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By Bible Speaks
Christ and The Early Christians Refused to Celebrate Christmas 🎄 – Did You Know That?
A fun, quirky perk about owning a Tesla is that you can always look forward to a new Easter Egg.
In the past, Tesla owners have been able to turn the car shown on their infotainment screen into the the submersible Lotus Esprit S1 from the James Bond movie, "The Spy Who Loved Me." They've also been able to virtually drive down "Mario Kart's" rainbow road.
Now, Model X owners can trigger a Christmas light show by holding the "T" button on their infotainment screen and entering the code "holiday." Doing so will prompt the Falcon Wing doors to swing open and a light show set to the tune of "Wizards in Winter" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra will begin:
A Jehovah's Witness was attacked by her husband who feared she was going to cancel Christmas, a court has heard.
Jason Mortimore struck his wife Rachael in the face three times with a magazine before burning her Bible and other religious documents in a garden incinerator.
Mortimore, 46, admitted racially aggravated assault and criminal damage at Exeter magistrates court yesterday (TUES). He was fined a total of £666 but the court did not impose a restraining order on him.
The court heard that the couple had been married for 12 years and have three children.
In November Mortimore saw that his wife, who "has returned to her faith of Jehovah Witness", had thrown away some Christmas brochures and he assumed she was not going to celebrate the festivities.
Before she could explain he hit her with a magazine around the face, prosecutor Warjinder Sadeghi said.
A few days later they had a row and she woke up to find him burning her Bible and other religious documents in a garden incinerator.
Mortimore also dumped other religious leaflets in their recycling bin.
He denied the offences in police interview but said their relationship was under strain and he did not want their children to be influenced by her religion.
Peter Seigne, defending, said his client had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
By Jack Ryan
Governments who support “religious freedom” over the equal human rights and dignity of others condone, and even endorse discrimination.
Tim Rymel, M.Ed., Contributor Author | Educator | Dad
In April, Russia’s Supreme Court labeled Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist religious group. “It effectively means that holding their beliefs and manifesting them is tantamount to a criminal act in Russia. They risk new levels of persecution by the Russian authorities,” said international legal counsel, Lorcan Price.
In America, most of us think of Jehovah’s Witnesses as that occasional Saturday nuisance. They interrupt our morning breakfast or afternoon chores to tell us their version of the Christian faith. They cheerfully drag their families along for quiet strolls through the neighborhoods, and pass out Watchtower Magazines for us to throw away later.
Annoying? Yes. Disruptive? Usually. But extremist? That depends.
Growing up in the Pentecostal faith, I was taught that Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Catholics were not Christians. Anyone who converted to those, or other non-mainstream Christian sects, was deceived by the devil. Though we didn’t use the word “extremist” to define those religions, we certainly saw them as a threat to the true people of God who were susceptible to “false teachings.”
Religion, to paraphrase Merriam-Webster, is generally a belief in the supernatural with a commitment to keep up the attitudes and practices surrounding that belief. In other words, religion is more than just a belief it is an action. For some, that means attending church on Sundays. For others, it means killing people for believing the wrong things, or believing in the wrong way.
The BBC noted that Al Qaeda’s purpose is to avenge “wrongs committed by Christians against Muslims.” The organization wants to implement a “single Islamic political leadership,” and drive away non-Muslims from areas it deems belong to the nation of Islam.
ISIS, on the other hand, is a group of Scriptural fundamentalists who believe all other Muslims are apostates. William McCants, director of the Project on US Relations With the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution, says that ISIS wants “to restore the early Islamic empire called the caliphate and eventually take over the whole world.”
Most of us can agree that Al Qaeda and ISIS are extremist groups. After all, they plan and implement terrorist attacks. They kill people, sometimes brutally. But is violence the only indicator of religious extremism?
It could certainly be argued that when a religion becomes violent it becomes extremist. But even Christianity, in it’s many definitions, has a sorted history, which is seldom talked about and often dismissed. From the Spanish inquisition to the convert-or-die tactics used on Native American Indians, Christianity has been used to commit horrific acts of violence throughout the centuries. Judaism, from which Christianity arose, recorded shocking details in the Torah of the slaughter of entire populations, including women, children, and animals.
Any religion, which purports to, alone, have all truth, and to, alone, have a direct line of communication to God, has a propensity toward extremist ideology. As University of Notre Dame Professor, Gary Gutting, points out:
Any religion that denies the value and humanity of others is an extremist religion. Whether those actions lead to direct harm, or simply reduce protections through legislation, extremist ideology seeks to create one class that is believed to be more valued than another.
The grandstanding that fundamentalist Christians have done since marriage equality passed in 2015 has created a growing, and disturbing trend toward extremist Christianity.
The Oath Keepers, a vigilante Christian group, vowed to protect Kentucky County Clerk, Kim Davis, when she refused issuing a marriage license to a gay couple. They stated the judge in Davis’ case “needs to be put on notice that his behavior is not going to be accepted and we’ll be there to stop it and intercede ourselves if we have to.” And then, in an ironic twist to the story, the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, of “God hates fags” fame, picketed Kim Davis because of her multiple divorces and remarriages.
Since then, dozens of “religious freedom” bills have been introduced across the country with the sole purpose of reducing or eliminating protections for the LGBT community in housing, employment, benefits, and even where they can go to the bathroom.
The problem, of course, is that “religious freedom” is based on nothing more than a belief. Governments who support “religious freedom” over the equal human rights and dignity of others condone, and even endorse discrimination. In any such environment religious extremism is the outcome, threatening the very existence of democracy.
By The Librarian
“What Is Truth?”
THAT question was cynically posed to Jesus by the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate. He was not interested in an answer, and Jesus did not give him one. Perhaps Pilate viewed truth as too elusive to grasp.
Pilate indifferently rejected the opportunity to learn such truth. What about you?
Learn more about Jesus Christ:
By Bible Speaks
25 "Therefore, now that you have put away deceit, each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, because we are members belonging to one another." (Eph.4:25) NWT
Don't let your ears witness what your eyes didn't see. Don't let your mouth speak what your heart doesn't feel. Live a honest life for Jehovah!
Bavarians fire guns at demons on top of Berchtesgaden's mountain as part of an age old Christmas tradition. The ancient practice of shooting away demons falls on the shortest day of the year.
Prince reportedly once said he wanted President Obama to outlaw birthdays and Christmas.
“Why doesn’t Obama just outlaw birthdays?” the “Purple Rain” singer once asked Van Jones, the CNN political commentator reveals in a story published Thursday in GQ magazine.
The “Purple Rain” singer, who died in April at age 57 from an accidental drug overdose, was baptized as a Jehovah’s Witness in 2003. Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate birthdays because they “believe that such celebrations displease God” and because Christmas has pagan roots, according to the Church’s official website.
“Although we choose not to celebrate Christmas ourselves, we respect each person’s right to decide for himself in this matter. We do not interfere in the Christmas celebrations of others,” the website states.
Jones said Prince told him, “I was hoping that Obama as soon as he was elected, would get up and announce there’d be no more Christmas presents and no more birthdays — we’ve got too much to do.
Jones, who indicated he was laughing during the conversation with the music superstar, replied, “I don’t know if that would go over too well.”
By Bible Speaks
15O Jehovah, who may
be a guest in your tent?
Who may reside in your holy mountain?
2 The one who is walking faultlessly,
Practicing what is right
And speaking the truth in his heart."
(Psalm 15:1,2) Do not let your mouth say what your heart doesn't feel.
By Bible Speaks
What Does the Bible Say About Christmas? ???????
The Bible’s answer
The Bible does not give the date of Jesus’ birth, nor does it say that we should celebrate his birthday. As McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia states: “The observance of Christmas is not of divine appointment, nor is it of NT [New Testament] origin.” Instead, an examination of the history of Christmas exposes its roots in pagan religious rites. The Bible shows that we offend God if we try to worship him in a way that he does not approve of.—Exodus 32:5-7. History of Christmas customs
Celebrating Jesus’ birthday: “The early Christians did not celebrate [Jesus’] birth because they considered the celebration of anyone’s birth to be a pagan custom.”—The World Book Encyclopedia.
•December 25: There is no proof that Jesus was born on that date. Church leaders likely chose this date to coincide with pagan festivals held on or around the winter solstice.
•Gift-giving, feasting, partying: The Encyclopedia Americana says: “Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.” The Encyclopædia Britannica notes that “all work and business were suspended” during Saturnalia.
•Christmas lights: According to The Encyclopedia of Religion, Europeans decorated their homes “with lights and evergreens of all kinds” to celebrate the winter solstice and to combat evil spirits.
•Mistletoe, holly: “The Druids ascribed magical properties to the mistletoe in particular. The evergreen holly was worshiped as a promise of the sun’s return.”—The Encyclopedia Americana.
•Christmas tree: “Tree worship, common among the pagan Europeans, survived after their conversion to Christianity.” One of the ways in which tree worship survived is in the custom of “placing a Yule tree at an entrance or inside the house in the midwinter holidays.”—Encyclopædia Britannica. https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/bible-about-christmas/
By Bible Speaks
“Send out your light and your truth. May these themselves lead me.” Psalm 43:3. JEHOVAH is very considerate in the way he makes his purposes known to his servants. Instead of revealing the truth all at once in one blinding flash of light, he enlightens us progressively. Our trek along life’s pathway might be compared to a walk that a hiker takes down a long trail. He starts out early in the morning and sees little. As the sun begins to rise slowly over the horizon, the hiker is able to distinguish a few features of his surroundings. The rest he sees in hazy outline. But as the sun continues its ascent, he can see farther and farther into the distance. So it is with the spiritual light that God provides. He allows us to discern a few things at a time. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, provided spiritual enlightenment in a similar manner. Let us learn how Jehovah enlightened his people in ancient times and how he does so today.
By Jon Steingart
Nov. 15 — Murphy Oil USA Inc. violated federal religious discrimination law when it fired a Jehovah’s Witness who refused to comply with a district manager’s command to wish customers a merry Christmas, a new lawsuit in Tennessee alleges ( Appleyard v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc. , W.D. Tenn., No. 1:16-cv-01290, complaint filed 11/10/16 ).
Many employers deal with religious diversity in their workforce and customer base. About 71 percent of the U.S. population identify as belonging to some form of Christianity, with the rest being of another religion or unaffiliated, government data show.
Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Christmas, plaintiff Richard Appleyard said in the complaint. Their faith also prohibits them from wishing others a merry Christmas.
“Civil rights laws require employers to provide religious accommodations for the religious practices of their workers and that includes accommodating religious objections to performing job duties,” Daniel Mach, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, told Bloomberg BNA Nov. 15.
Manager Belittled Worker’s Religion
A Murphy Oil district manager made disparaging remarks about Appleyard’s faith before the Christmas season, according to the complaint, filed Nov. 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Appleyard said the company’s stated reason that it fired him from his position as a gas station cashier because his register was short was a pretext for religious discrimination.
Murphy Oil USA Inc. is a subsidiary of Murphy USA Inc. that operates gasoline stations. In 2013, Murphy USA was spun off from parent company Murphy Oil Corp., which is an oil and gas exploration and production company.
‘A Lot of Different Options.’
Accommodations may come in different forms, the head of another religious freedom organization told Bloomberg BNA. An employee who can’t perform a job duty because of a religious objection may be able to direct customers to a colleague, Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said Nov. 15. Liberty Counsel says it’s a Christian ministry whose purpose is to preserve religious liberty.
Asked whether there could be situations when sending customers to a co-worker might not be an feasible accommodation, Staver said it would only be a problem “if you only have one single source of information communicating to the public, maybe a single receptionist.” He added, “Even then it would seem as though a reasonable accommodation would be to allow the person to say season’s greetings.”
“It seems like there’s a lot of different options,” Staver said.
Michael Weinman of the Weinman Thomas Law Firm in Jackson, Tenn., who represented Appleyard, didn’t immediately respond to a Nov. 15 request for comment.
An attorney hasn’t entered an appearance for Murphy Oil USA. Parent company Murphy USA didn’t immediately respond to a Nov. 15 request for comment.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Steingart in Washington email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino firstname.lastname@example.org; Terence Hyland at email@example.com
For More Information
The complaint is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Appleyard_et_al_v_Murphy_Oil_USA_Inc_Docket_No_116cv01290_WD_Tenn.
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