Thursday, December 3, 2009

The bishop who grinched Christmas

Anglican Bishop Nick Baines (the bane of St. Nick? really, I'm not making this up)...
Trashing people's beloved Christmas traditions? How terribly avante garde!  Take a number and get in line.

From Maclean's "Need to Know" files:

In his new book, Why Wish You a Merry Christmas, Baines cites the line in “Away in a Manger” that goes “no crying He makes,” and wonders, “How can any adult sing this without embarrassment?”
Gee, I dunno, your grace, it's not like adults in the church haven't (ever since the 70's) been singing utter, deplorable nonsense: Just the word "Kumbaya" makes me shiver. How about this title: "Break Not the Circle of Enabling Love."

And how about this chorus: 

Thank you, God, for giving us us!
Thank you, God, for giving us us!
Thank you, God, for giving us us!
Ri---ight where we are!

Or (every bit as appalling)

Life can be so lonely when nobody caaaaaaaaares
Life can be so empty when nobody shaaaaaaares…

Or the perfectly horrendous:

A rainbow makes a promise that life is here to stay…
Promise means there’s more to life than what we know today.
I can share tomorrow, if there’s one to pledge it to.
I’d like to be a rainbow and promise life to you.

(Yes, folks, these songs REALLY are in a Catholic hymnal or online music database near you.) But I digress...

The good Bishop Baines continues:

In the carol “Once in Royal David’s City,” a particular favourite in Britain, its line “mild, obedient, good as He” smacks of “Victorian behavior,”

Ah yes, that deplorable Victorian behaviour. Perhaps the bishop would prefer us to sing about post-modern behaviour: "wild, discontented, nihilistic and shagging everything in sight."

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding.  (and I don't feel one bit embarrassed about singing it.)

Mrs. Beazly adds...


 I feel sorry for anyone who can listen to "Once in Royal David's City" and not hear a distant echo of the angels who summoned the shepherds to the manger. Certainly, some carols are written in simple language, but when I hear "Christian children all should be/mild, obedient, good as He" I confess that the first thing that pops into my head is not "Pfft. How Victorian! I'm far too sophisticated for this." but rather, "Am I mild, obedient, good as He?" (Newsflash: the answer is 'NO!'). Likewise, I can sing "no crying He makes" without any embarrassment because the God Who created the universe felt no embarrassment when he came among us as a helpless infant, "like us in all things but sin".  I am puzzled by the bishop's assertion that these carols "could [not] be further from the truth" when they so eloquently express it in words that even a child can understand.

Mrs. Pinkerton weighs in again...
Well, there you have it, Mrs. Beazly. "Ye must be like little children" to enter the kingdom of heaven. Isn't there something about bishops having a hard time getting through the eye of a rich man's needle or summat? Just joking. But Christ certainly spoke of revealing truths to "the little ones" that were hidden from the great and the wise. It is obvious that many in the church are FAR too wise for their own britches. But hey, it sells books, so "it's all good."

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