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Some people seem to have got the idea that Ekklesia objects to the BBC broadcasting a Christmas message from the Pope. We don't. We simply think that the BBC ban on non-religious and some minority religious people sharing their reflections in the same 'Thought for the Day' slot should be ended. Giving an immensely powerful individual (and head of state) access to airwaves denied to those he attacked when he was last in Britain also raises wider questions which should not be ducked.
Quakers don't really 'do' Christmas. Partly in order to offer a sign of contradiction to the consumerism and commercialism of the season which is in conflict with our Testimony of simplicity; partly because we believe that all of life and all its days and times are sacramental; partly because there is such a wide range of views in the Society of Friends as to the nature of the man Jesus.
At first sight, it is seemed reasonable to assume that Eric Pickles had hitched his wagon to the to the 'Not Ashamed' campaign train which launches today (1 December 2010) with his claims about the “ambush of Christmas” by “politically correct Grinches” and an exhortation to local councils to “take pride in Britain's Christian heritage.”