Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

January 6th was Christmas for many Orthodox Christians.  The Coptic Church in Egypt gathered to celebrate the birth of the Lord days after a terrorist killed and injured Coptics leaving Saints Church in Alexandria after attending Mass on New Year’s Day.  Many wondered what would occur on January 6th.

We discover what occurred in this article: Muslims Act As Human Shields for Christians

Human shields!  Amazing?  I think not.  Jesus and his Mother are honored in the Islamic faith.  Many media outlets covered the New Year’s attack and Christmas Eve attack in the Nag Hammadi Diocese where 7 Christians were slain by a drive-by shooter.

But where was the mainstream media when people of faith unite?

Let’s pray such unity continues.  Christians, mostly Coptic, account for about 10 per cent of Egypt’s 83-million predominantly Muslim population.

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Have you heard the story in Oklahoma where “Feds Force Bank to Remove Crosses, Bible Verses and Christmas Buttons”?  The reason: It’s offensive to Muslim and Jewish customers.  My first thought was “Okay, the bank is Federally-regulated.”  The Federal Government, especially under this administration, is not especially friendly to religious expression when government funding is involved.   I don’t necessarily agree with it.  But I can live with it, as long as they’re consistent.

So, I went to Google to see how the other great religions are treated by the Feds in the world of banking … to see if they are being, well, consistent.  This is what I found:

Several banks in the U.S. have recently introduced “sharia-compliant mortgages.”  In fact, according the USA Today, “Giant mortgage investor Freddie Mac began buying sharia-compliant mortgages in 2001. Freddie Mac today continues to buy from four banks that together originate mortgages nationwide. In addition to Devon, Freddie Mac buys mortgages from Guidance Residential in Reston, Va.; University Bank in Ann Arbor, Mich.; and American Finance House Lariba in Pasadena, Calif.” http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/banking/2008-03-26-islamic-finance-sharia_N.htm

Freddie Mac?  Didn’t the Feds loan them billions of dollars recently?   So, I googled “Devon Bank.”

I found that this FDIC-backed bank promotes “Faith-based financing.”  (Here’s the link: http://www.devonbank.com/pf_faithbasedfinancing.html)  So, why can this urban bank in Illinois promote a “faith” but not a bank in a little town in Oklahoma?  After following links on the Devon Bank web page, I discovered what faith in which the Devon Bank is basing their finance practices: Islam.  As you can see from simply reading the word “Islamic” in the link:http://www.devonbank.com/islamic/index.html.

In fact, the Devon Bank has an “Islamic Finance Division.”  I wonder what their buttons promote?

Now, I have no problem with the Devon Bank or any bank giving out interest-free “sharia-compliant mortgages.”  In fact, I think I might go get me one — though I think many of my Jewish friends will probably pass.  I do, however, have a major problem with the inconsistency of the Federal Reserve.

I will repeat what I said in an earlier blog, “… this isn’t a decree against Islam.  It’s a decree against knuckleheads!  More succinctly, its a degree against the knuckleheads who think celebrating Christmas is offensive to Muslims” — and those who use what is most precious to us, Our Faith, to divide us.  The most expensive Christmas tree resides in the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi. While in Ephesus, Christians and Muslims pray together “without confusion and in peace” at a Shrine to the Virgin Mary.

So how can celebrating Christmas be offensive to Muslims?  I’ll suggest pondering that question while sipping on Egg Nog with Barbra Streisand’s “Christmas Memories” playing in the background.  Ho, ho, ho!

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Headlines can be deceiving.  It appears that the Lifeway researchers are simply disappointed that Christians don’t celebrate Christmas they way they believe Christians should — and that is to “celebrate and tell the Christmas story from the Bible.”  Gathering with family IS telling the Christmas story.

Like Mary and Joseph, many of us travel great lengths to get to our destination.  Many times, there’s a relative or friend of a relative sitting at the table whose company we don’t necessarily enjoy, but we join with him or her in during this annual celebration expressing Christ’s “love towards one neighbor.”   On Christmas Day, Family and Jesus are synonymous.  While celebrating Christmas, we become a family that reflects His love, His kindness, His image, His Spirit — Christian and non-Christian alike — even if its just for one day.

Link to Story:


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UK Red Cross bans Christmas.

Who in their right mind would be offended if someone wearing a Red Cross emblem wished them a “Merry Christmas”?  Let’s start with the people at the Red Cross!   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-152361/The-Red-Cross-bans-Christmas.html?printingPage=true

Now, the International Red Cross may not consider themselves a Christian organization.  But whether they like it or not, over the last 2000 years, the Cross has become the universal symbol of Christianity.  In fact, all those crosses on all those national flags throughout the world represent the fact that they all, at one time, gave their allegiance to Christ, in one form or another, including the Swiss nation where the Red Cross was founded.

Now let’s clarify — it is NOT the American Red Cross; it is the British branch of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that is declaring this ban — and I think they’re a bunch of knuckleheads for doing so!

Their reason behind the ban is: Celebrating Christmas, including the display of the Nativity, would be offensive to those in the Muslims community who they serve.  Really?  During what crisis did the British Red Cross begin polling Muslims-in-need to determine level of offensiveness of the phrase “Merry Christmas”?

I also wonder if the powers-that-be-at the U.K. Red Cross realize that Muslims don’t find Jesus (called ‘Isa in Arabic) as offensive as they do.  In fact, Islam honors Jesus  as a great prophet; they simply don’t believe he is the Christ.  Further, Jesus’ Mother, Mary, holds great honor in the Islamic religion, as well.

“How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?”

Sound familiar?  Yes, these are the words of the Virgin Mary. But they are not out of the Bible; they’re from Jesus’ birth story in the Koran.  So tell me again, how is the birth of Jesus, a great Islamic prophet, offend Muslims?   It does not!  If you don’t believe me, click on this link to see where the most expensive Christmas tree is being publicly displayed — and it’s not in a “Christian” nation:  http://tinyurl.com/3xvnc2w

Here’s the good news: The British Red Cross has not extended the Christmas ban to their own profitable products. Items currently on sale include Christmas cards featuring angels and wise men and Advent calendars with nativity scenes.  Hmmmm, having faith that Jesus will deliver where and when He is most needed.

Maybe the Red Cross is a Christian organization after all.

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