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3339 No. 3339
I just realized: isn't this blasphemy?

And why Christmas instead of Hanukkah, Quanza, Solstice, etc...?

No. 3340
No. Christmas itself might be considered blasphemy though.

And it's Christmas because it's popular.
No. 3341
Because Japan.

Alternatively (indulging you): Gensokyo seems like a place where any excuse for slacking off and having a good time is welcomed.
No. 3343
It's not. Was santa claus ever in the bible? No. Is putting santa suits on touhous blasphemy? About as much as obligatory gift exchanges are. That is to say, not at all.
No. 3345
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>Santa suits
No. 3348
I don't care about santa suits and christ or any of that religious stuff.

The point I'm trying to make is that here we have a pair of SHINTO priestesses celebrating a CHRISTIAN holiday. It's like the pope celebrating ramidan.
No. 3349
Reimu is about as much a shinto priestess as I'm the president of nigeria.
No. 3351
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>The point I'm trying to make is that here we have a pair of SHINTO priestesses celebrating a CHRISTIAN holiday. It's like the pope celebrating ramidan.

You're mistaken.

Christmas as is observed throughout the world today originated in England. The holiday itself is far older, being an invention of the papacy after incorporating one of the myriad pagan celebrations in time immemorial, and was actually despised as contemptible and 'low' because of its association with agrarian bacchanialia. This starts to change when Charles Dickens writes A Christmas Carol, which begins the process of rejuvenating the holiday.

You know how Scrooge hates Christmas? Of course, everyone does. But it's not (just) because he's bitter and hard-hearted; there's a very strong element of class and mores at work too. That the well-to-do creditor who lives in the city has an antagonism with a holiday associated with farming communities and drunken revelry is not a coincidence - it's an intentional dynamic that Dickens' chose to explore that's often forgotten today. Most Englishmen who weren't farmers or Catholics at the time in which his book was written had as much or more contempt for Christmas as Scrooge either because it was considered vulgar (as I've explained) or because it had only scant precedent in the Bible as >>3343 has observed and was therefore 'Papist' and blasphemous for most English (recall that the Bible is only the source of ultimate spiritual authority for Protestants; that the holiday has no basis in scripture is not a problem for Catholics, whose spiritual authority is the word of the Pope). Basically, they would not have found fault with Scrooge's opinions as we would, because hating Christmas was normal and acceptable at the time.

So what makes things change? Well, Dickens writes his book with the intention of making money and probably giving his opinion on the duality present in English society of his day using Scrooge as a caricature for the bourgeois, but what happens, probably as an unintentional side-effect (think the Pure Food and Drug Act and The Jungle); is that Christmas gets redefined in the public conception away from its connotations of hickery, superstition and Catholicism. Basically, it insinuates itself into the broader medium of culture with the result that if it never completely loses its roots as a religious observance, its metamorphosis into what we know today as an especial time of goodwill, gift-giving and generosity happens as a consequence of secularization - none of those have anything explicitly to do with the holiday as was originally practiced for centuries before.

Now, why have I focused on the case of England? Why not Germany, for example? Aside from the fact that Germany doesn't exist as a unified country until the 1870s and that the various principalities were really culturally divergent (which you can still see today, just visit Bavaria and compare it Prussia) England had the influence of its huge overseas empire. Maybe more than any other of the great colonizers, the Brits were fantastic about exporting their culture and it's because of them that the idea of Christmas that we have today is everywhere throughout the world. As much as milk tea, cricket or fish and chips, its their invention.

So now that I've taken this gigantic detour from what I was actually working on before I saw this question, let's return to the OP's topic:

>why Christmas instead of Hanukkah, Quanza, Solstice, etc...?

Unlike all of the others, which are still strictly religious observances; Christmas is not. It's transcended that by becoming semi-secular and attaining a place in the popular imagination as much as the religious. I don't deny that there's more than a few who approach Christmas as a Holy Day but its ubiquity and worldwide importance is as a holiday, lowercase. And there's nothing wrong with that.

If it's justified in the context of history and makes for art with such a taking seasonal flavor, why worry about questions of profanation?
No. 3352
Hannukah is about as religious as xmas.
It's about celebrating a notable happy historical (supposedly) event.
The birth of jesus for xmas, and the oil tin miracle/Bar K'ochvah mutney against the romans for Hannukah.
Both don't have any relation to the bible whatsoever (old testament, that is, dunno about the new one)
I have no idea about the rest, though.

HO HO HO, now i know what i want for xmas.
No. 3361
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Ancient Gensokyo anon, is that you debunking Christmas myths?

Well, that little rant and my discovery of "Fairy Tale of New York" has made this a particularly memorable Christmas.

No. 3375
Nice to meet you, Mr. President.

Reimu officially summons the Shinto deities, as of SSiB. She wears miko garb (modified, of course), wields a gohei, purifies things, beats onexorcises youkai and evil spirits, has divine power, and can call the kami into her presence for favors.
That's more of a miko than any miko the real world has ever seen, and seeing as miko are a Shinto thing... yeah, you fail it.
No. 3379
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Shinto is characterized primarily by actions like worship/respect for nature and ancestors as well as animism
Walking around and blowing things up like every other generic protagonist, then spending her free time lazing about a godless shrine a shinto priestess does not make

So no, shintoism =/= i cast level 1 banish evil on the evil skeleton. Dressing cute and beating up bad guys has almost nothing at all to do with the religion religion religion religion religion (repeated for emphasis), which was the whole point of OP's post

ReactionImage.jpg, you're a dumbass, etc...
No. 3382
And one thing I neglected to mention, shintoism also promotes polytheism. Could've avoided most of the thread (and the obligatory stupid arguments) had I not done so.
No. 3383
>shintoism also promotes polytheism
This. I'm no Shinto scholar, but from what I understand, you could set up a shrine to Santa as the avatar of the North Pole and generosity and you'd be in the right.
No. 3384
Japan isn't known as the land of 8 million gods for no reason.
No. 3385
iunno, 8 million sounds pretty arbitrary
No. 3386
Actually, it was originally intended as just that: an arbitrarily high number indicating 'myriad' or 'countless' (i.e. 'hundred' in "If I've told you once, I've told you a hundred times"). Nowadays, 八百万 actually has two pronunciations; one for each meaning.
No. 3387
Something worth mentioning - virtually everything associated with Shinto today was invented as part of the Meiji restoration in a concerted effort at promoting national unity. Yeah, there were some proto-Buddhist animistic/shamanistic traditions floating around, but those pretty much had little or nothing to do with the kinds of things with which we associate the term today.

It's not just Shinto. Eastern faiths on the whole are very syncretic; what you've described there with Santa actually happened with Christianity. When it first showed up in China/Japan, people thought it was another kind of Buddhism because the most popularly practiced forms of Buddhism (ie, not Zen) can literally be almost anything. The kinds of distinctions we make between 'Buddhism' 'Daoism' etc are completely artificial, being largely the heritage of the first missionaries in the East who tried to categorize everything in ways with which they were familiar. Basically this meant defining a 'religion' exactly like they did in the west - one central figure and one body of 'holy writings,' never mind if the native people never saw that kind of exclusivity that only exists in the west. It's precisely why you had the Japanese so quick to say that Dainichi Nyorai and Amaterasu were the same being at around the same time that medieval Scandanavia was being forced to denounce Odin in its conversion to Christianity.

It's also why you never see any religious warfare centered around confessionalism like the various Crusades or the Thirty Years War in East Asia, because the problem of different faiths claiming to be the sole arbiters of truth was never an issue. Although there were some extremely powerful militant sects of Buddhism that caused trouble all the way until Nobunaga crushed them for good, their actions were always centered around very Machiavellian kinds of realism and never on the specifics of religious dogma.
No. 3389
>their actions were always centered around very Machiavellian kinds of realism and never on the specifics of religious dogma.
>Machiavellian kinds of realism and never on the specifics of religious dogma.
>religious dogma

No. 3390
Right. "Dogma - A doctrine or a corpus of doctrines relating to matters such as morality and faith, set forth in an authoritative manner by a church."

I can only assume that you've only heard 'dogma' used in a pejorative sense, emphasizing its 'authoritative' nature, and that you don't realize that 'religious dogma' and 'religious doctrine' mean virtually the same thing. If that's not it, I don't see what you're getting at in the slightest.
No. 3393
Another anon here.
Kinda offtopic but I always thought that a dogma was simply a matter that was not set for discussion or criticism. Something that is what it is, beyond any doubt.
Even when most examples I could give were from a religious nature (P/E: Dogma 1: Jesus is a god) I had no idea that all of them were related to a religion.
Well, the more you know...