I don’t see any method at all, sir

Is The War On Christmas becoming the right’s Vietnam? Steve M:

The Obamas can’t win. Via Matt Drudge, I see that Andrew Malcolm of Investor’s Business Daily is complaining that the First Family is overdoing the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Can’t they tone it down a little bit?

Amazing how a reelection can reshape an incumbent’s thinking about many things. Now safely ensconced in the White House for 49 more months, the Obamas have decorated the place with 54 Christmas trees this year.

Even allowing for the usual Washington excesses with taxpayer money, that’s a whole grove of Christmas trees..

[…]

Now, how much carbon do you suppose those 54 trees could be sequestering had they not been chopped by this green president?

(lead-in is Steve M, italics is Andrew Malcolm)

We’ve touched on this many times before, but damn, wingnut mythology is hard to follow.






224 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    No, it’s actually easy to follow: “Everything Obama does is wrong and evil”.

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – if President Obama could walk on water, they complain that that N*gger’s too lazy to swim.

  3. 3
    Tonal Crow says:

    @dmsilev:

    No, it’s actually easy to follow: “Everything Obama does is wrong and evil” [because he’s blackity-blackity-black and a Democrat]

    Edited to fully reflect wingnut thought.

  4. 4
    Violet says:

    but damn, wingnut mythology is hard to follow.

    No it’s not. Obama bad. Democrats bad. End of story. Logic need not apply.

  5. 5
    Mandalay says:

    You have actually written an entire post without using any of the words “feefees”, “totebagger” and “bobo”.

    I didn’t think you had it in you. Congratulations.

  6. 6
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    Outrage trolling. Prolechum.

  7. 7
    Liberty60 says:

    Can I be the first to invoke Cleek’s Law?

  8. 8
    different-church-lady says:

    We’ve touched on this many times before, but damn, wingnut mythology is hard to follow.

    Calvinball can be like that.

  9. 9
    NonyNony says:

    I would now like the rabid right to come out swinging about how evil Christmas trees are. How they are pagan symbols. And have nothing to do with Christmas. And how they should be banned. And how dare the White House have a pagan symbol so prominently displayed. And how this is proof positive that Obama is secretly the AntiChrist out to destroy Christianity.

    Honestly if they would turn the circular firing squad onto the War on Christmas I think my holiday season would be complete.

  10. 10
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I wonder if we could convince Obama to hang a picture of black Jesus in the White House? The noise from the wingers would reach 11.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Hill Dweller says:

    If I remember correctly, this douche made the same complaint last Christmas.

  13. 13
    slag says:

    Ahhh…If only they had put a giant inflatable snow globe on the White House lawn, the Obamas’ double agent status in the War on Christmas would finally be confirmed.

  14. 14
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @NonyNony: I had that idea for decorating my front yard. Put up little signs that state things like:

    The Christmas Tree is a pagan symbol
    The census that sent Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem was taken in what would be September.
    There were probably no animals in the manger.
    The wise men would have taken three years to travel to see Jesus.

  15. 15
    GregB says:

    I hear fat Al Gore will be Santa and he’s going to sit around a tree covered with Che Guevera, Mao, Saul Alinskey, Bill Ayers and Noam Chomskey ornaments and give out condoms, Korans, vegan snacks and UN memberships but only to children of gay families.

    White Christian children will be given a lump of coal and loaded on a boxcar headed to the nearest FEMA camp.

  16. 16
    Chris says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    The wise men would have taken three years to travel to see Jesus.

    Eh?

    Just for my own curiosity – how do you figure that? Do we know where they’re supposed to have come from, then? I was under the impression that the Bible was (characteristically) vague on that point.

  17. 17
    Jay C says:

    @GregB:

    White Christian children will be given a lump of coal and loaded on a boxcar headed to the nearest FEMA camp.

    But it will be CLEAN coal! – Must respect the environment! That’s why they use trains rather than trucks to “self-deport” undesirables….

    Is The War On Christmas becoming the right’s Vietnam?

    More like its Waterloo…..

  18. 18
    👽 Martin says:

    It’s even worse than all that. The WH trees are decorated with LED lights instead of, at a minimum, righteous American 100W incandescent bulbs. Mitt Romney would have tied little lumps of coal to the trees and dipped the garland in 100% American drilled crude and set them on fire.

    Fucking hippies.

  19. 19
    different-church-lady says:

    This country was made great on a foundation of private Christmas trees. Keep government out of Christmas!

  20. 20
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    Screeching monkeys… the harder they screech, the more the only listeners will be other screeching monkeys.

    Let them scream and throw feces

  21. 21
    Aet says:

    It’s an attempt at being funny. “He says he’s pro-environment but OMG TREES”.

    The thing is, when you are Of The Tribe, there is no consequence. And since there is no consequence of failure, there is no memory. There’s no need to reconcile an absurd position because they never said anything that conflicts with it. It’s just another part of their refusal to inhabit Reality.

    It’s why the right wing never developed an equivalent tracking sites to sites like ThinkProgress, and why they see nothing wrong with deleting anything. It’s also why they mistake Drudge for a news site.

  22. 22
    kindness says:

    Doug…what did you do? I got so used to your embellished names, plain ole DougJ sounds almost dull.

  23. 23
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Chris: I would have to dig it up, it was from a while ago. The basic argument I hear was based on their supposed origin and the swing by Herod’s.

  24. 24
    different-church-lady says:

    @Chris: Hell, how do we know they were even wise? I demand to see their college transcripts!

  25. 25
    the Conster says:

    Sometimes I amuse myself by imagining Snowbilly Snooki as President at Christmastime. Colored chasing lights outlining the White House, one of those giant rotating colored light wheels outside turning the portico from pink to red to orange to yellow to green, and a bunch of snow guns shooting fake snow into the air 24/7, while blaring Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer at ear splitting decibels.

  26. 26
    ThresherK says:

    There’s Andrew Malcolm.

    There’s also Ramirez (a.k.a. World’s Unfunniest Political Cartoonist Not Inking “Mallard Fillmore”.)

    Is there something in the water there which requires IBD to pick up every failure from the LATimes?

  27. 27
    General Stuck says:

    I always say. If you’re gonna fight a War On Christmas. Bring a bunch of motherfucking Christmas Trees. I don’t why I always say, just that I do.

  28. 28
    Chris says:

    @different-church-lady:

    They were in the Bible, therefore they must’ve been Right-Looking Anglo-Saxons, therefore there is no need to see their college transcripts.
    /wingnut

  29. 29
    different-church-lady says:

    @General Stuck: If you nodded smugly after you said it, you’d be full of win.

  30. 30
    different-church-lady says:

    @Chris: I’m pretty sure Judas and the Devil were also in the bible.

  31. 31
    JWL says:

    People and furniture were literally crashing through White House floors when Harry Truman first moved in. He eventually did the wise thing, moved out, and oversaw a much needed restoration. It didn’t stop him being attacked by republicans, however, who claimed it little more than a presidential vanity project on the taxpayer dime. The only time in my life that I ever felt sympatico with Nancy Reagan was the time she was criticized for whatever upgrade she caught similar flack for- she bought new curtains, or something like that.

  32. 32
    👽 Martin says:

    @the Conster: Don’t forget the new WH tradition of having each white house tour guest leave a present under the tree – not for the homeless, or kids, but for her and her family.

  33. 33
    different-church-lady says:

    @JWL: If it were up to republicans, they’d take every dime out of the White House upkeep budget and then complain Obama let the place go to hell.

  34. 34
    Calouste says:

    Of course by writing for IBD Andrew Malcolm self-identifies as an idiot, so he doesn’t know that the vast majority of Christmas trees in the US come from Christmas tree farms, and it doesn’t really impact the environment when you get one.

    Next up in wingnutland: Obama is environmentally unfriendly because he eats vegetables.

  35. 35
    different-church-lady says:

    @the Conster:

    Sometimes I amuse myself by imagining Snowbilly Snooki…

    Man, that is a really odd application of the concept of amusement.

  36. 36
    Joe73072 says:

    the right is looney.
    however, i need some clarifications. how many trees, really? 54?
    and how many last year? or how many during Bush?
    just curious.

  37. 37
    maya says:

    On Xmas eve, PBO will personally authorize the simultaneous use of DDD’s [ Dromedary Detonation Devices] at all church creche scenes in the DC area.

    Oh, Camel bomb, Oh, Camel bomb

  38. 38
    JoyfulA says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): IIRC, the pope made similar points last week.

  39. 39
    Regnad Kcin says:

    Also, too: what godforesaken remix does DougJ have where Martin Sheen’s line is sampled as a lyric?

    Such as.

  40. 40
    Bulworth says:

    Yeah but 54 Christmas Trees?! 52 would have been OK, maybe even 53 would have been no problem. But can’t you see the problem with 54? 54 Christmas Trees = Tyranny. /

  41. 41
    maya says:

    @JWL: Nancy R caught flack over a new set of china.

  42. 42
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Bulworth: Well, you’ve got to include the Joker Christmas trees to make it a real game.

  43. 43
    WereBear says:

    Mr WereBear posted a picture of one of the so-horrible Christmas trees at the White House as part of debunking the War on Christmas, and wingnut relative immediately shot back with a clumsily done graphic about Obama taking everyone’s pension.

    I usually have some kind of breadcrumb trail to follow, but that one gave me no purchase whatsoever.

  44. 44
    Mike in NC says:

    Back in the 90s some wingnut wrote yet another book “exposing” the corruption of the Clinton Administration, and he mentioned at some point how Hillary had a Christmas ornament that had been made from an aborted fetus! Anybody recall the title and author?

  45. 45
    Roger Moore says:

    @dmsilev:

    No, it’s actually easy to follow: “Everything Obama does is wrong and evil”.

    I think the standard phrasing is “four legs good, two legs bad”.

  46. 46
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    @WereBear: @Mike in NC:
    Wingnuts will just say anything. Wow

  47. 47
    joes527 says:

    Now, how much carbon do you suppose those 54 trees could be sequestering had they not been chopped by this green president?

    In the long term? none.

    If those 54 were destined to eventually burn or rot, their carbon is heading back into the atmosphere regardless of what the president does for Christmas. The only way to make a long term difference is to cut them down and stuff them into a disused deep coal mine which is about to be sealed up. (yes, yes, yes … in the loooooong term, even that may result in their carbon getting back into that atmosphere)

    So Obama could take the trees after Christmas and stick them in a deep hole somewhere and achieve the desired goal of …

    oh.

    You mean it wasn’t a serious question?

  48. 48
    Culture of Truth says:

    If it were up to republicans, they’d take every dime out of the White House upkeep budget and then complain Obama let the place go to hell.

    You mean like with embassy security?

  49. 49
    rlrr says:

    @Mike in NC:

    I dunno, but I predict the same claim will be made about the Obamas…

  50. 50
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Don’t forget:

    The Bible shows that Jesus was born in the spring — shepherds watch their flocks by night during spring lambing, not in the dead of winter

  51. 51
    maya says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    The wise men would have taken three years to travel to see Jesus.

    Yup. I’ve heard that too. And Jesus and the rents were still living there in that cruddy manger. Wow! They no doubt were part of the Occupy Bethlehem movement.

  52. 52
    Culture of Truth says:

    The Clintons hung crack pipes on the White House Christmas tree. That’s a just a well-known fact.

  53. 53
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Off topic, but had to laugh when I heard that Kid Rock told President Obama that he has “no hard feelings” about the elections.

    http://livewire.talkingpointsm.....d-feelings

  54. 54
    NonyNony says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Put up little signs that state things like:The Christmas Tree is a pagan symbol. The census that sent Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem was taken in what would be September. There were probably no animals in the manger. The wise men would have taken three years to travel to see Jesus.

    You want to see holiday cheer? Put up that display. Even if it is pretty much accepted knowledge by folks who actually study the bible for a living (and nothing a Catholic priest wouldn’t learn in seminary) if your neighborhood is anything like mine the signs would be gone and/or destroyed in a week.

    @Mike in NC:

    he mentioned at some point how Hillary had a Christmas ornament that had been made from an aborted fetus! Anybody recall the title and author?

    Was it “Things I Believe” by “I. M. A. CrazyPerson”?

  55. 55
    Gary K says:

    @NonyNony: Already done! Just check the comments at IBD (if you can stand swimming in sewage).

  56. 56
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Ummm…except that most Christmas trees are planted and raised to BE cut down for that purpose, and millions more are planted each year. So perhaps it could be argued that using Christmas tree farms trees actually HELPS the environment and atmosphere.

    Also too: Trees from forests where it is legal to cut them help reduce dead/dry undergrowth that becomes fuel for intense forest fires.

    So fuck these haters.

    That said, I think the White House decorating jumped the shark when Jackie Kennedy took over already, and it’s only gotten worse. This isn’t supposed to be Imperial Russia, people.

  57. 57
    joes527 says:

    BTW. I know Advent has begun, but it is still way too early to be putting up trees-n-shit. 1) they will be dead by christmas, and 2) you will be so sick of them by christmas that you will end up putting them in the garbage by the 26th.

    The kings don’t come ’till Jan 6 (or thereabouts) and it is rude to have thrown away all the party decorations before they get a chance to swing by and drink some ‘nog.

    Pace yourself, prez.

  58. 58
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @NonyNony: Oh, it’d go over about the same in my neighborhood. But that’s what makes it tempting.

  59. 59
    Mister Harvest says:

    @NonyNony: Well, Christmas trees are prohibited by Jeremiah 10:2-4. The IBD commenters may have brought that up, but I’m not able to read comments there, doctor’s orders. Hypertension, you know.

  60. 60
    JCJ says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    the swing by Herod’s

    They went shopping in London on the way there?

  61. 61
    NonyNony says:

    @Gary K:

    Already done! Just check the comments at IBD (if you can stand swimming in sewage).

    Yeah, I think I’ll pass. I’ll just wait until it shows up in bite-size form as a chain e-mail forward in my inbox from one of the right-wing family members that still haven’t learned that I mock them mercilessly when I get crap like that in my inbox.

    (Except this one I’d probably have more fun pointing out all of the places where they’re right. Since I love the pagan aspects of Christmas much more than the religious ones…)

  62. 62
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Obama responded that while he appreciates the fig leaf from Kid Rock, there’s no chance that either Obama or America will ever forgive him for “Only God Knows Why” and “American Bad Ass.”

    What’s really disturbing about the linked story is that apparently Kid Rock got to talk with Obama. How the hell does he rate? What’s next, will Obama have a chat with Milli Vanilli? Maybe a round-table with some Menudo cast-offs?

  63. 63
    Mike G says:

    If the White House only put up 53 Christmas trees it would be Hussein Ignores Christmas!! Sekrit Mooslim Hates Jeebus and Murka!!

    After the fact, wingnuts would solemnly intone that every Real Kkkristian Murkan knows that the only Murka-loving number of Christmas trees is 53.5.

  64. 64
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Mister Harvest:

    Well, Christmas trees are prohibited by Jeremiah 10:2-4

    Sorry, that’s a fundamentalist atheist trope. The passage clearly refers to carving and mounting and decorating IDOLS for worship, NOT Christmas trees.

    Sorry, but wacko, unsubstantiated bullshit from atheist zealots is just as annoying as that from their mirror twins on the other end of the spectrum.

  65. 65
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Sometimes I amuse myself by imagining Snowbilly Snooki as President at Christmastime.

    @the Conster: Right there with you. It’d be like Christmas in Vegas, complete with methed-up white trash copulating in the front yard on the hood of a pickup truck.

    God only knows what her kids would be doing.

  66. 66
    ruemara says:

    The whole thing is one long, “Negroes in charge are bad, amirite?”

  67. 67
    JWL says:

    @maya: Right. Just like drapery, only porcelain. The way some squealed, you’d have thought she had bought a maserati and turned the Lincoln Bedroom into its garage.

  68. 68
    👽 Martin says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Ummm…except that most Christmas trees are planted and raised to BE cut down for that purpose, and millions more are planted each year. So perhaps it could be argued that using Christmas tree farms trees actually HELPS the environment and atmosphere.

    Only 2% of US Christmas trees weren’t planted for the purpose of being cut. In some places (like here in SoCal) they need irrigation to grow, so that’s probably a net loss to the environment. The ones we buy are from Corvalis, OR. Usual helicopter trees. (Lars Larson earns a reference in that article.)

    In Oregon, it’s probably a net plus. They use helicopters because they don’t have roads going back there to use trucks. No need for irrigation, and effectively no property taxes on farms. Xmas trees are a large, but not huge economy for Oregon. It’s their 10th largest commodity crop. Without it, they’d probably be looking to turn that land into other kinds of agriculture – either other timber or farmland for the stuff that’s flat enough.

  69. 69
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Yup, nothing even remotely idol-like about ritualistically mounting a freshly cut tree in a place of honor in your home at the appointed time each year, decorating it with symbols of light and renewal, and using it as the focal point for gift-giving ceremonies.

    Obviously if the Bible was referring to Christmas trees it would have said so specifically by name, preferably in the King’s English.

  70. 70
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    So, Andrew Malcolm — Laura Bush’s former press secretary — got canned from the LA TImes, then, and has gone to the outlet of people who think the WSJ is too liberal? Apparently it was last year, and nobody noticed.

  71. 71
    Culture of Truth says:

    Didn’t the pilgrims ban christmas trees, and also christmas?

  72. 72
    Balconesfault says:

    My favorite was the local talk radio show taking umbrage at Gov. Chafee calling their tree in Rhode Island a “Holiday Tree”.

    “What other religion besides Christianity uses a decorated tree to symbolize their holiday?”

    The ignorance … it burns! Hopefully in some druid bonfire.

  73. 73
    Culture of Truth says:

    “White House Rejects GOP Fiscal Cliff Counteroffer”

  74. 74
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire: Pfft. While we’re at it, isn’t it a bit odd that the _entire first half of the Bible_ is suspiciously silent on the general subject of Christmas? All too convenient, if you ask me.

  75. 75
    Paul says:

    I never followed why FoxNews put so much emphasis on their so called “war on Xmas”. The way we and the western world celebrate Christmas in 2012 has just about nothing to do with Christianity. Heck, it is basically a mockery on Christianity.

  76. 76
    Raven says:

    Good news, my back-ordered flesh eating beetles have shipped!

  77. 77
    Roger Moore says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    Apparently it was last year, and nobody noticed.

    Those of us who were happy to see him leave the LA Times noticed he was gone. I hope you can forgive us for not caring enough about him to find out where he went.

  78. 78

    @👽 Martin:
    Fast growing immature densely distributed trees regularly trimmed produce a lot more oxygen/acre than mature forests.

  79. 79
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Balconesfault:

    The ignorance … it burns! Hopefully in some druid bonfire.

    What other CURRENT religion, particularly here in the U.S.?

  80. 80
    JPL says:

    @Raven: I know that GA lost and you are in mourning but flesh-eating insects won’t cure what ails you…

  81. 81
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Culture of Truth: The English didn’t get into Christmas trees until Victoria’s reign and she had one to please Albert. Christmas trees are really a Germanic custom. The English had yule logs and hanging pine stuff.

    Yes, the Pilgrims didn’t celebrate Christmas or Easter. From a Mayflower/Pilgrim history site: The Pilgrims did not celebrate Christmas and Easter. They believed that these holidays were invented by man to memorialize Jesus, and are not prescribed by the Bible or celebrated by the early Christian churches, and therefore cannot be considered Holy days.

  82. 82
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Now safely ensconced in the White House for 49 more months…

    “Safely ensconced,” as if the election was a fluke or an accident. What a condescending, sore-loser asshole.

  83. 83
    Culture of Truth says:

    do Mormons put up trees?

  84. 84
    Brachiator says:

    OT: Stop the presses

    After nearly two years of rumors, it’s official: Kate Middleton is pregnant!

    The news media has been given its official brief for the next nine months. Let the media deluge begin.

    And yes, whatever name they choose for the baby will become the most popular in the English speaking world.

    Unless it’s Honey Boo Boo.

  85. 85
    Raven says:

    @JPL: I’m hoping someone here has some knowledge of taxidermy. My giant redfish head is in the freezer ready to go!

    Like this

    http://images.crestock.com/420.....345-xs.jpg

  86. 86
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire:

    Oh, stop pretending to not know the difference between a symbol and an idol. No one observing a traditional European/American Christmas is worshiping their tree as a god.

    Except maybe you, in which case you are doing it wrong.

  87. 87
    Bago says:

    Outrage! Barry loves Christmas more than money!

  88. 88
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Didn’t the pilgrims ban christmas trees, and also christmas?

    I believe you are correct. It didn’t become THE major holiday in the U.S. until after the civil war, especially when the major retailers got hold of it.

    From a purely religious standpoint, Easter is still the more important Christian holiday.

  89. 89

    @Ted & Hellen: Wrong, yourself. I was ordained as a Pentecostal evangelist at age 17, and we didn’t put up Christmas trees precisely because of that passage. Besides, as any Sunday school student in my church could have explained to you, putting up a Christmas tree IS erecting an idol. The two are hardly mutually exclusive. You may have heard this passage from a “fundamentalist atheist”, but considering that the passage consists of the words of a Hebrew prophet invoked by CHRISTIAN fundamentalists against the pagan usages of Christmas might give you pause before you go around making attributions.

  90. 90
    Roger Moore says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    What a condescending, sore-loser asshole.

    He used to be Laura Bush’s press secretary, so it’s not as if this is unexpected. He’s a Republican hack who the LA Times unwisely gave a veneer of respectability.

  91. 91
    Culture of Truth says:

    Kardashian Diana Arthur George Victoria Windsor Mountbatten has a nice ring to it.

  92. 92
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Ted & Hellen: From a theological standpoint, yes, Easter is by far the more important holy day.

  93. 93
    Culture of Truth says:

    or if its a boy, Barack Henry Richard Hamlet Titus Andronicus Harry Albus Severus Lord of Cambridge

  94. 94
    Maude says:

    @👽 Martin:
    Trees come down from Canada to here in NJ. They are from tree farms. Also PA.
    NJ has tree farms and you can go cut your own or have someone there cut it.
    I do know that UK has tree farms.

  95. 95

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, the distinction between “symbol” and “idol” is one that has divided Christianity almost from its beginnings. They’ve been merrily torturing and killing each other for millenia over exactly that disagreement. Shame they didn’t have access to Ted & Hellen’s ineffable wisdom to sort it out for them, innit?

  96. 96
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Maude: The first year in my apartment in Woodside, I had living tree which I hoped would survive on my terrace. A friend got it for from a tree farm in upstate NY. (Unfortunately it didn’t last).

    The people who sell trees and wreaths a few blocks from my place come down from Canada.

    ETA: Haven’t decided yet if I’m getting a tree this year but I will get a wreath for the dining table.

  97. 97
    Roger Moore says:

    @Culture of Truth:
    I think they’re more or less required to throw an Arthur in there somewhere. I think they ought to break with tradition and give their kids hillbilly names like Jim-Bob or Bobbi-Sue.

  98. 98
    SatanicPanic says:

    He should have had 57 trees than announced that each one represented a state, just to troll the wingnuts

  99. 99
  100. 100
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of compassion:

    The Byzantines agree with you wholeheartedly.

  101. 101
    Mike G says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Yes, the Pilgrims didn’t celebrate Christmas or Easter.

    Next you’ll be telling me Jesus wasn’t an English-speaking American.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    Which probably means Christmas trees were popular in the American colonies long before they were popular in England since the colonies had a pretty large number of German immigrants even before the Revolution. (IIRC, Ben Franklin had a lot of “get off my lawn!” comments about those damn German-speaking immigrants going around speaking German in Pennsylvania.)

  103. 103
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of compassion:

    I was ordained as a Pentecostal evangelist at age 17, and we didn’t put up Christmas trees precisely because of that passage.

    Well, then, how fitting that you were taught by fundamentalist Christian wackos to believe the same idiocy that a fundamentalist atheist wacko is spouting.

    The passage clearly refers to idol worship. The fact that your sect interprets it otherwise is just one reason it has always been out of the mainstream.

    Again, no Christian celebrating a traditional American/European Christmas is worshiping their Christmas tree. By your very own admission, your group didn’t celebrate it, ergo your point is moot.

  104. 104
    Culture of Truth says:

    nothing says ancient middle eastern judaic ritual like cutting down a fir tree, putting in your living room and decorating it with candles, tinsel, glass ball and fake snow.

  105. 105
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of compassion:

    I’m pretty sure that a “symbol” is something that’s important to my religion while an “idol” is something that’s important to your religion. ;-)

    Also, too, I think the Holy Petting Zoo at the Episcopalian church near my house is coming up soon — I’ll have to check the dates. (They call it a “Living Creche” but, come on, it’s a petting zoo. I’m pretty sure there were no llamas in Bethlehem.)

  106. 106
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Mike G: LOL

    @Mnemosyne: That could be and it makes sense. The first White House Christmas tree was put up for Benjamin Harrison in 1889.

    ETA: The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine has 2 (3?) peacocks which roam freely around it’s grounds. I forget the back story though, of how they got the peacocks.

  107. 107

    Shorter Ted’n’Hellen. Anyone pointing out that I don’t know what I’m talking about is clearly unqualified to say so! Because shut up, that’s why!

  108. 108
    Chris says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Let me get this straight: you’re purporting to know exactly what the Bible meant about this topic and what everyone should believe, despite the fact that as he just explained to you, different people have different interpretations of these passages. He’s the one pointing out that “what’s the line between an idol and a symbol?” and “is a Christmas tree an idol?” are arguments that are still ongoing within Christianity.

    And… he’s the fundamentalist whackjob.

    Okay then. I just wanted to be clear.

  109. 109
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of compassion:

    I’d be willing to bet most Christians have never tortured or killed anyone. I was raised Lutheran, and gee, I don’t recall ANY human sacrifices or anything like that.

    I’m not affiliated with ANY church, nor have I been for many years, but the broad brush ravings of your type are just as stupid as those of Jerry Falwell and his.

    Jesus as presented in the Bible, pretty sure he didn’t kill or torture anyone either.

  110. 110
  111. 111
    Bago says:

    @Ted & Hellen: if we only fundamentally understood which physical tokens were sacred and venerated them properly.

  112. 112

    @Ted & Hellen: Ted et Helene? The history of the last two thousand years of Western civilization is on line one, and would like a word with you.

  113. 113
    JPL says:

    @Raven: nice…

  114. 114
  115. 115
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire: LOL. So you’re not a Kid Rock fan, huh? President Obama looks like the kind of guy who is nice enough to talk to everyone — even Republicans who obviously hate his guts (like Orange Man Boehner). Don’t know how he does it.

  116. 116
  117. 117
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Chris:

    Chris, I can tell you’re a bit dim, so follow along carefully:

    If I do not worship my Christmas tree as an idol or a god in my home, then the Christmas tree in my home is not an idol. It is a really pretty and magical looking DECORATION that symbolizes to me whatever I choose in my head for it to symbolize.

    Someone outside my home does not get to decide for me what the tree is in my home.

    Now, if that person wants to put up a Christmas tree and decorate it, and then say “oh my god, we are worshiping this tree and it looks like an idol and maybe even a god, and so we’d better take it down and throw it out,” that is cool too.

    But MY tree is still just a decoration, see?

    Unless it starts speaking to me and bossing us around, in which case I will reconsider…

  118. 118
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think they’re more or less required to throw an Arthur in there somewhere.

    Yeah, but rarely as a first name. And Arthur would never be selected as the king’s name. You use Arthur and you better have a sword called Excalibur with you, and have a wizard named Merlin as your prime minister.

    Also, John has more or less been formally retired for centuries. The first John kind fucked things up, and pissed off too many people.

    If the kid is a girl, you know there has got to be an Elizabeth in there. If they also used Diana, the British people would eat it up so hard they might jump over Charles as the next monarch and go directly to Willie.

    @Culture of Truth:

    nothing says ancient middle eastern judaic ritual like cutting down a fir tree, putting in your living room and decorating it with candles, tinsel, glass ball and fake snow.

    Nope. The popularity of the Christmas tree is all due to Prince Albert. It was shown on card and other published matter, and soon became all the rage in the US.

    A woodcut of the British Royal family with their Christmas tree at Windsor Castle, initially published in the Illustrated London News December 1848, was copied in the United States at Christmas 1850, in Godey’s Lady’s Book. Godey’s copied it exactly, except for the removal of the Queen’s tiara and Prince Albert’s mustache, to remake the engraving into an American scene. The republished Godey’s image became the first widely circulated picture of a decorated evergreen Christmas tree in America.

    There had been Christmas trees in America before this, but copying the royal family turned it into a huge national thing, as opposed to a German American and semi Scandanavian thing.

  119. 119
    Chris says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Oh, I’m delighted to be enlightened. There’s just one problem. The passage I was responding to didn’t include ANY qualifications like “this is MY Christmas tree, MY point of view.” It was a statement of objective fact as to what the Bible meant. “The passage clearly refers…” etc.

    Nice try.

  120. 120
  121. 121
    Steeplejack says:

    @Brachiator:

    Let me be first in with Rupert.

  122. 122
    Chris says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of compassion:

    Things mean what I say they mean.

    NO! What I say! SPLITTIST!

  123. 123
    Paul says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I’d be willing to bet most Christians have never tortured or killed anyone

    Perhaps not. But when polled Catholics in our country has been more approving than atheists in our country of torturing terrorists (Who gets to define what is exactly a terrorist is?).

    This reminds me of something Gandhi once is quoted as saying:
    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

  124. 124
  125. 125

    @Paul: I feel about Jesus like I do about Elvis. I respect the man’s work, but his fans get on my nerves.

  126. 126
    Chris says:

    @Paul:

    I never followed why FoxNews put so much emphasis on their so called “war on Xmas”. The way we and the western world celebrate Christmas in 2012 has just about nothing to do with Christianity. Heck, it is basically a mockery on Christianity.

    The funny thing is, I’ve heard quite a few conservatives (not online or on the news, just in person) rant and rave about how consumerism and shallowness have destroyed the meaning of Christmas. Never quite seem to link it to the Randroid ethic in which every last thing on Earth is an opportunity for making money, though. It’s usually blamed on the liberal multicultural elite, somehow.

  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Henry VII named his first son Arthur, but he ended up dying young, so I think there’s a bad luck vibe to doing that. (Henry VII was trying to cement his claim to the throne, which was pretty tenuous other than “I managed to kill the other guy,” but apparently the Fates decided he’d gone a little too far.)

    Also, there will never be another King Richard after what Richard III did to gain his throne.

    ETA: I’m kind of surprised the Hanovers (Georges I, II and III) didn’t manage to import the Christmas tree to England, but I guess they had to be fairly careful to try and fit in since they were brought in because they were Protestants, not because they had a strong claim to the throne.

  128. 128
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of compassion:

    Things mean what I say they mean.

    Are you disagreeing with my larger point? Actually, for the most part, things DO mean what we, individually, decide they mean.

  129. 129
    Chris says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of compassion:

    Heretic!

    But yes, I do know how you feel (re your next point).

  130. 130
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Also, there will never be another King Richard after what Richard III did to gain his throne.

    Totally a bum rap!

    (A thread really can’t have too many flame topics.)

  131. 131

    @Ted & Hellen: I’m sorry. You had a larger point? Are you sure you made it?

  132. 132
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    Yeah, but rarely as a first name. And Arthur would never be selected as the king’s name.

    Maybe not today, but Henry VIII’s older brother was named Arthur explicitly to invoke the image of the legendary king. He would have been king, too, if he hadn’t predeceased Henry VII.

    Also, John has more or less been formally retired for centuries. The first John kind fucked things up, and pissed off too many people.

    Also, too, Stephen and Richard, though it took three bad kings to get Richard on the forbidden list. It’s also worth pointing out that Prince Charles has stated that he’d like to reign as King George IX rather than Charles III, which would seem to support the idea that Charles and James are informally on the “no future kings” list.

  133. 133
    TerryC says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Sorry, I am now an apatheist, but was raised in the liberal Church of Christ. When I first read that passage, it made me think of Christmas trees. Of course, I was on the verge of becoming agnostic at the time. I still consider them to be the equivalent of idols.

    Even if they’re not mine.

  134. 134
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Henry VII named his first son Arthur, but he ended up dying young, so I think there’s a bad luck vibe to doing that. (Henry VII was trying to cement his claim to the throne, which was pretty tenuous other than “I managed to kill the other guy,” but apparently the Fates decided he’d gone a little too far.)

    Yep. Henry VII selected Arthur for his son’s name to strengthen his claim to the throne, but we’ll never know whether Arthur would have stuck as the official king name.

    Also, since Arthur is more mythical than anything else, and no one can claim any descent from Arthur, it would be unlikely ever to be used as a formal name.

    And yeah, Richard, along with John is the other “forbidden name.” And even if Richard got a bum rap, there is too much to do to rehabilitate the name. Same may also be true of Stephen.

    I wish they would bring back Matilda. That would be really old school.

    And yes, I know too much British history, especially about the monarchy.

    I’m kind of surprised the Hanovers (Georges I, II and III) didn’t manage to import the Christmas tree to England,

    Some of this bunch barely wanted to be in England.

  135. 135
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Got moderated. Let’s try the Revised Standard version

    Henry VII named his first son Arthur, but he ended up dying young, so I think there’s a bad luck vibe to doing that.

    Yep. Henry VII selected Arthur for his son’s name to strengthen his claim to the throne, but we’ll never know whether Arthur would have stuck as the official king name.

    Also, since Arthur is more mythical than anything else, and no one can claim any descent from Arthur, it would be unlikely ever to be used as a formal name.

    And yeah, Richard, along with John is the other “forbidden name.” And even if Richard got a bum rap, there is too much to do to rehabilitate the name. Same may also be true of Stephen.

    I wish they would bring back Matilda. That would be really old school.

  136. 136

    @Brachiator: Nobody beats the House of Orange for old school royalty names. Beatrix!

  137. 137
    MikeJ says:

    @Brachiator: Æthelred

  138. 138
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Smiling Mortician:
    @Brachiator:

    Sorry, Ricardians — not a bum rap. Both princes were in Richard’s custody at the Tower of London when they conveniently disappeared. He was neither hunchbacked nor deformed, but he almost certainly killed his underage nephews after usurping the throne from them.

    I wish they would bring back Matilda. That would be really old school.

    They have actually changed the law of succession so that it’s strictly by age, so a first-born daughter would automatically be the heir (heiress?) to the throne. So who knows?

    (But a firstborn girl probably would be another Elizabeth.)

  139. 139
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think you lost track of your Georges — Charles would become George VII since his grandfather was George VI.

  140. 140
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Prince Charles has stated that he’d like to reign as King George IX rather than Charles III, which would seem to support the idea that Charles and James are informally on the “no future kings” list.

    James may be retired if Scotland chooses independence.

    I can see Charles picking George, but it seems so old, and typically out of touch. Something like Johnny Two Bad would be cool. Also, would it really be George IX?

    Oh, yeah, William should add Doctor Who as part of his kid’s name if a boy.

  141. 141
    Unsympathetic says:

    The best ammunition he’s got to find something wrong with Obama’s 54 trees is… carbon sequestration?

    You mean.. a concept that he wouldn’t have the faintest clue about were it not for the near-university-level courses on CO2 Forcing [We Shall Not Mention Global Warming] he’s had to endure?

    Please continue, Mr. Reporter.

  142. 142
  143. 143
    Mister Harvest says:

    @@The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of compassion:

    I believe the argument goes like this:

    “You know, by an entirely plausible reading of Jeremiah 10:2-4, Christmas trees are specifically prohibited.”

    TH: “That’s a typical fundamentalist atheist interpretation! No one believes that!”

    Chorus: “Uh, dude, yeah, lots of modern day Christians believe that.”

    TH: “Well, *I* don’t believe it!”

    Chorus: “And that’s relevant how?”

    TH: “Wow, you people are sure stupid.”

    Chorus: “Why did we think this conversation would be different this time?”

  144. 144

    If there’s ever a call for a reading of the Balloon Juice minutes, I nominate you, sir!

  145. 145
    Yutsano says:

    @Brachiator: Well shit if you’re going to turn that knife might as well have a John II.

    I have a feeling it’ll be a girl though. I’m hoping for something with an Eastern European flair like Anya.

  146. 146
    Mike E says:

    @Culture of Truth: Read The Man Who Invented Christmas; the culprit was Charles Dickens

  147. 147
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    They have actually changed the law of succession so that it’s strictly by age, so a first-born daughter would automatically be the heir (heiress?) to the throne. So who knows?

    Yep.

    (But a firstborn girl probably would be another Elizabeth.)

    Elizabeth would be in there, and possibly Victoria, maybe Alexandra and Anne. But the kid would have her choice of names, though I agree that Elizabeth would be the most likely selection.

  148. 148
    Darkrose says:

    @Brachiator: Is Charles actually going to get to be king? I kind of got the impression that no one wanted that, including him.

  149. 149
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    (But a firstborn girl probably would be another Elizabeth.)

    No way! They need to go with something really hip and trendy, like Madison Ava Mia Avery Brooklyn Windsor Mountbatten.

  150. 150
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Darkrose: Well, if he’s going to remove himself from the line of succession, he’d better get at it. Liz2 isn’t getting any younger, and she’s getting up there even for Windsor women.

  151. 151
    Brachiator says:

    @Yutsano:

    I have a feeling it’ll be a girl though. I’m hoping for something with an Eastern European flair like Anya

    That might be fun. Or Angelina Jolie Diana Malia Elizabeth.

  152. 152
    Brachiator says:

    @Darkrose:

    Is Charles actually going to get to be king? I kind of got the impression that no one wanted that, including him.

    Camilla wants it. Bad.

  153. 153

    King Camilla! It has a certain ring, you must admit.

  154. 154
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Brachiator:

    Camilla wants it. Bad.

    But isn’t their marriage agnatic? She doesn’t get to be styled Queen, does she?

  155. 155
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Roger Moore: There has already been a Charles III, unofficially — Charles Stuart, the Young Pretender was given the title by the Pope after the 1745 rebellion. Not something the current Royal family are likely to pay attention to though.

    Charlie POW (Prince Of Wales or Pissed Off Waiting, depending on who is leaking gossip around the Household) admires his grandfather George VI very much. He took over after the Edward VII Affair in the late 30s and reigned through WWII with some dignity hence Charlie’s rumoured desire to reign as George VII. Next one up is William who, if he takes that name will become King Billy to certain factions within British society.

  156. 156
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Mister Harvest: Camilla would be titled Princess Consort, like Phil the Greek isn’t King but “just” Prince Philip. Diana got the Princess automatically as first-married to the Heir, Camilla won’t until Liz either steps down or is carried out of Buck House feet first.

  157. 157
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Mister Harvest:

    “Uh, dude, yeah, lots of modern day Christians believe that.”

    Actually, of course, DUDE, that’s not true…

    Unlike the average Repblican, you’re not allowed to just throw out the word “lots” as though it necessarily means something; in the U.S. 93% of somewhat religious or very religious Christians PUT UP a Christmas Tree. 80% percent of All Americans do so. I think we can assume very FEW Christians believe the tree is an idol.

    And if they do…then they can just NOT put one up. OR they can put one up and worship it as a god if they choose.

    Google would be your friend if you would allow it to be so.

  158. 158
    Roger Moore says:

    @Robert Sneddon:

    There has already been a Charles III, unofficially—Charles Stuart, the Young Pretender was given the title by the Pope after the 1745 rebellion. Not something the current Royal family are likely to pay attention to though.

    Yes, I would assume that the status of the Young Pretender means somewhat less than jack squat to the Royal Family, especially considering that his claim would only be valid if theirs wasn’t.

  159. 159
    sb says:

    Andrew Malcolm is a piece of shit. Period. Full stop.

  160. 160
    Lojasmo says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Sorry, that’s a fundamentalist atheist trope. The passage clearly refers to carving and mounting and decorating IDOLS for worship, NOT Christmas trees.

    Said the stupidest biblical scholar ever.

  161. 161
    Lojasmo says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Wikka, Paegainsm, Druidism.

    Yes, all currently practiced in the US, dimwit.

  162. 162

    @Ted & Hellen: The word “lots” means what I say it means! Mr. Lutheran might want to rethink the whole theology of the majority position, though. Most Christians aren’t Lutherans, either, which according to this argument, invalidates the sect. Or are only non-Lutherans sects? Or are we only submitting those doctrinal points that T-N-H disagrees with to popular vote? Which round of Calvinball is this, anyway?

  163. 163
  164. 164
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Ted & Hellen: So, how many Christians need to believe it before it is no longer a fundamentalist atheist trope? Please be specific and quantitative.

    I think it is safe to say that exactly zero fundamentalist atheists believe that having a Christmas tree is idolatry, not believing in idols and all.

  165. 165
    Keith G says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I’d be willing to bet most Christians have never tortured or killed anyone

    Give them time. Give them time.

  166. 166
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Lojasmo:

    Wikka, Paegainsm, Druidism.

    And they use it as a CHRISTMAS TREE, you idiot?

    You may apologize now.

  167. 167

    @Ted & Hellen: Exactly how does Lojasmo’s pointing out that your earlier statement (that druidism is not a living religion) is as factually challenged as all of your other assertions make him or her an idiot? Those goal posts might be less trouble to keep moving if you put wheels on them. You may apologize now.

  168. 168
    redshirt says:

    Is our resident troll getting dumber? Or just trollier?

  169. 169
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Robert Sneddon:

    There has already been a Charles III, unofficially—Charles Stuart, the Young Pretender was given the title by the Pope after the 1745 rebellion. Not something the current Royal family are likely to pay attention to though.

    They might pay attention in the sense of, “Meh, too much trouble and controversy.” And it’s not like it’s unprecedented — George VI was called “Albert” until he ascended the throne (“Bertie” within the family) just as his brother Edward VIII was called “David.”

  170. 170
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @T&H: Sheesh. There are lots of American Christians who believe stupid things like “Christmas trees are pagan idols” and “the world is 6000 years old” and “God Himself chose George W. Bush to lead us.” Yes, it’s true that most Christians are sane, but lets not pretend that a few million of them aren’t.

    So for you to complain that fundamentalist atheists (what the fuck does that even mean?) made up this cra-a-a-aazy bible interpretation to… do something or other. Make Christianity seem silly? Atheists can’t claim credit for that, I’m afraid.

    And if you think nobody is worshipping that X-mas tree, I must assume you don’t know any young children. Or you never were one, I suppose.

  171. 171
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of compassion:

    OK, OK…I concede the point that these ARE current religions, however tiny to the point of irrelevance.

    So how does that alter the fact that the VAST majority of American Christians and non Christians put up the tree as a CHRISTMAS TREE; and they don’t worship it as a god?

    Only fundie atheists and christians give a shit about that.

    You guys are reaching for irrelevant exceptions that prove the rule. And all of you are Obots, which again, seems relevant to the discussion.

    If I were a comrade Obot, you would be telling me how interesting my point of view is.

  172. 172
    Origuy says:

    I’d like to see one of the old Anglo-Saxon names like Æthelred, or Danish like Cnut, but that’s problematic because when the Normans took over they didn’t count the previous line in their numbering scheme. Edward Longshanks should have been Edward III, but Edward the Martyr and Edward the Confessor got pushed aside.

    Actually, I think they should use one of the names from Scottish royalty, like Alexander or Malcolm. It might sway some independence-minded Scots.

  173. 173
    Keith G says:

    @Mnemosyne: If it’s a male, I think they need to turn back to the deep roots of Roman Britain for a name that would bring the monarchy into the new century: Justinian I.

    That’s right, some day that young man would enroll at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as Prince Justin.

  174. 174
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire:

    And if you think nobody is worshipping that X-mas tree, I must assume you don’t know any young children. Or you never were one, I suppose.

    See, this is the deal: Statements like that make sanctimonious atheism and sanctimonious Christianity seem awfully similar: The common thread is a puritanical killjoy affect.

    No, I didn’t “worship” the Christmas tree, growing up. I thought, and still think, that it is magically beautiful, and sort of mysterious when lit at night, and vastly evocative…just by the sheer beauty it possesses. I’m thinking of a traditional evergreen here, not the fake shit or aluminum or anything of course. But I’m sure if that’s what others grew up with they find many of the same joys in seeing each year’s version.

  175. 175
    Lordwhorfin says:

    @Mike in NC: I think that’s probably Gary Aldrich of the ‘crack pipe and condoms’ claims from his Unlimited Access (Regnery 1996 of course). I don’t remember specific fetus quotes, but do remember his total fauxtrage regarding what he claimed to have seen of Gingerbreadmen with cock-rings in the White House. Lying nutbagger.

  176. 176
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Ted & Hellen: No True Scotsman Christian believes Jeremiah 10:2-4 prohibits Christmas trees. Therefore, anyone who believes that isn’t really a Christian, so fundamentalist atheists made the whole thing up.

    Unlike everything else in the Bible, which is sensible and beyond reproach? Or something?

    Really, I have no idea what point you were trying to make.

    And all of you are Obots, which again, seems relevant to the discussion.

    You have a really idiosyncratic definition of “relevant,” mon ami. Given that the whole start of the thread was Obama putting 54 Christmas trees in the White House, it seems a bit weird to say that, therefore, all of Obots hate Christmas trees.

    But, you know, weird is where it’s at.

  177. 177
    MikeJ says:

    @Origuy:

    or Danish like Cnut,

    Let’s just appoint Sandi Toksvig queen.

  178. 178
    Mike G says:

    Charlie POW (Prince Of Wales or Pissed Off Waiting, depending on who is leaking gossip around the Household)

    Waiting for your mom to die so you can take her job.
    What a life.

  179. 179
    redshirt says:

    Dakota Spice Track HoneyBooBoo the First

  180. 180
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Ted & Hellen: There is nothing like being yelled at through clenched teeth about how I’m failing to fully appreciate magic, life and joy by quoting the Bible.

  181. 181
    Thoughtful David says:

    @maya: I give you the internets tonight.

  182. 182
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Mister Harvest:

    The clenched teeth regard fundie BJ atheists who enjoy projecting onto ALL “christians” the most ridiculous steretypes they can think of; and in so doing become just like the people they loathe on the other end.

    Desperate, they pretend to believe things such as there being a significant number of practicing American Christians who regard a Christmas tree as an idol, an object of worship. It’s pathetic.

  183. 183
    rikyrah says:

    Christmas as the White House is one of my favorite things..I love it…and it tickles me that Michelle Obama is First Lady.

    she could have 200 trees, and I wouldn’t care.

    these people have nothing..

    nothing…

    and it kills them.

  184. 184
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    It’s pathetic.

    I’m sure it is. If you ever actually meet anyone like that, please pass along my deepest sympathies and hopes for a speedy recovery.

    In fact, my whole speculation was wondering if anyone over at IBD had dragged out Jeremiah 10:2-4 as a way of explaining why Obama putting up 54 Christmas trees was evil. I never for a moment even cared about what percentage of Christians believe it is idolatry (except during that period where you claimed it was zero, so I’m glad we cleared that up).

    So, I’m afraid you left the paved section of the road rather early.

  185. 185
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Ted & Hellen: It’s funny that you think I’m the sanctimonious killjoy when you have such a narrow view of what worship can be.

    Anyway, your smarmy bullshit does nothing to refute the fact that a large number of people, Christian or otherwise, view the tree as an idol, and that the Christians who believe this have a bible verse they like to use regarding the issue. This was not some devious scheme cooked up by those wily atheists.

  186. 186
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire:

    when you have such a narrow view of what worship can be.

    You could not be further from the truth, my friend. That entire statement is based on your own assumptions.

    Lots of people read what they want to into things…doesn’t make what they read into it so.

    Have you read the passage? Have your read the entire chapter, in context? I suggest you do so.

    Again: Let’s put it this way, so you can understand. There are so few practicing Christians in the U.S. who see a Crhistmas Tree as an idol that the number might as well be zero. Good enough for you?

  187. 187
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    There are so few practicing Christians in the U.S. who see a Crhistmas Tree as an idol that the number might as well be zero.

    Man, you should really check out that Google thing you mentioned above. It’s rad!

    17,214,683 here (I’m sure that there are plenty of them that celebrate Christmas anyway, but whatever).

  188. 188

    @Ted & Hellen: Druids don’t matter! Atheists don’t matter! Fundamentalist Christians don’t matter! The hundreds of thousands of Christian scholars, prelates, and theologians who have disagreed with every confused statement I’ve made in this thread don’t matter! History doesn’t matter! The many statements I’ve made on this thread that directly contradict the other statements I’ve made on this thread don’t matter! The fact that I know both Jack and shit about everything I’m talking about doesn’t matter!
    Only what I say matters! Until I decide to say the opposite! Then that’s what matters! Also, too!

  189. 189
    Mister Harvest says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of compassion: Well, it’s typical of us fundamentalist atheist killjoy Obots that we would support Obama putting 54 Christmas trees in the White House.

    OK, that one still kind of confuses me. I must have had the mumps or something that day in Sunday school.

  190. 190

    Must’ve been going around. I spent my whole childhood/adolescence in a Hillbilly Yeshiva, and I managed to miss that one!
    “Fundamentalist atheist killjoy Obot” is a pretty cool handle, though. I may have to change my screen name.

  191. 191
    dww44 says:

    @JWL: Well, she doesn’t and didn’t get a pass in my book as she and her staff complained mightily about the White House china because it was chosen by those non up-scale Southerners, the Carters, who didn’t have any taste or culture, doncha know? So, Nancy goes off and buys these quite expensive sets of china for the White House.

    That’s the way I remember it and pretty close to the truth it is, as my sister-in-law is a long time White House volunteer and she, as a native Georgian, was mightily offended by the Carter slam.

  192. 192
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Mister Harvest:

    Or 6% of U.S. Christians.

    You’re right, it’s an overwhelming number.

  193. 193
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Mister Harvest:

    Well, it’s typical of us fundamentalist atheist killjoy Obots that we would support Obama putting 54 Christmas trees in the White House.

    Gosh yes, it’s very typical. If he put up 54 pikes impaled with 54 still-breathing vestal virgins, you would be chatting about how lovely it all is.

    You, my child, are an Obot. There are programs designed to help.

  194. 194
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Ted & Hellen: We can also throw in Jehovah’s Witnesses, for another 7.65 million. I can’t be bothered to sort out the various Pentacostals, but I bet you could squeeze another million. You know, a million here, a million there, soon, you’re talking about real eschatology.

    But, as my math teacher always used to say, 6% > 0%.

    The really amusing part (even us joyless Obots crack a small, robotic smile sometimes) is that my original point was that the No Tannenbaum interpretation of Jerry 10:2-4 was kind of bonkers. I was simply curious if, trying to find something, anything, to nail Obama on, the IBD cohort had pulled out that particularly chestnut.

    So, maybe you should brush that Christmas tree sized chip off your shoulder and have some more egg nog.

  195. 195
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Hey, I just like Christmas trees. Very festive. Why do you hate Christmas?

    Anyway, there’s still time to change your position on Jeremiah 10:2-4 and use it to bust Obama’s chops as a crypto-pagan. G’on. You know you want to.

  196. 196

    Obviously not enough to matter, right? By the way, what percentage of Roman citizens do you suppose were Christians during the lifetime of the apostles? Not enough to matter? Less than 6%, I’m pretty sure. What percentage of the population has to believe something before it constitutes a legitimate viewpoint?
    I don’t care what holidays you choose to observe, or whether you worship your tree or hang used condoms on it (not that those would necessarily be mutually exclusive, depending on one’s view), but you seem to be arguing that the viewpoint of a 21st century American protestant is somehow the official stance of the Bible on the subject of holidays. This, sir, qualifies you as a moron.

  197. 197
    AA+ Bonds says:

    LESS TREESUS MORE JESUS, CAPTAIN ISLAM.

  198. 198
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    If he put up 54 pikes impaled with 54 still-breathing vestal virgins

    Hahaha, that’d be sweet

  199. 199
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Fucking people all impaled and writhing and shit, man, Christmas is great

  200. 200
    AA+ Bonds says:

    HO HO HO I’M HU HU HUNGRY

  201. 201
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    If he put up 54 pikes impaled with 54 still-breathing vestal virgins, you would be chatting about how lovely it all is.

    In Obama’s America, there are no virgins. The free birth control took care of that problem.

  202. 202
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Mister Harvest:

    I’ll repeat what I said upthread: I wish the white house, no matter WHO is in it, would get out of the business of holiday decorating altogether.

    One tree in the family quarters, if that’s what they want, is fine; what’s with all the quasi-royal/imperial bullshit anyway?

  203. 203
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Stimulus spending.

  204. 204
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Mister Harvest:

    Oh well, in that case…

  205. 205
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I’ll repeat what I said upthread

    No. Really. That’s OK.

  206. 206
    Brachiator says:

    @MikeJ:

    Let’s just appoint Sandi Toksvig queen.

    Hear, hear! Let’s give England back to the Danes.

    RE: Æthelred

    No, I think this is ill advised. England is too unready for Æthelred.

    @Mike G:

    Waiting for your mom to die so you can take her job. What a life.

    Charles has had the longest wait, but previous to this, Bertie was Prince of Wales for 59 years, until he became Edward VII, upon the death of Queen Victoria. And he was only monarch for 9 years when he died.

    On the other hand, Edward the Black Prince died before he could gain the throne.

    It’s a hard knock life. Then again, Bertie got to have sex with Lillie Langtry and many others. And, then there was the gambling, the drinking and eating and general over-indulgence. The irony is that Edward VII was a pretty good king, even though his mother thought that he would never amount to anything, and blamed him for the death of her beloved husband.

  207. 207

    T&H: You’re perfectly welcome to your own semi-literate opinions. But when people who have taken the trouble to educate themselves on the subject you gaseously pontificate about point out that you are completely and utterly wrong about every single assertion you’ve made in this thread, your response is to call them stupid and insist that it doesn’t matter for any of a dozen reasons which bear no relationship to reality whatsoever. This, sir, qualifies you as an asshole.

  208. 208
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of compassion:

    Fuck off, you pompous blowhard; no one proved me wrong about anything significant to the argument at hand.

    You ARE stupid, no matter your protests.

  209. 209
  210. 210
    Publius39 says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Sorry, that’s a fundamentalist atheist trope. The passage clearly refers to carving and mounting and decorating IDOLS for worship, NOT Christmas trees.

    Depends on what version/translation of the bible you are using. But don’t let that get in the way of your half-assed interpretation of it.

  211. 211

    You were proven wrong about the number of Christians who view Christmas trees as pagan, whether other religions used trees to observe religious festivals, whether or not Druidry is a living faith, whether or not atheists originated the argument that Jeremiah 10 forbids Christmas trees, whether Christians have historically sanctioned murder, and a host of other factual errors. Every time someone here has countered you and presented proof for their argument, you’ve ducked for the no true Scotsman defense, and heaped abuse on the people who enlightened this corner of your abyssal ignorance. The moment you’re proven utterly wrong AGAIN, you insist that you were actually arguing about something else. You have combined arrogance and ignorance to a degree that, were it consciously aimed for, would achieve art. This, sir, qualifies you as a troll.

    So you can fuck off.
    P.S. Merry Christmas, you Biblically and historically illiterate fuckwit.

  212. 212
    ruemara says:

    Half this conversation is about issues and half is this.

  213. 213
    Publius39 says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Gosh yes, it’s very typical. If he put up 54 pikes impaled with 54 still-breathing vestal virgins, you would be chatting about how lovely it all is.

    (Walks around, inspecting the comment. Kicks the tires.) Wow, what a lovely false equivalence you have here. This should be a good match with the strawman and appeal to emotion that you’re decorating this thread with.

  214. 214
  215. 215
    Publius39 says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of compassion: Nope, not at all. How about you?

  216. 216
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of compassion:

    I think up above I mentioned you being a pompous blowhard. I hereby mention it again. Your comment is full of inaccuracies and misrepresentations; but I think I’m done with you for this evening.

  217. 217
    Publius39 says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I think up above I mentioned you being a pompous blowhard.

    I think its safe to say that you’re calling the kettle black now?

  218. 218
    opie jeanne says:

    @Mike G: I think QE has decided to outlive Charles.

  219. 219
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    @opie jeanne: If Liz lasts as long as the Queen Mum, then she dies sometime around Christmas in 2027. Charles would be 79 at that point. The average male life expectancy for the UK is 78.1 years.

    In Charles’s favour is the longevity of his parents. But I wouldn’t be too surprised if Charles does not live to inherit the throne

  220. 220
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Canuckistani Tom:
    It’s the women in family who live past 100, isn’t it? I rather suspect Charles might be out of luck here: he could be a very very old man at his coronation, at best.

    Do you suppose Obama could have avoided all this controversy about too many Christmas trees at the White House by putting up a series of Festivus poles? I’d love to see T&H kicking off a flame war about that.

  221. 221
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I think up above I mentioned you being a pompous blowhard. I hereby mention it again.

    Oh man. That’s just so perfect it had to be repeated.

  222. 222
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Mike G: @Mike G: “Waiting for your mom to die so you can take her job. What a life.”

    You mean like Washington news pundits and columnists?

  223. 223
    Doubting Thomas says:

    @Mister Harvest: Ted & Hellen (bi polar?) kind of lost me on their first comment using the misnomer “fundamental atheist”. Maybe they could explain how an atheist can be fundamental in their non-belief.

  224. 224
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Brachiator: Yes, because when English people decide to do something, it actually counts.

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