Sunday 7 December 2014

The Christmas Story Debunked - Again

In the biggest shock since the last time a senior churchman debunked the Nativity, the Bishop of Barset has debunked the Christmas story. Never has the Christmas story been so debunked. And nor will it again until next time.
The other Wise Men are outside, holding the llamas.

In a wide-ranging debunking, the Right Reverend Randolph Rogers told London newspaper "The Jupiter" that:

  1. The Angel Gabriel, being a fearsome being from the highest hierarchy of the heavenly servants of Gods (see the book of Ezekiel for other examples) almost certainly did not look like a small blonde-haired girl. Although, to be fair, few things can be quite so scary as a small blonde-haired girl in a bad mood.
  2. The mysterious group of strangers whom Luke identifies as "shepherds", on the basis of their crooks, were actually a group of Anglican bishops on the way to an interfaith dialogue event with the Zoroastrians.
  3. The "star of Bethlehem" was an experimental drone that the Romans were using to keep the Zealots under control. It fell to earth when the olive oil ran out, setting fire to a camel service station.
  4. There were no oxen or asses in the Biblical story. The Vatican edited out the actual animals mentioned in Matthew - llamas and penguins - in a desperate attempt to hide the fact that the world is round.
  5. There is substantial archaeological evidence of the use of picnic chairs in the Jewish Iron Age. So it is very unlikely that the shepherds - or, as we have established - Anglican bishops - were "seated on the ground". The dew on Hermon is notorious, and much avoided by the hermits. So they would have been wary of the effect on their arthritics.
  6. There were seven Wise Men - the traditional identification of three of them as "Bashful, Sneezy and Doc" clearly indicating that it was Dopey who suggested the detour to Jerusalem.
  7. The "inn" mentioned in Luke was a Premier Inn. There was no room because, when Mary and Joseph arrived to check in, Lenny Henry was found in the room, shouting about how great it was.
  8. The Dead Sea Scrolls mention a red-clad man called "Santa Claus", who visited Qumran and distributed Cabbage Patch Dolls. Being strict montheists, the Essenes burned the Dolls as idols. Santa just made it out of the desert on his sledge before being stoned.
  9. Statistically, several people in Bethlehem would have had dreams on the night of the Nativity.
  10. Joseph made up the story about a census. He actually made sure Jesus was born in Bethlehem so he could play cricket for Judea.
You know, I've got a theory. The Nativity is a story about how God comes to earth to forgive people for their sins, show us how much he loves us and align himself with the poor, defenceless,  and homeless. If anyone ever listened to it, it could be pretty unsettling. So much better to demythologise it, wrap it in pretty paper, sweeten it up and - when all else fails - debunk it. We're all much safer when it's a Care Bear story or the subject of archaeological or critical analysis. Otherwise we might see through the red-nosed reindeer, Santas, tinsel and baubles and see God coming, naked into the world - wrapped by his mother - and laying, helpless as the tyrant rages, in a manger.


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