Celebrating the Commercialism of Christmas

December 25, 2011    By: Jacob J @ 1:41 pm   Category: Uncategorized

There is nothing more predictable and cliche than the yearly denouncement of consumerism at Christmas. The Pope condemned the commercialization of Christmas at the Christmas Eve Mass last night and President Monson bemoaned the commercialization at Christmas at the annual First Presidency Christmas Devotional this year.

I think this yearly antagonism toward commercialism is wrong-headed and misguided. It ignores the nature of holidays, and ultimately, human nature as well. The criticism is generally based on the idea that in all the consumerism and commercialism we lose sight of the “true meaning of Christmas” and forget what Christmas is really “all about.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. (more…)

Guest Post From Jeff G: Why I Was Wrong

December 19, 2011    By: Guest @ 11:00 am   Category: Apologetics,Happiness,Personal Revelation,Theology

Editor Note: This guest post was submitted by one of our oldest friends here at New Cool Thang, Jeffrey Gilliam.

For the past few months, I have been struggling with some issues which are very close and dear to my heart. Put bluntly, my faith has been called into question. I find myself overwhelmed with suspicion and doubt, unable to trust so many of the values and beliefs which have become almost second nature to me. I also bear a peculiar mix of pity and resentment for those who have led me astray. While I have concluded that many of the pursuits which I have dedicated myself to most passionately have largely been a waste of time, my feelings are not entirely negative. I do recognize that I will forever treasure the experiences and relationships I have cultivated within the fold from which I now wish to distance myself. More than anything, however, I now face the unknown future with an optimism unlike anything I’ve experienced before, an optimism born of knowing that I am making the right choice.

For those few bloggers who have been interacting with me for the better part of a decade now, this song should sound somewhat familiar to you. You see, this is not the first time that I have abandoned my faith. Roughly 6 years ago, I stunned my friends, family and (at the time) wife by announcing that I no longer believed in God and would no longer continue as a believing Mormon. Various considerations which I will lump together under the banner of “Liberal Science” had persuaded me that the religion of my upbringing was not true and, therefore, must be rejected. (more…)