Hijacking Christmas (from Richard Gibson's column in the British Church Newspaper, 21 December 2007)
It is bad enough when secular Britain hijacks Christmas for commercial reasons, it's unforgivable when Christians hijack it for political ones. Garth Hewitt's unquestioningly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel Amos Trust is selling an alternative Nativity set. The promotional blurb states it's " a nativity set with a difference - this year the wise men won't get to the stable." The Nativity model has a separation barrier between the wise men and the manger. Sadly both size models have already sold out. One wonders why the Amos Trust is selling and Christians are buying an item that Adolph Hitler would have delighted in purchasing. The Nazification of Liberal Protestantism in Hitler's Germany sought the theological and social demonization of the Jews in order to grease the wheels of the Holocaust. Organisations such as the Institute for Study and Eradication of Jewish Influence in German Church Life were formed (see Betrayal by Ericksen & Heschel). How easily British Christians have forgotten the sins of our Continental European brethren as they theologically colluded with the Holocaust. Such ill advised actions by the Amos Trust must cause deep pain to those who remember the last time the person and story of Jesus was hijacked and utilised to rid another region of the world of six million Jews.
What ever your stance on the Middle East conflict, leave the birth of Jesus out of it.
[JM note: of course, since the wall is to the West of Bethlehem and the wise men came from the East, they would still be able to see Jesus today. But why let that leaven of dullards, "the facts", get in the way of anti-Israel polemic?]