in the bleak midwinter
At this time of year I enjoy re-reading John Henry Newman's sermon on the Nativity, delivered in Oxford at the university church of Saint Mary the Virgin:
As Al Gore put it in 1997, “two thousand years ago a homeless woman gave birth to a homeless child.” For pete’s sake, they weren’t homeless -- they couldn’t get a hotel room. The whole neighborhood was, as the UN might put it, fully occupied territory. They had to sleep in the stable only because Dad had to schlep halfway across the country to pay his taxes in the town of his birth, which sounds like the kind of cockamamie bureaucratic nightmare only a blue state could cook up. Except that in Massachusetts it’s no doubt illegal to rent out your stable without applying for a Livestock Shelter Change Of Use Permit plus a Temporary Maternity Ward For Non-Insured Transients License, so Mary would have been giving birth under a bridge on I-95.
My mistake. The reflections are Mark Steyn's. OTR regrets the error.
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