Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Christmas Tale

As we were sitting around the fireplace one night with a few guests, grandpa piped up with one of his Christmas stories he enjoyed telling. This was one he was always fond of telling when he had guests every year. It was a story of what he thought would be the tale of Christmas if Jesus was born today.

"The first visitors to the manger would not be the Wise men or shepherds, they would be the people from Child Welfare Department of the government. Child advocates would remove the child from the custody of his mother when they discovered she was shacking with a guy (not the child's father) in a barn. In most jurisdictions, that would constitute child neglect.

Of course, Mary would have an underpaid court appointed attorney to represent her in the dependent-neglect proceeding and Joseph would be out of luck once it was determined that paternity could not be established within a reasonable degree of medical certainty through blood or DNA testing(97% probability that Joe was the dad is sufficient, but absent divine intervention, that couldn't happen, hmmm?). He would be excluded from juvenile court as a stranger to the proceeding and investigated for possible sexual deviance (all those oxen and asses around). He would be told that he had no standing to object since he was not the natural father of the child and was not yet married to Mary (by their own admissions they had not yet consummated their union).

The Division of Children and Family Services would ask the court to order Mary to take parenting classes, and the Court would order that homemaker services be provided as well, since obviously Mary can't keep house properly (the place where the DHS workers found the child was kept remarkably like a barn). Mary would be allowed to have one visit with Jesus per week at the Centers for Youth and Families. The visit would be one hour long, and supervised by a therapist since Jesus would no doubt be put in therapeutic foster care to prevent psychological damage resulting from the horrible lack of civilization to which he had been exposed at such a tender age.

At the eighteen month depositional hearing, the court would consider terminating parental rights because of Mary's refusal to bring a paternity suit against Jesus' true biological father (or even to identify him to the satisfaction of the Court). The Court would be appalled at the life choices Mary would have made: she would have completed her marriage to Joseph (that suspected sexual deviant) and had more children by him, which was obviously contrary to Jesus' best interest. Since Mary and Joseph had fled the jurisdiction with Jesus once to escape encounters with the authorities, they would determine that Mary and Joe had nefarious plans to abscond with the Ward of the State to Egypt again, where they would possibly engage in dangerous and illegal activities with him. Parental rights would be terminated, and Jesus would be put up for adoption.

He would be adopted by the Herods, a well-connected and politically powerful family, who have been searching for just such a child as Jesus. Of course, Jesus will die in the custody of his adoptive family, because that's all they wanted him for in the first place. Social services will NOT have intervened prior to his death because the state social workers could never imagine someone as highly placed as the Herods exploiting children or torturing them to death. The political ramifications for the Herods would have been too severe. In all likelihood, the social service agencies would cover up the death as one occurring from accident, and Herod's good name will be preserved.

So, my friends", as he raised his drink in a toast, "with thoughts of that I do not wish you a Happy Holidays for the holiday has a name. So I wish you a very Merry Christmas in all that it has brought to us and for all that it means for everyone."

Having finished his tale he just looked at me with cheeks ever so red and with a with a touch to his nose he gave me a knowing wink with an eye that twinkled ever so brightly in the light of the fire.


Shaw Kenawe said...

Dear Grandpa,

Happy Holiday. The word "holiday" comes from Middle English "holy day. Therefore, there is no disrespect in wishing anyone Happy Holiday.

Our Jewish brothers and sisters happen to celebrate a holiday in December; and so when we meet people we don't know, it is perfectly correct and inclusive to wish them Happy Holiday.

In fact, when I was a little girl, even the priests and nuns in my parish used that term. (Gasp!) Even the (faint!) Cardinal would offer his "Holiday" message to all the parishoners in the Diocese!

It is only lately that certain cynical Grinches at a certain political cable news station have stirred up contoversy where none exists over the term Happy Holidays, and their listeners swallowed the nonsense whole and repeated it to the point where now they've made using Happy Holy Day (Holiday) an insult.

Do people seriously believe saying Happy Holiday (Holy Day) is anti-Christmas? C'mon, be serious and sensible.

Happy Holidays to one and all.

The Griper said...

good mornin' shaw. you are up early.

and i know what the the meaning and origin of the word holiday comes from.

what you failed to take into consideration is the fact that my post was addressing a specific holy day, the holy day of Christmas.

i also know that the Jews celebrate the holy day of Hanukkah at this time of the year.

furthermore, i know that the black community have created a day of celebration for this time of year called Kwanzaa.

there are many others also, less widely known or not practiced anymore.

but to address your point, we must remember one thing. words spoken are meant to reveal one's thoughts.

and to speak words that both, the listener and the speaker knows are not the words of his thoughts only reveals the speaker as a fool. and it insults the intelligence of the listener. it may be acceptable but just because it is acceptable doesn't diminish what it does.

and while saying happy holidays may not be anti-Christmas by intent and this i agree with you but it also isn't pro-Christmas either, is it?

and each and every holiday have special meaning that can be applied to all persons not just to the ones that advocate the holiness of it. it is the event that is being celebrated and the significance of that event, not the day. this can be said of every holiday regardless of whether it be religious or secular.

so when someone says "Merry Christmas" everyone knows what event that the person is celebrating. the same is true of the phrase "Happy Hanukkah".

but, when you say "Happy Holidays" no one knows for sure which holiday they mean or what event is being celebrated. one can assume, yes. but why assume something when it can be known by being specific?

i just don't like to use generalized terms when specific terms are there to use and more clearly declares your thoughts.

as to those pundits who you spoke of, it is up to them to defend their position as they see it, i can't do it for them. i can only attempt to explain my own.

their reasons may be entirely different from mine. that was the purpose and intent of what i said in my introduction at the top of this blog.

then laughingly he says, "you're a bad girl, this year, shaw. you got me making a comment that is long enough to have been used as a post itself. lol" Merry Christmas, little one.

BB-Idaho said...

Interesting take on the ancient custom. To be safe, we must wish Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus, the shepards and Herod 'Joyful Hanukkah'; according to Matthew and tradition, the wise men were
apparently Zoroastrian and the politically correct greeting would be 'Dies Natalis Solis Invicti' since Mithra's virgin birth was also celebrated on Dec 25. Now those mean Child Welfare folk in the tale deserve a 'bah humbug'.
To Griper & Grandpa and Grandma..
Merry Christmas! I have been guilty of the Happy Holidays thing as reflecting the juxtaposition of Christmas & New Years. Like when putting cash in the SA bell ringer's pot. So, if that is not self-redemptive...mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. :)

The Griper said...

he chuckles, and a Merry Christmas to you too, my friend. and may the New year find you prosperous and happy.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I'm guessing, Grandpa, that when people say "Happy Holiday" (Holy Day) during December where everyone in this country celebrates the birth of Jesus (even if, factually, Jesus was NOT born in December) people understand that the meaning is to wish people a, well, Happy Holiday (Christmas).

As I stated in my original comment, years ago, no one, I repeat, NO ONE ever, ever was insulted by this greeting--this is a new phenomenon, and is promoted by people of ill will.

Everyone wishing their friends and family Happy Holiday means only the sweetest and warmest good will. Believe me. Not Bill O'Reilly.

There is no assault on Christmas. This country is so into that commercial holiday that there is no danger in its being overturned by anyone.

Jesus was not born in December. The early Christians decided to celebrate that day on the pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice so they would not bring attention to themselves and their outlawed religion--they were a persecuted minority at the time.

The "Christmas" tree was a pagan tradition as was mistletoe, and the giving of gifts.

If one were to truly celebrate the birth of Jesus, one would do so sometime in the spring and one would do so with humility, prayer, and song--not by allowing one's children to watch "Elf," starring Will Farrell or tearing into a cheaply wrapped, Chinese-made plastic toy.

And my wish during this season is always, always, "peace," even if I've never in my life yet seen it.


The Griper said...

if you got a beef with Bill O'Reilly. that is fine but go argue with him. don't try to get me to defend his statements or reasonings.
i won't defend my stance on it based on your feelings towards him. if you can't rebut my reasoning, there is no argument here.

Always On Watch said...

A word to the wise: Do everything you can to avoid getting caught in the legal loop in the Post-Modern Age.

Gayle said...

A very MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours, Griper. May it be wonderful and blessed.

I agree with Bill O'Reilly on this one, although there are many things I do disagree with him about. I'm positive Shaw knows full well that there is an effort to take Christ out of our society, thus the effort to do away with the greeting "Merry Christmas." If I meet a Jewish person I will wish him a Happy Hanukkah, and if I say "Merry Christmas" to a stranger who happens to be Jewish, I doubt if they will have a problem with it. I've been wished a Happy Hanukkah by Jews, by the way, and I don't have a problem with that either. The only problem I have are with people who make problems where there are none.

Gayle said...

Oops! I meant to add that your post doesn't seem far-fetched at all. I wish it did!


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