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the Grinch comes to choir practice

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 30, 2009

Anglican Bishop Nick Baines of Croydon is on a seasonal crusade. The author of Why Wish You a Merry Christmas? wants to abolish Christmas carols that include overly sentimental verses, and replace them with a more rigorously historical description of the Incarnation. There is, evidently, no compelling cause in the Croydon area, to distract this learned divine from this vitally important business.

It's nonsense to say of the Baby Jesus that "no crying he makes," Bishop Barnes argues; all babies cry. Once in Royal David's City is worse; with its call for children to be "mild, obedient, good as he," that hymn "sounds suspiciously like Victorian behaviour control to me." Even old reliable O Come, All Ye Faithful fails to pass the bishop's scrutiny; "according to gospel accounts of Jesus's birth it was "not the 'faithful', but rather the 'faithless'" who came to see the infant." Bishop Baines apparently has not considered the possibility that a Christmas carol could be something other than a historical narrative-- that it could be, say, an exhortation to those currently alive and singing. 

And you wonder why so many conservative Anglicans are looking for a new home?

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Dec. 04, 2009 1:19 PM ET USA

    Then there's the issue of climate change. How about: In the warm midwinter Balmy winds a threat, Earth was soft with rainfall, Water very wet; Rain had fallen, rain on rain, Rain on mud, In the warm midwinter, A second Flood.

  • Posted by: sparch - Dec. 01, 2009 10:11 AM ET USA

    And to further cap, the accounts written in the new testament are not historical accounts anyway. The carols give us examples of what we, as men can aspire too. Not to unlike Christ himself

  • Posted by: Christopher_Johnson - Nov. 30, 2009 9:45 PM ET USA

    Must be something around in England. This bishop wants to abolish saying "Merry Christmas" http://themcj.com/?p=8174

  • Posted by: Gaby - Nov. 30, 2009 4:14 PM ET USA

    "faithless"?!? They were the ones who came to see Him - doesn't that make them the "faithful", by definition?!?

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