By JR on Friday, December 19, 2014
Will Xmas carols defeat the Left?
Just a small initial point: Is my use above of "X" to represent Christ disrespectful? It is not. It is in fact very respectful indeed. The Gospels were written in Greek and the first letter of Christ's name in Greek is the letter Chi -- which is normally written the same as our letter X.
And Greek letters are not exactly unknown in educated circles to this day. Statisticians, for instance, will all be familiar with the statistic "Chi squared" -- a way of testing the statistical significance of frequencies.
And there are still some of us who work their way through the New Testament in Greek. I actually own three recensions of the Greek New Testament: Griesbach, Westcott & Hort and a 1958 revision of Nestle. So my very occasional excursions into the original Greek are well supported.
And the early Christians made much use of Chi. They used it to represent Christ and closed one end of it to make it look like a fish when they were being persecuted. So the use of Chi has a most honorable background.
And to this day, some Christians (mostly Anglicans in my observation) do still use a fish to represent their faith.
But I did not intend this post to be about ancient Greek so let me get on to the small but perhaps important point that I originally wanted to make:
When I first visited California in the mid-70s I arrived, for some long-forgotten reason, in early December. So I was delighted to have Xmas carols piped at me from any retail outlet that I entered. I gather that that pleasant world is long gone now, however. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and Frosty the Snowman are about it these days -- which must be very boring.
And the Left have some logic behind their suppression of Xmas carols. Most of the carols are very devout. They in fact largely tell the basic story of Christianity: That Jesus was God incarnate. I guess that people rarely pay full attention to the words of songs but to the extent that they are exposed to Xmas carols, people will learn rather a lot about basic Xian doctrine. The sheer beauty of the traditional Xmas carols will often get them past Leftist censorship.
And there are even hints of long-lost scholarship in the carols. "Gloria in excelsis Deo" and "Adeste fidelis", for instance, may open up the world of Latin for some. And the perspective that conveys could indeed be transformative.
And the frequent mentions of Israel in the carols should make it clear that Israel is forever the land of the Jews