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Remember the reason for the season

By Paul Viau | Dec 21, 2016
Photo by: Carol Viau AWAY IN A MANGER — Take time this season to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas — the birth of Jesus Christ. Pictured is the late Fr. John Denny showing the Nativity scene to young parishioners at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Maggie Valley, December 2009.

If you are ‘all wrapped up’ in the Christmas season — the last-minute, non-stop shopping, decorating and party-going, I urge you to pause for a moment.

In traffic — pay attention to the ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ sticker on the car in front of you, take time for a prayerful pause, then plan your day around the true meaning of Christmas.

And if you have a mini road rage incident, replace your cursing with a deep breath and a smile.

If you are shopping — don’t hurry by the Salvation Army kettle. Instead, let the bell-ringing be your signal to remember all the charitable organizations counting on you to help them do the Lord’s work.

As for decorating your tree — along with the Santa Claus, candy canes, snowflakes and brightly colored balls, make sure you have symbols that remind you and yours of Christ’s birth, the nativity scene or (as we have in a prominent place on our tree) a large ornament that reminds us, ‘Oh come let us adore Him.’

And here’s another suggestion — if you are one of those who likes to read aloud to kids or grandkids the classic poem ‘The night before Christmas,’ after you’re done, read the story of Christ’s birth. There’s a handy version readily available in most homes and all hotels and motels.

It’s called, “The Bible.”

It’s certainly not my place to suggest a reading, but Luke 2:1-20 is a good starting point.

To save you from having to scramble to find the reading in ‘The Good Book,’ you can read from this not-so-good column:

The Birth of Jesus, according to Luke — New International Version (NIV)

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on Earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

If you still have your kids’ attention, the follow-up story is also good to read aloud. You can find that in Matthew, Chapter 2, Verses 1-12.

Finally, in case Carol and I don’t see you this holiday season, we both want to wish you a blessed, very holy and merry Christmas. And thanks for putting up with all my ranting and writings this year.

Comments (36)
Posted by: CLARK WILLIAMS | Dec 21, 2016 08:36

Merry Christmas to you and yours Paul!

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Dec 21, 2016 08:46

Actually, no one really knows when Jesus of Nazareth was born. Many scientists claim it was probably June. Ceasar Constantine designated the pagan celebration of winter solstice to be superceded by your "Christian" practice. Same with Easter.

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Dec 21, 2016 12:37

Merry Christmas and all the joys of the season to you & yours, Mr. Viau!


It is indeed aggravating to watch folks who profess Christianity to behave in an un-Christlike manner, just as it is frustrating to see patently un-reasonable behavior and writings from those who claim to embrace reason as their moral and philosophical compass.


I recall one of my old compadres telling about being stuck at the Enka redlight behind a fellow in an early 70's Ford Galaxie station wagon - with a big "honk if you love Jesus" bumper sticker - he tooted his horn, and got "The Finger" in return!


Some folks' relentless comments regarding dates, historical accuracy, etc., seems to leave out the fact that the Holy Bible - with all of its editions, additions, re-writes, out-takes, etc., seems to have influenced History a mighty lot - for being a "book of fairytales".....


Some scholars have opined that Constantine died an unreconstructed pagan, and adopted Christianity as the State religion of Rome as a kind of "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" deal.


Regardless, it is rather amazing, to my small mind, anyhow, that some stories about a non-existent Jewish carpenter and itinerant, anti-establishment  Rabbi managed to stand the Roman Empire on its ear and change the course of world history several times, all the while influencing and inspiring centuries-worth of artists, composers, musicians, architects, etc.etc.etc.etc.


Like Blessed Saint Teresa, I kind of welcome the doubts that crowd around my faith every so often - and I truly don't dismiss them out of hand - without them, I could not appreciate faith. 


One ought to try and keep an open mind - but, as one of my old professors used to say, "Not so open that your brain falls out."


Never saw much point in trying so hard as some folks do to intellectualize an experience which is essentially emotional and spiritual.    One should believe and practice that which makes one a better person.



Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Dec 22, 2016 08:21

Thankfully OUR Founders were far better educated than Mr. Williams. From James Madison's Remonstrance and Remembrance Against Religious Assessments in Favour of the Teachers of the Christian Religion:

"Because experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of Religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. Enquire of the Teachers of Christianity for the ages in which it appeared in its greatest lustre; those of every sect, point to the ages prior to its incorporation with Civil policy. Propose a restoration of this primitive State in which its Teachers depended on the voluntary rewards of their flocks, many of them predict its downfall. On which Side ought their testimony to have greatest weight, when for or when against their interest?

8. Because the establishment in question is not necessary for the support of Civil Government. If it be urged as necessary for the support of Civil Government only as it is a means of supporting Religion, and it be not necessary for the latter purpose, it cannot be necessary for the former. If Religion be not within the cognizance of Civil Government how can its legal establishment be necessary to Civil Government? What influence in fact have ecclesiastical establishments had on Civil Society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny: in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty, may have found an established Clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just Government instituted to secure& perpetuate it needs them not. Such a Government will be best supported by protecting every Citizen in the enjoyment of his Religion with the same equal hand which protects his person and his property; by neither invading the equal rights of any Sect, nor suffering any Sect to invade those of another."

Emporer Constantine used the "Christian Religion" to consolidate his power. He did that by banning the Gnostics of Mary Magdalene, and the Mother Mary. His Council of Nycisis edited "the bible" by removing the Gnostic Gospels and adding the Book of revelations which was observed by Jefferson to be either a "complete fabrication or written by a madman".

Thankfully those Historical and Religious experts embraced and did establish the deistic notion of an "Almighty God hath created the mind free..." Too bad there are so many that refuse to think for themselves and rely on others to subvert their "Free Will" by claiming "the bible is the inspired word of God..." It is quite well known how the Founders thought about that:"that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; ..."

But of course there are many who reject this out of hand. Too easy to fall prey to their preacher's authority and just go along to go along. Thankfully OUR Founders were not of such ilk.

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Dec 22, 2016 11:25

Whoo-Hooo!  I'd be hard put to top that expansive ejaculation of erudition!  I reckon you is 'way smarter than I am, feller.  Of course, that isn't a really big feat -to outdo me intellectually, that is.  


Remember that Brevity thing we were talking about earlier though....your arguments might carry more weight if you were more concise and didn't try to drown us in a sea of 18th - early 19th Century verbiage.


I never have claimed to be more intelligent or educated than anyone else - but you, Sir - are on a par with "Wile E. Coyote - Super Genius!"

Posted by: carolyn mull | Dec 23, 2016 06:03

Charles Zimmerman, can't you for one time SHUT UP?!?!?!? We know your beliefs and really don't care as you don't care about our beliefs. But you can't leave nothing alone. I very seriously doubt anyone reads your complete post anyway. I know I don't because I know it will be blah,blah. For Gods sake can't you keep your rantings TO YOURSELF at least for Christmas? Have enough respect for people who do believe. Who really cares when Jesus was really born??? We have one day to celebrate his birthday and I don't really think it is a crime if it's not the correct day. You believe how you believe so for GOD SAKES LEAVE CHRISTMAS ALONE.

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Dec 23, 2016 08:17

Ms. Mull, I have yet to figure out the paradox that is Charles Zimmerman.  He yips and yaps and howls.  He yodels worse than Slim Whitman ever had a day to yodel, about HIS interpretation of OUR foundation documents and HIS claim to know all about what the Founders were like and how they were put together, and HIS idea and HIS alone, about American History.


He is unoriginal - his cutting and pasting from the same sources - over and over and over, his consistent refusal to use distinct paragraphs, his apparently (?) intentional misspellings and refusal to capitalize works of literature and proper names that he does not like - all have become his onerous and odious trademarks.


When he shouts out with his own, stand-alone articles, I generally keep my gob shut, but when he comes into someone else's article swinging on a vine and shouting "GOD CONSTITUTION",  then I will usually respond.


The past two religious articles that he and I have verbally tussled over were both written by people who, so far as I know are not government officials, neither was writing in a governmental capacity, and the Mountaineer is not a governmental publication funded by tax money.  Heck, NPR even plays religious music, airs various takes on religion, interviews religious people - even has a good program called "Speaking of Faith".


Just wish It could figure out his beef with these people.  Nobody, in either article, as done anything but profess their personal ideas about faith and the Christmas season.


I reckon it is Mr. Z's right to be offensive and curmudgeonly if he wants to - it is a free country, after all.   But I do wish he'd find some new material to cut and paste if he cannot scratch up anything of his own.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Dec 23, 2016 09:18

As I pointed out, Jesus is not the "reason for the season". It is another lie "christians" tell children in order to subjugate their minds. How any adult can look a child in the face and tell them "yes..., there is a Santa Clause is beyond me. I never have, I always tell kids no it is a lie. That and Jesus is dead. And this ain't his birthday anyway. Ain't it curious that so many people put so much value on supposed events that supposedly happened over 2,000 years ago while neither knowing nor accepting those "self-evident truth's" OUR Founders used to create the secular republic of the United States of America under a Godless Constitution that all of US are under every day all day. Can't even take time to read OUR documented history. Seems that they spend their time studying a foreign religion from a foreign land. That makes sense. You'd think Jesus was born in Kansas. Crazy seems to me. That and the followers of this foreign religion can't even take a little time to actually research its origins. Thankfully OUR Founders did.

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Dec 23, 2016 14:04

Tut-tut, Mr. Z - I actually knew a chap named Jesus Reyes who was born in Texas...And "Lie" is such a strong word....and so out of place for the season.   You may be a learned man -  but your needle appears stuck somewhere on the record - you keep repeating the same things!


Ah well, old troglodyte believer that I am, at least I haven't called you a liar or a subjugator of minds - they say that sometimes unusually high intelligence comes at a cost to emotional maturity and social skill.....


FYSA, the study of OUR history - and world history - has been a lifelong interest of mine.  I simply see parts of it differently than you do- and, by the by, I have never called your interpretation wrong - only different.  And I only criticize your manners, your lack of originality, and your writing once in awhile.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Dec 24, 2016 10:23

Mr. Williams; When an adult who knows the truth of the matter but yet chooses to lie to a child, what is that called? I call it irressponsable.
By documenting what OUR Founders used to establish this secular republic under a Godless Constitution requires no opinion on my part. It is verified by OUR several Supreme Court rulings and by the various groups encharged with documenting OUR history. Yes it bears repeating. That is the cost of Liberty. WE cannot allow one crack in the "wall" separating the church from the state. Plus those that promote such nonsense certainly cannot call themselves "followers" of Jesus of Nazareth, either. They would make Jesus to be a liar and OUR Founders fools.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Dec 24, 2016 10:29

Some advice: "The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support."

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Dec 24, 2016 11:07

Awwwww - lighten up, Snowflake!   The Church of Jesus Christ has survived plagues, internal corruption, the Age of Reason, modern science, etc.etc.etc.etc. -  She has even survived the fiction of Dan Brown!   Doubtless she will survive your rantings as well....


I go now to enjoy both the religious and gastronomic aspects of the Christmas season - keep vaporing if you like - I am done - for now. Unless.....

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Dec 24, 2016 12:27

Considering OUR Founders and WE the people lived during the "Age of Reason" and rejected subjugation under any church authority and embraced "self-evident truth's", it was "trinnitarrianisn that then attacked US.  As was duly noted by Jefferson; "Trinnitarrianism is a desease". Modern science has indeed showed how fallible the leaders of "the church" were. Besides that Jesus of Nazareth built no church. He had followers. He wrote nothing down. Nor did anyone else who had first hand knowledge. The so-called "New Testiment" is nothing but hearsay. Gosip mostly. And then Emporer Constantine edited the whole mess. Regardless, Neither the bible, nor Jesus, nor the Ten are American. They are foreign. Middle Eastern. The 'rump would probably consider Jesus to be a subversive. As did the established church and government and the people themselves of the day.

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Dec 24, 2016 20:41

Uhh - this "We the people" was born in the mid-20th century and lives currently in the 21st.


And as for the aspersions  you cast upon the historical accuracy of the Bible or the historical existence of Jesus Christ, I must ask, were you there?  Have you interviewed anyone who was?   Do you have special knowledge - "know people" as it were????


Some of these items are why we believers tend to have that "faith" thing going on.  Why our Catholic and Orthodox brethren refer to the Trinity, the Resurrection, etc., as part of the "Mystery of Faith".


The Age of Reason had its own imperfections, and the Founding Fathers, while extraordinary men in any age, were far from perfect, however, most of them had sense enough to recognize their own imperfection and that of their fellow citizens of the New Republic.


I am sure that you know that some of the "new" American citizens actually feared a military victory by General George Washington's almost as much as a defeat, as there were reservations about whether he might become an American monarch.


And some of the masses might have been fine with it.  However, GEN Washington retired his commission, famously stating "I didn't fight George III in order to become George I".  This was a one of several reasons that the Electoral College was established.


As I indicated in an earlier comment - if Christ was an imaginary friend or a made-up figure or a composite character, then the phenomenon of Christianity's rise was as much of a miracle as any described in the Bible.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Dec 25, 2016 09:35

You might want to read the Preamble to OUR Godless Constitution. I bet you ain't never read Jefferson's bible either.

This is telling about how Jesus was looked at:

"The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason & right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that it's protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word "Jesus Christ," so that it should read "a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion." The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of it's protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination." Thomas Jefferson Autobiography Review and Reform of the Law. 4th paragraph if you click on Review and Reform of the Law, otherwise page 58 in the book. Hard copy or soft. Don't matter. I got one of each.

George Washington was a deist. He did not participate in the "blood and flesh" weirdness and was chasticed by the preacher for it.

WE the people do not have to speculate on what OUR Founders thought's were. Don't take no "leap of faith". Jesus wrote nothing down. No one who was an eye witness wrote anything down. Constantine changed it all anyway. The "church" has edited the story many times. The role Mary Magdalene played especially, If not for the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gnostic Gospels, .....

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Dec 25, 2016 15:49

Well, Burgermeister Meisterburger , you certainly are at least consistent in your assumptions about what I have and haven't looked at and read. And that is approximately the 57th time I have seen that bit about "Mahometans" and "Hindoos"  - you must love it so......


You are a singular piece of work, and our discussions are entertaining to a point - but I have no desire to wrangle further with ye on Christmas Day in the Morning - and I sincerely hope that you are fulfilled by being you..


So, au revoir - until next time.  Hope you have a safe and prosperous New Year!

Posted by: Matt Ledbetter | Dec 25, 2016 15:59

Mr. Williams, I love how in all of CZ's posts, his stuff is "fact" and ours is "crap." I believe the correct term for that is "narcissism", also known as "democrat." Not sure why we even give him the time of day. (It is fun, though).  Anyway,  have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Dec 25, 2016 16:39

Thank you kindly, Mr. Ledbetter, and a Merry Christmas - and all the joys of the season - to you and your family.  Yes, Mr. Z's self-assurance on what all he knows, what everyone else does not know or is mistaken on, borders on megalomaniacal arrogance.  He also appears to be pretty devoid of humor and proportion. 


Perhaps it is a bit un-Christian of me - I suppose I turn a cheek occasionally, but it is not the cheek that Christ would have me turn!


Oh, but I do so enjoy lighting his fuse and twisting his tail and tweaking his nose occasionally.  Like a big trout, he invariably rises to the bait -  majestically albeit somewhat un-originally.  He just spins off into the stratosphere, leaving the same old smoke trail.


It must mean something to him, as he unfailingly rushes in with reams of repetitive references to Hindoos and Mahometans and Subjugation and "Trinnitarrianism" [sic?] and HIS take on OUR Founders....


I am afraid that, could he go back to the time of the Founders, he'd find himself wearing someone's glove in his face and invited to partake of  "Grass before breakfast" before the first day was out.


Definitely reminds me of Ogden Nash's famous poem "The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus"  - a definite Jabez Dawes type if ever I saw one! 


Again, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year to you, in Jesus' Name!

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Dec 26, 2016 09:11

It ceases to amaze me that the various fanatics I try and educate as to the original intentions of OUR Founders always use the same arguments. Are yu'all in the same club? It truly is something. By the way. catholics were paid to fight against OUR radicals. Trinnitarrians, especially those inclined to be submissive, by and large fought for King George also. As George Washington told the troops: "We have no King. We have no savior". Was he wrong?

Posted by: Matt Ledbetter | Dec 26, 2016 09:32

Let me finish that quote for you. "We have no king, we have no Savior but King Jesus." Look, I can cut and paste too.


"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!"    Patrick Henry

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty...of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."  John Jay, First Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Dec 26, 2016 11:05

Wow - "the various fanatics".....Cut and Paste - and now unfettered hyperbole!  YOU are full of surprises there, fuzzy little man-peach!


My advice to YOU is to breathe deeply, enjoy a nice cup of eggnog, and concentrate on trying to be a mensch oncet in awhile.


Now, in the immortal words of the Cookie Monster - "Buh-Bye!"

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Dec 27, 2016 11:15

Mr. Ledbetter; Fact check. Fact check. Fact check. I present to you documented facts and you respond with garbage. https://fakehistory.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/%E2%80%9Cno-king-but-jesus%E2%80%9D-and-the-american-revolution/




This is a good read: http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/capital.asp

Here's a quote from Jefferson: "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth." Notes on the State of Virginia


Apparrently you haven't read OUR Godless Constitution.

  1. U.S. Constitution

Article VI

All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

What part of "no religious test" do you not understand? By the way Jefferson had previously established this right in his Act For Establishing Religious Freedom, if you'd paid attention.

"NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION"! was not just a suggestion.

Posted by: Matt Ledbetter | Dec 27, 2016 14:25

Still bowing at the Jeffersonian altar I see. Me thinks that you thinks that I thought Jefferson was a Christian. And I thought you knew that everything YOU Google couldn't possibly be true. Anyway, see on the next article, I'm done with this one. PS, I agree with the article: JESUS is the reason for the season.  It's not about the specific date, it's about the event that we celebrate and the Savior that we serve.

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Dec 27, 2016 15:38

Mr. Ledbetter, I have come to the conclusion that, if you say it's a nice day, ol' Z-Man will break into interpretive dance and start hollering his battle cry of  "GODLESS CONSTITUTION!" and "NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!"   And those bits about Hindoos, Mahometans and Trinnitarrianism - "Lions and Tigers and Bears - Oh My!"


Have you noticed that he manages to work those lines into almost every post he makes, regardless of whether they are relevant to the conversation or not?

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Dec 29, 2016 09:07

Like arguing with spoiled brat little kids. That you do not appreciate what OUR Founders established nor can debate their intentions honestly without using verified false quotes or ones that are easily proven irrelevant is telling. Not accepting what has been verified by OUR Supreme Courts and historians is just self-imposed ignorance.

Posted by: Matt Ledbetter | Dec 29, 2016 14:46

Mr. Williams, how do you feel about that?

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Dec 29, 2016 22:48

Well, I haven't really argued or debated anything with Mr. Z - I have only told him that my views were different, and never accused him of ignorance, stupidity, or anything of the sort. 


 I have, on the other hand, commented on and poked fun at his atrocious manners and his equally insufferable writing habits.


Unfortunately, when anyone professes a religious belief that fails to pass Mr. Z's eternal vigilance standard, he lets fly with the insults and pages of cut and paste.


I cannot see what led him to comment on this article in the first place.  It was a Christian person's take on Christmas, in a local newspaper.  Mr. Viau is not a government official, he did not stand in front of the Courthouse handing out copies of his article, nor is the Mountaineer a government publication.


Mr. Z's personal conviction that his non-religious philosophy/world view is the only valid one, and his professed zeal for the separation of Church and State have apparently combined to make a uniquely unpleasant specimen.


I do not pretend to know everything - or, in fact, much of anything - and I freely admit that fact.  As the tragic Prince of Denmark said, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in thy philosophy."

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Dec 30, 2016 08:46

OUR Founders and WE the people chose to rise up against subjugation and to establish a secular republic by separating the church from the state. The least we can do is support what they created. Subjugation is always wrong. It is an insult to the "Almighty God" that created Free Will in the first place. And as was quite well pointed out in Jefferson's Act For Establishing Religious Freedom, any mere mortal man who promotes an "inspired" opinion of religion is promoting a "false religion".

While it could be said that the United States of America under a Godless Constitution was derived because of Jesus of Nazareth's admonition to "render unto ceasar...", it was not. The Founders completely separated the church from the state and embraced and did establish the deistic notion of naturally inherent inalienable rights whereas religious opinion by the means of one's own conscience is foremost.

The idea that somehow one mere mortal fallible man's death "saved" anyone is bogus on its face. The idea that this person's(if he existed) death "saved" only those that believe in him, is outright discriminatory and not in line with the loving God that created the DNA from which all things great and small evolved.

Just recently WE the people celebrated the anniversary of the ratification of OUR Bill of Rights and not one article nor word was used to mention it in this paper. That is unacceptable. If people choose to worship a foreign born religion, so be it, but, when WE ignore that which sets US apart from every other country, WE are in big trouble.

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Dec 30, 2016 15:22

WE must have a WEE mouse in OUR pocket.  Yet again, you holler about Jefferson, the Founding Fathers, secular republics, false religions, etc.etc.etc. without addressing my question.


What did THIS article have to do with ANYTHING that you are vaporing about?????


A gentleman offers a personal sentiment in accordance with his religious faith in a newpaper, without any references to government or trying to "subjugate" anyone else's thinking.


What threat does this pose to the Constitution or to a secular republic?  Looks to me like he is exercising a couple of fundamental rights guaranteed by the US Constitution.


One's notion of and relationship with God is one of the most personal things of all, as are ideas about redemption and salvation.  Your insistence that anyone else's ideas are false, ignorant, etc., is extremely arrogant.


YOU, Sir, seem to be the one intent on squashing liberty - when that liberty takes the form of something you do not like or agree with.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Jan 01, 2017 08:13

Winter Soltice is "the reason for the season". The Emporer Constantine chose to negate the Pagan celebration by declaring December 25th as Jesus of Nazareth's birthday. Same with Easter. Trinnitarrianism is piggy-backed on top of Paganism.

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Jan 01, 2017 11:23

Yes, you've made mention of that before.  Several times.  And I have known for many years that there is nothing new under the sun, and that religions have "borrowed" from one another down thru the millennia.


Your point is abundantly clear - but believers are still free to believe under the GODLESS CONSTITUTION.....I still don't understand your hijacking Mr. Viau's article when Separation of Church and State was never at issue in said article.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Jan 02, 2017 10:35

As OUR Founders established and I support "4. Because the Bill violates that equality which ought to be the basis of every law, and which is more indispensible, in proportion as the validity or expediency of any law is more liable to be impeached. If "all men are by nature equally free and independent," [Virginia Declaration of Rights, art. 1] all men are to be considered as entering into Society on equal conditions; as relinquishing no more, and therefore retaining no less, one than another, of their natural rights. Above all are they to be considered as retaining an "equal title to the free exercise of Religion according to the dictates of Conscience."" Remonstrance and Remembrance

In order to be fair the equal protection of conscience must apply to nonbelievers, also.

Regardless, Constantine didn't "borrow" from the Pagans nor Gnostics. He incorporated Trinitarrian Christianity into his legal government and banned all others. Banning is not "borrowing". Trinitarrians have been practicing a falsely derived celebration ever since. Plus they have allowed outside opinions to denigrate the whole thing. Santy Clause? Are you kidding me? And since when is it acceptable to lie to children?

No. Jesus is not "the reason for the season" for many of US. It is the time when hypocrits expose themselves and practice a "false religion" that they have further mutated.

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Jan 02, 2017 11:52

Ah well - I say Po-Tay-Toe and you say Po-Tah-Toe....bandy semantics to your heart's content.  To Mr. Viau and many others, Christ is the "reason for the season" - and "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" - after all, if you see it in the Mountaineer, it must be so!


There are those among us to whom faith, Church, childhood myths and beliefs, etc., bring back very pleasant associations and memories - and not a few have built useful and good lives by living the tenets of their chosen religion.


Not all of us have had to tote the sack of "gloom, despair and agony on me" that some of your memories (BTW - Too Much Information there, big guy) indicate.


I really hate it for you that life has dealt you some sour persimmons here and there - but most of us have had to deal with our share of disappointment, unfairness, injustice - in short, the realities of life.  And it is apparent from your comments that folks deal with these things differently.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Jan 03, 2017 10:28

I pretty much raised myself. It didn't take long to realize my parents were to be polite, not right. My mother had her father's brother remove me from her prematurely. My sire declared me a runt and spent his life reminding me that if it had been up to him, he'd of picked me up by the ankles and slammed my head against the wall and that would have been that. He came to the conclusion that "everything I owned, he owned". Which enabled him to sell grain, livestock, etc, cash checks in my name, etc, without being a "theif". And as being someone who "would never amount to anything", I had a constant goal to prove him wrong. Because of me, he was able to keep his farm and live a decent life. He rewarded me by dis-inheriting and dis-owning me. Twice. Seems he didn't like my political views.

Having studied the so-called New Testiment I embrace what Jesus established with the living of his life. One of the most important tennents was tell the truth. In all cases. I was removed from church for telling kids that there is no Santa Clause and Jesus was a man. Mary Magdalene was the most important of the "disciples" and probably Jesus mate. Teaching little girls how to avoid getting pregnant. The "virgin birth" was made up nonsense. Jesus would not need nor want his fallible human body in Heavon where the eternal reside. I learned from Ruth Rhodeheaver Thomas to "question everything". I learned to think for myself. I embraced "Free Will" before I read OUR Founders words. I have been a promoter of Liberty and Free Will as OUR Founders established them to be ever since. I reject and oppose subjugation as an insult to the sacrifices OUR Founders made and to God Herself. I recognize lieing to be a thief of time that will catch up to you. But to consciously lie to a child is reprehensible.

Posted by: Matt Ledbetter | Jan 03, 2017 10:41

Despite your terrible theology, your nonsense over biblical truths, and your proclivity to share too much information, I still must say that I am sorry that you had to endure so much over the span of your life. We all, to a degree, have had to deal with "life" and all that comes with it. But I choose to practice that which is good and right, to share peace and kindness, and most of all, to embrace the life I have found in my Christian faith which comes through a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus.  All this has served my family well. It is the best life I know to live. I know that there will probably be some snappy comeback, but that's ok. I just felt the need to share.

Posted by: Phillip Williams | Jan 03, 2017 13:30

Well, consider me reprehensible then!  My wife and I raised our daughter Catholic (although I am Protestant, my wife is Catholic).


And we thoroughly indoctrinated her about The Kringle - which she bought completely into and enjoyed immensely - she knew - from the first moment she saw him in person - exactly what the big guy in the red suit was all about, and she loves Christmas time to this day.


Our reprehensible lies have not resulted in "damaged goods" - to the contrary, I think they were instrumental in producing a loving, intelligent, humorous, competent and delightful young woman.


As for Santa Claus - I know him personally....albeit thru several incarnations and personifications down thru the years - he is a tricky old feller - and I have known him in both male and female versions.


It seems to me that your own experiences have colored the way you think - in both positive and in some distinctly negative ways - and you apparently think that your direful, tragic yardstick must be applied to everyone's life.

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