Monday, February 23, 2015

"The Christmas story is a fact"

This weekend I spent some time working with a recording taken of the last five hours of Radio St. Helena.  I was editing it down for use on if it matters, which it doesn't really, except that it meant I ended up listening to an address by the "Lord Bishop" {stupid title - Bishops don't get to sit in the House of Lords, or at least, ours doesn't, I'm sure - but I digress.} Specifically I was listening to Bishop Fenwick's 2012 Christmas Address.

It's not something I would normally bother with. I try to avoid all official messages from any type of church leaders because they usually make me cross.  But this one made me laugh.  Out loud.  I woke up my son, Harry - he was not best pleased.  And what was the reason for this early morning hilarity?  It was the sentence "the Christmas story is a fact".

Yes, he really did say that - I rewound it and checked.

Now if he'd said "The Christmas story is a beautiful tale" I would not have batted an eyelid.  It is, after all, a fairly charming bit of nonsense.  But a fact?  Literally true.  All of it?  What, I found myself thinking, is this guy on?

So I listened a bit more and discovered that our Bishop professes to believe - and therefore probably does - that the events told in the Christmas story actually happened, exactly as described in the New Testament. Incredible!

I should say immediately that I have nothing against Bishop Fenwick as a person.  He seems to be a charming man.  It’s his beliefs I’m questioning.  And they wouldn't bother me if it wasn't for the fact [NB the verifiable fact] that the church here is allowed special privileges and is involved in the running of Government.  One of the vicars is, for example, on the Board that runs the 'Extractor', our Government-funded fishing boat which hasn't actually done any fishing for about six months because of a dispute between said Board and the fishermen who were supposed to crew it. I'm not sure why a churchman should be on this board. He has never, to my knowledge, been a fisherman, or maybe never even been fishing.  Maybe it's because Jesus is claimed to have said "I will make you fishers of men"?

My point is: do we really need people who believe the Christmas myth to be literal fact involved in running the island?  What next - mediums and astrologers? Didn't do the Romans much good, that didn't!

Still I suppose maybe it explains, at least partially, why our Government is in the mess it's in.