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(Reuters)   Out of fear that he might offend people, Santa Claus has been banned in many Kindergartens   ( reuters.com) divider line
    More: Asinine  
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80 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Dec 2002 at 1:51 PM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2002-12-02 06:10:56 PM  
Mercury6613- I agree. I don't know what everyones problem is. I'm Jewish and none of that stuff bothers me. Not Christmas or Santa or Kwaanza (sp) or anything that I don't happen to believe in. People need to calm the fark down with this pc crap.
2002-12-02 06:15:02 PM  
"He lives at the North Pole
He employs Elves
He has a team of Flying Reindeer(one has a red, shining nose)
He maintains a naughty/nice list
He enters/exits through chimneys
He delivers presents once a year

Where's the religion?"

What DAY does he COME to your HOUSE, motherfarker? What is the name of the day? It's not secularmas. It's not atheistmas. Not democracymas. You made up a whole list of Santa related adjectives and magically forgot that what eve he comes on?

This is so frustratingly simple. You have two options for a public school.. allow ALL religions into the door, or NONE. 'All' might sound pretty good until you live next to some Heaven's Gate people or freaky polygamists. And in many communities, 'All' is probably a good answer. But wait til that one nutso family moves to town and files suit to teach your kids about the devil. You'll see the wisdom in keeping religion out of the classroom.
2002-12-02 06:16:37 PM  
i'm an atheist, and i don't celebrate christmas. i do however celebrate december 25th as Gift Dat. GIMME GIMME GIMME GIMME PRESENTS!
2002-12-02 06:21:47 PM  
Why is it you can't formulate an ACTUAL argument? Because there ISN'T ONE. It is wrong to sponsor religious icons in school, no matter how petty or secular you think they are. Just cause it's not a big deal doesn't make it right. Will somebody please try to come up with some response that doesn't contain "PC liberal hippies" or "what's the big deal?"???

Argument 1 - Santa Claus IS NOT CHRISTIAN !!!

Argument 2 - Many of those same schools have religious icons from Judaism or Islam displayed in the name of multiculturalism. ( eg many national flags have the Islamic cresent moon or Star of David on them. Let's ban them!

Argument 3 - Headscarves ( the Hijab ) are an outward form of religious symbol. Let's take the French school board lead and ban them!

Argument 4 - Ban reading of Harry Potter books - there are religous ( Wiccan ) style symbols in the movie. Some people might be offended. School libraries have no right to spend our money buying that stuff.

Argument 5 - People who are so anal about Santa and Nativity Scenes in schools and such should GET A LIFE!!!! If you are so easily offended then you won't survive long in the big bad world out there.
2002-12-02 06:26:23 PM  
This is so frustratingly simple. You have two options for a public school.. allow ALL religions into the door, or NONE.

Yes - it's SO simple. It's called COMMON SENSE!

If anyone thinks that the psycho Davidians down the road should be allowed in because the Christians and Jews and Muslims are already in schools then they don't deserve to live. They are probably the same asshats who smoke 3 packs a day and then sue Winfield.

PC Asshats
2002-12-02 06:34:04 PM  
Pigeonstopper - Christmas IS a religious holiday whether you're willing to admit it or not. Although it is more common nowadays for non-Christians to celebrate it, it is still a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. That in and of itself makes the holiday religious.

Nabbl - thank you. I accept your point and respectfully disagree with the the interpretation.

Cheeseburger - he doesn't visit jews, muslims, hindus, atheists. . .well, anybody that doesn't celebrate Christmas.

On a side note - i really don't mind the whole present-giving-holiday-commercialism. To me, that's as secular as it gets. Materialism and commercialism are very American, and i'm fine with that. My objection is when a religious celebration is used to justify that in a public institution (i have NO problem with it outside of such a place. church, store, front yard).
2002-12-02 06:34:41 PM  
So some Harry Potter characters have demons' names. Know what...I don't even know what the names are! That's like naming your kid Ted Bundy and not knowing about the Ted Bundy that killed at least three dozen women. See what I'm saying? How is it corrupting kids when they figure it's just another farking name?

2002-12-02 06:36:36 PM  
Saint Nicholas, revered as a saint, a bishop of a major city, and a real person by Eastern Orthodox, Byzantine Catholic and Roman Catholic Christians, entered into legend among the Protestants of Europe. Though reverence for the saints has deemphasized, neglected, despised, and even forbidden within Protestantism, the memory of Saint Nicholas could not be repressed. He emerged in the popular culture as Santa Claus , Saint Nick, Sinter Klaus, and other names. Always, he is a kindly man who gives gifts to others -- especially children -- during the Christmas season. Gradually, his gifts came to be given on Christmas eve rather than on the proper day for the celebration of Saint Nicholas, December 6.
2002-12-02 06:51:46 PM  
So some Harry Potter characters have demons' names. See what I'm saying? How is it corrupting kids when they figure it's just another farking name?

I agree with you - just pointing out how stupid these proposals are and how far they could go...
2002-12-02 06:51:55 PM  
First - oops on the double 'the' in my last post. Need to edit better.

Mr_Morden -

Argument 1: Yes, he is.

Argument 2: I am also against religious symbols in the name of multiculturalism. I do not think it is ok for a menorah or a star of david to be posted in school. (They did this in my high school in an attempt to shut me up). In fact, if you were to use the 'en minimus' argument above - those symbols would actually violate that. Flags, on the other hand, are not religious symbols. I do not approve of the Israeli (sp?) flag bearing the star of david becuase i think it makes non-jews in the country second class citizens in the eyes of the state. Should religious symbols be banned from schools? For any purpose other than education about their origin and meaning, yes.

Argument 3: At no point did i say i was against the free excercise of religion in school. It is fine to wear the Hijab, a yarmulke, a cross, or a pentagram. Schools have no right to infringe on anyone's religion. (And i would NEVER suggest following the French. . .).

Argument 4: I did not say i was for school censorship either. Banning books is not ok. I honestly believe that schools should have copies of the Bible on hand. The Torah, the Koran, and many other religious texts. These materials can be used to educate about religion. They are not used to force it on other people, nor is money spent on them preferring or establishing one religion over another (unless the library stocks books from only one religion - then it gets hairy).

Argument 5: A nativity scene in school? I think even some of the more "shut up you pc hippie" people here might see the problem with that. The difference between a public school and the real world is that schools are supported by taxpayer money. Preferences toward ANY religion AT ALL in public schools violates the establishment clause. In the real world, there are more than just Christians who celebrate Christmas. Offending those who do not celebrate it is a calculated risk which is fine if you are willing to take it - nothing illegal there.
2002-12-02 06:54:16 PM  
But you all forget, that fat farker is SCARY! Especially for little kids! I work in a haunted house and think this...
2002-12-02 06:57:24 PM  
So they think Santa Claus is offensive.
How about this for offensive...


*hums*"I'm getting nuttin for Christmas..."
2002-12-02 07:01:18 PM  
I don't think i properly handled the headdress issue. It is not ok to ban them becuase that is prohibiting the free excercise of religion. It is not ok to force everyone to wear them because that is establishing one religion over another. Please understand the difference between free excercise and establishing one religion over another. I think a lot of people are confusing these and it's putting a damper on the flamewr.
2002-12-02 07:03:54 PM  
a perfect example of the domino effect of the PC police controlling our lives.

thanks liberals!
2002-12-02 07:08:18 PM  
Hilarious... I teach at a Christian school and we're not allowed to talk about Santa, Halloween or the Easter Bunny. The school itself is not amazingly psycho about it, but we've gotten so many concerns/complaints/whines that they've just said to leave it out.

Apparently lots of Christian families think Santa takes away from the "true" story of Christmas. I have one family whose sweet little son piped up with such pearls of wisdom as,

"The Power Rangers don't love God!"
"Halloween is Satan's favorite holiday."
"Have you seen the Gargoyles cartoon? My mom says it's from the devil but I like it."

Of course, you can't get a bunch of kindergarteners to stop talking about any of that stuff... and I'm a little glad that I don't have to deal with the "Is Santa real?" debate.

But poor Santa... not allowed in public schools, not allowed in Christian schools... pretty soon he'll just have to sit at home and not give out any presents.
2002-12-02 07:11:57 PM  
2002-12-02 08:04:14 PM  
Heaven forbid we should teach our children our own culture, and preserve unique identities instead of falling into line with the majority by celebrating a holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.

You missed the point. The problem isn't that he doesn't celebrate Christmas, it's that he blames people who do for his daughter's feelings of isolation. Sorry, but it's not our fault that his family doesn't celebrate Christmas. The argument that it just shouldn't be celebrated in school doesn't fly either, since his daughter would be just as inundated with Christmas imagery outside of school as she would be within it.

As for having Santa Claus in school, I don't see a problem with it. As people have said, Christmas (especially Santa) is pretty much secular now-a-days. I should note that I wouldn't have a problem with celebrating Chanukah in school either; as long as the teachers impartially teach kids about what Chanukah means to the Jews without preaching, such a thing should be considered to be learning about different cultures first-hand. The same thing goes for Nativity plays, as they teach kids about what Christmas means to Christians. As long as there isn't a part in the play where someone goes, "Now that Jesus is born, all we have to do is give our souls to him and all of our sins will be forgiven," I don't have a problem with it.

2002-12-02 09:01:13 PM  
Been doing this for years in the schools in my area. Nothing new, move along.
2002-12-02 10:13:26 PM  
The winter solstice (or whatever you want to call it) has been celebrated in one form or another by most cultures, so there should be enough traditions to go around.

At least we could celebrate "It's farking cold but at least I get a few days off before drinking in the new year" day.
2002-12-02 10:18:44 PM  
PC. Pompous Crap. Excuse me, but Christmas is a Christian holiday. We all know that. So you don't celebrate Christmas. Ok, Happy Kwanza, Hannuka, whatever...
Ideally, it's supposed to be a season of celebration, tolerance, goodwill toward your fellow man, ect. What the fark is wrong with that? Further more, I fail to see how in the holy hell jolly ol' Santa could offend anyone. Get farking real. This is bullshiat, utter bullshiat and nothing but bullshiat.
2002-12-02 10:47:21 PM  
*sigh* I hate coming to the party late. I thought most religions preach tolerance, if not love...when the hell did everybody get so damn sensitive? There's a difference between 'sponsoring' and 'allowing'. This issue has become so divisive and downright ridiculous, it's just not funny anymore (and I'm not talking about the thread). Personally, I've had it up to here. Fine. No Santa, no Jesus, no Judah Maccabee, no icons period, lest anyone have their toes trod upon. *disgusted*
2002-12-02 11:08:59 PM  
For the record (am I wasting my time by writing this stuff? I hope not... It really *is* an important subject): I'm not against Christmas or Santa or any of those things. I'd just like slightly less so people who don't celebrate Christmas have some room to breath. It's not about getting rid of it or gagging a kindergarten teacher in case she says the "S" word. It's just about being sensitive to non-Christians. Tearing down Santa pictures and burning Christmas trees is a horrible idea... but... would it kill them to say "We're celebrating Christmas this month! Who else in class has special holidays, too?"

Going to extremes in any way is a bad thing. Just lay back a bit on the Santa stuff so that kids who don't celebrate it feel like there's a little room for what they believe, too. Like I said before about my daughter: I'm teaching her that Christmas is a special time for certain people, and that we have our own special time. A nod to that from her teacher wouldn't be a bad thing.
2002-12-02 11:24:26 PM  
I posted this in the thread about the Fighting Whites, but I feel it has some relevance here, too. Let me know what you think!

Technicly, we're all one race. Humans. Sure people are different, sort of subspecies, though humans hate that term apparently. For example, there are certain arctic tribes that have evolved better resistences to cold, etcetera. "Racism" is just stupid. "We hate you because you don't look like me!" "Well I hate you because ribble rabble blah blah!" Idiocy is running rampant, and that only makes this worse. I was born in the US with ancestors from Canada, Ireland, Poland, blah blah blah blah. It really doesn't matter. What matters is that we are humans, the most advanced creatures to ever walk the earth. Don't treat someone special because they look different. Just say "hi," like they were anyone else. If you're going to hate someone, only do it if there is a very good reason, such as they are endagering the well-being of you or anyone you care about. Hate, hate, hate. "You're a moron. I hate morons." "I hate Jews. They disagree with what my vision of a place I've never seen or been to before looks like." Believe what you want. I'm not saying that everyone should believe the same superstitions. That would mean everyone would have the same opinion on most subjects. While agreeing is good, there should still be different ideas, different concepts. It's how we further the species, by developing new ways of doing things. As for the issue of team names, I don't mind really. For example, if for some odd reason there was someone by the name of attractive and successful Caucasian-American Smith, as funny a name as it sounds, you wouldn't scream at them for having a racist name, and force them to change their birth-given title, would you? "You're name is Bob. The name Bob offends me. I'll call myself Fred to offend YOU! Ha!" Stupid, stupid stupid. If we all referred to as "humans," "homo sapiens," which is what we all are, things would be much more peaceful. Same goes for religion. Don't hate someone just because they have different beliefs. It's stupid. You don't hate someone because they think something is "chocolatey" while you think it is "Chocolicious," do you? I sure hope not. If you managed to read all the way through my opinion and endure the typos, I congratulate you. Maybe this post will change your outlook on life, or whatever. Now tomorrow, at school, or work, or you local holy center, just walk up and at least say "Hi," to somoene who looks different from you, or as most people call it, a differnt "race." Maybe you've heard it before, but just saying "Hi" to someone now and then could really brighten their day. Just a small action as that can really be worth something. Heck, maybe you just made yourself a new friend by doing it! Alright, I'm done, I'll stop now. Feedback is DEFINATELY appreciated. Post on this thread of course. I'm not checking over what I just typed and I'll assume it's what I think it is because I'm a lazy bastard. Wow, I spent a long time writing this....

Yeah, this post is huge. Blah blah.
2002-12-02 11:47:01 PM  
Point taken, Coreytamas. Sounds like you're far more level-headed and thoughtful on the subject than I thought initially, which is probably a sad and reactionary failing on my part.

I think we'll all get it right eventually as a species and as a society, though it's probably going to be a while.
2002-12-03 12:25:53 AM  
Wow! What an amazing thread. Lots of thoughts on this, and the fact is, most of the opinions expressed contain real value. Real value to whom expressed it. People, get with the program. Regardess of the way you feel, no matter how strongly, it does not make you right. My opinions do not make me right no matter how strongly I feel about them.
What I want to know, is how it is that decorations, symbol or written words can offend. What does this offence feel like? Is it painful? Is it annoying? What exactly is it that makes a person verbally complain about such things.
My opinion; Nothing better to complain about. Talk amongst yourselves.....
2002-12-03 12:34:22 AM  
Doesn't affirmative guarantee fat, old white guys with long white beards get work, even if their "elves" make them appear to be pedarists?
2002-12-03 01:08:49 AM  
For the record (am I wasting my time by writing this stuff? I hope not... It really *is* an important subject): I'm not against Christmas or Santa or any of those things. I'd just like slightly less so people who don't celebrate Christmas have some room to breath.

But why is this so important? Why are some people SO upset about Christmas celebrations in schools or wherever that they have to complain?

I am probably being ungracious, but it sounds to me like a bunch of first world middle class whingers with nothing better to do, making it "social cause of the day"

Go to most asian countries during Chinese New Year. You can't escape it ( believe me ).
Why is that such a bad thing. so, if you're not chinese you get with the program, eat the food and enjoy life.

Yet I don't see a bunch of asian ppl in singapore or somewhere sitting around complaining about Chinese New Year in schools. I suspect it's because the vast majority have something better to do.

Message to the whiners. It's a big bad world. People starving, wars being fought, pollution destroying nature, corruption, greed, hate. If you have some spare time, why not put your efforts into making a difference instead of witting around whinging about some schools promoting a ficticious fat guy who gives out toys and has an attraction to reindeer and elves.

If that still bothers you I suggest you seek a reputable psychariatrist.
2002-12-03 01:10:13 AM  
PS - msg to self. Spell checks are useful. :)
2002-12-03 01:31:42 AM  
[image from spicyhumor.com too old to be available]
2002-12-03 01:54:13 AM  
My issue is where all the Christmas customs come from. Non-Christian rituals. That snopes.com link has been posted here like twice, go take a look at it, and come back and tell me what any of those customs has anything to do with the birth of Christ. And you'll see why my family doesn't observe it. My husband and I don't, his parents don't.

It kinda irks me when people say we should put Christ back into Christmas. Nuh-uh. Keep Him OUT of it. Christmas is just a bunch of pagan celebrations, like Saturnalia, put together and given a Christian label.

(Sidenote--I actually use the word "fark," not the OTHER word. It's not the filter, it's me actually saying "fark.")

The true god of Xmas is Santa Claus. Think about it. No surprise he was derived from a Catholic saint, and Catholicism itself is paganism given a Christian label. Surprise, surprise.

And let the flaming begin!
2002-12-03 02:09:24 AM  
Xmas offends me
christmas offends you

im bored of this thread. cant we all just get along?
2002-12-03 04:55:02 AM  
If the liberals don't send this county to the sewer first, the PC bastards will.

From the article:
Liberal leader Robert Doyle attacked Victoria's Labor premier, Steve Bracks, over the boycott, saying it was political correctness gone mad, the newspaper said.

Now, what was that about the liberals?
2002-12-03 06:59:18 AM  
His reindeers snarling faces and their twisted hooves of lead

Leave behind the scorchen imprints of the Underworld's' undead

His dazzling carriage lining and exquisite suit of red

Were spun from dreams and wishes filling every child's dear head

By year He comes from far away up in the northern fold

Where chaos dwells amongst the coals and parent's lies are sold

He grants all children's wishes, so material and bold

Then melts down every one of them to make one ounce of gold
2002-12-03 07:36:25 AM  
Greetings small humans today is [holiday]
In honor of [holiday] we have a special treat for you.
We will wrap [holiday objects] for each other. Then we will sing a [holiday song]. We will learn the true meaning of [holiday]. It is for all of us to love one another and be exactly the same. If you good we might get a visit from [holiday person].
2002-12-03 09:16:44 AM  
What a crock! Farking liberals goddamned invented the PC bullshiat to begin with and then when it's to their political advantage to whine about it, the unscrupulous bastards jump on the bandwagon. Bastards.
2002-12-03 09:37:37 AM  
I am sorry, I missed something at the begining of all this. Could some one explain to me...what is the rule that a strong culture has to change its traditions at the whim of the weak culture?? I just don't get it...if you invite some one to your house and they don't like carpet, and you have carpet you have to rip it out, before they get there so as not to offend????? or mabe I have it wrong...if our culture is so unsure of it self, mabe we are the weak culture and we should start converting now..... Cover up and shut-up all you women and you queers better start running now
2002-12-03 11:20:38 AM  
I am sorry, I missed something at the begining of all this. Could some one explain to me...what is the rule that a strong culture has to change its traditions at the whim of the weak culture?? I just don't get it...if you invite some one to your house and they don't like carpet, and you have carpet you have to rip it out, before they get there so as not to offend?????

This "house" of which you speak means the country I live in and the culture I grew up with, then that happens to be my house as well as everyone else's. That being the case, you gotta all sit down together and figure out a solution that works for everyone. In my experience, room mates who want to do everything their way without being willing to give a bit to the various interests within a house are known as "bad room mates".
2002-12-03 11:32:01 AM  
Here's how it seems to shake down:

You have "PC" nutbars who want to remove all cultural references to anything specifically concerned with Faith or Religion so that there's no possible way anyone can take offense. This makes for a dull, lifeless, materialistic and stilted culture that has nothing to offer to those who live in it.

There are those fundamentalists who want their own religion to completely saturate the society and convert all those within it (Christianity is the best example given where I live, but it's hardly the only example in the world). These people are dangerous and blind and this attitude is the seed for the kind of religious attitudes that I think most people on this forum would agree are the Bad Kind.

You'll notice that both of these philosophies inculcate a "totalitarianism", i.e. "it has to be all one way and no other way is allowed".

Me? What I think is that the midway between the two is where we want to aim: Everyone gets to keep what is special to them while, at the same time, making a bit of room for other people with divergent values to enjoy what means something to them. This is not only a system which allows everyone to keep the aspects of their lives that define who they are, but also creates an environment in which people can learn from each other.

So do I think Santa should get the axe? Hell no. That'd be terrible. Too many kids love Christmas too much. Do I think that it should be all "Rah Rah Santa" and nothing else? Hell no. Too many other kids have got something else that's every bit as important to them as Christmas is to Christians.
2002-12-03 01:03:50 PM  
[image from terrortrap.com too old to be available]
2002-12-03 01:06:54 PM  
We should just get rid of the whole holiday season; it's a big waste of time and money and serves no rational purpose. We make some lame excuse that because such-and-such day of the year is Day we should be nice to people and buy them stuff.

Bah! Humbug! (with all due respect to Mr. Scrooge).

One day is no different than another and declaring some arbitrary difference is, well, foolish.

Man, I hate this time of year with all the goody-goody-spread-the-cheer BS and all the damn farkin' cheesy lights.

Wake me up when that summer comes around when people stop paying tribute to fairy tales and myths.

/me leaves fuming at the uselessness of holidays
2002-12-03 01:10:43 PM  
damn html bit... that first para should read: "such-and-such day of the year is "insert fictional character/idealogue name here" Day...."
2002-12-03 01:54:13 PM  
Being an athiest, X-Mas to me is simply a time to gather w/ family & friends. My Mom is Catholic & my Dad is something else (he's a believer, but dosen't go to church). I was raised Catholic & as most of you know, Catholics make X-Mas pretty hardcore. But whatever, that their problem now, not mine. I use the non-secular holiday to sit @ home & be w/ the people I love. We exhange gifts as a tradition, but it really holds no sigificant religous overtones for me.
2002-12-03 02:15:22 PM  
Alright...here's my two cents. First of all, as previously stated by others, this happened in Australia, NOT the US.

Secondly, stop saying "Christmas is a secular holiday" and "Christmas is a Christian holiday." It has elements of both. Almost everyone who celebrates Christmas gets a tree, right? Guess who did that first? The Druids. But things change over time. Getting a tree for Christmas now isn't the same as worshiping wood gods like the Druids did, even though there may be some that still do so.

Christmas, just like any other day, is what you make it to be.
2002-12-03 02:48:21 PM  
His name is "santa claus" or "saint nicholas" or some variation of those. He's a religious figure, associated with a religious holiday, regardless of whether churches recognize him.

The real problem isn't liberals doing absurd things to our schools. The problem is that schools will inevitably impart religious beliefs, morals, and lots of stuff besides just straight knowledge to children, and that is why they should not be in the hands of government. Vouchers for schools, privatise the schools, let the market work it out.
2002-12-05 10:44:34 AM  
Well, well, well, what have I stumbled onto here? Just a few cents to add:
First, congrats to Coreytamas for the most intelligent, rational, and reasonable posts in this thread. Although I tend to disagree with the statement that life would be dull, materialistic and stilted without references to Faith or Religion. There are plenty of natural wonders for people to, er, wonder at. :)
Second, to all those people who are saying that christmas is a secular holiday, and Santa is a secular figure: the first must be true for the second to be true. I think that, regardless of historical accuracy, Xmas Day is celebrated as the birthday of Jesus Christ, allegedly the central figure of Christianity. Also explain to me the complete lack of comparable marketing, decoration, and festivities during REAL secular holidays. Even holidays such as Australia Day and the US Independence Day generate less hype than Xmas. And so far, it seems that throughout history only one thing has exceeded a celebration of patriotism, and thats a celebration of religion.
To the matter at hand (the article), its a kindergarten, so my opinion that all religions should be taught at schools, but only for educational purposes (ie the history of, the views of, etc), are probably not applicable here. However, many people are saying that it doesnt matter what you call him (Santa), so get over it, while forgetting that at least two of the schools are replacing Santa/Xmas with more widely acceptable alternatives. Given the exaggeration that media tends to use, I would say that most of the schools that are changing something are doing this, rather than banning all hints of fun and celebration as some people seem to think. Typical media manipulation: Journo finds out that some schools are not celebrating Xmas or inviting Santa to come in. Newspaper screams "Theyre banning Santa!"
Lastly, to those (I assume American Christians) who are saying "Accept it, we are the majority", assimilation has been the favourite tool of Christianity, Islam, in fact every power-hungry entity throughout history. Therefore it is perfectly within our rights, nay, it is our duty to not conform, to protest the unsolicited and uncontrolled attempts to push a product, idea or philosophy/religion onto our children.
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