Cults: December 2004 Archives

Bishops-salute-Hitler.jpg Catholic Bishops giving the Nazi salute in honor of Hitler

From Common Dreams

Antonin Scalia, the man most likely to be our next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, turned history on its head recently when he attended an Orthodox synagogue in New York and claimed that the Founders intended for their Christianity to play a part in government. Scalia then went so far as to suggest that the reason Hitler was able to initiate the Holocaust was because of German separation of church and state.

The Associated Press reported on November 23, 2004, "In the synagogue that is home to America's oldest Jewish congregation, he [Scalia] noted that in Europe, religion-neutral leaders almost never publicly use the word 'God.'"

"Did it turn out that," Scalia asked rhetorically, "by reason of the separation of church and state, the Jews were safer in Europe than they were in the United States of America?" He then answered himself, saying, "I don't think so."

The article, by Thom Hartmann, goes on to provide some useful history of church and state in Germany and the USA.

[photo from]

coen-xmas.jpg Brooke Coen sang Christmas carols on Saturday during the Parade of Lights in downtown Denver.
Steve Peterson for The New York Times

I was reading an article about people outraged over the PUBLIC holiday displays in Denver not being Christian enough.

For many years, this city's annual Parade of Lights was as bland as butter and content to be so. Organized by the local business community, the event shunned politics and anything remotely smacking of controversy, including openly religious Christmas themes that might offend.

The star was Santa, not Jesus, and the mood was bouncy, commercial and determinedly secular.

This year, Jesus came anyway. A local evangelical Christian church called the Faith Bible Chapel sought but failed to get permission for a religious-themed float with a choir singing hymns and carols. By coincidence, Denver's mayor chose this year to change the traditional banner on the roof of the City and County Building. "Merry Christmas" was out. "Happy Holidays" was in.

Like a spark in dry tinder, the result was a flare-up that caught even some church leaders by surprise. A holiday rite that had drawn thousands of paradegoers annually suddenly became a symbol, for many Christians, of secular society run amok.

I was struck by the name in the caption. I don't know anyone named Coen that sings Christmas carols.

This page is an archive of entries in the Cults category from December 2004.

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