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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. Ugly Jew

    Who doesn't want more money?

    December 26, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • go away, herbie.

      you're worthless.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:32 am |
    • Whatevs

      Lyssa, the couldron churning athiest. (Psst.. do you need a tweezer for that hair on your mole? )

      December 26, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • Pablo

      What we need is more love for one onother in this world. Money IS NOT THE ANSWER my Jewish thirsty GRINCH!

      December 26, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • Beth

      Pablo, he isn't Jewish. He is a bigot and anti-semite posting stereotypes about Jews. Get it?

      December 26, 2011 at 12:35 am |
    • Ugly Jew (troll)

      Well, thanks a lot, buzz killer Beth!

      December 26, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • Lyssa

      I don't have a mole, but I do have some nice carrots for you. See? Nice carrots.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • Whatevs

      Lyssa,

      have you checked your b**t... sure there's mole there.. oh wait, your brains a mole

      December 26, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Lyssa

      Oh, I see you like pooping everywhere. wow.
      Okay, forget the carrots. You'll never see them again.
      Bye little hypocrite! Have fun playing in your own poop!

      December 26, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • Whatevs

      Only someone with a mole for a brain and hair up their b**t thinks of poop...

      December 26, 2011 at 1:18 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      We can see that Whatevs Mommi forgot to disconnect its computer before she got too drunk last night. Does the good Atheist speaking reality scare you that much Whatevs? We'll enjoy the day school goes back so we can be done with you, although you should probably be studying...grade 5 science is hard for you christards!

      December 26, 2011 at 6:48 am |
  2. Jules

    Go to http://www.miraclesofthequran.com/index.php and read yourself. I was confused then astonished then I had to just surrender to the truth because I couldn't deny it ? How could I ?. When a book that wasn't even revealed to talk about science and then it tells you that every human being was created with a unique finger prints then we, today, use finger printing to differentiate between us that's astonishing!!! When I learned Muhammad wasn't even a learned person I was shocked because no one can ever give you precise scientific facts, thousands of facts while he endured a tough time with his own people full of adventures, wars, hunger, and problems serving the whole humanity around him. Back then they lived in the desert, how could they have had any idea about science ?

    December 26, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • Lyssa

      -facepalm-
      What an idiot.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • Ugly Jew

      The real trick, Jules, is convincing people to "surrender" some of their hard earned money to you. It's an art form.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Pablo

      Ugly Jew,
      I am not Jewish, but please stop embarrasing and making your kind look more foolish by your comments.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:31 am |
    • Whatevs

      Lyssa, yea, you have a twinkle in your eye, like that of a wart faced witch.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:31 am |
    • go away, herbie.

      you fail at this.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:35 am |
    • Ugly Jew

      Why Pablo, I'm astonished at what you think of me! It's people like you that motivate me. Do you have a plan to make some easy money, perhaps on the back of some sucker who's fallen on hard times? There's lots of easy money out there!

      December 26, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • Get Real

      Jules:

      "Was Quran the first to tell us about uniqueness of fingerprints? No, it is not.

      Use of fingerprints to protect doc.uments against forgery goes back to Babylonia some 2,500 years before Islam (i.e. 20th-19th century BCE), when parties to legal contracts impressed their fingerprints into the clay-tablets on which contracts had been written. Chinese officials impressed their fingerprints in clay-seals to seal official doc.uments as early as the third century BCE, a practice that continued in China as they discovered paper and started using it for writing legal doc.uments. Arab Muslim merchant Abu Zayd Hasan, while visiting China before 851 CE, witnessed Chinese merchants using fingerprints to authenticate loans.

      Even forensic use of fingerprints, such as to keep records of criminals, goes back thousands of years before Islam. During Babylonian king Hammurabi (1792–1750 BCE), law-officials fingerprinted arrested criminals; in China, handprints were used as evidence in a trial for theft c. 300 CE. In 650 CE, the Chinese historian Kia Kung-Yen remarked that fingerprints could be used as a means of authentication. While Persian physician Rashid-al-Din Hamadani (1247–1318), referring to Chinese practice, wrote in his Jami al-Tawarikh: "Experience shows that no two individuals have fingers exactly alike.""
      http://www.islam-watch.org/index.

      Lots of science was known in Mohammad's time (the seventh century) - not as much as today, of course. They traveled and traded all over that area and shared ideas. No "miracle" here, sorry...

      December 26, 2011 at 1:03 am |
  3. Reality

    Christmas, the embellished story of the birth of a simple, preacher man named Jesus.

    As per most contemporary NT exegetes, his parents were Mary and Joseph although some say Jesus was a mamzer, the result of a pre-marital relationship between Mary and a Roman soldier.

    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    Jesus was not born in Bethlehem at least the one we are familiar with and there were no pretty wingie thingies singing from on high, no slaughter of the innocents by Herod, no visiting wise men and no escape to Egypt.

    "John P. Meier – Professor at Notre Dame

    Meier [Marginal Jew I,216-219] notes that the "affirmation of Jesus' descent from David might easily be placed alongside his birth at Bethlehem as a theologoumenon (a theological insight narrated as a historical event) if it were not for the fact that numerous and diverse streams of NT tradition also affirm Jesus' Davidic lineage."

    "Meier suggests that the belief that Jesus was "son of David" may have been held by Jesus' followers prior to his death, with his resurrection then being understood as a form of enthronement. However, he notes that such messianic views, whatever their provenance, cannot prove Jesus was "literally, biologically of Davidic stock."

    http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=007_Of_Davids_Lineage

    Conclusion: the holyday of Christmas is historically a non-event. Ditto for the Feast of the Magi and the solemnity of Mary aka New Years day.

    Kwanza

    "Kwanzaa, which will be celebrated for the 44th time in 2009, was established by Dr. Maulana Karenga. The seven-day festival (December 26 – January 1) is secular, not religious, and aims to strengthen African cultural ident-ity and community values while providing a spiritual alternative to the commercialism of Christmas."

    Chanukah (Hanukkah)

    "Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most joyous times of the Jewish year. The reason for the celebration is twofold (both dating back to c. 165 BCE): the miraculous military victory of the small, ill-equipped Jewish army over the ruling Greek Syrians, who had banned the Jewish religion and desecrated the Temple; and the miracle of the small cruse of consecrated oil, which burned for eight days in the Temple's menorah instead of just one."
    "Originally a minor holiday, it has become more lavishly celebrated as a result of its proximity to Christmas."

    Some candles burn for weeks so the menorah "miracle" is hardly miraculous.

    Rabbi Wolpe can probably give us his take on the historical validity of Hanukkah.

    So after thorough analyses of the NT Christmas passages, what are a few of the conclusions of some of the top contemporary NT scholars?

    Matt 1:18-25: From Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 123-124, "The fathering of Jesus from the Holy Spirit and his birth from the virgin Mary are unhistorical". Ludemann gives a very detailed analysis to support his conclusions. One part being the lack of attestations to these events and the late time strata of said story.

    "Lüdemann [Jesus], (pp. 261-63) discounts Luke's account as a legend deriving from Jewish Hellenistic circles that were concerned to hold together the procreation of the Spirit, the authentic sonship of the Messiah and the virginal conception. "

    Then there are these additional conclusions:

    Bruce Chilton

    "In [Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography] (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a mamzer; someone whose irregular birth circu-mstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural pa-ternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-ident-ity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest.

    John Dominic Crossan

    "In [Historical Jesus] (p. 371) Crossan treats this cluster, like 007 Of Davids Lineage, as an example of the interplay of prophecy and history in the development of the Jesus traditions.

    "In [Birth of Christianity] (pp. 26-29) Crossan uses Luke's account of Jesus' conception and birth to explore ethical issues concerning the public interpretation of the past. He notes the tendency of Christian scholars to disregard "pagan" birth legends while investing great effort in the defence of biblical birth narratives. He concludes:

    I do not accept the divine conception of either Jesus or Augustus as factual history, but I believe that God is incarnate in the Jewish peasant poverty of Jesus and not in the Roman imperial power of Augustus. "

    "The following ancient parallels to Jesus' miraculous conception should be noted:
    Birth of Moses (Exod 2:1-10)
    Birth of Plato (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, 3.45) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 507]
    Birth of Alexander the Great (Plutarch, Parallel Lives, 2.1-3.5) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 502f]
    Birth of Apollonius (Philostratus, Life of Apollonius, I.4) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 505]"

    And some final words from Thomas Jefferson, not a contemporary NT scholar, but indeed a very learned man:

    "And the day will come,
    when the mystical generation of Jesus,
    by the Supreme Being as His Father,
    in the womb of a virgin,
    will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva
    in the brain of Jupiter.

    - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
    Letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823.

    December 26, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Whatevs

      Why isn't there a nice Atheist around ? Why so grumpy ?

      December 26, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • Lyssa

      Ah, a little hypocrite. Hi little hypocrite.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Lyssa

      Don't be scared little hypocrite. I won't hurt you. See? I brought you some carrots.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • Ugly Jew

      I can find a nice atheist for you, Whatevs. Eh ... what kind of a finder's fee did you have in mind?

      December 26, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Whatevs: not a nice Atheist? it;s only b/c we don't agree with your delusions that you think that. I agree with Lyssa...you are a good little hypocrite...so please lets put that shoe on the other foot, why isn't there a good christard around? You all think you have the answer but yet none of you can agree on what flavor of god or interpretation of the buybull is correct. Atheists at least have one thing in common...we all agree that you are incorrect.

      December 26, 2011 at 6:43 am |
    • .........

      hit report abuse on any reality bull sh it

      December 26, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • .........

      hit report abuse on all reality bull sh it

      December 26, 2011 at 6:49 am |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      chris hitchens is a nice atheist now

      December 26, 2011 at 6:50 am |
  4. b4bigbang

    فالذي قدسه الآب وارسله الى العالم أتقولون له انك تجدف لاني قلت اني ابن الله .

    ان كنت لست اعمل اعمال ابي فلا تؤمنوا بي .

    ولكن ان كنت اعمل فان لم تؤمنوا بي فآمنوا بالاعمال لكي تعرفوا وتؤمنوا ان الآب فيّ وانا فيه

    December 25, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • Whatevs

      AMEN!!!!!

      December 26, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Pablo

      Aqui tienes pedazo de idiota, cabeza hueca para que busques un diccionario ya que no tienes nada mejor que hacer!

      December 26, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  5. Eric

    To all anti semetic people out there remember this: the Egyptians couldn't hold them,the church couldn't convert them,and the Nazis couldn't eliminate them.

    December 25, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • Lyssa

      I'm not anti-semitic but you are wrong on all three points. They were eliminated, they were converted, and they were enslaved.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Whatevs

      Arabs are semitic people... and there's millions of Arabic Christians

      December 26, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Whatevs

      Lyssa, did you not have enough egg nogg this Christmas Season ? Why so grumpy ?

      December 26, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • Lyssa

      How funny that you call me grumpy! I have a twinkle in my eye and I keep grinning at your silliness. So silly and stupid! 😀

      December 26, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • Pablo

      He made me laugh too, how old are you?

      December 26, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • Rachel Greenberg

      Lyssa, the fact that we jews are still here today is what he means. Yes, we were eliminated, convered and enslaved. But, the fact that we are still here is a miracle and says something the Jewish will to survive. The fact that Jewish children play on Roman relics in the Old City of Jerusalem is a miracle. They were mighty and we were small, but they are gone and we still exist and are thriving.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:37 am |
  6. salman

    Being an American Muslim, it's nice for people like this imam to help remind the Christians in the USA that we also believe in Jesus, but he's not viewed as the same person as Christians do. Also, don't bash on the Jews, that's not nice.

    December 25, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Beth

      Like

      December 26, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • mcmurphy88

      Like

      December 26, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • Ugly Jew

      like ... more with some money!

      December 26, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  7. Ugly Jew

    Did I mention that I have a nose for money?

    December 25, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Whatevs

      you must have tiny feet

      December 25, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Ugly Jew

      Unfortunately my feet are too large for the less expensive childrens' shoes.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Whatevs

      Those with small feet are good at dancing but are not well, ahem, endowed.... is that why you are so angry... ?

      December 26, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Pablo

      Just by reading a few comments from here, I am amazed to see how primitive the souls of many people are. I am glad that Jesus is about to return so that I don't have to live with this kind of people anymore on this fallen Earth. You will soon eat the hate you are expressing here with triple the interest, specially the ones who are after the richness of this world.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Ugly Jew

      Oh, thank you for explaining that, Whatevs. My parents were fairly well-to-do and left me a fine endowment. But I built upon it, Whatevs, and now it's huge! It's all about making some easy money.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  8. Christian and proud of it!

    That's what makes this country so great. I worship Christ as my Lord and Savior and do it with the freedoms we have just as anyone else here can worship as they please. If you want to woship the fire hydrant on every street corner in America, that's your right to do so and no one should judge you for it. Freedom of Religion and Speach are here for us all. Many lives have been lost to preserve the freedoms we enjoy but sometimes take for granted. So when you witness someone practicing their religion no matter what faith, hold your head high and be thankful because freedom is't free. God bless The United States of America!

    December 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Lyssa

      I see you've been sniffing too many fire hydrants.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • Luke

      Wish there were more of you here, seems to be a large percentage of atheist on CNN blog's. Merry Christmas!

      December 26, 2011 at 1:31 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      Yes Luke, there is a large number of us because if we can help one person come away from the brainwashing taught in the church, we will have accomplished more good than any church will ever accomplish. We're not the ones fighting over who is right in regards to what god to believe in or how to interpret the buybull or who is a true christard. I think we care more about peace and tranquility in this world than christards do....in the very least we see what religion has done to hold our world back and the damage it has caused....too bad people like you are too blinded and too easily satisfied with the fallacies to see why we don't believe.

      December 26, 2011 at 6:39 am |
    • Keith

      TP, You lyin' canadian pig. You don't care about peace. If you did, you'd quit saying 'christard'. Lying witch!

      December 26, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  9. Saliba

    Motto of Judaism: LOVE LOVE LOVE ($$$$$$$$$$). $ = nr 1 in LIFE. Second motto: Hate Non-Jew

    December 25, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Ugly Jew

      So what's your point?

      December 25, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  10. Bill P

    To Lyssa,

    You propose that, in order to satisfy the question of God’s existence, that someone then “prove” His existence, so that, with such evidence, you would then believe. Yet, try as one may, that simply has not been done. Nor is it likely to occur. But, what form would proof take? Should that proof be measurable in a test tube, via a micrometer, under a microscope, from the readings of a volt-ohm-meter, etc? Are statistical methods adequate? How about archeological discoveries? Maybe the folks at the Large Hadron Collider will finally unmask the “God particle”?

    Here is what you need to know: God has chosen not to be proved. At least, in a way for a group, or ethnicity, or even an organized religion to claim. And, to me that makes sense. Instead, God has sufficiently manifested Himself so that you, and even you have adequately demonstrated today by virtue of your many protestations, that the question of God’s existence or lack thereof is not concrete, but, for the “believer”, it requires faith. And, indeed, faith is the entire issue. “For by grace are you save through faith …” (Ephesians 2:8, 9). Faith is the reason for everything. Regardless of what you claim to believe, God requires faith in Him, and in particular, the provision of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins. Nothing else will do. And, He, being the Creator, is not required to “prove” Himself to you or anyone else, as you require, because, He has already adequately manifested Himself through nature so that you are without excuse:

    “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

    God bless you, nevertheless, and I hope that you make an honest attempt to seek and know the truth before that time of your end arrives. As it says in Proverbs 27:1 – "Boast not yourself of tomorrow; for you know not what a day may bring forth."

    Bill P

    December 25, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Lyssa

      I never proposed that. If you aren't going to be straight with me I won't talk to you. I'll just give you the shlt you deserve.
      Your "god" must want it that way, right?

      December 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • Ugly Jew

      Bill, you like to type. That's good! You can make some money as a typist, stenographer or medical transcriptionist.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • JohnR

      @Bill P A god who choose not to be proven, but who also judges harshly on the basis of whether or not you believe in him is a psychopath. The essence of Christian doctrine is that god is a vain, immature, violent lunatic and it's own us to prop up his bloated but easily popped ego. Screw all that. It's ridiculous and it's a disgrace that anyone believes it.

      December 26, 2011 at 6:21 am |
  11. NA

    Jews are the reason for "WAR ON CHRISTMAS"

    December 25, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
  12. Steve

    If Jews STOPPED being against Christians and other non-Jews, then maybe rest of 99.8% of the world would have accepted them more ! Jews just causes more and more problem in this world :/

    December 25, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • TheTruth

      We're not "against" non-Jews, just people who try to kill us. Perhaps if you spent some time considering returning to Judiasm instead of "encouraging" (historically, under penalty of death) Jews to convert, you'd get a better response.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  13. bill constantine

    We should celebrate christmas as Jesus birthday but you do not hear it as a birthday. As a christian senior one thing that the holiday brings is peace on earth some times...I respect religions that bring peace..Only within the moslems religions do some of their believers believe in violence..Why do we make money from religons? bill the greek from las vegas

    December 25, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • christians aren't innocent

      So christians don't do the violence thing? What about the nazis, crusades, inquisition, bush's oil war killing thousands of Iraqis with no WMD's found? Mississippi's citizen's council, the kkk, etc. All those God fearing christians were killing people who they couldn't convert or who were not the same as they were, i.e., bigoted racists. The tea party comes to mind along with that Wisconsin fat congressman who had to eat his words after talking about Mrs. Obama. Check out this thread, one among millions. http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/christian/blfaq_viol_index.htm

      December 25, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • JohnR

      (A) It is not Jesus's birthday. (B) Christians have been remarkably violent towards each other as well as towards others.

      December 26, 2011 at 6:24 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      The fact that you admit to being a 'chrsitian senior' says it all...you're too far gone to come back from the herd. If you had any clue, you'd have done the research and would thus know that is jesus was ever born it was in the spring (according to the average calendar that would mean somewhere between March 20/21/22 to around June 21) and you would further know that the christards stole the holiday from the pagans (you know, the ones they burned because they were thought to be witches?!?!?). Lack of thinking on your behalf does not consti.tute an emergency on ours.

      December 26, 2011 at 6:34 am |
  14. Ugly Jew

    I'm trying to time the attack on Iran just right, and ride my Raytheon stock to the top! Talk about easy money!

    December 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
  15. holly

    Not a negative comment to "the chosen ones", rather a bit of a sad warning. If I'm wrong (being a Christian) when I die, well probably nothing will happen, right? If you're wrong when YOU die, well.... And it is sad, because Jesus was a Jew. I love Him and I love you....I just wish you all would soften your hearts.

    December 25, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Eric G

      Please google "Pascal's wager argument".

      December 25, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • Ugly Jew

      Pascal's Wager. But it was a poor wager ... because he didn't make any money!

      December 25, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Whatevs

      Pascal was a devout catholic christian ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/PASCAL.HTM

      December 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • TheTruth

      So Jesus is your "backup plan" and I should abandon what I believe in because you think you have a better idea? Let me know how Christianity is working out for you personally in another 3760 years. Maybe I'll come around...

      The sad part of all of this is that you don't understand why your comments are more insulting than those of the anti-semites. At least theirs can be written off as ignorance...

      December 26, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • Beth

      TheTruth, I think it best to not even attempt to explain to people like this how offensive this is. They will not get it. I'm glad I belong to a religion that teaches that there are many paths to god and no one right way. Many Christians believe this but not all and thus we see posts like this and people who push their religion onto others. Take heart, if we are wrong at least we will not have spend eternity with the likes of people like this. 😉 (Got that joke from Marilyn Manson who said it at a concert once.)

      December 26, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • Rick

      Holly: If you are wrong, but worshipping the wrong god, you are no better off than atheists would be under your god

      December 26, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • JohnR

      Holly, if you are wrong, what will happen depends on who, if anyone, is right. My own guess is that if Yahweh is indeed the one true god, Christians may well be the only ones damned for their belief in the divinity of Jesus and the way they make him CENTRAL to their religion. Remember "Thou shalt put no other gods before me!"? Yeah, Christianity is gonna get Yahweh SERIOUSLY angry!

      December 26, 2011 at 6:29 am |
  16. Ugly Jew

    Have any of you thought deeply on the beauty of compound interest?

    December 25, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Chrism

      Are you for real? Do you think your are being funny? Dredge up some old stereotype like it is somehow clever or smart? Have some respect for others. Remember who blesses Abraham will be blessed, who curses him shall be cursed.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • Ugly Jew

      Chrism, your moralizing is not making you any money. It is worthless.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Finnigan O'Hara

      The struggle is all.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • Eh

      So this is how you fight for Islam? This is your Jihad, your struggle? How pathetic.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • Ugly Jew

      The only struggle I've had recently involved a financial transaction with another Jew. Gentiles are easier!

      December 25, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  17. dam texan

    leave it or believe it christmas is a pagan holiday! never has been about jesus.The bible no where does the word christmas appear, no where does jesus say to celebrate his birth,the exchanging of gifts is a pagan tradition.decorated trees is a pagan tradition.jesus wasn't born in the month of december.But the pagan sun god was celebrated on december 25.check it out don't just take my word for it. BECAUSE THERE'S NOTHING SPIRTUAL OR CHRISTIAN ABOUT CHRISTMAS PURE PAGAN!

    December 25, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Steve

      You want some wine with that cheese? Perhaps you should get EDUCATED and then you'll know what Christmas is and what its decorations stands for. But, I will not waste my time educating a psych uneducated person like you.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
  18. sathayvrath

    From a Hindu-Bhuddist perspective, Jesus is one of us. To us everything he preached or said is not new nor original. He learnt and matured his teaching in India during the missing years that the Bible does not report. Celebrating Christmas by Bhuddist or Hindus is not a stretch.

    December 25, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • HollyB

      Either Jesus was who He said He was (the Son of God) or He was a madman. No simple "prophet" would declare to be the Son.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  19. Coexist

    It's so sad that you uneducated people have to turn a harmless story into something negative about Jews. Not a surprise though...this world is uneducated. One day we will all learn. One can only hope. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

    December 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • Ugly Jew

      Stop your whining and go make some money.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • John

      Merry CHRISTmas your zionist... hope you enjoyed your chinese and movies today

      December 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  20. JeffNYNJ

    It's amazing all of you people love saying bad things about the Jews....who are also known as the "chosen people". So sad...

    December 25, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Ugly Jew

      The Nazis chose them ... to go to concentration camps!

      December 25, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • Chrism

      It is indeed sickening to see the anti-semitism still in the world. I do realize the comment sections no matter what the story people will just try to get a rise out of others by pushing the envelope. Still the very insensitivity, the offensiveness of the words chosen, it is like people apt hink their own words don't have meaning. It's not a joke. People devalue themselves when they allow their words to have so little real meaning. God bless all people including God's chosen. All Christians ought to just be thankful and remember their Lord was born a Jew.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • Ugly Jew

      Chrism, your "Lord" and twenty-five cents is worth twenty-five cents. Try to find a way to make some easy money!

      December 25, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • Chrism

      My Lord plus any finite amount of money is worth infinite and incomprehensible value. You seem to have a real hell bent mindset for knocking what others believe, which is cowardly It would take much more courage to stand up for what you believe.

      December 25, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Ugly Jew

      I'm not knocking your beliefs, Chrism. I just believe you can use your time more producively by making some easy money. Have you considered starting a church and persuading people to send you money? There are significant tax benefits in that line of work.

      December 26, 2011 at 12:00 am |
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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.