Earlier this year, I shared this funny nativity scene photo on my own Facebook wall (one of 150,000 or so who did), and was soundly thrashed (by someone who is no longer my Facebook friend). And what was supposed to be a cute, fun photo turned into a theological discussion.
I’m noticing that I could say some things with perfect impunity as a “Christian” (even if in name only), which as an atheist almost surely get a Bible verse thrown at me. Almost makes me sorry I came out.
My Evangelical brother (who thought it was quite funny) also shared this same photo on his timeline, with a suggestion that his church’s youth group put one together. Apparently the suggestion didn’t go over too well, but at least no one said they were praying for God’s forgiveness for him, on account of his spiritual ignorance.
They should be thankful I didn’t post one of the other funny nativity scenes out there, especially the naked dudes one, which I thought was brilliant and hilarious. I almost uploaded that one to Facebook just to give an “up yours” to whatever sex-negative friends I might have left.
(Please note that not all of my religious friends and acquaintances are sex-negative, and not all of them are uptight about the human body.)
Yeah, people get really freaked out about their holy symbols (sometimes even threatening legal action). But by so doing, they often deny us part of our humanity, specifically, the part that celebrates the image of God in which we were created. The average four-year-old could tell you that, as she creates plots and games and characters with her dolls, fictional scenarios of which no one in the world has ever before conceived. And even a four-year-old knows how to laugh. We humans were built to do what we’ve never done before, to accomplish what we’ve never accomplished before, to experience what we’ve never experienced before, and to relish every moment of it with joy.
God is a God of variety, and the new, the unexpected, the funny, they express the part of our humanity that is most God-like.
In that vein, I’ve collected a few imaginative Christmas videos that brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye.
The videos in the above playlist:
- Silent monks “singing” the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah
- Epic Caroling – A cool Christmas prank by Improv Everywhere
- “Blue Christmas,” performed by dueling bassist Kate Davis with Postmodern Jukebox
- Tim Minchin’s “White Wine in the Sun” (I Really Like Christmas), with an animation by Rodney and Berty – one of my favorite atheist Christmas songs.
Have a Happy Holiday season!