the Grinch comes to choir practice

By Diogenes (articles - email) | 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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