Christmas-themed cartoons should be pretty much over on this day of Three Freedom Hens, but Steve Breen notes a post-Christmas part of the story that should be relevant year ’round.
Now, even if you take the Bible as folklore, there are all sorts of contradictions or, at least, odd choices of what to include and what to leave out.
In Matthew, the angel appears to Joseph as soon as the Magi have left (Feast of the Epiphany, Jan 6) which is the 12th Day of Christmas.
In Mallorca, that’s when the Kings come sailing into Palma with gifts, which hardly seems Biblical but sure looks like a blast.
There is nothing, however, in most other traditions about the Magi sailing around in ships other than ships-of-the-desert, if you discount the English carol, “I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In, ” which is one of those speculative, utterly ahistoric English hymns like “And Did Those Feet In Ancient Times,” which, today, is primarily sung to get Mr. Lambert to take the bag off his head.
In any case, the Gospel of Luke doesn’t mention the Magi and has Jesus and his parents back home in Nazareth a week later for the circumcision, and given that Luke is said to have received his story from Mary, it does seem odd that she would fail to mention royalty dropping by and the fact that they lived in Egypt for three years.
As history, it’s pretty sketchy. Herod died in 4 BC, which muddles the entire storyline except that Denis the Little got things off by about seven years when he invented the BC/AD concept, which we now called the BCE/CE concept to avoid mentioning whose alleged birth is the dividing point.
And, yes, yes, there wasn’t any census and it surely happened in the spring if it happened at all. I know that.
But I’m not the one who thinks God made the world in six days and that all the animals in the world fit into Noah’s Ark.
Except the ducks.
The point is we’ve got people who deeply, militantly believe in Adam and Eve and Noah, but who have forgotten, or were never told, and certainly don’t want to know, that their Book of Literal Truth also says Jesus was a refugee.
And who are delighted with what Leviticus has to say about homosexuals but then totally ignore the part where he says,
The stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
They’re a lot like Mr. Lambert, except that the word that sets them off is “Christianity” and I’m tired of standing in the tea chest trying to get them to take the bags from their heads and the scales from their eyes.
And whether or not this week was ever truly full of circumcisions and epiphanies and flights into Egypt, it is, as Prickly City points out, pretty uneventful now.
This is why newsrooms have to compile all those “Year in Review” pieces, which are excruciatingly boring to put together when you’d rather be writing real news.
But, with all the decision-makers on vacation, there’s no fresh news to write about except for, as we used to say in calling dispatch, “personal injury accidents, felony arrests and structure fires.”
Though, as Jack Ohman notes, there are places where the decision-makers have been on vacation for the past two years.
Which didn’t stop Ebenezer Trump from intercepting a NORAD phone call to suggest to a seven-year-old that Santa doesn’t exist, which, as Clay Jones notes, was only part of the Christmas joy he and his minions spread.
Jimmy Margulies adds to the story because, if trying to provide Dear Leader with briefings is pointless, leaving him alone is downright dangerous.
After tweeting disconsolately about being all alone in the White House, Trump remembered that his wife was there and scooped her up for a sudden trip to Iraq so that people would stop accusing him of never visiting the troops.
Whereupon Bonespurs the Clown proceeded to lie to them about their upcoming pay increases, and revealed the location and identities of a secret Seal team and entrapped the troops into violating Defense Department regulations by turning the visit into yet another of his preening campaign rallies, this one entirely paid for by taxpayers instead of his campaign.
Mike Luckovich‘s commentary would be a whole lot more humorous if it weren’t so completely on target, the difference being that one of those two unwrinkled brains will in time put the pieces together, while one of them will continue to believe that two of every kind of animal fit into the ark.
Even the ducks.
That ever-innocent, naive soul will look forward to the New Year, despite the truth of the where-we’re-at scenario Kevin Siers portrays.
And who says there’s no news this week? Another kid died in custody the other day.
Which is a reminder that Anne and Margot Frank were not gassed by the Nazis.
They died of typhus.
And that, when their father, like Joseph, had tried to take his family to safety, he was turned back.
That’s not folklore; it’s history.
What experience and history teach is this: that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it. — Hegel
Meanwhile, and to turn the mirror on our own more righteous faces, young Eddie Buckets points to a flaw in our seasonal outpouring of charity.
The homeless will still need shelter on the 13th Day of Christmas, and food, and clothing, and the people who run the soup kitchens will likely still be short-handed.
You can’t solve all the problems, but you can do something. If you’ve got a dime, change it for two nickels and get rid of one of them.
Because the folklore part of that book matters more than the history, and it’s mostly about defining human decency.