Ah Christmas, that time of year where here in Britain assorted out-dated religious institutions make a vain bid to be relevant in an increasingly secular society.

You know what I did this Christmas? I celebrated twice, well, no, I will be though (as at the time of writing I’ve only celebrated the once). I have a Swedish Christmas wherein I eat assorted relevant things and have a jolly time with friends or family, opening presents. Tomorrow, or more accurately, today, I shall be roasting a bird and having a bit of a traditional British Christmas, followed by an evening with friends.

That’s what Christmas is for me in the modern world. It’s not some out-dated religious guff that was never particularly relevant to this time of year anyway (come on, seriously – it’s just because it’s Saturnalia/Winter Solstice that Christians celebrate now anyway!).

So, let’s see here in the UK the Roman Catholic church has attacked gay marriage (how festive and inclusive), former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey is telling us to not use the internet:

"We are now in danger of the gadgets taking over our lives and we are not in control of them,"

Lovely. I played with two gadgets this evening – my phone (to speak to Jenny, currently in Sweden) and my Raspberry Pi (to watch Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas with a friend). How awful. I must not be in control of my life, being all sociable.

It’s statement like that which really hammer home just how out of touch I feel the clergy, or at least the leadership structure thereof, are with modern Britain. Have we suddenly lost our sense of community and friendship?

No!

We lost that through alienation of neighbours through media scare tactics regarding crime and paedophilia. Well, that and an erosion of local communal meetings points such as church. Aha! I don’t hear you say – religion used to bring people together! Well, yes, there are some positive aspects, but it seems instead of trying to harness those in a way that doesn’t make anyone under fifty cringe it’s become tiresome scare tactics for the most part. There are of course members of the clergy who are not quite so out of touch but sadly their colleagues seem intent on bringing down the average, so to speak.

For me Christmas is about tasty food, a certain ambience, walks on the beach, and the company of family or friends. As my folks are currently enjoying their retirement in New Zealand (or at least a break) it would seem friends it is. I’m fine with this!

Merry Christmas.

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