24 December 2016

A Christmas message from an unexpected source

I found this [in 2008] at a European website reporting on the "alternative Christmas message" broadcast by Channel 4 that year. I've edited it for length, and trimmed some of the phraseology to disguise the speaker. 

See if you can guess who wrote this and delivered it on television Christmas evening (videos available on YouTube).  The more perspicacious among you may recognize the source or remember the event.  My posting of this message may offend some TYWKIWDBI readers, but I hope it will prompt some deeper reflection in others - especially at this time of year.
"[God] created every human being with the ability to reach the heights of perfection. He called on man to make every effort to live a good life in this world and to work to achieve his everlasting life…

Jesus, the Son of Mary, is the standard-bearer of justice, of love for our fellow human beings, of the fight against tyranny, discrimination and injustice…

"Now as human society faces a myriad of problems and a succession of complex crises, the root causes can be found in humanity's rejection of that message, in particular the indifference of some governments and powers towards the teachings… of Jesus Christ.

"The crises in society, the family, morality, politics, security and the economy which have made life hard for humanity and continue to put great pressure on all nations have come about because… some leaders are estranged from God…

"If Christ were on earth today, undoubtedly He would hoist the banner of justice and love for humanity to oppose… terrorists… the world over

"Today, the general will of nations is calling for fundamental change… demands for a return to human values are fast becoming the foremost demands of the nations of the world.

"The response to these demands must be real and true. The prerequisite to this change is a change in goals, intentions and directions…

"We believe Jesus Christ will return… and will lead the world to love, brotherhood and justice.

"The responsibility of all followers of Christ… is to prepare the way for the fulfilment of this divine promise and the arrival of that joyful, shining and wonderful age…

"Once again, I congratulate one and all on the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. I pray for the New Year to be a year of happiness, prosperity, peace and brotherhood for humanity. I wish you every success and happiness."

Can you guess who wrote this?  Give up?  The answer is at the Belfast Telegraph.  

Reposted again for Christmas 2016.


  1. Actually I am not surprised. It sounds a lot like something Hugo Chavez might gave said. The part about believing in the return of Jesus is a bit confusing given the source. I feel we ought to try taking him at face value for once. Threats don't seem to have accomplished much and we're so overextended now that they're just pathetic anyway.

  2. I'm not a Muslim, but my understanding is that Muslims recognize and respect Jesus (and revere Mary), and that Islamic teaching states that Jesus ascended into Heaven, and that he will return from there in the "last days" to fight the anti-Christ. This seems to parallel some Christian rapture theories.

  3. This isn't the least bit weird. I knew Muslims revere Jesus in some way. And it makes sense that the head of state would put out an ecumenical holiday message- our president does the same thing.

    But this doesn't jive with the message pounded into our heads daily: IRAN = EVIL. AHMEDINEJAD = EVIL.

    The only really horrible thing I've heard about Ahmedinejad is that he denies the holocaust. It doesn't follow that we should assume all Iranians feel the same way- George W. didn't speak for all americans, did he?

    Ahmed' is a loon, but there is NO shortage of countries with horrible leaders and horrible governments. The only ones that get constantly demonized are the ones who don't subserviently ask "how high?" whenever the US says "JUMP!" Hugo Chavez is another great example. Besides not liking the US, I fail to see the problem with him.

  4. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all monotheistic Abrahamic religions and they have many people places and histories in common. I think we confuse the propaganda and political narratives of our supposed leaders with reality and accept them as truth even when we have recent proof that their self interest or the interests of their wealthy contributors are their true motivation. It may be that the President of Iran has such interests as well, but this greeting reveals that he is perhaps more aware of the commonality of the world religions than most of our American politicians. It's hard to disagree with his assertion that our leaders actions aren't particularly as Christian as they would like us to believe.

  5. This is a long tradition of the Channel 4 Alternate Christmas Message, (alternate from The Queens Speech)


  6. As a follower of a religion that sees Jesus as a prophet (not divine) Ahmadinejad's words make more sense than most Western readers often think. His statement that:

    "All Prophets called for the worship of God, for love and brotherhood, for the establishment of justice and for love in human society. Jesus, the Son of Mary, is the standard-bearer of justice, of love for our fellow human beings, of the fight against tyranny, discrimination and injustice.”

    Fits perfectly with the Islamic idea that they are followers of a third book that is the last chance that god (Allah) is giving mankind for redemption.

    Thank you for a Thing I Wouldn’t Have Remembered. TIWHR? Doesn’t ring quite as well.

    Happy holidays.

  7. What I find very odd about American Christianity (of which I am a part) is that we seem to revere Judaism, have an Israel-first political stance, all while most Jews believe that Jesus was, AT BEST, a liar (after all, to accept Him as even a good man is to invite the question of why they do not believe Him). Yet we seem to despise Islam, which deeply respects Jesus as a great prophet (even while denying fundamental tenets of Christianity--such that He was God's Son).

    Perhaps we are backwards on this? Perhaps there is a "bridge" in place between our cultures that we should seek to complete? With the Jews, we share our Judeo-Christian values (which are, to a large degree, Islamic values also). And with the Muslims, we share, if nothing more, a deep respect for Jesus (who was a Jew).

    By the way, from much of what I gather, Muslims have trouble with Israel over the STATE of Israel, not over their religion (which also traces to Abraham). In fact, modern-day, fundamental Islam has some deep similarities to ancient Judaism. We act aghast that people are stoned, yet that was pretty much the method of execution in the Old Testament (and even in the New, when Stephen was stoned).

    Perhaps there are plenty of bridges between us all, but we are unwilling to walk across them?

    No political party has a corner on Jesus. ALL nations, parties, and positions fall short of the glorious standard He ministered. This is a key reason I am no longer a Republican, even though I share many of their conservative values. I got sick and tired of a party whose only goal, it seemed, was to make the other party look bad--all while claiming we had heaven behind us. Instead of asking whether He is on our side, we ought to ask whether we are on HIS side.

    1. Ironically, I believe the reason most Americans are more suspicious of Muslims than Jews is that Muslims have more extremists who make a real effort to live as their religion commands, than Jews do. Jews, like Christians, tend to take the hateful and intolerant parts of their religion with a scoop of salt. (At least in the US.)

    2. Historically, Christianity at large looked at those two this way:

      AD 50-350 (Post-Resurrection to Constantine): A high degree of honor and respect conferred to Jewish believers. Islam didn't exist yet.

      350-621 (Catholic/Imperial Church, pre-schism and pre-Islam): Translation of the OT and NT via Jerome into Latin complete. Less emphasis on learning and using OT Hebrew (though the Greek in the NT would continue to be thoroughly studied. Less respect for Jewish roots and Jewish people in general, though mostly they were an afterthought (though Ambrose felt differently). Islam still didn't exist.

      622-1291 - The rise of Islam (622) to the last crusade (1291). Still a mixed bag towards the Jewish people, with praise and high regard by some and great disdain by others. In most respects, the later came from the political leaders or during the crusades (see: Siege of Jerusalem for one terrible example), while the former were theological leaders.

      Islam came to rise in 622. Initially, Mohammed sought to secure the Jewish and Christian folks in the region as allies, but both groups largely rejected his doctrine. These were classified as "people of the book" and given special regard early on, but later (along with almost everyone who would not "submit" to Islam) were attacked, enslaved, forced to convert, or pay the dimmi (sp) tax. As huge areas were conquered, an extreme hatred between Christians and Muslims naturally developed, with only a few regions where the two co-existed peacefully for more than a short period of time.

      1291-1600 - Black death, printing press, protestant reformation. All 3 actually led to an extremely precarious situation for the Jewish people, while general disdain for Muslims continued, especially in regions typically raided by the Barbary coast.

      The numerous plagues that swept Europe at the time often were pinned on minorities, especially those with good sanitation practices who were better off, which often meant Jews. The printing press led to a greater dissemination of information, but the backlash from fragile and tenuous regimes was to lash out at anyone or anything out of norm and favor of the state. Though many protestants thought well of the Jews, Martin Luther HATED them with a passion, especially in his later years. Several other prominent reformers also had similar (though less extreme) views. Eventually, the fruits of the Protestant reformation healed much of the rift through its thorough exegesis of the Hebrew OT, as most were not partial to using the Latin translation.

    3. Wow. Thank you, Roy, for the background perspective.


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