Monday, 3 November 2008

Christmas banned in Oxford?

Lot of fuss in Oxford following the Council's 'politically correct' decision to rename the Christmas Celebration in town as a 'Winter Festival' so as not to cause offence to members of other faiths. Whose spokespeople, interestingly, have been the first to complain!

But I cannot help recalling that in the 1650s Parliament (my 'Puritan' faith-ancestors, I suppose) tried to ban Christmas celebrations on the grounds that the worldly excess they involved was inappropriate. No political correctness there! (even though Cromwell's Parliament extended toleration to Jews and Muslims.)

I think a council officer has suggested it's still a Christmas celebration because they're keeping the Christmas tree - which is a legacy of pre-Christian pagan worship completely unconnected with the Christmas story! There's a £10,000 Santa's grotto in nearby Templars Square Centre - an interesting piece of commercial 'installation art' - which has very little to do with any Christian festival, but is much closer to the heart of the actual festival.

Let's face it : what we're supposedly celebrating in the town centre is not the incarnation; it's . . well, a Winter Festival! A Christmas festival close to the Biblical account might focus more on the dreams of the homeless, the persecuted and the refugee for liberation. And there's plenty of those in Oxford. They're the ones most likely to be excluded from the spend-fest.