AflaqThough the majority of Americans have never heard of him, one hundred years ago a key figure in Islamic socialism was born in Damascus — most scholars believe a few days after Christmas. His name is Michael Aflaq (photo at left). Born of Orthodox Christian parents, Aflaq received a proper middle class education in Syria before studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. What did he study? That strange hybrid pseudo-science so common then as today — “political economy,” the salient parts of which were socialism and Arab nationalism.

December 27 marks the birthday of the Father of Celestial Mechanics, Johannes Kepler. Born in 1571, he went on to become one of the most important scientists in the field of astronomy as the first person to explain the laws of planetary motion. He also made important advances in the fields of optics, geometry and calculus. Kepler is credited with explaining how the moon influences the tides and with determining the exact year of Christ's birth.

pregnantThe University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics (UWHC) confirmed that it is giving up its plans to create a clinic in Madison that would provide late-term abortions. In early 2009 the board of UWHC had approved a plan to build a facility that would provide abortions to women in their second trimester of pregnancy (19 to 22 weeks), with projections for around 125 abortions annually.

luke  Never before or since has the mere birth of a helpless, powerless baby been so enmeshed in a network of fear and loathing, hope and happiness of a kingdom, an empire, a world. From Matthew’s Gospel, we learn of kings, or wise men, who came to Jerusalem inquiring about the newborn King of the Jews. “For we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2) King Herod was not pleased, but was greatly troubled by the threat of competition. From Luke we learn that a tax imposed by Caesar was the cause of the pilgrimage to Bethlehem that fulfilled the prophecy that the Messiah would be born in the city of David.

 

Christmas paradeThis December, on courthouse lawns and other public places across America, you’ll see decorative lights, Santa and his reindeer, snowmen, “holiday trees,” and maybe even an angel or two. The only guest who’ll probably be missing from this birthday party is the guest of honor himself. Oddly, there’s even room for elves, tin soldiers, candy canes, and sugarplums — just no room for Christ. The lunacy of celebrating a holiday called Christmas that commemorates the birth of Christ without recognizing Christ could only happen in the philosophically inconsistent but politically correct America. Think of it: You can openly celebrate Christmas just as long as you don’t mention Christ.

 

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