My wife said something interesting to me yesterday. She said usually when you are out and about and you say “Merry Christmas” first to someone they respond naturally back, “Merry Christmas.” She said sometimes (like at a persons work place) they may be use-to-saying “Happy Holidays,” but even they, if you break the ice first with “Merry Christmas” respond in kind. Sant [my wife] mentioned that only one person this season went out of their way to stop, and purposely say “Happy Holidays.” [We watched the first and the last videos in my post dealing with the issue]
Now… Christmas is a real Federal holiday. And I noted with the wife that February has the most official holidays out of any month — the disingenuous of people who do not say “Happy Holidays” during this month but do during Christmas is telling.
It is a form a Christophobia – a fear of anything related to Christianity/Christ, A bias against one “particular” religious expression. A word like the one I used in one of my first “conversation series” posts on my old blog (November of 2006): “theophobia” – a fear of “the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe”.
If I personally run into the person who insists on “Happy Holidays” it should be mentioned that it means “Happy Holy Day.” And it is worth mentioning that they are still referring to a set of HOLY DAYS… here NATIONAL REVIEW discusses the matter well:
…A few people who avoid saying “Merry Christmas” may do so out of scruples passed down to them from John Knox, but these days that’s rare. More common, sad to say, is the fear that public acknowledgment of a holy day peculiar to a particular religion will be interpreted as a dog whistle to imaginary theocrats plotting to overturn the establishment clause of the First Amendment. Some people outright hate the particular religion and therefore any proper nouns that are sacred to it; although the separate elements of “Christ-mas” are muddled when glued together in that composite, they’re still discernible, and those who loathe the faith tend to be rigorous, no less than those who hold to the narrower doctrine of strict religious neutrality.
Recall that devout Jews kept a respectful distance from the Holy of Holies and that Gentiles respectful of Judaism kept a respectful distance from the Temple’s inner courts. Devout Jews to this day preserve the Tetragrammaton from contact with hand or mouth — and hence their references to “Adonai” (Lord), a hedge against the Ineffable, and “HaShem” (the Name), a hedge against the hedge. Recall also that the first of the seven petitions that Jesus formulated in the prayer that he taught his disciples, including us, is that the name of “our Father” be “hallowed.” Christians translate the Tetragrammaton as “Kyrios” (Greek), “Dominus” (Latin), “Lord” (English, with small caps in the King James Version), and the equivalents in other languages.
“Throw not your pearls before swine,” the Lord teaches, meaning, among other things, “Be grateful wherever the character string ‘C h r i s t — ’ isn’t flashing next to underwear ads on Jumobtrons in Times Square.” Then redouble your gratitude if the word “holidays” enables us to smuggle into secular consumer culture a hint of anything like the transcendent. Most people now think of holidays as primarily days on which they don’t have to work, but even that much takes us halfway to the principle of the Sabbath, the very prototype of the holiday, or holy day.
Next, be grateful for the plural in “Happy holidays,” because people need to be reminded, or informed, that Christmas is a whole season, of which the Feast of the Nativity is not the end but the beginning. It extends to the Octave, on January 1, when traditional Catholics still observe the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, but it doesn’t stop even there. On the twelfth day of Christmas, Christians observe the Feast of the Epiphany, when the Magi finally reach Bethlehem and present their gifts, a bit of metal and a couple of jars of stems and leaves — you think that’s not enough? It’s holy. It’s enough…
The date rape controversy surrounding the song kicked into high gear earlier this month when a Cleveland radio station banned the Christmas classic after listeners complained it allegedly promotes date rape and that it sent the wrong message in the #MeToo era. The song’s creator, Frank Loesser, intended it as a flirtatious song between a man and a woman on a cold winter’s night, not date rape. Nothing better illustrates this than the part in the song where the woman sings “Baby, it’s cold outside” in unison with her male partner, signifying that the two were always in sync. Frank Loesser’s daughter recently asserted this was the case, but none of that has assuaged the SJW mob from branding the song forever as a date rape anthem. (DAILY WIRE)
The DAILY CALLER discusses another great reversal of Obama Era regulations meant to choose winners and losers:
…..Wind turbines kill hundreds of thousands of birds every year, and thermal solar plants in California have scorched hundreds more. These killings are unintentional, and represent a small percentage of accidental bird kills overall.
But while wind turbines and solar arrays killed migratory birds, the Obama administration exempted them from prosecution for years.
The Obama administration prosecuted more than 200 cases from 2009 to April 2013 involving the taking of protected birds and eagles, but never brought wind turbines to task, the Associated Press found.
Obama officials, however, did fine oil and gas companies for unintentionally killing birds. For example, ExxonMobil pleaded guilty in a 2009 federal court case to charges of killing 85 federally protected birds and agreed to pay $600,000 in fines and fees.
PacifiCorp was fined in 2009 for killing birds and paid $1.4 million in fines and restitution for the killing of 232 eagles in Wyoming that were electrocuted by power lines.
In fact the Obama administration didn’t prosecute wind power producers until Nov. 2013 for bird deaths at wind farms when they ordered a subsidiary of Duke Energy pay $1 million in fines….
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Friday that President Trump is “systematically” removing hundreds of regulations put in place by the Obama administration.
“The president has already knocked out some 860 rules and regulations from the Obama administration, and every day we’re finding more and more to do. Remember, Obama put in something like 7,000 new rules and regulations just in the last two years he was in office,” Mr. Ross said on Fox Business.
When asked what types of regulations Mr. Trump was removing — whether oil and gas, environmental or banking — the secretary responded, “All of the above.”
“You would think the American public was a wild and woolly place two years earlier to require 7,000 new rules. But the president is systematically removing them, changing them, getting rid of them. And I think we’ll beat his formula of two reductions for one increase,” he said….
The article from Kimberley Strassel that Prager was reading from in the second half of the audio above is locked behind the WALL STREET JOURNAL’S pay wall, but here is the entire article (via INVESTOR VILLAGE) from which I excerpt from:
Scalias All The Way Down — While The Press Goes Wild Over Tweets, Trump Is Remaking The Federal Judiciary
Ask most Republicans to identify Donald Trump’s biggest triumph to date, and the answer comes quick: Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. That’s the cramped view.
The media remains so caught up with the president’s tweets that it has missed Mr. Trump’s project to transform the rest of the federal judiciary. The president is stocking the courts with a class of brilliant young textualists bearing little relation to even their Reagan or Bush predecessors. Mr. Trump’s nastygrams to Bob Corker will be a distant memory next week. Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett’s influence on the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could still be going strong 40 years from now.
Mr. Trump has now nominated nearly 60 judges, filling more vacancies than Barack Obama did in his entire first year. There are another 160 court openings, allowing Mr. Trump to flip or further consolidate conservative majorities on the circuit courts that have the final say on 99% of federal legal disputes.
This project is the work of Mr. Trump, White House Counsel Don McGahn and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Every new president cares about the judiciary, but no administration in memory has approached appointments with more purpose than this team.
Mr. Trump makes the decisions, though he’s taking cues from Mr. McGahn and his team. The Bushies preferred a committee approach: Dozens of advisers hunted for the least controversial nominee with the smallest paper trail. That helped get picks past a Senate filibuster, but it led to bland choices, or to ideological surprises like retired Justice David Souter.
Harry Reid’s 2013 decision to blow up the filibuster for judicial nominees has freed the Trump White House from having to worry about a Democratic veto during confirmation. Mr. McGahn’s team (loaded with former Clarence Thomas clerks) has carte blanche to work with outside groups like the Federalist Society to tap the most conservative judges.
Mr. McGahn has long been obsessed with constitutional law and the risks of an all-powerful administrative state. His crew isn’t subjecting candidates to 1980s-style litmus tests on issues like abortion. Instead the focus is on promoting jurists who understand the unique challenges of our big-government times. Can the prospective nominee read a statute? Does he or she defer to the government’s view of its own authority? The result has been a band of young rock stars and Scalia-style textualists like Ms. Barrett, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett and Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice David Stras.
Senate Republicans have so far blown their major agenda items, but they’ve remained unified on judges. They agreed to kill the Senate filibuster for Supreme Court nominees so as to confirm Justice Gorsuch; have confirmed six other judicial nominees; and stand ready to greenlight dozens more. This is a big shift from divisions the party had over the Bush 41 and Bush 43 nominees…..
Trump is also doing some culture battle stuff in regard to Christmas:
CNN notes the speech by Trump in this battle of ideas:
Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump dove into America’s culture wars on Friday, touting his administration for “returning moral clarity to our view of the world” and ending “attacks on Judeo-Christian values.”
Trump, nine months into his presidency, has found it harder to get things done than the ease with which he made promises on the campaign trail, making speeches to adoring audiences like Friday’s in Washington key to boosting the President’s morale. And the audience at the Values Voter Summit, an annual socially conservative conference, didn’t fail to deliver.
“We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values,” Trump said to applause, before slamming people who don’t say “Merry Christmas.”
“They don’t use the word Christmas because it is not politically correct,” Trump said, complaining that department stores will use red and Christmas decorations but say “Happy New Year.” “We’re saying Merry Christmas again.”
The comment drew thunderous applause.
Heated debates over the “War On Christmas” have raged for years, with many on the right complaining that political correctness has made it less acceptable to say Merry Christmas. Trump has seized on these feelings, regularly telling primarily religious audiences that his presidency has made it acceptable to “start saying Merry Christmas again.”…..
I consider Osama bin Laden as one of the people that I admire. To me, he is in the category of Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Patrice Lumumba, Fidel Castro, all leaders that I admire,” said activist Yuri Kochiyama in 2003.
Kochiyama has just been given the honor of having her 95th birthday celebrated with a colorful Google Doodle that attempts to paint her as a great advocate for equality on par with Martin Luther King Jr.
If the above quote alone wasn’t enough to disqualify her from the list of many other Americans who deserve a Google Doodle in their honor, Kochiyama also “admired Mao; supported the black separatist movement; demanded the release of four Puerto Rican nationalists who opened fire in the House of Representatives in a terror attack; worked on behalf of cop killers Mumia Abu-Jamal and Assata Shakur,” according to Jim Lakely ofHeartland.
Lakely did not have to look very far (nor did TruthRevolt) to discover all this troubling information on Kochiyama, because a mere click on the Google Doodle itself leads to the Wikipedia page that lays it out alongside her work as a “human rights” activists, the same place where her opinions of Osama bin Laden after 9/11 were labeled merely “controversial.”
At a time when Facebook is being exposed for its suppression of conservative users and ideas on the social media platform, it’s great to see that there’s no leftist bias at Google as well.
Kochiyama also converted to Islam later in life….
You know who else admires Mao? Rachel Maddow… but that is neither here-nor-there, as, those that watch her on MSNBC do not grasp reality anyway. I make this point of “reality in a conversation with a commentator on one of my recent uploads to my YouTube Channel about the Left. Here is the opening comment followed by my response:
Tim said: I have been following the debate and, as a European, I have to say it sends shivers down my spine. If the state can decide what ever it wants, it will…
I respond: …And, if people believe the “States” new definitions/reality (like government can control weather or legislation does away with nature’s “male/female” distinctions), they are [or can be] convinced of anything… violence being the lesser of the reality we experience. “Lesser” in that natural law (whether you think the gender distinction is God given or millions of years of the struggle of species through evolution) is more a law that CANNOT be changed… but is. People who are convinced that they can change THIS are easily convinced [in my opinion] of violent ends to their conviction. This is natural to man’s nature… and so these people scare me. And we have seen this happen in the past — either people convinced to do violence or people convinced to ignore it for the greater purpose.
Sorry for the rant, you got me thinking.
Tim finishes: Never apologize for thinking! Ever :) I live in Belgium which is a social democraty with a mighty state, cruddy economy and backwards infrastructure. Needless to inform you about the terrible state my country is in… I Always considered the USA as a beacon of light, good idea, success and individualism. I share your opinion….
These people and support for radicalism in all walks of life scare me. Not in my soul… I am saved and a child of God, but scares me for the future of our country which has been a blessing for soo many. Here are PolitiChicks input on this Yuri Kochiyama flap:
My default search engine is Google and I use it quite often. I am aware of the Google higher ups and their political leanings and I disagree with them but I’m not usually a boycott person. Honestly, if I boycott everything I disagree with then I will live in a closet with nothing to eat or look at for the rest of my life.
Recently, however, the Google Doodle kept flashing at me every time I opened the browser. Eventually I clicked on the dumb thing, though I rarely do…
…Clicking on the image I see this at the very top of the page:
“Yuri Kochiyama (河内山 百合 Kōchiyama Yuri, May 19, 1921 – June 1, 2014) was a Japanese American human rights activist. She is notable as one of the few prominent non-black black separatists. Influenced by Marxism, Maoism, and the thoughts of Malcolm X, she was an advocate for many revolutionary movements.”
“Influenced by Marxism, Maoism and the thoughts of Malcom X…” Interesting that Google would choose to put a Doodle up celebrating someone who admired murderers and thugs.
I don’t care if she was advocating for “equality,” the fact is, if you are influenced by communist dictators your idea of “equality” is obviously not the kind of equality Webster’s Dictionary defines….
…[Google’s] short summary substantially whitewashes Kochiyama’s career, though. Besides campaigning for reparations to interned Japanese-Americans (which were granted in 1988), Kochiyama’s career included frequent support for Communist revolution, black separatism, and anti-American terrorism.
A convert to Islam, after 9/11 Kochiyama was deeply critical of the U.S. war on terrorism and offered strong praise for Osama bin Laden. In a 2003 interview, she described bin Laden as a leader she admired, alongside Fidel Castro, Malcolm X, and Che Guevara.
“I thank Islam for bin Laden,” she said. “America’s greed, aggressiveness, and self-righteous arrogance must be stopped.” She argued that America’s goal in the war on terrorism was “taking over the world.”
Bin Laden wasn’t the only violent terrorist Kochiyama had sympathy for. She also declared she “completely support[ed]” the Shining Path in Peru, a violent Maoist insurgency implicated in numerous terrorist actions and atrocities. She participated in an occupation of the Statue of Liberty in 1977 that called for the release of four Puerto Rican terrorists who shot up the House of Representatives in the 1950s. She also solicited support for figures like Yu Kikumura, a member of the Japanese Red Army who was convicted in 1988 of planning to bomb a U.S. Navy recruitment office, and Mumia Abu-Jamal, a Black Panther who was convicted of murdering a Philadelphia policeman in 1981.
Besides her sympathy for armed revolutionaries and terrorists, Kochiyama also advocated black separatism, an ideology that seeks the creation of a separate black homeland in the United States. Towards that end, she was one of the few non-black individuals to join the Republic of New Afrika, a seditious group that claimed dominion over five states in the American South.
Needless to say I stopped using Google for most of my searches years ago. I support Bing with as much bandwidth as I can. Here are some previous posts I have on the issue… “enjoy”
E A S T E R
First I want to note the “Easter Example” of choices between Bing and Google. Google first followed by Bing:
Here is the posted “doodle” [art] on Easter by Google:
Now, here is Bing’s Easter display:
This erupted into a an issue on the WWW… here are a few examples:
…The timing is oddly appropriate; as Dennis Prager has written, “You cannot understand the Left if you do not understand that leftism is a religion,” and one with its own sources of mythology. Back in 2006 at Tech Central Station, Lee Harris described French Marxist Georges Sorel (1847-1922), and the concept of the Sorelian Myth:
Sorel, for whom religion was important, drew a comparison between the Christian and the socialist revolutionary. The Christian’s life is transformed because he accepts the myth that Christ will one day return and usher in the end of time; the revolutionary socialist’s life is transformed because he accepts the myth that one day socialism will triumph, and justice for all will prevail. What mattered for Sorel, in both cases, is not the scientific truth or falsity of the myth believed in, but what believing in the myth does to the lives of those who have accepted it, and who refuse to be daunted by the repeated failure of their apocalyptic expectations. How many times have Christians in the last two thousand years been convinced that the Second Coming was at hand, only to be bitterly disappointed — yet none of these disappointments was ever enough to keep them from holding on to their great myth. So, too, Sorel argued, the myth of socialism will continue to have power, despite the various failures of socialist experiments, so long as there are revolutionaries who are unwilling to relinquish their great myth. That is why he rejected scientific socialism — if it was merely science, it lacked the power of a religion to change individual’s lives. Thus for Sorel there was “an…analogy between religion and the revolutionary Socialism which aims at the apprenticeship, preparation, and even the reconstruction of the individual — a gigantic task.”
…Google frequently honors important figures or dates with its popular “doodles,” but the decision to honor Chavez while many around the world were marking Easter sparked an intense reaction from some on social media. The search engine Bing decorated its homepage with Easter eggs.
Still, a search of Google’s past doodles shows they have honored Easter just once in the United States — in 2000 — and tend not to recognize specific religious holidays. While they regularly post special logos for Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Earth Day and other dates, certain doodles tend to be more esoteric….
…Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt was an informal adviser to both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns, a member of the Obama White House transition team in 2009 and a onetime prospect for an Obama Cabinet post during the president’s second term.
Wow. At any rate, Caesar Chavez does not fit the mold of the modern Left. see my post “Comedian Paul Rodriguez Strays from CNN’s Script,” for some examples of just how “xenophobic” he was.
C H R I S T M A S
I lost my Christmas graphics and post for this one… so I will merely show the graphics from a couple of years via Google, followed by an example of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day by Bing:
I wonder who these angels pictured below would be heralding?
Are you getting the picture? It is worth a thousand words.
E C O – D E A T H Memorial Day ~ Google vs. Bing
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.
Yesterday Google barely acknowledged Memorial Day, with a tiny little flag that contrasted sharply against the sea of flags on display on Bing’s homepage. But today is a holiday the Google people can get behind. It’s Rachel Carson’s birthday:
Rachel Carson was an environmental extremist best known for the book Silent Spring, a work of alarmist propaganda that led to the banning of the most beneficial substance ever created in terms of saving human lives, DDT, which was instrumental in largely ridding Western countries of malaria.
Malaria continues to be a very serious problem in Third World countries, which Western moonbats of the sort who consider Rachel Carson to be an admirable character have leaned on heavily to stop using DDT. The result has been by some estimates as many as 50 million unnecessary deaths.
Among Carson’s fellow progressive luminaries, only communist dictators Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin can top her body count…
The above (audio) and below are Dennis Prager explaining more about DDT and other issues:
Go on to Google today and you’ll see a charming illustration celebrating the life and work of environmentalist Rachel Carson. There’s a turtle and a pelican and a crab and a delightful seal in an idyllic landscape of flowers and trees and water. But what are missing from the picture, for some bizarre reason, are the dead bodies of the millions of people who died of malaria thanks to Carson’s principled campaigning against the insecticide DDT.
Will Google be paying similar tribute to any of the other mass killers of the 20th century? Hitler? Stalin? Mao? Pol Pot? Probably not. But then, none of the others have had the benefit of having their images burnished by a thousand and one starry eyed greenies. Nor, unlike Carson – as I note in The Little Green Book of Eco Fascism – do they have named after them a school, a bridge, a hiking trail, three environmental prizes and an annual “sustainable” feast day (at her birthplace in Springdale, Pennsylvania)…
…How many people died as a result of Carson’s scaremongering? We cannot be sure. But in 1965 the National Academy of Sciences estimated that over the two previous decades DDT had “prevented 500 million deaths that would otherwise have been inevitable.”
…These are the people who coerced nations worldwide into banning DDT. It is generally estimated this ban has led to the deaths of about 50 million human beings, overwhelmingly African children, from malaria. DDT kills the mosquito that spreads malaria to human beings.
US News and World Report writer Carrie Lukas reported in 2010, “Fortunately, in September 2006, the World Health Organization announced a change in policy: It now recommends DDT for indoor use to fight malaria. The organization’s Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah explained, ‘The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. IRS has proven to be just as cost effective as other malaria prevention measures and DDT presents no health risk when used properly.'”
Though Lukas blames environmentalists for tens of millions of deaths, she nevertheless describes environmentalists as “undoubtedly well-intentioned.”
I offer two assessments of this judgment.
First, in life it is almost always irrelevant whether or not an individual or a movement is well intentioned. It is difficult to name a movement that has committed great evil whose members woke up each day asking, “What evil can I commit today?” Nearly all of them think they’re well intentioned. Good intentions don’t mean a thing.
Second, while environmentalists believe they have good intentions, I do not believe their intentions are good.
Concern for the natural environment is certainly laudable and every normal person shares it. But the organized environmentalist movement — Lomborg specifically cites Greenpeace, Naomi Klein and the New York Times — is led by fanatics. The movement’s value system is morally askew. It places a pristine natural world above the well-being of human beings.
The environmentalist movement’s responsibility for the deaths of tens of millions of poor children in the Third World is the most egregious example….
Yet another spineless public school official is caving under pressure from atheist bullies. East Point Academy, a public elementary charter school in Cayce, South Carolina, has participated in a Christmas toy drive for needy children for the past several years with no complaints from students or parents. This year, an outside group is threatening to sue the school if it continues it’s Christmas charity.
Residents in a Newhall senior apartment complex are protesting an order from management to remove their beloved Christmas tree from the community room because, they were told, it’s a religious symbol.
On Tuesday, Tarzana-based JB Partners Group Inc. sent a memo to staff at The Willows senior apartment building demanding they take down Christmas trees and menorahs in communal areas.
The company has owned The Willows for four years, but this is the first time it’s given such a directive to staff.
On Wednesday, two dozen residents in the 75-resident complex gathered in the lobby to place a neon green sign that read: “Please Save Our Tree.” “We’re all angry. We want that tree,” said Fern Scheel, who has lived at the complex for nearly two years. “Where’s our freedom? This is ridiculous.”
The Willows staff and JB Property supervisor Wethanie Law declined to comment.
JB Partners Group owns apartments in California, Oklahoma and Colorado.
Resident Edna Johnson said Law had told her the tree had to be taken down because it’s a religious symbol.
“We could put out Easter baskets, have turkey for Thanksgiving but no tree for Christmas because it has Christ’s name in the beginning of Christmas,” Johnson said.
Frances Schaeffer, who is Jewish, said she doesn’t understand the property management company’s stance.
“This tree is a symbol of reverence that we can all enjoy regardless of our religious beliefs,” she said.
Max Greenis who has lived at the complex for a year with his wife, Bonnie, said he’s considering withholding his rent in protest of what he calls an abomination of the holiday tradition.
“I’ve got grandkids and they come here and now they’ll ask, `Grandpa, where’s the Christmas tree?’ Then I’ll have to explain that someone said we couldn’t have one. What kind of message is that sending to the kids?” Greenis asked.
After the protest – really more of a gathering over coffee and doughnuts to angrily air their concerns – some residents got so riled that they began taking the tree apart themselves. Some even took parts of the artificial tree back to their apartments in defiance.
“For some folks this is the only Christmas tree they’ll have all season,” resident Robert Troudeau said. “There are people overseas fighting for our freedoms and dying and we’re here fighting over things like this. It’s a shame.”
Today is the Feast Day of St. Nicholas. A day millions of Christian children around the world will wake up to shoes filled with small gifts and candy. In some regions, the day includes elaborate festivities of symbolic rituals to honor and celebrate the goodness and generosity of a great man born centuries ago.
Who is St. Nicholas?
The St. Nicholas Center tells his story,
The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.
Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th (December 19 on the Julian Calendar).
Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas’ life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need.
Widely celebrated in Europe, St. Nicholas’ feast day, December 6th, kept alive the stories of his goodness and generosity. In Germany and Poland, boys dressed as bishops begged alms for the poor—and sometimes for themselves! In the Netherlands and Belgium, St. Nicholas arrived on a steamship from Spain to ride a white horse on his gift-giving rounds. December 6th is still the main day for gift giving and merrymaking in much of Europe. For example, in the Netherlands St. Nicholas is celebrated on the 5th, the eve of the day, by sharing candies (thrown in the door), chocolate initial letters, small gifts, and riddles. Dutch children leave carrots and hay in their shoes for the saint’s horse, hoping St. Nicholas will exchange them for small gifts. Simple gift-giving in early Advent helps preserve a Christmas Day focus on the Christ Child.
Despite his actions against the religious symbol, Christians came together to raise funds for him and his wife to purchase groceries after he fell ill. Now, as a result of the kind gesture, Greene has reportedly announced that he has become a Christian — and that he wants to enter ministry.
It’s only been two months since the atheist was threatening to wage a legal war against the nativity scene in Henderson County. But something changed over the past 60 days. After residents found out that Greene was suffering from a serious eye condition that could lead to blindness and he was forced to retire, Christians‘ kindness transformed Greene’s worldview…
“There’s been one lingering thought in the back of my head my entire life, and it‘s one thought that I’ve never been able to reconcile, and that is the vast difference between all the animals and us,” Greene told The Christian Post on Tuesday, as he began to explain his recent transformation from atheist to Christian. The theory of evolution didn’t answer his questions, he says, so he just set those questions aside and didn’t think about them anymore.
But when the Christians in a town that had reason to be angry with him showed him a gesture of love, he began reconsidering his beliefs altogether. He eventually began to realize that evolution would never have the answer to his questions, he says, and it was at that time he began to believe in God.
“I kind of realized that the questions I [was] asking you just had to accept on faith without doubting every period and every comma,” he said. He later began studying the Bible, both the Old Testament and the Gospels, and also discovered his belief that Jesus is the Son of God.