Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The True Meaning of Christmas


Priests Scuffle Inside Bethlehem Church
The Associated Press
Thursday, December 27, 2007

BETHLEHEM, West Bank -- Robed Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests went at each other with brooms and stones inside the Church of the Nativity on Thursday as long-standing rivalries erupted in violence during holiday cleaning.

The basilica, built over the grotto in Bethlehem where Christians believe Jesus was born, is administered jointly by Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic authorities. Any perceived encroachment on one group's turf can set off vicious feuds.

On Thursday, dozens of priests and cleaners came to the fortress-like church to scrub and sweep the floors, walls and rafters ahead of the Armenian and Orthodox Christmas, celebrated in the first week of January. Thousands of tourists visited the church this week for Christmas celebrations.

But the cleanup turned ugly after some of the Orthodox faithful stepped inside the Armenian church's section, touching off a scuffle between about 50 Greek Orthodox and 30 Armenians.

Palestinian police, armed with batons and shields, quickly formed a human cordon to separate the two sides so the cleaning could continue, then ordered an Associated Press photographer out of the church.

Four people, some with blood running from their faces, were slightly wounded. Washington Post, picture via Dot Matrix

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At Sat Dec 29, 10:44:00 AM, Blogger Comrade Kevin said...

Is this a religious gathering or a turf war fought between different gangs?

At Sat Dec 29, 03:49:00 PM, Blogger Randal Graves said...

Best. Xmas. Story. Ever.

At Sat Dec 29, 04:17:00 PM, Blogger Mathman6293 said...

It seems to me that religion is a turf war. Right? They all think that they're the correct one.

At Sat Dec 29, 05:07:00 PM, Blogger Freida Bee said...

What would Jesus hit a preist with? Hmmm?

At Sat Dec 29, 08:22:00 PM, Blogger Wyldth1ng said...

So no one really won right? Or do the cops count?

At Sat Dec 29, 09:17:00 PM, Blogger Professor Xavier said...

Maybe they were fighting over whose turn it was to feed the dragon.

At Sun Dec 30, 12:54:00 AM, Blogger M.Yu said...

That is what I call an ism-schism!

At Sun Dec 30, 06:33:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Comrade Kevin: It would seem that is what is going on. It's the Sharks and the Jets!

Randal Graves: It's pretty good! I still like "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" better.

Mathman6293: It sounds that way. My Jesus is better than your Jesus!

Freida Bee: "What would Jesus hit a preist with?" Compassion, most likely.

Wyldth1ng: Maybe it's not about winning or losing. Maybe it's all about acting innapropriately during the holiday season!

Professor Xavier: OK. What do you feed a dragon, anyway? Lighter fluid?

M.Yu: Ha! Good one!

At Sun Dec 30, 06:55:00 PM, Anonymous Dee Loralei said...


There is an old nerdie/ geeky type bumpersticker :" Do not concern yourself in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup."

At Mon Dec 31, 08:08:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Ack! You are scaring me, Dee Loralei!


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