In spite of pressure from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, California's Travis Air Force Base says it is keeping its Nativity scene and Menorah displays right where they are.
"While we appreciate the concerns raised by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the Office of the Air Force Judge Advocate General, upon review, concluded the inclusion of a Wing Chaplain sponsored nativity scene and Menorah as part of a broader, secular holiday seasonal display does not violate the establishment clause of the United States Constitution," read a statement, which was provided to Fox News & Commentary.
In a letter sent to Col. Dwight C. Sones, commander of the 60th Air Mobility Wing, MRFF attorney Katherine Ritchey said the displays are a violation of the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause. Part of the MRFF's complaint, she explains in the letter sent Dec. 19, is that it appears the display was given preferential treatment because of its location on the base. more >>
A school teacher in England tells the story of the time she supervised the construction of a manger scene in the corner of her classroom. It was all there – the wise men and the shepherds, Mary and Joseph, the sheep and the oxen. It fascinated the children, one child especially. The teacher asked this little ten-year-old, “What is it? Why are you so taken with the manger scene? Is there something that bothers you?” With his eyes still glued to the scene, the little fellow asked, “What I’d like to know is: Where does God fit in?”
It’s amazing how the modest mind of a child can raise a question of such profound import. There is a theological word used to describe where God fits into the story of the Nativity. The word is “incarnation” and it means “being or taking on flesh.” In the simplest of terms, the doctrine of the incarnation means the little babe lying in a manger was God Himself, making a personal visit to the earth by robing his divinity in human form.
Today there are many critics of the teaching of the incarnation, each directing its criticisms at different points. Some say the narratives of the Virgin Birth of Christ appear in only two places in the New Testament, Matthew and Luke. They allege the rest of the New Testament is silent on the subject. Others suggest a reference to Deity was just a common way to designate a religious personality in ancient times, which was also evident in the practice of other religions. Finally, some say it just isn’t possible. more >>
GOP candidates offered Christmas greetings to voters as a last-ditch effort to show off their conservative values and play up their likeability.
Very few candidates in the GOP 2012 race plan to take the days following Christmas off, signifying the heavy-lifting they all must do in the last week before the first Jan. 3 caucus in Iowa. However, the top contenders in the polls seized the Christmas card as an opportunity to send a lasting message to conservatives still on the fence.
Newt Gingrich’s campaign released a video that seemed subtly geared toward religious conservatives. more >>
A small but growing movement of Christians is rethinking how to do Christmas. By redirecting their giving, they are discovering the profound simplicity of the Christmas message amid the consumerism of the season.
New York Times bestselling author Ann Voskamp of One Thousand Gifts, tells the story on her blog of how, over 10 years ago, her young son gave her the biggest challenge of the Christmas season.
She writes, “He stops me with just one question: ‘What does Jesus get for His Birthday?” Voskamp tried to answer with something like, “a cake, our love?” But her son persisted, “Why don’t we give up things so we can give to Jesus for His birthday?” more >>
Santa Claus may be coming to town, but a new study says half of American adults believe the big guy in the red suit takes something away from the religious significance of Christmas.
According to an Associated Press-GfK Poll conducted earlier this month, 57 percent of Americans think that Santa Claus plays an important role in holiday celebrations, as opposed to the 43 percent who said the opposite was true.
But when asked, “Do you think the Santa Claus tradition does more to...?” 48 percent of those surveyed said Santa detracts from Christmas' religious significance, while 37 percent said it actually enhances its religious significance. About 13 percent said neither of those answers is true or said the tradition has no effect on religious significance. more >>
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama thanked and urged prayers for U.S. troops and their families in their weekly address early Saturday during which they wished all Americans Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
“This is a such a wonderful time of year, it’s the time to honor the story of love and redemption that began 2,000 year ago, a time to see the world through a child’s eyes and rediscover the magic all around us, and a time to give thanks for the gift that blesses every single day,” Michelle Obama, sitting beside the president, said in the weekly radio and Internet address on Saturday morning.
“Our troops are coming home. And across America, military families are being reunited,” Obama stated. The address comes days after the U.S. forces’ complete withdrawal from Iraq, which formally ended a more than eight-year war in which nearly 4,500 American soldiers lost their lives along with tens of thousands of Iraqis. more >>