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"most retarded quotation of the modern era"

Here's a funny post from Travis:

all-encompassingly

some guy from some atheist organization went on national tv last night and defended the expelling of christmas carols from public schools with this statement:

    "jesus is not the reason for christmas."

hey idiot! if christ isn't the reason for christmas, then what's the ...

Read the rest

Possibly the most retarded mis-quote of the modern era

I was rather intrigued by the initial post and read through the transcript to try and verify the quote. However, it is apparently taken out of context and even misquoted.

According to the transcript, the REAL quote is:

"For Jewish people, Jesus is not the reason for
the season."

And later on, he says, "For Islamic people, for Buddhists, Jesus is not the reason for
the season."

When it's put in that context, it doesn't really sound that retarded. I'm not a scholar on the Jewish Religion, but to my knowledge, Chanukkah is not about the birth (or even death) of Jesus.

It seems kind of silly to call someone an idiot without verifying the facts, first and foremost. And not to be nit picky, shouldn't we capitalize Jesus's name if we respect Him so much? And I do realize that the whole post was written in lower case letters.

K.C.,
the (self-proclaimed) King of Provo
a.k.a. the Provo King

the point stands

Pointing out that Jews or Buddhists don't celebrate Jesus' birth is bizarre...of course they don't celebrate His birth! That's not the point.

I think what Travis was trying to illustrate was the absurdity of saying that the festivities at this time of year have nothing to do with Jesus.

In other words, were it not for the Christian celebration of Jesus' birth on December 25th there would be no "holiday season" at this time of year.

Christmas and Jesus

It certainly would be absurd for someone to say that "the festivities at this time of year have nothing to do with Jesus". If someone were to say this, they would be wrong, wrong, wrong.

But when someone says "For Jews, Christmas is not about Jesus", they are right, right, right.

Seems pretty cut and dry to me.

to the provo princess and laurence burton

i am the author of the piece in question, and i think i should say something in my own defense. i watched the entire exchange on hannity and colmes the other night, and the discussion centered on the issue of whether or not public buildings (especially schools) should allow the singing of christmas carols, the use of the phrase "merry christmas",
and the mention of jesus to be sanctioned within their walls.

i posted my thoughts at all-encompassingly before the transcript became available, and when i did get access to the transcript, i read it and put it online immediately. i saw what everyone else here saw--the guest qualified his statements in such a way so that they didn't sound quite as retarded as i claim. but i maintain that his argument is
wholly moronic. the fact that his comment is consistent with an utterly absurd argument may trick the likes of the provo princess and laurence burton into accepting it as reasonable [but what would i know: "he didn't capitalize the savior's name or duly acknowledge his official priesthood office (gasp)! he is, therefore, discredited and we must shun him in favor of those who properly punctuate their arguments!"]

GORSKY: What I'm saying is, if you have government-funded events, and they're turned into religious events to promote the idea that Jesus is the reason for the season, that that is wrong.

first of all, how often do government-funded events turn into religious revivals? why all the threatening letters all of a sudden from the ACLU? the final sentence of my post is in response to this claim by gorsky. i never left my elementary school auditorium after singing in the christmas concert feeling "saved" or converted. neither can i envision an instance in which such an event morphs into a religious service. his main point is without merit.

secondly, when timothy gorsky goes on to say, "for (any non-christian religious group), jesus is not the reason for the season" he implies that these groups celebrate christmas alongside christians, but just leave the messy 'christ' part out of their observances. this is pretty ridiculous. jews, hindus, muslims, and buddhists generally do not celebrate christmas. for example, check out this website, where there is discussion about whether american muslims should celebrate christmas. ironically, the one reason given to celebrate it is that muslims DO believe that jesus was a prophet. whoops! looks like christ could be "the reason for the season" for one muslim out there. but the response from someone else is that, though christmas has become a national holiday, it is still a christian holiday. strike two! and whether or not people of other religious groups see christ as the center of the festivities participated in (with religious connotations), by 80-90% of americans is completely irrelevant. he is.

kc ushijima (who is neither royalty or a good researcher, both of which he claims: "i scoured the transcript--which i found camouflaged in a text link at the bottom of the misquoter's entry--and located key discrepancies!"), writes:

I'm not a scholar on the Jewish Religion [he must be too busy ruling his kingdom!], but to my knowledge, Chanukkah is not about the birth (or even death) of Jesus.

nope. but like the crucifixion, it is meant to counteract his influence. let me quote from judaism 101:

Most American Jews feel a sort of ambivalence about Chanukkah. On the one hand, most of them know that Chanukkah is not a big deal, and they don't want to make a big deal about it. On the other hand, Christmas is everywhere, unavoidable and overwhelming, and Jews want something of their own to counterbalance it. This is the primary motivation behind elaborate Chanukkah decorations and enormous Chanukkah menorahs in public areas: Chanukkah is not very important, but asserting our Jewish identity and distinctiveness and existence in the face of overwhelming pressure to conform to a non-Jewish norm is important. [source]

looks like christmas is the reason for the season--even for jews! and if jesus is the reason for christmas, well...just put together this simple hypothetical syllogism: if jesus then christmas, if christmas then chanukka. therefore if jesus then chanukka. in addition to this perfectly logical argument, chanukka celebrates something to do with the temple, which had EVERYTHING to do with the messiah.
but going back to your statements...

I think that Jewish people may still celebrate Chanukah around the
"holiday" season, even if it weren't for the Christian celebration (and market commercialization) of Jesus' birth.

if either yom kippur or rosh hashana (the two biggest jewish holidays) fell on december 25, your argument might be somewhat convincing. too bad they don't. as jewfaq.org admits, chanukka is hyped because of christmas, and christmas is because of jesus.

and i'm still searching online chat rooms for the huge (but SECRET!) hindu holiday that falls in december and that is the cause for so much december revelry among that particular sect. getting back to the real question: what kind of learning have we engendered in our public schools? isn't it odd that our schools (purpose: to educate america's youth) are being asked to disguise or ignore the real story of christmas in the name of the oft-misapplied 'separation of church and state'? it's insane, if you ask me. and i still argue that gorsky's words were retarded--no matter how consistent they have been shown to be with his ludicrous position.

Travis - Here's the post you should have written...

Hi, This is Travis.

The other day I was watching a guy on TV who appeared to say Christmas was not about Jesus. Obviously, that's absurd - and I posted a paragraph in my blog to that effect. Later, I found from the official transcript that the man had actually said, "To Jews, Christmas is not about Jesus." This is clearly true.

So...

I apologize for the misquote, while at the same time I stand firmly in opposition to the man's overall argument - which was that the Christian symbolism of Christmas in unimportant, or even harmful.

Case closed.

Thanks, Travis

(Why do people find it so hard to admit when they've made a very simple mistake? Dude, you misquoted the guy. Hey, we all make mistakes. Just own up to it and move on. This crazy attempt to get us to believe Jews celebrate Jesus is just silly.)

not to nitpick, but

now you're misquoting. the argument was never over whether or not jews celebrate jesus, only whether jesus is "the reason for the season". he can be the reason for the season without jews wanting him to be (as i deftly pointed out, above).

but i did misquote gorsky. only, when i realized the error, i decided to keep the post rather than rewrite the entire thing, since i am not getting paid, and often doubt if anyone is even visiting my blog. [if it makes you feel any better, after this experience i'm sure i'll wait to blog something until i've verified every quotation.]

but let me reiterate: gorsky's argument was completely lame. if non-christians celebrate christmas, it is because of jesus. hypothetical syllogism (see my comment, above).

if non-christians do not celebrate christmas, then gorsky's comment is irrelevant. the christmas season is not something that they observe. he might as well have said,

"jesus is not the reason that non-christians do nothing in december."

exactly! it is not an argument, it is a stupifyingly meaningless observation that you people suddenly think is the most persuasive phrase ever uttered by man.

so i am not sorry for calling it retarded. i am appalled that i have failed to convince you of the fact.

Logic and Rhetoric

I'll disregard the ad hominem attacks made about me, and let's talk logic and rhetoric.

First off, the original title for the post was regarding the most retarted quotation, not argument. So if we question the quotation and not the overall argument being made, it's not really our fault.

Secondly, it's not that I don't agree with Travis' position that Christ and Christmas have an influence on this season. I actually do, reservedly. But rather, I don't necessarily agree that the quote (or misquote) of Gorsky is a good basis or premise to make that argument and show that Gorsky is an "idiot." If there were more quotes to help explain and represent Gorsky's position, a better argument could have been made.

Thirdly, I don't think that Mr. Gorsky's observation (quote) is very profound as suggested. Most observations are pretty clear cut and straight forward in order to be effective, or else it ends up convoluted like a John Kerry answer.

I also think that it's not just Jesus that is driving the holiday season, but rather the economic benefits reaped in America is what is making Christmas such a visible holiday. It has also become tradition to put up lights, to go see Santa, to watch Christmas movies, mistletoe, get a Christmas tree, and many families I'm sure have their own Christmas customs.

Yes, Christmas wouldn't have started without Christ, however, in my opinion, if it weren't for the economic forces driving the celebration of Christmas (and not solely the pure love of Christ), it wouldn't be as potent as it is today.

I would argue that the celebration (meaning: "commercial aspect") of Christmas is a bigger influence on the holiday season than just people remembering Jesus' birth. However, there are some that do not get caught up in all the rampant gift giving and have a sincere rememberence for Him. I appluad them.

K.C.,
the Provo-King
(a.k.a. the Provo Princess on the weekends)

Yup. Good catch ProvoKing!

Sometimes all you have to do is follow the link.

Someone without a login wrote

Someone without a login wrote:

"I think what Travis was trying to illustrate was the absurdity of saying that the festivities at this time of year have nothing to do with Jesus."

I don't doubt that that's what Travis was trying to do. Unfortunately, he tries to do it by misquoting, taking out of context, and misrepresenting the gentleman he abruptly calls an Idiot.

The problem is that the Atheist NEVER said "Jesus is not the reason for Christmas" (according to the transcript) as Travis states in his initial post.

If we take most any quote, and replace a word or two, take it out of context, I'm sure that it could be made to sound absurd.

Someone without a login also wrote:

"In other words, were it not for the Christian celebration of Jesus' birth on December 25th there would be no 'holiday season' at this time of year."

I think that Jewish people may still celebrate Chanukah around the "holiday" season, even if it weren't for the Christian celebration (and market commercialization) of Jesus' birth. The Jewish faith could have succumbed to peer pressure to have some sort of festivities to be a simulacrum of "Christmas" around Christmas time.

However, the Jewish people have other holidays or special days in their faith that don't coincide with the Christian faith. I recall the Jewish kid in elementary class who got excused to miss class every now and then for a Jewish holiday.

K.C.,
the Provo-King