Sarasota News Leader

12/21/2012

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OPINION THE HOLY INNOCENTS OF BETHLEHEM AND NEWTOWN EDITORIAL Three days after Christmas is another date in the Church���s liturgical calendar that many would argue is just as important: The Holy Innocents. This is the feast day that commemorates the systematic slaughter by King Herod of all male children under two years of age in Bethlehem and the surrounding area. two years of age or younger. Joseph, meanwhile, had taken Mary and Jesus and fled to Egypt for sanctuary. The untold innocents slaughtered in Herod���s purge were victims of his paranoia. And now, in this usually festive season, we have an even starker reminder of the tragedy of the Holy Innocents: the slaughter by a madHerod, who ruled Palestine for 37 years, was man of 20 innocent children in the Newtown, noted for two characteristics: his perpetual CT, school shooting. fear of losing his throne and his barbarity. When the visiting Wise Men told him of their The lamentations in Bethlehem predicted by search for the prophesied king of the Jews, the prophet Jeremiah were coupled with the who was newly born, Herod asked them to tell frustrating knowledge that nothing could be him when the child was found. But the Wise done about the excesses of a tyrant. Today, Men, after finding Jesus, departed the king- our lamentations are tempered somewhat by dom by another route without telling Herod. our knowledge that a single lobby, with millions of dollars to influence our lawmakers, When Herod learned of this, he sent his sol- has made the acquisition of a firearm no more diers into Bethlehem to kill every male child difficult than that of a pack of cigarettes or

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