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While British Prime Minister Boris Johnson first bowed before the altar of the NHS, above and before the police and fire services, and placed the British military members* and their families last, as has been true since Kipling wrote “Tommy,” it is remarkable that he called Christmas for what it is, a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and especially called attention to the worldwide plight of persecuted Christians, many celebrating Christmas in prison cells! This prime minister, with his clear governing majority, pledged “as Prime Minister, that is something I want to change.” He also offered timely and sage advice to everyone around the world, urging domestic peace and goodwill: “Try not to have too many arguments with the in-laws, or anyone else.”
Here is the official transcript:
Hi folks, Boris Johnson here, taking a moment to wish you all a merry little Christmas.
It’s that special time of year when, whatever has gone before, we can take an opportunity to celebrate all that is good in the world and to spend time with our friends and family.
Christmas Day is, first and foremost, a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a day of inestimable importance to billions of Christians the world over.
I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful break with your loved ones, sharing gifts and tucking into some delicious food.
Of course, as many of us are enjoying a break at this time of year, let’s not forget all those who have selflessly put their celebrations on hold.
On behalf of the whole country I want to say a huge thank you to our amazing NHS staff, many of whom will be working throughout the holidays to take care of us. Thank you also to our police, and all those public servants working tirelessly this Christmas.
I also want to express my personal gratitude to the wonderful members of our Armed Forces currently on deployment – and therefore to their friends, family and children back home who will have an empty chair at the table when they tuck in to their Christmas dinner.
Today of all days, I want us to remember those Christians around the world who are facing persecution. For them, Christmas Day will be marked in private, in secret, perhaps even in a prison cell.
As Prime Minister, that’s something I want to change. We stand with Christians everywhere, in solidarity, and will defend your right to practice your faith. So as a country let us reflect on the year, and celebrate the good that is to come.
Folks, I hope you enjoy the next few days.
Try not to have too many arguments with the in-laws, or anyone else.
And whoever you are, wherever you are, and however you’re celebrating, have a very happy Christmas, and I’ll see you all again in the New Year.
* That said, PM Johnson did take the time to record a separate message to the troops, released the same day as his general Christmas message: