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Featured Nativity Scene Depicts Jesus, Mary, And Joseph In Cages

Discussion in 'Religious News' started by Skwim, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    .

    "A Methodist church in Claremont unveiled a Nativity scene Saturday night depicting Jesus, Mary and Joseph as refugees in cages, likening one of the most well-known images of the Christmas season to photos that have become synonymous with criticism of the Trump administration’s border separation policies.


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    The display, which has stoked debate on the Facebook page of the church's lead pastor shows classic Nativity figurines of Joseph and Mary in cages on either side of a cage containing the manger of Jesus.

    “We see this as, in some ways, the Holy Family standing in for the nameless families,” said the Rev. Karen Clark Ristine, the lead pastor at Claremont United Methodist Church. “We’ve heard of their plight; we’ve seen how these asylum seekers have been greeted and treated. We wanted the Holy Family to stand in for those nameless people because they also were refugees.”

    While the Nativity scene shows Jesus shortly after birth and is the foundation of the Christmas holiday, the Claremont depiction appears to be invoking Joseph and Mary’s flight to Egypt. Under most interpretations, the infant Jesus and his parents had to escape Jerusalem for fear King Herod would have the baby slaughtered, perceiving the child as a threat to his reign."
    source



    Thoughts?
     
    #1 Skwim, Dec 9, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
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  2. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    It sends a message and is perhaps an act of religious conscience reflecting the church's sense of it's wider responsibilities, but part of me wants to groan that even Christmas is now being turned in to an opportunity for a political partisanship.
     
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  3. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    Sometimes political partisanship is the only morally sound position to take.
     
    #3 Debater Slayer, Dec 9, 2019
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  4. wellwisher

    wellwisher Active Member

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    To set the record straight, Joseph was a carpenter, which was a good paying profession, even at that time. Mary and Joseph were not poor. The reason they had to travel was because of the census, which was the basis for estimating tax collecting. All the citizens had to register at their places of birth. This story was due to big government and big taxes.

    Joseph and Mary, were middle class ,and had the money to stay at an Inn. However, because Mary had been in late pregnancy and their travel was slow, they reached Bethlehem late, and all the hotel and motel rooms were taken. The only accommodations were inside the animal stalls, which they happily took. Shortly thereafter Mary gives birth.
     
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  5. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    I don't know, but I think it's just another deeply uneasy reminder of the surreal state the world is in. Maybe its a little sentimental, but a church is supposed to be a sanctuary from the corruption, evil and horrors of the world, if only to preserve that last hope of innocence and human decency we have left. It's the place we meditate and shut the doors on our worldly concerns and its terrors, if only for a few moments.

    Although I'm not religious, the point of religion is for people to know that they don't face those struggles and decisions alone, whether it be with their god or their community. I'm not sure such a provocative guilty trip is the best way to say what needs to be said on the issue. In my case at least, it only underlines the sense of futility, helplessness and isolation that has creeped in to my life over the past few years whilst following the drip-drip of news headlines. So it is unwelcome, even if it is needed. People have to do what they can I guess.
     
  6. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    I wish more people would groan at the despicably cruel treatment of asylum seekers, treatment characterized by cages and mass family separation.
     
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  7. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

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    I believe that this violates the spirit of separating church from state. If you're going to make political statements on church property, then you should be taxed as any other business entity.
     
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  8. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    They didn't have sufficient means to offer a lamb and a turtledove for a burnt offering at the end of Mary's days of purification as per Leviticus 12, so they offered up two turtledoves instead, according to Luke 2:21-24.
     
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  9. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    I remember the Christmas music that surfaced during the Vietnam war.
    Vietnam War - Christmas Songs - YouTube
     
  10. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    <yawn>

    No doubt you have similar issues with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ​

    </yawn>
     
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  11. 'mud

    'mud ~~ Life is Stuff ~~
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    Ahhhhh....the Christians.
     
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  12. Left Coast

    Left Coast Plant-Based Plebeian
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    As I understand it, churches can make statements on political issues so long as they don't endorse political parties or candidates. This is why countless right-wing churches have preached from the pulpit about the evils of Roe v. Wade and gay marriage and still remain tax-exempt.

    But hey, we can do it your way. :shrug: Right-wingers are gonna be a lot more upset than progressives, though.
     
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  13. BSM1

    BSM1 What? Me worry?

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    Stupid thing to say.


    Wonder why they never said anything when previous administrations were doing the same thing?
     
  14. Left Coast

    Left Coast Plant-Based Plebeian
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    Wonder why you're changing the topic?
     
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  15. ImmortalFlame

    ImmortalFlame Well-Known Member

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    I have a genuine query:

    Whereabouts in the Bible does it state that Mary gave birth in the animal stalls?
     
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  16. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    It doesn't fit the Substantial Lobbying Activity as described in IRS Publication 1828, (page 6) which I will hide with spoiler tags.
    Substantial Lobbying Activity
    In general, no organization, including a church, may qualify for IRC Section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). An IRC Section 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.

    Legislation includes action by Congress, any state legislature, any local council or similar governing body, with respect to acts, bills, resolutions or similar items (such as legislative confirmation of appointive offices), or by the public in a referendum, ballot initiative, constitutional amendment or similar procedure. It doesn’t include actions by executive, judicial or administrative bodies.

    A church or religious organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.

    Churches and religious organizations may, however, involve themselves in issues of public policy without the activity being considered as lobbying. For example, churches may conduct educational meetings, prepare and distribute educational materials, or otherwise consider public policy issues in an educational manner without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.
     
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  17. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    Luke 2 says she laid the baby in a feeding trough
     
  18. ImmortalFlame

    ImmortalFlame Well-Known Member

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    But surely that doesn't mean he was necessarily born in a stable. And doesn't the original Hebrew term, phatne, also refer to a crib?
     
  19. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    It's Greek, not Hebrew, and specifically refers to "a crib for fodder." It comes from a verb meaning "to eat."
    Strong's G5336

    The same word is used at Luke 13:15 :

    15 But the Lord answered him and said, “Hypocrites! Doesn’t each one of you untie his ox or donkey from the feeding trough on the Sabbath and lead it to water?​
     
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  20. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member

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    The policy of separating children from parents began in the Obama administration. No one was put in a cage, unless you consider large indoor areas divided by fencing instead of a wall a cage.

    The policy existed for good reason. A federal judge ruled that children could only be detained for a short time, and if adults who say they are a childs parent/s are housed with the child, the adults must be released in that short period that applied to the child. The need to ensure that adults were truly the parents of the child, were true asylum seekers, and had no criminal record.

    It is a free country and this church has the right to express it's concerns as they choose. They also have the right to use utterly poor taste if they choose, as in this case.
     
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