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The Xmas Thread: Discussions on secular/pagan practices

Loutzenhiser's picture

This thread is for the discussion of secular/pagan Xmas problems and thoughts. I used Xmas to differentiate this thread form the Christmas thread. To discuss the birth of Jesus please use the Christmas Thread.

understandably confusing

When we cite each other multiple times, it can get tricky.

I can agree that if you qualify 'religion' with the word 'true,' many shades of grey materialize and open for discussion. De Maria's suggestion that there is no division between true religion and spirituality is true enough.

My intention was to highlight the different emphasis or category denoted by the different terms--the impossibility of precisely defining 'religion' is notably lamented by scholars and students of religion, and 'spirituality' is likewise murky--after all, the term 'spirit' is so nebulous already....

The use of the category 'spiritual' to draw distinctions between formalized/ritualized religious acts (thus represented under 'religion') is convenient and not totally inaccurate for discussing the outward and inward religious and spiritual realms, gestures, etc, which has relevance when you talk about all people as if they inwardly assess Christmas trees as pagan symbols and nonetheless participate, or when you want to argue that while the outward symbol bears resemblance to pagan customs, the inward meanings and intentions have been replaced by Christian meanings and intentions.... thereby subverting the outward symbol of a tree from pagan to Christian.

The cross was a pagan symbol of Rome's crushing power.
It was Christ's association with this tree that made it sacred--alone, it was just another piece of wood used by Rome.

So perhaps the Christmas tree or even the holiday was once a part of pagan festivals.
But Jesus' association with this tree sanctifies it.

It is the heart of the worshiper where Christ is reverenced; the symbols used to do so matter much less than we often pretend.

You search the scriptures;
For in them ye think ye have eternal life:
These are those which testify of me.
But ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
(John 5.39-40)