garden of Edens and women being turned into pillars of salt and and and and and and ... These are not works of a stictly Non Fiction  nature.
3. That's why they're called "Fundies" because it's so much fun to get them all aggitated!
4. A great book to read on the subject of King David is Joseph Heller's God Knows !
Mr. A
 

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Alzo alzo wik: http://www.bidstrup.com/apologetics.htm
Refutation of the Case for Christ charade.
Mr. A

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Some may recall that I have quit arguing with people about Jones because it's like trying to convert an atheist. The atheist likes to argue for the sake of arguing.

And they can argue their way right into hell.

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Incredible Hulk wrote:Some may recall that I have quit arguing with people about Jones because it's like trying to convert an atheist. The atheist likes to argue for the sake of arguing.

And they can argue their way right into hell.

uh...hell doesn't exist for atheists.  Hell only exists for believers in hell.

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Spaceman Spiff wrote:mranonymous2u wrote:
Just keep in mind, I'm just having fun here. I'm not entirely serious.
Mr. A

Good, cause there for a minute you were some sort of weirdo.  By the way, there are numerous pieces of historical evidence that Jesus did exist.  Pliny, Josephus, Tacitus to give you a few names to Google.  Enough with the theology.  On to the presents. Sorry, but none of those supposed sources provide historical evidence of the Jesus character.  The simple fact is that the Jesus character appears in only one book (the NT,) and that book is mutually exclusive with history, mutually exclusive with the "Old Testament," mutually exclusive with Jewish law and culture, and even mutually exclusive with itself.If Jesus had been an historical character, then Christians would not need faith...instead, they would have knowledge.

Starka's picture
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Try the Works of josephus, "The Antiques of the Jews". It makes specific
reference to Christ and other characters of the Biblical times of Jesus.

mktsystms's picture
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Starka wrote:Try the Works of josephus, "The Antiques of the Jews". It makes specific
reference to Christ and other characters of the Biblical times of Jesus.The tiny reference to Jesus was long ago proven to be a forgery.

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" The atheist likes to argue for the sake of arguing."
Fir.. (hey, what did I catch by copying your text?)
First off, What's with the "the atheist" what am I some kind of lab experiment? You're from the south, aren't you?
Secondly, I'm not arguing for the sake of arguing I'm trying to save your mortal mind! Just like you're trying to save my immortal soul (and neither of us has any proof that the other's exists). Religion as a belief system is a retardant to true knowledge. You don't want to be retarded, do you?
When you have the easy out of "because that's the way God wanted it!" there is no need to stretch your mind beyond what you know. You become like my daughter when we're doing her math homework, she'll turn her brain off because she knows that I will give her the answer (I didn't not become a teacher because it was too easy a profession, I didn't become a teacher because I haven't the talent for it). If you are willing to rely on "faith" you'll turn your brain off when the challenge gets too new for you to know what to do.
Further, atheists (which I did not say I was, believe it or not there is a whole world of ideas that are theist, deist, without being Christian, but you show your prejudice when you assume that people who question the Christ must not believe in any god.) are capable of having a discussion about the relative merits of religion without trying to "convert" anyone. But you apparently feel the need to proselytise, to bear witness of the glory of the Lord.
It's been said that the only sensible stand is agnosticism. And all in all I'd more likely describe myself as a Gnostic (an agnostic Gnostic, for sure). And if you're going to believe in Gospels, then why not believe in the Judas gospels?
Did you ever notice the similarities between the life stories of Socrates and Jesus?
Most of the mythology of Christianity is the same mythology of practically every religion on the face of the planet. Virgin birth? Happens all the time, mythologically speaking. Death and resurrection? How many times has Vishnu reappeared? The Buddhists believe that the Dalai Lama is the same guy being reincarnated again and again over the centuries.
Mr. A

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mktsystms wrote:
Starka wrote:Try the Works of josephus, "The Antiques of the Jews". It
makes specific
reference to Christ and other characters of the Biblical times of Jesus.[/
QUOTE]The tiny reference to Jesus was long ago proven to be a forgery.[/
QUOTE]

If that's true, why then is it still included in compilations of Josephus'
writings?

mranonymous2u's picture
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Who is doing the compiling? Certainly not Joe.
Mr. A

troll's picture
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mranonymous2u wrote:Who is doing the compiling? Certainly not Joe.
Mr. ANo I am not.

Indyone's picture
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OK, I've sat on the sidelines long enough...Indyone in RED...
mranonymous2u wrote: " The atheist likes to argue for the sake of arguing."
Fir.. (hey, what did I catch by copying your text?)
First off, What's with the "the atheist" what am I some kind of lab experiment? You're from the south, aren't you?
Secondly, I'm not arguing for the sake of arguing I'm trying to save your mortal mind! My mind is not in need of your saving grace.  Just like you're trying to save my immortal soul (and neither of us has any proof that the other's exists). Religion as a belief system is a retardant to true knowledge. You know, I've managed to get through high school, a four year bachelor's degree, the CPA exam and the CFP exam, all while (gasp!) harboring religeous beliefs and (for the most part...) functioning as a practicing Christian!  You don't want to be retarded, do you?  You can believe or not believe what you want, but insulting those who don't think as you do just undercuts your credibility and causes reasonable folks to question the validity of your argument.
When you have the easy out of "because that's the way God wanted it!" there is no need to stretch your mind beyond what you know. You become like my daughter when we're doing her math homework, she'll turn her brain off because she knows that I will give her the answer (I didn't not become a teacher because it was too easy a profession, I didn't become a teacher because I haven't the talent for it). If you are willing to rely on "faith" you'll turn your brain off when the challenge gets too new for you to know what to do. That's nothing but an unsubstantiated attempt to stereotype Christians.  If you were one, you'd know better.
Further, atheists (which I did not say I was, believe it or not there is a whole world of ideas that are theist, deist, without being Christian, but you show your prejudice when you assume that people who question the Christ must not believe in any god.) are capable of having a discussion about the relative merits of religion without trying to "convert" anyone. But you apparently feel the need to proselytise, to bear witness of the glory of the Lord. I think those that feel the need to do so are entitled to do so.  What you fail to realize is that most religeons are mutually exclusive in their beliefs.  The muslim worships Mohammed to the exclusion if Jesus Christ and the Christian does exactly the opposite.  If you believe in a form of theology, most likely, you will feel compelled to "proselytise" about it in an attempt to bring others into the light.  Yes, as a Christian, I am convinced that other religeons are false doctrine.  I'm just not naive enough to assume that everyone else "gets it" and I'm usually wise enough to not waste time on "those who will not hear", like I'm doing now...
It's been said that the only sensible stand is agnosticism. Oh please...by WHO?  Please tell me why their opinion is any more valid than mine.  And all in all I'd more likely describe myself as a Gnostic (an agnostic Gnostic, for sure). And if you're going to believe in Gospels, then why not believe in the Judas gospels?  That's the beauty of it...I can chose to believe in what I want...much like you.
Did you ever notice the similarities between the life stories of Socrates and Jesus?  Unless you're advocating that Socrates was the Messiah, I can't see any relevance here.
Most of the mythology of Christianity is the same mythology of practically every religion on the face of the planet. Ever think that perhaps other religeons are trying to emulate the real thing?  Virgin birth? Happens all the time, mythologically speaking. Death and resurrection? How many times has Vishnu reappeared? The Buddhists believe that the Dalai Lama is the same guy being reincarnated again and again over the centuries.
Mr. A
The beauty of America is that we all have the freedom to believe what we will.  I believe without reservation, and until you've been there, you won't understand it.  Someday you and I will both die and then the truth will be known to both of us.  If you're comfortable with your theories and your version of the truth, good for you...stay right where you are.  Frankly, just as you are tired of fundamentalists, I'm sick and tired of you calling Christians retarded, among other things.  If you don't have anything more constructive to contribute, why don't you crawl back under your rock?  You'll know the truth soon enough.

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Well said.

To that I'll only add that one day we'll all die. If we're wrong, well, we'll
hopefully be remembered as people who tried to live an upright life. On the
other hand, if we're right in our beliefs, you'll have eternity to rethink your
beliefs about the "myth".

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mranonymous2u wrote: Who is doing the compiling? Certainly not Joe.

Mr. A

Google it. Then take your pick.

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Indyone wrote:OK, I've sat on the sidelines long enough...Indyone in RED...
mranonymous2u wrote: " The atheist likes to argue for the sake of arguing."
Fir.. (hey, what did I catch by copying your text?) First off, What's with the "the atheist" what am I some kind of lab experiment? You're from the south, aren't you?
Secondly, I'm not arguing for the sake of arguing I'm trying to save your mortal mind! My mind is not in need of your saving grace.  Just like you're trying to save my immortal soul (and neither of us has any proof that the other's exists). Religion as a belief system is a retardant to true knowledge. You know, I've managed to get through high school, a four year bachelor's degree, the CPA exam and the CFP exam, all while (gasp!) harboring religeous beliefs and (for the most part...) functioning as a practicing Christian!  You don't want to be retarded, do you?  You can believe or not believe what you want, but insulting those who don't think as you do just undercuts your credibility and causes reasonable folks to question the validity of your argument.
When you have the easy out of "because that's the way God wanted it!" there is no need to stretch your mind beyond what you know. You become like my daughter when we're doing her math homework, she'll turn her brain off because she knows that I will give her the answer (I didn't not become a teacher because it was too easy a profession, I didn't become a teacher because I haven't the talent for it). If you are willing to rely on "faith" you'll turn your brain off when the challenge gets too new for you to know what to do. That's nothing but an unsubstantiated attempt to stereotype Christians.  If you were one, you'd know better.
Further, atheists (which I did not say I was, believe it or not there is a whole world of ideas that are theist, deist, without being Christian, but you show your prejudice when you assume that people who question the Christ must not believe in any god.) are capable of having a discussion about the relative merits of religion without trying to "convert" anyone. But you apparently feel the need to proselytise, to bear witness of the glory of the Lord. I think those that feel the need to do so are entitled to do so.  What you fail to realize is that most religeons are mutually exclusive in their beliefs.  The muslim worships Mohammed to the exclusion if Jesus Christ and the Christian does exactly the opposite.  If you believe in a form of theology, most likely, you will feel compelled to "proselytise" about it in an attempt to bring others into the light.  Yes, as a Christian, I am convinced that other religeons are false doctrine.  I'm just not naive enough to assume that everyone else "gets it" and I'm usually wise enough to not waste time on "those who will not hear", like I'm doing now...
It's been said that the only sensible stand is agnosticism. Oh please...by WHO?  Please tell me why their opinion is any more valid than mine.  And all in all I'd more likely describe myself as a Gnostic (an agnostic Gnostic, for sure). And if you're going to believe in Gospels, then why not believe in the Judas gospels?  That's the beauty of it...I can chose to believe in what I want...much like you.
Did you ever notice the similarities between the life stories of Socrates and Jesus?  Unless you're advocating that Socrates was the Messiah, I can't see any relevance here.
Most of the mythology of Christianity is the same mythology of practically every religion on the face of the planet. Ever think that perhaps other religeons are trying to emulate the real thing?  Virgin birth? Happens all the time, mythologically speaking. Death and resurrection? How many times has Vishnu reappeared? The Buddhists believe that the Dalai Lama is the same guy being reincarnated again and again over the centuries.
Mr. A
The beauty of America is that we all have the freedom to believe what we will.  I believe without reservation, and until you've been there, you won't understand it.  Someday you and I will both die and then the truth will be known to both of us.  If you're comfortable with your theories and your version of the truth, good for you...stay right where you are.  Frankly, just as you are tired of fundamentalists, I'm sick and tired of you calling Christians retarded, among other things.  If you don't have anything more constructive to contribute, why don't you crawl back under your rock?  You'll know the truth soon enough.WOW all these colors!  Where's BondGuy and mikebutler when we need them!!

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Indyone wrote:OK, I've sat on the sidelines long enough...Indyone in RED......I think those that feel the need to do so are entitled to do so.  What you fail to realize is that most religeons are mutually exclusive in their beliefs.  The muslim worships Mohammed to the exclusion if Jesus Christ and the Christian does exactly the opposite.  If you believe in a form of theology, most likely, you will feel compelled to "proselytise" about it in an attempt to bring others into the light.  Yes, as a Christian, I am convinced that other religeons are false doctrine.  I'm just not naive enough to assume that everyone else "gets it" and I'm usually wise enough to not waste time on "those who will not hear", like I'm doing now......Your statements are incorrect.  Muslims do not worship Mohammed.  For Muslims, Mohammed is a prophet,  He isn't God.  Religious Jews certainly believe in the tenets of Judaism, yet they do not proselytise. In fact,  they discourage people from converting into Judaism.The problem with Christianity is that the "Bible" it uses is internally mutually exclusive.  For example, throughout the "Old Testament" (and even in parts of the "New Testament") it states that "God is not a man."  Yet, Christians claim that Jesus (a man) is God...go figure.

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“My mind is not in need of your saving grace.” Grace (as if I had any) is not what saves minds, only usage can do that.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
 
“… but insulting those who don't think as you do just undercuts your credibility and causes reasonable folks to question the validity of your argument.” I didn’t insult anyone, I merely stated a fact and gave my reader the choice. Retard, as in impede; retarded as in impeded. It is the definition of religion, that it impedes reason. The very invention of the concept of reason is as a broadside to the poets and the storytellers of early <?:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Greece. Faith and reason are antithetical, in that reason requires that the very basis of a concept must be challenged and proved to be not an internally inconsistent presumption. Various groups at the time were looking for this truth in different ways. Pythagoras was one of those who saw perfection in mathematics (as an example). This is axiomatic (which is “If  A=B and B=C then A=C) there is no valid argument that can discredit the idea that Faith impedes reason, Faith retards reason. Do you want to be retarded? Yes or no?
 
“If you were one, you'd know better [than to stereotype].”
Holy Internally Inconsistent, Batman! Stereotyping me by saying that non-Christians are incapable of knowing! This is what is known as an ad hominem argument, wherein you opt not to offer any evidence or cite any source to support your position.
 
“I think those that feel the need to do [proselytize] so are entitled to do so.” Good for you! But the point that was being refuted was the notion that Atheists argue just for argument’s sake. It was not about one’s right to proselytize.
 
“… to not waste time on ‘those who will not hear’…” Ad Hominem. Here we have the exact example of retardation of reason. It is absolutely not that I will not hear, but you will rely on your faith to tell you that this is the situation. This is the sort of rhetorical device that the sophists resorted to when they crossed swords with Socrates and the early Philosophers. Sophists believed that truth was whatever could be most widely accepted as the truth. Early Philosophers believed that truth was an absolute that could only be found through thorough examination of the assumptions and presuppositions.
 
“Oh please... [agnosticism was said to be the only reasonable stand] by WHO[m]?”  
     As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God.
Bertrand Russell ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell )
 
“Please tell me why their opinion is any more valid than mine.” Do I really need to? Or can we agree that Nobel Laureates in literature might have gone through a tougher vetting process and peer review process than either of us. All men are created equal, but the same can not be said of opinions.
 
 
“...I can chose[sic] to believe in what I want...”  Yes, you can. But instead, you choose to believe in what others want you to. And if you choose to believe outside of the narrow slice that they have chosen for you, you are called a blasphemer, a heretic, an atheist and worse. That’s not choice, that’s not “Free Will” (the BIG one) that’s fear of coercion.
“Unless you're advocating that Socrates was the Messiah, I can't see any relevance here.” Look it up. I think you’ll be surprised at how much of the Socrates story is overlapped by the Christ story. Maybe then you’ll start to understand that these are mythological stories, created to appeal to new potential converts.
 
“Ever think that perhaps other religeons[sic] are trying to emulate the real thing?” Yeah, when I was 10 years old! But I eventually thought that maybe God had made these other religions too (that’s faith!)! And then, eventually, I came to a fuller understanding of the universe and god’s place in it.
 
“Frankly, just as you are tired of fundamentalists…” When did I say I was tired of Fundies? They’re delicious for breakfast!
 
“I'm sick and tired of you calling Christians retarded…” Once! I had said it once, and not in that tone of voice! That’s an awful thin skin you have covering that deep and abiding faith! I guess when you set up a belief system on the stories of martyrs, it’s to be expected that adherents will all look for the opportunity to feel persecuted.
 
Mr. A

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This is a debate going on not just on our little piece of the web, but all over the world.  Scientists for years have stated that there cannot be a God, simply because they cannot find any scientific proof that He exists.  Recently, the same scientists have recanted their previous statements and said that through all of the scientific study there have been things that happen that cannot be explained by anything other than a higher power enforcing his will on us. 
The biggest debate is creation.  For years the scientific world has told our school systems they cannot teach the idea of Biblical creation because there was no scientific proof that it happened the way Genesis said.  Their alternative is the Big Bang, or spontaneous generation, evolution and all of that.  Accidents.  My apologies for not having specifics with me at work, but there have been many scientists recently that have said that the mathematical possibilities of a single cell evolving into you and I are way beyond the reach of reality.  The result - Intelligent design.  The question is who. 
You're scientific mind struggles with accepting that it was God, not a god, the God that was the designer, simply because there's not a test that can be performed in a lab to prove it to you. 
I have always had some sort of respect for someone who doesn't believe as I do.  And a little pity.  Not much pity because you make your own decisions.  Respect in the fact that when you are agnostic or gnostic I feel it takes more faith to believe there isn't a God than that there is.  People like Indy, Starka, and I probably grew up in a church (mine was a Baptist one) where there wasn't any debate about whether God exists or not.  It is a lot more simple for us.  We know what we believe.  We've seen it work in our own lives.  I have two little adopted girls that look like my wife and I could have concieved them ourselves.  I choose to believe God knew that they were going to be in our family and therefore needed to look a certain way.  You might say it was complete coincidence.  I don't. 
Our two worlds are clashing.  You want every mention of God out of the public eye.  Out of the court system, out of the constitution, out of the stores this time of the year, out of our schools, etc.  And there are legislators trying to tell us what we can and can't do.  What you see as the fundies wanting more and more from you is just us trying to preserve our way of life without having to be afraid of being sued for telling someone Merry Christmas at Wal-Mart.
I'm glad you think you're more intelligent than us because we believe in God and Jesus.  At least you have convictions.  Paul wrote that God would rather us be hot or cold instead of luke warm.  Maybe I should start quoting Marx instead.   

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"Recently, the same scientists have recanted their previous statements and said that through all of the scientific study there have been things that happen that cannot be explained by anything other than a higher power enforcing his will on us"
Cite a source please!
"Paul wrote that God would rather us be hot or cold instead of luke warm. "
That was a personal matter between Paul and Luke, and I won't be dragged into their squabbles!
Evolution is very easy for me, you see, I'm a Catholic. We Catholics believe in the infallibility of the Pope. The Pope (the last one, not this one) made a Papal Lion (I think that's the terminology) stating that we evolved. The evidence is overwhelming, said he. We must recognize the advancements of our knowledge (6,000 year old flat earth centric universe anyone?).
"when you are agnostic or gnostic I feel it takes more faith to believe there isn't a God than that there is. "
Jesus Christ! Read a book would you please!? An agnostic is one who admits that he can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God. Generally, an agnostic is a person who believes in something but can't reconcile it to his everyday experience. A Gnostic is something COMPLETELY different!
Gnostics were a "cult" that believed in God, but not the anthropomorphic (Man like) God the Father type of God. They are essentially the ones who believed in "the Force" before they had any clue as to what the word Force meant (made for an easy A in physics class). It's MUCH easier to believe in god when god is the "life force".
The Judas Gospels are an agnostic gospel that tells of Judas and Jesus going round the bend and seeing the heavens open up and the players coming out and that they were able to bend the powers of the Gnostic forces to alter reality. Cool Stuff! Very Cool! But it won't make it into the New Testament.
Mr. A

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mranonymous2u wrote:"Recently, the same scientists have recanted their previous statements and said that through all of the scientific study there have been things that happen that cannot be explained by anything other than a higher power enforcing his will on us"
Cite a source please!
"Paul wrote that God would rather us be hot or cold instead of luke warm. "
That was a personal matter between Paul and Luke, and I won't be dragged into their squabbles!
Evolution is very easy for me, you see, I'm a Catholic. We Catholics believe in the infallibility of the Pope. The Pope (the last one, not this one) made a Papal Lion (I think that's the terminology) stating that we evolved. The evidence is overwhelming, said he. We must recognize the advancements of our knowledge (6,000 year old flat earth centric universe anyone?).
"when you are agnostic or gnostic I feel it takes more faith to believe there isn't a God than that there is. "
Jesus Christ! Read a book would you please!? An agnostic is one who admits that he can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God. Generally, an agnostic is a person who believes in something but can't reconcile it to his everyday experience. A Gnostic is something COMPLETELY different!
Gnostics were a "cult" that believed in God, but not the anthropomorphic (Man like) God the Father type of God. They are essentially the ones who believed in "the Force" before they had any clue as to what the word Force meant (made for an easy A in physics class). It's MUCH easier to believe in god when god is the "life force".
The Judas Gospels are an agnostic gospel that tells of Judas and Jesus going round the bend and seeing the heavens open up and the players coming out and that they were able to bend the powers of the Gnostic forces to alter reality. Cool Stuff! Very Cool! But it won't make it into the New Testament.
Mr. AYour ignorance is showing sir....If you believe ANY of what you write you may have been raised a Catholic, but now you are a Catholic in name only.Popes do not issue "Papal Lions".  They issue Papal Encyclicals and various other named documents and resolutions, but never have I heard of a "Papal Lion".One thing you do have in common with other Catholics is your complete disrespect and contempt for Christians of any other flavor.  I know so because I was raised as a Catholic, but now I am one of the "heathen" Christian faiths according to Rome and my local priest.  I might be a nice guy, but a non-person when it comes to whether or not I can be my (Catholic) niece's godparent in the eyes of the Roman Church.

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You see? That's the ad hominem. Instead of addressing the fact that the Pope endorsed evolution as factual, you went on about how I called something wrong (even though I noted that I might have had the terminology wrong, I have no faith in my own infallibility). Then you went on to scourge my faith and my religion.
Tch tch...
How is my upbringing any reflection on the facts about what agnostics are and what Gnostics were (are)? It's not. If you think you are telling me something I don't know about my Catholicism, you have another think coming. But, try as you all might, I will not make this discussion about Me or about You.
Would you care to reply again, and this time maybe you could show some proof of a 6,000 years young flat Earth that is the center of the universe? Leave the personal attacks at the recycle bin.
Mr. A
 
 
 
 

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mranonymous2u wrote:You see? That's the ad hominem. Instead of addressing the fact that the Pope endorsed evolution as factual, you went on about how I called something wrong (even though I noted that I might have had the terminology wrong, I have no faith in my own infallibility). Then you went on to scourge my faith and my religion.
Tch tch...
How is my upbringing any reflection on the facts about what agnostics are and what Gnostics were (are)? It's not. If you think you are telling me something I don't know about my Catholicism, you have another think coming. But, try as you all might, I will not make this discussion about Me or about You.
Would you care to reply again, and this time maybe you could show some proof of a 6,000 years young flat Earth that is the center of the universe? Leave the personal attacks at the recycle bin.
Mr. A

  Personally I have no problem with evolution.  In fact, I believe in it.  Whether the Pope recognizes it is no concern of mine.  I swear no allegience to Rome.I don't honestly understand how you refer to yourself as "Catholic".  Are you a C&E Catholic?  Or were you raised Catholic and you cling to that title even though you're no longer observant.I think it's a little hypocritical for you to play the 'ad hominem' card when you referred to many Christians as "retarded".

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Too much to respond to here when the phone keeps ringing, but I'll say these few things and shake the dust from my sandals...
1.  Absolutely Muslims worship Mohammed.  What else are you doing when you build shrines to someone?
2.  Mr. A, you were labled as someone who lacks knowledge about Christianity, not someone who knows nothing.  There's a big difference.
3.  "Those who will not hear" refers to those who reject Christianity.  It does not refer to people who will not listen.  You take things much too literally here.
4.  The argument that the opinion of a Nobel Laureate in literature is necessarily more important/valid in matters of theology than opposing or conflicting views is absurd.
5.  I believe of my own free will.  Period.
6.  My skin is thicker than you think...look how long I sat on the sideline reading your nonsense without responding.
7.  All the arguments you make here are meaningless when you're dead...one way or the other.
Merry Christmas...and peace on earth to all...

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Answer the question. Would you rather be retarded in your thought process? Yes or no.
I don't hold just Christians to this standard, I'll hold all faith based life forms to the same standard. But again, Christians personalize the point for their own persecutorial needs.
Mr. A

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 "Mr. A, you were labled as someone who lacks knowledge about Christianity, not someone who knows nothing.  There's a big difference." Yes, so now it's a case of circular logic and selective data. The biggest misconceptions about Christianity seems to be coming from the Christians here.
""Those who will not hear" refers to those who reject Christianity." Which was the context in which I responded. It's not that I reject Christianity it's faith I have issues with.
"The argument that the opinion of a Nobel Laureate in literature is necessarily more important/valid in matters of theology than opposing or conflicting views is absurd." PULEESE! "In 1950, Russell was made a Nobel Laureate in Literature, "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought"." And the question is not "Is his view more important/valid in matters of theology than opposing or conflicting views?" It is "Is his opinion more valid than Indyone's?" That was the question you asked.  The answer is unequivocally, yes!
You are still free to disagree with him, but it's not as if I'm citing Joe from the luncheonette.
"I believe of my own free will.  Period." It's not really about you in particular. I'm not here calling you names, or telling you what you have to believe. I'm not offering to pray for you. I'm just stating a series of facts.
Mr. A
 
 
 

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