Atheist Nativity

Sounds oxymoronic, but when it’s satirical, anything can happen.

The traditional Christmas story of how the baby Jesus came to be born in a manger after Mary and Joseph found that there was no room at the inn, is traditionally performed by Key Stage One pupils all around the country. However, staff at Mount Pleasant School were concerned about causing offence to non-Christians by placing too much emphasis on the religious overtones of the story.

‘With many families from other faiths or none, we do not wish to cause offence at the time our mid-winter festival,’ said headteacher Jackie Hunt. ‘The nativity is a charming traditional tale, but there is no need to present it as a piece of pro-Christian propaganda.’

Come to think of it, this play might actually be good. It actually teaches you something!

Early on in the play, five year old Molly Johnson announces ‘Lo, there is a great star in the sky, which is easily explained by rational and scientific means and certainly does not prove the existence of some sort of supernatural diety…’ Although the shepherds insist that they did see angels in the sky above Bethlehem, on further questioning admit that they had been eating magic mushrooms the night before.

How do they deal with the Virgin Birth?

The play climaxes with Mary coming clean to Joseph about the so-called ‘virgin birth.’ ‘Actually Joseph I was not visited by an Angel nine months ago,’ confesses six year old Sally Harris. ‘I am not carrying the son of God. It is the son of your brother Kevin. To be honest I can’t believe you fell for it.’

If anyone stages this next year, I am *so* there.


[tags]atheist, atheism, Christmas, Christian[/tags]

  • Mriana

    I don’t know. These are 5 and 6 year olds. I think having no Nativity play would be far better. I think it is a little much to be having a 6 y.o. speak of adultry and alike. Yes, this stuff happens in the real world, but why teach them about it at such a young age?

    Or better yet, why not teach them it is just a story and why it is just a story. Add to that all the other pagan virgin birth stories that are much similar. I don’t find this disrespectful to other people’s beliefs, but rather knowledge and truth. Although some parents might still see that as disrespectful of their beliefs though. I still don’t think they are too young to learn comparitive myths. My sons did.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    It would be funny to have the character of Jesus’ older brother at the “virgin” birth in the play.

  • Milena

    I see nothing wrong with treating children as mature people capable of understanding the joke. I’m sure it was all well explained to them. The rational explanation of the star and Mary’s adultery really made me laugh. I always thought there was something fishy about this immaculate conception business. ;)

  • Mriana

    Milena, they aren’t adults in little bodies nor do they have the cognitive ability of adults, and such an idea is archiac. Be that as it may, that isn’t the point. I don’t think you would appreciate religious views imposed on your children- I wouldn’t. In this case, atheist views are being imposed- the tables are turned and it’s not at all nice. I live by the saying, “if you don’t like it, don’t do it to others.”

    These are children, not adults debating or having a conversation. Something about it feels quite wrong to me and I’d feel the same if it were religious views imposed on children. If it were adults doing the play I wouldn’t care a bit, but these are children.

    Even my 18 y.o. feels these children are too young for this play. It’s wrong to him too. If they were 17 or older he’d have no issues with it either and he would have no problems with it if they were 15 as long as they were not the ones protraying an affair.

  • Milena

    Mriana, I understand what you mean when it comes to atheits’ views being imposed, but I think that it’d be difficult to portray the nativity scene without imposing any views – either you play it by the book, or you deny it completely. Anyways, they’re not adults, but kids are smart. Maybe the conception should have been handled differently, but it also doesn’t sound like it was overtly sexual in nature – more of a jibe at the idea of immaculate conception. And perhaps it isn’t all nice to be taking someone else’s tradition and turning it on it’s head, and I do understand why the Christian groups are upset, but I think it’s a fun and interactive way for kids to start questioning their own beliefs and those of others.

  • PrimateIR

    It’s funny but I agree with Mriana. Anyone with kids knows the theme is not right for that age group.

  • ash

    woah people, you do get that this is just a joke and hasn’t really happened, don’t you?

    from the site –

    Disclaimer
    All characters and events reported on this site are ficticious. Oh all right, Blair and Bush and all the famous people obviously aren’t, but all members of the public are invented and are not intended to represent anyone alive or dead. We will only use real names when public figures are being satirized.

    you may also wish to scan the headlines down the right hand side for further clarification…oh, and Hemant did say ‘satirical’…

  • Milena

    woah people, you do get that this is just a joke and hasn’t really happened, don’t you?

    Well, now I feel stupid. I guess the fact that the article ends with “I can’t believe you fell for it.” should be indicative. =/ Still, it’d be fun to watch.

  • ash

    having been caught out a few times myself, i now check rigourously…friendlyatheist is obviously indoctrinating me with smarts and skeptism. bastards.

  • PrimateIR

    Oh! Duh! Here I was all upset.

  • Mriana

    Mriana, I understand what you mean when it comes to atheits’ views being imposed, but I think that it’d be difficult to portray the nativity scene without imposing any views – either you play it by the book, or you deny it completely

    I don’t think they should have had it at all.

    PrimateIR said,

    January 7, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    It’s funny but I agree with Mriana. Anyone with kids knows the theme is not right for that age group.

    Thanks. It’s nice to see someone who agrees with my older son and me.

    Satire? I never was good with that and never did think it funny.

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    I was the Inn Keeper *cough cough* years ago and I thought it was terribly unfair for Joseph and Mary not to have my room for a night or two. At least while they found somewhere else.

    As an adult I’d be forced to tell them that the room is available for paying customers only and the census isn’t till 6AD so they’re a bit early. Not to mention in the wrong place as no requirement to return to your birth town was ever mentioned. Oh and wasn’t the whole thing added in order to fulfil a prophecy (something that someone made up) anyway?

    Then again my daughter really wanted to play Herod in her school play. You need a proper baddy for that feeling of suspense and she has the voice and the evil laugh just right.


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