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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gays Organize "Pink Christmas" in the Netherlands


“AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — A Dutch gay group said Monday it has planned a ‘Pink Christmas’ festival for the first time in Amsterdam, featuring a manger stall with two Josephs and two Marys.”
read the article here
Appropriation is the process of taking something or identifying with something to make it your own. Its dictionary definition #4 has interesting wording: “to take to or for oneself; take possession of.”
Dante stole/appropriated specific phrases, images, and words from other great works of writing not only because literary appropriation enriches the text, but because it put him on par with the very texts from which he was stealing: the Illiad, the Odyssey, you get the idea.
Dante is an example of how appropriation can be helpful to society (ie gorgeous works of written art). But appropriation can have destructive results as well. Groups often use appropriation as way of control (this has happened over and over throughout history). Currently, some homosexuals appropriate Jesus for their own purposes by claiming he was gay. There is no hint or suggestion that Jesus was/is/could be gay, yet, when they take his symbol and equate it with themselves–just by saying the words– it gives their cause more legitimacy, and directly counters the claim that homosexuality is a sin.
Saying, “Jesus was gay,” is much more persuasive than saying, “Homosexual behavior isn’t a sin.”
Jesus was gay = divine definition change
Homosexual behavior isn’t a sin= simply refutes bible passages
By using a religious symbol (in this case, Christ: also seen literally as God to millions of people) and literally changing its definition, they claim that their lifestyle is divinely supported, even exemplified. (regardless of whether they really believe in the divinity of Christ).
Whether you are religious or not, you can see how this claim could be extremely offensive and sacrilegious. But when it is said over and over, Newsweek may write a supporting argument.
In the fight to have homosexuality regarded as normal, healthy behavior (despite the many health risks, despite the arbitrary way it was dropped from the APA’s list of disorders), gay activists are very smart. They use appropriation all the time.
In Amsterdam, this tactic is now being extended to the entire Christmas holiday.
Not only are they appropriating the holiday but they are taking the traditional colors (red and green) and inserting their own symbolic color: they are planning a 10-day “Pink Christmas Festival” in Amsterdam.
List of activities:
Live nativities featuring two Marys and two Josephs
Iceskating
Religious services on Dec 25
Parties
Gay-themed films
The reason:
  • Encourage people to think about homosexuality and religion .
  • “…help promote Amsterdam as a gay capital after a decline in its reputation in recent years.”
  • “Christmas is about more than religion, it’s also about love and families, not to mention shopping…” –Val Dalen (ProGay group chairman).
Read the article here
Christmas is a religious holiday. It’s the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ .
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
Changing its symbols to promote homosexuality does not make same gender “marriage” a smart idea for society.
However, those who struggle with SSA are always welcome to participate.
Christ invites all to forsake sin and worship him.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

13 comments:

  1. "Christmas is a religious holiday. It’s the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ."

    Historically this is not true. Jesus was not born on 25 December. This date was chosen in order to make the celebration of Jesus' birth align with the Roman Saturnalia. Early Christians APPROPRIATED the pagan customs of the winter solstice in order to help sell the new religion to the masses and spread the Word.

    As the holiday developed over the years, many other non-Christian customs associated with the mid-winter festivals were APPROPRIATED into the Christmas tradition. Many Christians would be shocked to learn that their holiday has more in common with the northern European mid-winter pagan festivals that celebrated light and community and the promise of rebirth in the midst of the harshest and darkest season than with any Roman era Messiah worship from the Eastern Mediterranean.

    So before you condemn a group who wants to love Jesus and honour his birth and sacrifice which redeemed us all for APPROPRIATING the holiday you would do well to remember that this is and has always been a holiday of appropriation. We have always strived to find the best in ourselves during the dark of winter and to celebrate that in the name of our Lord is a beautiful thing.

    I hope that more people appropriate a holiday about love and warmth and family and service to the community and celebrate it in the name of Jesus for that is how traditions survive and flourish.

    Merry Christmas!

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  2. Ian, you make some good points about the origin of Christmas but fail to understand the purpose of this article. As I understand it, the author is discussing how ironic it is that a group so vehemently anti-religion is suddenly making claims on religious icons (Jesus) and symbolism (Christmas) in order to further their agenda and preach acceptance of the gay lifestyle.

    It doesn't seem to be about "love and warmth and family and service" for them. Instead, they are using the season and the symbolism in an attempt to prove a point and turn religion against the truly religious.

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  3. thanks for your a comment. you bring up an excellent example of appropriation. however, no matter what day christ was born (and many pagan symbols were appropriated into the holiday), the purpose of the christmas is to celebrate the birth of christ.

    if homosexuals want to participate, that is awesome, however, their behavior of changing the symbols gives interesting insight into their real intent...which is to change Christianity to fit their personal beliefs.

    we could have an interesting debate about how/if it was a good idea to appropriate pagan symbolism in the beginning of Christmas origins, but the point of this article is to point people to another attempt to normalize homosexuality with christianity.

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  4. Pearl, I appreciate your thoughtful response to my comment. I do not see, however, where the author says anything about the gay community in Amsterdam, or anywhere for that matter, being "vehemently anti-religious". In fact, most gay people I know are very religious and quite family and community oriented, things all Christians surely value.

    The article is very focused on the idea that the tradition of Christmas is being appropriated by a group wih its own agenda and that is the thesis to which I responded.

    Do I personally think Jesus was gay? No. But if the gay community wants to create a symbolism that brings Jesus closer to them is this any different than the many many artists who have rendered a Jewish man from the Levant as a blonde haired, blue eyed, fair-skinned individual? We all seek to bring Jesus closer to ourselves in many different ways.

    It would not occur to me to look at this event in Amsterdam as a way for the non-religious to turn Christmas against Christians. I believe it is the act of a people who have been excluded through divisive rhetoric and flawed history and who are looking only for inclusion.

    As a Christian I welcome all celebrations of God's love and encourage others to do the same. He died for all of us and He was born for all of us.

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  5. Ian,
    "We all seek to bring Jesus closer to ourselves in many different ways."

    true, however, Christ says, "come unto me."

    There is a difference between dropping everything and following Christ. And trying to make Christ follow you.

    I love that many homosexual people are religious, but there is a difference between painting Christ with blue eyes, and saying that gay relationships are okay because Christ is gay.

    ... or because Christ was born to two Mary's or two Josephs.

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  6. It would not occur to me to look at this event in Amsterdam as a way for the non-religious to turn Christmas against Christians.

    Isn't that why the apple-girl wrote the post.

    I believe it is the act of a people who have been excluded through divisive rhetoric and flawed history and who are looking only for inclusion.

    The article's pretty upfront about the group's goals.

    From the article:
    Christmas is about more than religion, it's also about love and families, not to mention shopping," he said. "Two men or two women can form a family too these days, even one with a child."

    So Christmas is about shopping? and promoting an SS"M"?

    Van Dalen said the Pink Christmas initiative was also intended to help promote Amsterdam as a gay capital after a decline in its reputation in recent years.

    So Christmas is about promoting Amsterdam as a gay capital...

    The festival will also encourage people to think about homosexuality and religion, Van Dalen added.

    So it's about making homosexuality acceptable to religion.

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  7. Ian, you are right, I confess. I did bring in some topics of discussion that weren't necessarily addressed specifically in this article. I brought them in, however, because when I think of homosexuality and religion, I'm seeing things like protest signs that say "religion is the problem," Newsweek articles that misinterpret (or selectively interpret) the Bible in order to completely contradict Christian beliefs, a new gay Bible being written that conveniently excludes any biblical scripture that denounces homosexuality as a sin.

    As always, I am aware that there are many who do not fall under my descriptions and are either Christian or deeply religious. I am merely speaking of the lengths activists will go to in order to gain public approval of a destructive lifestyle.

    Jesus is everyone's Savior. You are absolutely right about that. But He doesn't help people live in sin, He helps them give up sin and turn to Him.

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  8. Thanks for posting this article. It's not just an inclusion of more faiths under the big tent of Christianity, this is changing the meaning of Christianity to include things it specifically does not include. Just like trying to change the definition of marriage, the two definitions cannot exist side by side, one has to supersede the other because they are fundamentally different.

    It's not about inclusion, it's about replacement, and that's why it is an attack on Christianity.

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  9. I am really excited to read how thoughtful the responses to this article have been. I'm not sure what it was about this particular article that made me feel the need to write but I have enjoyed this dialogue.

    I am a Christian and an historian and a social liberal and thus I often find my views at odds with many in the Christian community but through discussion of these type of issues I am challenged to explore and understand my own feelings about my faith.

    I thought the original posting was very provocative in the way it dealt with the idea of appropriation and what that means to our community. I know that most of us cherish our traditions and feel threatened when it appears that someone wants to change them but we must always remember that were it not for change and appropriation our religion may have perished in the desert.

    Jesus was a Jew. His brother, James, and heir, Peter, preached a movement rooted in the traditions of Judaism. They demanded that Jesus' followers be circumcised (if male), keep kosher, and otherwise follow the laws of the Judaism. It was Paul who recognised that if the Word was to be spread then the religion must appropriate other traditions and include as broad a range of members as possible. He even changed the the day of rest, the Sabbath, from the seventh day of the week as it is in Genesis to the first day of the week in order to differentiate his new faith from the traditions of Jersualem.

    The Bible itself has been changed countless times over the centuries both in error and on purpose. The King James Bible, which was the standard for years, was very deliberately altered so that the radical message of the Saviour would not offend the monarchy. So, while I object to a Bible written with any agenda other than preserving the Word, a Bible that choses to de-emphasise the (very few) anti-gay passages is really no different than the countless editions of the Bible produced over the years to fit the needs of a particular communities.

    Christians went to war with one another for Centuries over what version of Christianity was correct. Is it not time that we recognised the light of God in eachother and rejoiced in our commonality instead of dividing our communities based on our distinctions?

    As for the "gay" holy family in the Amsterdam celebration, I truly doubt that anyone involved in the event is seriously postulating that Jesus was gay or that he was the product of a smae sex marriage - they are more likely creating a mis en scene that they can relate to in their own community and this is exactly the same as painting Jesus' eyes blue.

    I know there are those Christians who for their own reasons will never accept homosexuals. I am sorry for that. I will continue to follow the command of my faith, to walk the earth cheerfully answering to that of God in all people and I hope one day the differences that divide us will fade behind us and we will live in an age of respect and compassion.

    Thank you for this important discussion! I hope I have left you with something to consider as you each have me.

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  10. Ian! really thank you for your thoughtful commentary as well. and merry merry christmas.

    Christ came to fulfill a whole host of things. One being the inclusion of everyone as the chosen people. (ie spreading the gospel to the gentiles).

    I also think appropriation is a fascinating part of this process. For example, I think its really cool how the christian holiday appropriated the evergreen, holly, and lights into the traditions of the celebration.

    However, all these things naturally fit into the holiday as symbols. It wasn't a stretch, and it didn't refute doctrine.

    Having blue eyes is not a sin. Being homosexual is not a sin, but the behavior is, so to flaunt it on such a sacred occasion shows disrespect (and reveals a less worthy intent...which is to claim that homosexuality is condoned by God).

    I hope too that the differences between us will fade. You are a friend already.

    again, merry christmas.

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  11. What's sad to me, Ian, is that either you have to embrace their lifestyle and love it, or you can't possibly love them and you're denounced as bigoted and un-Christlike. I love homosexuals. I have two homosexual brothers-in-law that my children adore. I know that they are just as much children of God as I am. We are just imperfect in different ways. What I do not agree with is the practice of homosexuality - giving in to and acting upon to those attractions which are contrary to the teachings of God. Love and complete acceptance are not mutually exclusive. There are many gay members of my church, or rather the LDS Church, who struggle on a daily basis against feelings of same-gender attraction. We love and admire these people for their determination to live as the Lord has commanded them, even if it means struggling through tough times and tough feelings.

    I agree that throughout the dark ages, when the priesthood of the Lord had been withdrawn from the earth, the Bible was subject to the whims and fancy and interpretation and imperfect translation of imperfect men. I don't agree with any tampering of the Lord's word, whether those doing the tampering are monks or homosexuals. I want to live the teachings of the Bible in their purest forms and this is one of the reasons I am grateful for my membership in and testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel as taught in the LDS Church. We are blessed to read from a Bible translated and purified again by the Lord through His prophet, Joseph Smith. We are also blessed to have the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, to confirm teachings in the Bible. In addition, we are blessed to have continuing revelation and prophecy through Prophets of the Lord. We need a lot of help to make it through this life. Thankfully, the Lord has provided it.

    Anyway, we who believe in God, believe just as strongly in Satan. And whatever is of "good report or praiseworthy" such as traditional marriage and family, Satan will seek to destroy those things in whatever way he can: divorce, abuse, homosexual marriage, etc.

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  12. I second Ruby's message of Merry Christmas! It is a pleasure to speak respectfully with someone of a differing opinion regarding this subject. People like you seem to be few and far between on the Internet. ;)

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  13. Interesting that they name the festival as a "Pink Christmas." Pink is an unnatural color for Christmas time. There aren't any pink trees, and snow is naturally white.

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