Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson took to Twitter to address controversy surrounding several tweets he published on Christmas Day, which some called anti-Christian and offensive to Muslims and Jews.
"Merry Christmas to all. A pagan holiday (BC) becomes a religious holiday (AD). Which then becomes a shopping holiday (USA)," Tyson tweeted. "QUESTION: This year, what do all the world's Muslims and Jews call December 25th? ANSWER: Thursday. Santa knows physics: Of all colors, red light penetrates fog best. That's why Benny the blue-nosed reindeer never got the gig."
The most offensive tweet seen by many paid homage to Isaac Newton, who was also born on Dec. 25. more >>
A vandal or vandals replaced a baby Jesus statue in a Nativity scene display in front of a Haverhill, Massachusetts, church with a bloody pig's head early Christmas morning, and police in the area are investigating the heinous act as a possible hate crime.
Local news reports state that the statue was stolen from the Sacred Hearts Church in Haverhill. A woman in the neighborhood replaced the stature with one from her own display, making the Nativity display complete again. more >>
The woman responsible for vandalizing a satanic organization's display featured inside Florida's capitol during the Christmas season has apologized for ripping the piece apart, but says she had to take it down because seeing it next to the nativity was "not right."
Susan Hemeryck, 54, who damaged the Satanic Temple's display on Tuesday "... was wearing a 'Catholic Warrior' T-shirt at the time of her arrest, [and] was charged with criminal mischief and released without bail," according to UPI.com.
"Hemeryck … told a pair of Florida Department of Law Enforcement Capitol Police officers she was 'sorry and had to take down the satanic display' about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday because it was 'not right.'" more >>
A grumpy American Airlines passenger with a burning hatred for Christmas was nixed from a domestic flight Tuesday when he exploded and refused to be calmed after the airline's staff wished him "merry Christmas."
According to the New York Post, which does not identify the passenger, it was a cheerful gate agent who first triggered his anger as he waited to board American Airlines flight 1140 to Dallas by wishing him and other passengers a merry Christmas as they checked in.
"You shouldn't say that because not everyone celebrates Christmas," the man reportedly shouted at her. more >>
The Duggar family has a rather unique way of celebrating Christmas: instead of focusing on gifts or decorations, the family throws a birthday party for Jesus.
"The true spirit and true meaning of Christmas is really what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has done for us," eldest son, Josh, told People magazine. "People ask, 'Why don't the Duggars have a big massive Christmas tree?'"
Duggar matriarch Michelle replied: "Well, we celebrate Jesus' birthday. So we have a big Happy Birthday Jesus banner and we really try to focus on the real meaning of Christmas." more >>
In the midst of all our preparations for our Christmas celebrations, something serious appeared on the horizon. A former Evangelical, Valerie Tarico, wrote an article on Salon called "Why rape is so intrinsic to religion." With a title like that, the week before Christmas: one can only surmise that she intended to provoke.
I feel called to respond to this article, as a Roman Catholic woman intellectual. I know that I have many non-Catholic readers among my Ruth Institute friends, but I have to speak as a Catholic for two reasons. First of all, that is what I am. Secondly, non-Catholic Christianity is not a well-defined thing. One can readily point to non-Catholic Christians who believe all sorts of things. There is no non-Catholic Christian "definitive" or "traditional" interpretation of anything. Say what you like. Believe what you like. But Catholicism has at least this virtue: one can figure out what it actually says and does not say.
Dr. Tarico cites numerous examples of rape stories in a variety of religious traditions: Zeus, Jupiter, Zoroaster and so on. Tucked away within those stories is the story of the virginal conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary. I'm reminded of the old Sesame Street song: "One of these is not like the others." more >>