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Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

In this essay, Christian anarchist and professor of Religious Studies, Tripp York, discusses the co-opting of King’s beliefs and message.

“A dangerous Negro, now a national hero. How shall we work with that?”
—Vincent Harding

In a brief essay entitled “Martin Luther King, Jr: Dangerous Prophet,” Vincent Harding (a colleague of King) reminds his readers that as easy as it is to forget that Jesus was an executed criminal who undermined the very politics that makes this fallen world turn, so too is it both easy and tempting to twist King into our own image, who is no longer a prophet, but an idol that serves rather than questions our interests.

In 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. was called the most dangerous Negro in the United States because he posed a threat to the very precious ideals that, unfortunately, continue to underwrite our socio-economic and political culture. This same man is now revered as a national saint. The question that must be asked is: Did we undergo the changes that King demanded—an alternative economy, the practice of nonviolence, and the ceasing of imperialism? Or, has his message somehow changed since his death so that it can accommodate that for which he gave his life in protest?

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Last week, I sat down with my daughter to have a heart-to-heart about Christmas. She’s nine now, and it was time to break the news. “Did you know, kid, that Christmas is actually about Jesus?” From the blank look on her face, I could tell she didn’t. “The reason people celebrate Christmas is because it’s supposed to be a celebration of Jesus’ birthday.”

“Really?” she said, “It’s not about the presents?”

“Well, they call it Christmas, after Jesus Christ.”

A fire came into her eyes. “I think we should just call it Presentmas, then.”

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Like all gifts, the gift of giving is as much for the giver as for the receiver. This paradox is especially true of homemade gifts. The modern tradition of purchasing pre-made gifts arises from our tendency to want to really give something to the receiver. Interacting through the medium of money, however, severs the giver, in a way, from the gift, and emphasizes the unidirectionality of flow, downplaying the interpersonal nature of giving. When you give something you’ve made, the act of giving retains a strong reciprocity. The receiver still “gets” something, but in that reception, “gives” something back as well.

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thanksgiving

Does this count as tradition?

As we alllll know, later this week most people in America are going to stop what they are doing and cook up a giant bird along with a pile of season-appropriate side dishes. They’ll chatter, drink, and connect themselves to the rest of their national community through parades and sports. Well, some of them will….

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Club some seals, and other ways to have an authentic Thanksgiving

How to celebrate like the Pilgrims did it. Those awful, awful Pilgrims
By Sean O’Neal November 23, 2009

Excerpted from A.V. Club Milwaukee

America has a proud history of taking its most sacred holidays and allowing shrewd marketing types to distort them beyond all recognition—as with Thanksgiving, when we celebrate the first breaking of bread between Plymouth colonists and the American Indians they eventually drove to near-extinction by stuffing ourselves with deep-fried turduckens and watching college football. But you don’t have to take part in this travesty. Here are some tips for celebrating Thanksgiving exactly like the Pilgrims that will make you a better American than everyone else.

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Have you ever felt that holidays exist only to keep your family from falling apart? Have you ever had the feeling that there is something missing, be it life, from a plastic skeleton? Have you ever wondered if meaningful ritual only happens over there, in a place you’ve never been, during a time you’ll never travel to? For better or for worse there’s a good reason to feel that way, and unpacking those feelings in order to have the ability to (re)experience authentic of-the-environment spiritual catharsis is what’s needed to rectify the situation.

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Fish

Another upcoming event for the season of Yule!

The Brooklyn Kitchen and chef Katherine Randazzo celebrate the Southern Italian tradition, the Feast of the Seven Fishes, by offering a class (with eating) on December 17th.

The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a Roman Catholic Christmas eve tradition involving… well, seven fish. Or, I guess, fishes. It’s a nice biblical way of honoring the birth of Jesus. As with all good traditions, the exact origins and reason for seven fish is unclear. (more…)

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