Monday, December 25, 2006

No complaints of the season

This isn't the blog that Malcolm intended (that's a paeon to the hand-crossed ballot slip) but it seems somehow more relevant today.

Malcolm has, as they say, serious issues with most aspects of formal religion and its myriad convolutions [Why, for example, is it always emphatically the "theory of evolution" versus unqualified "creationism"?]. Even so, he has been heard to mutter that he likes ritual and music (and even smells and bells) in his "worship". He is quite prepared to admit he is one of those whom Pope (that's Alexander) castigated:
Some to church repair,
Not for the doctrine but for the music there.
So he was quite happy to go along with the first Leader in today's Washington Post, suggesting that the Christmas story, despite its improbabilities and inconsistencies, is
a story not just of divinity, as it's seen by Christians, but of humanity -- and for all of us.
The essential conceit, a parallel of the Augustan Roman Empire with the present one true Superpower, resonates:
Today our own country, while never untroubled, is enjoying itself on an Augustan scale. But there is, of course, no peace. A good many of our noblest -- the Roman allusion is merited here -- are in difficult and dangerous conditions in that same faraway part of the world where the story of this day was set. And today a good number of them, whether religious or not, will take needed comfort in the old tale and in the atmosphere of the day and the greetings from home -- most now carried instantaneously on a glowing screen, which is the new light of Christmas and bearer of good tidings. Keep it shining this day, long and often.
Nice writing, nice punch-line. So, while we cannot wish for "peace on earth", let's offer, and take, a little comfort. Sphere: Related Content

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