Monday, December 25, 2006

The Empty Stocking

Today I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking.

Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child's cry. A blazing star hung over a stable and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven't forgotten that night down the centuries; we celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, the sound of bells and gifts.

But especially with gifts.

You give me a book; I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer, and Uncle Henry could do with a new pipe. We forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled...

all, that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up.

The stocking for the Child born in a manger.

It's His birthday we are celebrating. Don't ever let us forget that. Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most and then let each put in his share: loving kindness, warm hearts and the stretched-out hand of tolerance.

All the shining gifts that make peace on Earth.

- Re-printed w/o permission from the movie "The Bishop's Wife" (1947)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

To Support and Defend the Constitution...

Virgil Goode Jr (R-Va) is an idiot.

Unfortunately he does raise an interesting question. How to conduct the swearing in of new Congressmen. Is is more important to follow the established norms for this ceremony (i.e., swear on a Bible) or honor the faith tradition of the nubile Congressman?

So I pose the question: How was Joe Liebermann (Senator, I-CT) sworn in? Joe is Jewish. Did he swear on a Torah or a Bible? Or more importantly, did he ask? Did he care?

If he asked to be sworn in using a Torah, and was told no, then Rep. Ellison shall be sworn in using a Bible. That would only be fair.

If he didn't care, and he feels the instrument used to swear someone in is immaterial to the actual oath, then by all means allow Rep. Ellison to use the Koran for his ceremony.

Is this being done as a political statement? Only Rep. Ellison knows. I hope his motivation is his devout belief in the teachings of Islam, not a chance to see his name in the national spotlight.