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SURVEY:
What do you want to know about breathing? Answered in our newsletter

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"Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" or BOTH?

Colleague Dennis Lewis sent out a nice "Happy Holiday" message in his www.authentic-breathing.com newsletter and gets a very acerbic reply from what appears to be a pretty much narrow minded fundamentalist Christian. He forwarded it to me. This link will show my response to this "Christian".

Dennis sends out his newsletter that begins :"
WE WISH YOU A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON! "

He gets the following reply.

"IT is NOT "Happy Holidays"------it is still MERRY CHRISTMAS !!! You show your ignorance and lack of education on this.....

So Dennis sends me the person’s answer along with a note from him.

"Mike, I thought you might like to see this. This kind of comment raises so many important questions that need to be consciously examined and discussed, especially in today's world."

From Mike:
Yeah. Being in the Bible Belt South I hear that on the local TV Christian station.  Railing about we'll stop buying presents and put our money into missions instead, yada, yada, blah blah.

As I was raised Christian I largely agree with the traditional expression though they/we/I ALWAYS have the option to refer to this time in any way want. None have the right to dictate what others view it as. That is the error as I see it.

What I hear is "we are a Christian nation and WE need to celebrate Christmas and Jesus instead of lumping it all together with a "holiday" term. Some are frustrated that their holy days are being transmuted into some sort of spiritual potpourri. But, after all, America was formed as a spiritual potpourri. We Christians just got here first.

Jews I know do not seem challenged by this (Muslims the same and any other group I can think of.) though if some other group started calling Yom Kippur "the Holidays" they would probably object though they clearly fall within that "holiday" time period.

We WERE founded as a Christian nation under God and we DO PROFESS TO ALLOW for other forms of that spiritual expression. Many open or closet fundamentalist Christians forget that. That is why I left my Christian church because the pastor kept saying or implying that everyone else is going to hell if they are not Christian or you must accept Jesus as your personal savior to be saved from going to hell. He railed on homo's "not being of God" and other silly things about women's required place in the family and openly insulted his wife about her weight and her age.

This to me is what I call spiritual arrogance and lays the ground work for conflict, wars and killings. I will not tolerate it in the slightest. This has also kept my emotional distance with several very wonderful Christian men and women that I am afraid of sharing this with. So I keep them at a distance for fear of losing what little we do have. Perhaps they will read this and better understand me.

AND the USA Christian tradition has allowed itself to be distracted with rampant consumerism, I believe too many have lost sight of its true spiritual tradition. AMEN.

On top of that the USA is the land of the free and religious freedom allows for many varieties of spiritual expressions and those growing numbers are starting to make themselves seen and heard thus challenging the status quo and the entire economic balance of organized Christian religions as well as potentially harmful Christian dogma.

So I believe I need to stop at least weekly and consciously rethink Christmas or at least its primary values and also realize that Jesus probably never would have "blessed" the way Christmas is mostly celebrated today.

Lastly, I consider myself a Christian Taoist or Taoist Christian. (Are there more of you out there? Read the Lost Suttras of Jesus Reigert and Moore; Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings Marcus J. Borg; The Jesus Sutras: Rediscovering the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity Martin Palmer)  

I always try to focus on what would Jesus or Buddha or Lao Tzu would do and see which one I prefer?  Sadly I do not always choose from one of them but on occasion from my own distortions and dysfunction.

Dennis’ response to the reader was:

"Dear XX:  Our webmaster passed on your note to me.

Authentic Breathing News is written for and read by people of all traditions--Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, American Indians, and so on. It is also read by atheists and agnostics. Not everyone who reads our newsletter celebrates Christmas. Many celebrate other religious holidays around this time of year. Some just take time off to be with friends and family.

Frankly, I'm astounded at your violent verbal reaction, calling us "ignorant." To my understanding, the so-called "ignorant" ones (this was your word, not ours), those with a "lack of education," as you put it, are those who think that everyone does or should believe and behave as they do. This is the egocentric attitude that lies at the foundation of so many of the problems we are facing today in the world, of the collapse of healthy, respectful relationships among people, races, social groups, political parties, and nations.

In any case, we do hope you have a wonderful Christmas, since that is apparently your tradition. "

Sincerely,

Dennis Lewis

His response to Dennis was

"Sorry you missed the point-------Christmas is a Federal Holiday......the others are just "extras" that have been added to this day!

Refresh your memory re: the history of this country------we were established on the belief in GOD, (not gods), who created the Universe and everything in it!!!  NOW, we are witnessing a takeover of minorities, supplanting, a secular society, which On Judgment Day, GOD, will make it very clear what some like yourself are doing with His Son, Jesus Christ, who died for your sins, as well as mine!!.
    I do not agree with your assessment of my attitude, as a "violent verbal reaction".   I am simply stating facts and truth, which you could also find out for yourselves, if you did "diligent" study on Eternal subjects, as well as contemporary history from the beginning of time.
  I am truly sorry if you misunderstood what I said about CHRISTMAS, being the only true holiday for December 25.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!"

From Mike:
If this guy's pastor would PLEASE have a chat with him. PLEASE.
He is a very sad case and a deep embarrassment to any thinking Christian. email a response to Mike if you wish

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