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December 24th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

'What's Christmas without chopsticks?' How other faiths celebrate December 25th

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) -
Two days before Christmas, Imam Mohamed Magid, the executive director at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, preached about Jesus at Friday prayers.

"We live in a country with a majority of Christians, where Christmas is a major holiday... It's a reminder we do believe in Jesus. Jesus' position in Islam is one of the highest prophets in Islam," Magid said, adding that Muslims view Jesus as a prophet on par with Abraham, Moses, Noah and Mohammad.

Often when he says the name of Mohammad or Jesus in conversation, Magid adds the Islamic honorific "Peace be upon him" after his name.

"Jesus is a unifying figure, unifying Muslims and Christians," he said. The Quran, the Islamic scriptures, makes specific mention of Jesus and of his mother Mary. "It's very interesting that there are many places where the prophet (Mohammad) is quoting Jesus."

Christmas has a way of bleeding into other faiths in America.  The Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ in a manger in Bethlehem 2000 some odd years ago is ubiquitous across the country, even if the American tradition has leaned away from the sacred and toward the secular.

Christmas at every corner can be somewhat problematic for those who are not in the estimated 246 million Christians living in the United States.  But for some faiths, the season brings reminders of their own traditions.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

Magid said Muslims believe many of the same things about Jesus that Christians do: Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, he lived a sinless life, he raised the dead, and he preformed miracles. He also said many Muslim scholars believe that Jesus will one day return to the earth, using the Christian vocabulary of "the Second Coming."

Explain it to me: The Hajj

"Certain aspects of our theology are different," he carefully notes, pointing specifically to incarnation, the Christian belief that Jesus was divine. Muslims are perhaps the most ardent monotheists in the world, making them at odds with Christians theologically over not only the Christian doctrine of incarnation, but also belief in the Trinity, that God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus are three in one.

The All Dulles Area Muslim Society is one of the largest Muslim congregations in the country with ties to 5,000 families in the Washington area. Some of the families do put up a Christmas tree and exchange gifts, which one member suspects is often more about cultural assimilation than religious observance.

"I think Muslims, although they believe in Jesus, they give respect to this as a Christian holiday, so they don't pretend to celebrate this in a religious way," Magid said. "A Muslim would not expect a Christian to celebrate his holiday."

My Take: Why we're skipping the Christmas roast

At the Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery three hours north of San Francisco, there is a small Christmas tree set up near the statue of the Buddha.

"Normally we just have flowers, incense and candles, but now we have a tiny Christmas tree. It's really cute," Ajhan Yatiko, a monk in residence who is originally from Canada, said. "It's more like a traditional thing, respecting and appreciating the culture of where we live."

During the holidays, Yatiko said, "The senior monk might give a talk to the lay people which might draw parallels between the Christian faith and the Buddhist faith, as well as the differences, because I think both of those are important aspects of interfaith harmony.

"Sometimes in the West these days there's a kind of tendency to clump all the religions together and say, 'We're all climbing the same mountain,' and I think the intention there is nice. There's a harmonious intention there. But I think it's much nicer to say, 'Let's respect the differences and love and appreciate the differences of the other faiths," Yatiko said.

For the monks at Abhayagiri, life is spent in meditation, community, celibacy and work. They practice Buddhism in the Theravada tradition or the Thai Forest tradition. In their faith tradition, monks cannot handle money, grow their own food or trade, so they live entirely off of the generosity of others.

That means every half moon, about once a week, they head into town for alms rounds, where they walk around in their saffron robes with alms bowls to collect donations. The new moon this week fell on Christmas Eve.

"Everyone we see is going to be wishing us a Merry Christmas, and we'll be doing likewise," Yatiko said a few days before Christmas.

"We don't touch money and live a very simple lifestyle, so the Christmas tradition of exchanging gifts doesn't work so well for us," Yatiko said.

Yet Buddhists are called to live generously at every chance, be it in material things or spiritual ones, so at Christmastime the monks bring a truckload of fire wood and a fruit basket to a neighboring Ukrainian Catholic monastery.

In Brooklyn, a Hasidic walking tour opens ultra-Orthodox Jewish life to outsiders

"We do have some rather revered traditions for Christmas Day," said Rabbi Rick Rheins.  "I'm not sure if it was Talmudic or not, to visit the movie theater followed by a Chinese dinner," joked Rheins referring the collection of ancient rabbi teaching called the Talmud.

"What's Christmas without chopsticks?" joked Rheins who is the head of Denver's Temple Sinai, a Reform congregation of about 1,100 families.

"We acknowledge the importance of this day for our Christian neighbors and for my Christian colleagues. And so we don't celebrate Christmas as Jews, but we do thrill for our Christian neighbors," he said. Rheins said the celebration of Hanukkah simultaneously at Christmastime this year will mean he won't be bringing in any Christmas metaphors into services on Friday and Saturday.

As for the Christmas Day itself, including the popcorn and chopsticks, he said, "We encourage our members to do special volunteer work to relieve our Christian neighbors of their responsibilities, whether it's at hospitals or emergency services, to give them the opportunity to spend this time with their family and celebrate this sacred day for them.

"Christians and Jews, especially over the last generation, have really worked so hard to build bridges, not just of tolerance, but also have generated true mutual respect and cooperation," he said. He cited working to fight hunger and poverty together. "These are the expressions of a society where the differences in religion and the expressions of one's faith are less divisive than they are enriching.

"I don't think that was the case a generation ago," Rheins said.

Christmas has a way of seeping into Hindu traditions, as well. At least the tree and presents part.  "Because of the children," Uma Mysorekar, the president of the Hindu Temple Society of North America said.

"The children say, 'Oh, there's a tree in my friend's house.  Why not in my house?' So they will get a small tree, a symbolic tree," Mysorekar said.

"We do look up to Jesus as one of the deities of Christianity," Mysorekar said.

At the Hindu Temple Society of North America in the Flushing area of Queens, New York, Christmas Day will be filled with worshipers coming in and out.  Unlike other faiths, Hindus do not have a set day for communal worship.  The temple is a key part of Hinduism for prayer, worship and offerings.  Christmas will be busier because of the three day weekend, Mysorekar guessed.

Their temple even had a holiday party for the children.

Sacred Spaces: Inside a Hindu temple

"We have a holiday party for them, and we give them gifts and tell them what it's all about.  You know the Hindu festival of Diwali, it is more or less the same, where we give gifts and we meet with friends... So the custom is very easy to relate to."

During Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, lamps are lit in celebration of good triumphing over evil.

"Apart from the religious aspect of it - the concept, theme of Christmas - I think it's very much the same all over," she said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Buddhism • Christianity • Christmas • Hinduism • Islam

soundoff (2,252 Responses)
  1. dina

    I respect all religions and how they are celebrated in this country. I firmly do not believe as most of the GOP candidates believe that Christianity should be forced down our throats and considered the only religion that should be in Washington . D,C. To say this is a Christian country is diminising all the other people who practice a different religion. How can these candidates be so insensitive. I also resent it when I am told that Christianity is the only religion and the people try to say I need to follow their way. But everyone should respect the other person's religion and not try to change it. There is no one way to believe and that includes those people who believe nothing. They have a right to their opinions also.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Isaac

      Dina, as a Christian, I won't try to force you to believe anything, because true belief comes from an inward place. And whether you believe in God or not, may you have joy and peace on this day and all through the coming New Year.

      December 25, 2011 at 6:35 am |
  2. racer x

    "God is dead, and we have killed Him, you and I."

    December 24, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • WCatholic2

      "is there no longer an above or below..?"

      December 25, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  3. Narcosis70

    I sure wish people would quit stating their personal opinions as though they were verified facts. It's a matter of faith, belief or lack of, plain and simple. No one can prove or disprove anything when it comes to spiritual matters. Maybe people just gain great pleasure out of belittling others for their beliefs or lack of the same. Sad.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      I KNOW

      PEOPLE NEED TO STOP SAYING THAT JESUS LOVES EVERYONE AND ALL THAT CRAP BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW JESUS IS DEAD IF HE EVEN EXISTED AT ALL

      December 24, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • Lol!

      "Maybe people just gain great pleasure out of belittling others for their beliefs or lack of the same. Sad."
      The funny thing is, Jesus did a heck of a lot of exactly that....................................................

      December 25, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • WCatholic2

      Hmm..then the comment section hasn't the content or tone of a high level academic seminar? Isaac Azimov once pointed out that there is a definite anti-intellectual streak in American culture, and a profound populist distrust and dislike of the "Expert".
      he goes on to say that its expressed as the sentiment of "My ignorance is just as good as your knowlege". Sad, trajic, and unfortunately true.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • Relictus

      The burden of proof for spiritual matters is on the believer. Sadly, there is not one shred of good evidence for anything spiritual.

      December 25, 2011 at 1:06 am |
  4. Just Me

    My hope for the world is that through my love of every person on earth, the love I show, from my Jesus, will help just one person think Jesus loves them. Then the Holy spirit will have a chance to save them. I do not ever save a person. Jesus saves. I am either a beacon for him or not. Imagin if every person in the world lived everyday like Jesus lived. Even if they didn't think he is a God. Love everyone. hate divides.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • WCatholic2

      That is the most christian response I have heard yet. God Bless. Apologies for spelling errors in previous post. A typist I am not.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • GrumpyOldLady

      Nice. Bless you.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:42 am |
  5. Lulz

    Jesus loves you. Everyone else thinks you Christians are d-bags...

    December 24, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • Collin

      So... without even knowing me, you're judging me, calling me names, and saying that no one likes me.

      Gee.... seems kinda like a d-bag thing to do.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  6. lpadron

    Interesting that both Jews and Muslims are able to live peaceably in this country precisely because of the religious beliefs of largely protestant christians while being blissfully unaware of that fact.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Someone out there

      Tell that to the native americans.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • toronto girl

      Both Christianity and Islam come from us, the Jews. Both religions chose to go in different ways, but they both share the unfortunate habit of contempt for others and the inability to accept those who chose NOT to convert. If I want to talk to G-d, I do it directly, I don't need to go through Jesus or Allah.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  7. racer x

    People don't even bother going to church twice a year anymore. Christians are watching their fantasy world melt before their very eyes.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      ARE YOU A PAUL GILBERT FAN

      December 24, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • Collin

      As are Atheists.... the number of Atheists is declining. However, the number of irreligious people is increasing dramatically.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      AND THE NUMBER OF CHRISTIANS IN PRISON IS RISING

      December 24, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  8. Deborah

    Several years ago in his sermon, our pastor informed us that "...to be a Christian means that one is Christ-like. And since there are no Christ-like people walking the earth today, we are merely 'trying' to be Christians." That really stuck with me, so I now refer to myself as someone who is 'trying to be a Christian' rather than proclaiming that I am a Christian. Mock me if you like, but I am now sitting here relaxing after attending Candlelight Communion services in observance of the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I have no animosity toward any other religion, agnostics or atheists, and their choices are not for me to judge. Celebrate the season how you will and enjoy yourself! For me it always has been and always will be about that virgin birth over 2,000 years ago in a small stable in the Middle East. Merry Christmas!

    December 24, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Paul

      Wow Deborah! Well said! Merry Christmas!

      December 24, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • racer x

      You are willfully deluded, Deborah. You ought to show a similar initiative and voluntarilly remove yourself from activities that require reality-based reasoning, e.g., voting.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • CelticStar7

      D e ad-Bra (or is it Deborah). You are crazy. Christ said follow me, be like me, be 'Christ-Like'. How more literal can Christ be? You are showing how mentally ill you really are. Schizophrenia comes to mind. One who is close to reality but off by a few wafers. Get help. You are a sick mackerel snapper.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  9. Guess who

    Jesus is perhaps the greatest, most kindest individual in the entire universe. Yes God is greater than Jesus but Jesus is greater than the prophets and far greater than all of humanity. Everyone on this forum looks to history or to religion to debate about him. Nobody speaks from a modern day encounter.

    I however will. I have seen Jesus face to face. I'll never forget the day when I prayed nearly 8 hours over a 24 hour period of time. It was in that day perhaps 15 years ago that Jesus of Nazareth appeared to me. The one you debate about. The one you think you know so very well.

    Call it fantasy, ridicule the story to the tee and malign my statements for your pleasure. I don't care. I'll never forget his face. When he looks at you its as if your skin is on fire with love, compassion and inclusion and on levels that cannot be calculated according to present day understanding. The love in his eyes defies descriptions from earthly perspectives.

    He looks young, yet ancient at the same time. He is the greatest of them all. It is my prayer that you would discover the Christ and not judge him according to religion's presentation. Discover him through consistent prayer.

    The revelation of Jesus Christ is a great rarity. I have studied near death encounters, modern day miracles and unexplained phenomenon which unveils stories of the God kind. I too am a witness of his appearance.

    The days will come when you will encounter God. Whether in the earth or beyond this life. In that day you will know just how real eternity is. There are no atheist on the other side. Everyone is engulfed with the knowledge of God.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • Answer

      "The days will come when you will encounter God."

      That day is always when you die – it doesn't bother anyone who has accepted that they will die.
      Stupid religious people always using threats. How pathetic.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • JenniferinTX

      We don't need to die to experience God as God created everything we see God every day. God also gave us free will so we can choose to do, see or believe anything we desire creating a life of experiences. These days I'm going for the positives in life; I've experienced enough of the negatives.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Answer

      @Jennifer

      I'm far more positive than you. I don't need your ridiculous notions either to be happier than you.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • ashrakay

      wow, creepy jesus and his sidekicks....You make me hope there is a heaven, you will be there and I won't.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Answer, true story. I was a passenger in an RV on a 7 or 8 lane highway. Two lanes to my right was a tractor trailer driven by a man in his mid 50s. The lane to the right of my passenger side was a mini-van filled with children and a late 20s something year old mom as the driver. Without looking or warning, the mom in the mini-van swerved to the right crossing several lanes to take the exit she almost passed. The tractor trailer should have made her mini-van into a pancake. There is no logical explanation to what just happened. This woman with her mini-van filled with children made there way up the exit ramp. Meanwhile, the tractor trailer driver looked at me with his face soaked with sweat and total shock. I did the sign of the cross at him and he just shook his head acknowledging the fact that we both witnessed divine intervention.

      Amen.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • GrumpyOldLady

      I saw him once. And I saw an angel once also. It is amazing and breathtaking. I didn't pray for 8 hours, only about 45 minutes which was longer than usual. I'm a short-succient prayer – 1 to 5 minutes several times a day. I didn't think of a connection to the amount of time (prayer is like meditation in a way). If I slow down my busy life and devote longer and deeper meditative prayer, maybe I'll experience him again. Did you see his light? I saw it and could feel it at the same time.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • Answer

      @HeavenSent

      True story – i came back from the grave like your 'jesus'. Which is to say – bs.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      HEAVENSENT

      YOUR STORY DIDN'T SAY MUCH AT ALL. A CRAPPY MINIVAN WAS DRIVING ON THE HIGHWAY AND TOOK AN OFF RAMP. JUST LIKE MILLIONS OF OTHER CARS DO EVERY DAY. HOW IS THIS AN STUPID MIRACLE?

      December 25, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      GRUMP

      THAT THING YOU SAW IS CALLED THE SUN

      IT'S THAT THING THAT "HANGS" IN THE SKY ALL DAY LONG, GIVES OFF LIGHT, AND WARMS THE ATMOSPHERE

      December 25, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • GrumpyOldLady

      GARBAGE CAN: It was at night in December in a forest. Deep in a forest in the NW. I'm not playing with you. It was not the moon as I was under a complete canopy of trees. It was not upward but directly before me. It was not round, but of human form with tremendous light. It was for real (not making this up) and I made it back to the camp.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • JenniferinTX

      Answer: Good for you! I'm glad you've found happiness! Food for thought though, if you're so happy why do you feel the need to degrade others? Just a thought...

      December 25, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • Relictus

      So many people believe in eternity, but don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy day. Good luck with that.

      December 25, 2011 at 1:11 am |
    • toronto girl

      I bet he was White and spoke English too!! Considering where he was born, he probably looked a lot more Semitic than white, and spoke Aramaic or Hebrew. He wouldn't have known what the &^&& you were talking about, and most likely would have quoted Torah to you.

      What you think of us Jesus' words were written decades if not centuries after he lived. The Gospels are all different!! They don't even agree with each other, so why anyone would take them literally is beyond me.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  10. VegasRage

    Few have any issues with Jesus, it's his damn followers that are annoying as hell.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Yes Vegas, and you are sugar sweet to us as well.

      Merry Christmas.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • GrumpyOldLady

      Actually, it is people like you that are annoying. See – it goes both ways. The world doesn't revolve around only you. It's just Christians, in general, make greater effort to get along with others.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  11. Danno

    Jesus is ok with it if you don't want to celebrate his birth. Probably makes him sad, though, that you're avoiding his party. Doctrine doesn't matter as much as just showing up! Whatever you think, there's a greatness and majesty about it that brings beauty and hope in all parts over the world. Yahoo!

    December 24, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      JESUS IS DEAD. WHY WOULD HE CARE?

      December 24, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • FSM

      Jesus was born in March, not December, so why are you celebrating now? Oh, yeah. Because a Roman emperor decided to incorporate Christianity into the pagan holiday Saturnalia, which was the Roman celebration of the Winter Solstice.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • GrumpyOldLady

      GARBAGE CAN: Your caps key is stuck.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      GRUMP

      IT'S NOT STUCK.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • HeavenSent

      FSM, Jesus was born on September 29th. You can find this out by researching (Luke 1:7) with our Lord's miraculous "Begetting" and Birth connecting the time frame with "the Course of Abiah.

      Amen.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • ashrakay

      @HeavenSent, Actually it's the month Nisan, which is more like April. Look it up.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  12. Someone out there

    Colin, according to the Bible, God has sons by the tons!

    Psalms 2:7
    "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me (KING DAVID), Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee."

    I don't see the Jews worshipping King David as the son of God, nor do you worship King David as the son of God. The Jews worship ONE GOD, the Muslims worship ONE GOD, but Christians, don't.

    "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3

    December 24, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Collin

      Yet Jesus was the only person to claim to be the Son of God/Man/Whatever you want to call him. You don't have to believe he was at all, but just be educated enough to know that the Bible says he is. From there, it's up to the individual to decide... but Jesus is pretty clear about his divinity... I'm afraid no amount of talking will convince you otherwise, so i think you will just be blissfully ignorant

      December 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Collin

      Also, if God were using the same context as he were to David... then he would not have said "This is my son" and would have used the second person collective pronoun of "You are my sons" because he would be referencing all the disciples.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Someone out there

      Colin, yours is the greatest fairy tale ever concocted and has deluded millions for hundreds of years. If what I say can make 1 person look more closely into their faith and question the trinity, then I have done my duty. We will all be held accountable for ourselves and those we influence. May the ONE God be with you. Peace!

      December 24, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Answer

      Quote from Dave Allen (British comic):

      "May YOUR god go with you." – it's the truth. It's always your god.
      What a crock to propose the "one" god.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Someone out there

      LOL, I can't say "YOUR" God but Jesus wasn't God. There is only ONE God. The Jews believe in the ONE God, the Muslims believe in the ONE God but Christians don't. Jesus worshipped the ONE God, so, perhaps you should too 🙂

      December 24, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Answer

      "There is only ONE God."

      And you definitely know 100% that this is your god? The one god.
      How deluded you are. It is YOUR god.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • toronto girl

      Jesus did not claim to be divine during his lifetime. He was Jewish, and nothing in our teachings talk about humans becoming or being born as gods. G-d is divine, not humans.

      Anything he said in what is the Gospels, was written decades or centuries after he lived, written by scholars/scribes who had little trouble putting words into his mouth. There are many versions of Gospels that were around when the New Testament was collated!!

      This may be difficult for Evangelical Christians to accept or even those who hate us, but He was a Jew, not Christian. He would have looked a lot like a Jew, meaning he would have looked Semitic, not Aryan, and spoke Hebrew or Aramaic, not Latin. Most likely he would have quoted the Torah to you, not the Gospels!! The first Christian was Saul of Tarsus or St Paul; who was also known to be epileptic!!

      December 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  13. JenniferinTX

    We are all children of god i.e. sons and daughters alike. We all have the power to change the world in a blink of an eye. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we respected each other and stopped living with fear and hate? I think that is the message Jesus tried to import to us.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • belowme

      Can you imagine how wonderful the world would be if people like you stopped believing in and babbling about fairytales and faced reality?

      December 24, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • JenniferinTX

      belowme: I do face reality, but choose not to dwell in negativity accepting you as you are without judging you.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • belowme

      Babble! Were I some murderer, you would not "judge" me? Stop lying, Jennifer!

      December 24, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • JenniferinTX

      If you choose to be a murderer so be it. I wouldn't want to hang out with you as you may want to murder me; I'm not crazy, contrary to your belief!

      December 25, 2011 at 12:31 am |
  14. Jason B.

    An excellent article. A good reminder that we are all much more similar than different. If only we could all focus on that better.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Darthlawsuit

      Unfortunately Atheists have to show how intolerant they are and troll every Christmas topic. Why can't they just be Atheists and STFU when it comes to religious subjects -_-;;

      December 24, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Answer

      The question is why can't the religious morons shut up..

      December 24, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      DARTH, SHOULDN'T YOU BE OUT DONATING TO CHARITY OR PRAYING IN A CHURCH OR SOMETHING

      December 24, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • GrumpyOldLady

      (garbage can) Take yourself elsewhere. The Words of Jesus is of good, acceptance, love and relationships. Your agenda is to destroy what he stands for. You're probably nothing of a human but just an angry troll.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      JESUS SAID HE'D BE BACK BEFORE HIS FOLLOWERS DIED

      I KNOW MORE ABOUT WHAT JESUS SAID THAN YOU DO

      YOU WANT TO KNOW WHO THE ORIGINAL TROLL WAS? JESUS

      CHRISTIANS ALL GOT JESUS ROLLED INTO BELIEVING HE'D COME BACK AND THROW THEM INTO THE SKY AND GO ON A PRANCING CARNIVAL RIDE AND THEN GO TO WAR AND KILL EVERYONE WITH HORSES KNEE-DEEP IN BLOOD

      SURELY JESUS IS A NICE GUY, BEING DEAD AND ALL. BUT HE REALLY ENJOYED WAR.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • GrumpyOldLady

      GARBAGE CAN: Boy are you angry! This is Christmas Eve. Have an eggnog and relax. Uncap your CAPS key and go watch some TV.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      NO.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • GrumpyOldLady

      Oh come on, Garbage Can. Be a good boy (or girl) and take a deep breath. Grandma will have to put you to bed early tonight if you don't behave like a big boy.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Answer, you posted "The question is why can't the religious morons shut up.."

      Question: How many Christmas parties were you invited to this year? Then answer, how many Christmas parties did you turn down?

      Your answers to both questions are the reason why you are the way you are. You own it.

      Merry Christmas.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:29 am |
  15. Say What

    CNN p*ss off already with these lame articles. Especially the "weekend specials" BS.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  16. BU

    STOP putting this garbage on the front page!!!

    December 24, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • GrumpyOldLady

      STOP commenting on this then! Skip it. What's the matter with you?

      December 24, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • GAW

      Spoiled little brat! If you don't like it then don't read it. It will be gone by Tuesday.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  17. Adam

    Merry Christmas everyone. Happy Holidays and sincerest well wishes my friends.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      And to you and yours, a very Merry Christmas!

      December 24, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Same here, Merriest of Christmases to all.

      Amen.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:31 am |
  18. b4bigbang

    crappyname

    unfortunately, there is no jesus so this article is stupid, and for your info the correct term for this holiday is Yule, the celebration of the winter solstice, and yes it is pagan. When will the christian sheep learn that christianity was put together using folklore from greek, roman, norse and middle eastern cultures. You can find the exact stories in the bible in these cultures, only the name are changed. Grifters looking to sucker people and get rich created it to make a fortune, they would save your soul for only 10% of your assets, sound familiar.

    Actually, yours is the minority position even in the secular history/archaeology fields. The idea of Christianity being an amalgamation of borrowed ideas from older pagan beliefs was discounted many years ago.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • DaAkats

      Glory Adios!!!

      December 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • FSM

      True.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Did anyone catch Sting's new Christmas album. Intense.

      Merry Christmas.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:33 am |
  19. joe siefker

    This is a great article. Finally a description of our individual beliefs that support the unification of our common desire to understand and accept others for whom we have been deprived of their beliefs. That is the true meaning of what needs to happen for all of us to live as one. Really, each of us could learn a lot.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Darthlawsuit

      Couldn't have said it better. This is a good article.

      Besides, what does Santa and Pine trees have to do with Jesus anyways. Jesus was born in a desert without pine trees, pagans up north had pine trees. Saint Nick wasn't born for a long time after Jesus died. Really they were just things added onto Christmas over time as a cultural thing, not a religious one.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Darth,

      Ephraim [shall say], What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard [him], and observed him: I [am] like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.

      Hosea 14:8

      Amen.

      December 25, 2011 at 12:36 am |
  20. Will

    Athiestic Jewish merchants, bankers, and media moguls have done a heck of a job trivializing Jesus Christ's role in this holiday.

    "May the name of the wicked rot", indeed.

    December 24, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • Answer

      Oh how threatening.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • pseudobliss

      And if Christians were true to their tradition, none of those you mentioned would have nearly the success they have. Christians have sold their culture and traditions. Its partly/largely their fault.

      December 24, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      JESUS IS DEAD FOR CHRIST'S SAKE

      STOP BRINGING A DEAD GUY INTO EVERYTHING AND TRY LIVING LIFE FOR A CHANGE

      December 24, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • toronto girl

      Oh so now it's OUR fault??

      December 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.