A Curious Girl

The musings of a girl who is curious in both senses of the word. Life, God, and York. Oh, did I say York? I meant Bradford!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Nativity Scene Revisited

A while ago, in an attempt to antidote all the saccharine, sanitised nativity pictures I had seen, I wrote a story called Nativity Scene which tried to put the story more in focus as being the a birth in a Middle eastern country, in a stable, with shepherds. Not actually the most pleasant of locations, if you think about it hard enough.

I then posted it on Fanfiction.net and since then I'd forgotten all about it.

I was intrigued that today I received a review from someone who was evidently quite offended. Recently I've read a couple of fictionalisations of Biblical stories and was quite surprised to discover that there are people who genuinely believe that this is somehow usurping the Bible's authority. In the face of this I was less surprised that someone would find my story offensive, especially since I remember rather enjoying all the gory details...

Here's the opinion of the indignant reviewer. I was a little hurt that apparently I have an "utter lack of respect for the Divine", but I think I can understand why he/she found my story so upsetting.

You went quite a bit overboard in your attempt to be "accurate". This
is not very accurate at all.
It has many errors, and it actually has the effect of being quite
insulting to the dignity of both Mary and Joseph.
As well as to the Christ Child...

Many "facts" here are just plain wrong.
Mary was quite a young woman, but Joseph was a little bit older.
No one scorned Mary in the manner you suggest. St. Joseph protected
her from all that.
Mary would not be in pain and would certainly not "panic".
There were no "women bustling around". Only the shepherds came on that holy night.
Etc. etc.
But most importantly:
Mary gave birth in the same manner as she conceived - miraculously. It makes no sense to have her give birth in the crude manner that you suggest here, when she conceived in such miraculous splendor and magnificance.
In the silent night, a light from heaven comes upon the Virgin Mother.
The light grows and amplifies in beauty until it is too bright and overwhelmingly wondrous to even look upon. Mary is praying, devoutly and serenely, and an ecstacy beyond all telling comes upon her. The light encompasses her and the child within her. All heaven looks on as the moment comes... it is midnight, and the Child is born.
He is in Mary's arms. Just as He is conceived miraculously, without any violation to Mary's body, so He is born, in the same way, by the holy will of God.
She is no ordinary Mother, and this is no ordinary Child. The beauty of the miraculous moment compels the awe of every angel in heaven and upon earth.
This is the Birth of the Lord, the Messiah, our God.

What you have written here, diminishing that Moment of greatest holiness, with such crudity and utter lack of respect for the Divine, is an affront to the majesty of God Almighty.

The poem you post at the end is very beautiful and contains great truth. It's a shame you were not inspired by it, but rather chose to degrade it, degrade Mary, degrade Joseph, and degrade the birth of the Most High.
It's a shame.

I've found it very interesting that there appear to be some people who believe that art is almost inherently profane. I've no doubt that art is powerful and can be a force for evil if it promotes harmful ideas as good ones - propaganda is a form of art, after all. It appears that writers of fiction often can't do right in the eyes of some Christians.

I do have to wonder, though, what the reviewer feels about the suffering of Jesus, and certainly whether his death would have been as clean and straight forward as his birth apparently was...

So, what does God think of art? Discuss.



  • At 4:23 pm , Blogger BruceD said...

    Sounds like it's time for a chill pill.

  • At 1:33 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    OMG (the G is for gosh naturally)

    Have just deleted a very rude rant about said reviewer - don't listen to her, she is wrong and deceived and I think undermining what Emmanuelle actually means. I hope she isn't Anglican...

    I will actually get round to reading what you wrote one day I am sure;



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