Saturday, 14 December 2013

Santa lives!

Time for the winter silly season stories once again - yet more tactless clergy, upset children and oddly outraged parents. It seems the more our culture loses its grip on the essential truths of the Christmas story, the more we seem to take refuge in complete unreality [here] where the story of the birth of Christ is reduced to the same level or even eclipsed in importance by that of an fat, mythical gentleman squeezing down every chimney on the planet.

However, these same desperately traumatised small children live in homes where, on their parents' television and radio sets, they can hear God denied and blasphemed and the Christian faith (at the licence payers' expense, naturally) traduced at all hours of the day. They may also on the same channels even come across, on occasion, graphic portrayals of random violence and cruelty,  but - we are told - there is shock and horror when a cleric (all, right, admittedly somewhat 'off his game' that day) tells children that the 'real' story' of Father Christmas concerns a third century bishop called Nicholas and goes on to speak about some of the - to the modern ear - rather gruesome traditions surrounding him. *

Of course, context is all and the clergyman concerned apologised - as they do. But one can't help thinking Saint Nicholas himself would have been more .... well ... robust ....

* Although neither as gruesome nor as cruelly without meaning as many traditional children's fairy stories


  1. Maybe it's our age, Father, but I feel as though I've read this story every Advent for the last thirty years.

    1. Because you have! And if we live long enough we should probably expect them for the next thirty...... although with fewer priests being permitted to enter state schools for fear of indoctrination in an increasingly atheistic culture the incidence may decline dramatically .....


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