Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Lost in translation - Jesus and the cowboys

When I was a child I found Christmas confusing. As I am born so close to Christmas, I fear the “wonder” of Christmas and celebration of the birth of Jesus may have been slightly overshadowed by the excitement of celebrating my own birth. So I was a selfish child but hey, most children are selfish aren’t they? What confused me the most was the stories about Jesus and how he did so many amazing things like turning water into wine and healing the sick and lame, yet only lived (as far as I could work out) for a maximum of 4 and a half months.

I was so confused by the fact Christmas happened in December and then by April, Jesus had seemingly carped it and I was eating chocolate eggs and making bonnets made out of crepe paper and felt. I appreciate that in retrospect, this seems dumb as fuck but honestly, for kids, it’s a pretty fucking confusing concept. In fact, realistically, telling kids that a virgin gave birth to the Messiah; in a stable; in front of loads of animals and strangers (including weird naked cherubs and angels if you believe the pictures) and then that Messiah went on to do loads of miraculous stuff like making blind people see, and curing leprosy and carpentry is all pretty confusing and hard to swallow as a kid.

To throw in a bit more confusion, I recently discovered that a friend of mine’s little boy was to appear in the school version of the nativity. As a cowboy. What the very fuck!? I appreciate in Cornwall, things are sometimes a little lost in translation and interpretation but I am pretty sure that there were no cowboys in the nativity story I was told as a kid. Admittedly, looking at the story now, as an atheist, I am quite sure that there weren’t any wise men, angels or a slightly confused and worried carpenter present either. In fact, I am pretty sure the story is just that. A story. BUT… that does not take away from the fact there were no cowboys. It’s no wonder that kids are confused about Christmas and Jesus is it really? It’s hard enough getting your head around the fact that Jesus lived longer than 4 months let alone being expected to believe that cowboys, Indians and aliens were present at his birth. It was a stable not the YMCA...

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