17 Days To Go: Christmas — er, Holiday — Confusion

The Christmas-Holiday debate has reared its ugly head once again. This time, President Obama is getting an earful from Christian Americans for omitting the word “Christmas” from the White House holiday cards (and, to a lesser extent, for sending less than half the number of cards that George W. Bush used to send). Do those liberal atheists know no bounds in their mission to secularize our Christian nation?

Seriously though, critics have a worthy opponent in the President. They cannot brand him as just another Jesus-hating Democrat. Barack Obama has been very forthcoming about his devout Christianity. He has touted his admiration for long-dead theologians whom most Christians don’t take the time to read. He has been every bit as proud of “finding Christ” as his predecessor. He has earned praise from George Lakoff, E. J. Dionne, and their contingent of values-minded Democrats for explaining his political views in the vocabulary once reserved for “compassionate conservatives.” He opened his heart to the world in his books, and in so doing he expressed the kind of inner struggle with religion that we all experience at some point but few admit.   Continue reading “17 Days To Go: Christmas — er, Holiday — Confusion”

27 Days To Go: Happy Eid al-Adha!

The Binding of Isaac (6th Century C.E., Beit Alpha)
The Binding of Isaac (6th Century C.E., Beit Alpha)

One of the most overlooked holidays of a season that packs in Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanzaa is the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha, or “Festival of Sacrifice.” What is especially surprising about our ignorance of this holiday is that it celebrates a Biblical tradition that Christians and Jews believe as well: when Abraham almost kills his own son for God. What separates it from Christianity and Judaism is that it is connected with the Muslim tradition Hajj. Just like Christmas and Hanukah, though, it involves prayer, a sermon, and a feast.   Continue reading “27 Days To Go: Happy Eid al-Adha!”