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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."

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"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.

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"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. Bremen

    Oh dear, a lot of hate on this one. Seriously folks, why do you care about people's beliefs so much hmm? Yes some wackos twist religion into something awful and use it as a cover or excuse for violence. But I fear violence against religious folks as well, I can see some crazy atheist all up in arms and angry, doing something awful. It WILL happen, as it has happened before. If you can't tolerate religious people, get OUT of the US. Plz. This is coming from a fellow atheist. Merry Christmas to all, I celebrate it as an American holiday, time for family. Either way I am sure Jesus and God would be happy.

    December 25, 2011 at 2:45 am |
  2. hi

    Wow Muslims have a whole chapter on Mary!
    I want to read the Quran, this sounds very good.

    December 25, 2011 at 2:44 am |
  3. Quran: Chapter: Maryam

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve_Zt4GZL38

    December 25, 2011 at 2:40 am |
    • Cool

      Thank you for the video, very nice!

      December 25, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • hi

      Wow Muslims have a whole chapter on Mary!
      I want to read the Quran, this sounds very good.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:45 am |
    • Thanks!

      This sounds awesome, love the translation.

      Thank you for posting!

      December 25, 2011 at 2:48 am |
  4. 1776FreedomofSpeech

    Christianity is the only true religion.

    December 25, 2011 at 2:38 am |
    • Reply

      No. You are wrong, Christianity has been changed.

      Islam is the true religion.

      Jesus, Moses, Ibrahim, and all messengers were Muslim (meaning they submtted and obeyed God).

      December 25, 2011 at 2:42 am |
    • Daleri Rileda

      The truth has to be true from the very beginning when God told Adam and Eve that a Savior (God) would be born of a woman. Only our Maker can be our Savior because there is no one else who can be.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      ALL RELIGIOUS PEOPLE ARE SUBMISSIVE.

      THAT'S WHAT BALL GAGS WERE CREATED FOR.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:47 am |
    • Sillyme

      * sigh* really?? which branch? there are hundereds. This kind of statement is exactly why violence and persecution has happened throughout history.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  5. George

    Why do we care how other faiths celebrate Dec. 25th? No one can enter the Kingdom of God except through Jesus.

    December 25, 2011 at 2:31 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      IS THERE A GAPING HOLE IN JESUS' STOMACH THAT ALLOWS US TO PASS THROUGH HIM?

      OR DOES HE EAT US AND THEN SQUIRT US OUT IN THE FORM OF LIQUID CRAP IN A MAGICAL HEAVENLY TOILET?

      December 25, 2011 at 2:36 am |
    • Sandra

      Prove it.. and you can't use the hoary old chant "The Bible Says".

      December 25, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • Luke Emery

      Sounds like a Renaissance fair.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:39 am |
    • Hypocrite Hunter

      You two are a prime example of what is wrong with sending kids to public school.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:39 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      AND WHICH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DID YOU ATTEND? YALE, PRINCETON, HARVARD?

      December 25, 2011 at 2:46 am |
  6. ET

    People should be more tolerate of other people believe/ religions. If people will tolerate other people believe or non believe, there will be more peace on this earth and a lot less violence.

    Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Sunni, Shiite, Bahai, etc., all believed they are the descend of Abraham and Moses ( Hence, we are all brothers and sisters in God's eye). We all believed we came form the same Creator/ God. Yet, throughout the history of mankind, war has been fought over the small difference in the believer. Basically all religions are good, teach us not to kill, be righteous, non violence, etc., yet we refuse to fallow the teaching of our own Creator.

    The root causes of all the religious wars fought over the mankind history are course by the extremism or radicalism of the believer. Those Extremist teach intolerant of other religions and peoples. People should not be force into what you believe is the true religion.

    Today is one day is a year, that Christians rejoy in the birth of a great man, Jesus Christ. It does not matter to me if Christ is born on the exactly day of 25th of December or not, It is the celebrating the birth of a great and righteous man.

    Throughout my life, some of my best friends are Christians, Jewish, Muslims, Buddhist, their are all good people. If today my friends was to celebrated Moses, Mohammed, etc., I'll honor their believe. Righteous men should be honor/ celebrated.

    Hope for Peace on Earth

    December 25, 2011 at 2:31 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      I NOTICED THAT YOU DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT HAVING ATHEIST FRIENDS WHO ARE GOOD PEOPLE

      December 25, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • Hypocrite Hunter

      Probably because they encounter people like you with lots of comments and no clue

      December 25, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      HOW FANCY AND FUNFORTUNATE.

      OH THE IRONY OF YOUR NICKNAME.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • Hypocrite Hunter

      Its not a "nickname" no one gave it to me #FAIL minus 3 internets

      December 25, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      A NICKNAME DOES NOT HAVE TO BE GIVEN IN ORDER FOR IT TO BE A NICKNAME.

      PEOPLE STILL ACTUALLY SAY "FAIL?" DO YOU PLAY WORLD OF WARCRAFT OR SOME CRAP?

      OH, PLEASE DO WOO ME FURTHER WITH MORE OF YOUR EDGY MEME QUIPS.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:50 am |
    • ET

      Respond to "The Bible is Garbage" in my post:

      If you look at the second sentence in my post "non believe". It is not I, to judge other, hence please try not to make me judge other. I'm simply state how I saw the world from this old and sadden mid-century old man's eye. Hate is not the way to convince yours peer you are a "good person". Love and deed in life, is the only way a person is judged. If history teach us anything, Intolerant of other is the root causes of all the hate in this world. May peace been with you.

      Merry Christmas, May peace on earth.

      Peace & Love

      December 25, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Johnny Orlando

      Wow kid, you need to lay off the CAPS LOCK and learn to make some better comebacks. You are stupid trash, no wonder you use that name. A nickname by definition is a name given to you which is not your name. What you did was pick a stupid antagonistic name which has succeeded in getting you torn down by everyone else on here. You clearly just like to argue and have no facts, only lame jokes that a lonely and frustrated person like you would find funny. You lose at life buddy. FAIL

      December 25, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  7. Hypocrite Hunter

    I think that atheists should either choose to work on Christmas or do something constructive like help those less fortunate instead of making lame attacks. If they truly believe that religion does not have a monopoly on morality they should do something moral instead of just complaining that Christians are having a good time with their family. They should also explain to their children why Santa will not ever come by their house or why they never get presents. You can't attack something based upon its principle and then go use that same thing for your personal gain.

    December 25, 2011 at 2:30 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      I WORK EVERY CHRISTMAS.

      ANY MORE SPECTACULAR IDEAS THAT YOU COULD PROVIDE US WITH SINCE WE ARE INCAPABLE OF DECIDING FOR OURSELVES WHAT TO DO WITH OUR TIME?

      December 25, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • Hypocrite Hunter

      Maybe you should take off your caps lock, moron 🙂

      Was that good enough?

      December 25, 2011 at 2:36 am |
    • Reply

      Go read the Quran:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riW4W66ptqI

      December 25, 2011 at 2:38 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      THAT WAS INCREDIBLY STUPID.

      ANYTHING OF IMPORTANCE OR RELEVANCE TO ADD TO YOUR NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING MASTERPIECE ABOVE OR ARE YOU JUST GOING TO STICK WITH YOUR PEACE-LOVING IMAGE?

      BY THE WAY, I KNOW THIS MIGHT BE NEWS, BUT YOU AREN'T THE FIRST PINK JELLY DONG TO POINT OUT THAT THE CAPS LOCK IS ON.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:40 am |
    • Hypocrite Hunter

      Whoa princess, dont get all butthurt. Maybe you should take the caps lock off, its a pretty simple thing to do, then again you seem to lack any notable form of intellect. You are the best kind of person to troll. A simpleton who thinks they are intelligent, it always makes for a good laugh. MERRY CHRISTMAS

      December 25, 2011 at 2:45 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      I'LL TELL YOU WHAT'S REALLY FUNNY. A TROLL THINKING THAT IT'S TROLLING A TROLL, NOT REALIZING IT'S MAKING A COMPLETE ASS OF ITSELF BY ATTEMPTING TO INTELLECTUALLY OUTWIT THE FIRST. WRAP YOUR FURRY LITTLE WANG AROUND THAT ONE FOR A LITTLE WHILE AND GET BACK TO REALITY WHEN YOU FIGURE IT OUT.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:52 am |
  8. One God

    If Jesus never celebrated his own birthday, why should we?

    December 25, 2011 at 2:28 am |
  9. One God

    Only one God.

    December 25, 2011 at 2:26 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      ZEUS

      December 25, 2011 at 2:28 am |
    • Reply

      ALLAH.

      Jesus and Mohammed as messengers.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      NO. ALLAH SUCKS.

      ZEUS IS FAR MORE BADASS

      December 25, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • Reply

      ALLAH is my Lord.
      Jesus was good, do not say he is "badass."
      Jesus is a chosen messenger (peace be upon him).

      December 25, 2011 at 2:36 am |
    • Daleri Rileda

      Only our Maker is able to be our Savior because there is no one else who can be.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:40 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      I'M TELLING YOU, ZEUS IS MORE BELIEVABLE. YOU CAN'T EVEN DRAW A PICTURE OF ALLAH FOR CHRIST'S SAKE.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:53 am |
  10. Marie

    Happy HumanLight! Celebrating Reason (& Science), Compassion (& Love), and Hope (& Joy).

    December 25, 2011 at 2:24 am |
  11. THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

    I'M GOING TO APPLY FOR A JOB WITH CNN SO I CAN WRITE DELICIOUS RELIGIOUS ARTICLES FOR ALL TO ENJOY

    December 25, 2011 at 2:22 am |
  12. edmundburkeson

    Brace yourself ... but Mohammed was converted to Christianity, but never discipled in the Christian faith. His religious zeal led him to continue his spiritual quest. So it is not so unusual that Jesus and Mary were included in his writings.

    December 25, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • aceblazin

      You don't even know your own religion. And you're here telling me this. Spreading hate does not help. You don't see us spreading hate against our messenger Jesus.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:25 am |
    • aceblazin

      lol. What are you saying? Converted in Christian faith? Wow, that's the first I've heard.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:27 am |
  13. aceblazin

    Jesus (peace be upon him) never celebrated Christmas or brought a Christmas tree. That was all a pagan ideology that over time Christians have made up. However as a Muslim, I do believe in the teachings of Jesus (peace be upon him) as a mighty Messenger of God. A message to the Lost Sheeps of Isreal.

    December 25, 2011 at 2:16 am |
    • Eli

      Jesus never celebrated his own birthday? I'm sure you have extensive evidence to back this claim up.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • aceblazin

      What evidence do you have that in fact Jesus DID celebrate his own birthday?

      December 25, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • Eli

      I don't. But I'm not the one making claims about what he did or did not celebrate. You are. Thus you must provide the evidence, which I'm sure you'll do right away.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • Raed Oweisi

      I agree, there is no evidence that Jesus ever celebrated his own birthday, his own followers did not either.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • Dave

      First of all December 25th is the Pegan holiday of Yule. This is an historical FACT. Second, the decorating of trees, exchanging of gifts, lighting of candles... all of it are direct translation of that holiday. Christ- Mass was a Catholic creation, and the incorporation of pegan traditions was a way to convert them to Christianity. Jesus was a devout Jew, and teacher. Self indulgence his teaching dicouraged... it seems unlikely that he would have celebrated his own birthday.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:46 am |
  14. disgustedNY

    CNN can't go one day without writing something about muslims or mexicans, flark you CNN

    December 25, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      MEXICANISM IS A RELIGION TOO

      December 25, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • Raed Oweisi

      It is ok, just because they are trying to show the truth doesn't mean you need to get frustrated about it. You should be happy because many people fear what they do not know.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:25 am |
  15. Israeli

    I live in Israel and Christmas is NOT celebrated here anywhere, and not even mentioned. No Christmas decorations. Only few Christians shops display Christmas decorations by their own risk, otherwise it's any regular month and day in Israel. Hanukkah is very minor holiday here... the reason why it's big in USA is to they compete with Christmas.

    December 25, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • Dee

      yes and in the US it gets more and more annoying every year the attempts to make chanukah into Christmas. Please, stop trying to be inclusive. Some inclusion we don't need.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • Raed Oweisi

      I am from Palestine and Muslims, Jews, and Christians used to be neighbors, until Isreali soilders started taking our land and opressing us. I wonder what they will say on the Day of Judgement for killing innocent people in the Holy Land.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • Hanukkah not celebrated?

      You don't celebrate Chanukkah but the rest of the country in Israel does...Oil is sold vastly!...also, Chanukkah candles! abound the stores, Supermarkets and Suffganiot (special doughnuts! ) sold in every corner! and Chanukkia (menorah with 8 candles) are lighten in every town.
      Children are off from school the whole 8 days of Chanukka celebration and chidlren get GOLD COINS MADE FROM CHOCOLATE sold at all mayor Supermarkets and kiosks and candy stores!..
      We eat fried food and latkes (fried grated potatoes ).

      Like I say: you are the only one that doesn't celebrate Chanukkah in Israel...you are deprived by your own self

      Also, children learn in school the story of Yehuda ha Mackabbe, the Makabees and the defeat of the Greeks and Anteojous.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:26 am |
    • THE BIBLE IS GARBAGE

      RAED, YOU SPELLED IRAN WRONG. YOU ARE FROM IRAN.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:31 am |
  16. Fizzylift

    More people should worship Harry Potter or Luke Skywalker. They are more relevant than Jesus. Even Elvis trumps Jesus today as an important figure. Who cares what the Muslims think of Jesus. They keep their women in bags and kill them when they try to escape. The Buddhists are just being nice because they were spot on way before Jesus came about and have no need for the nonsense that was attributed to this fictional character. It's time the world gave up on Jesus just like we did on Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. It's Bronze age drivel and the cause of more war crimes than Nazi Germany. Thanks Catholic Church. By the way, have a merry christmas everyone.

    December 25, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • Eli

      Bronze Age...? Might wanna check your history there, friend. You're several thousand years off.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:16 am |
    • Fizzylift

      Bronze age is when all of this came about. It's been plagiarized from Vedic, Egyptian and many other sources. The wisdom of the Greeks doesn't even enter into the bible. The most ignorant person you know understand so much more than anyone who wrote the New Testament.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:30 am |
  17. James

    A big group of Jews celebrate Christmas eve by throwing a party in LA called schmooz-a-palooza hosted by JDate which is a large Jewish singles group.

    December 25, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  18. NY Jew

    Jews killed Jesus Christ.... we have to admitt it

    December 25, 2011 at 2:13 am |
    • Eli

      He was sentenced to death by a Roman judge in a Roman court and killed by a Roman punishment. And he was a Jew.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • Fizzylift

      The Jews killed Jesus? And all this time I was raising my glass to the Romans.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:16 am |
    • Dee

      that's the most intelligent contribution you have to make to this discussion?

      December 25, 2011 at 2:19 am |
    • Daleri Rileda

      We are all guilty of not telling the truth so we all are guilty of killing Yeshua.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • 1776FreedomofSpeech

      God allowed Jesus to be killed to redeem the human race. Jews of the time were merely instruments. Christians do not hate Jews. Jews are our brothers in faith to the one true God. Jesus is part of God. The Jews did what they were destined to do. The redemption and life everlasting for all good people is to accept the Son of God and allow the Holy God to bless you and your llife through the acceptance of Jesus. Peace to all today.

      December 25, 2011 at 3:08 am |
  19. Raed Oweisi

    If you believe Jesus is God,
    If you believe Jesus was killed,
    Then Jesus "God" could not save himself,
    and he can not save you either.

    Jesus is not God.

    December 25, 2011 at 2:12 am |
    • Eli

      Christians view Jesus as having sacrificed himself to redeem humanity–that he knew he was going to die (ie the Judas thing) and went on with it anyway. It's the entire basis for their religion, in fact. He didn't try to save himself.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • Fizzylift

      It will give you a serious headache if you try to apply logic and reason to this tale. It's best taken as a period piece and viewed for the cinematic achievements rather than spotting the plot holes.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • 1776FreedomofSpeech

      He is

      December 25, 2011 at 3:09 am |
  20. Marc Daniels

    In our troubled times, holidays are symbols of hope. According to the Kabbalah, a holiday, is a very special event in which the Creator's cathartic forces drops down, envelops, and pulls our spirits upward, if only for a short time in order to give us a sensation of the "corrected" world to come. Afterwards, we are gently let down. With this wondrous memory, we are left with the desire for weeding out hatred and sowing the seeds of peace, love, and respect with humankind through our own positive, constructive actions. In other words, a holiday, is a call to action to tap our respective religious and spiritual roots back to the source. Although we may be following different paths along the way, all of us should be waiving and winking at each other as we progress. As a deeply spiritual American Jew, I wish all of my Christian brothers and sisters the deepest and most fulfilling Christmas holiday, the world has ever experienced.

    December 25, 2011 at 2:12 am |
    • Heather

      Thanks, Marc. That's what it's all about. Wishing you the best Channukah and New Year 🙂

      December 25, 2011 at 2:30 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.