Red Cross bans Christmas across the Pond

It seems the Red Cross of Great Britain is valiantly trying to become a completely neutral charity. Isn't that an oxymoron? 

Scanning this article (click the title), I was chagrined at first, and then it became funny, especially in the last paragraph. It seems the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) tried to find a less prickly symbol than the cross five years ago and amidst boos, hisses and criticisms finally gave up the task.

This was just going to be a simple story, written before I went to bed. Now, after all this research into the background of the Red Cross, where it came from (American Red Cross came through the efforts of one Clara Barton). The ICRC  began in Switzerland due to one man's observation of a battle fought in 1859 in Suferino where 40,000 men on both sides fell wounded and dead with no medical help. Henry Dunant persuaded locals to minister to the wounded without prejudice. An amazing feat.

The hooha concerning the religious nature of the symbol, a cross, is what spurred the international committee to try to design another symbol. Purely for neutrality since the Muslim countries were beginning their own Red Cross organizations. Somewhere in the first part of the 20th century, they adopted the Red Crescent which was immediately adopted by Russia and several Muslim countries. I'm confused now.

If the thing is not religious in nature, then why must they conjure up a Red Crescent, a Red Crystal and what's up with this Red Lion and Sun thing? The Red Star of David is nationally recognized in Israel, but the Jews adopt the Red Crystal for protection in international conflicts.

Can't the leadership of the Red Cross discern that we are divided along religious lines no matter what their symbol is?

So the Brits can't have Christmas decorations in their 430 Red Cross stores, yet they can sell Christmas cards with angels and nativity scenes "to help the charity".
"Rod Thomas, a Plymouth vicar and spokesman for the Reform evangelical grouping in the Church of England, said: 'People who hold seriously to their faith are respected by people of other faiths. They should start calling themselves the Red Splodge. All their efforts will only succeed in alienating most people.'"
So what would that look like? A coffee stain? A wine stain? I agree with Vicar Thomas. Holding true to one's faith does instill respect, at least on the surface. Sometimes it instills loathing because of Who is being worshiped. 

According to a report in The Guardian, the respect is only a veneer. The news paper reports a diplomatic cable accuses Iran of using the cover of the Red Crescent to smuggle arms and agents into other countries during their war with Israel in 2006. I will give you the link to that story rather than plow through thousands of cables to check the accuracy of the report. I'm going to bed now. If you have the energy and do check this report about the smugglers of Iran, would you let me know in the morning if it's true? Thanks... g'night.
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