I've heard some drivel in my time. I've read some balls from idiots who should have known better. And then there's this, from Tory MP Mark Pritchard, demanding political parties to embrace and preserve Christian traditions in this country, as they're apparently under threat.
Ahead of the debate the MP for Wrekin, Shropshire, told the BBC: "The debate is not about doing God or theocracy. It's about ensuring that the Christian tradition of our nation is recognised.
"If mainstream political parties do not recognise and protect the Christian
tradition of this nation then other more extremist parties will. If that happens, we are in danger of Christianity being hijacked by these ambitions."
Mr Pritchard said the debate was particularly topical, as recent findings
suggested four fifths of schools were not staging Nativity plays this year.
Anyone who reads Five Chinese Crackers will know about the yearly nonsense the Mail, Sun and other liars drag up when it comes to Christmas. 'Our' identity is being washed away, lie the tabs, bringing up some toss about someone somewhere who supposedly banned Xmas decs because they might 'be an insult' to people of other faiths, except no-one ever did anywhere ever, not for 'Christianophobic' reasons anyway. When you look at the reality, nothing like that ever happens anywhere, except in the minds of numpties who write columns for reactionary tabloids. But once it's in the paper, it's accepted as fact, and twats like this Tory MP try to make some political capital out of it.
Now, I'm not the biggest student of theology in the world. But as I understand it (and as any good Jehovah's Witness will tell you as you're trying to ease the door slowly shut while nodding and smiling) the Nativity is, oh how shall I put this without wanting to upset anyone, complete garbage. There was no census that meant people had to return to the home of their ancestors. There was no Bethlehem - that was just a shoe-horning in by two of the apostles to try and fit in with a prophecy in Isiah. There was no inn. No stable. No manger. No donkeys. No bloody shepherds. None of that shit. I don't even think there's much dispute about this among serious students of the Christian faith. But here's a nice little take on it from some ex-Christians, who are a bit like ex-smokers if you know what I mean.
Not that any of those troublesome matters of fact matters to this berk Pritchard, who twitters on with:
He added: "I'm not saying there shouldn't choice within theatrical provision on schools. But Christmas time would be a highly appropriate time to do
Nativity plays, with its message of hope and love and light.
So we should celebrate something, even though we know it didn't happen in the way the Bible says, at a completely inappropriate time of year? With Mary dressed in blue, and a donkey, and a star, and gold and frankincense and myrrh, even though it's not true... Just because...? Because we've done it since Christianity. Doesn't matter if it's wrong or right. It's about 'hope' and 'love' and 'light'. Eh? Hope from a story that no-one seriously thinks is true? I don't get it.
A lot of the rest of this well-meaning buffoon's ideas can be dismissed as playing to the gallery, but here comes some real fucking bullshit.
He added: "Some people seem to want to forget the Christian tradition going back to the first century and its contribution to arts, culture and science.
"It's gone far enough. If there are those who want to see the Christian church reduced to the margins in this nation they should have the courage to say so, rather than using the rights of other religions as an excuse."
Whoa now. Wait a minute. I appreciate he's tried pretty hard, this guy, to defend what he believes in, but I've had enough now. Who wants to forget about the christian tradition? No-one does. It's just as relevant as Father Christmas - and just as true. Can't we have them both? Must we always be plagued by bloody idiots writing into local papers asking for the 'true meaning of Christmas'? Must we? Why can't we have nativity stuff for people who have no idea about reason or facts, and Christmas trees, pantomimes, the Morecambe and Wise Christmas special and neon penguins for the rest of us? Why not? Why must children be forced to re-enact something that didn't happen? I'm not saying don't teach it, just tell it like Robin Hood or Beowulf and all those other legends that also form part of our tradition in this country.
And science. Oh dear. He might have something in the first two - I might not be a fan of the billions and billions of gold-leafed renaissance paintings you see all over the world in every sodding gallery you ever go into, especially in Catholic countries, but I'll admit there are many students of art and art-lovers who enjoy and appreciate them - but science. You what? Christianity contributing in terms of what? Trying to suppress it? How exactly did Christianity treat Galileo or Copernicus? And Darwin - how does he get treated by the Christian faith, not just extremists but moderates too?
There's another aspect to what this jumped-up little twerp is shitting out of his mouth. He claims that "If mainstream political parties do not recognise and protect the Christian tradition of this nation then other more extremist parties will."
What? We must do something reactionary and daft because otherwise the rabid bastards of the BNP or UKIP (BNP-lite, as I like to call them, because it upsets them) will be even more reactionary and daft? What sort of argument is that? Shouldn't we do things because they're the right thing to do in the first place? It's the classic Tory tactic of seeing themselves as the barrier of rectitude on the right, always worried that if they aren't quite unpleasant or cruel enough then the fascist scum will steal their votes.
It's nonsense of course but the MP isn't a complete idiot. He knows which buttons to press with his audience, so stirs in a fear of the far right with a worrying drift away from 'traditional' values and a swipe at the 'PC brigade', and bob's your uncle, he's smack-bang in the middle of Mail territory. It's an attempt to invent 'Christianophobia' and not only that, to place it on a par with Islamophobia. "We poor Christians are oppressed too in this country!" Disingenuous to say the least: while people might not make as many Christmas nativity plays as they used to, it doesn't mean they're attacking you in the street or running hate campaigns, as the Mail and Express, among others, are happy to do, all the time, by telling lies and spreading complete bullshit about people who come from a certain cultural tradition and who have a certain faith. Except there's not room in this MP's life to give a shit about that, is there? Much rather whip up some hostility against something that doesn't even exist.
Of course we must respect the traditions of this country, but what of the traditions of secularism and religious diversity? What of the pagan traditions at winter solstice time? Must we hammer home Christian traditions at the expense of all others? It reveals a lot about the bullying belligerence and inherent fear of monotheism when you get stories like this - not that Christianity is any better or worse than the other big guns, just that it shares the similar arrogance and aggression of Islam and Judaism.
Me, I'll be out wassailing in the garden and burning a giant wicker Mark Pritchard. It won't do much good but it might piss him off a bit, so it's worth trying.