Liberal Christian Urges Kirk Cameron To Mind His Own Beeswax About Cherished Holiday Traditions

Former child actor and current talentless hack Kirk Cameron has taken upon himself to save Christmas from Christians that he doesn’t consider to be Christian enough, and from everyone else that is of any other persuasion, too. Because only Kirk Cameron’s Christmas is the righteous, holy, and most Jesus-y one, apparently. And now with seasonal Halloween, too!

Can’t wait for the inevitable Thanksgiving video, with a working title of “SATAN is at ur tabel, eatin ur turkiy,” because cognitive dissonance is always such a hoot.

Like other Christianist loudmouths (and Bill O’Reilly, who’s just a loudmouth) the One True Christmas for which Kirk Cameron pines is all about bringing the unchurched masses of America and the world to Jesus Christ. All other ways of keeping Christmas, even if it’s strictly secular and centered on shopping, gifting, and enjoying family and friends, are simply not acceptable to Cameron. Most of us actually enjoy the hustle-bustle of the modern American Christmas, although I tend to like the quieter, more spiritual aspects, the music, and the pretty holiday displays rather than the rugby scrum that Christmas shopping has become.

Perhaps Kirk Cameron thinks the Devil makes us do it differently than he does, and therefore it must be saved from us heathens. Saved! SAVED IN THE BLOOD OF JEEEEZ-US. Or whatever.

What an ass. No, what a self-righteous, pompous early-onset male pattern bald-faced middle-aged ass.

I’ve been aware for years of Cameron and his yawping ilk, demanding that Christmas be saved from the clutches of, I don’t know, rampant commercialism and simpering Hallmark-card secularism. And I’ve ignored him for decades. By contrast, in the last 15 years or so, I’ve kept Christmas pretty well, singing and celebrating at Christmas Eve services at Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, and then later at St Nicholas Episcopal Church since moving to Illinois.

As a “churched” liberal Christian, I am perfectly comfortable with the idea that not everyone celebrates Christmas at all (hello, my honey! hello, my inlaws! Hello, my Jewish extended family!). I’m also comfortable with people who were raised as Christians in name only, who might or might not attend church twice a year, otherwise known as “C. and E. Christians.”

It turns out I was raised in just such a family that didn’t go to church except for major holidays (also weddings, christenings, and funerals). My mom and I were an anomaly, we actually liked attending and participating the rest of the year. That was when my quarterly Sunday communion might consist of cubed Wonder-Bread and grape juice in little individual shot glasses; now I’m all about the weekly Eucharist of hand-baked bread and wine in a shared silver cup, blessed by the hands of Father Manny and others.

Still, I have great affection for Christians who show up for Christmas and Easter. They’re the people filling the seats in church for the big festival services, where we in the choir are singing our hearts (and throats) out. They’re the people I work hardest for, months before each holiday, rehearsing with the Choir of St Nicholas and half-killing myself with the singing and the late night rehearsals and big festival services.

Casual Christians get my most technically challenging musical efforts, if they happen to drop by St Nick’s, but I give my best effort for the normal Sunday services and occasional “lesser feasts,” too. They say that she who sings once, prays twice, and I do pray as I sing that it is acceptable, pleasing, and for God’s sake, in tune! Also that my (pretty modest) efforts in the alto section might help to move someone’s heart to lift in a moment of transcendance. Yet, they don’t have to believe as I believe. They just have to feel something beyond themselves and be transported, and that is fine with me.

As a “churched” liberal Christian, I am deeply offended by Kirk Cameron’s posturing on the need to “save” Christmas, and suspect that the real motive for his madness is to somehow remain in the public eye, since his career went in the crapper after Growing Pains ended. Oh, if only Alan Thicke’s real-life son Robin had been old enough for the role, what a very different and twerky world we would live in now!

Now Cameron wants to “save” Halloween, a holiday I also hold dear although I don’t celebrate it properly any more. He wants Christians to turn it into an opportunity to preach the Gospel to people who, frankly, are probably not all that interested in anything he has to say. If people like Kirk Cameron hadn’t turned them off by being righteous assholes, un-spiritual people might actually discover for themselves that when you strip out all the Bible-thumper rhetoric, Jesus had some radically Good News for the world, and a new way to honor God and all His Creation – by loving one another, caring for the poor, and healing the world. An atheist can even “get” the message of Jesus without the need to believe, too. This world could very well be all we’ve got, so we should at least treat it and each other better.

At last, the second or third half of this post! Would you like a cookie, some pumpkin juice, or a butterbeer? What’s a little sorcery and witchcraft, when people of fair to middling intelligence know there’s no such thing?

ANYway, to continue, to digress, and to finally get to the thing that set me off on this merry tirade:

Yesterday, the comic and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” actor Patton Oswalt laid this gem upon the breast of the Twitterverse, and it was good.

Curious as to what inspired that comment, after a quick stop to remind myself who Travis Bickle was, I looked around and found that Kirk Cameron has decided that Halloween needs to be taken back from the Satan-worshiping scarily costumed candy-gobbling trick-or-treaters.

Well, I always thought kids weren’t for me, but I didn’t think they were all THAT evil.

Also, that would be a great Halloween costume for Kirk Cameron – the mohawk, the moral rigidity, the martyr complex: it’s too perfect.

Halloween isn’t the only holiday on Cameron’s radar. Next month, he’s releasing a film called "Saving Christmas," aimed at restoring religion to the holiday.

via Kirk Cameron Urges Christians To Celebrate Halloween By Sharing The Gospel.

It’s all about getting publicity for the “Saving Christmas” movie, and it’s all about trying to restore the tawdry lustre to his long-faded Hollywood star. I suspect it’s not about bringing souls to Jesus and defeating Satan, it’s about bringing eyeballs to the screen and courting Mammon.

So this, too, offends me. Both as a liberal Christian and as a former candy-gobbling trick-or-treater, I’m comfortable with the old pagan customs that survive in the modern celebration of Halloween, and of course I’ve attended a few All Saints/Souls services in my time (usually at other Episcopal churches, we usually don’t put do one unless it falls on a Saturday or Sunday).

I’m sure that Mr More Christiany Than Thou Cameron has no idea what All Hallows’ Eve, All Saint’s Day, or All Souls Day even mean to “liturgical” Christians like me. Apparently, his way of celebrating Halloween, Christmas, and other cherished holidays forgets the old traditions and long-sacred ceremony, brings no meaningful modern reinterpretation, and strips out any remaining beauty, color, and poetry. A rich, deeply refreshing liturgy is replaced with whatever bland, multi-media production Cameron thinks is sufficiently Christian to avoid self-offense.

Blech. Sorry, I can’t even.

As a liberal Christian, I’m comfortable with commemorating the dead, remembering the saints, and dressing up to literally laugh in the face of Death. I can even celebrate a formerly pagan Harvest Festival with something more creative and warmly generous in spirit as the season turns toward winter (WARNING: SHAMELESS PLUGS FOR ST NICK’S HARVEST FAIR AND ALSO THE CHRISTMAS CD WOOHOO).

Yes, in case you didn’t know, St Nick’s is putting on its own Harvest Fair – A Gathering of Artisans this year. It’s a tradition that many English churches follow, and American and Canadian churches too, but the emphasis will be on quality and on celebrating the creativity of our St Nick’s community.

Please visit our Harvest Fairpage on Facebook and LIKE and SHARE so that lots of people in the area of Elk Grove Village and the Chicagoland area might find out about it, it’s our first year. We’ve got handmade soap, jewelry, and other treasures lined up and waiting to be discovered, and there’s more room for artisans to take a table or a partial table!

Last year we celebrated Halloween with a daylight Trick or Trunk event where parishioners at St Nick’s decorated the trunks of their cars and the backs of their mini-vans and SUVs and gave out candy to the youngest neighborhood children. I think there was a circuit of several churches that put it on in the area. It was a fun event that was enjoyed by very small costumed witches and demons (Ooooh! Scary, Kirk Cameron! BOO!). This year we’re offering some nice treats and no tricks to older kids of all ages with the Harvest Fair.

Meanwhile, there’s a pumpkin out in front of the front doors of St Nick’s… not sure why, but it’s creative and certainly in keeping with the season and with the neighborhood (Elk Grove Village is known for its Halloween and Christmas displays).

Sunday, Christmas comes early to St Nicholas (actually it’s been coming since about May of last year. The Choir of St Nicholas is recording a Christmas CD called NOEL: Christmas At St Nicholas Episcopal Church. I get to sing on it, it will be available for a small donation, but can be pre-ordered.. We’re going to a real recording studio Sunday after the regular 10am service to do it, and then if you like, you can drop by at about 8pm on Christmas Eve (December 24, for those of you who don’t do church much) and hear it all LIVE. Like a CONCERT, but with praying and communion and stuff. You are most welcome. Here’s what it’ll look like, my husband David took the photo at the 2012 service.

CD: Noel: Christmas at St Nicholas

Does this Christmas look like it needs saving? Does this Halloween need to be taken back? NOPE.

So thank you but no thank you, Kirk Cameron, you can mind your own beeswax about cherished holiday traditions like Halloween and Christmas. You celebrate them how you see fit, but don’t tell other people how they should do it. The Devil is not involved, and neither is Bigfoot and the Easter Bunny.

You may think you’re contesting with Satan (who is a metaphorical construct, in my opinion) and you may complain about rampant secularism, but the truth is, most people don’t really pay much attention to you. You’re not very relevant now, and you were not a cultural influence when Growing Pains was on the air, either. It was merely mass entertainment to the lowest common denominator. It was commercial pap, and certainly not as influential as The Cosby Show, for example.

Actually, Kirk Cameron’s Mike Seaver was never fit to tie Theo Huxtable’s basketball shoes – now that was a groundbreaking show about an American family struggling to instill good values (and it was a lot funnier). More people “got the message” about how to treat each other from watching that show, which didn’t preach, but did persuade. The message that people got from Cameron’s show was that hisbest friend’s name was Boner, until he mysteriously ran off and joined the Marines. The teen heart-throb Mike character was an insufferable schemer, until a real-life conversion experience revealed Cameron to be one of those self-important Christianists who beats everybody over the head with the baby Jesus. After becoming insufferably holy, he insisted on storyline changes, script changes, and had a co-star fired.

I had totally forgotten what a pimple Kirk Cameron was in the 90’s.

Meanwhile, it could be argued that his not-very-charitable behavior toward his co-stars and the producers, after becoming a foam-at-the-mouth Bible beater, led to the steep ratings decline and eventual cancellation of his only claim to fame. Huh.

Yes, preach (and rant) on about needing to save Christmas, Kirk Cameron. But will you be singing the old carols on Christmas Eve, and receiving Christ in the bread and wine while the glorious anthems rise to Heaven? Will you be bringing canned goods to drop off anonymously at the door of your local food pantry, as our neighbors and support group members do at ours? I don’t think so. You’ll be attending premieres and media events held in auditoriums, trying to flog DVD sales. Frankly, I’d rather help flog our CD sales.

Yes, anyone celebrating Halloween by dressing up, playing tricks and sharing treats is not a pagan, not a Satanist, not a devil-worshipper; they’re someone who enjoys the traditions of All Hallows’ Eve, and has fun with its modern equivalent.

Yes, even a Christian can celebrate All Hallows’ Eve; the colors (orange and black) are a reminder of some very old Christian traditions. In England, groups of people dressed in black used to go out “souling” door-to-door (begging for soul-cakes in exchange for Christian prayers for the dead, in the Anglican tradition) before the three days of “All Hallowtide.” The yellowish-orange beeswax candles that were carried in such processions, along with other things like carved turnips, became the other color associated with Halloween. In the US, orange pumpkins were easier to carve into what originally a lantern to guide lost souls. People would pray that the wandering souls would find rest and not do mischief, and they would disguise themselves in costumes to avoid their wrath. Sometimes they dressed up as saints, too.

Woops, it looks like the Christians already took back Halloween, some centuries ago. Rather than saving holidays that don’t need saving, why not protest one of those pop-up Spirit stores instead, or criticize home improvement stores for putting fall and winter holiday displays on sale in August?

A true Halloween can be just a fun candy holiday, or the lead-in to a generic harvest festival, or even a family gathering at Thanksgiving (I can hardly wait for Cameron to hit that one). And with the addition of All Saints/All Souls, Halloween is an opportunity to reflect on how life and death are linked, and how facing our demons, commemorating our saints, and remembering our dead is part of being human.

It always used to annoy me at work when the annual Halloween extravaganza would come around – most of us would be decorating and working on our team presentation for the costume contests, and a few unhappy, joyless Christianists would be complaining that the decorations were too scary and too Satanic. They wouldn’t participate, and would take the day off to avoid all the… fun. That’s okay, more candy for us.

Sure, it was hectic, but they were literally killjoys and fortunately there were only one or two. The same few even objected to Christmas decorations in the office, or Hanukkah decor at one co-worker’s desk. In their narrow minds, those symbols were somehow evil, pagan and of the Devil. They would have been happiest if there were NO seasonal displays, since ALL the holidays were tainted because they were, yes, pagan in origin. Nothing should be celebrated or enjoyed if it had any start in a non-Biblical tradition, in their view.

Cameron wants to turn Halloween into a big thunder-and-brimstone Bible fest. Does it need saving? No.

A person needn’t be Christian to enjoy the true meaning of Christmas if they wish, though unfortunately they can hardly escape it if they don’t. My late Jewish mammeleh-in-law even liked the holiday lighting displays and some of the music. Yes, without the crass commercialism, and the evil corporatism of Black Friday (and Thursday!) shopping stampedes at Thanksgiving, the Christmas season isn’t the Norman Rockwell painting of our shared nostalgia. Let’s not forget, Santa Claus was popularized by newspaper editors from a poem by an Episcopalian academic, with an image makeover in the late 40’s by a soft drink company. Like a comic book character, his true origin story reveals his secret identity: ta-da!! he’s SAINT NICHOLAS.

A true Christmas is a gathering of loved ones and friends, with food and warmth, and color, and music, while remembering the less fortunate and the lonely. Does that need saving? No. Bam! said the lady, no.

And now, I can’t bring myself to watch his trailer to see what he wants to do to “save” Christmas. Who does he think he is? Jesus Christ.

Yep. That’s why he’s more holier than thou, and me, and everybody.

Are we living in the 1st Century, or the 21st Century? Some of these Christianists need to get a modern life. Neither Halloween nor Christmas need saving, except perhaps from former child stars long past their pull date, and FAUX Noise pundits shooting off their pieholes in the annual “War On Christmas.”

Mind your own beeswax, Kirk Cameron. Save your sanity instead.

Take Two Kittens And Call Me In The Morning

When I Tweeted this earlier,

I had this in mind.

I’ve been under a lot of stress lately; work is changing and I’m constantly trying to figure out, from minute to minute, what is the most productive thing I should be doing, as efficiently as possible.

Also I’ve been somewhat tense about staying healthy for choir, because we’re recording a Christmas CD this coming weekend, but mostly it’s work. Sometimes I pretty much work myself into a screaming wobbler (not on the phone) when frustrated by something.

Saturday morning I woke up feeling fine, but later in the morning realized I’d spent too much time with my neck bent, reading the Internets… And suddenly I had a full-blown neck spasm.

David and I had errands to run and got lunch too, but afterwards I realized my kinked neck wasn’t getting better. Sleeping on Saturday night was impossible, and slow torture every time I tried to change position.

Just going from vertical (standing) to horizontal (lying down) was agony, and I was taking whatever OTC painkillers I had, plus some leftover Tylonol with codeine. Sunday, more of the same, even after maxing out the daily recommended dosage of Aleve. I spaced them out at minimum intervals, but nothing really shifted until the first two Aleve kicked in (they are very slow acting but last a long while).

I called in sick this morning, barely able to lift my eyes to the top of my screen to send my time sheet and managed to get in to the doctor (not my usual, one of the other practice doctors. Fortunately, the slow but strong Aleve had finally kicked in, and I was able to drive, very carefully.

Several hours later, after a lunch of comfort food at Boston Market (that was all soft stuff because I can’t open my jaw wide enough to take a big bite), I finally got my first meds downed and was installed in the armchair with a new body wrap heating thing. Just as well, because the third and last Aleve that I’d taken the night before had worn off with a screaming thud. Apparently you can’t take more than 3 of them in 24 hours.

And here I’ve been since, watching TV and taking various meds at the proper times: Prednisolone, Robaxin, and Norco — aka a steroid, a muscle relaxant, and a more powerful painkiller, but similar to the ones in my stash from when I had a molar extracted.

As it happens, I slept in this chair last night, but I’m going to go upstairs and try to crawl in, very cautiously. I’ve got an electric heating pad that works better on the bed than the back of the armchair. The body wrap thing is the kind you microwave and wrap around a neck like a collar, and is very comforting, though it only stays warm enough for 15 minutes. Still, I can wear it while walking around the house and while seated at a chair with no headrest.

Time to take my last dose of meds and see if I can lie down without groaning or making strangled cries of pain… that’s getting REALLY TIRESOME.

I hope to be able to log in and work tomorrow, at least try it in the morning.

Choir practice is Wednesday, so I hope to be able to open my jaw more fully by then! and tilt my head back too.

I would really benefit from taking two kittens as a stress reducer though. I would drape them on my shoulders and the purring and warmth would be just what the doctor ordered.

AvaStar 1.2 Survival Guide

Gaia Clary has posted in-world the following survival guide. You might miss it if you are not a member of the Blender-Avastar Group. So… Avastar 1.2 Survival Notecard ==================== * New to Avastar ? Start here: http://ift.tt/1E137f6 The beginners path: PLEASE go over these tutorials at least once: http://ift.tt/1E137f9 http://ift.tt/1v6L0hr http://ift.tt/1v6L0hv http://ift.tt/1E139Ug http://ift.tt/1v6L0hy Here are … Continue reading »

Via Nalates’ Things & Stuff http://ift.tt/1E137f3

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AvaStar 1.2 Survival Guide

Gaia Clary has posted in-world the following survival guide. You might miss it if you are not a member of the Blender-Avastar Group. So… Avastar 1.2 Survival Notecard ==================== * New to Avastar ? Start here: http://ift.tt/1E137f6 The beginners path: PLEASE go over these tutorials at least once: http://ift.tt/1E137f9 http://ift.tt/1v6L0hr http://ift.tt/1v6L0hv http://ift.tt/1E139Ug http://ift.tt/1v6L0hy Here are … Continue reading »

Via Nalates’ Things & Stuff http://ift.tt/1E137f3

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AvaStar 1.2 Survival Guide

Gaia Clary has posted in-world the following survival guide. You might miss it if you are not a member of the Blender-Avastar Group. So… Avastar 1.2 Survival Notecard ==================== * New to Avastar ? Start here: http://ift.tt/1E137f6 The beginners path: PLEASE go over these tutorials at least once: http://ift.tt/1E137f9 http://ift.tt/1v6L0hr http://ift.tt/1v6L0hv http://ift.tt/1E139Ug http://ift.tt/1v6L0hy Here are … Continue reading »

Via Nalates’ Things & Stuff http://ift.tt/1E137f3

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Five other myths about travel agents

1. We've been everywhere, man: no, but we book people who have.
2. We get free travel: not anymore, though discounts exist if you know what you're doing.
3. We get commissions from airlines: not since about 1989 in the US, though some international carriers still offer it.
4. We dress up in stylish outfits with ethnic accessories: not if we don't meet clients, and work from home.
5. We know how much it costs to go anywhere: not unless we've got it pulled up in the GDS (booking tool of choice, AKA general distribution system).

Now that I've been in corporate travel for almost 20 years, most of the myths below no longer apply to me, and most of the realities don't apply either. Especially the one about calling ahead – we're supposed to take calls, not make them in my work environment. That's reserved for emergencies, special situations, and occasionally the need to negotiate with the manager on duty.



Five myths about travel agents
Why would anyone need an agent? We found out when we looked at some of the myths about how they work.

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Arvada Students Protest Conservative Meddling With History Curriculum

These kids are just exercising their patriotic right of protest, free speech, and free thought based on the free exchange of information. For freedom, and not free dumb, so take that, wingnut edumification bored.



CO Students Walk Out To Protest Wingnut Plan To Censor History Curriculum
The new wingnut school board members don’t know much about history.

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Chicago O'Hare terminal 1 partly evacuated

Bomb squad called after dog reacted to suspicious bag.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-ohare-terminal-1-evacuation-20140924-story.html

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