It’s 2011. The appropriate reaction to people who think Jesus is a supernatural being is mild embarrassment, sighing tolerance and patient education. - Tim Minchin

God I hate opening a sentence with a link, so I'm putting this here in front of it. I seem also to have mentioned God already, which is slightly amusing considering the topic I'm writing about in this piece, but I digress, the point is this. This piece by Tim Minchin is being posted all over the interwebs today, Facebook, Twitter, email etc etc. It's a good read and the song is pretty good too (Not one of his classics but a shit load funnier than any song I've ever written) and it got me thinking about this time of the year. So, to the point. Jesus and Christmas, well two points actually.

I wasn't brought up in a religious household, yet I was christened an Anglican. This was my fathers doing, he being of the same "faith" and as my mother hadn't survived my birth I guess there was no clash with the Catholicism of her side of the family. It was entirely up to my father. So good old Anglican it was. That was my first trip to church and I don't think I went again until I was about 11. That was when my stepmother sent me to Sunday school, for I think, a period of two weeks. I have some memories of it, less of a memory of what must have been outrageous behaviour on my behalf to result in such a cruel sentence. "Two weeks and may god have mercy on your soul" Well yes let's hope he does cos I was heading straight into the belly of the beast.


The first shock to the system is getting up on a Sunday morning and finding my "good clothes" laid out on the end of my bed. "Put these on" was the command (it may or may not have been what I'm wearing above but those wing collars are pretty damn fine don't ya think? and it's about the right age, look at those shorts ladies) "But it's Sunday morning, wont I get them dirty?" "Not where you're going" I'm fairly certain my step mother isn't religious but I guess she was hoping it might sort me out, I'm not really sure. So I was dumped a few blocks away from home at one of those odd churches, you know, like the Uniting church. Not Anglican, not Catholic, one of "those other places"

If you've ever been to Sunday School, you'll know of the strange happenings within those walls. We were all made to sit in a circle on the floor. (which I just knew wouldn't be kind to my good clothes, there's a walloping when I get home) and hold hands and pray. Fortunately (or unfortunately) back then we spoke the lords prayer every morning before school started, so I knew the words. (State and church have since separated in public schools so this no longer happens). That was fairly uneventful, this school on a Sunday lark thing might not be too harsh after all. Oh but it was, then the sour looking old woman who was taking the class opened a book and commenced reading what felt like a friggen novel about some event in the life of Jesus. This was followed by a Q & A session, I totally flunked that bit.

Then we were given illustrated books to read, again depicting events in the life of Jesus. Now these I liked, there were pictures of a market with stalls filled with baskets of food and amphora's of wine and Roman soldiers and donkeys and heaps of other cool stuff. Looking back now I'm not quite sure if those pictures triggered the chef or the archaeologist in me, probably both. We even had a section at the back to colour in, frustrating though as they seemed to lack the coloured pencil I needed to shade that basket of olives in the brown/black hue it required. Sunday school suddenly sucked again.

The following week I reluctantly headed back, no books this time and we were mostly pushed out onto a bitumen area to play with some balls. There was something going on in the church and we were just a bit of a hindrance I think. Anyways there was some sort of incident with a ball, the rough bitumen and a girl and I was no longer welcome at Sunday school again..............oh really!

Since those heady days I have only ever ventured into a church as a tourist or for a wedding or funeral. I suspect strongly that this is how it will remain for the remainder of my days. Mostly because of stuff like the quote at the top of this post. So, no baby Jesus in my life and yet here I am at Christmas. Hmmm have I really ever connected the two? Maybe once during the above two week period but mostly it's a time to give gifts to loved ones and then hope you get even better ones back in return yeah? So on that note I'll sign off and I think I'll dribble on about the fat guy in the chimney next post, stay tuned.