Sunday, December 21, 2014

UCG, LCG, COGWA And Their Annual 'It's Not A Christmas Party" Weekend



Christmas with COGWA at the Galt House where UCG used to meet every year till COGWA apostatized and usurped the facility from under UCG.


A reader here took exception of me making fun of UCG, LCG, and COGWA's annual "It's Not A Christmas Celebration" weekends.  UCG, COGWA and LCG started this tradition several years ago in order to give the kids of the various splinter groups something to do while the rest of the world celebrates Christmas.  Children in Armstorngism have always gotten the short shift on every thing.  Most of the things their friends enjoy they are not allowed to do.  UCG, COGWA and LCG have made themselves slaves to the pagan mythology and the membership pays the price for that silliness. 

They book these weekends in resorts that are decked out for Christmas from trees, to garlands and millions of lights.  Yet through it all, not one single UCG member, LCG member or COGWA member looks at any of those decorations, listens to the Christmas music playing, or marvels at the beauty of the lights.  When  they walk into these places the blinders go on and the ear plugs go in. Then once they are sequestered in their meeting or play spaces they click their tongues at the poor uneducated, deceived, pagan worshiping, filthy heathens outside the doors bowing down to Christmas trees decked out with Lucifer testicles, dead babies and Satan's snakes.  

The hypocrisy of these groups know no boundaries.
 
I would like to inform you about North West Weekend which you are accusing to be a Christmas party in one of your blog's. Do you even go to our church? Have you ever been to our church? North West Weekend is not a Christmas party yes we have a dance Saturday night but we only use that weekend because everyone has it off we would gladly use another weekend but that one is easiest we don't have Christmas trees or wreaths or any of the fixings of a Christmas party this year our theme for the teen dance is a night in old morraco we also have volleyball on Thursday day this year we have our ski day. Christmas has no part in your weekend we usually forget it's around Christmas unless someone brings it up. Also it is not the only weekend we do stuff. We have church Saturday and after sundown we set up we do it in winter time because sunset is early and we have time to set up and have a three hour dance, and then have time to pack up and leave. As a fourteen year old I'm ashamed that you as an adult don't have enough reasoning power to realize this.

Apparently sunset is a rather inconvenient thing to work around the rest of the year.





Christmas with UCG at the Great Wolf Lodge and not a Christmas decoration in sight!

53 comments:

old EXPCG hag said...

The thing is...unless you live at >headquarters<, such as PCg...your screwed. They have their little Utopia there and have parties and woop it up most all year round. Some have at least most of their families there (especially the Flurry's). They even have a concert hall. What more could you want?? Who needs little ol Xmas and Satan's Claws? Meanwhile back in Poorsville, no family to associate with or money to do anything with. And don't expect anyone from >headquarters< to invite the widows and the fatherless to their house in Utopiaville.
GOVERNMENT IS EVERYTHING!! Remember that suckers!!

Black Ops Mikey said...

By doing this they are tacitly admitting that the Feast of Tabernacles is not good enough.

Byker Bob said...

It is indeed a problem for kids growing up in these churches to learn to relate as equals to their peers, and to be able to be respected for their talents and individuality. There is an old adage that whoever you were in high school is who you are going to be for the rest of your life. So, in a way, I can understand muting the pariah factor, although these so-called winter weekends are kind of in keeping with the secularization of Christmas in the pubblic schools, where Christmas is now called the "winter break". Gone is the caroling and the Christmas pageant, and everyone now at least nods towards Hannukah and Kwanzaa. It's a multi-cultural event, with everyone included except the ACOG kids. So, I get it in a way, although by classic Armstrong standards it smacks of allowing worldliness to creep in, or the salt losing its savor.

In the '60s, church kids had to wear extremely out of style clothing to class, classroom contributions often were painfully twinged with Armstrongish apocalyptic and right wing politics, and you generally couldn't even achieve or excel in the area of athletics because generally, meets, games, and matches were on Friday nights and Saturdays. Personally, I threw in my pariah or martyr towel at the beginning of 11th grade, when my family moved to a new community about a hundred miles away from our previous schools. I quit parroting the church's positions in class, sometimes secreted cool clothes in my locker that I changed into for class, smoked in the boys room, stole and forged hall passes, and occasionally drank beer with the black guys in an ancient Oldsmobile before class. The dual lifestyle provided some relief, and it was effectively concealed, because I also earned my local minister's enthusiastic recommendation for Ambassador College.

It's not as if I was unusual in that, either. Some of the church kids who came along after me were even smoking dope and dropping acid. And why wouldn't they? We were not rebels without a cause, we had a very serious cause, which was euphemistically called "Child Rearing, God's Way", but was anything but. Its real name was child abuse. What's true is that, like ourselves, the author of that booklet also led a dual lifestyle.

Imagine how it would just piss you off to find out that many of the top ministers actually disagreed with what was written in that booklet, and refused to apply it to their own children! The take away for parents in todays ACOGs is, be sure to watch very carefully whose example you follow! In fact, don't follow an example! Read widely, and carefully select your parenting skills. Fortunately, the way I was raised made me abhor the typical abusive leadership exemplified by the power structure in WCG, and I managed to break the cycle. It wasn't always real pretty to watch, but In spite of them, I turned out fine.

BB

Anonymous said...

There is little reason to flock to one of these post-HWA offshoots. If a person wants to adhere to the basic Sabbatarian doctrines, they need only go back to the Church of God 7th Day. Pretending that HWA was even necessary in the COG context is silly. COG7 preceded him, and, despite his slander against them, has outlasted him.

It is difficult to fathom how all of these groups continue to posture as relevant organizations. They essentially parallel each other, teaching the same thing, while trying to explain why people should align with their particular organization. It isn't just silly. It's bizarre.

Winter family weekends and the like just cancel each other out. Camps. Colleges. Magazines. TV shows. Feast sites. Millions of dollars collected from members just to duplicate one another. What an absurd joke it's all disintegrated into. They can't get along. They don't get along. And they won't get along. And everybody knows it. By carrying on separate from one another, they make a mockery of the entire "true church" concept they presume to espouse. If they're all agreed, then why aren't they walking together?

But then, who really cares? Let them play in their various sandboxes. That's the sum total of the impact they're having, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Actually, LCG is a late-comer to the field. They didn't have their winter weekend until 2007, the supposed 15-year anniversary of Global-LCG. (Never mind that Global was a church that was totally rejected by the LCG membership; Meredith turned his back on it and left it bankrupt, yet they treat it like Global-LCG is one continuous church.) First, there was only one winter weekend (UCG), until UCG's old regime forced out the independents. Then there were two winter weekends. Then, LCG copied the idea in 2007. Then UCG's old regime was itself forced out. Now there is a 4th winter weekend.
By the way, LCG has now copied 4 things from UCG. (Shhh. Don't tell them. They would be horrified.) Namely, the winter weekend, youth adventure camp, good works program, and the idea of actually inviting people to church.

Anonymous said...

A very merry un-christmas
To me
To who?
To me
Oh, you!

A very merry un-christmas
To you
Who, me?
Yes, you!
Oh, me!
Let's all congratulate us for our superiority
A very merry un-christmas to you!

Worldly Vermin: I'm sorry I interrupted your christmas party.

March Member: Christmas? My dear child, this is NOT a christmas party!

Mad Minister: Of course not. This is an un-christmas party!

Worldly Vermin: Un-christmas? I'm sorry, but I don't quite understand.

March Member: It's very different. Now, 30 days hath Sep--No. Un-christmas is, if you read the bible, then...(She doesn't know what an un-christmas party is!)

Mad Minister: How silly!

Now, Herbert proved, proved that Christ has NOOOOO birthday,
So every day that you should pray is UUUUUN-christmas!
But since we all have time off work at this time of the year,
Precisely why we celebrate with Santa and reindeer!

A very merry un-christmas
To me?
To you!
A very merry un-christmas
For me?
For you!
It's how we drink the day away
And say it's to Yahweh,
A very merry un-christmas to you!

Anonymous said...

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping on your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And ministers dressed up like Eskimos.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their faces all aghast,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

They know that Christ is on his way;
He's going to judge the world and make them pay.
And every mother's child is going to cry,
When the Lake of Fire is trotted out to terrify.

And so I'm offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety-two,
Although its been said many times, many ways,
Merry "Winter Weekend" to you.

Anonymous said...

You better watch out!
You better obey,
Better not pout,
I'm telling you why,
Jesus Christ is coming to town.

He's making a list,
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out who's naughty and nice.
Jesus Christ is coming to town.

He sees you when you're sleeping.
He knows when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for good-ness sake!

O! You better watch out!
You better obey.
Better not pout,
I'm telling you why,
Jesus Christ is coming to town.

Anonymous said...

I'm dreaming of a "Winter Weekend,"
Just like the ones I used to know:
Where the treetops glisten and children listen,
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.

I'm dreaming of a "Winter Weekend,"
With every Chr-"Season's Greetings" card I write.
May your days be merry and bright,
And may all your "Winter Weekends" be white.

Anonymous said...

Dashing through the snow,
In an ancient Chevrolet,
Past the fields we go,
Laughing all the way!

The North West Weekend fling
Makes the season bright,
Oh what fun to laugh and sing
Dwight Armstrong hymns tonight!

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way!
Oh what fun it is to ride
In an ancient Chevrolet!

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way!
Oh what fun it is to ride
In an ancient Chevrolet!

Anonymous said...

Have yourself a merry Northwest Weekend,
Let your heart be light (be light).
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight.

Have yourself a merry Northwest Weekend,
Consecrate it to Yahweh (Yahweh).
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in golden days,
When we kept the season bright.
It's almost like before we'd heard the phrase,
"Plain Truth Magazine" to-night.

Through the years we might all be together,
If the fatcats allow,
'Til then hang a star upon the highest bough!
And have yourself A merry Northwest Weekend now.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've got time off, yaknow...
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

It doesn't show signs of stopping,
And I've brought some scotch for drinking,
We're not celebrating christmas, soooooo...
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

When we finally kiss goodnight,
(Where'd that mistletoe come from?)
But if you really hold me tight,
During my "walk of shame" I'll be warm.

The fire is slowly dying,
And, my dear, we're still good-bying,
But as long as you love me so,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Anonymous said...

We wish you a Merry Weekend,
We wish you a Merry Weekend,
We wish you a Merry Weekend,
And a Happy New Year.

Good tidings to you,
And your kin in the church,
Good tidings for the Weekend,
And a Happy New Year.

Santa's having breakfast, Dad!
Santa's having breakfast, Dad!
Santa's having breakfast, Dad!
Dad, can we go?

I don't think so.
Santa is Satan.
How about the Mouse Mystery?
It's only ten bucks.

Is the Snow Fairy Princess okay?
Is the Snow Fairy Princess okay?
Is the Snow Fairy Princess okay?
Dad, can we go?

We wish you a Merry Weekend,
We wish you a Merry Weekend,
We wish you a Merry Weekend,
And a Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

O Come All Ye Faithful
To Winter Family Weekend,
O come ye, O come ye, to Great Wolf Lodge.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
We're not keeping christmas,
We're not keeping christmas,
O come, let us adore Him,
Baby Jesus.

O Sing, choirs of members,
Sing in exultation,
Sing from your hymnals God's holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
We're not keeping christmas,
We're not keeping christmas,
O come, let us adore Him,
Baby Jesus.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Come All Ye Faithful to Great Wolf Lodge.
O come ye, O come ye, to Winter Family Weekend,
We're not keeping christmas,
We're not keeping christmas,
It's Winter Family Weekend,
At Great Wolf Lodge.

Anonymous said...

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?
In the lane, snow is glistening.
Such a beautiful sight,
We're not keeping Christmas tonight.
Walking on a Winter Family Weekend.

Gone away is the bluebird,
Here to stay is a new bird.
He sings a love song,
As we go along,
Walking on a Winter Family Weekend.

In the meadow we can build a snowman,
Then pretend that he is Melvin Rhodes.

He'll say: Are you married?
We'll say: No man,
But you can do the job
When you're in town.

Later on, we'll conspire,
As we "retreat" by the fire
To speak unafraid,
Of the plans that we've made,
Walking on a Winter Family Weekend.

In the meadow we can build a snowman,
And pretend that he is Jim Franks.
We'll have lots of fun with mister snowman,
Until the other members knock him down.

When it snows, ain't it thrilling,
Though your nose gets a chilling
We'll frolic and play, in a non-christmasy way,
Walking on a Winter Family Weekend.

Anonymous said...

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

If I don't avoid "the appearance of 'evil'" then shame on me for being so careless and disregarding the word of god.

However, if they don't avoid "the appearance of 'evil'" then, again, shame on me, à la 1 Corinthians 13.

After all, what person in their right mind would suspect they're celebrating christmas by celebrating on christmas at a christmas destination?

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:35 PM,

You wrote: "...What an absurd joke it's all disintegrated into. They can't get along. They don't get along. And they won't get along. And everybody knows it. By carrying on separate from one another, they make a mockery of the entire "true church" concept they presume to espouse. If they're all agreed, then why aren't they walking together?

But then, who really cares? Let them play in their various sandboxes. That's the sum total of the impact they're having, anyway..."

Excellent points made! You have observed how "agreed" the xcogs are and wonder: "...why aren't they walking together?..."

It's very simple. It is the leaders of the groups that cause a huge problem, because not one leader wants to yield to another human being, but instead wants to be the "one in charge," which is something else they agree on.

So, yes, it is like they are all in separate sandboxes.......as though each leader departed from the WCG, left their credentials behind in Pasadena, and walked away with his own "bat and ball" to some sandbox...having virtually nothing to do with the God who plants. Well, Jesus Christ said this:

"...Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." Matthew 15:13

In time, they will all be rooted up. Additionally, God would never built His Church on sand...no matter who is in the sandbox. There is a way that seems right, and the leaders of the xcogs are showing that way...and their end is the same!

In the meantime, what do these leaders leave us with as they go their own ways?

:14 "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."

Excellent advice...let them alone. Personally, if anything, I'd rather be established on a Rock, and I'm not referring to Jesus Christ, but to the One Jesus Christ considered to be The Rock....and it's not Peter either!

John


Miller Jones said...

Some thoughts on Christmas from someone who used to reject the holiday:
http://godcannotbecontained.blogspot.com/2014/09/god-and-paganism.html
http://godcannotbecontained.blogspot.com/2014/12/god-and-christmas.html

Anonymous said...

they say Jesus is the reason for the season; frankly the hypocrisy is in your article because you swallow wholeheartedly the massive lying and biblicaly contrary customs of they who keep christmass but you choke on the efforts of the cogs to actually do what Christ Commanded.

Ed said...

Isn't the feast of tabernacles a lot like Christmas? There is a lot of gift giving, alcohol flowing, a lot of hymn singing, and the COG's believe that Jesus was born in the fall of the year around the time of the fall holy days. Are they really celebrating Christmas but just calling it the feast of tabernacles?

Anonymous said...

Have a jolly Northwest Weekend,
It's the best time of the year.
You can say
It's Christmas day,
If so I didn't hear.

Have a jolly Northwest Weekend,
While you're at this Christmas bash,
Wave hello
to the friends you know,
But not that pagan trash.

Oh no!
There's mistletoe,
hung where we can see. (Oh my!)
Who put these presents here for me
Underneath this tree? (Oh my!)

Have a jolly Northwest Weekend,
and in case you didn't hear,
Oh by golly
Have a jolly
Northwest Weekend this year!

Anonymous said...

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
With the kids jingle-belling
And ministers telling you "Be of good cheer!"
It's the most wonderful time of the year!

It's the hap-happiest season of all.
With those church service meetings and holiday greetings,
Fellowship in the hall!
It's the hap-happiest season of all!

There'll be parties for hosting
And champagne for toasting
And singing hymns out in the snow.
There'll be great bible studies
And tales of the glories
From Northwest Weekends long ago!

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
There'll be much mistletoeing
And hearts will be glowing when family is near!
It's the most wonderful time of the year!

There'll be parties for hosting
And champagne for toasting
And singing hymns out in the snow.
There'll be great bible studies
And tales of the glories
From Northwest Weekends long ago!

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
There'll be much mistletoeing
And hearts will be glowing when family is near!
It's the most wonderful time,
It's the most wonderful time,
It's the most wonderful time,
It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Anonymous said...

Interesting. If this winter celebration is some sort of figurative euphemism or sleight of hand, can we rename other kinds of sin, like fornication and adultry, or maybe the eating of unclean meats, smoking cigarettes, and maybe commit those sins, too?

~Miguel de la Rodente

Anonymous said...

Jesus was born six months after John the baptist, who was the son of the priest Zecharia; the bible describes when Zecharia was scheduled to perform his duties in the temple and it was during that particular time that his wife got pregnant; six months later Mary got pregnant. The calculation shows that Jesus was either born in the spring or the fall.

Anonymous said...

It's absurd to focus on what seems to be a genuine attempt to get family and members together. There are bigger theological, ethical, and organizational problems in those orgs to discuss. It's clear that some of you need serious professional help.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:13, you supported the points I made in my earlier post (Dec. 21, 4:35).

"...the efforts of the cogs to actually do what Christ Commanded."

The efforts of the cogs, plural. Not the one. The bunch. The many.

They aren't walking together. None of you are. So I'll tell you what: Y'all get your act together, then come back and tell the rest of us how stupid we are.

HWA used to mockingly intone, "WHY so many denominations?" Well, what d'ya know: What goes around, comes around. Try looking in the mirror; you might realize your entire house is made of glass.

Questeruk said...

It’s a pity that it took a fourteen year old to point out to you the facts of the matter. Something that should really have been obvious anyway.

Are you sure that it’s not ‘Banned’ that have ‘the blinders on, and the ear plugs in?

After all, knowledge of the origins of Xmas isn’t something that the COGs have a corner on. E.g. quoted from the current issue of the completely secular UK news magazine ‘The Week’.

“Is Christmas Christian? Barely. The notion of commemorating Jesus’s birth – as opposed to his death or ascension – isn’t recorded until about 300 years after he died. Then, as if by chance, celebrations began to take place in Rome, whose Emperor Constantine had recently converted to Christianity. They occurred in midwinter, in the midst of Saturnalia, the great pagan festival in honour of Saturn, god of agriculture. This month of feasting and drinking was beloved by the poor as it turned the traditional Roman order upside down. Slaves became masters, peasants rulers. Children were celebrated. Holding a major Christian event at such a raucous time was smart PR, if nothing else, for the new religion.”

There is lots more – e.g. in section Wasn’t Jesus born on 25 December? The magazine says “Unlikely, if the Bible is anything to go by.” Then goes on to suggest that Biblically the birth would appear to be in early autumn, and finishes that section with “Around AD350, Pope Julius I chose 25 Dec, the birthday of the infant pagan sun god Mithra, as the Nativity.”

I suppose you can do as you like, but at least have the honesty to admit that the COGs are correct in saying that Christmas has no connection with Christianity, or the birth of Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Bart Ehrman.

Anonymous said...

Maybe some day, they'll be able to call it what it is-
It's a winter solstice festival!
So is Christmas.
The sun may have waned, but have a positive attitude and be of good cheer, because the sun will return in all it's former glory, bringing with it the return of the planting and harvest seasons upon which we depend for life.

Did Jesus go all "kung-fu" on these ancient celebrations, turning them Christian? No. Men did that.

I don't have a problem with Christmas, though, and I enjoy the festivities, nice camaraderie with family and friends, and all the amazingly beautiful decorations and lights.

(Note to those who think a powerful Jesus is 'large and in charge' of Christmas: Please ask Him to change the date of Christmas to his actual birthday so we can avoid driving in snow when buying gifts and visiting Grandma.)
(Also, please ask Jesus to purge our planet of that horrible "Christmas Shoes" song, and send those who wrote and sang it to the Lake of Fire.)

Byker Bob said...

Some of the people whom I knew back in the day who died young while being raised as WASAs (White, Anglo Saxon Armstrongites) if they somehow came back to life today would probably be amazed that in 2014 Christmas was still even being observed! How would, as an example, a young diabetic who had died because he gave up "Satan's insulin" in the late '60s even begin to fathom it all? First and foremost on his mind would be the question "What ever happened to the Germans?" He might also wonder about disease epidemics, a new great depression, and if all his friends, neighbors and colleagues at work had "gone gay" as perhaps the final anticipated sign of the end times.

Upon learning that worst case prophecy scenarios had never actually kicked in, our erstwhile young resurrected WASA might then expect the WCG to be huge, based on the 30% annual growth projections, and for HWA either to still be alive and leading at 100+, or for him to have chosen an "Elisha" type successor who had been blessed with double the strength and abilities, to be well-known, and to lead a huge organization with great unquestioned and unchallenged authority.

You have to wonder if our WASA, not having been been an inside party to any of the evolutionary splintering, would be able to actually select any one splinter as being the "true" group, and if so, how he would deal with a congregation of 40-60 individuals in his major metropolitan area. Oh, and the kicker---what about all of this new science involving the mapping of the human genome, and how it informs us as to certain theories that were only ever credible because "Mr. Armstrong says...." in the first place?

Of course, as we all know, our young resurrected WASA fantasy is just a dream. However, it's about the only "control group" way in which a hypothetical member might be able to get past the glaring elements of the frogs in boiling water syndrome. The fact that "Mr. Armstrong" is gone and all but forgotten, but the Rolling Stones are still alive and on tour would be a real shocker. Alas, I guess that in the presence of great shock, everyone is entitled to somehow amend and rationalize to preserve sanity, even if that sanity is based on the quicksand of illusion.

Merry Christmas, everybody! There is so much for which to be thankful in Dec. 2014! How 'bout those gas prices?

BB

Anonymous said...

"I suppose you can do as you like, but at least have the honesty to admit that the COGs are correct in saying that Christmas has no connection with Christianity, or the birth of Jesus Christ."

WHAT???
Christmas has no connection with Christianity?
Well, sure, Christmas is rooted in paganism, but to say that Christmas has no connection with Christianity today is just plain stupid.

May Baby Jesus whack you with His wet diaper!

Anonymous said...

QuesterUK wrote:

"It’s a pity that it took a fourteen year old to point out to you the facts of the matter. Something that should really have been obvious anyway. Are you sure that it’s not ‘Banned’ that have ‘the blinders on, and the ear plugs in? After all, knowledge of the origins of Xmas isn’t something that the COGs have a corner on ... I suppose you can do as you like, but at least have the honesty to admit that the COGs are correct in saying that Christmas has no connection with Christianity, or the birth of Jesus Christ."

*Sigh*

How old are you, Quester? 13?

I'm not sure to which post this 14yo was responding, but still, it's amazing how frequently sufferers of Dunning–Kruger like QuesterUK begin condescendingly lecturing others without the capacity to comprehend how poor their reading comprehension is (not to mention their inability to reason non-fallaciously).

Totally apart from how your argument suffers fatally from the genetic fallacy and an appeal to authority (that isn't one), you've completely missed the entire point of at least this post.

The fallacy I want to focus on is the straw man fallacy. To wit: where was it claimed that Christmas DOES have such-and-such connection with Christianity? I highly doubt you'll be able to produce such a claim.

Instead, what WAS claimed, at least in this post, is:

A) The COGs continue to make manifold unsupportable claims that Christmas is somehow "evil" in unspecified, magical/mystical, or fallacious ways,

B) The boundless hypocrisy of COGs by then going ahead and celebrating on Christmas at Christmas destinations, and then telling themselves they're not keeping Christmas,

C) There's nothing inherently "evil" about Christmas one way or the other, regardless of what it's ancient origins might or might not be, and there are no justifiable reasons for being so superstitiously afraid of it, and

D) There are many good reasons why one might or might not choose to keep Christmas, but if you accept COG reasoning and don't keep Christmas for the reasons why the COGs say you shouldn't, then you are an idiot.

There are often societal and familial prices to be paid by shunning traditional cultural celebrations. There is absolutely no benefit for "religiously" abstaining from Christmas, if it means becoming an offense. You're paying a price, and in exchange, for it, what benefit accrues? None. Armstrongist superstitions make one into a judgmental bastard, and there's no redeeming upside.

Go ahead and keep Christmas if you feel like it, because there's nothing wrong with it. Or don't, if you don't want to. These are already much better reasons to do anything than the bullshit reasons Herbert Armstrong always came up with. The "origins" or "being afraid of an irate deity" should NOT be among the reasons why a modern adult makes any choices whatsoever.

Keep calm and stop carrying on like an idiot.

Retired Prof said...

BB, you nearly always have something important and insightful to say, but you outdid yourself with that "young resurrected WASA fantasy." It's just superb.

Anonymous said...

We're forgetting something. HWA/WCG redefined "Christianity" assigning to it a totally new, and to outsiders, strange and foreign meaning. That is how Armstrongites are able to say with a straight face, "Why Christmas has nothing to do with Christianity!" They have become accustomed to using the term "Christianity" when they really mean "Armstrongism"

This is another example as to how brainwashing and cult-speak render personal evangelism and proselytizing difficult if not totally impossible.

Byker Bob said...

Thanks, RP. I am hoping that perhaps the young WASA will momentarily transport a few people to a different perspective, opening their eyes to the massive, continuing self-reprogramming that needs to be done just to ante up and continue to stay in the game of Armstrongism. Because it is often such a subtle, and gradual process, guided by their ministry and aided and abetted by their peers, there are undoubtedly some who don't even realize what is being done in the battlegrounds of their minds. That is usually the case when individuals are firmly ensconced in their own little worlds. An outsider can provide a bit of objectivity, perhaps a second opinion, if they will only let him in, but that would be a very rare thing.

I had a specific person in mind as my model for the young WASA. He did what he felt was the right things according to what we were taught, but ended up as an early casualty of the church's beliefs regarding medical science. He was to become a sort of an archetype or stereotype, as others fell into that same unfortunate mold throughout my history in the organization. If they were resurrected today, that they had trusted the wrong people, made the wrong decisions, and had died for no good reason would probably pain them greatly, in view of what has happened (or failed to happen) in their church since.

BB

Anonymous said...

From The Wanderer

Byker Bob..if I may say...your resurrected recount is dead on..no pun intended. Makes one think it does. I often wonder while wandering about those who gave up incredible creative talents for COG and now..mourn the loss of themselves. True bite time...I was an art major and let it go because at the age of 16..when life SHOULD have been a blank canvas just waiting to be created...instead...smudged and held frozen from beliefs that my world would soon be destroyed etc etc. My father listened to Herbie and Plain Truth and it was the only message I got..nothing about how wonderful HE really is and..HE does love us and wants us to live..to help others live.

Great job all of you with your insights

Long live...living...get to it.

The Wanderer

Questeruk said...


Anonymous December 24, 2014 at 2:46 AM, asks “where was it claimed that Christmas DOES have such-and-such connection with Christianity? I highly doubt you'll be able to produce such a claim.”


You miss the point entirely, unfortunately. Should I suppose the illusory superiority of the Dunning-Kruger effect has hit you?

The whole theme of the original blog is the inept idea that by holding an event that overlaps the Christmas period automatically means that the participants are celebrating Christmas.

The logic of this is as sensible as claiming that anyone going out to an event on 20th April is clearly celebrating the birthday of Adoph Hitler. After all, why would anyone go out on his birthday otherwise?

My point was that you don’t need to look to COG sources to see where Christmas came from. There are so many secular sources that show exactly the same thing, it really is a no-brainer. That being the case it should be understandable that some people don’t want to celebrate it.

Not celebrating Christmas doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself up in a closet somewhere until the day goes away – no, it means you get on with your life, and if you chose to do enjoyable activities on that day with others that also chose not to celebrate it, so what? It doesn’t mean that you or your friends are celebrating it.

Hey everyone, what we going to do next 20th April?

Anonymous said...

QuesterUK-

In the first place...

If I "missed the point" it's not because I missed anything, but because now you've switched tactics and are no longer seriously attempting to make the old point:

"It’s a pity that it took a fourteen year old to point out to you the facts of the matter...knowledge of the origins of Xmas isn’t something that the COGs have a corner on...but at least have the honesty to admit that the COGs are correct in saying that Christmas has no connection with Christianity, or the birth of Jesus Christ."

but are now embarked upon trying to make a brand new point:

"The whole theme of the original blog is the inept idea that by holding an event that overlaps the Christmas period automatically means that the participants are celebrating Christmas."

of which there was no attempt to make previously. (Don't forget that what you wrote before is still clearly legible above ↑ ) Nice try there, but no cigar.


To finish up Old Business, since no defences were attempted pursuant to the following previous arguments, I assume we can consider these points resolved:

1) that the completely separate and totally irrelevant argument about "origins" you previously made suffers fatally from:

...i) the straw man fallacy since, after being invited, you declined to produce anything to bolster your claim that anyone on this blog ever was preoccupied with claiming anything about "the origins of Xmas" (which you continue to tediously belabour, btw),

...ii) a fallacious appeal to authority (that isn't one),

...iii) the genetic fallacy (which you continue to make: i.e. "My point was that you don’t need to look to COG sources to see where Christmas came from...it really is a no-brainer. That being the case it should be understandable that some people don’t want to celebrate it." Again, nobody here ever said you SHOULD celebrate it, just that it's not a SIN if you want to. Not the same thing! Geez! Straw men. Straw men everywhere!)

2) the COGs continue to make manifold unsupportable claims that Christmas is somehow "evil" in unspecified, magical/mystical, or fallacious ways,

3) there is nothing inherently "evil" about Christmas, regardless of what it's ancient origins might or might not be (or Hitler's birthday either, for that matter), and

4) if you accept COG reasoning and don't keep Christmas for the reasons why the COGs say you shouldn't, then you are an idiot.

Anonymous said...

QuesterUK-

And in the second...

On to New Business.

You might have noticed one point was absent from the above resolved points, namely:

B) The boundless hypocrisy of COGs by then going ahead and celebrating on christmas at christmas destinations, and then telling themselves they're not keeping christmas,

which is the only thing you now, freshly, attempted a rebuttal of, hence:

"The whole theme of the original blog is the inept idea that by holding an event that overlaps the Christmas period automatically means that the participants are celebrating Christmas."

So, I have a question for you, Quester.

If this idea is so "inept," as you claim, then why does 1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil, even exist?

Does 1 Thessalonians 5:22 confer upon fundamentalist bible-thumpers who think the bible is the Word of God the responsibility to avoid the appearance of evil, or does it not?

What say you, Quester?

Because what I hear you saying is:

Given we COG people want to go out and celebrate on christmas at christmas destinations, it is EVERYONE ELSE'S responsibility NOT to interpret that as us celebrating christmas!

I'm not so sure you're right about that. The Word of your God disagrees with you. It says it's your responsibility, not ours. So don't cast this burden of responsibility presumptuously, Quester.

Or are you going to add special pleading/cherry-picking to your list of your undisputedly invoked fallacies and proceed to tell me that 1 Thessalonians 5:22 is a cherry that must not be picked, but should be left on the cherry tree?

Now, maybe COG people are on the thin end of the "celebrating christmas wedge," and maybe they're not. But clearly, your god thought that this would be a natural conclusion for us unsaved filthy heathen to draw, and not an "inept idea" after all. Although, I'll leave it up to you if you want to keep arguing with your god or not. That's one I'll happily withdraw myself from being in the middle of.

Your analogy with Hitler's birthday, btw, is ludicrous. Just last night I was thinking to myself, how remarkable it is that people's behavior is so skewed by christmas that it radically distorts the entire retail economic sector. Does a similar marathon shopping season begin in February and culminate at a fever pitch on April 19? Who even realizes what day Hitler's birthday was? What an obscure connection for anyone to make. This really is a daft thing for anyone to say, isn't it Quester?

So, if COG people are going to be soooo sanctimonious, puritanical, and worry about keeping themselves so "uncontaminated" from "the world" on the one hand, and yet on the other hand be so cavalier as to celebrate on christmas at christmas destinations, they really shouldn't be too surprised if others call them out on:
a) their hypocrisy
b) the appearance, à la 1 Thessalonians 5:22, that they are, in fact, on the thin end of the "celebrating christmas wedge," although they may be celebrating it in their own, unique way.

Lynn said...

Old EXPCG hag is correct. Widows, single mothers with low income could not participate in all the rich kid stuff in church. No fancy weekends for those of us without a lot of money.
We had to sign the list for those with no place to go on the night to be much observed (embarassing) and then hear the sighs when hosts learned we had no transportation.

And it was only those with money who became deacons and elders anyway. Then they sat in special seats away from us lowly ones at the feast. Never associated with us at all as if we were lepers.

Questeruk said...

I don’t know who the Anonymous contributor replying to my posts is, but it seems likely that it is NO2HWA himself.

Whoever it is has made a lot of accusations and innuendo.

However, let me summarise the points I am making. They are actually only two points, and they are both very simple:-

Point One. Not everyone wants to celebrate Christmas.

There are a lot of people, many outside of the COGs, who feel that Christmas has come from many sources, most of them outside of the Bible, and as such they do not wish to be involved in Christmas celebrations.

Whether or not you claimed in the article that Christmas does or does not have a connection with Christianity is not and was not the point, and has no relevance whatsoever.

I am making point that there are a reasonably large number of people that feel they don’t want to celebrate Christmas, and many even completely secular sources will give information on the origin of Christmas. This information gives cause for concern for a number of people.

That point isn’t that difficult to understand, is it? You yourself don’t need to have expressed an opinion one way or another in the article, that isn’t the issue.


Point Two. Holding an event that overlaps the Christmas period does not mean that the participants are celebrating Christmas.


You made a comment yourself that “Just last night I was thinking to myself, how remarkable it is that people's behavior is so skewed by christmas that it radically distorts the entire retail economic sector.”

Exactly. I agree completely. Everything throughout December and into early January is geared to Christmas. Decorations are in just about every retail outlet. It’s what the retail industry has decided that people want.

As I said previously, not celebrating Christmas doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself up in a closet somewhere until the day goes away, but rather it means you get on with your life.

Are you suggesting that throughout the month of December, and into January anyone not celebrating Christmas should stay out of all public places? Should the COGs cancel all services in public building throughout this period, in case any decorations have been put up?

You quote a Bible verse to me – do you yourself actually believe that the Bible has any relevance in your own life? If not, then quoting verses to others is a very hypocritical thing to be doing.

Certainly the principle is something that I would have to consider in my own life. However when Christmas decorations are the normal thing in virtually every retail business in the country, this starts to become irreverent, rather like food sacrificed to idols.

It’s interesting that both you and James Malm seem to be in agreement in this, James even has a link to this posting. A very unlikely alliance – enjoy!


In summary, despite your extensive postings, in reality I am saying, and have said consistently in both my previous postings, just two things:-

1. Not everyone wants to celebrate Christmas.

2. Holding an event that overlaps the Christmas period does not mean that the participants are celebrating Christmas.

Anonymous said...

I will not be getting into any long drawn out arguments over points of view as I can not change your mind nor you all mine.
I have attended these Winter Family Weekends in the past. As a teen my main goal was to rekindle past acquaintances and make new ones as not everyone was at the same feast site... When I went I was not offended or thought about the decorations and easily compartmentalized being there as living in this world where the world keep these festivals and the owners/managers of these locations do the same and decorate their locations...

While I do believe the origins of Christmas are blatantly pagan and I do not keep them I still can not get over the final photo of the Great Wolf Lodge... That photo just goes beyond paganism and into the dark realm of the occult with an inverted star/pentagram (i.e Goat of Mendes/Baphomet/etc) with the all seeing eye around it and a tree with a star sitting directly below it being up on a pedestal on a stage which to me It essentially looks like a re-creation of the altar in the Vatican which is the seat of Anti-Christ! I just can not get over how repulsive that is and I just had to make a comment.

NO2HWA said...

QuesteeUK: I rarely respond to most posts here in order to allow a free flow of opinions, something that is NOT done on most other COG related blogs. I did NOT respond to your posting.

Questeruk said...


Thanks for the clarification NO2HWA.

The anonymous poster seemed to be claiming ownership to the original article in one of the posts, but clearly this is not the case.

It can get a bit difficult when the majority of posters use the Anonymous tag! (Which is why I only ever post under my Questeruk id).

Having said that, I stand 100% behind what I said in my last post, except of course it is addressed to the Anonymous poster, and not to NO2HWA.

Byker Bob said...

There was a guy who had a lengthy discussion with Quester during his last visit here a couple of months ago. Seems to me that the guy wasn't registered with Blogger, but did sign his posts, though I can't recall his handle.

Language pattern and his take no prisoners style indicates that this anon is the same guy, if someone wanted to go back through the archives badly enough to find out.

BB

Anonymous said...

Hmm. It seems I've become an object of scrutiny.

Sorry if anyone thought I was taking credit for any posts. I'm not sure what I said that was interpreted that way. I'm not Gary, or even Redfox, but I do identify with their posts.

Is my style take-no-prisoners? I rather think my style is similar to that of William Lane Craig, except I don't believe. But his strength is that he doesn’t let others get away with stuff. There’s some stuff I’m not letting Quester get away with. Is that wrong?

I’m critical of the intolerance of Armstrongism, especially when it’s based on lies, fallacies, pseudofacts and clichéd canards, in this case, intolerance of what's considered in our society to be a normal custom. There are often social costs for shunning such traditions. I know, I've paid some. It has cost me relationships. Those were big mistakes resulting from buying into Herbert 's public lies. I don't want others to make the same mistakes.

So Quester doesn't want to celebrate christmas. No problem. I don’t celebrate it. If that were all Quester is trying to say, then I wouldn’t disagree.


But pardon me for noticing it isn’t all Quester is saying. Maybe there's a rule of polite society that you're supposed to pretend to not notice stuff like this? So maybe it's rude or intolerant of me to notice?

Yes, christmas has pagan origins. 3 times now Quester has harped on this, in each of his posts. It was the emphasis of his original post. Why? Because it's one of the pretexts HWA used to villify, and prop up his intolerant viewpoint on christmas? If so, then I object.

I don't think christmas should be villified or banned, which I believe was both Gary's and Redfox's point. I don't think aspersions should be cast upon those who DO want to celebrate it. But each time Quester brings up his "origins" theme again, I feel like he's trying to make HWA's point that people are "in the wrong" to celebrate christmas. I hope Quester can see how, here in a former-Armstrongist context, that goes beyond a live-and-let-live "Not everyone wants to celebrate Christmas" and says "And neither should you." So Quester appears to be enjoining Herbert's intolerance, using Herbert's talking points. If so, then I object.

Quester keeps moving the goalposts around trying to respin, reinterpret, or massage what “his points” are. Because before he said, “MY POINT WAS that you don’t need to look to COG sources to see where Christmas came from.” [Emphasis mine.] Maybe this was rude?

Then Quester uses a false dichotomy to suggest that an Armstrongist has only two choices. Either he can celebrate on christmas at christmas destinations, or else lock himself away. There's no other options. Not all public places or decorated spaces are christmas destination like the Galt House or Great Wolf Lodge are. Does Quester think I would say someone who walks into Macy's is necessarily christmas shopping? Or church must be cancelled when your rented hall gets decorated? No. Wouldn't any reasonable bystander think this is just as absurd as his bit about Hitler's birthday shopping season?

Why can't Quester either make his points reasonably and soundly, not absurdly, and just recant on the "origins" argument he keeps harping on (only for its intolerant Armstrongist implications) instead of trying to say he never said things, things which he keeps saying over and over! If I'm being rude, unreasonable, or intolerant to notice, please, seriously, I invite either Gary or BB to call me on it. If so, I will apologize to him. If he just did those two things, I think we could agree to agree on the rest.

Byker Bob said...

Hey, I don't have a dog in this fight. In fact, I hope you both keep doing what you are doing, and may the best person win! The suspicion that Q's anonymous challenger was Gary just struck me as being unreasonable, and I felt like some history would help.

I do wish that people would create and use a blog or forum name for themselves, though, just in the interest of some sort of order or continuity. Not everybody is capable of recognizing style and nuance, and for them a forum experience becomes not unlike "Blind Man's Bluff".

BB

NO2HWA said...

I leave the "anonymous" option on there for those still in the splinter groups or who have family still in them that will suffer repercussions for what they post. Sadly some of the splinter groups are just that vile and controlling.

I also had to leave the verification thing on. I turnd it off right before Christmas and had over 200 spam posts a day try to get through.

Anonymous said...

When you've spent so many years in Armstrongism, there's just such a large social network of people that you know, and know you, too well. Right now I'm still trying to build new social networks, and get disentangled from the old ones, and I don't feel comfortable posting as myself yet. So that's why I don't. Not so I can be a troll.

I try to let people speak for themselves, and not tyrannically paint people into a corner due to my own, possibly off-base, interpretations.

Also, we all fall foul to reaching erroneous conclusions through faulty reasoning. None of us can say we never make that kind of mistake. So, it really shouldn't be that big a deal to recant when someone else catches us in a fallacy.

But when caught, to then just switch to another fallacy, or employ some other absurd non-analogous analogy in a totally non-self-reflective way—and then, dare I say it, "lie" and claim you didn't say this or that, or try to claim some moral high ground by saying "I stand 100% behind what I said in my last post" with what appears to be the implication that it is consistent with previous posts, when even with generous allowances made for interpretive differences, consistency is difficult to justify—well, pardon me for saying so, Quester, but I find that rather disingenuous. I know. That was rude and completely uncalled for that I should dare to say so, right?

So here. I'm reasonable. I'll make you a deal:

If you can explain some other reason, some other relevant connection for continually making the following point about the origins of christmas which you here claim you were making:

"My point was that you don’t need to look to COG sources to see where Christmas came from"

(though later you claim "100%" you weren't) except that you're doing it as a rebuttal of Gary's and Redfox's point in support of tolerance, except that you're employing one of HWA's talking points to prop up HWA's intolerant viewpoint on christmas, such that christmas should be villified and banned, and aspersions should be cast on those who choose to celebrate it—because I'll be honest, I personally can't come up with any other relevant reason to bring up "origins" in this context at all—but if you've got one, produce it, and I'll leave you alone.

Fair?

Explain to me why the quote I cite is not you advocating HWA's intolerance to us former-Armstrongites such that we are "sinning" to either celebrate christmas or argue for its unbanning.

Here's your golden opportunity. On your mark, get set, go.

Questeruk said...


Anonymous December 27, 2014 at 7:35 PM quoted me
"My point was that you don’t need to look to COG sources to see where Christmas came from"

and then asks “Explain to me why the quote I cite is not you advocating HWA's intolerance to us former-Armstrongites such that we are "sinning" to either celebrate christmas or argue for its unbanning.”

No mate, I am not advocating anything. What I say, or what you say is unlikely to change anyone else’s mind.

One of the two points I was making was “Not everyone wants to celebrate Christmas.” Presumably you have no objection to me saying that? You say of yourself “No problem. I don’t celebrate it. If that were all Quester is trying to say, then I wouldn’t disagree.”

I amplified this and said "My point was that you don’t need to look to COG sources to see where Christmas came from" for the simple reason that I am trying to show that this isn’t just some ‘Armstrongite’ thing. I am trying to remove the whole issue out of the ‘baggage’ that most people who read or contribute to this board have (including myself, obviously), and take it out of the COG context.

I am saying, ignore the COG literature entirely, and just refer to other sources. This will show that much (but of course not all) of the traditions of Christmas don’t come from the Bible, many have been introduced from paganism.

Is that inciting intolerance? These origins are actually fairly widely known and readily available from many sources. I am trying to get across that this isn’t just a COG issue, many people who have never ever heard of the COGs are aware of the origins. Some are happy with them, others not. Each person will decide what they will do as an individual. People make choices all the time.

The quotes I gave in my first posting were from a secular UK news magazine, which I had happened to buy a few days ago. Was it wrong to quote from it do you think? Would you have preferred me to say that I don’t celebrate christmas, but I am not going to tell you why?

I am not advocating anything, except that people should consider what they believe, and why. This is a good principle in every area of life.

Byker Bob said...

I believe I will get involved in this discussion just to introduce another possible point of view.

Is it that paganism was actually introduced into Christianity?

Or, were Jesus' teachings intended to be universal, and able to be applied not only to the Jewish culture, traditions, and rituals, but to be superimposed over all of the other cultures, rituals, and traditions around the world as well? Doesn't that seem to be one of the lessons emerging from the book of Acts as the figurative banquet doors were opened to the Gentiles?

Did James assume that all of the Gentile converts were already keeping all of the rituals, and therefore make his edict brief, not including them in his instructions?

Or, was he reaffirming the tradition of holding Gentiles who wished to worship Father God accountable to Noahide law? Were this not the case, why would circumcision no longer be deemed mandatory?

This becomes similar to one of those vision perception puzzles we've all seen, where looking from one perspective makes one see an image, and looking from a different one makes one see another completely different image. At first glance, different individuals see opposite images, and must be prompted to know that there is another one.

BB

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this is going to have to be two posts.

"I am trying to remove the whole issue out of the 'baggage' that most people who read or contribute to this board have (including myself, obviously), and take it out of the COG context."

Really? I thought you were trying to rebut and disagree. "After all," by quoting the origins of christmas, you're only hitting us former-Armstrongites over the head with HWA's "baggage," the same genetic fallacy against christmas with which Herbert used to hit us:

After all, knowledge of the origins of Xmas isn't something that the COGs have a corner on..."

"After all," doesn’t the condescending tone of your sermonette show how wrong you feel we are? And why are we wrong? Why, for Herbert's reasons, of course! So you cluck your tongue and say, "After all, isn't it 'obvious' why it's wrong?"

No.

Even if "pagan" did equal "bad" (with which I also don't necessarily agree), it still doesn't follow that if christmas did begin with "bad genes" thousands of years ago, that means it's necessarily "bad" today, and hence should be the reason to necessarily conclude it's wrong to celebrate it (genetic fallacy). If to explain why christmas is so horrible today, you have to start with, "A loooong time ago..." you've already failed. (Even though you may never comprehend the gravity of this, perhaps other readers will.)

Basically, by saying "After all" you’re trying to strap this fallacious HWA "baggage" on our backs, and fit us with his blinders and his earplugs once again, using, no surprise, this dusty old HWA crap logic.

You write, "this isn't just some 'Armstrongite' thing." But what exactly is the "this" you’re referring to? And, "Ignore the COG literature entirely, and just refer to other sources." Other sources that say WHAT exactly? And, "I am trying to get across that this isn't just a COG issue."

But the connection that you’re making when you say, "After all" which all those many other sources do NOT make, is BECAUSE of its origins, THEREFORE people should be "unhappy" with christmas. FYI, I read the whole article, but it doesn’t reach that conclusion. So, you're still reaching for the COG literature. This connection is Herbert’s conclusion, and that's why you’re not ignoring the COG literature at all, and this whole thing is still totally a COG issue.

In fact, what you’re really doing is quoting COG literature by proxy, since you already know we won't accept it if you quote it directly. Despite the fact you’re trying to make the author of your article say that because of its origins, therefore it's wrong, do you honestly suppose he really thinks that? "After all," you can’t say he doesn’t know about its origins! So that's why this is still totally an "Armstrongite thing," and you've failed to "take it out of the COG context." Maybe if you quoted some other wonky fundamentalist? I can’t imagine a secular source printing such a fallacious and intolerant conclusion.

"Was it wrong to quote from it do you think? Would you have preferred me to say that I don't celebrate christmas, but I am not going to tell you why?"

Mostly I would say it was unnecessary. Why did you bother?

Because Armstrongist indoctrination makes people narrowminded and thoughtless enough to mistake crap logic for an "obvious" proof? So you just assumed that all of us would, or at least should, still be that narrowminded and thoughtless, simply because we once were? Newsflash.

Anonymous said...

Do you assume that we only think it's okay to celebrate christmas because we "forgot" it's pagan roots, and if we just "remembered" that ONE thing, then THAT would make aaaaaall the difference and we would suddenly embrace Herbert’s conclusions again? Guess what. I didn't "forget."

It's completely unnecessary to tell anyone here you don't keep christmas or why. No one here ever demanded any accounting from you. "After all," as soon as you began your tongue clucking, we already knew anyway! I never told you why I don't celebrate it and you don't seem to have noticed or cared.

Bottom line is, you're not tediously belaboring the origins of christmas out of some deep-seated need to explain and justify your own choices to us. Nobody asked. You've come here to give us the reason you think it's "obvious" that we are wrong.

"Is that inciting intolerance? These origins are actually fairly widely known and readily available from many sources. I am trying to get across that this isn't just a COG issue, many people who have never ever heard of the COGs are aware of the origins. Some are happy with them, others not. Each person will decide what they will do as an individual. People make choices all the time."

Guess who the elephant in the room is who was NOT happy with christmas?

That's right, Herbert Fucking Armstrong, that incestuous child rapist who though other people who weren't his progeny were also his playthings. Yes, Herbert Fucking Armstrong, who spent his entire life intolerantly telling other people what they should think, what they should do, but most of all, where they should send their money. So, no, Herbert was not the mouthpiece of any god, our foolishly donated cash was not credited to some eternal savings account in the sky, and we don't owe it to this nonexistant god of Herbert's to not celebrate christmas for the stupid reasons that came out of his mouth, because they're fallacious, further discrediting him. Oh. What’s that? You didn’t notice any of this?

Frankly, I do find it intolerant of you. Thanks for asking. Yes, I do find it intolerant when you judgmentally cluck your tongue and say , "After all, isn't it 'obvious' why it's wrong?" Especially since the reasons are Herbert’s and fallacious. Thanks for asking.

Why do I object? Why do I bother being so rude as to take the time and effort to refute this trash?

As I said, Herbert Armstrong taught a lot of lies to me, just like he did to you. And I've paid some high life costs for believing those lies, in exchange for nothing. I hear you preaching and inciting this Armstrongist intolerance, and saying others should make these same mistakes, and should incur similar life costs, and should continue to mistakenly think it's all for a good reason. And to me, that's an odious thing. It's odious to me every time you say "After all," and bring up the origins of christmas and all Herbert's crap baggage logic and judgmentalism. That you should want this to be heaped any further on anyone else is offensive one to me. If someone is going to make a mistake, at least let it be original. Let it be their own mistake, and not someone else's.

Maybe the denials and respin of your previous "points" is your way of recanting without recanting. Maybe you can't say you were wrong. Maybe this is your face-saving way of saying sorry.

If so, then apology accepted.