"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." - Luke 2:6-7
The Christmas story in Luke is pretty much completely different from Matthew's account.
Caesar is taking a census, so Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem to register (because Joseph is from the house of David). While they are there to register, Mary has Jesus and puts him in the manger because there is no room in the inn. Nowhere does this happen in Matthew.
Next, some shepherds nearby are visited by angels, who tell them that Jesus has been born and that they should go visit him. There are no Magi in Luke. More importantly, there is no Herod (hence no subsequent escape to Egypt). Isn't Herod's pursuit, and Jesus's escape to Egypt, a pretty big part of Jesus's life? Why would Luke simply leave this out (other than it didn't actually happen, or he's not an expert on Jesus's life)?
In fact, there is not just omissions, there are contradictions. After Jesus is circumcised, Mary and Joseph return directly to Nazareth. This is contradicted by Matthew's assertion that they went directly from Bethlehem to Egypt after Joseph was warned by an angel, in a dream, to flee. Only after Herod dies are they told that they can return to Israel.
The Christmas story I've always heard seems to be a mashing together of Matthew and Luke (e.g. the magi and the shepherds are usually both in the nativity scene). This is interesting, because some of Matthew and Luke's claims are mutually exclusive. I guess if the events don't contradict then they must be true, so they're all included.
Luke then gives us one small story from the childhood of Jesus (better than the nothing we got out of Matthew). Luke tells us that every year Jesus's parents went to Jerusalem for passover. When Jesus is twelve years old, he and his parents make the trip to Jerusalem. On the way back to Nazareth, however, Jesus stays behind in Jerusalem. His parents head home without figuring out that they're missing Jesus. In fact, they don't realize that they've lost him till they've traveled an entire day.
After one day's travel back to Jerusalem, and three days searching, they find Jesus in the temple. When they confront him and ask them why he's treated his parent's so badly (breaking a commandment?), he says that they should have known he would be in his father's house (i.e. the temple). For some reason they don't know what the hell he's talking about. Don't they know he's the son of God?
Chapter 3 is all about John's ministry, and his arrest. This is all very similar to Matthew except for the reason John was arrested. Matthew claims that he was arrested because Herod thought he was raised from the dead. Luke says that he was arrested because he said bad things about Herod's sister in law.
Luke then goes back in time and says that when all the people were being baptized, Jesus was also baptized. We are told that Jesus was about 30 when he began his ministry. Then Luke says, "He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph", and goes on to give the entire lineage of Joseph (back to Adam). I'm still not sure why this is necessary (Matthew did it too). Especially when Luke himself is implying that Jesus is not, in fact, the son of Joseph. Why do we need the lineage of the adoptive father of Jesus?
I have good news (in my opinion, of course) on a story I talked about while ago.
The supreme court recently heard a case about a Christian campus group insisting that they bar gays from their organization (thus breaking their public school's policy). This was part of a "statement of faith". So, of course, atheists and people from other religions would also be barred from the organization. In a 5-4 ruling, the court ruled to uphold the lower court's ruling that the organization would have to change their policy in order to exist.
Of course, I'm not sure why you would want to join a group where you're clearly unwelcome. But it's good to see that, simply because you're a religious organization, that you're not exempt from non-discrimination policies.
(via The Christian Post)