But it's not just commercials that are using the nativity story for non-religious purposes. The London Telegraph reports that the BBC has provoked Christians by announcing plans for a "contemporary" nativity play "featuring Mary and Joseph as asylum seekers instructed to report to the nearest passport office." To add to the gimmickry, it will be performed on the streets of Liverpool, featuring pop tunes from the Beatles, like "Let It Be" and "Lady Madonna."
The play doesn't culminate in the birth of God made flesh but in triumphant Liverpool pop tunes. BBC's press release boasted: "This unmissable hour-long event will open with the iconic image of a star that shines high in the sky above Liverpool -- and it will culminate with the nativity scene brought to life, as thousands of voices sing Liverpool's greatest pop songs together."
In other words, BBC still believes that arrogant John Lennon quote from the sixties that the Beatles are bigger than Jesus. But why a star shining high in the sky? Didn't Lennon's "Imagine" tell us there was no heaven?
Unsurprisingly, this "Liverpool Nativity" wouldn't be fully "contemporary" without an extra dose of political correctness. The character of Herod is changed to a female named Herodia, "a paranoid government minister in a fictional state desperately clinging to power who orders a crackdown on immigration. In the midst of the turmoil, Mary discovers she is pregnant and must fight to protect both Joseph and her unborn child."
It certainly doesn't matter to the BBC that Mary and Joseph were not illegal aliens in Bethlehem but were reporting for the Roman census. The point must be that anyone who opposes contemporary illegal immigration is metaphorically comparable to an ancient mass-baby-murdering tyrant.
Anglican traditionalist Tony Kilmister of the Prayer Book Society insisted, "This is not the sort of thing that Christmas needs. The story is loved and revered by Christians around the world. There is a dignity to it that will be lost. Adding political correctness of this sort is harmful and quite uncalled for."
Someone should be seeking asylum, all right -- to put the BBC in a straitjacket and leave it there. Then again, maybe this is precisely the kind of seasonal silliness that causes the Christian faithful to shut out the noise and contemplate the real nativity scene and its eternal promise.
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