The Festivus pole, a relic from the 1990s NBC sitcom "Seinfeld," made an appearance in the Florida Capitol on Tuesday, after a self-described "militant atheist" received permission to set it up near a Nativity scene.
"A Pabst Blue Ribbon Festivus pole is a symbol of ridiculousness," Chaz Stephens, editor in chief of South Florida advocacy blog MAOS (My Acts of Sedition), told The Christian Post on Tuesday. He set up the pole, not to celebrate a 1990s holiday, but to protest the Nativity scene and other religious monuments set up in public spaces.
"It's a made up holiday from the 1990s, but it's a symbol of separation of church and state, in my mind," Stephens explained. more >>
The Canadian airline WestJet is offering more than holiday deals – within four hours, its employees compiled Christmas wishes from everyone on two flights, bought all the gifts, and presented them at baggage claim in Calgary. This generosity made the video go viral on YouTube.
The event gave WestJet "an opportunity to share some of the magic of the Christmas season, not only with the guests on the flight, but also with the video at well over a million views," Robert Palmer, the airline's manager of public relations, told The Christian Post in an interview on Tuesday. Palmer called gift-giving "the epitome of the Christmas spirit."
"Twas a night before Christmas, and all across the land, the good folks of WestJet had a miracle planned." The video, already with over 1.5 million views, continues in this poetic narrative, and then splits the screen to show two different airports where a visual Santa had been set up. more >>
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted an official statement on Friday denouncing its previous theories that black skin color is a sign of a divine curse, or that black people are descended from the biblical figure Cain, and said that its past ban on black priests stemmed from an announcement from former church president Brigham Young in 1852.
"The Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else," the 2,000 word statement on the official church website read. "Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form."
While the ban on black priests was lifted in 1978, The Associated Press and other sources have pointed out that there had never been much in the way of explanation from the church for its past stance. more >>
A British journalist has denounced a recent British Broadcasting Corporation interview wherein recently deceased human rights activist Nelson Mandela was compared to Jesus Christ.
Dominic Lawson wrote in a column published by the UK Daily Mail on Sunday that it was "absurd for the BBC to compare him to Christ."
"Mandela's greatness is not in doubt. His ability to work with and, apparently, forgive those who incarcerated him for 27 years in appalling conditions does conform to behaviour we might characterise as saintly," wrote Lawson. more >>
The Los Angeles City Council is considering a ban on the feeding of homeless people in public spaces even as the city's homeless population has dramatically defied a national decline.
The county's homeless population stands at 57,737, a 15 percent increase from 2011 to 2013, reports the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As the population moves into areas like West Hollywood, Venice and Brentwood, it has frustrated homeowners and led two city council members, Tom LaBonge and Mitch O'Farrell, to introduce a resolution that would ban outdoor feeding.
But even while the rest of the city grapples with the influx of homeless people, the majority of them are still concentrated in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Skid Row. Back in the 1970s, the city decided to intentionally concentrate homeless and drug addiction services like missions, shelters and recovery centers in the neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. more >>
It is hard to imagine putting Pope Francis and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the same race for the same honor. However, the two very different public figures are both finalists in TIME Magazine's 2013 "Person of the Year" award.
Begun in 1927 and originally labeled "Man of the Year," the annual honor goes to an individual – good or bad – whom TIME's editorial board believes most impacted the news for the previous year.
Pope Francis, consecrated the new head of the Roman Catholic Church back in March after his predecessor resigned, has garnered much attention for his approach to the position. Known for his humility and frequent shunning of high status before and during his reign as the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis has become the talk of many circles for his seemingly unorthodox rhetoric and style. His comments on atheism, gay priests, social issues, and other matters coupled with viral images of him washing the feet of female Muslim prisoners and embracing severely deformed individuals have led many to feel Francis is taking the Roman Catholic Church in a new direction. more >>