It all started when the head of Jesus was stolen from a statue outside a church in Canada. One of the congregation kindly supplied a temporary replacement head. Unfortunately, the clay replacement looked more like a demonic version of Maggie from the Simpsons. Before the elements had time to destroy the clay head, it was removed, leaving the baby Jesus headless again. The original head was then returned by the teenager who had stolen it. However, it looks like the statue will remain headless for some time. It is better to fit the head in warmer weather and they are worried about it being vandalized again. It looks like the baby Jesus will remain headless until next summer.
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While Adan Orduno was being held in jail awaiting trial for robbing a jewelry store and attempted murder, he heard God telling him to escape. God also told him how to escape. He gathered enough milk cartons to place under a blanket in the shape of a man, then climbed through a false ceiling and made his way over a barbed wire fence to the outside. It seems that a number of cameras at the prison were out of order. After escaping Adan went to his mother’s house to get some regular clothes, but didn’t mention that he had escaped. She presumed he was out on bail and hugged him and cried a lot. Officers found out he was missing early the next morning and he was later rearrested. He told officers he had been on a spiritual journey and that God had told him to escape. He also said if he had a gun he would have pointed it at the officers to commit “suicide by cop”. So why did God help this suspected felon? Perhaps his mother really needed a hug. She says he’s a good kid.
Atheists in Streator, Illinois offended some Christians during Easter week by erecting a sign saying “Nobody died for our ‘sins’, Jesus Christ is a myth”. It was erected in protest against an Easter display of crosses in the same park. It caused so much offense that by Easter Sunday, the sign had disappeared and all that was left were two bent poles. In response the Atheist group, Freedom from Religion Foundation, offered a reward of $1,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. They also want it treated as a hate crime. The sign in the picture is a replacement sign, to which they have added the additional message, “P.S. your god says ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’”
The Jesus thieves have started early this year. Each Christmas hundreds of Jesus statues are stolen from Nativity displays because some people think it’s funny if Jesus doesn’t show up for Christmas. A Catholic church in Phoenix had a four foot statue of Jesus with outstretched arms in the grounds until the end of last week. The Rev. Charles Kieffer was shocked to find that the statue had been stolen when he discovered the loss last Saturday morning. Who would want to steal a bronze statue worth around $10,000 which was just standing out in the open with minimal security? Yeah, lots of people. There were surveillance cameras on the ground, but they don’t seem to have helped very much. There’s a bit of an epidemic of bronze and gold sculptures being stolen at the moment. I blame all those turn your old gold into cash advertisements. If you have a $10,000 statue in your garden, get a GPS device and some security installed.
Stealing the baby Jesus from the mangers of nativity scenes has become a popular international pastime. Last January we reported on a number of Jesus snatching incidents from around the world. This year, the baby Jesus is fighting back. Brickhouse Security, a New York based company, is offering free GPS tracking to churches for the Christmas period. A motion-activated device is fitted inside the baby and sends a distress call. The position of the baby can then be tracked online. The device has A-GPS, so even if satellites are unavailable, the location can be tracked to the nearest base station. So far, over 60 churches in 25 states have enrolled in the Baby Jesus GPS program. The best quote came from a nativity caretaker, Alan Czyewski, who claimed that Jesus would approve of the implant and it would make it easier for his disciples to follow him.
In Austria, Christmas Markets are an integral part of Christmas, selling mulled wine, trinkets and general Christmas fare. The Christ Child is the traditional gift bringer and traditionally actors have been employed to wear the appropriate dress and walk among the crowds. This year, detectives are taking the place of some of these actors in an effort to crackdown on petty thieves and shoplifters.
Church officials have criticized the move and I can’t say I blame them. The idea of the Christ Child running through the market, jumping on a thief and cuffing him, just doesn’t seem very festive. Unless maybe everyone gives a big cheer when it happens.
Yes, as reported in the Irish Independent, the baby Jesus has been kidnapped again, this time from the Lough in Cork city. When the Lough froze over, the kidnappers were able to walk on water to take the life-sized statue of Baby Jesus from the popular nativity scene. The police were alerted and Baby Jesus was later recovered without any significant damage. To the best of our knowledge no ransom demands were made.
This seems to be a new trend. Between Christmas and the New Year, The Herald News, Illinois reported that the Baby Jesus was taken from his manger outside Saint Anne’s church. Beer bottles were put in place of the infant, presumably as a decoy.
The Linlithgow Gazette reports that kidnappers also struck in Scotland’s West Lothian on Christmas Eve. This time, not only did they take the Baby Jesus, but his manger and the Virgin Mary. Joseph, the three wise men and a shepherd were left unharmed at the scene, but were unable to help the South Queensferry police with their enquiries.