A panel discussion on NBC's Today Show about hiring others to do Christmas chores became sidetracked on Tuesday after one of the panelists blamed the stress that comes around the holiday season on religion.
"I don't like the religion part," said NBC's Chief Medical Editor Nancy Snyderman during the discussion. "I think religion is what mucks the whole thing up ... I think that's what makes the holidays so stressful."
Snyderman's comments came after Star Jones said she wouldn't mind receiving help with setting up Christmas decorations, but she couldn't "out-source" religious observances, like prayer, that are a part of the holiday. The panel, which also included Matt Lauer and Donny Deutsch, laughed at Snyderman's seemingly unexpected comments, and Jones continued the conversation. more >>
The U.S. Navy has ordered service members on a military base in Bahrain to discontinue a long-standing tradition of a "Live Nativity" after a military atheist group complained that the manger scene not only violated the Constitution, but endangered Americans serving in a Muslim country as well.
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty and others in the armed services community have expressed disappointment over the Navy's decision to "inhibit the religious liberty" of military personnel at the military facility in Bahrain.
"This is another example of the military wrongly yielding to those who promote freedom from religion while squelching the constitutional protections for the free exercise of religion," said Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, USAR retired, executive director of the chaplain alliance. "Every American, especially those who wear the uniform, should be allowed to exercise their religious liberties. We are very disappointed in the Navy's decision not to support the free exercise of religion of the personnel assigned to NSA Bahrain." more >>
NEW YORK – American Atheists, the leading secular organization in the U.S., has launched its Christmas billboard campaign in New York City, urging people to abandon the Jesus Christ "myth."
"Keep the merry! Dump the myth!" the billboard reads, which features a jolly image of Santa Clause above a solemn wooden figure of the crucified Christ. A press release shared with The Christian Post by Teresa MacBain, Public Relations Director at American Atheists, notes that the billboard is strategically placed at the popular Times Square tourist location.
"We know that a large population of 'Christians' are actually atheists who feel trapped in their family's religion. If you know god is a myth, you do not have to lie and call yourself 'Christian' in order to have a festive holiday season. You can be merry without the myth, and indeed, you should," said David Silverman, President of American Atheists. more >>
Liberty Counsel, a civil liberties legal defense organization, recently came to the aid of senior citizens in Los Angeles who protested the threatened removal of their Christmas tree from their home at The Willows, a senior assisted living apartment complex located in Newhall, Calif.
The complex's management, however, ultimately argued that the discrepancy involving the complex's Christmas tree came about from a misunderstanding between management and the apartment's staff, and there was never an intention to remove the holiday decorations from the communal room at The Willows.
"If holiday decorations are permitted in the facility, then they cannot be restricted or prohibited based upon their religious content," Liberty Counsel attorney Richard Mast said in a Dec. 7 statement. more >>
Last December I heard a song once that I couldn't forget, One Last Christmas by Matthew West. The title really makes one think. What if you knew you only had one last Christmas? What would you do?
What if this Christmas was your last Christmas to come back to the Church?
What if this was your last opportunity to tell people you loved them? more >>
The Christmas season is once again upon us and with it overwhelming encouragement from Madison Avenue to spend what we have not earned to buy what we cannot afford. The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday (indicating the point at which retailers are in the black-or at least hope to be), signaled the start of the "holiday shopping season." That phrase in and of itself reveals the commercialized emphasis that has unfortunately come to define Christmas for many Americans.
The thrust of this consumerist message is that the holiday is best enjoyed or most fully realized through the acquisition of "things." Advertisements bombard us with images of bountiful Christmas scenes in which beautiful packages surround the tree, and "happiness" is realized upon the receipt of this or that consumer product. Credit card issuers alone (those most interested in seeing you spend what you don't have) spend more than $150 million on holiday advertising and promotions. Evidence that these messages work is found in the fact that, according to financial advisor Dave Ramsey, "over 50 percent of Christmas shoppers will spend well over what they planned to and will go further into debt."
As to the severity of this debt, Ramsey points out that "more than $70 billion, over half of what was charged last year, ended up as revolving debt and the interest on last year's gifts are still being paid today." On average, "two-thirds (65 percent) of shoppers overspent their budget by $100–$500 and 75 percent overspent by $50–$100." more >>