Results from the French Open Men’s Singles Round 1 matches on Monday:yle Edmund (Britain) beat Nikoloz Basilashvili (Georgia) 7-6(4) 6-7(7) 7-5 6-1Bjorn Fratangelo (U.S.) beat Sam Querrey (U.S.) 6-3 6-1 6-7(3) 6-3Albert Ramos (Spain) beat Horacio Zeballos (Argentina) 6-3 4-6 7-5 6-0Andrej Martin (Slovakia) beat Daniel Munoz (Spain) 6-2 6-3 4-6 6-4Mathias Bourgue (France) beat Jordi Samper (Spain) 7-5 7-6(5) 7-6(6)Marco Trungelliti (Argentina) beat 10-Marin Cilic (Croatia) 7-6(4) 3-6 6-4 6-2Ivan Dodig (Croatia) beat Mikhail Youzhny (Russia) 6-4 5-7 7-5 2-6 6-316-Gilles Simon (France) beat Rogerio Dutra Silva (Brazil) 7-6(5) 6-4 6-2Fernando Verdasco (Spain) beat 33-Steve Johnson (U.S.) 7-5 6-4 7-5Guido Pella (Argentina) beat Diego Schwartzman (Argentina) 6-2 3-6 6-2 6-3Jordan Thompson (Australia) beat Laslo Djere (Serbia) 6-3 6-4 7-55-Kei Nishikori (Japan) beat Simone Bolelli (Italy) 6-1 7-5 6-322-Viktor Troicki (Serbia) beat Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) 2-6 6-3 5-7 7-5 6-327-Ivo Karlovic (Croatia) beat Albert Montanes (Spain) 6-2 7-6(7) 7-6(5)Taro Daniel (Japan) beat Martin Klizan (Slovakia) 3-6 4-6 7-5 6-4 3-0 (Klizan retired)Adam Pavlasek (Czech Republic) beat Roberto Carballes (Spain) 6-2 4-6 6-3 1-6 6-13-Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland) beat Lukas Rosol (Czech Republic) 4-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-423-Jack Sock (U.S.) beat Robin Haase (Netherlands) 6-3 7-5 3-6 6-7(3) 6-2Dustin Brown (Germany) beat Dudi Sela (Israel) 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(5) 4-6 6-430-Jeremy Chardy (France) beat Leonardo Mayer (Argentina) 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-2Adrian Mannarino (France) beat Mikhail Kukushkin (Kazakhstan) 6-4 2-6 6-2 6-48-Milos Raonic (Canada) beat Janko Tipsarevic (Serbia) 6-3 6-2 7-6(5)Dusan Lajovic (Serbia) beat Denis Kudla (U.S.) 6-4 6-3 6-3 Results from the French Open Women’s’s Singles Round 1 matches on Monday:25-Irina Begu (Romania) beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands (U.S.) 5-7 6-1 6-3CoCo Vandeweghe (U.S.) beat Naomi Broady (Britain) 6-4 3-6 6-3Zarina Diyas (Kazakhstan) beat Carina Witthoeft (Germany) 2-6 6-4 6-2Johanna Larsson (Sweden) beat Magda Linette (Poland) 6-3 4-6 7-5Kateryna Bondarenko (Ukraine) beat 7-Roberta Vinci (Italy) 6-1 6-32-Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) beat Bojana Jovanovski (Serbia) 6-0 6-2Caroline Garcia (France) beat Lesia Tsurenko (Ukraine) 6-3 7-5Annika Beck (Germany) beat Maryna Zanevska (Ukraine) 6-1 6-2Elena Vesnina (Russia) beat Madison Brengle (U.S.) 6-2 6-3Shelby Rogers (U.S.) beat 17-Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) 3-6 6-4 6-3Tsvetana Pironkova (Bulgaria) beat 16-Sara Errani (Italy) 6-3 6-2Heather Watson (Britain) beat Nicole Gibbs (U.S.) 5-7 6-2 6-2Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium) beat Alexandra Dulgheru (Romania) 6-1 6-36-Simona Halep (Romania) beat Nao Hibino (Japan) 6-2 6-013-Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) beat Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan) 4-6 6-1 6-4Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (Croatia) beat Daniela Hantuchova (Slovakia) 6-1 6-2Cagla Buyukakcay (Turkey) beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Belarus) 5-7 7-6(2) 6-24-Garbine Muguruza Blanco (Spain) beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (Slovakia) 3-6 6-3 6-3Myrtille Georges (France) beat Christina McHale (U.S.) 6-7(7) 6-0 6-3Polona Hercog (Slovenia) beat Lourdes Dominguez Lino (Spain) 6-4 7-6(4)Naomi Osaka (Japan) beat 32-Jelena Ostapenko (Latvia) 6-4 7-530-Barbora Strycova (Czech Republic) beat Lucie Hradecka (Czech Republic) 6-4 7-519-Sloane Stephens (U.S.) beat Margarita Gasparyan (Russia) 6-4 6-3Veronica Cepede Royg (Paraguay) beat Sabine Lisicki (Germany) 6-2 6-2
Real Madrid beat Manchester United 2-1 to lift the European Super Cup for the fourth time on Tuesday as they became the first team to retain the trophy since AC Milan in 1990.Brazilian midfielder Casemiro struck the opening goal with a left-foot strike midway through the first half while Spain international Isco consolidated Real’s advantage with a slick piece of skill and finish in the 52nd minute.United’s 75 million pounds ($97.40 million) striker Romelu Lukaku got his first competitive goal for his new club to reduce the deficit in the 62nd with a simple finish on the rebound after earlier wasting a similar opportunity.That sparked a brief period of pressure from Jose Mourinho’s side and they could have drawn level when Marcus Rashford burst through but he was denied by a save from Keylor Navas, ensuring Real won their fifth international trophy under Zinedine Zidane.
Yesterday’s results Group C – Cumberland 2, Meadowbrook 0 – Camperdown 1, Hydel 2 – St Mary’s College, 1 Waterford 2 Group D – Tarrant 0, Vauxhall 0 – St Catherine 2 ,St George’s 0 – Denham Town 3 ,Kingston Tech 2 Group F – Jose Marti 0, St. Jago 3 – Ascot 2, Edith Dalton James 0 – Holy Trinity 3 ,Clan Carthy 0 Hydel High’s head coach Corey Bennett, says his team is determined to put up a good showing in the second round of this year’s ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup. Bennett made his comments after 10-man Hydel’s exciting 2-1 victory over hosts Camperdown in their top-of-the-table Group C clash at Alpha yesterday. Hydel head the group with 27 points and also have a game in hand. They are three points ahead of Camperdown, who have completed their first round fixtures. They are followed by Waterford (15), Cumberland (12), Meadowbrook (6), and St Mary’s College (0). Romario Bryan (fourth) and Tray McKay (27th) were the scorers for the unbeaten Hydel. Kemo Clarke got Camperdown’s consolation strike in the 90th minute. However, Hydel ended the match with 10 men after Tyrees Simms was sent off after picking up a second caution in the 79th minute. “We have been making the second round for the past seven years, and we will always be there, but it is just a matter of time before we get over the hump,” said Bennett. “Our aim is to do well in the second round, but we are taking it one step at a time because we want to continue to play good football and also to encourage the youngsters to stay disciplined,” he said. Reflecting on his team’s performance against Camperdown Bennett said: “It was a tough encounter because we had to dig deep. We got two early goals and we could have got a third, but that is just the nature of the game. They are young and they are immature and inexperienced, but we haven’t dropped any points so far and we give God thanks for that.” Meanwhile, Camperdown’s coach Christopher Bender blames his team’s defeat on his defenders. “I thought we started slow and we gave up two goals due to individual mistakes because we just didn’t mark properly,” said Bender.
Kyrgios had already been at the center of controversy during Wednesday’s washout when he told the NCR Tennis Podcast that Djokovic had “a sick obsession with wanting to be liked” and that the Serb’s post-match celebration was “cringeworthy”.Nadal was described by the Australian as “super-salty”.Meanwhile, Nadal crushed France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-1, with Federer, a four-time runner-up, easing past Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-3, and Djokovic beating Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-1, 6-3.All three are in action again later in the day to make up time after play was washed out on Wednesday.Nadal meets Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, with Federer up against Croatian Borna Coric, and Djokovic facing Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? For 37-year-old Federer, returning to Italy for the first time since 2016, it was like a practice session.“Like any other practice day when you play twice a day, you finish the first session, take a shower, eat something, relax, get ready for the next one,” said the 20-time Grand Slam winner.“I think it gives me some good information. I believe it’s going to be similar conditions in the match this afternoon.”Nadal said it was a “good start” as he targets a first title on clay this season before he starts the defense of his French Open crown from May 26.“That’s important for what’s coming up,” said the eight-time Rome winner.World number four Dominic Thiem slammed tournament organizers after he was dumped out 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 by Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.Austrian Thiem complained competitors were left hanging around during the rain-impacted day 24 hours earlier.“I really dislike how we players get treated at this tournament because yesterday was, in my opinion, not acceptable,” said last year’s French Open runner-up.“I’m quite pissed about it. I was tired, exhausted, today because of all these shitty things,” he added.Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the sixth seed, got past American Taylor Fritz 6-2, 6-4 and next meets Jan-Lennard Struff. LeBron James stretches lead in NBA All-Star Game fan voting LATEST STORIES Pagadian on tighter security for 100,000 expected at Sto. Niño feast NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption PLAY LIST 02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)Australian firebrand Nick Kyrgios was disqualified from the Italian Open after an expletive-laden rant on Thursday as defending champion Rafael Nadal swept into the third round along with top seed Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.Kyrgios grabbed the headlines when he suffered a spectacular meltdown on Court Three against Norwegian qualifier Casper Ruud.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard Solon urges Solgen to reconsider quo warranto petition vs ABS-CBN The controversial 24-year-old, who had marked his presence in Rome by criticizing Djokovic and Nadal in an interview on Wednesday, starting arguing with the umpire in the third set.World number 36 Kyrgios had leveled the match at one set all but was given a game penalty early on in the third set for swearing.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsHis response was to kick out at a water bottle before throwing a chair onto the court, packing his bag and then storming off court, shouting I am fucking done’’Kyrgios was automatically disqualified with Ruud winning 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 2-1 to advance to the third round against former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro. MOST READ Warriors rally from 15 down at halftime, hold off Blazers for 2-0 lead Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Eduard Folayang gets new opponent for ONE Manila card The Witcher series prompts over 500,000 reprints of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books
Live Stats Matchup History Watch Live Full Schedule Roster The Varsity Blues men’s soccer team defeated the Nipissing Lakers 4-2 on Saturday night (Oct. 20) at Varsity Stadium.HOW IT HAPPENED: Nipissing was quick to get on the board as Cody Vaillancourt scored in the second minute to give them a 1-0 lead.It wasn’t until the 24th minute when fourth-year midfield Yousef Helmy came in with the equalizer. He’d then score the go-ahead goal in the 29th minute to give the Blues a 2-1 lead. Veteran striker Jack Wadden added a third goal for the Blues in the 54th minute.Darius Tignanelli scored for the Lakers in the 62nd minute to cut the deficit to one, but Toronto wasn’t done as third-year striker Michael Matic added a goal in the 70th minute to make it 4-2 the final.The Blues record moves to 11-4-0 on the season as Toronto maintains the third spot in the OUA East division.UP NEXT: The Blues wrap up the regular season, hosting the Laurentian Voyageurs tomorrow (Oct. 21). Kick-off is set for 5:15 p.m., at Varsity Stadium.For more information, scores and highlights on your favourite U of T athletes and teams, please visit www.varsityblues.ca. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook for the latest and greatest in Varsity Blues intercollegiate athletics.Print Friendly VersionPrint Friendly Version Preview Next Game: Laurentian University 10/21/2018 | 5:15 p.m.
… says Govt not seeking to trample on constitutional rightsThe directive given by President David Granger that the Police Service Commission (PSC) halts the promotion of senior Police Officers was to allow for a thorough investigation to be carried out into a number of complaints.President Granger made it clear that his Government has no intention of trampling on the constitutional rights of the Police Commission, but wants that whatever is done presents a positive image of the Police Force.He said his office has received a number of complaints from aggrieved senior Police Officers and has asked that those claims be investigated.“There have been some doubts and we are investigating the complaints that have been made to us and we have asked the PSC simply to delay so that we can answer those queries”. He said as soon as those questions are answered, “we will proceed.”According to President Granger, with the complaints, there is evidence that injustices might have been done. “We just need time to have the complaints from aggrieved police Officers thoroughly investigated,” he said.He stressed that Government is not seeking to trample on the constitutional rights of the Police Commission, but noted that damage could be done by persons who are not “fit and proper “to make decisions and which can be injurious to public security. The Head of State said every effort should be made to prevent damage to the security infrastructure of the country and noted that while Government wants the constitutional commission to function, the Administration is paying attention to the situation.Last week, a letter dispatched to the Police Service Commission (PSC), instructed the body to put a hold on a list of promotion for senior Police Officers, a move that was readily criticised by the political Opposition.The President’s decision was made at a time when the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has been placed under the microscope during the Commission of Inquiry set up to probe allegations of a plot to assassinate him.A leaked copy of the promotion list revealed that several senior officers who were hauled before the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the assassination plot investigation were on that list. The directive had pushed the Opposition People’s Progressive Party to threaten legal action, if it was not withdrawn. The PSC had said while it was going to adhere with the President’s directive, it was also hoping on some reason for the move. At that point no justification was forthcoming.
“The dynamics had to transpire,” Munshaw believes, “and I think I’ve done my best job to get people on board that are able to say, ‘okay, I’m willing to give him that shot he asked for. I can see who you are and I’m willing to do that’.” For the rest of April, Assistant Fire Chief Stuart Larson will be in charge. In addition to the current member roster, four men from Northwest Fire, an external company, have been hired and are in Fort St. John to be on call 24/7 for at least the next three weeks. Fort St. John and Taylor Fire Departments are also able to support in the case of a fire. Five or six of the firefighters have taken their pagers back, with others expected to do the same once Munshaw returns from Kimberley in May. Munshaw says the situation on Sunday had to happen for them to get their message across to the Peace River Regional District, and he now hopes they can move on and rebuild. “They’re returning for their right reasons, factored into the community,” he says, “and they’re doing it for the true heart and desire to move forward, which is great.” He says communication has been key, and the volunteers needed to get to know him and what he’s all about. They’d been worried about working under two Chiefs they hadn’t built trust with yet, but meeting with him has helped start building that relationship.- Advertisement – “That’s the place you have to start,” says Munshaw, “good communication, good effort, and then understanding how this is going to work. Once you’ve had that point where sides have been heard, now this amend is starting to form and we’re able to now focus on that new group.” Munshaw hopes that when he starts back at work in May, there will be 15 pagers out, with more as volunteers return and sign up. In addition to the returning members, a dozen new volunteers have signed up. Although there’s a lengthy training period, those with experience will be fast tracked. There are still some members that won’t be returning, for various reasons, whether it’s simply time to hang up their helmet or the situation has caused too much hurt to get over.Advertisement
“He was a tough kid, and he never stops,” Pavlik said. “I wanted to come out and start boxing, but it turned into a slugfest. I knew once I got the right hand going, it was over.” Julio David Roque Ler came all the way from Argentina just to do his best impersonation of the rope-a-dope in the super flyweight co-main event against Mexico’s Jorge Arce. That avenue may have worked for Muhammad Ali when he knocked out George Foreman in 1974, but it was a little less effective against Arce, who won a unanimous decision by scores of 117-109, 117-110 and 117-110. Arce (46-3-1) is ranked No. 1 by the WBC. He is in line for a shot at champion Cristian Mijares, also of Mexico. “He didn’t come to fight,” Arce said of Ler, who is 23-2. “He came to say he went the distance with Jorge Arce.” Vanes Martirosyan, a 2004 U.S. Olympian out of Glendale, is now 12-0 with eight knockouts after stopping Taronze Washington at 2:21 of the second round of their super welterweight fight that was scheduled for eight rounds. Martirosyan put Washington (9-6) on the canvas with a right uppercut-left hook combination to the head. Washington was up at about eight, but referee David Mendoza did not allow him to continue. “Me and Freddie have been working on that right uppercut,” Martirosyan said, in reference to trainer Freddie Roach. John Molina shook off a big right hand from Rudy Paz in the first 10seconds of their lightweight preliminary bout and proceeded to knock the stuffing out of Paz via first-round technical knockout. Paz landed the right hand on the jaw of Molina, then landed a left hook about 15 seconds later. That’s when Molina, backed by a huge and loud following, went into attack mode. He dropped Paz (2-5-1) with a flurry of punches in a neutral corner. Paz went down again from nothing more than a glancing blow. Finally, Molina dropped Paz a third time with four punches to the head, and referee Jack Reiss waved off the bout at 1:59. “It didn’t really stun me at all,” said Molina of the early right hand he absorbed. “All I heard was (trainer) Ben (Lira) telling me to stick with the jab, and it worked.” (6-0, 5 KOs) robert.morales@ press.telegram.com (562) 499-1338 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “You think I’m ready?” Pavlik asked reporters, all of whom nodded yes. “After seven years, I’d say I’m ready. If I don’t get the credit after a performance like that, I don’t know what I have to do.” Pavlik was in control throughout. He flatted Zertuche with a big right hand in the sixth round. Then in the eighth, he caught Zertuche with another right to the head. Zertuche’s body language indicated he was out on his feet. But he took another right to the head before referee Raul Caiz could come between the fighters to stop the bout. When Caiz did, he stumbled into Zertuche, and they both fell to the canvas. The fight ended at 1:40. ANAHEIM – Sporting a bruised right eye and an abrasion on top of his bald head, Kelly “Ghost” Pavlik was excited. He had just viciously knocked out Jose Luis Zertuche in the eighth round of Saturday’s co-main event before 7,091 at Honda Center, and he was already talking about what could be his next fight – against World Boxing Council middleweight champion Jermain Taylor. Zertuche was put up on a stool inside the ring. He was taken to UCI Medical Center for observation, said Armando Garcia, executive officer of the state athletic commission. The victory earned Pavlik (30-0, 27KOs) the No. 1 ranking by the WBC. He came in ranked No. 2, and Mexico’s Zertuche (19-4-2) was ranked No.4. “We are going right after Jermain Taylor,” said Bob Arum, Pavlik’s promoter. “Kelly is now No. 1, and Jermain is going to have to fight him. If you want to call yourself champion, then you fight the best.” Pavlik, of Youngstown, Ohio, displayed power in both hands. His jab snapped Zertuche’s head back several times, the left hook was solid and the right cross devastating. Zertuche, who gave a gallant effort, had never been stopped inside the distance.
SALES: Japanese firm shows drop in third quarter, but analysts say high gas prices give it long-term advantage. By Yuri Kageyama THE ASSOCIATED PRESS TOKYO – Toyota said Monday it sold 2.34 million vehicles globally in the July-to-September quarter, fewer than General Motors’ tally, as its U.S. rival regained the lead in the race to be the world’s top automaker. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Toyota Motor Corp.’s worldwide vehicle sales for the first nine months of this year – at 7.05 million vehicles – also fell short of Detroit-based General Motors Corp.’s sales of 7.06 million vehicles for the same period. But the numbers Toyota released Monday show the Japanese automaker running neck-and-neck against General Motors, which sold 2.38 million vehicles in the third quarter. Toyota beat GM in global vehicle sales in the first half of the year, riding on its reputation for high quality, low-mileage small cars such as the Camry, Corolla and gas-electric hybrid Prius. Some analysts say it’s a matter of time before the Japanese automaker – which built its business in the decades after World War II by imitating American automakers – will close in on GM. Toyota’s global vehicle sales for the latest quarter grew 4 percent from the same period a year ago, while sales for the first nine months of the year grew 7 percent. “With oil prices rising, Toyota has the advantage in the long run,” said Yoshihiro Okumura, auto analyst at Chibagin Asset Management Co. “Toyota is making a dash to the top.” Toyota has been in a slight lapse in introducing new models, but its momentum for growth is picking up as it comes out with new offerings, Okumura said. New models tend to boost sales, and some drivers hold off on purchases until a product is remodeled. In August, Toyota set a global sales target of 10.4 million vehicles for 2009 – a number that would put it far ahead of the industry record of 9.55 million vehicles sold by GM in 1978. GM is fiercely fighting back against Toyota by boosting overseas sales. GM has worn the industry crown of No. 1 automaker for 76 years. Soaring gas prices have helped to lift Toyota’s sales, but it saw its U.S. sales dip slightly last month, partly because of a record set in the same month a year earlier. Toyota is lowering its sales target in Japan for this year because of a stagnant market, but it has said that better-than-expected demand in other overseas markets will offset the domestic decline. GM, which has been trimming jobs and cutting costs, reported last week that third-quarter global sales rose 4 percent to 2.38million cars and trucks, led by increases in emerging markets outside the U.S. Toyota reported selling 4.72million vehicles during the first half of the year compared with GM’s 4.67 million. GM still led Toyota in vehicles produced worldwide during the first half of the year. Toyota and its group companies produced 4.71 million vehicles in the first half, inching up to GM’s 4.75million vehicles. The race is about more than the number of cars people are buying. GM’s profitability falls far short of Toyota, which is rich in cash to invest in technology research and model development. GM’s second-quarter net income totaled $891 million, mostly from overseas operations. It was the third straight quarter of profit, and a dramatic reversal from the $3.4 billion loss it posted in the same period last year. For the April-June period, Toyota raked in earnings of $4.27billion, its biggest quarterly profit ever. A recent study of industry costs and profits by Laurie Harbour-Felax found GM made $2,123 less per vehicle than Toyota in 2006 in North America. Toyota, the most profitable of all automakers on a per-vehicle basis, increased its profit per vehicle from $1,175 in 2005 to $1,977 in 2006, the report said. GM is losing money for every vehicle sold in North America but lowered that loss to $146 in 2006 from $1,271 in 2005, mostly because of cost reductions, including thousands of job cuts, it said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – As Christmas draws near, the Rev. John Foster won’t be decorating a tree, shopping for last-minute gifts or working on a holiday sermon for his flock. After all, it’s been 50 years since Christmas was anything more than a day of the week to him. He’s one of very few American Christians who follow what used to be the norm in many Protestant denominations – rejecting the celebration of Christmas on religious grounds. “People don’t think of it this way, but it’s really a secular holiday,” said Foster, a Princeton-based pastor in the United Church of God who last celebrated Christmas when he was 8. His church’s objection to Christmas is rare among U.S. Christians. Gallup polls from 1994 to 2005 consistently show that more than 90 percent of adults say they celebrate Christmas, including 84 percent of non-Christians. Some 322 years later, early member Samuel Sewall might be surprised to see his congregation – today known as Old South Church – proudly displaying a decorated Christmas tree outside the church. “We think it’s cheerful and seasonal,” said Nancy Taylor, senior minister of Old South, one of America’s most venerable congregations, counting among its past worshippers not only Sewall but Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Adams. Now part of the United Church of Christ, Old South not only has a Christmas tree, but encourages its 650 or so members to exchange Christmas presents – although the focus is on charitable donations and service, rather than shopping. “We are the descendants of the Puritans and Pilgrims, but we have loosened up a lot since then,” Taylor said. “We have changed and adapted, and I think that’s part of why we haven’t died out.” Like Sewall’s successors, the mainline Protestant churches have learned to accommodate Christmas. But the change came from the pews rather than the pulpit. Christmas benefited from a 19th century “domestication of religion,” said University of Texas history professor Penne Restad, in which faith and family were intertwined in a complementary set of values and beliefs. Christmas became acceptable as a family-centered holiday, Restad said, once it lost its overtly religious significance. At the same time, aspects of the holiday like decorated trees and gift-giving became status symbols for an aspirant middle class. When Christmas began its march toward dominance among holidays, it was because of a change in the culture, not theology. “In America, the saying is that the minister follows the people, the people don’t follow the minister,” Restad said. “This was more of a sociological change than a religious one. The home and the marketplace had more sway than the church.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champThat’s a huge change from an earlier era, when many Protestants ignored or actively opposed the holiday. But as it gradually became popular as a family celebration, churches followed their members in making peace with Christmas. The change didn’t happen overnight. Through much of the 19th century, schools and businesses remained open, Congress met in session and some churches closed their doors, lest errant worshippers try to furtively commemorate the day. “The whole culture didn’t stop for Christmas,” said Bruce Forbes, a religious studies professor at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. “Government went on as usual, business went on as usual, school went on as usual.” In researching his book, “Christmas: A Candid History,” Forbes discovered that major American denominations – Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers, Methodists and Congregationalists – either ignored the holiday or actively discouraged it until the late 19th century. That rejection was rooted in the lack of biblical sanction for Dec. 25 as the date of Jesus’ birth, as well as suspicion toward traditions that developed after the earliest days of Christianity. In colonial New England, this disapproval extended to actually making the holiday illegal, with celebration punishable by a fine.