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How important are animals to the Nativity?

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And now we know the answer to how many can dance at the behest of a pen: a donkey, two sheep and three camels.

Evil Overlord in reply to Barracuda008

I am equally confident that many of these animals are not happy, comfortable, or well treated, and that Jesus was an imaginary figure whose teachings have only as much value as we choose to give them. If he did exist, though, I'm pretty sure he would not have been for mistreating animals to celebrate himself.

Happy Holidays.

Evil Overlord in reply to Robert Musil

"PETA is crazy"
By which I take you to mean "PETA believes in things different than the ones I believe in, yet that somehow make me feel defensive and threatened, so that, rather than simply ignoring them (as most people do with beliefs they find irrelevant), I go out of my way to attack them."

The majority of what PETA does is misdirected. But the sight of a "living nativity scene" with humans and animals alike freezing for the entertainment of passers by always struck me as particularly pointless. Unless you feel that such a sideshow is a good way to drive traffic into the Church in question.
I belong to the "other PETA", which stands for People Eating Tasty Animals.
There's a place for all God's creatures...right next to my mashed potatoes.


In the meanwhile, it seems that even without animals, the cardinal in the picture would have a lot of fun with the rockettes alone...


Excellent article, except that a fundamental principle of anyone with reason and intelligence is to not care about anything that PETA says. It is great to remember that this festivity is about Jesus and the message of salvation he gave to humanity and not about presents, eating and farcical campaigns of brainless PETA


Obama kneeled to a Muslim happy holidays in defiance of Merry Christmas.
Lenin’s cat scratched a new belief in worshipping Communism.
Nazis and Soviets housed ox, ass and horse animals in Polish Churches.
And now the intellectual TE beasts naively worship an inept canon shining upon the nativity.
Jesus, born in an animal feed box, is now a distant definition of humility as TE pens a naïve discourse in its office of emptiness, exporting an opioid dream to its Leftist believers.
It seems watching a Weinstein film on Christmas wouldn’t be too far from TE’s reality 2.0.
May we wish TE beasts a ‘joyful, hopeful and fulfilling’ journey in finding a God within oneself this Christmas.


The Roman Catholic Church is rather confused when it comes to ... "mice (and other animals) and men". The Nativity scene being a mere fantasy included a few animals to make it more 'bucolic' and easier to digest by the believers.
In fact, since believers are ready to .... believe anything, it matters not at all if a couple of elephants are included provided the Church gives the OK and the Pope blesses the painting.

Jude235 in reply to Robert Musil

Indeed, Luke's version of the Nativity, probably gleaned from Maria's own reminiscences, mentions a feeding trough and that "...there was no room in the "katalumata"". This has been frequently been translated as "inn" but is more correctly an "upper room".
This seems to refer to the kind of dwelling, still to be found in the Bethlehem area, hewn out of the ground on a large circular plan where the deeper, central part was given over to the keeping of animals and the upper circle was the living area of a number of families. Here (in the upper room) there was no room for the couple from Nazareth, so they were hosted in the lower, stables area.

Robert Musil

PETA is crazy and citing to PETA as if they were not crazy is journalistic dereliction and malfeasance.
From Christmas matins:
O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
iacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare
Dominum Iesum Christum.
English translation
O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The image of the oxen and donkey next to the crib is found in Isaiah (Isa. 1.3) and is traditionally related to the nativity scene at the birth of Jesus in Luke 2. Luke (Lk 2.7) does not mention animals, but a manger. In the apocryphal Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, both animals are specifically named. The image continued to spread from the 13th century onwards when it was included in the Golden Legend. It became the most popular symbol for the mystery of the self-abasement of God in his Incarnation. (Phil 2,6–7).

Kremilek2 in reply to Barracuda008

I think that it is good to have PETA because at least there is a discussion what humans can do to animals and that they also have feelings which could or should be taken into account. PETA exaggerates this approach but is not completely off the mark.

umghhh in reply to Evil Overlord

If one looks at some of PETA activities one can conclude that some animals are better than others and in this case the bottom of the pyramid consists of humans. That is at inconsistent with their own ideology as humans are animals too. Such inconsistencies in perception of reality can be considered at least a sign of strong confusion if not of some clinical condition. Hysteria often on display when PETA activists are around is just a confirmation of that. But indeed they believe in other things that most of us. For me they are more confused than the rest of us however. If one were to call them crazy I would not consider this strange. To me they look like they are.

Barracuda008 in reply to Evil Overlord

It’s very interesting that Jesus seemed to be around animals often, and He frequently used animals in His parables. It would appear that Jesus had animals on His mind. However, the issue is that Jesus was born in a manger, which is a feeding trough for livestock, and was surrounded by animals. Isn’t it interesting that of all the places that Jesus potentially could have been born, that it was in a stable with the animals? The article basically said that no there was any animal inside. Anyway I am quite sure that in more than 99.99% of these recreations animals are treated properly and in accordance to the Law and Jesus did not said that we have to be kind to PETA.
Merry Christmas

nannite in reply to BIGBIRD1

Jesus wasnt born in an animal feed box. A generally accepted hypothesis of biblical scholars is that everything outside of the Gospel of Marc either didn't happen, or came strictly from the minds of men hundreds of years later.
In other words, Jesus the Messiah gave us the sermon on the mount and several parables, everything else is flourish.