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Humane Religion Magazine

November - December 2008 Issue

A Christmas Carol

Editorial by Frank and Mary Hoffman

The vast majority of Christians have read or have seen a movie version of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It is a story about a selfish old man, Scrooge,  who is visited by several ghosts or spirits who supposedly turn him into a kindly and giving old man who is full of the Christmas spirit. And, from a worldly point of view, it seems to have happened.

However, there is one very telling aspect of this story that proves that the Scrooge of this story, like most people, today, still retained an unholy Christmas spirit, and that is the fact that he and others still glorified the killing of another living being, the goose of the original story, or the turkey in some of the more modern versions.

All we have to do is look at the world around us, and we can easily see that the unholy Christmas spirit still reigns; for most people still celebrate this holiday by feasting on the tortured remains of an innocent animal who wanted to live and enjoy life just as much as we do.

What is the matter with so many Christians that they fail to realize that God blessed the animals in the barn where Jesus was born and where no harm came to humans or other animals, even when the baby Jesus was laid in the animals' feeding trough?

If people truly want to have the Christmas Spirit that Jesus gave to the whole world, then they need to remove the blindness from their eyes and the hardness from their hearts that allows them to enjoy or ignore the horrible suffering of billions of animals.  They need to regain the empathy that God has given to each of us, so that they feel the suffering of each and every animal, just as Scrooge felt empathy for Tim and his family, and to celebrate a truly peaceful and cruelty-free holiday. 

Then, we and the other animals will be blessed, one and all, and Jesus will be glorified.


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