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GWYNANNE1's Photo GWYNANNE1 Posts: 4,200
12/21/18 6:10 A

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no this was not a Christmas even. we work together in a day program for developmentally disabled adults and as such, these clients get over excited about Christmas. some times they will ask about if we celebrate the holiday and I have to explain to them I don't --- or why I don't have a Christmas tree.

PROVERBS31JULIA's Photo PROVERBS31JULIA Posts: 5,878
12/20/18 10:34 P

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Guess I won't be planning any trips to Japan around Christmas time...

and for the "Merry Christmas to you..." my approach varies. If it's an acquaintance who knows I don't observe Christmas and knows that I have reminded them of it, and still absent mindedly wish me Merry Christmas, I will sometimes jokingly reply "Bah Humbug!" and then they laugh and go, Oh yea, I forgot!! (not too many I can do that with!!)...

Most are just saying it as a mindless thing, don't really care what I believe and they aren't even really into it for the "religious" reasons, pagan or Christian, and so there I usually say something like "Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful visit with your family and friends too." (some seem quite pleased to hear that, knowing that Christmas can be very stressful times for replayed family drama...)...

I DO have some friends (acquaintances, really, as I don't just hang out with them on a daily basis) who proudly observe Christmas as the Pagan Saturnalia, and they actually get mad at people calling it "Christmas" because they actually are quite aware and happy to be observing Pagan festivals year around. That's kind of funny, to me in a way, because it's like we're on opposite views about a lot of things, but agreeing that Christmas has nothing to do with Christ. This one gal I know does the same thing about Halloween and other holidays, she'll write stuff on her Facebook about how she resents "Christians" claiming connections to pagan festivals that predate the birth of Christ...

She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.
Proverbs 31:17


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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 45,147
12/20/18 10:29 P

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But this was at a CHRISTMAS event????????

I would basically chalk this co-worker up as a hypocritical and hyper-critical idiot, and ignore her most of the time.

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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GWYNANNE1's Photo GWYNANNE1 Posts: 4,200
12/20/18 5:39 P

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can't please any one right?

NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,112
12/20/18 2:04 P

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Thank you.

Most people mean nothing by these "throw away" remarks. I might have added, "I don't celebrate, but I hope you all have a joyous holiday." That way the intent cannot be misconstrued.

As HEALTHYPERI said below, "We live in sensitive times."

Edited by: NUMD97 at: 12/20/2018 (14:17)
Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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Dare to dream.
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SUNNYCALIGIRL's Photo SUNNYCALIGIRL Posts: 17,320
12/20/18 12:09 P

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Very good advice. Sometimes, the best way to be Jewish is incognito. emoticon

Edited by: SUNNYCALIGIRL at: 12/20/2018 (12:09)
Allison
Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe.--Latin Proverb
"If the wind will not serve, take to the oars."


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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,112
12/20/18 7:38 A

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With some people, you're just not going to win this one.

Be real careful it doesn't escalate.

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
~ Goethe

Dare to dream.
~ Me


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GWYNANNE1's Photo GWYNANNE1 Posts: 4,200
12/20/18 6:41 A

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so some of the clients were asking about Chrismtas and I just cashually said I did not celebrate Christmas and this same co-worker said that I was talking about relgion and we should not do that. No tell me, how is saying "I don't celebrate Christmas" talking religion?

SUNNYCALIGIRL's Photo SUNNYCALIGIRL Posts: 17,320
12/20/18 12:17 A

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But it is as "secular" as Christmas can get in Japan (unless you are a Japanese Christian, very rare as I said only 1-2 % of population is Christian). NO Baby Jesus, no mangers or nativity scene. No crosses or three kings. KFC is really big in Japan at Christmas time, the food chain made sure it was. The Colonel can be seen (statues and probably actors) dressed as Santa. It began a promotion years ago that fried chicken was the food of choice for Christmas. To celebrate the KFC way, families place an order in advance with the Christmas menu and pick it up boxed in the store to take home. The shopping departments make a big deal about decorating with trees and Santa because it is all about BUYING a gift but it has no religious meaning.

"In Japan, Christmas in known as more of a time to spread happiness rather than a religious celebration. Christmas Eve is often celebrated more than Christmas Day. Christmas Eve is thought of as a romantic day, in which couples spend together and exchange presents. In many ways it resembles Valentine's Day celebrations in the UK and the USA. Young couples like to go for walks to look at the Christmas lights and have a romantic meal in a restaurant - booking a table on Christmas Eve can be very difficult as it's so popular!

Fried chicken is often eaten on Christmas day. It is the busiest time of year for restaurants such as KFC and people can place orders at their local fast food restaurant in advance! There was an advertising campaign by KFC in the 1974 called 'Kentucky for Christmas!' (Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!) which was very successful and made KFC popular for Christmas!"

https://www.whychristmas.com/cultures/ja
pan.shtml

I do NOT celebrate Christmas in even a secular way, because here in the US it has heavy religious connotations, But if I had a boyfriend and I lived in Japan, I very well might do the romantic dinner and walking.

Incidentally, Valentine's Day in Japan is NOTHING like anywhere else. Basically, it's give your working superior (Boss) a gift! The Japanese version of our Valnetine's Day is in March and it's called White Day and the woman is expected to give her boyfriend a gift--white chocolate!


Edited by: SUNNYCALIGIRL at: 12/20/2018 (00:24)
Allison
Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe.--Latin Proverb
"If the wind will not serve, take to the oars."


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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 45,147
12/19/18 6:20 P

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LOL, Gwyn!!! Your coworker obviously is clueless!

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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GWYNANNE1's Photo GWYNANNE1 Posts: 4,200
12/18/18 6:40 A

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Yes I knew all of this well before this posting. don't want to confuse co-workers with the facts

NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,112
12/18/18 2:44 A

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I cannot speak for other countries, but as you noted below, it is a big deal, at least in Mexico. I clearly remember the first year there, we did not have Anatomy lab on November 2nd, which is "The Day of the Dead". We did not work on our cadavers out of respect.

They spend the day visiting loved ones in cemeteries.

EDIT: November 1st is "All Saints Day". Sort of a three-day holiday, beginning with Halloween.

Edited by: NUMD97 at: 12/18/2018 (02:51)
Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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Dare to dream.
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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 45,147
12/18/18 2:20 A

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I've seen All Saints Day in other countries as more religious (especially in Catholic countries). But All Hallow's Eve, or Halloween, seems to have been celebrated as pretty much the way we do things in the US - just a big costume party. At least that's the way it seemed in the South American countries where we were during those dates. (And in Asia, it's pretty much not celebrated in any way, shape, or form.)

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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12/17/18 10:10 P

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yes all that is true.
it is still totally celebrated as a christian holiday. if you moved all the things to july for his "real" birthday, all this other stuff would go away or be watered down like halloween

PROVERBS31JULIA's Photo PROVERBS31JULIA Posts: 5,878
12/17/18 5:10 P

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"Christmas" is originally a pagan religious festival - saturnalia (? I think what it was called?) - which included features like trees decorated with gold and silver, bon fires, parties with food and booze and gift giving, looking for the Sun to return etc... Winter Solstice and all that jazz. Romans couldn't force the natives to convert to "Christianity" and so they just took basic old-time pagan rituals and put a pretty "Christian" face upon it.... and from what I've read elsewhere, Jesus was likely conceived during Chanukah, so His actual date of birth would have been more in the September early October time frame.

She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.
Proverbs 31:17


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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,112
12/17/18 8:04 A

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Same argument could be made, Phebe. Especially out of the US. Halloween is a religious, Christian, holiday.

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
~ Goethe

Dare to dream.
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GWYNANNE1's Photo GWYNANNE1 Posts: 4,200
12/17/18 5:36 A

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and I have to agree -- Christmas is a religious holiday and of course, even if nothing is said, the meaning is still there. And for that matter, December 25 is just an arbitrary date of when Jesus' birthday was. rumor has it that his birthday was most likely in the fall

PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 45,147
12/17/18 2:04 A

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I'm okay with Halloween - there aren't baby Jesuses around.

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,112
12/16/18 10:01 P

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I was going to say the same thing, Phebe. I, too, agree with you, SAK. Christmas will NEVER be a secular holiday. Without Christmas, there are no Christians.

But I did not want to get into a (snowball) fight with cyberstrangers.

Now what shall we do about Halloween?



Edited by: NUMD97 at: 12/16/2018 (23:32)
Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 45,147
12/16/18 8:38 P

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Sak, I agree with you 100%!!!! Christmas is a religious holiday, no matter what anyone does to it. The name alone is enough to tell us - Christ mass!!!!!!

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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12/16/18 5:16 P

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Sunnygal - at the risk of annoying people by repeating myself, there is no such thing as a secular celebration of christmas. If christmas came in may instead of september, would they be putting up christmas trees? Would santa come in december or may? see, there is a reason for the season - and most of the celebrations are connected to that reason. Have a snowflake making event in January? secular. build snowmen in november? secular. knit gloves in december? - thats iffy - if making them for the tree, not secular. if making them to give away NOT through a tree - secular. i hate when people say its secular. my hubby isnt jewish. we always went to his parents for xmas day. as we all got older, i suggested doing a nice fun gift giving celebration either at hanukah or some other less cold, less crowded, less expensive. time of the year. "nope then its not christmas". so its a christmas thing for J's bday. even if they dont believe (as they all claim not to). its a reason "for the season".
sorry, i'll get off my soapbox now.

SUNNYCALIGIRL's Photo SUNNYCALIGIRL Posts: 17,320
12/16/18 3:08 P

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I am in late to this conversation. I think that Gwen's question was a private conversation and not inappropriate at all--UNLESS for some reason the man took offense at what she said and objected to it, It's a delicate subject in the work place, isn't it? The supervisor was covering her back --the company's--from possible lawsuits, real or imagined. It's all pretty funny considering but you have to remember that Christmas was being celebrated in a SECULAR way--Christmas trees, Santa and Mrs. Claus. I did not hear a mention of a manager or Baby Jesus. Japan celebrates secular Christmas in a big way, because it is the big holiday of the conquering nation from WW II. However, only 1-2% of the population in Japan is Christian.

Allison
Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe.--Latin Proverb
"If the wind will not serve, take to the oars."


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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,112
12/16/18 2:46 P

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I remember that one well. I had a Russian coworker (also Jewish), who decided she was bored, walked over to my cubicle (two behind hers) and wanted to pick a fight. She got one. But, unfortunately, she cried foul and it went to HR. One of the craziest people I ever met. And manipulative, too. She would leave work TWO HOURS early and expect people to lie for her. One time we were in the same room together, alone, in the hospital and she went through this elaborate conversation aloud, that she ordered theater tickets erroneously meaning them for Saturday, and it was actually for Friday. (See where this is going?) I stopped her in her tracks and told her that it's best that I not know, because I was not going to lie for her. And if she left early and the boss came looking for her, I could honestly say that I did not know where she was. She grew silent, and that ended that "conversation" quickly.

Sometimes, at work, it is best not to engage people too much. Yes, it would make for a more pleasant environment, but the way things are these days, it is just not worth it.

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
~ Goethe

Dare to dream.
~ Me


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GWYNANNE1's Photo GWYNANNE1 Posts: 4,200
12/16/18 6:40 A

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nope no law covers persaonl conversations between co-workers, unless of course one person is saying things that are obviously inappropriate.

PROVERBS31JULIA's Photo PROVERBS31JULIA Posts: 5,878
12/15/18 11:55 P

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I was in 4th grade class with a Jehovah's Witnesses - I found out by asking her how come she didn't have to stand up for pledge of Allegiance. She didn't keep the Saturday 7th Day Sabbath - they went to church on Sunday. Maybe a mutant variety? But she and I got to do "winter season appropriate decorations" like snow man or snow flakes, rather than making Christmas decorations in classes... and at the time, we were not doing birthdays at all, so we were alike in that regard as well. Seems like she ate whatever she wanted...they just couldn't have blood in their meat...

The Seventh Day Adventists in our neighborhoods still go attend services on Saturday Sabbath - but - they got Christmas and Easter decorations out the wazoo. I don't know if they do birthdays or not?? They do offer dietary programs that are for the most part "clean" but the more vigilant SDA's don't do any meat at all...

Edited by: PROVERBS31JULIA at: 12/15/2018 (23:56)
She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.
Proverbs 31:17


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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 45,147
12/15/18 11:48 P

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Along the same lines of being overly "politically correct" and overly careful: I wanted to go on the Jeep tour of the Grand Canyon south rim today, but Richard didn't really want to spend the money. So I went in to sign up as a single guest. However, company policy is that they do not take single guests - has to be two or more. And then, to top it off, the driver/guide was a young woman!!! I asked why the company would not allow an older woman guest to be driven around by a younger woman???? She said she agreed, it was pretty crazy, she had no idea why anyone would think it might be a problem.

So I was able to convince Richard that we could do the 2 hr tour (not at sea) - and the lady gave us a discount.

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,112
12/15/18 11:00 P

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I had said the same (see below. I just type lean emoticon )

As to not asking at an employment interview about religion, as Phebess noted, I had that discussion after the fact with my boss who pointedly noted that my religious observance "did not come up at the interview". That is correct, because it is ILLEGAL. My sister, who is Orthodox, never raised the holidays until well after the hire. This way everything stayed clean and neat.

And the only reason Chanukah gets a big play is because it falls so close to Christmas. Why not celebrate our fall major holidays? Sigh. We just will not win this one, and it becomes way too complicated. Look at our parking rules in NYC: We honor ALL the major Jewish, Christian, Muslim holidays, by cancelling street cleaning rules on those days. Usually a local congressman will send out the schedule every year to keep us all informed.

We just live in crazy times. No question.

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
~ Goethe

Dare to dream.
~ Me


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SYLPHINPROGRESS's Photo SYLPHINPROGRESS SparkPoints: (107,909)
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12/15/18 8:53 P

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I came back to mention the illegality of asking religion when hiring is the issue, as Phebe already has. Yes, person-to-person, nothing wrong there.

Jehovah's Witnesses don't acknowledge birthdays either, so if that student was of the faith, he was bound not to take part.

The only thing I know about Seventh Day Adventists is that caring for the "temple" [my word-choice and quotation marks] is part of the belief system -- the body is the deity's vessel. They may still offer free stop-smoking programs, for example. Many years ago, the first time I quit was with their program. They used a strange method, showing pictures designed to repel -- such as cigarette butts stubbed into food leftovers on plates and roaches climbing on cigarette butts in ashtrays. I averted mine eyes and found the technique pointless. The reason the program worked for me was that it built more structure into may day, having to attend sessions for several consecutive evenings. Structure functions as a form of discipline for me.

Gwyn, I love that you're probably doing the hora at this moment. You'll see our notes later!

Edited by: SYLPHINPROGRESS at: 12/15/2018 (20:53)
LAURIE, NYC

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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 45,147
12/15/18 7:51 P

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Yeah, I was the kid in 2nd grade who asked for blue and white paper for the "Christmas" art project - I said I'd make it for my family for Chanukah. Teacher asked if anyone else wanted blue and white paper - and about six other hands went up.

We all have our cultures and religions and traditions - we're not a uniform culture. We need to accept and honor that.

And you know, thinking about it, I think your supervisor is wrong. I think in an employment interview, no one is allowed to ask about religion (or ethnic origin, or gender orientation, etc.) - all of those personal questions cannot be asked in an interview. But one employee to another? I don't think there's a law that deals with that. At least not a federal law.


"Dance as if no one is watching."


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GWYNANNE1's Photo GWYNANNE1 Posts: 4,200
12/15/18 7:01 P

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Back when I was in grade school in New Jersey, the 6th grade teacher was having us sing Christmas Carols. Being that half my school was a 50/50 Jewish/Catholic mix, with a few Protestents, one Jewish classmate refused to sing. Teacher called him up to her desk and he said he was Jewish and didn't want to. don't remember what else happened.

PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 45,147
12/15/18 6:47 P

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So crazy that anyone would say you can't ask about someone's religion when you both turn out to be of minority religions in this country, and at an event celebrating (and decorated everywhere) the majority religion!!!!

At this time of year back in my teaching days, my classes would work on a multi-faith bulletin board for the front office, and tree decorations for a "Christmas tree" in the park downtown. I would always ask students to let me know if they didn't celebrate Christmas and wanted to incorporate their culture and traditions into our bulletin board - because occasionally I'd have a student who was Muslim or Hindu. And I'd help them figure out ways they could portray that within the project we were doing. The ONLY student who ever refused to do so turned out to be Seventh Day Adventist or Jehovah's Witness, and they don't celebrate any holidays other than the Sabbath. (Kid wouldn't even make a birthday card though - I think he was just trying to get out of working!)

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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GWYNANNE1's Photo GWYNANNE1 Posts: 4,200
12/15/18 5:33 P

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thanks it is gone. going to dance to hava nagila

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12/15/18 5:32 P

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And don’t let anyone tell you that it was not a religious celebration. If Jesus had been born in March would they still have had IN DECEMBER a Christmas tree up and hand out gifts from Santa? Nope. So clearly it is a celebration of the holiday.

Edited by: SAK05261 at: 12/15/2018 (17:32)
BOSS61's Photo BOSS61 Posts: 6,653
12/15/18 5:04 P

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100% with Laurie on this.

Moment of levity: company holiday party last night. Decorations: blue-and-white. On the menu - latkes. No red or green, and certainly no candy canes, anywhere.

Because we (still) can. So there, bear.

"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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12/15/18 4:54 P

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Gwyn, let it go. You did nothing awful.

What strikes me as amusing is that someone scolded you for mentioning religion amid a large celebration based on a theology.

Let it go. No need to make an issue when another holiday will come along before you know it. Let's make an issue of July 4.

LAURIE, NYC

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GWYNANNE1's Photo GWYNANNE1 Posts: 4,200
12/15/18 4:53 P

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thanks. fortunately for me, I asked him if I had upset him and he said no, that he was fine with my queswtion.

HEALTHYPERI Posts: 87
12/15/18 4:48 P

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It is an innocent remark if this was said in a different decade. We are living in very sensitive times. The list of things that are not considered politically correct to ask can make your head spin. You like to get to know a person beyond the surface as do I. Unfortunately he can go to HR and say you asked because you are prejudice. Yes, we do live in a crazy world.

NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,112
12/15/18 4:35 P

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"Innocent faux pas", said amongst all the Christmas decorations.

Let it slide.

Edited by: NUMD97 at: 12/20/2018 (07:36)
Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
~ Goethe

Dare to dream.
~ Me


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GWYNANNE1's Photo GWYNANNE1 Posts: 4,200
12/15/18 4:24 P

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So I work for a day program for developmentally disabled adults as program support. every year this program puts up 2 Christmas Trees, decorates them, puts up hand made Christmas decoratoins (things like hand made wreaths made out of construction paper), have snow men around. I have brought in menorahs the two years I have worked there. Any way, on Friday, one of the parents of one of our clients "hired" a Santa and Mrs. Santa Claus, and the three of them came in at 1 pm/ They handed out gifts (things like inexpensive earrings for the females, pencils, things like taht). then at 2 pm, we played Christmas Carols on a CD player. One of our newest staff people (he has worked there for about 3 months now) is from Somalia, lived in Kenya and moved to the USA when he was a child. During these activites, I innocently asked him if he was Muslim (I am an extrovert and like getting to know my co-workers). He said yes. A person from the staffing agency we use, must have over heard me because she approached me and said "we are not supposed to talk about religion". Now tell me, did I do something awful or did I just make an innocent faux pas.

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