Christmas open thread and linkfest

Merry Christmas to Bleeding Heartland readers who are celebrating the holiday today.

And if you’re Jewish like me, remember that Jesus was an important Jewish theologian and reformer.

Here are some holiday links for you.

On the real meaning of Christmas:

A Christmas prayer from pastordan.

Carnacki shares a true story and treasured family memory.

John Lennon sings “Happy Christmas (War Is Over).”

greywolfe359 reflects on Light in the Darkness.

noweasels offers Christmas wishes and memories of small-town Christmas pageants.

Some less-happy Christmas stories:

Millions of children grow up in poverty, and even if they are relatively comfortable as adults, they never forget those feelings of economic insecurity. Last year chuckles1 shared his memories of “The year we stole a Christmas tree.” (The piece is still relevant, even though the presidential campaign angle is obsolete.)

Expatyank lives in Britain, where unemployment and other economic problems are causing the retail sector to implode during what should be the busiest shopping week of the year.

For history buffs:

Daily Kos’ resident historian Unitary Moonbat talks about how Christmas has been celebrated throughout the centuries.

Remember, the Puritans felt Christmas “incited moral degeneracy and so they declared war on the Christmas holiday by passing laws against it in Scotland and England, later in Massachusetts […]”

Other useful Christmas links:

Asinus Asinum Fricat is a chef and native of France. He shares some memories of Christmas in Provence, including recipes for traditional desserts.

The same diarist is a veteran restaurant owner and operator, and offers a Christmas proposal for entrepreneurs out there. It’s about how to set up and run a low-cost restaurant that “will thrive in this severe economic downturn.”

A conservative blogger offers some Christmas cooking and sewing ideas (the muffins look truly decadent).

Daily Kos commenters had lots of good suggestions to add to my list of no-clutter holiday gift ideas.

Eddie C posted a fun photo diary on Christmas in New York City.

Christmas humor:

JeffLieber wrote a funny piece from the perspective of Joseph: I’ve just discovered my wife has been unfaithful.

Asinus Asinum Fricat offers a selection of Christmas jokes (some are Australian and “saucy”). Be sure to read the comments, where many people posted additional Christmas humor. I added a Jewish Christmas joke.

Christmas music:

What do you prefer? Old-fashioned cheesy, like Bing Crosby and Tony Bennett? Childhood favorites like the Charlie Brown Christmas album? Hip adult options like Diana Krall’s jazzy Christmas music?

Deoliver47 shares a bunch of Christmas music videos.

We mostly listen to Chanukah music, but I do enjoy Oy to the World: A Klezmer Christmas.

Share holiday cheer or other thoughts in the comments.

P.S.: It’s the second white Christmas in a row in Iowa, which is nice.

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Democrats: Stop Playing at Being "Good Christianists"

Like any true-blue American, I don't really concern myself with religion much — literally, but that's another post — until it starts insinuating itself into politics and public policy.  That's when I start to get downright obstinate and feisty.  One thing I have observed over the years: being a Christianist zealot politician is like having jazz chops.  You've either got it or you don't.  Someone needs to tell Nancy Pelosi that she don't got it.

“Science is a gift of God to all of us and science has taken us to a place that is biblical in its power to cure,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, arguing for the bill’s passage. “And that is the embryonic stem cell research.”

Personally, I'd rather see my Democratic leaders putting forward this theme:

XKCD: Science. It works, bitches

 

 

 

 

 

 

But seriously, when Pelosi and other democrats try to ape the religious right in order to “triangulate” with the vast middle, they just make themselves look like insincere whores.  And besides, I think that — as ususal — most of the strategists who are urging their candidates to do this vastly underestimate the level of the backlash going on against the Christianist right, even among non-secularists.  Everyone is tired of these hand-clapping, if-you-beleive-hard-enough-it-will-be-true idiots.  Message to strategists: Doing what makes the other side successful is NOT automatically the right thing.  Sometimes you have to do the OPPOSITE thing really well.

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