The Adventist Review shares the following world news from Religion News Service as a service to readers. Opinions expressed in these reports do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Review or the Seventh-day Adventist Church. -- Editors
House Approves Christmas Resolution; 9 Oppose
he U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution December 11 acknowledging the significance of Christmas and Christianity.
The roll call was 372-9 for passage. The resolution's sponsor expressed astonishment over the "no" votes. Rep. Steve King, R.-Iowa, said he could not understand how members of Congress could vote against the measure after the House approved without opposition similar resolutions honoring observances of Islam and Hinduism.
Among its resolutions, King's measure recognized Christianity as "one of the great religions of the world," expressed support for Christians in this country and other countries, acknowledged the "international religious and historical significance of Christmas and the Christian faith" and renounced persecution against Christians in this country and around the world.
Ten representatives voted "present," and 40 did not vote on King's resolution.
The House had voted 376-0 for an October 2 measure that expressed some of the same sentiments toward Muslims that King's resolution did toward Christians. It also recognized Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. That roll call included 42 members voting "present" and 14 not voting.
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Hotel Offers Room at the Inn for Marys and Josephs
Travelodge, determined to help make amends for that "no room at the inn" business back in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, is offering free Christmas accommodations to married British couples named Mary and Joseph.
Travelodge, which owns 322 hotels in the United Kingdom, said that starting Christmas Eve, December 24, and lasting to Twelfth Night, January 5, couples matching its criteria will get a one-night stay on the house.
"The phrase `no room at the inn' is something that resonates with us in the hotel business," says Travelodge's operations director, Jason Cotta. "Therefore, this year we have decided to evoke the true spirit of Christmas and invite Mary and Joseph couples as our guests."
Sandy Leckie, manager of Travelodge's inn at Covent Garden in London, said there may not be any gold, frankincense, or myrrh in the rooms set aside for the Marys and Josephs, but "it's definitely more comfortable than a stable."
Travelodge did add that accommodation would, if need be, "definitely have room for a baby and a manger."