Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas- A New Song

This is a blog about Tim Minchin...and religion...and it is Christmas Eve eve. I have been thinking about the almost obligatory Christmas "White Wine in the Sun" blog post since the day I started this blog. This is the song that introduced me to Tim Minchin. This is the song that melts my heart with images of loving families sharing a joyous holiday together, regardless of their religious beliefs or lack thereof. It is a song about Christmas traditions and meaningful memories. The day after Thanksgiving felt like crunch time for me. Time to get started on that perfect sentimental blog post about that perfect sentimental song. Unfortunately, because of stupid wacko religious strife in my own family, I have not been able to write about “White Wine in the Sun” without my post turning into a bitter rant about personal family problems.

Luckily for me, Tim Minchin just delivered an early Christmas present- a NEW Christmas song- available to the world to view and write about even before Christmas Eve, when it was originally scheduled to air on the Jonathan Ross Show. And wow. The world has been writing about it. It got cut from the Jonathan Ross show, after being approved by their people and after being taped. You can read all about this on Tim Minchin’s blog (and in various newspapers and blogs and all over the internet).

The song is called “Woody Allen Jesus”. I really like it. People seem to think it is a song about Jesus and therefore mocking (grrr, that word again) Jesus. I know this is just my interpretation, but I think this is a song, not so much about Jesus, but about all of the supernatural, magical attributes people have used to shape a superhuman-to-the-point-of-no-longer-being-human image of Jesus. What enamors me about Jesus is his humanity. I don’t care about stories about loaves and fishes or walking on water or magical, healing touches. Those are lovely metaphors. The things that I have found the most meaningful about Jesus are the stories about his real compassion, and sense of justice and equality, and his humble nature, his ability to speak his mind and challenge the status quo, and his sense of integrity and conviction under even the most extreme persecution. Those are the aspects of his humanity that inspire me. Yes, even me, the non-Christian. Stories of this human Jesus helped shaped my moral conscience and are meaningful to who I am. I easily acknowledge that and am grateful to have learned them. Jesus stories about miracles and supernatural powers are even fine with me as they are presented in the Bible. They are intriguing myths that I’m sure have deep meanings which could enrich my life, if I took the time to ponder them. It is supernatural Jesus stories that I hear today that I cannot understand at all, stories about Jesus reaching down from heaven and healing an illness, or changing the outcome of a game. When people make fantastical claims about Jesus’ presence in their lives today, I can respect their beliefs, but those beliefs just don’t have meaning for me. I feel no connection with a supernatural Jesus. I prefer the human version. I think this song is about people making Jesus less human. It is funny. I am going to write Comedy Central. I would love to see Tim perform this on The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. Also, if you purchase "White Wine in the Sun" from iTunes or Amazon before Feb. 1st 2012, all proceeds go to the National Autism Society UK.

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