Stories I’ve Found, 12/28/2012

This is the Fourth Day of Christmas, so a collection of stories related to Christmas (mostly):

A classic Christmas tale by Bill Vaughn from the Kansas City Star.  This story isn’t told often enough.

Some Q and A about the Christmas story from experts gathered by Religion News Service. These aren’t final pronouncements, but good starting places for conversation.

GetReligion dissects a story about Christmas in the Holy Land that doesn’t undestand what it’s talking about. There’s a great reason why you don’t see a lot of celebrating going on there on December 25 of our calendar.

John Pattison shares G. K. Chesterton on Santa Claus, some thoughts on the jolly old elf in a different context. I’m working on this one.

Having Yourself a Miserable Christmas? is a reflection on the circumstances of Jesus’ coming, and a reminder that our celebrations are never perfect.

Rabbi Jonathan Saks offers some reflections on the nature of Religion in The Moral Animal. He raises an interesting point about the survival of altruism in society, in answer to social Darwinism.

Looking for St. Utopia church this holiday season?  Aren’t we all?  Let me know if you find it: it probably won’t be there for long.

We need fewer stories like this, about setting a mosque on fire.  We need fewer idiots talking expressing their hatred. My biggest suspicion is we need less “news” that helps generate this kind of stupidity, especially news designed to provoke anger: anger is an ugly demon that should never be cultivated, not to mention one of the Seven Deadly Sins.  News like this generates outrages like the one described, and it isn’t just Rupert Murdoch that should be standing before justice.

Omid Safi unpacks some truths about Christ in Jesus the Jew, Jesus the Palestintian.  I would endorse his Christmas wish for all.

Something new for Friday morning: discovery of a Jewish Temple from King David’s time.  Most of you may not be aware that before the time of King Hezekiah, there were other Jewish Temples all around the Holy land besides Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem; I’ve visited a couple of them on opposite ends of the country.  This one is remarkable because it’s close to Jerusalem.

Thanks to Leah Libresco, I found this hysterical clip of Bill Nye impersonating William Shatner.  It has nothing to do with religion; it’s just amazing and worth a look.



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