By Jeremy Rose
What’s an atheist to make of Christmas? I’ve been thinking that it could be re-named International Day Against the Death Penalty. After all if there was no crucifiction there would’ve been no Crusades, no Inquisition and no annual orgy of consumerism. As good an argument against making martyrs of political activists as I’ve ever heard. (Ironically, the Chinese Government chose Christmas Day 2009 to lock up one of the country’s leading human rights activists in the hope the world’s media wouldn’t notice.)
But surely even a grumpy atheist must be able to see that there’s more to celebrate than the Catalans’ intriguing and seemingly inexplicable blending of shit and Jesus into their traditions.
Well yes and no. I look across the ditch to our Aussie cousins and see that their Government’s idea of the Christmas spirit is locking up refugees on, no joke… Christmas Island.
Less than 20 minutes after the close of Christmas Day an Australian navel ship intercepted a boat with nine passengers and escorted them to Christmas Island where they’ve been incarcerated with the nearly 1500 refugees already imprisoned on the island. Merry Christmas.
But I I did love watching my kids open their presents. And our Christmas feed was one of the best ever. I asked my three kids to nominate a Christmas dish and we ended up with: Tahitian raw fish, Greek Salad and rice pudding. Damn fine. A tradition is born.
And so to quote my favourite Christmas book – Raymond Brigg’s Father Christmas – A Happy Bloomin’ Christmas to you too