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the limits of tolerance

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Dec 21, 2009

In Auckland, New Zealand, a blasphemous billboard was unveiled recently, insulting the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and the Holy Spirit. That the billboard was set up by an Anglican parish—evidently desperate for attention—makes the offense still more noisome.

What do you do? You can write an angry letter. You can put out a public statement. You can file a lawsuit. Or you can take action to solve the problem. The billboard is now down, and it won’t be put back up. Sometimes the solution to a public insult lies outside the political order.

Just by the way—in case you wouldn’t have made this deduction already—the Anglican cleric responsible for the billboard has a very tenuous grasp of fundamental Christian thought. He offered this remarkable reflection on the Christmas story:

"At Bethlehem low life shepherds and heathen travellers are welcome while the powerful and the priests aren't.”

Uh-huh! So the Holy Family wouldn’t have welcomed a trio of learned scholars of noble origin, like the Magi?  

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