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I'm a BBC News Online editor!

Well, sort of. In a recent article of theirs concerning religious symbolism in America, the following sentence appeared: "In addition, even the most secular members of society, and those of other beliefs, concur that Christmas is inextricably linked to the tale of Christ's alleged birth - whether one believes in the immaculate conception or not." Upon seeing that a couple of days ago, I immediately zipped an e-mail off to their editor reporting the factual error and chastising them for their carelessness, for it was clear that they were alluding to Christ's birth, not Mary's.

This is a point that is often misunderstood. According to Christianity, Christ's birth was not the result of an immaculate conception. That was Mary, who was conceived without sin. Christ's birth was a virgin birth.

I received an e-mail saying they would research the issue further. So today, out of curiosity, I checked out the article again. It now states "virgin birth" in place of "immaculate conception."

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