Today’s face of the day is a famous atheist author who has always been a darling of the left. Richard Dawkins has been a strident critic of Christianity, but now he uses it to illustrate what a true religion of peace looks like.
Somalia has issued a ban on Christmas celebrations in the Muslim-majority country after the Southeast Asian sultanate of Brunei announced a similar prohibition earlier this month with the threat of five years in jail.
Sheikh Mohamed Khayrow, director general of Somalia’s religious affairs ministry, said on Tuesday that Christmas and New Year celebrations threatened the country’s Muslim faith.
“There should be no activity at all,” he told reporters, adding security forces had been ordered to break up any such festivities.
“All events related to Christmas and New Year celebrations are contrary to Islamic culture, which could damage the faith of the Muslim community.”
Let that sink in. There is no need for tolerance. In fact, Islam considers itself under threat from the mere existence of celebrating Christian holidays. Read more »
You may not want any sign of her on your flag, but she’s been as damning as she can be about the threat that Islam brings to our way of life.
At this time of year, few sights evoke more feelings of cheer and goodwill than the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree.
The popularity of a tree at Christmas is due in part to my great-great grandparents, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. After this touching picture was published, many families wanted a Christmas tree of their own, and the custom soon spread.
In 1949, I spent Christmas in Malta as a newly-married naval wife. We have returned to that island over the years, including last month for a meeting of Commonwealth leaders; and this year I met another group of leaders: The Queen’s Young Leaders, an inspirational group, each of them a symbol of hope in their own Commonwealth communities.
Gathering round the tree gives us a chance to think about the year ahead – I am looking forward to a busy 2016, though I have been warned I may have Happy Birthday sung to me more than once or twice. It also allows us to reflect on the year that has passed, as we think of those who are far away or no longer with us. Many people say the first Christmas after losing a loved one is particularly hard. But it’s also a time to remember all that we have to be thankful for.
It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’.
One cause for thankfulness this summer was marking 70 years since the end of the Second World War. On VJ Day, we honoured the remaining veterans of that terrible conflict in the Far East, as well as remembering the thousands who never returned.
The procession from Horse Guards Parade to Westminster Abbey must have been one of the slowest ever, because so many people wanted to say ‘thank you’ to them.
At the end of that war, the people of Oslo began sending an annual gift of a Christmas tree for Trafalgar Square. It has 500 light bulbs and is enjoyed not just by Christians but by people of all faiths, and of none. At the very top sits a bright star, to represent the Star of Bethlehem. Read more »
Jeremy Morris, of Hayden, Idaho, loves to go all out for Christmas. He is following a tradition that America is well known for. While many people who decorate their homes for Christmas emphasise Santa and reindeer, Jeremy has emphasised the Nativity and even brought in a real live camel for authenticity.
Jeremy’s display raises money for the families of cancer patients as well as homeless children, so not only does it celebrate the Christian side of Christmas it does good as well.
A Christian Christmas display that raises money for charity, what could possibly go wrong?
In an attempt to assist inclusive enculturation of migrants, the Auckland Regional Migrant Services thinks it best to avoid the word Christmas, and instead use “happy holidays” and “season’s greetings”. People can enjoy a “festive” lunch on the “seasonal” day. The intention is to avoid excluding non-Christians and those who don’t celebrate Christmas.
All very laudable in a way, though an interesting thing is that non-Christians are some of the biggest celebrators of Christmas and have already reinterpreted it to suit a secular society. Visit any shopping centre and the signs are there.
Christmas is part of us and our culture, however different people understand it.
He’s right. In parts of Auckland where you are surrounded by temples and mosques, the Christmas decorations are somehow incongruously hanging from homes occupied by people from Iran, Hong Kong and India. Read more »
Oh for Christ’s sake… the Barbarians are indeed inside the gates. And they are us.
A leading Auckland migrant settlement agency is avoiding the word Christmas and will instead be talking about “happy holidays” and “season’s greetings”.
The Auckland Regional Migrant Services (Arms) says it has taken the move so non-Christians and those who do not celebrate Christmas do not feel excluded.
To be multiculturally sensitive, instead of calling its year-end get-together a Christmas lunch, it’s a “festive lunch”. Read more »
Roger Franklin at The Quadrant has a very good piece about appeasers and apologists for Islam, especially those dressed as priests and other men of faith in the christian churches.
Recall, Islam in its fundamental scripture specifically takes on and mangles the central tenets of Christianity. No other religion does that. It specifically denies the divinity and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In the Koran, verse 61:6, it has Christ (conveniently for Mohammed) foreshadowing the coming of a Messenger (read Mohammed), despite Christ clearly ruling out future prophets before his own return and warning that false prophets will arise in the interim. (Matthew Ch. 24, Mark Ch. 13)
For Christian leaders who actually (really) believe in their faith there is no wriggle room here. There is no room to consort with Islam, being, clearly, the product of a false prophet; or to find common cause with Islam as there might be with other faiths; or to seek rapprochement with Islam. Engaging with Muslims as individuals is of course an entirely different matter.
When the very leaders of Christianity give the appearance of legitimising Islam, is it time to give up? Imagine the signal it sends to all those Muslims, including many women, who would like to escape Islam’s medieval clutches. Without a spiritual and resolute Christian counterweight, the long march of unbelievers to submission and/or death seems all too likely.
Today’s face of the day is Reverend Nick Kirk for having the courage of his convictions. He is currently being flayed in the media for daring to state the obvious.What did he say that was so outrageous?
“I don’t think that I should have to choose between practicing my religion properly or earning a living. I shouldn’t have to choose between one or the other because they’re both important.”
As I read both these news stories in my facebook feed I thought that I should do a post comparing them. Seconds after the thought raced through my head another article popped up on my facebook feed where someone else had already beaten me to it!
Whether or not you think that people should have freedom of religion in their jobs one thing is abundantly clear. If Muslims are allowed to refuse to do things that are part of their jobs without being put in jail or fired then the same should apply to Christians or any other religion. Alternatively if there is no place for religious beliefs on the job then that must apply accross the board to every religion consistently not just to Christians.
I was brought up Catholic and tried really hard to make sense of what I was taught and to find meaning in it. I disliked some of the stories in the bible and questioned whether they should be used as examples for modern day Christians to follow as they reflected the attitudes of the time which were counter to modern thinking.
I questioned why the Pope had to be a man, why women couldn’t be Priests and why Men couldn’t be nuns. I couldn’t see the point of celibacy and thought that it was harmful and un-natural. Jimmy Carter who was President of the United States from 1977 to 1981 has reflected on sexism within religion as a whole and has late in life severed ties with a religious group that he used to be a part of. He makes some very good points that clarify for me one of the many reasons I no longer consider myself to be religious.