War on Christmas over The Sheaf December 9, 2013 12:00 am Opinions MATTHEW CHILLIAK Mayor Don Atchison has won the war on Christmas with the announcement that the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission has thrown out the complaint over “Merry Christmas!” being electronically displayed on public buses. Blessed be our holy city of Saskatoon. Yes, in response to a barbaric complaint to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission that our city buses remove the message of “Merry Christmas” from their electronic displays, Mayor Atchison has spoken up for and defended our city’s Christian roots. Hallelujah! Atchison has previously stated that the celebration of Christmas would not be removed from the city bus displays because “Saskatoon was founded 130 years ago on Christianity.” Now the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission has thrown out the complaint. That’s right all you non-believers, Atchison is winning the War on Christmas once and for all. And why stop with winning the War on Christmas? This is, after all, just part of the larger liberal “lamestream” media’s War on Christianity. This whole separation of church and state thing is an all-out attack on our religious freedoms. We have the right to be Christian and praise Christ in every aspect of our lives as well as in others’. It would be nice to see more progress in defeating the secularist attacks on our persecuted Christian community. I suggest this holy crusade continues in order to ensure the secularists never threaten us with their logic and reason ever again. We should start with not only allowing but mandating Christian prayer in all city events, messages and reports. This will let the secularists know they lost the war, and they are not welcome here. To the victors go the spoils. We should also mandate businesses be closed on Sundays (including Atchison’s clothing store). This is God’s day, and I’m sure Atchison would agree that God deserves it. Our libraries are full of “science,” and are indoctrinating our children with the hell-forsaken idea that we evolved from some monkey-fish-squirrel’s sexual experimentation. Won’t somebody please think of the children? These books should all be replaced with ones that teach creationism. Atchison has skipped Saskatoon’s Gay Pride Parade in the past. In the future it would be nice to see the parade be ordered to stay 200-meters away from any religious institution. That is, unless someone wants to stop in to pray the gay away. Freemason societies — of which Atchison is a member — ban atheists from their secret clubs and tea parties. Perhaps to ensure that this War on Christmas never flares up again, Saskatoon should follow suit. If it’s good enough for Atchison’s Freemason buddies, then it’s good enough for the rest of the city too. And last but not least, to deal with the most evil menace of all: alcohol. Saskatoon was alcohol-free in our founding colonial years, and again briefly in the early 20th century. I pray that Atchison’s Christian convictions will continue to guide his decision making process back towards prohibition. After all, it’s what our Methodist Temperance colonial forefathers really wanted when they founded this holy city. Perhaps we can reinstate the alcohol ban our saintly forefathers instituted. And as for drinking the blood of Christ, that better be grape juice in the Eucharist. Winning these battles may not be easy, but surely they are no match for Atchison. Hopefully, with this War on Christmas finally over we can get back to celebrating the Christmas season. We are all forgetting the true meaning of Christmas: The birth of Santa. – Graphic: Cody Schumacher/Graphics Editor google ha. ha. funneeeee! 1234 Bam! Stacey I know your being sarcastic for fun but maybe if you want to write things like “…never threaten us with their logic and reason ever again.” you might want to try a well reasoned argument to support your point instead of just making fun of people based on stereotypes. I agree that there should be separation of religion in civic events but being ass-holes to each other isn’t helping anyone. Wild The real asshole is thou who doesn’t want clear separation church and state. Stacey Well I did say I wanted separation but good reading comprehension skills anyway. I just think that disrespecting and attacking each other isn’t helpful. This article is full of rude stereotypes about religious people and about people who are not religious. It shows both parties in an ignorant light since it makes religious people come off as stupid and non-religious people as condescending. People are people and they have the right and they should have the right to live based on what they believe. I agree with the author that religion should be a private matter and not civic matter though. What is necessary from all members of society is respect, understanding, and acceptance; not snide commentaries that make both sides feel more different than the same. sarcasm isn’t reasoning From an Ahmadi Muslim’s perspective, I find this article offensive to just religion in general; the separation of church and state is supposed to be based on reasoning, not hate. Couldn’t find any reasoning in this article. I believe in separation of church and state (because, contrary to this article, I, as a religious person, can be rational), but Christianity can’t only be thought of in a religious context, but also in a cultural context; it’s the history of this province. We openly display Aboriginal religion and culture because it’s part of this country’s history, so why not Christianity? I think people are forgetting that no one is IMPOSING their religion on to anyone else by openly displaying their joy about a holiday, but they are in fact spreading tolerance. How can you truly believe that you are tolerant if you have never been exposed to the celebrations and prayers/rituals of people from different religions? I call that blindness, not tolerance. As a Canadian Muslim, I totally agree with freedom of religious expression. Now let’s remember that that charter applies to all Canadians. dude Well said my friend. Chilliak’s article is nothing but an attack on religion and partisan swipes at Don Atchison. I have friends and family who do not believe in god but they are intelligent and tolerant enough to realize other people hold different beliefs. Its ironic how a simple prayer by a city councillor and the display of Merry Christmas on city transit has led to an actual attack on freedom of religion by Mr. Chilliak. I would argue further that the content of this article has more validity to be a human rights complaint than what Ashu Solo is whining about. Jana Atchinson’s “Christian convictions” aren’t what he was representing. He was representing his voters, but hey go ahead and personally attack him, along with your crapload of Christian stereotypes. It shows how wonderfully articulate ignorance can be. Noobs Yup he is representing his voters. Not te whole city of coarse, just Christians. calamityjane At least use the correct form of ‘course’ – I believe in this instance it is ‘the whole city of course’. Snippy comments that contain poor grammar don’t lend themselves to serious consideration from anyone. Joyful Or find a legitimate weakness in the argument other then a minor spelling error. But really your statement directed towards hate and cutting others down is in perfect line with the tone of this article. Sask Langer A good politician will represent their constituents, not just their voters. But looking at Saskatoon’s current “representation” on the federal level it’s no surprise that there’s this belief that the only opinion that matters is that of the people who elected said politician. mmmbeer Monks make delicious beer! angry foodie Yes, yes they do! just no Liberal: Respect everyone! Equal rights! Liberty! Liberal: …But ridicule Christians, conservatives and their traditions to a sociopathic degree! Mmmmm I think the ridicule is pointed at only the extremist Christians who believe in such ridiculous things such as those listed (prohibition, banning evolution in schools, banning atheists from secret societies, closing business on Sundays). And also at atchison for claiming us to be some sort of Christian colony. angry foodie Much of Canada was colonized as Christian colonies…that’s not Atchison so much as it is basic local history, a history repeated time and again across Canada. As secret societies go, their societies, their rules. Atheist can form their own secret societies. If Freemasons don’t want atheists, why the hell would atheists want to join anyways? Beaner It’s history. Just like slavery. And just because we were a Prohibitionist Christian colony doesn’t mean we still are one. angry foodie By that logic, the history of slavery is unimportant to the African American experience if the Christian roots of this city are unimportant to our own experience. What an incredibly poorly thought out analogy. FYI: slavery still exists, just criminalized…. dude It is important to note Matt Chilliak is the leader of the campus NDP club. Hes a veteran at Christian bashing see his other articles. calamityjane Three cheers for Mr Atchison, and Merry Christmas to all! Our entire society was founded on Christian beliefs, and with good reason. While times have changed and people’s religious affiliations continue to evolve (or devolve, as some may consider with atheism), a strong moral backbone and a firm knowledge of where we came from is integral to our future. This is not in ANY way Jew, Muslim, or any other religion-bashing. It is a simple truth as to the functioning of our society. Unfortunately, as the author of this rather distasteful piece has twisted a truly feel good story about keeping the spirit of Christmas Christian into a story about how he feels left out of contemporary conservative and Christian society. There’s room over here for you!! Feel free to leave all that emotional baggage, entitlement driven culture and ME TIME behind when you come to see the light (no bibles were used in referencing this comment). There is truly a war on Christian traditions, a war in which many moderate Christians refuse to get involved, and a war which the media continues to support, fund and on occasion drive all by themselves. I think this is a pity, but I will continue to support whole-heartedly efforts by men like Mr. Atchison (who is by no means perfect) to keep CHRIST in CHRISTMAS. The tongue-in-cheek reference to the birth of Santa, unfortunately, only shows the author’s true nature and reveal his liberal agenda. I can proudly say I made it through university without becoming a liberal, and I used to be proud to say I am a U of S Graduate. But after this little piece, I can see why the Arts Department never interested me. Darren I think what has to be addressed here is the fact that “our entire society was founded on christian beliefs…”. The fact is that many of the Traditions of the Western world were based on the principles of the Enlightenment, which generally chose Deism rather that explicit “Christian” values. These foundations also evolved through contact with other cultures and belief systems, changing to meet the emerging realities of equality of genders, ethnic groups and sexual orientations. Remeber those “christian” values that you so loudly proclaim also extolled the virtue of slave ownership and the English and French traders that “founded” this country did believe in the superiority of one particular gender and “race”. So these “founding values” are not something to be always proud of. So anyways, by all means keep “Christ in Christmas” but keep it the hell out of my face. Remember ““And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Which applies, i think, to Christmas as well. angry foodie “many of the Traditions of the western world were based on the principles of the Enlightenment,” New traditions such as Black Friday shopping and drunken group sex during orientation week might owe something to the Enlightenment…but many others go deeper and have various roots. Values and institutions such as democratic government, freedom of expression and action, etc. surely are owed to the Enlightenment, but these are not traditions. Christmas is a tradition, owed in part to Sol Invictus and Christianity. ” ‘christian’ values’…also extolled the virtue of slave ownership” Not true. Perhaps some individual Christians did, but slave ownership was never, ever, a virtue extolled by Christian doctrine. You might do well to actually read a bit of history, as the abolition of slavery was, without exception, driven by Christian idealism. Make no mistake, abolition was a wholly Christian act, from the abolition of slavery in the British Empire to the American Civil War. It was Christians (and some Jews) fighting to end that barbaric institution, not philosophes, not deists, certainly not secular humanists. “English and French traders that “founded” this country did believe in the superiority of one particular gender and “race”" Another glib simplification. I mean, I could write a book distinguishing the differences between the English and the French, or the contrast between believing the west brought stronger political institutions (certainly true) with the belief that ours was a superior race (more often true than false). Never mind the myth that us Christians brought war and bloodshed to this world, as if the First Nations did not have plenty of that before we came around! Darren A:Canada is not a Christian Nation. Rather a multi-faith and Multicultural one. B:From St.Paul – Ephesians 6:5 (New American Standard Bible) Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ Colossians 3:22 (New American Standard Bible) Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 1 Timothy 6:1 (New American Standard Bible) All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. C: Indeed I have studied history and the abolition movement was not a wholly Christian led movement. sorry to burst your illusion. D: The comment about “stronger political institutions” and it being “more often true than false” that “our” race was superior defies logic and smacks of supremacist drivel so I best leave it alone. However I do hope you get out and open your eyes to some different points of view. Thank you. angry foodie Regarding the Pauline verses… Omitting the subsequent verses in your sources, which demand that masters do the exact same thing for their slaves (which happens in each example you cite, see 1 Timothy 6:2 for one example) is overtly and intentionally dishonest. I know that the people who couldn’t be troubled with actually reading the verses in context and in their entirety might have missed that, but you ought to have assumed I would have a Bible in order to check and demolish your crass attempt at misinformation. In any case, your examples STILL do not support your assertion that Christianity “extolled slavery as virtue.” At worst, the verses in their entirety demanded that slave AND master behave virtuously toward each other. It is no surprise that these verses in their entirety actually support abolitionism, as it is impossible to serve your slave the same as he would serve you if he is to remain unfree. These verses in their entirety clearly espouse the humanity of slaves and demand that they be treated justly. The Golden Rule is plainly evident in all of your citations. But since context would bury your argument, you buried the context. Intellectually dishonest at best. At worst, it is the type of cherry-picking I would expect from a hate propagandist, not someone attempting to make a serious intellectual argument. Regarding the FACT that Christianity is solely (100%) responsible for the abolition of slavery in the US and the British Empire, please indulge me with some proof to the contrary. I mean, with your voluminous knowledge of history and your willingness to misrepresent St. Paul in order to prove a lie, I am sure you can come up with some equally dishonest claim for me to demolish. Indulge me, it will be fun. Regarding my last line, I re-read it after posting and I apologize as it is unclear and it can be read to support your interpretation. However, I was right to say there was a mile of difference between the English and the French. I was also right to say that both were possessed of stronger political institutions (the English in particular), a belief that underpinned their actions. As racial superiority goes, what I was trying to say is that many, not all, of the colonists were possessed of a sense of racial and cultural superiority. I was not trying to say that they were right, but I see how it could be read as such. Therefore, I apologize for the mistake. I expect you too will apologize for your transparent attempt to misrepresent the letters of Paul as supporting slavery as a virtue, when they clearly demanded that master and slave treat each other the same. Darren Hi, um your still here? You are shouting in a empty room, Christmas is over. I still fail to see why you feel that Christianity is in threat…. As for the Bible verses, meh I will have to look into that, as I am sure you will look into the writings of the Humanists (i.e. the Rights of Man) which had a great deal of influence on the abolition movement politically and socially (and was created by Deists not Christians). Anyways continue the good fight- explain to me the threat that Easter is under from the heathen pagans and Bunny-lovers. Or the Irony of a Carpenter being nailed to a piece of wood. Otherwise we should meet someday face to face and you can try to convert me or convince me that Christianity is so under threat. Bye. angry foodie I could care less about converting you. And the humanists made so little contribution that they are mentioned in virtually none of the histories of the abolitionist movement. The reason is simple enough: Because aside from cherry-picking some of their philosophy, they made no substantive contribution to abolition and the Christians who led the movement ignored them altogether, preferring the Biblical arguments to pithy philosophic arguments. These replies have nothing to do with my views of attacks on Christianity and everything to do with you being full of shit and outright lying to support the BS you originally posted. Your copy and paste references to the Bible are a fine example. No one who actually read the Bible could possibly miss the context, it is as plain as the sun in the sky. So I called you on it. Rather than immediately do the research, which would have been ethical, you unethically resort to stating that “you will check up on it”, therefore implying that there still might be doubt. As for the tardiness, I was busy during the holidays and did not read your comments. But the levels to which you stooped to defame Christianity were so low and so dishonest that I had to reply. I could not allow such blatant misrepresentations to go unchallenged. Your refusal to inquire into the nature of your misrepresentation and acknowledge it here speaks only to your ethical void. Your sarcasm in the conclusion merely exposes the lack of sophistication in your arguments. As meeting face to face goes, I have much better things to do with my time than actually arrange a meeting with someone who has proven themselves dishonest and ignorant of actual history. Believe what you want, I really don’t give a shit what you believe in. But you best be ready to support your snide attacks. Because when you feed us a line of hateful bullshit about Christians seeing slavery as virtue, you had best be ready to support that. FYI: There is nothing, nada, in the Bible that indicates that Jesus was a carpenter by trade. He helped his carpenter father as a kid, but was very clearly a rabbi in adulthood. Amazing how those who attack the Bible the hardest invariably know the least about it. Bill O’Reiley is brainwashing Yes, such a big war in Christianity. You watch too much Fox News. Tina Our whole society was not founded on christian beliefs….hello, First Nations were here first. byke for Christ i wonder why people choose to eradicate Christianity, they dont want Christianity to be mentioned in anywhere, This country was found on the ten commandment of God, that is why we are enjoying the freedom and prosperity we have today and some people will just surface to throw God away, Christianity doesnt hurt you but it tells you the truth you dont want to hear but no matter what the truth remains forever Dave Canada was not founded on the Ten Commandments. Unless genocide is a commandment I missed. angry foodie Yawn…hysteric enough of an assertion for you? Cody To the artist, nice camo pants on Santa (styling)! To the writer, “Now the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission has thrown out the complaint.” I’m not sure how the word “complaint” got twisted into “war”. I think we have all had enough war in this world already. Media can be good and bring awareness but media can also be a bashing session. Merry Christmas, Merry Xmas, Happy Holidays everyone its a great time of the year!!! Lloyd Christmas And this is why I’m embarrassed to be affiliated with this school. A very regular pattern of public Christian hating exists here and it’s exhausting. You won’t see the next opinion piece in The Sheaf bashing beliefs of other religions, why? Because it is ignorant and hateful. Bashing Christianity is not clever or humorous. It is the lowest hanging fruit for cheap university journalism. Move on. Keyser Soze I am against all organized religion because I feel that it would be counterproductive to my life, but that doesn’t mean that if you are a member of an organized religion I wouldn’t want to be your friend! My parents never exposed us to Christianity but we still celebrated Christmas as a time of love and family togetherness. So as a non-Christian, I still love Christmas because all my family gets time off work and we get together and go ice-fishing and eat good food and drink beer and celebrate our love for each other! Maybe that makes me a hypocrite… I do not get offended if you say “Merry Christmas” to me, and I am 100% anti-Christianity… I also do not get offended if you say Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanza or Happy 4th of July or Happy Black History month or Happy anything (and I am not ANY of those things)… I just support happiness! I guess what I am trying to say is, maybe we should try not to worry ourselves so much with things that shouldn’t matter. As long as people aren’t slitting each others throats I think we should all have a MERRY CHRISTMAS. It is a Christian holiday called CHRISTMAS, be MERRY! Fuck going to church if you don’t want to go to church, just chill out and enjoy your lives, you’re not going to be around forever!! angry foodie Why be anti-Christianity? I mean, I was cool with your comment, but doesn’t indifference (rather than being “anti-” or “against” something) come with less emotional and intellectual baggage. I am indifferent to lots of stuff. The only hypocrisy in your post was a more subtle contradiction, the idea that you can be pro-happiness while being anti-Christian. Beaner Indifference is the worst. angry foodie Indifference to some things is necessary so that attention can be paid to those things that really matter to an individual. It’s about individual self-satisfaction, something a secular humanist should understand… Because Santa entered this world having been born in a field of kitten, which only happened because at that moment Morgan Freeman cried. thatguy I saw “happy hanukkuh” on one bus- I’d love to hear the author’s sarcastic anti-semitic rant about that one! Joyful Merry Christmas Mr. Chilliak. May peace and joy be a blessing in your life throughout the years to come. May your words bring prosperity and not destruction. MC Merry Christmas! joyful Merry Christmas to all. KeepCalm Mr. Chilliak, congrats on writing a piece which yells, even screams, your absolute non-inclusive, Christian-bashing, juvenile, and close-minded views. Not all in your camp are so clear in their intentions. The Sheaf’s already poor writing just took another blow. Merry Christmas Jim Chilliak, I am with you in that I too am an atheist. But really, tone down the hysteria. I would have been disappointed if the Christmas signs had gone down, mainly because I don’t want to live in a society where traditions I value – like Christmas, with all its customary phrasing and religious overtones – are diluted to the point of meaningless by bizarrely sensitive people. It is certainly true that those of religious persuasion can engage in feverish and distorted attacks in furtherance of their cause. I am sad to see that those of the secular camp can sink to that level…. Buddy Mr.Chilliak is not an atheist. angry foodie Funny thing, I would be embarrassed to write this article. Sarcasm is the lowest form of humor and is an even lower form of political commentary. I am not offended by the article, if for any other reason than the fact that I would handily obliterate the pretentious douchebag who wrote it in any meeting of the minds. The article was a morass of blathering idiocy, meandering on with no rhyme or reason about Freemasons, creationism, gay rights parades, and other disconnected topics. The only common thread was an intellectually elitist (but substantively vapid) hatred of all things religious. The hate was dripping out of the angry sarcasm upon which the entire article was built. If sarcasm, straw men, and anger is what you want to be identified with Mr. Chilliak, then you have done a fine job here. Here’s a hint: Not everyone can make angry funny. You failed to make angry even interesting here… Leviticus Sarcasm the lowest form of humor? Tell that to John Stewart or Stephen Colbert. I thought the article was funny. Most the issues the author mentioned have in fact been issues that the Christian Right have lobbied for or against. I think you’re being cavalier with your accusation of straw man here. There really is no argument in the article for there to be a straw man for. Rather it seems like it is just the author mimicking the Christian Right who believes in silly things like prohibition, creationism in schools, or gay converstion therapy. All positions the Christian Right in this city have at one point or another lobbied for. angry foodie I think you are confusing sarcasm for irony. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert use irony far more often than sarcasm. Stewart in particular almost never uses sarcasm. And yes, by bringing up all of these issues in reference to the religious right whilst failing to recognize that this issue is not about any of those things is completely straw manning, as if believing that “Merry Christmas” belongs on buses is the same thing as outlawing abortion or teaching creationism. So what that some people on the religious right believe in gay conversion? What does that have to do with Christmas messages? How does that support an argument against saying “Merry Christmas” on a bus? How does that support an argument against a political leader having a religion and professing it? This is plain straw manning to anyone with an objective bone in their body. You might find it funny. I have higher standards for what I find funny. Stewart and Colbert use intelligent irony. Again, sarcasm is the lowest form of humor. Stefan This is one of the most idiotic articles I have ever read. Courtesy of, of course, the Sheaf. I can’t believe all of us students have pay for this garbage. Completely twisted. Bitching about the buses saying Merry Christmas was stupid enough of Ashu Solo, but then morons like you take essentially everyone in the city that enjoys the most harmless of Christmas cheer, and lumps them in with the right wing Christian looney train. Just because you say merry Christmas and agree that it should be on buses doesn’t mean your fighting against the war on Christmas. Not that there even is one. You twist everything so that you can sound witty. Well Matthew Chilliak, you are a sarcastic dumb ass. Pamisa Lumas Hallelujah!! Christ is the reason for the season. Merry Christmas everybody!! lulu except the concept of Christmas is at its base not Christian at all…… its pagan and a whole mix of other religions. Christmas was a created holiday by the church to compete for the attention of the rest soooooo fighting Christmas based on Christianity is silly. guest This article should be thrown in the same bin as the Human Rights complaint…Welcome to Saskatchewan!! cellophane rapper This is a really bad attempt at satire. As a paying student, I’d urge the writer to think more critically about the subject matter before writing about it.