I was going to make the long post about why I think that what the Pope said in his Midnight Mass sermon was both silly and fraudulent. It was going to be about why the whole Bethlehem nativity story is almost certainly a fabrication. It was going to be about the question of why people not only believe what they read in the Bible, but also how they’re told to interpret it.
If I did that, it would have little effect because it would be seen largely as a miserable old git’s debunking of Christmas purely for his own miserable old gittish reasons. And that’s something else that wouldn’t be true. So let me just say this.
Let’s take both the commerce and the religion out of Christmas. We can still keep the name for old times sake because it’s cosy and we’re used to it. But let’s see it in terms of its true origins – as a social tradition celebrating the cycle of the seasons.
Nobody has a clue where Jesus was born or under what circumstances, and nobody knows what his real motivations were or what he really taught. So let’s take the dear chap – for whom I have a lot of respect based on my own suspicions – out of the picture and get back to basics. Then Christmas can mean something profound and I can shut up.