I believe the traditional of celebrating birthdays really didn't catch on with common people until the latter half of the 19th century or even later. Not because of religious beliefs but because most families could not afford the luxury of celebrating birthdays...and children were seen back in those days as more as a part of a labour force to help supplement family income.
There is some truth to that, sadly, due to poverty. However, birthdays were probably marked and celebrated since earliest days, especially certain important birthdays. Followers of Judaism celebrate the 13th birthday of males (bar mitzvah), and something like bar mitzvahs were probably celebrated by ancient Hebrews as the 13th birthday is mentioned in Hebrew texts. Hindus celebrate the 13th birthday too. Much like modern Europeans, Romans and other Italic peoples celebrated birthdays regularly, a practice that was condemned by some early Christians.
In 'On Levites', Origen viciously condemns celebrating birthdays. Origen was not all bad and not like a lot of fundamentalist Christians of the day as he seemed to believe in a universalist apokatastasis, a positive hangup from paganism.
I consider myself a christian and I celebrate my birthday, though it's pretty low-key not because of my lds beliefs... which in fact LDS members do observe birthdays..in fact lds members are encouraged to observe birthdays but for me it is matter of personal preference.
Indeed. Birthdays are a valid observance in many human cultures.
Most christian denomations are hardly what you paint them to be..
I'll grant you that, but most fundamentalists seem to be. Very sad indeed.
most celebrate birthdays, send thier kids to public schools and allow blood tranfusions and other medical treatment... and most of them have rules of conduct that are quite reasonable even by worldly standards and yet does not contradict the commandments.
Most might, thankfully, but there seems to be a shift in Christianity and I believe that Christianity of the future will turn more toward fundamentalist sects who disallow such things. OK blood transfusions are only really disallowed in JW as far as I know, but home-schooling is certainly very common with fundamentalists and so, apparently, is not celebrating birthdays (not even that of Jesus Christ sometimes!).
While I may disagree with some of the practices of Jehovah Witnesses as our friend Wes is a member of they in no way offend me personally.
No offence meant to Wes, but I have known children of JWs who have died because their parents did not allow them to have blood transfusions. They could have list if not for such strange practices. This strikes me as a major black mark against JW. It is the social and moral duty of a parent to save the life of their children if possible, in my opinion.
Yes the early mormon church was indeed was severely persucuted not from the heathen but most of the persecution came from other christian denomination particularly the baptists...but you know full well that mormons were not the only ones who were persecuted.
Indeed, they were not. ''Heathens/pagans'' suffered far worse. Especially those in Europe and the Americas.
The jewish people for centuries were probably the most persecuted group in the history of the world especially in Russia
It is hard to say that they are the most persecuted group as you have Romani, Sindis etc. too. But they did, indeed, suffer great persecution. The Tsarists pogroms (which saw the publication of 'The Protocols of The Learned Elder's of Zion') still affect Judaism to this day, as do the actions of NAZI Germany. Jews are not a race, they are as ethnically diverse as Christians and Muslims, however, they were grouped as a race by regimes such as the NAZIs which also lead to the creation of negative and racialist Zionism which caused suffering to both Jews and Muslims.
particular in the middle east
But not as much as you would expect. Most Muslims are anti-Israeli not anti-Jewish (though there are anti-Jews too). Many ''Arabic'' Jews (often actually descended from the Hebrews themselves but mixed with Arabs) in, say, Palestine support the Palestinian cause because they are part of the Palestinian, rather than Israeli community. So the issue is not a black and white Jews vs. Muslims thing for the most part.
but you certainly get a great deal of anti-semitic sentiments in Europe and North America.
You do. You either get fanatic pro-Jews or fanatic anti-Jews. Both, in my opinion, are dangerous and absurd.
Lastly nearly every group paints itself as victims, including the atheists themselves.
Some do, I'll give you that. However, atheists, like heathens and Christian ''heretics'', have more of a reason to. They were discriminated against by the Christian majority of post-heathen Europe for almost a millennium. Christians never suffered the amount of persecution that most groups received from Christians themselves. Even the anti-Christian riots in Gujarat (ironically, and sadly, the former home of Gandhi) do not compare to that of the Christian regimes in Europe in the centuries following the conversion of the majority of Europeans. Christians playing the victim card, especially in regards to heathens, always seems quite ironic and a little poor taste.