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Friday, December 21, 2007

Throat clearers

So, 'throat clearing' is the correct terminology for the 'legitimate security concerns, but' syndrome, courtesy of the incomparable Christopher Hitchens. Hitch's moral clearsightedness on these issues earns him forgiveness for his unfortunate religiophobic tendencies. Thanks, Paul M, for a prompt reply to my question, and a very merry Christmas from all at Schloss Grumpy and/or a deplorably belated 'happy Hannukah' to you and all who were celebrating. Please don't take that omission too personally, I only posted my Christmas cards yesterday.

It looks like being a bumper Christmas for the many Christian throat clearers, as noted by Ruth Gledhill in her Times blog (hat tip: Liz of Christian Attitudes). They even get their own special Christmas crib (complete with security barrier, but unaccountably lacking any terrorists among its dramatis personae).

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Anonymous said...

For my tastes, it's the "Happy Chanuka" but for my family by marriage it's "Merry Christmas", so I'm happy to be ecumenical and accept both.

As for worries about being late, I usually tell the recipients of my few Christmas cards that I celebrate according to the Russian Orthodox calendar, and they can expect my greetings around March (and yes, I know that doesn't make sense, but they don't know and it gives me lots of leeway).

Paul M.

Anonymous said...


Below is a letter from Anglican Friends of Israel, published in this week's Church Times, about the Amos Trust's nativity scene.

Suicide bombings are offensive, too

From Frances Waddams

Sir, — Jonathan Bartley’s splendid “A very offensive Christmas to you” (Comment, 14 December) certainly cuts through the tinsel and tissue paper of the British Christmas.

He cited the Amos Trust’s “nativity crib-scene . . . containing Israel’s separation wall” as an example of British charities’ subversive approach to the Christmas story.

A member of Anglican Friends of Israel, struck by the Amos Trust’s imagery, recently phoned it to order some crib scenes, and requested, to complete the scene, figures of suicide bombers, who still want to murder Israeli children, but are effectively hindered by Israel’s security fence. Alas, the Amos Trust was unable to oblige.

Could it be that this aspect of today’s Holy Land conflict is just a little too offensive for the Amos Trust to acknowledge?
Anglican Friends of Israel