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Have yourself a countercultural Christmas Let's recover the Nativity's true egalitarianism

"You will know Yahweh for who he is when you see the downtrodden coming to power" (Credit: uba-foto/Getty Images)

"You will know Yahweh for who he is when you see the downtrodden coming to power" (Credit: uba-foto/Getty Images)


December 23, 2022   6 mins

In Lapland, just inside the Arctic Circle, you can visit Santa Claus at any time of year, because that’s where he lives. No doubt this requires a plentiful supply of Santas (I hope nobody under the age of seven is reading this), some of whom may be graduates of a course in Santa Claus studies you can take at the University of Lapland. Like Santas everywhere, you need a generous girth, a certain facility with the ho-ho-hos, a lack of lurid facial tattoos and no history of paedophilia. I once saw such a generous-girthed image of Santa Claus in a shop window in Beijing, at a time when a newly modernising China was getting to grips with Christmas. The fact that he was pinned to a cross suggested that they still had some way to go.

There are other myths about Christmas, this time Biblical ones. We read in the New Testament that Mary and Joseph had to leave their native town of Nazareth and travel to Bethlehem, which is where Jesus was born. They did so because a Roman census of the population required that all citizens should return to their birthplaces in order to be counted. Since Joseph, Jesus’s father came from Bethlehem, this was where the couple ended up, with Mary on the verge of giving birth to her baby.

Having everyone return to their birthplaces seems a mighty odd way of holding a census. Why not just count them on the spot? Such a project would have gridlocked the Roman Empire from end to end, since the census is said to have involved the imperial world as a whole. The upheaval would have been spectacular — so much so that we would almost certainly know about it from non-religious sources. But we don’t; no ancient historian records it. And this is almost certainly because it didn’t happen. The census is probably a narrative device for getting Jesus born in Bethlehem. Bethlehem was King David’s city, and prophecy foretold that the Messiah would come from there. It would be embarrassing for him to hail from a scruffy little place called Nazareth in the benighted rural region of Galilee. It would be like nominating someone from Barnsley as President of the Universe. (To avoid a deluge of threatening letters, I should add that Barnsley is a brilliant place to live.)

There is another anomaly here, however, since Jesus wasn’t really the Messiah at all, even if you believe that he was the Son of God. In Jewish tradition, the Messiah is a secular figure rather than a sacred one — a mighty warrior who would lead the Jewish people to victory over their enemies. The job description doesn’t fit Jesus at all, and on no occasion in the gospels does he unambiguously acknowledge the title (or, for that matter, the title of Son of God). His entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey looks like a satirical parody of a triumphal royal procession. He spurns what St John calls “the powers of this world”, meaning among other things the dominant political set-up, and is brought to his death by them. Politically speaking, he is a failure, executed by the imperial state and deserted by his comrades. So maybe Mary and Joseph’s winter journey to Bethlehem wasn’t necessary after all.

As even Richard Dawkins is aware, Jesus was born in a stable because the Bethlehem lodging places were full. Perhaps in honour of this occasion, hotel accommodation at Christmas continues to be scarce. Not long after his birth the child is visited by three kings, or so popular belief has it. In fact, the New Testament doesn’t mention how many of them there were, and in any case they weren’t kings at all. They were Magi: magicians, sorcerers, fortune tellers, the kind of charlatans whom rulers used to hire to bedazzle the common people with their conjuring tricks. They were also astrologers, enemies of human freedom who maintained that everything was predestined by cosmic forces, and who peered into the future in order to reassure their sovereign that his power would continue to flourish for years to come.

Why should such unsavoury characters come to visit a new-born child, the offspring of a couple of nobodies? The clue may lie in the gifts they brought with them, which were probably not gifts at all but tools of their esoteric trade. What they are probably doing is not laying down presents at the baby’s feet but surrendering the tokens of their power. The scene, in the words, may be allegorical, as the old regime of fear, awe and superstition gives way to a new world of freedom and friendship. This is how T.S. Eliot sees the matter in his poem, “Journey of the Magi”:

…this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

Also present at the birth are a group of shepherds and a choir of angels. The angels signify infinity, while the humble shepherds are of the earth. The angels are countless, the people are counted and the shepherds don’t count.

To be humble, however, counts for a lot, at least for the New Testament. During her pregnancy, Mary pays a visit to her cousin Elizabeth, who is also pregnant. Neither woman is an image of conventional domesticity: Mary and the child she is carrying aren’t dependent on what the gospels call “the will of man”, which is to say that this mother-to-be is a virgin, and Elizabeth is beyond conventional child-bearing age. When she sees Mary, we are told that the child in her womb leaps for joy. He won’t, however, be joyful all that long.

The man he grows up to become is known to history as John the Baptist, who will be beheaded by King Herod, while Mary’s child will be executed by the occupying imperial power. Neither man has much time for the family, a set-up of which Jesus is consistently critical. When informed that his family wish to see him while he is preaching, he tells them brusquely to wait. His mission takes precedence over domestic ties. He has come not to unite families, he announces, but to divide them. John seems to have no kinsfolk at all, hanging out in the desert on a diet of locusts and honey like a refugee from Woodstock. Both men are vagrant, celibate, without home, property, profession or — as it turns out — much of a future.

Mary’s encounter with Elizabeth is staged by St. Luke (we have no idea whether it actually took place), and is one of the most astonishing scenes in the New Testament. In a sisterly dialogue, Mary bursts out in response to Elizabeth’s greeting with a passage from the Hebrew Scriptures. Perhaps she sings and dances as she does so; God, she declares, “has brought down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away”.

As an obscure young woman from nowhere in particular, Mary is comparing her own elevation to the status of mother of Jesus to the raising up of the poor. She is making a political point out of her pregnancy. Some scholars even claim that the words which Luke puts in her mouth are part of a Zealot chant, the Zealots being underground revolutionaries who were eventually to strike against Rome with calamitous results. Whether or not Mary’s cry is Zealot-inspired, it is almost a platitude of the Hebrew Scriptures: you will know Yahweh for who he is when you see the downtrodden coming to power. The only authentic power is one which is born of weakness.

The poor in the Bible are sometimes called the anawim, the scraps and leavings of the earth; and in an extraordinary gesture, Luke is here turning Mary into a sign of them. As a symbol of the powerless, no woman could be more powerful. Women as a whole belonged to the dumped and discarded in first-century Israel, and Mary becomes a representative of them by being raised up to freedom and dignity. The other prominent Mary in the gospels is Mary Magdalen, who despite the fact that she may well have been a prostitute is allotted the privilege of being among the first to discover that Jesus’s tomb is empty. Her testimony to the fact is officially worthless, since women were not recognised at the time as valid witnesses.

It’s all a long way from mince pies and paper hats. Still, there’s something to be said for the turkey and the trimmings. What we have retained from Mary’s jubilant chant, however dimly and distortedly, is the fact that Christmas is about rejoicing. In the depths of the dead season, new life begins to stir, and from the most unexpected of quarters. If the best we can do to recall that spirit is the gift of a new pair of socks, well, that’s the modern world for you.


Terry Eagleton is a critic, literary theorist, and UnHerd columnist.


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Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

In these secular, consumerist times, it is truer now than it has ever been: if you take a Christ out of Christmas, then all you’re left with is M&S

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Oh excellent, must remember that one

ryan simpson
ryan simpson
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

very good..

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

On form today, Sir!

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Oh excellent, must remember that one

ryan simpson
ryan simpson
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

very good..

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

On form today, Sir!

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

In these secular, consumerist times, it is truer now than it has ever been: if you take a Christ out of Christmas, then all you’re left with is M&S

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

You can always count on some gasbag to sh** on Christianity at this time of year, claiming to debunk or at least asserting that “we don’t really know” if biblical events are facts. Weird how we never see similar articles during Ramadan.

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
1 year ago

Excellent point!! They sh** on Christmas (and hence Christianity) because (1) they CAN without being beheaded, and (2) it helps destroy the foundations of western society, which is what all modern day hipsters and neo Marxists never tire of doing.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

If you want unquestioning acceptance of your personal beliefs, why do you read secular websites?
You might find it ‘triggering’, but most people, in my country at least, don’t belief Biblical events are facts. Maybe you should cancel this site, and stick to strictly theological ones?

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

John, aren’t you being a bit of a plonker here – are you claiming UnHerd as a site for atheists? I thought it was for an audience who is sick to death of the NEW York Times et al. and Wokish Orthodoxy ? Besides, it’s Christmas- when all the world’s secular hounds come to horn.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Pearse

I’m not assuming it’s a site for atheists at all, and noting Ive said suggests that.
But neither would I assume it’s specifically a site for Christians- it’s supposed to be (though you wouldn’t know it from the group-think exhibited in the comments usually) a site for unorthodox and intelligent thinking of all persuasions.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Pearse

To be honest, Richard, I’ve been naive.
I’m new to Unherd, and I was attracted to the selling point of a broad, independantly-minded set of articles. What I didn’t realise was that the reader comments are a very different thing- almost uniformly and predictably orthodox right-wing bubble-think, an echo-chamber just as narrow as the Guardian or the Telegraph.
I will, in future, continue to read the articles (I’ve paid my fee now, after all), many of which are intelligent and original, but leave the comments to the bubble-folk to congratulate each other on their correct thinking and eviscerate anyone who doesn’t toe the line.

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

My what a self indulging tw@t you are.
Merry Christmas.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

Gosh, you’ve just proven me wrong about the quality of comments here.
Merry Christmas, Andy.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

“Gosh, you’ve just proven me wrong about the quality

”

American by any chance?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

“Gosh, you’ve just proven me wrong about the quality

”

American by any chance?

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

And how Christian of you! An example to all.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

Gosh, you’ve just proven me wrong about the quality of comments here.
Merry Christmas, Andy.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

And how Christian of you! An example to all.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Are you sure you haven’t been here before? Perhaps under another name?

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

No- why do you say that? Is a dissenting opinion really that rare here? Or is it because I am, in the erudite and Chritsian words of your fellow thinkers here, a t**t, a shit and an a**s?
And no, not American- an Americanism slipped in.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Thanks I’m afraid that post hadn’t arrived by the time I replied.

Anyway what a relief! You will have to pay more attention to your syntax.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Thanks I’m afraid that post hadn’t arrived by the time I replied.

Anyway what a relief! You will have to pay more attention to your syntax.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

No- why do you say that? Is a dissenting opinion really that rare here? Or is it because I am, in the erudite and Chritsian words of your fellow thinkers here, a t**t, a shit and an a**s?
And no, not American- an Americanism slipped in.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Interesting analysis which inspired me to ask why it is that Unheard comments attract “predictably orthodox right-wing bubble-think” in your view. Perhaps it is that the thought-provoking material found at this site does not conform sufficiently to the the orthodoxy of “progressive” narratives, and so it is ultimately of little interest to the left.

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

My what a self indulging tw@t you are.
Merry Christmas.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Are you sure you haven’t been here before? Perhaps under another name?

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Interesting analysis which inspired me to ask why it is that Unheard comments attract “predictably orthodox right-wing bubble-think” in your view. Perhaps it is that the thought-provoking material found at this site does not conform sufficiently to the the orthodoxy of “progressive” narratives, and so it is ultimately of little interest to the left.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Pearse

I’m not assuming it’s a site for atheists at all, and noting Ive said suggests that.
But neither would I assume it’s specifically a site for Christians- it’s supposed to be (though you wouldn’t know it from the group-think exhibited in the comments usually) a site for unorthodox and intelligent thinking of all persuasions.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Pearse

To be honest, Richard, I’ve been naive.
I’m new to Unherd, and I was attracted to the selling point of a broad, independantly-minded set of articles. What I didn’t realise was that the reader comments are a very different thing- almost uniformly and predictably orthodox right-wing bubble-think, an echo-chamber just as narrow as the Guardian or the Telegraph.
I will, in future, continue to read the articles (I’ve paid my fee now, after all), many of which are intelligent and original, but leave the comments to the bubble-folk to congratulate each other on their correct thinking and eviscerate anyone who doesn’t toe the line.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

I find aetheists triggered more easily than believers.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Tell that to someone being stoned to death or burned at the stake for blasphemy.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Triggered.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Eh? My God, these comments are lame. You’ll be saying ‘LOLS’ next.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Eh? My God, these comments are lame. You’ll be saying ‘LOLS’ next.

James Stangl
James Stangl
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

And which faith is currently doing that?

Face it, your ability to even dis Christmas and orthodox Christian beliefs is because our Western society still relies on a veneer of Judeo-Christian morality. Try doing the same to Islam or Hinduism in a majority Muslim country or India, and good luck.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Triggered.

James Stangl
James Stangl
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

And which faith is currently doing that?

Face it, your ability to even dis Christmas and orthodox Christian beliefs is because our Western society still relies on a veneer of Judeo-Christian morality. Try doing the same to Islam or Hinduism in a majority Muslim country or India, and good luck.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Tell that to someone being stoned to death or burned at the stake for blasphemy.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Isn’t there a bit of a gulf between unquestioning acceptance and smug dismissiveness or agenda-driven contempt?

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Yes- absolutely.
Which is why some of the knee-jerk ‘no-platforming’ in the comments here over an intelligent if slightly provocative article is so depressing.
There is no “contempt” in this article, unless you desperately want to fid it- which it seems some do, for some reason.

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

It was an interesting read – not profound in the least! Was not going to comment on the article until I scrolled down and read your a**l comment.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andy O'Gorman
John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

‘a**l’? Is that the word you’re struggling to say?
An odd choice, but it continues the intellectual brilliance of the comments so far- a**l, p***k, shit, t**t….it’s like playtime in the remedials’ school yard today. Educational.
Happy Christmas.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

Ah- I didn’t realise the site prudishly cuts naughty words- except ‘shit’, for some reason.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

‘a**l’? Is that the word you’re struggling to say?
An odd choice, but it continues the intellectual brilliance of the comments so far- a**l, p***k, shit, t**t….it’s like playtime in the remedials’ school yard today. Educational.
Happy Christmas.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy O'Gorman

Ah- I didn’t realise the site prudishly cuts naughty words- except ‘shit’, for some reason.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

I admit that contempt is too strong a word. I was pushing back against your seemingly presumptuous phrase “unquestioning acceptance”.
Eagleton is a bit cheeky and given to (rather generalized) mockery, but then again so am I if I’m honest, and that’s part of what makes him readable.

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

It was an interesting read – not profound in the least! Was not going to comment on the article until I scrolled down and read your a**l comment.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andy O'Gorman
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

I admit that contempt is too strong a word. I was pushing back against your seemingly presumptuous phrase “unquestioning acceptance”.
Eagleton is a bit cheeky and given to (rather generalized) mockery, but then again so am I if I’m honest, and that’s part of what makes him readable.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Yes- absolutely.
Which is why some of the knee-jerk ‘no-platforming’ in the comments here over an intelligent if slightly provocative article is so depressing.
There is no “contempt” in this article, unless you desperately want to fid it- which it seems some do, for some reason.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Hey, Merry Christmas, John! May the spirit of the season follow you into the new year and beyond!

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Thankyou. And you too.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Thankyou. And you too.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

“most people, in my country at least, don’t belief Biblical events are facts.”
What country is that?

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

John, aren’t you being a bit of a plonker here – are you claiming UnHerd as a site for atheists? I thought it was for an audience who is sick to death of the NEW York Times et al. and Wokish Orthodoxy ? Besides, it’s Christmas- when all the world’s secular hounds come to horn.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

I find aetheists triggered more easily than believers.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Isn’t there a bit of a gulf between unquestioning acceptance and smug dismissiveness or agenda-driven contempt?

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Hey, Merry Christmas, John! May the spirit of the season follow you into the new year and beyond!

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

“most people, in my country at least, don’t belief Biblical events are facts.”
What country is that?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Because it is approximately 630 years younger and quite obviously complete nonsense.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
1 year ago

Excellent point!! They sh** on Christmas (and hence Christianity) because (1) they CAN without being beheaded, and (2) it helps destroy the foundations of western society, which is what all modern day hipsters and neo Marxists never tire of doing.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

If you want unquestioning acceptance of your personal beliefs, why do you read secular websites?
You might find it ‘triggering’, but most people, in my country at least, don’t belief Biblical events are facts. Maybe you should cancel this site, and stick to strictly theological ones?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Because it is approximately 630 years younger and quite obviously complete nonsense.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

You can always count on some gasbag to sh** on Christianity at this time of year, claiming to debunk or at least asserting that “we don’t really know” if biblical events are facts. Weird how we never see similar articles during Ramadan.

Chris Hudson
Chris Hudson
1 year ago

A strange mix of speculation and poor scholarship, based on Western assumptions..
1. The accounts never mention ‘a stable’.
2. Ditto, Mary Magdalene being a prostitute.
3. Ditto, the ‘winter’ journey.
4. Jewish messianic prophecies also mention a ‘suffering servant’, not just a military leader.
Anyone wanting a more scholarly unpacking of the Nativity should go to Ian Paul’s ‘Psephizo’ blog at
https://www.psephizo.com/biblical-studies/challenging-christmas-myths-in-mission-and-ministry/.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Hudson
John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Hudson

Why “western assumptions”?
Moreover, whether or not the gospels mention a stable or winter is hardly of any great importance to the point of the article.

Chris Hudson
Chris Hudson
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Re Western assumptions: we assume M&J travelled alone. In Traditional cultures then as often now, travel took place in groups. A pregnant woman would have been accompanied by other women who ‘knew what to do’. Joseph would be with the men. On arrival in Bethlehem, Joseph had family who would have found room, although the guest room (mistranslated as ‘inn’) was full. Jesus’ birth took place, not in a lonely cattleshed…but in a place of hospitality, full of people. Terry’s point about the subversive nature of the Nativity holds true… but it challenges our Western sense of family and community as well. Read Ian Paul for more on this. Happy Christmas!

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Hudson

You seem to know a great deal about Christ’s birth- rather more than is rationally justifiable.
I take your point about the norms of most traditional societies- but stating “Jesus’ birth took place…..in a place of hospitality, full of people” is an entirely evidenceless assertion, as is “Joseph had family”- not only do you not know that, but it misses the entire point, which is that the journey almost certainly would never have been made in the first place, and was probably invented to fit earlier prophesies.

Chris Hudson
Chris Hudson
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

To the main point…was there a journey at all? Censuses for tax purposes were common and intermittent in different Roman provinces, but Nazareth wasn’t part of Governor Quirinius’ remit, unlike Bethlehem. The only reason for Joseph to make that journey would be because he had ancestral property in Bethlehem being ‘of the house of David’. If he did, then it would be a case of turn up, or be considered a rebel. (Tax rebellions could turn violent.) So he decided to turn up. Mary, of course, didn’t have to go with him. In the narrative, she does, for reasons unknown.
So we then enter the question of whether we want to believe it or not, with all the supernatural elements of angel messengers, etc The story can’t be ‘proved’, but the historical background is credible enough.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

“You seem to know a great deal about Christ’s birth- rather more than is rationally justifiable”

What an extraordinarily ‘chippy’ remark! Almost as if you actually resent Chris Hudson’s exhaustive knowledge of his chosen subject.

You must be an exceedingly ill-educated fellow, and might I suggest you return to your friends on Twitter or wherever. You will be much happier I can assure you!
Happy Christmas!

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Well, what a charming fellow you are!
For a start, no-one’s knowledge of anything that happened two millennia ago in an obscure part of the Roman Empire can be “exhaustive”, by definition. Much of it is speculation.
Secondly, whatever Chris Hudson’s knowledge of the subject, it cannot, logically, extend to ‘knowing’ how many people were present at a particular illiterate person’s birth, or whether on not that person’s father had family in that town- particularly as he is claiming that the only written evidence we do have of either of these things is false.
I’m not saying he’s wrong- I’m asking how he knows this. Your rather hysterical reaction is merely silly. Still, at least you have yet to resort to direct personal abuse, as quite a few of your fellow intellectuals here have done- yet.
Happy Christmas, too.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Firstly may I ask if you are an American? It may explain your sad predicament.

Secondly, you are all too obviously a contrarian who has recently ‘parachuted’ into this site to cause mischief. Is that not so?

If you wish to be taken seriously you will have to “up your game’. Having an inferiority complex is simply NO excuse old chap.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

You’ve already asked that particular non-sequitur Charles, and I’ve answered it.
Otherwise, you don’t actually seem to have a point, dear- perhaps you could try again, in the context of the actual discussion and the words therein.
Otherwise, have a sit down and a sherry: you seem to be working yourself up into a lather for no clear reason.
Pip pip!

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Sorry for the excessive ‘otherwises’, too much sherry myself.
Must “up my game” at this temple to the intellect- to the giddy Socratic heights of calling people “anuses” and “twats”, no doubt.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Steady on Ms Holland it can’t be that bad?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Steady on Ms Holland it can’t be that bad?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

You haven’t, (probably for the obvious reason), answered my polite query as to whether you are an American. After all who else would say “you’ve just proven me wrong “ rather you’ve just proved me wrong? (answer to Andy O’Gorman, 4 hours ago.)

So far today you have made some 20 asinine statements on this thread alone! Including this wonderfully conceited: remark:
“I’ve been naive.
I’m new to Unherd, and I was attracted to the selling point of a broad, independantly-minded set of articles. What I didn’t realise was that the reader comments are a very different thing- almost uniformly and predictably orthodox right-wing bubble-think, an echo-chamber just as narrow as the Guardian or the Telegraph.”

What a frightful transparently pseudo ‘intellectual’ you really are. Try some Bromide in your tea and shuffle of back to the Guardian, or wherever it is you came from, they need people like you.

O and by the way do try and have a Happy Christmas.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

My God, what an ass you are Charles- wonderful! Top marks for amusement value whilst stewing the red cabbage.
The sheer witlessness of responding to my complaint about the group-think of the Guardian comments with “go back to the Guardian” displays a quite breathtaking level of confusion and obtuseness. Perhaps you are being parodic, in which case I salute your effort.
Otherwise, Charlie, calm down, take a few deep breaths, and remove the seasonal holly wreath from your arse- it will afford you much relief.
Ok, now you’ve done that, try to meaningfully engage with something- anything- from the above exchange about the epistemological nature of the OP’s claims. Go on, Chas, give it a go- you know you can, if you just stop ranting like a drunken tramp for a moment, and engage the old brain.
See you Christmas morning for sherry and mince pies!
PS, no I’m not American. Although given the number of posters here who clearly are (mostly of the swivel-eyed Trumpist variety), that seems an odd thing to get you all flustered.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Oh, by the way- I do love the fact that you are so frothingly, hilariously furious about someone being supposedly “contrarian” on a website called ‘Unherd’, the pun in the name being a boast about its ‘mission’ to be outside the orthodox, of ‘group-think’, of, in fact, the ‘herd’.
I’m sure you appreciate the irony of your confusion. Don’t you?

Darwin K Godwin
Darwin K Godwin
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Boorish.

Darwin K Godwin
Darwin K Godwin
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Boorish.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

You only demean yourself by such a vulgar rant.
Try harder next year, there’s a good fellow.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Thanks I’m afraid that post hadn’t arrived by the time I replied. Anyway what a relief! You will have to pay more attention to your syntax in future.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Oh, by the way- I do love the fact that you are so frothingly, hilariously furious about someone being supposedly “contrarian” on a website called ‘Unherd’, the pun in the name being a boast about its ‘mission’ to be outside the orthodox, of ‘group-think’, of, in fact, the ‘herd’.
I’m sure you appreciate the irony of your confusion. Don’t you?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

You only demean yourself by such a vulgar rant.
Try harder next year, there’s a good fellow.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Thanks I’m afraid that post hadn’t arrived by the time I replied. Anyway what a relief! You will have to pay more attention to your syntax in future.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

My God, what an ass you are Charles- wonderful! Top marks for amusement value whilst stewing the red cabbage.
The sheer witlessness of responding to my complaint about the group-think of the Guardian comments with “go back to the Guardian” displays a quite breathtaking level of confusion and obtuseness. Perhaps you are being parodic, in which case I salute your effort.
Otherwise, Charlie, calm down, take a few deep breaths, and remove the seasonal holly wreath from your arse- it will afford you much relief.
Ok, now you’ve done that, try to meaningfully engage with something- anything- from the above exchange about the epistemological nature of the OP’s claims. Go on, Chas, give it a go- you know you can, if you just stop ranting like a drunken tramp for a moment, and engage the old brain.
See you Christmas morning for sherry and mince pies!
PS, no I’m not American. Although given the number of posters here who clearly are (mostly of the swivel-eyed Trumpist variety), that seems an odd thing to get you all flustered.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Sorry for the excessive ‘otherwises’, too much sherry myself.
Must “up my game” at this temple to the intellect- to the giddy Socratic heights of calling people “anuses” and “twats”, no doubt.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

You haven’t, (probably for the obvious reason), answered my polite query as to whether you are an American. After all who else would say “you’ve just proven me wrong “ rather you’ve just proved me wrong? (answer to Andy O’Gorman, 4 hours ago.)

So far today you have made some 20 asinine statements on this thread alone! Including this wonderfully conceited: remark:
“I’ve been naive.
I’m new to Unherd, and I was attracted to the selling point of a broad, independantly-minded set of articles. What I didn’t realise was that the reader comments are a very different thing- almost uniformly and predictably orthodox right-wing bubble-think, an echo-chamber just as narrow as the Guardian or the Telegraph.”

What a frightful transparently pseudo ‘intellectual’ you really are. Try some Bromide in your tea and shuffle of back to the Guardian, or wherever it is you came from, they need people like you.

O and by the way do try and have a Happy Christmas.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

You’ve already asked that particular non-sequitur Charles, and I’ve answered it.
Otherwise, you don’t actually seem to have a point, dear- perhaps you could try again, in the context of the actual discussion and the words therein.
Otherwise, have a sit down and a sherry: you seem to be working yourself up into a lather for no clear reason.
Pip pip!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Firstly may I ask if you are an American? It may explain your sad predicament.

Secondly, you are all too obviously a contrarian who has recently ‘parachuted’ into this site to cause mischief. Is that not so?

If you wish to be taken seriously you will have to “up your game’. Having an inferiority complex is simply NO excuse old chap.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Well, what a charming fellow you are!
For a start, no-one’s knowledge of anything that happened two millennia ago in an obscure part of the Roman Empire can be “exhaustive”, by definition. Much of it is speculation.
Secondly, whatever Chris Hudson’s knowledge of the subject, it cannot, logically, extend to ‘knowing’ how many people were present at a particular illiterate person’s birth, or whether on not that person’s father had family in that town- particularly as he is claiming that the only written evidence we do have of either of these things is false.
I’m not saying he’s wrong- I’m asking how he knows this. Your rather hysterical reaction is merely silly. Still, at least you have yet to resort to direct personal abuse, as quite a few of your fellow intellectuals here have done- yet.
Happy Christmas, too.

Chris Hudson
Chris Hudson
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

To the main point…was there a journey at all? Censuses for tax purposes were common and intermittent in different Roman provinces, but Nazareth wasn’t part of Governor Quirinius’ remit, unlike Bethlehem. The only reason for Joseph to make that journey would be because he had ancestral property in Bethlehem being ‘of the house of David’. If he did, then it would be a case of turn up, or be considered a rebel. (Tax rebellions could turn violent.) So he decided to turn up. Mary, of course, didn’t have to go with him. In the narrative, she does, for reasons unknown.
So we then enter the question of whether we want to believe it or not, with all the supernatural elements of angel messengers, etc The story can’t be ‘proved’, but the historical background is credible enough.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

“You seem to know a great deal about Christ’s birth- rather more than is rationally justifiable”

What an extraordinarily ‘chippy’ remark! Almost as if you actually resent Chris Hudson’s exhaustive knowledge of his chosen subject.

You must be an exceedingly ill-educated fellow, and might I suggest you return to your friends on Twitter or wherever. You will be much happier I can assure you!
Happy Christmas!

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Hudson

Do you belong to an epistemology where Western is a euphemism for “bad” and non-Western a synonym for “better”?

Chris Hudson
Chris Hudson
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

No… But it helps to see other perspectives. Many dismiss the significance of the Nativity because of fanciful additions to the narrative since it was first written (Three kings, donkey, stable etc). Terry slips into that a little, but his overall point about the story’s subversion theme is a little off-beam. From what we know, M&I weren’t necessarily members of a poor underclass. They certainly were part of a strong community that did most things together because that’s how you survive. The theological point is that the Messiah is born into a place of welcome, not rejection or isolation…. which is how we tend to see it in the West on countless illustrations.

Don Phillipson
Don Phillipson
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

It helps to remember this event took place before the modern opposition between Western and Oriental thought had appeared. Jews were a peculiar religious minority in a coherent and familiar world framed by Persian empires to the east and Rome to the west, unified by the Greek lingua franca around all the shores of the Mediterranean (including Syria and Judaea) and by omnipresent Roman governors and garrisons.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Don Phillipson

That’s valid. The Greeks usually get more credit for humane qualities, but their term for foreigners was “barbarian”–akin to “gibberish speakers” (bar-bar-bar), and Rome in some respects may have been less ethnocentric than modern Western folk.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Don Phillipson

That’s valid. The Greeks usually get more credit for humane qualities, but their term for foreigners was “barbarian”–akin to “gibberish speakers” (bar-bar-bar), and Rome in some respects may have been less ethnocentric than modern Western folk.

Chris Hudson
Chris Hudson
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

No… But it helps to see other perspectives. Many dismiss the significance of the Nativity because of fanciful additions to the narrative since it was first written (Three kings, donkey, stable etc). Terry slips into that a little, but his overall point about the story’s subversion theme is a little off-beam. From what we know, M&I weren’t necessarily members of a poor underclass. They certainly were part of a strong community that did most things together because that’s how you survive. The theological point is that the Messiah is born into a place of welcome, not rejection or isolation…. which is how we tend to see it in the West on countless illustrations.

Don Phillipson
Don Phillipson
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

It helps to remember this event took place before the modern opposition between Western and Oriental thought had appeared. Jews were a peculiar religious minority in a coherent and familiar world framed by Persian empires to the east and Rome to the west, unified by the Greek lingua franca around all the shores of the Mediterranean (including Syria and Judaea) and by omnipresent Roman governors and garrisons.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Hudson

You seem to know a great deal about Christ’s birth- rather more than is rationally justifiable.
I take your point about the norms of most traditional societies- but stating “Jesus’ birth took place…..in a place of hospitality, full of people” is an entirely evidenceless assertion, as is “Joseph had family”- not only do you not know that, but it misses the entire point, which is that the journey almost certainly would never have been made in the first place, and was probably invented to fit earlier prophesies.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Hudson

Do you belong to an epistemology where Western is a euphemism for “bad” and non-Western a synonym for “better”?

Chris Hudson
Chris Hudson
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Re Western assumptions: we assume M&J travelled alone. In Traditional cultures then as often now, travel took place in groups. A pregnant woman would have been accompanied by other women who ‘knew what to do’. Joseph would be with the men. On arrival in Bethlehem, Joseph had family who would have found room, although the guest room (mistranslated as ‘inn’) was full. Jesus’ birth took place, not in a lonely cattleshed…but in a place of hospitality, full of people. Terry’s point about the subversive nature of the Nativity holds true… but it challenges our Western sense of family and community as well. Read Ian Paul for more on this. Happy Christmas!

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Hudson

Why “western assumptions”?
Moreover, whether or not the gospels mention a stable or winter is hardly of any great importance to the point of the article.

Chris Hudson
Chris Hudson
1 year ago

A strange mix of speculation and poor scholarship, based on Western assumptions..
1. The accounts never mention ‘a stable’.
2. Ditto, Mary Magdalene being a prostitute.
3. Ditto, the ‘winter’ journey.
4. Jewish messianic prophecies also mention a ‘suffering servant’, not just a military leader.
Anyone wanting a more scholarly unpacking of the Nativity should go to Ian Paul’s ‘Psephizo’ blog at
https://www.psephizo.com/biblical-studies/challenging-christmas-myths-in-mission-and-ministry/.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Hudson
Simon Diggins
Simon Diggins
1 year ago

Assuming much of this article is ‘tongue in cheek’, pour Ă©pater les bourgeois at Christmastide, I will only take one issue with one bit: the notion that, because Jesus was not a secular military leader, he could not be the Messiah.

That was exactly the point about the claim that he was; he didn’t fit the mold but indubitably, to his disciples (and I am one of them) wanted to lead people in a different direction. I see the distinction as one of analogy: in the older Jewish tradition, the model of leadership was the kingly, military one and therefore the conception of what the Messiah would be like, followed. What Jesus did, or rather his disciples did in the years after his death, was posit a different sort of leadership, moral, ethical, and spiritual, and say that is what the true Messiah was, and is.

There have been many different ‘messiahs’, and many different forms of leadership, but Jesus offered a distinct and universal model which many have followed, and found whole.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Yours

Simon

Alan B
Alan B
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Diggins

It seems to me that the very idea of “the secular” is the product of one interpretation of Jesus’ ironic “messiah”-hood. (D.L. Dusenbury recently made this case in “The Innocence of Pontius Pilate”.) If so, then Eagleton’s use of the secular-sacred division is anachronistic.

Alan B
Alan B
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Diggins

It seems to me that the very idea of “the secular” is the product of one interpretation of Jesus’ ironic “messiah”-hood. (D.L. Dusenbury recently made this case in “The Innocence of Pontius Pilate”.) If so, then Eagleton’s use of the secular-sacred division is anachronistic.

Simon Diggins
Simon Diggins
1 year ago

Assuming much of this article is ‘tongue in cheek’, pour Ă©pater les bourgeois at Christmastide, I will only take one issue with one bit: the notion that, because Jesus was not a secular military leader, he could not be the Messiah.

That was exactly the point about the claim that he was; he didn’t fit the mold but indubitably, to his disciples (and I am one of them) wanted to lead people in a different direction. I see the distinction as one of analogy: in the older Jewish tradition, the model of leadership was the kingly, military one and therefore the conception of what the Messiah would be like, followed. What Jesus did, or rather his disciples did in the years after his death, was posit a different sort of leadership, moral, ethical, and spiritual, and say that is what the true Messiah was, and is.

There have been many different ‘messiahs’, and many different forms of leadership, but Jesus offered a distinct and universal model which many have followed, and found whole.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Yours

Simon

Jonathan Patrick
Jonathan Patrick
1 year ago

I am constantly amazed how modern day atheists can raise objections that have been known, discussed and resolved for ages and think they have said something new. It is like they haven’t even begun to engage the literature that they are professing to critique.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Well, now’s your chance to explain……

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

But Jonathon is right. It really is quite tiresome.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Oh. Thanks for explaining.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Oh. Thanks for explaining.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

But Jonathon is right. It really is quite tiresome.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I’m a modern day atheist. The three supposed proofs which I know of of the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent creator are the Arguments from Design and Cosmology, and the Ontological Argument. In my opinion all three arguments fail, for reasons which I won’t bother to explore here. Moreover, although it can equally be said that no supposed proof of the OO&OC’s non-existence succeeds, nevertheless I find quite persuasive a methodological argument based on Ockham’s Razor, to the effect that reasoners ought to be atheists. Having said all of which, I entirely respect religious faith and wouldn’t dream of arguing against it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Craven
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

You are therefore not a dogmatic or crusading atheist. Do you reject the label of agnostic? There’s a significant distinction between uncertainty that any God exists and a professed knowledge that no God can exist. I don’t know how faith can be proven beyond inner, subjective conviction or the inborn sense of a higher purpose and intelligence that most humans possess–arguably only according to their conditioning alone, but I don’t think so. If something were irrefutable or even established enough to almost satisfy a rigid empiricist, it would no longer be faith.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

“You are therefore not a dogmatic or crusading atheist.”
Thank you. In fact as a conservative, I’m actually very much in favour of the practice of religion, for sociological reasons.
“Do you reject the label of agnostic?”
Yes. An atheist is a person who believes that there is no god, whereas an agnostic is a person who neither believes that there is nor that there isn’t a god, and I fall into the former camp.
“There’s a significant distinction between uncertainty that any God exists and a professed knowledge that no God can exist.”
I agree that there is a significant difference between atheism and agnosticism, but with respect your characterisation of atheism is too strong. Atheism at least as I define it is merely the belief, not the professed knowledge, that there is no god.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

“You are therefore not a dogmatic or crusading atheist.”
Thank you. In fact as a conservative, I’m actually very much in favour of the practice of religion, for sociological reasons.
“Do you reject the label of agnostic?”
Yes. An atheist is a person who believes that there is no god, whereas an agnostic is a person who neither believes that there is nor that there isn’t a god, and I fall into the former camp.
“There’s a significant distinction between uncertainty that any God exists and a professed knowledge that no God can exist.”
I agree that there is a significant difference between atheism and agnosticism, but with respect your characterisation of atheism is too strong. Atheism at least as I define it is merely the belief, not the professed knowledge, that there is no god.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

You are therefore not a dogmatic or crusading atheist. Do you reject the label of agnostic? There’s a significant distinction between uncertainty that any God exists and a professed knowledge that no God can exist. I don’t know how faith can be proven beyond inner, subjective conviction or the inborn sense of a higher purpose and intelligence that most humans possess–arguably only according to their conditioning alone, but I don’t think so. If something were irrefutable or even established enough to almost satisfy a rigid empiricist, it would no longer be faith.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Well, now’s your chance to explain……

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I’m a modern day atheist. The three supposed proofs which I know of of the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent creator are the Arguments from Design and Cosmology, and the Ontological Argument. In my opinion all three arguments fail, for reasons which I won’t bother to explore here. Moreover, although it can equally be said that no supposed proof of the OO&OC’s non-existence succeeds, nevertheless I find quite persuasive a methodological argument based on Ockham’s Razor, to the effect that reasoners ought to be atheists. Having said all of which, I entirely respect religious faith and wouldn’t dream of arguing against it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Craven
Jonathan Patrick
Jonathan Patrick
1 year ago

I am constantly amazed how modern day atheists can raise objections that have been known, discussed and resolved for ages and think they have said something new. It is like they haven’t even begun to engage the literature that they are professing to critique.

Serge Vandenplas
Serge Vandenplas
1 year ago

Wow, that photograph with Jezus next to the mass murderer Che, just wow.

Alan B
Alan B
1 year ago

Have you seen the photos of Che’s death, which (unwittingly) reference Mantegna’s “Lamentation of Christ”?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Oh come on, you know that’s not fair. Che only murdered 5 times as many people as Pinochet.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

If I may say so, trĂšs drĂŽle! But spot on!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Thank you. I really don’t think we should indulge our white Western cavils against someone whom Mao out-murdered by a factor of roughly 5,000 to 1.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Thank you. I really don’t think we should indulge our white Western cavils against someone whom Mao out-murdered by a factor of roughly 5,000 to 1.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

If I may say so, trĂšs drĂŽle! But spot on!

Alan B
Alan B
1 year ago

Have you seen the photos of Che’s death, which (unwittingly) reference Mantegna’s “Lamentation of Christ”?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Oh come on, you know that’s not fair. Che only murdered 5 times as many people as Pinochet.

Serge Vandenplas
Serge Vandenplas
1 year ago

Wow, that photograph with Jezus next to the mass murderer Che, just wow.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago

Having just passed through the bizarre bureaucracy of the lockdown it is very believable that the Roman system would make everybody return to their birthplace to be counted, it is mild confirmed with what we have endured – no restriction on to one hours donkey riding per day, no rule of six. In any case not many people would have ever left their birthplace. (like Canterbury or Oxford intend to become I guess – “stay in your zone”.
Amusing article but based on very little knowledge of the subject.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

I’m really struggling to find a meaningful connection here between Roman census laws and Covid lockdown strategies- I’m sure there’s one somewhere, if only in your head.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Lockdown rules would have prevented me returning to my place of birth, seeing as I’m an immigrant.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

I’m really struggling to find a meaningful connection here between Roman census laws and Covid lockdown strategies- I’m sure there’s one somewhere, if only in your head.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Lockdown rules would have prevented me returning to my place of birth, seeing as I’m an immigrant.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago

Having just passed through the bizarre bureaucracy of the lockdown it is very believable that the Roman system would make everybody return to their birthplace to be counted, it is mild confirmed with what we have endured – no restriction on to one hours donkey riding per day, no rule of six. In any case not many people would have ever left their birthplace. (like Canterbury or Oxford intend to become I guess – “stay in your zone”.
Amusing article but based on very little knowledge of the subject.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

The author fails the mention the most obvious anomaly, which is the date of the birth of Jesus. No-one has a clue what his date of birth was.
His penultimate sentence is the most relevant: that the feast that we now celebrate as Christmas – shortly after the winter solstice would’ve become confirmed from time immemorial – is a cause for renewed hope, which springs eternal every year.
Many generations of peasants working the fields, for centuries on end until the modern era, and dependent on the eventual coming of Spring and the ability to sow their fields in order to survive, would’ve understood that hope irrespective of any religious connotations. We shouldn’t betray their thankless effort by losing it.

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Note that, according to Tom Holland in his masterpiece about the history of Christianity “Dominion” , the timing of Jesus’ birth has nothing to do with the winter solstice (probably no snow in Bethlehem ?) or accommodating pagan rituals.

Rather, it’s simply calculating 9 months from when Mary met Elizabeth (pregnant with the Baptist) and Mary realized she was “great with child”. I forget how he calculates that date, but the gospel gives definite clues as to what time of year it was. Just sayin’.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Pearse

That’s fair enough, admirable even, although the point about shepherds tending their flocks by night during Spring is a contrary argument. The more important point is that the winter solstice has been celebrated since time immemorial, and it certainly suited the early Church to tag onto this turning point in all our lives.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Christmas is the most wonderful story for all mankind: The Light of the World was born in the longest and darkest night amongst animals in a stable. How beautiful! Was it historical? Who cares


Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The “spring” was when Elizabeth felt John Baptista stirring in her womb; “winter” weather in Bethlehem is different from Christmas in, say, London.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Pearse

I wouldn’t be inclined to make assumptions about someone’s understanding (or not) of comparative weather patterns between the UK and the Middle East. The settling upon 25 December as the date to celebrate the birth of Christ is entirely down to its pagan festive origins. Even the (moving) date of Easter wasn’t settled until the Synod of Whitby in 664.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Pearse

I wouldn’t be inclined to make assumptions about someone’s understanding (or not) of comparative weather patterns between the UK and the Middle East. The settling upon 25 December as the date to celebrate the birth of Christ is entirely down to its pagan festive origins. Even the (moving) date of Easter wasn’t settled until the Synod of Whitby in 664.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Christmas is the most wonderful story for all mankind: The Light of the World was born in the longest and darkest night amongst animals in a stable. How beautiful! Was it historical? Who cares


Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The “spring” was when Elizabeth felt John Baptista stirring in her womb; “winter” weather in Bethlehem is different from Christmas in, say, London.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Pearse

That’s fair enough, admirable even, although the point about shepherds tending their flocks by night during Spring is a contrary argument. The more important point is that the winter solstice has been celebrated since time immemorial, and it certainly suited the early Church to tag onto this turning point in all our lives.

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Note that, according to Tom Holland in his masterpiece about the history of Christianity “Dominion” , the timing of Jesus’ birth has nothing to do with the winter solstice (probably no snow in Bethlehem ?) or accommodating pagan rituals.

Rather, it’s simply calculating 9 months from when Mary met Elizabeth (pregnant with the Baptist) and Mary realized she was “great with child”. I forget how he calculates that date, but the gospel gives definite clues as to what time of year it was. Just sayin’.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

The author fails the mention the most obvious anomaly, which is the date of the birth of Jesus. No-one has a clue what his date of birth was.
His penultimate sentence is the most relevant: that the feast that we now celebrate as Christmas – shortly after the winter solstice would’ve become confirmed from time immemorial – is a cause for renewed hope, which springs eternal every year.
Many generations of peasants working the fields, for centuries on end until the modern era, and dependent on the eventual coming of Spring and the ability to sow their fields in order to survive, would’ve understood that hope irrespective of any religious connotations. We shouldn’t betray their thankless effort by losing it.

Ari Dale
Ari Dale
1 year ago

What a bizarre salad of secular puffery memes. Not education, not thought-provoking. Ho hum.

Ari Dale
Ari Dale
1 year ago

What a bizarre salad of secular puffery memes. Not education, not thought-provoking. Ho hum.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

“Have yourself a countercultural Christmas”

No.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Quite. I’m sticking to the tried and tested version of a big roast dinner (with a swift half in the pub while it cooks), well aged Claret, Christmas pud and a cheese board. Good health and a merry Christmas to all!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I’m actually a Christmas refusenik of about 35 years standing, and am presently avoiding it in the Canaries. However, now that the woketurds have added it to their list of heritage targets, I feel like defending it as an institution.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I’m very much with you there.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Viva la contrarevolucion!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Viva la contrarevolucion!

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I’m very much with you there.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I’m actually a Christmas refusenik of about 35 years standing, and am presently avoiding it in the Canaries. However, now that the woketurds have added it to their list of heritage targets, I feel like defending it as an institution.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Quite. I’m sticking to the tried and tested version of a big roast dinner (with a swift half in the pub while it cooks), well aged Claret, Christmas pud and a cheese board. Good health and a merry Christmas to all!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

“Have yourself a countercultural Christmas”

No.

R Kays
R Kays
1 year ago

A thought on the Roman edict (in this province) for head-of-family to return to place of birth to be counted.

Jewish (Israelite) culture was fixated on genealogy. Tribal/family affiliation was critical in their religio-political structure. It was necessary to know, say, who was descended from Issachar, or Reuben, or Levi. On the most basic level, tribal and family land ownership depended upon genealogical accuracy.

It was also essential for identifying the Jewish Messiah foretold in scripture (remember 
 NT nonexistent at time of Christ; so Jewish scriptures were replete with Messianic prophecy).

Without these genealogies it would have been impossible to parse that the Old Covenant Levitical priesthood would of necessity give way to the New Covenant priesthood in Judah (from which Yeshua/Jesus descended). See Jeremiah 31:31-33.

The Romans were not stupid. They understood that scrupulous genealogical records were kept in the synagogues in every Jewish town. Census accuracy could therefore be increased by matching physical bodies to scrupulous records kept by the Jews (unsure how the author could miss this).

Quite logical/intelligent of Rome to decree the “Return Home” edict in this particular corner of their empire — where doing so made perfect sense and aided their cause.

As to the rest of the blasphemous blather from this author, consider the source: Secular humanist, full of self aggrandizement, and bereft of the Holy Spirit who could reveal the truth to this blind man.

Even so — Christ died for the author, so great was God’s love for him, not wanting him to perish but to have life everlasting.

Amazing irony.

Last edited 1 year ago by R Kays
Bruce Lewis
Bruce Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  R Kays

Eagleton, though a Marxist, is also a type of Roman Catholic. What type? Ever heard of “liberation theology”?

Bruce Lewis
Bruce Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  R Kays

Eagleton, though a Marxist, is also a type of Roman Catholic. What type? Ever heard of “liberation theology”?

R Kays
R Kays
1 year ago

A thought on the Roman edict (in this province) for head-of-family to return to place of birth to be counted.

Jewish (Israelite) culture was fixated on genealogy. Tribal/family affiliation was critical in their religio-political structure. It was necessary to know, say, who was descended from Issachar, or Reuben, or Levi. On the most basic level, tribal and family land ownership depended upon genealogical accuracy.

It was also essential for identifying the Jewish Messiah foretold in scripture (remember 
 NT nonexistent at time of Christ; so Jewish scriptures were replete with Messianic prophecy).

Without these genealogies it would have been impossible to parse that the Old Covenant Levitical priesthood would of necessity give way to the New Covenant priesthood in Judah (from which Yeshua/Jesus descended). See Jeremiah 31:31-33.

The Romans were not stupid. They understood that scrupulous genealogical records were kept in the synagogues in every Jewish town. Census accuracy could therefore be increased by matching physical bodies to scrupulous records kept by the Jews (unsure how the author could miss this).

Quite logical/intelligent of Rome to decree the “Return Home” edict in this particular corner of their empire — where doing so made perfect sense and aided their cause.

As to the rest of the blasphemous blather from this author, consider the source: Secular humanist, full of self aggrandizement, and bereft of the Holy Spirit who could reveal the truth to this blind man.

Even so — Christ died for the author, so great was God’s love for him, not wanting him to perish but to have life everlasting.

Amazing irony.

Last edited 1 year ago by R Kays
Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago

It is always good to read articles like this at Christmas time.
I have enjoyed two programmes on television recently – Lachlan Gaudie’s “Painting the Holy Land” (BBC4 on the 20th) and Waldemar Janazzeski’s “The Mystery of the Nativity” (Sky Arts also on the 20th) which I am sure some of your readers would enjoy even if they do not have a strong faith. It is all part of our heritage..

Iris C
Iris C
1 year ago

It is always good to read articles like this at Christmas time.
I have enjoyed two programmes on television recently – Lachlan Gaudie’s “Painting the Holy Land” (BBC4 on the 20th) and Waldemar Janazzeski’s “The Mystery of the Nativity” (Sky Arts also on the 20th) which I am sure some of your readers would enjoy even if they do not have a strong faith. It is all part of our heritage..

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

The whole Christian story is a superb example of brilliant manipulation by the late Roman ‘ civil service’ to give their tottering Empire a new mission statement.

It is master class of hope over expectation, and it is still working!

Nunc est bibendum!

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago

Indeed it is. I started at lunchtime.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I am presently about a third of the way through a pleasingly vulgar blue-hued vodka-based cocktail.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

I am presently about a third of the way through a pleasingly vulgar blue-hued vodka-based cocktail.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
1 year ago

Indeed it is. I started at lunchtime.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

The whole Christian story is a superb example of brilliant manipulation by the late Roman ‘ civil service’ to give their tottering Empire a new mission statement.

It is master class of hope over expectation, and it is still working!

Nunc est bibendum!

Will James
Will James
1 year ago

Not sure I agree that Jesus failed “politically”. If Jesus had any agenda, it was not to displace Roman rule or become a worldly king. He was fulfilling providence that was in some sense above mere temporal politics. In this he was successful, of course, even if success takes the form of truth and goodness hanging dead on a cross. The success was of lasting symbolic and spiritual importance within our hopeless temporal existence. At least, that’s the idea upon the suspension of disbelief.

Last edited 1 year ago by Will James
Will James
Will James
1 year ago

Not sure I agree that Jesus failed “politically”. If Jesus had any agenda, it was not to displace Roman rule or become a worldly king. He was fulfilling providence that was in some sense above mere temporal politics. In this he was successful, of course, even if success takes the form of truth and goodness hanging dead on a cross. The success was of lasting symbolic and spiritual importance within our hopeless temporal existence. At least, that’s the idea upon the suspension of disbelief.

Last edited 1 year ago by Will James
Al Phlandon
Al Phlandon
1 year ago

I am saddened to read so much snark and vitriol in the comments to this article. Can people not discuss and disagree without taking things personally?

Al Phlandon
Al Phlandon
1 year ago

I am saddened to read so much snark and vitriol in the comments to this article. Can people not discuss and disagree without taking things personally?

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
1 year ago

Is Unherd turning into Twitter?? The rudeness is quite unpleasant so I didn’t read to the end of the 100 comments. Unless there’s lots of men claiming to be women it seems there are very very few comments from women
. Less than usual assume they’re all doing Christmas
?

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
1 year ago

Is Unherd turning into Twitter?? The rudeness is quite unpleasant so I didn’t read to the end of the 100 comments. Unless there’s lots of men claiming to be women it seems there are very very few comments from women
. Less than usual assume they’re all doing Christmas
?

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
1 year ago

I’d always envisaged Joseph as a “yeoman” type – a relatively prosperous craftsman with tools and a workshop, who can afford to travel a considerable distance accompanied by his pregnant wife on a donkey

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
1 year ago

I’d always envisaged Joseph as a “yeoman” type – a relatively prosperous craftsman with tools and a workshop, who can afford to travel a considerable distance accompanied by his pregnant wife on a donkey

ryan simpson
ryan simpson
1 year ago

Did enjoy this piece. Amusing in places but thought provoking, too. Season’s Greetings and thank you for the piece

ryan simpson
ryan simpson
1 year ago

Did enjoy this piece. Amusing in places but thought provoking, too. Season’s Greetings and thank you for the piece

Peter A
Peter A
1 year ago

I note you refer to Joseph as Jesus’ father. An episode of Family Guy has a surly adolescent Jesus shouting at Joseph, “You’re not even my real dad”.

Peter A
Peter A
1 year ago

I note you refer to Joseph as Jesus’ father. An episode of Family Guy has a surly adolescent Jesus shouting at Joseph, “You’re not even my real dad”.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

I had assumed that Terry Eagleton had long since passed on.
Seems not. A cry from the distant past.

John Paul
John Paul
1 year ago

Yes, Mary’s child was executed by the occupying imperial power. The Jews.

Nicholas Rowe
Nicholas Rowe
1 year ago

The most charming part of the Gospel accounts is the mention that Jesus had sisters. They are of course unnamed, unlike his some of His brothers. Perhaps He had a kid sister, one who followed His career with tender devotion but at a necessary distance, given the culture of the times.
Seek and ye shall find. This is an explanation of how the world works. It is also a most solemn promise. Mr Eagleton wants us to discover – find – the true egalitarianism of Christmas. Well, if you want to find egalitarianism, you can. If you want to find something else, you can find that too.
There’s this guy. He wants to find reasons for not believing in Christianity. So, he finds them. They might be in science, in Darwin, in the death of his child. Or in almost anything. If someone else wants to find reasons to believe in Christianity, they can find them almost everywhere, even in the death of their child. As C S Lewis has Aslan say in the Narnia stories, paraphrasing the Jesus: All find what they truly seek.
There’s this other guy. He wants to find egalitarianism, the spirit of the age in which he lives. He could find it in the deist philosophers and revolutionaries of the 18th century. He could find it in Thomas Payne, “We have the power to make the world anew.”
But he doesn’t want to throw Jesus out with the baubles of the Magi or the mass-produced plastic angels. After all, it’s Christmas. So, he makes the Gospels anew. He does so by decking Jesus and all the other associated figures out in the clothing of the spirit of the age in which he lives. They fit in just so well with the twenty-first century like that. Though he doesn’t realise that in wanting to find egalitarianism, he has let egalitarianism find him.
If anyone looks carefully at the account of Jesus’s meeting with the foreign woman who petitions Him about her sick daughter, it is evident that this is not an announcement of egalitarianism. Rather, it’s a statement about the primacy of Jesus’s own religion. The ‘crumbs’, the ‘ends of the loaf’ that the diners have cleaned their hands, on are given to the ‘dogs’. The connection between dog and diner is the bread, the analogy Jesus uses to justify helping the woman, but there’s a superior part eaten by the diner (His own people) and an inferior eaten by the dogs (everyone else).
If you wished, from this account you could discover – find – that Jesus was a Powellite. “Go not among the Gentiles”, Jesus tells His followers (Matthew 10:5). The Greeks in the colonist city in the hills above Nazareth still breathed the air from somewhere else, even after centuries. Judea is to be made great again, it’s just that the disciples are not to know the time (Acts 1:6-7). So that the sovereignty of Judea can be established, the coins bearing Caesar’s effigy must be taken out of the Temple to the place where the emperor is (Matthew 22:21). 

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rowe

I agree that this political or tribal dimension is part of the Gospels, but not in the one-sided or uncomplicated way that you’ve implied. And since we both think that what is or purports to be divinely-inspired can be fallible: Not every sometimes-conflicting word attributed to Jesus in the canonical writings has to be authentic, expressing only what Jesus himself believed–correct?
To assert or imply that he was just a sort of nationalist revolutionary is to ignore his radical compassion, the key parable of the Good Samaritan (a non-Hebrew), and his unworldliness that was nevertheless courageously engaged with the world, to his mortal peril. Leaving aside the Christmas story in particular, you’re mistaken to claim that Jesus made no “extra-tribal” outreach. But to your valid point concerning finding what you seek, Stuart Chase observed: “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible”. The slight-hyperbole of this truism applies to more than supernatural claims alone.
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, â€œ Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith [as the Roman centurion], no, not in Israel. And I say unto you that many will come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be cast into out darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth –Matthew 8:10-12 [KJV]
Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had–Luke 21:3-4
Have a Merry Christmas or happy alternate holiday–if any–and a good remainder of the calendar year.

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rowe

[Thought my earlier comment mightn’t be approved, for whatever reason]

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rowe

[This was a re-framing of a previous comment I thought wouldn’t be approved, but it just took many hours. Sorry for the impatient over-posting.]

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rowe

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and also greater works than these he will do, because I go to my Father”–John 14:12
Is that egalitarian–or at least non-hierarchical–enough for ya?

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rowe

Goodness me- you’ve really struggled to shoehorn your politics into that little bit of the Gospels.
Top marks for effort, if nothing else.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rowe

I agree that this political or tribal dimension is part of the Gospels, but not in the one-sided or uncomplicated way that you’ve implied. And since we both think that what is or purports to be divinely-inspired can be fallible: Not every sometimes-conflicting word attributed to Jesus in the canonical writings has to be authentic, expressing only what Jesus himself believed–correct?
To assert or imply that he was just a sort of nationalist revolutionary is to ignore his radical compassion, the key parable of the Good Samaritan (a non-Hebrew), and his unworldliness that was nevertheless courageously engaged with the world, to his mortal peril. Leaving aside the Christmas story in particular, you’re mistaken to claim that Jesus made no “extra-tribal” outreach. But to your valid point concerning finding what you seek, Stuart Chase observed: “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible”. The slight-hyperbole of this truism applies to more than supernatural claims alone.
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, â€œ Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith [as the Roman centurion], no, not in Israel. And I say unto you that many will come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be cast into out darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth –Matthew 8:10-12 [KJV]
Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had–Luke 21:3-4
Have a Merry Christmas or happy alternate holiday–if any–and a good remainder of the calendar year.

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rowe

[Thought my earlier comment mightn’t be approved, for whatever reason]

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rowe

[This was a re-framing of a previous comment I thought wouldn’t be approved, but it just took many hours. Sorry for the impatient over-posting.]

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rowe

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and also greater works than these he will do, because I go to my Father”–John 14:12
Is that egalitarian–or at least non-hierarchical–enough for ya?

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rowe

Goodness me- you’ve really struggled to shoehorn your politics into that little bit of the Gospels.
Top marks for effort, if nothing else.

Nicholas Rowe
Nicholas Rowe
1 year ago

The most charming part of the Gospel accounts is the mention that Jesus had sisters. They are of course unnamed, unlike his some of His brothers. Perhaps He had a kid sister, one who followed His career with tender devotion but at a necessary distance, given the culture of the times.
Seek and ye shall find. This is an explanation of how the world works. It is also a most solemn promise. Mr Eagleton wants us to discover – find – the true egalitarianism of Christmas. Well, if you want to find egalitarianism, you can. If you want to find something else, you can find that too.
There’s this guy. He wants to find reasons for not believing in Christianity. So, he finds them. They might be in science, in Darwin, in the death of his child. Or in almost anything. If someone else wants to find reasons to believe in Christianity, they can find them almost everywhere, even in the death of their child. As C S Lewis has Aslan say in the Narnia stories, paraphrasing the Jesus: All find what they truly seek.
There’s this other guy. He wants to find egalitarianism, the spirit of the age in which he lives. He could find it in the deist philosophers and revolutionaries of the 18th century. He could find it in Thomas Payne, “We have the power to make the world anew.”
But he doesn’t want to throw Jesus out with the baubles of the Magi or the mass-produced plastic angels. After all, it’s Christmas. So, he makes the Gospels anew. He does so by decking Jesus and all the other associated figures out in the clothing of the spirit of the age in which he lives. They fit in just so well with the twenty-first century like that. Though he doesn’t realise that in wanting to find egalitarianism, he has let egalitarianism find him.
If anyone looks carefully at the account of Jesus’s meeting with the foreign woman who petitions Him about her sick daughter, it is evident that this is not an announcement of egalitarianism. Rather, it’s a statement about the primacy of Jesus’s own religion. The ‘crumbs’, the ‘ends of the loaf’ that the diners have cleaned their hands, on are given to the ‘dogs’. The connection between dog and diner is the bread, the analogy Jesus uses to justify helping the woman, but there’s a superior part eaten by the diner (His own people) and an inferior eaten by the dogs (everyone else).
If you wished, from this account you could discover – find – that Jesus was a Powellite. “Go not among the Gentiles”, Jesus tells His followers (Matthew 10:5). The Greeks in the colonist city in the hills above Nazareth still breathed the air from somewhere else, even after centuries. Judea is to be made great again, it’s just that the disciples are not to know the time (Acts 1:6-7). So that the sovereignty of Judea can be established, the coins bearing Caesar’s effigy must be taken out of the Temple to the place where the emperor is (Matthew 22:21). 

Ginny Grinevitch
Ginny Grinevitch
1 year ago

Brilliant! Just what I needed this morning.

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

Andy O'Gorman
Andy O'Gorman
1 year ago

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

Ginny Grinevitch
Ginny Grinevitch
1 year ago

Brilliant! Just what I needed this morning.