Sunday, December 24, 2006

Around the web this Christmas

a. Poland votes to make Jesus king:

"Lawmakers have drawn up a resolution naming Jesus Christ as the honorary king of Poland, but have failed to win support from the country's powerful Roman Catholic church.
Lawmakers for the ruling Law and Justice party and League of Polish Families as well as the opposition Peasants Party back the resolution, said Szymon Ruman, spokesman for parliamentary speaker Marek Jurek."

b. Rowan Williams slams British and American policy on Iraq:

"LONDON, England (Reuters) -- The spiritual head of the Anglican Church launched an outspoken attack on the British and U.S. governments on Saturday, saying their "ignorant" policy in Iraq has put Christians in the region at risk.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, said Christians were being attacked and forced to flee the Middle East because their countrymen saw them as supporters of a "crusading West."
"This Christmas, pray for the little town of Bethlehem, and spare a thought for those who have been put at risk by our short-sightedness and ignorance," Williams wrote in an article for the London Times newspaper.
Williams, who is not shy of controversy, has long been a critic of the Iraq war, saying there was no moral basis for military intervention.He said the consequences of Anglo-American foreign policy have been the erosion of good relations between the Muslim and Christian communities and made Christians an increasing target for Muslim extremists.
"One warning often made and systematically ignored in the hectic days before the Iraq War was that Western military action ... would put Christians in the whole Middle East at risk," wrote Williams. "The results are now painfully adding to what was already a difficult situation for Christian communities across the region."

c. And Tom Wright has his two cents:

" Here is the great and tragic irony of the present Middle Eastern situation. Millions of people in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East now firmly believe that what Britain and America have been doing there is some kind of Christian crusade. It isn’t. It’s what happens when Christianity retreats into being a private religion and allows the real world to be run by smiling but cynical pragmatists. Yes, I know, people will tell us to shut up, to concentrate on saving souls and not to worry about the issues of state. But that misses the whole point of Christmas. Christmas is about God acting in the real world. It’s about people like Wilberforce – people who go out into the world and make a difference in the name of Jesus. It’s about people like you. I am praying that God will call several of you here tonight not only to trust him for yourselves, to come to know him in and through his incarnate Son, but also to put your shoulder to the wheel, to work in prayer and faith, and social and political skill, to carry forward the work of the kingdom that was launched at the first Christmas. We need you; we need you both in the ordained ministry and in the active lay work of the church; and we need to stay focussed on the task."

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