The Instigator
rross
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
Heineken
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

The government should be doing nothing to encourage Christmas

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Heineken
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/14/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,467 times Debate No: 28191
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (6)

 

rross

Pro

NO public holiday, no public funds for Christmas trees, no official acknowledgement of the day.

Actually, I want to go further and say that here, in the southern hemisphere, Christmas should be actively discouraged. It's summer! We should just be lazing around with cocktails! Instead, I came back into the city today and the traffic is horrible and everyone looks stressed. However, since this site is in the northern hemisphere, I'll just go with the resolution as it is.
Heineken

Con

Pro established that the Government shall observe “NO public holiday,” provide “no public funds for Christmas trees,” and grant “no official acknowledgement of the day.

Pro wrote an additional paragraph about holiday observance in the southern hemisphere, but he immediately withdrew the argument.

Pro established a burden without cause. We still do not know “why” the Government should remove itself from Holiday observance.

Therefore, I will turn it over to Pro. Hopefully we will see a case presented in round two.

Debate Round No. 1
rross

Pro


Hello Heineken. Thanks for accepting this debate.


Christmas Day is a holiday under federal law in the United States. On Christmas Day, federal government employees are forced to take a day off to celebrate this religious festival, and they are paid to do so. Each year, Christmas Day costs US tax-payers around half a billion dollars (1). Thus, every tax payer, irrespective of her private religious beliefs, is being forced to subsidize this Christian festival. No other religion is celebrated in this way, of course. Christmas Day is the only compulsory religious festival in the US calendar.


The US government has tried, and failed, to excuse this appalling unfairness with the following argument (2), which I’ll paraphrase here:



  1. Christmas is a Christian festival, but

  2. Non-Christians can join in the activities, so

  3. Forcing them to subsidize a Christian festival is a legitimate government activity.


The government designates the following Christmas activities as appropriate “even for” non-Christian Americans:



  • Decorating houses and yards with lights

  • Putting up “Christmas” trees

  • Giving gifts

  • Sending greeting cards


If the aim is inclusiveness, why not have a government-sponsored solstice celebration on December 19? All those activities for non-Christians would still apply. Then, six days later, anyone who wants to can celebrate the birth of Jesus privately.


But why would anyone want to? Not even Christians are pretending that Jesus was actually born on December 25 (3). The winter solstice celebration was hijacked hundreds of years ago. It needs to be returned to the people.


However. This idea about winter solstice is just my own suggestion to improve the lives of millions of Americans. There are many other options. Government interference in the “Christmas” festival could be cancelled with no replacement holiday, for example, or the New Year celebrations could be lengthened.


The important thing is that the government does not force non-Christians to observe a Christian religious day (by not being allowed to work), and does not force any American to subsidize a Christian religious festival (by using taxes to pay federal employees for the day of observance).


The US Department of State claims that religious freedom is a “core objective of U.S. foreign policy” (4). Maybe start at home. The government needs to stop pushing Christmas onto its citizens.



1. http://www.washingtontimes.com...


2. http://www.usa.gov...


3. http://www.christiananswers.net...


4. http://www.state.gov...


Heineken

Con

Pro stated:"On Christmas Day, federal government employees are forced to take a day off to celebrate this religious festival, and they are paid to do so."

Rebuttal: The Federal Government does not force it's employees to "celebrate this religious festival". The paid holiday period can be observed, but it can also be ignored. If a federal employee views religious observance as an anathema to their ideology, they may choose to utilize their paid time-off in any non-religious fashion best suited to their ideology.

In fact, not all Federal Offices close down for the Holidays. The Department of Defense requires it's employees to submit a request for Holiday-down time. All Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines that do not submit an official request for Holiday leave, will be required to report for normal duty. The military leave policy can be review here:

  • Army --Army Regulation 600-8-10 - Leaves and Passes
  • Air Force --Air Force Instruction 36-3003 - Military Leave Program
  • Navy --MILPERSMAN 1050, Leave and Liberty
  • Marine Corps --Marine Corps Order (MCO) P1050.3H - Regulations for Leave, Liberty, and Administrative Absence
To satisfy the burden of this premise, Pro must show that observance of the Christmas ceremony is being forced upon federal employees, that mandatory leave is viewed negatively by the employee.

------------------

Pro stated:"Each year, Christmas Day costs US tax-payers around half a billion dollars."


Rebuttal: The Unites States government's gross annual revenue from domestic product sales is estimated at 2.9 trillion dollars at the Federal level. [1] Approximately 19.5% of these sales occur over the Holiday season. [2] The average Federal revenue for holiday sales in 565.5 billion dollars, which is a 565 billion dollar profit margin, after spending .5 billion on federal holiday pay.

------------------

Pro stated: "No other religion is celebrated in this way, of course. Christmas Day is the only compulsory religious festival in the US calendar."

Rebuttal: The Jewish Holiday of Purim is a big Israeli gift-exchanging holiday, but Hanukkah celebrates eight days of gift-giving in the North American tradition. The Muslims exchange gifts over two Eids in Ramadan as well. The Indian celebration of Diwali far exceeds Christmas in extravagance and duration. The Chinese New Year celebrates elaborately with gifts and festivities.

Hence:

The Jews do not celebrate Christmas, neither do the Muslims. The Indians also do not observe Christmas and cultural Chinese members of the U.S. also do not observe Christmas. In fact, while wikipedia reports that 78% of Americans are Christians, a recent Gallup reported in the "Statistical Illusion" article showed that only 20% of Americans are truly Christians, as defined by their Church. [3] That means 80% of Americans observe the Holidays for non-religious reasons. Christmas is not religious, it's a commercial Holiday.

------------------

Pro Claimed: The government designates the following Christmas activities as appropriate "even for" non-Christian Americans: Decorating houses and yards with lights, Putting up "Christmas" trees, Giving gifts, Sending greeting cards"

Rebuttal: I challenge my opponent to provide this official federal designation. Which federal law, passed in which year by what ruling body made the above list a federal "designation"? This is a straw-man argument. No such federal position, law, guideline or clause (no pun intended) exists.

Federal observance of the Christmas Holiday was passed in 1870. It did not dictate how the holiday should be observed.

 

Conclusion: It should be noted that Christmas is not a national Holiday. Congress does not have the power to declare a national Holiday. It can only pass federal observance. Non-government entities are not required to shut down for Christmas.

"Constitutionally, there are no "national holidays" in the United States because Congress only has authority to create holidays for federal institutions (including federally owned properties) and employees, and for the District of Columbia." [4]

Lastly, it should be noted that getting time off for the Christmas season does not mandate Church attendance or religious observance. You are free to spend Christmas catching up on sleep, getting drunk, or like most Americans, try to take advantage of spectacular discounts on retail prices. Going to Church is optional.

  

 

http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com... [1]

http://www.nrf.com... [2]

http://www.christianitytoday.com... [3]

http://en.wikipedia.org... [4]

Debate Round No. 2
rross

Pro

The U.S. government favors Christianity over all other religions by recognizing Christmas, a Christian festival, and by mandating a federal holiday on Christmas Day. It does not recognize any other religious holiday in the same way. By recognizing and celebrating Christmas above all other religious festivals, the government is demonstrating a preference for Christianity above all other religions. My opponent has not bothered to argue this point, and so I assume he recognizes it as true.

Con said: “The Federal Government does not force it's [sic] employees to "celebrate this religious festival". The paid holiday period can…be ignored. If a federal employee views religious observance as an anathema to their ideology, they may choose to utilize their paid time-off in any non-religious fashion.”

Thank goodness! Imagine a state of affairs where citizens were actually driven into churches and forced to pray! You’re right, Heineken. That would be much, much worse. It’s bad enough, though, the government showing such a marked preference for Christianity and making all federal employees take a day of out of respect to a religion they may not follow.

Con said: “not all Federal Offices close down for the Holidays… All Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines that do not submit an official request for Holiday leave, will be required to report for normal duty.”

I’m sure you’re right, Heineken, that they don’t stand down the entire military for Christmas, or indeed for any federal holiday. I suppose they keep the essential services running. I don’t really see how that affects the argument, though.

Con said: “Pro must show that…mandatory leave is viewed negatively by the employee.”

You astonish me. I would never have thought you would put a citizen’s feelings before his rights. Or that you would say freedom is about being positive.

I disagree entirely, and for many reasons that are well outside the scope of this debate. I will only say here that this debate is not about people’s emotions. It is about whether the US government should stop imposing religious observance onto its citizens in the form of the Christmas Day holiday. And yes, it should stop.

------------------

Con said:The average Federal revenue for holiday sales in [sic] 565.5 billion dollars, which is a 565 billion dollar profit margin, after spending .5 billion on federal holiday pay.”

This is my favorite of all your arguments, because of the large sums of money involved and because of its ambiguity. What point are you trying to make here? If only there were an extra round, I could ask. As it is, I will take a few guesses at what your argument might be, and rebut them in turn.

1. Christmas day pays for itself. Non-Christians don’t have to subsidize it.

Actually, according to your own sources, “holiday sales” mean all sales in November and December and “Holidays during this period include Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.” http://www.nrf.com......

In fact, there is no information here about how much money in taxes Christmas contributes specifically. In any case, the government encourages non-Christians to give gifts, send cards and put up Christmas trees. To contribute taxes, in other words. So whether it’s though sales or income tax, non-Christians are subsidizing this religious festival.

2. We’re so gloriously rich here in America, what difference does half a billion dollars make?

Half a billion dollars is still a substantial amount of money. And it’s the principle of the thing. Citizens can’t choose whether or not to subsidize Christmas Day. The government makes them.

3. Christmas Day makes money for the government. Therefore, the government is right to encourage it.

As you convincingly argued elsewhere, Christians aren’t alone in having gift-giving festivals. The government doesn’t need to mandate a federal holiday to rake in the benefits of religion. In any case, this is a distressingly cynical line to take. Surely religious freedom and equality are worth more than a seasonal rise in retail sales?

------------------

Con said: “The Jewish Holiday of Purim…Hanukkah…Eids…Diwali far exceeds Christmas in extravagance and duration. The Chinese New Year celebrates elaborately with gifts and festivities.”

So true. So many wonderful cultural and religious festivals that thrive without government interference! Why can’t Christmas be like that too?

Con said: “The Jews do not celebrate Christmas, neither do the Muslims. The Indians also do not observe Christmas and cultural Chinese members of the U.S. also do not observe Christmas. In fact… 80% of Americans observe the Holidays for non-religious reasons. Christmas is not religious, it's a commercial Holiday.”

I’m sure you’re right, Heineken. Yes, the vast majority of Americans find no religious significance in Christmas Day. It makes sense, then, to replace Christmas with a secular holiday. Such as winter solstice.

------------------

Con said: I challenge my opponent to provide this official federal designation…This is a straw-man argument. No such federal position, law, guideline or clause (no pun intended) exists.”

I’m sorry. I did put the US government link in, but you had to find it on the list of links at the bottom, click on it, then scroll down to find the right bit. I should have just put in the quote directly. Here it is.

“Christmas is a Christian holiday marking the birth of the Christ Child. Decorating houses and yards with lights, putting up Christmas trees, giving gifts, and sending greeting cards have become holiday traditions even for many non-Christian Americans.” http://www.usa.gov...

What’s a “straw man argument”? It sounds bad, almost as if you’re accusing me of making things up. But I’ve included sources all along.

Con said: “It should be noted that Christmas is not a national Holiday. Congress does not have the power to declare a national Holiday. It can only pass federal observance.”

Ah. So that’s the difference between a “national holiday” and a “federal holiday”. Thanks. That’s really interesting.

Conclusion

There are eleven federal holidays in the US. Only one of these, Christmas Day, is a religious festival. The government has no business showing such respect and preference to Christianity. The US prides itself on being a country of religious freedom. Federal holidays, which are compulsory holidays for all federal employees (in non-essential services), and which are subsidized by US tax-payers, should be secular and inclusive. Christmas Day should be celebrated by Christians in a private manner, just as people of other beliefs celebrate their own festivals.

Heineken

Con

Pro stated: “By recognizing and celebrating Christmas above all other religious festivals, the government is demonstrating a preference for Christianity above all other religions. My opponent has not bothered to argue this point, and so I assume he recognizes it as true.”

Rebuttal: Naturally. The debate is not concerned with if Christmas has federal recognition. I already stated that the Holiday received federal recognition in 1870. My opponent’s burden is to show why this recognition is unfair, unconstitutional or otherwise undesirable. This is an empty objection.

---------------------

Pro stated: “It’s bad enough, though, the government showing such a marked preference for Christianity and making all federal employees take a day of out of respect to a religion they may not follow.”

Rebuttal: Again, my opponent failed to argue how a “mandatory” paid holiday is unfavorable. Stating that the employee is “forced” to observe the day would insinuate that the employee is forced to pray, worship or otherwise partake in the ritual. Instead, the employee is given a fully compensated period of leave which can be spent in manner desirable to the employee. My opponent has failed to show a victim group.

---------------------

Pro remarked: I suppose they (the Federal Government) keep the essential services running. I don’t really see how that affects the argument, though.

Rebuttal: The argument is affected by the mere fact that federal observance is a luxury, not a duty. A vast congress of uniformed service members are forced to forego observance in lieu of mandatory hazardous duty in foreign, hostile conditions.

This premise nullifies the entire concept of “forced” observance. With many Federal agencies, we actually see forced non-observance. As the Air Force core value states:” Service before self.”

Pro flagrantly dropped this argument.

---------------------

Pro remarked: You astonish me. I would never have thought you would put a citizen’s feelings before his rights. Or that you would say freedom is about being positive.

Rebuttal: My opponent clearly missed the premise. As I stated in round 2, the federal recognition of Christmas passed in 1870 by full recognition of both Houses. The representatives of the American Public introduced the bill and so it’s only logical that an equal measure is required to repeal the bill.

By ignoring public opinion my opponent has conceded an incredible pillar to his premise, which is the Law that recognized Christmas to begin with.

This is the second point my opponent has flagrantly dropped.

---------------------

Pro wasted an incredible amount of space answering questions that weren’t asked. These, above any other arguments, are the most ridiculous arguments my opponent has furnished.
It’s not a difficult task to debate someone when you grant yourself the luxury of putting words in their mouth. Highly condescending.

Rebuttal: The purpose of the revenue snapshot was to illuminate the vast importance that Christmas has to our economy. By granting Federal employees a paid winter vacation, it encourages the employee to participate in the holiday economy. In essence, the paid holiday leave is most certainly being filtered back into the economy, stimulating the incredible revenue growth experienced only during this season.

The incredible profits enjoyed by the Federal Government also indicate that public support for the festivity is pervasive, making an appeal to authority or an appeal to ethics irrelevant.

As I’ve stated before, my opponent has failed to establish a victim group. It would have been a good start for him to show another religion campaigning for federal recognition. Perhaps he could have cited a secular appeal to the courts to remove the Holiday. Alas, my opponent made no such arguments at all.

---------------------

Pro stated: So many wonderful cultural and religious festivals that thrive without government interference! Why can’t Christmas be like that too?

Rebuttal: Laws don’t change because you really, really want them to. Christmas probably “could” be like that too, but you must show why it should be like that too.

---------------------

Pro said: Yes, the vast majority of Americans find no religious significance in Christmas Day. It makes sense, then, to replace Christmas with a secular holiday. Such as winter solstice.

Rebuttal: Amazing objection. Perhaps my opponent doesn’t realize that Winter Solstice is Pagan and not a secular observance? It dates back to the Norse empire and Rome. [1] Additionally, as I’ve already stated, Christmas observance is relative. Christians observe it religiously, the secularist observes it culturally. My opponent has not only dropped this point, he has also failed to show that Federal observance is religious in nature.

This is the third premise dropped by my opponent.

------------------

Pro cited the following source: “Christmas is a Christian holiday marking the birth of the Christ Child. Decorating houses and yards with lights, putting up Christmas trees, giving gifts, and sending greeting cards have become holiday traditions even for many non-Christian Americans.” http://www.usa.gov......

Rebuttal: That is a definition from a public relations website, it’s not a law. Additionally, the source directly concedes that Christmas observance is not necessarily Christian.

If my opponent would like to see what a legal guideline is, let me cite the ruling of Ganulin vs. The United States (1999). As per the judge: “Courts have repeatedly recognized that the Christmas holiday has become largely secularized. ...By giving federal employees a paid vacation day on Christmas, the government is doing no more than recognizing the cultural significance of the holiday.” [2]

Argument extended.

------------------

Conclusion:

Pro built a weak and careless resolution in his first round. Without rhyme or reason, he stated simply that the Government shall observe “NO public holiday,” provide “no public funds for Christmas trees,” and grant “no official acknowledgement of the day.”

As we can see from the debate, Pro immediately dropped the first two burdens. This is most likely because he realized too late that Federal Observances are not public. As I stated (and my opponent dropped this argument also), there is a difference between a national holiday and a federal holiday.

Instead, my opponent focused on the third portion of his burden ONLY. Remarkably, he never established a single argument for his burden. Rather, he spent the entirety of his debate trying to defend against my attacks on his burden. My opponent has clearly failed to satisfy the burden he laid out in round one. Furthermore, he has failed to adequately defend against my attacks.

This debate was very on-sided but I would like to thank my opponent regardless. I found the topic worthwhile and this debate helped me establish an educated opinion on the issue. I’d like to thank the voter for reading the arguments and (without any pun intended) I’d like to wish everyone a peaceful and joyful holiday season.

Vote Con.

http://www.bbc.co.uk... [1]

http://atheism.about.com... [2]

Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by makhdoom5 3 years ago
makhdoom5
and also debating style so great.
i am going to have this style onward.
Posted by makhdoom5 3 years ago
makhdoom5
indeed.
a great debater.
heineken.
Posted by rross 4 years ago
rross
Oh well. It seems you were right about it being one-sided, Heineken. Thanks for debating. I learned a lot from this.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
There's no reason to show that time off for Christmas is "hurtful and counterproductive". All she needed to show was that it discriminated between religions, and that by doing so went against the spirit of the 1st amendment. She did this and upheld BoP as far as I'm concerned.
Posted by tmar19652 4 years ago
tmar19652
Pro is simply trying to propagate his view while simply disregarding the burden o proof. Pro should have shown that time off for Christmas is hurtful and counterproductive, while con pointed out other uses for the time off for those who do not wish to celebrate the day. In my opinion pro is blinded by their viewpoint, and is unwilling to concede to any points made by con.
Posted by Nobodycares 4 years ago
Nobodycares
Ah, hate Wikipedia as a source"
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
@dafool,

I disagree that "Con rebutted convincingly by arguing that Christmas is also a "commercial holiday", as CON makes it clear that "Christmas observance is not necessarily Christian".

Even if Christmas is ALSO a "commercial holiday", it still does nothing to disprove that it shows religious bias. I don't understand how CON rebutted anything through this line of reasoning, and found it to be one of very many strawmen proffered by CON.

Anyway, whatever, would rather not read this debate again.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
(cont...)
7) CON states: "As I"ve stated before, my opponent has failed to establish a victim group," thereby ignoring the list of non-Christian, non-federal "observances" proffered by PRO that do not receive federal favoritism.

Overall, PRO's point was clear. By declaring Christmas specifically a federal "observance"/"holiday"/whatever, it was showing bias to a religious celebration. PRO's argument was very simple, and CON never attacked it. Instead, he proffered the following strawmen:

CON tried to present Christmas as being so important economically that the government is indeed justified in showing bias. CON also tried to demonstrate through semantics that the bias shown by the federal government is not strong enough to warrant change. CON also tried to demonstrate that Christmas is not a holiday specifically for Christians. CON attempted to demonstrate that the Winter Solstice, PRO's alternative, is another religious celebration.

Personally, I found CON's rebuttals to be almost wholly off the mark and irrelevant to PRO's point and at many points wholly inaccurate. To suggest that Christmas is not a "Christian holiday marking the birth of the Christ Child" by arguing that "Christmas observance is not necessarily Christian" is irresponsible, and for such repeated assertions that insult the intelligence of the voting public I will deduct conduct from CON as well. While he confidently presented his strawmen, I remained wholly unconvinced that he was debating PRO's resolution. In that sense, I find PRO's basic premise to be uncontested by CON, therefore I award argument to PRO.

This was an annoying debate to read. I found it less the case that "Pro built a weak and careless resolution in his first round," than CON building weak and careless strawmen for PRO to attack, and thereby accusing PRO of spending the "entirety of his debate trying to defend against [CON's] attacks on [PRO's] burden." Of course PRO did, what else is a debate supposed to be?
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
Dear lord, CON brought out so many strawmen I doubt I will be able to list them all.

Before I begin, I keep in mind that the exact wording of the resolution:
"The government should be doing nothing to encourage Christmas"

Encourage is the key word in my mind.

Now for the strawmen:
1) There is federal observance, but for some reason PRO must prove that "mandatory leave is viewed negatively by the employee?" Ridiculous. This is CON's responsibility. That CON could not do this means that the government is indeed "encouraging" Christmas. What relevance CON's point has about whether or not the government SHOULD encourage Christmas is beyond me.
2) CON's numbers about taxes again shows that the government is "encouraging" Christmas, without showing any relevance as to whether or not it SHOULD, other than to point out the incredible amount of spending associated with this holiday. Strawman, completely irrelevant.
3) PRO's point about government spending on a federal "observance" is valid whether or not it is a "federal holiday" or a "federal observance". Another strawman.
4) CON states again "Again, my opponent failed to argue how a "mandatory" paid holiday is unfavorable." CON is clearly ignoring points about religious favoritism asserted by PRO. He is promoting his own strawmen arguments and ignoring PRO's main arguments.
5) To say that Winter Solstice is a pagan holiday is the same as saying that the Julian calendar is a pagan ritual, or that the New Year is a pagan holiday. Not only irrelevant, but just flat out distasteful.
6) Whether or not the law recognizes Christmas is irrelevant as to whether or not it SHOULD recognize and give favor to a Christian holiday...although CON's point about Congressional approval does show that the people prefer there to be a Christmas observed by the government.

(cont...so many strawmen)
Posted by miketheman1200 4 years ago
miketheman1200
Pro round 1: Derp
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by drafterman 4 years ago
drafterman
rrossHeinekenTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con effectively explained why Christmas as a federal holiday isn't actually an endorsement of Christmas as a religious holiday (Pro's primary point of contention). Also, Con's formatting was just beautiful that I'm giving him S&G points too.
Vote Placed by Nobodycares 4 years ago
Nobodycares
rrossHeinekenTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to establish strong argument, topic was very promising; alas, it never quite took off. Con was very professional, concise, and clear; spelling and grammar errors were not overwhelming, yet Con was superior
Vote Placed by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
rrossHeinekenTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Firstly, both sources and arguments go to Con. Pro made multiple bare-faced assertions which she was unable to back up with credible sources. Con substantiated his arguments by rebutting the hasty generalizations made by Pro. As can be seen from this vote, my position on this is Pro, but Con argued very well, much better than Pro.
Vote Placed by andrewkletzien 4 years ago
andrewkletzien
rrossHeinekenTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:02 
Reasons for voting decision: Given the nature of the question posed, Con seems to agree with Pro that the government shouldn't encourage Christmas, but then turns to arguments claiming the government doesn't encourage Christmas, two different arguments. Pro need not demonstrate mandatory paid-leave is favorable or unfavorable, for any one citizen that prefers to work is unable to in most cases. The infringement of rights in this case is the assumption of the government on what the citizen wishes to do. It is paternalistic at best. The preferential treatment of the Christian holiday, while possibly balanced by other minor holidays, is hardly arguable. I can't walk out of my apartment without seeing a display that would make Santa himself suspect he has been slipped some laxatives. The a posteriori argument here is undeniable.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
rrossHeinekenTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments. Annoying debate to read, way too many strawmen and quite possibly blatant trolling by CON.
Vote Placed by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
rrossHeinekenTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: I understood Pro's argument to be: 1-Christmas is a religious observance that 2- should not be encouraged or funded with taxpayer dollars. (This is a pro-First Amendment stance.) Con rebutted convincingly by arguing that Christmas is also a "commercial holiday" that generates commercial revenue. Pro agrees, stating in R3 that such revenue makes federal subsidies unnecessary. I agree with Pro that the more separation between church and state the better. However, I felt forced to award the "Convincing arguments" score to Con - due to exchanges such as this, as well as an over-reliance on rebuttal rather than argument building by Pro. I awarded sourcing to Con as well, in part because of his impressive use of the military codes. I could not fairly award S&G or conduct:both players wrote very clearly, and explained their positions very well. Likewise with conduct.