Wednesday, December 12, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS : Bishop puts Hold on Christmas while Congress celebrates

How ironic is that two news story related to celebrating Christmas hit the news wires at the same time.

Archbishop Imad al Banna said Christians in Basra should still pray to mark Christmas, but should forgo such celebratory trappings as trees, gift-swapping and family gatherings to protest the deaths of a brother and sister, both Christians, as bombings and mayhem struck at cities throughout Iraq.

Meanwhile, half a world away, the US Congress passed House Resolution 847 sponsored by Steve King (R-IA), Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), John Kline (R-MN) and others to recognize the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith.

I guess our world is coming together now that Virgil Goode ( you may remember that he wrote “I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America”) and Keith Ellison can both support this resolution … somehow I am not surprised by Ellison – he’s impressed me as a class act.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for Virgil Goode and Steve King (along with too many others) who voted “Present” on HR 635 recognizing the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and commending Muslims in the United States and throughout the world for their faith.

Will there come a day when people of all faiths can respect the faiths of others ?

For me, I will heed the advice of Archbishop al Banna and celebrate by going to the store to purchase items for the ECHO Food Shelf.
And in my prayers, I will remember the missing soldiers in Iraq (Byron W. Fouty, Alex R. Jimenez, Ahmed K. Altaie, Keith Matthew Maupin), the British hostages , American contractors held by FARC in Chile since February 2003, and all other hostages and soldiers that cannot be with their loved ones.

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