xmastree19

More than 2,000 years ago, a brilliant star shone in the East.  Wise men traveled far, far afield.  I mean, they were a long distance away.  And they came and they stood under the star, where they found the Holy Family in Bethlehem.  As the Bible tells us, when the Wise Men “had come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and fell down and worshiped him.”

… Christians give thanks that the Son of God came into the world to save humanity.  Jesus Christ inspires us to love one another with hearts full of generosity and grace.  And at Christmas, we remember this eternal truth: Every person is a beloved child of God.  As one grateful nation, we praise the joy of family, the blessings of freedom, and the miracle of Christmas.

– Remarks by President Trump at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, December 2019

An audio essay by Paul Harvey originally written in 1965.

 

salvation army

The Salvation Army has been in the news lately, targeted by entertainment figures and GLAAD protesters unhappy with its values.  Chick-fil-A recently announced it would no longer donate to the Salvation Army in response to protests of its restaurants.  This seems unwarranted to me, given that the service organization serves millions of people in need across the world.  But I suggest that you explore for yourself to see if the protesters are in fact correct about the Salvation Army’s biases, or are merely expressing their own prejudice against Christians and their associations.

You’ll find an overview of the Salvation Army here: https://www.salvationarmy.org/ihq/about  The organization’s International Positional Statements on various relevant topics are here: https://www.salvationarmy.org/ihq/positionalstatements  Their statement regarding the LGBTQ Community and the Salvation Army is available here: https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/the-lgbtq-community-and-the-salvation-army/  Throughout either the international or the USA web sites, you’ll find descriptions of their ministry and the aid they provide throughout the world.  (You may even find that you want to donate.  I do.)

 

Secularists, and their allies among the “progressives,” have marshaled all the force of mass communications, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.  – Attorney General William Barr, University of Notre Dame, October 11, 2019

This is perhaps the best speech I have heard recently regarding the attacks on religious freedom that are now occurring daily in this country.  I strongly recommend you read the transcript of Attorney General Barr’s speech, here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-william-p-barr-delivers-remarks-law-school-and-de-nicola-center-ethics

 

“We all agree that fighting so that each person is free to believe, free to assemble, and to teach the tenets of his or her own faith is not optional – indeed, it is a moral imperative that this be permitted. All people from every place on the globe must be permitted to practice their faith openly – in their homes, in their places of worship, in the public square – and believe what they want to believe. This week, we need input from all of you on how we can best advance that religious freedom…I want you to know that America’s commitment to religious freedom will never waver. We stand with you and for you in each stage of this fight.” – Sec. of State Mike Pompeo

The second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom is currently going on in Washington DC, hosted by the US State Department.  The Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom brings together leaders from around the world to discuss the challenges facing religious freedom, identify means to address religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, and promote greater respect and preservation of religious liberty for all.  You can stream the event live, read transcripts of speakers, and view biographies of survivors here: https://www.state.gov/ministerial-to-advance-religious-freedom/