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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 December 2005, 11:13 GMT
Moderator's Christmas faith call
Rev Lacy
David Lacy said the meaning of Christmas should not be lost
The moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has described his Christmas message as "very non-PC".

The Right Reverend David Lacy was addressing the congregation at his Kilmarnock Henderson Church.

Mr Lacy said the American habit of describing Christmas as "the holidays" was "ludicrous".

He warned against diluting the meaning of Christmas and said all faiths in Scotland were happy for Christians to celebrate "our festivals".

Mr Lacy, who succeeded the first female moderator, Dr Alison Elliot, said it was important to protect the meaning of Christmas.

Other religions are not offended by Christmas
The Right Reverend David Lacy

He explained if he was to give a politically-correct sermon he might say: "Please accept, with no obligation implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally-conscious, socially-responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday."

However, he said that being the moderator he was a Christian, which made his Christmas message "very non-PC".

"It comes from the Bible itself, from St Matthew's account of the birth of Jesus," he said.

"'Jesus was born at Bethlehem in Judea during the reign of Herod'."

"What's so deeply religious about that then? It's only a simple statement of where and when he was born. It's like Jesus' birth certificate," he continued.

'Mythological figure'

"It underlines a very religious point - that Jesus was not a nice idea, some kind of mythological figure the stories of whom it's nice to repeat. He really was born in a real place and a real time.

"I hope we never get to the ludicrous political correctness of our American cousins who now call Christmas 'the holidays'.

"This is so as not to offend people of other religions or none.

"But they are not offended by Christmas. Bashir Mann, a leading Glasgow Muslim, was on television last year saying he loves to receive Christmas cards from Christian friends and often returns the compliment.

"I am a member of the Scottish Inter-Faith Council, on which sit representatives of all the faith communities in Scotland and they want us to celebrate our Christian festivals."

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24 Dec 03 |  Scotland
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22 Dec 03 |  Scotland

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