25 December 2018 – Christmas Day
‘No room in the inn’ has become a metaphor for all those who walk the streets of Christmas alone. People who are homeless, cut off from family and friend, refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants. People with no food, health care, hope, nor peace.
And like the Christchild in Stirling’s Thistle Centre can claim no place nor space as their own. It took three years for the church to persuade those in charge of the Thistle Centre to change their minds and allow a Nativity scene to be displayed there!
For long enough, the authorities said that they wanted to remain religiously and politically neutral and thus avoid offending their customers! Of course, the foolishness of their position is easily exposed.
By virtue of refusing to allow a Nativity Scene to be displayed you are making religious and political statements. You are declaring you are not sympathetic to the very religion which is amassing your fortune in Christmas sales.
And you are aligning yourself with those who want to restrict the right which Christians have like everyone else under the UN Declaration of Human Rights ‘to freedom of opinion and expression’.
And what offence was a Nativity Scene going to give their anonymous customers? It was educating the people about the season. It was adding a piece of visual art to enrich their gaze. It was telling a tale which for at least sixteen hundred years has been part of Scotland’s cultural heritage!
Is this rampant secularism or political correctness or is it simply a lack of imagination or perhaps, more likely, a fear of the imagination which will take people to different places, to think different thoughts and to become a different world?