On this day in 1770, the greatest composer who ever lived (and my personal favorite) was born in Bonn, Germany to Johann van Beethoven and Magdalena Keverich van Beethoven. They named him Ludwig van Beethoven.
Interestingly, there is a bit of dispute as to which day, exactly, gets the distinction of being his birthday. Beethoven's parents celebrated it on this day, December 16, but he was baptized on December 17. In addition, if I remember correctly, Beethoven himself preferred one date over the other, though I don't remember which exactly - I think it was the 17th.
Was Beethoven a Christian? This seems debated as well. There were certainly moments in his life when he was angry at God; there are also moments when he seemed Deist, at least. He had elements of pantheism in his makeup as well as Hinduism. At the very least, I wouldn't hesistate to call him rather confused on a lot of things. He considered his Missa Solemnis to be his greatest work, a monumental and very difficult choral piece that is definitely Christian in outlook. On the other hand, John Rutter has written some of the finest sacred music in existence, and he is definitely no Christian. The weight of evidence seems against it. However, one thing I have not done is read Edith Schaeffer's Forever Music, which deals with this topic, if I remember correctly.
In any case, make sure you listen to something or play something by Beethoven today, in memory of this giant of music.