I can think of only one parish in the country–St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis–that is far enough out at the end of the bell curve of sanity that it would present Jesus as a baby girl just to be insufferably PC. In daffy liberal Protestantism, this kind of stuff happens all the time.
The babe in the manger is a girl named Hope. Joseph (er, “Jose”) is an illegal immigrant looking for a job in the U.S. Mary (“Maura”) is a teenage runaway who fled her Connecticut home after her parents became upset upon discovering her pregnancy. The Angel Gabriel, nicknamed “Gabe,” is a homeless black man.
The reinterpreted Nativity, its characters hewn by chainsaw artist Michael Higgins, stands in Tiverton Four Corners, Rhode Island. The unconventional display was conceived by Bill Sterritt, pastor of the Amicable Congregational Church. Sterritt envisioned the Christmas story in modern times. In his model, the Magi are a Buddhist, a Muslim and a Hindu.
Yeah, yeah. I get it. Jesus is the friend of the poor and dispossessed. Only, here’s the thing: an archangel is not a Magical Negro. A magical negro is a now-tiresome movie trope invented by well-heeled Hollywood screenwriters to alleviate guilt over racial injustice in the United States while not having to, like, do something besides go to a movie. He shows up, gives wise/mystical advice and sometimes literally disappears. An archangel, in contrast, is an *archangel* announcing the most important event in the history of the universe–which turns out to be the Incarnation of the Son of God, not the Civil Rights Act, good as that was. Gabriel was not homeless. He was perfectly at home in heaven and only left there because heaven is wherever God is and God was now in Mary’s womb. Mary, by the way, was not a rich Connecticut kid whose Parents Didn’t Understand Her and who got laid after attending the prom in order to prove to her cheerleader friends she wasn’t a loser. And Jesus was not a girl. He just wasn’t. Nor was his name Hope. It was “the Lord is salvation” and “God with us”. Finally, while the point of the story of the Magi is that Jesus is, indeed, the fulfilment of the hopes of the whole human race and the savior of all and not just of the Jews, I suspect that a Muslim at any rate would not appreciate being drafted into the worship of Jesus Christ since, well, the whole of Islam is ordered toward the denial of the worship of Jesus Christ.
Why not let the original story, with all its intrinsic power and humility, stand as is without the stupid improvements of some victim of White Guilt, Multicultural Obsessions and PC Feminism who wants to turn everything into a Up With People Statement about Human Empowerment?
To the people who thought this was a great idea, I hereby award you the new gold standard in epic Tina Fey Eyerolls: