Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Good grief

A story that requires some background to make up for overdue entries:

(by the by, I will make sure that the next story is funny, promise)

In "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown" Linus recites from the King James bible Luke 2:8-15 "And there were in the same country sheppherds..." etc. It's one of the most beautiful moments in any Christmas special. It ends with that lovely line "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards man". While I know not everyone who shares the Christmas spirit shares the religious aspects of it, I think the idea of peace on earth and goodwill towards mankind is pretty universal. It's the real essence of the Christmas spirit, and the social consciousness that makes the holiday worth all the price wars and commercialization.
If you read the New Revised standard version, however, you get a different story. At the end of the New Revised Standard passage it reads "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those whom he favours". The first time I read this it totally blew my mind. Holy crap. The New International Version doesn't do a whole lot better: "Peace to men on whom his favour rests". It just about floored me.
Here is the Christmas story. This beautiful passage in the bible that once again "the church" has taken and turned into a judgemental, hypocritical, "God's love is only for us" bunch of junk.
Seriously can you imagine if they changed Tiny Tim's "God bless us everyone" to "God bless us... those of us he likes"?
When it came time for this passage to be read in church, one year, I specifically asked if I could read it for the service. I knew how upset my Mom was that this wording had been changed. I can rant and rave about how offended I am by the change in the ending, but she loves the Christmas story so much. It was more important for her that it be read right.
Our church didn't have a copy of the King James bible so rather than read the new edited text I recited the passage just like Linus. Though I was tempted to say "And that's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown" in place of "The word of the Lord", I managed to behave myself.
My Mom tells me that it doesn't even bother her to hear the new version read in church again, she just thinks of me doing it for the congregation.

Merry Christmas, and god bless us EVERYONE


Angelo said...

Dammit, Liz! Your blog is being a real douchebag about letting me leave comments!

Angelo said...

Success! Success!

Liz said...

yay comments! Thanks Angelo :)

elan_sleazebaggano said...

You realise I'm defending this holiday now, thanks to you.. :-P