SANTA MONICA COMPLETELY BANS NATIVITY (AND ANTI-NATIVITY) SCENES
For more than 60 years, the city of Santa Monica has allowed Christians to put up a nativity scene in the walkway along Ocean Avenue every December. But this week the city voted to ban nativity scenes altogether.
This ban by Santa Monica council seems to have been voted through on the very same day the council voted for smokers’ homes to be identified.
I’m not a church-goer. I’ve only been twice in the last 20 years. First for my father’s funeral. And then for my mother’s. So I can’t claim to be Christian or anything, even though I was raised as one. But I can see that Christians are now being ‘denormalised’ just like smokers. Smokers like me.
It’s one reason why my sympathy for Christians has been mounting over the past few years: because, along with the drinkers and the fat people, and anyone else who doesn’t conform to the
Aryan ‘healthy’ ideal, we’re both unwelcome in the Brave New World. And we form a sort of de facto Coalition of the Unwelcome. We’re all in the same boat. Or maybe I should say, we’re all in the same gas chamber.
Perhaps it’s only right. I seem to remember that Jesus hung out with the poor and the downtrodden and the smokers and drinkers and hookers. I also seem to remember that he had a lot of harsh things to say about rich Pharisees. “Whited sepulchres,” I think he called them. I don’t think he’d have too much trouble identifying who the Pharisees are these days. Santa Monica town council seems to be comprised of nothing else.
What is it that they’ve got against Christianity? Probably it’s that they’re not Christians. And, unlike me, probably never were. Their religion is probably some flavour of Environmentalism, although they probably wouldn’t say that it was a religion. They’d say that what they believed was modern and up-to-date, and that it was state-of-the-art, cutting-edge, scientific knowledge. They’ve probably read all the magazines and the books, and discussed it all at great length in their Santa Monica homes at dinner parties. And because of this, they see themselves as better-educated and better-informed and better-all-round than most other people. And this results in growing contempt for the ill-educated mass of humanity. And once that contempt has become set in concrete, they have no qualms whatsoever about acting on it, and banning smoking and Christian nativities, and anything else which doesn’t accord with their superior wisdom.
And they’re probably in love with anything that’s new. Because new is modern and up-to-date, and they must always have the latest gadgets, particularly the intellectual gadgets. And Christianity is very old. And therefore it is old-fashioned. And so also is smoking. Anything that is in the least bit traditional is almost by definition old-fashioned and out-of-date. So it’s probably very easy for them to identify what’s new and hip, and what’s old and unfashionable. They do the same thing whenever they buy new clothes, which they do all the time. You don’t want to be seen wearing last year’s Peruvian sandals, do you? No, of course you don’t.
How do you know what’s new and fashionable? Well, there’s a sort of consensus that emerges, of what’s In and what’s Out. That’s how fashion works. So you wear fashionable clothes and you eat fashionable foods and you adhere to the latest set of fashionable doctrines that you’ve read about in fashionable magazine articles written by fashionable writers. And what’s In and what’s Out can change overnight.
Global warming/climate change is a fashionable doctrine (and one that may be beginning to become unfashionable). Antismoking is another fashionable doctrine. People don’t believe in this stuff because they’ve been rationally convinced about it. No. They believe it because everybody else believes it, and to not believe it would be like… well, it would be like being caught wearing one of last year’s Peruvian sandals. So when you’re at one of these select Santa Monica parties, nibbling cheese and sipping Pinot Grigio, you nod sagely in agreement with the vegan environmentalist who’s telling you how global warming will result in a new ice age. Because you know that, if you don’t, you’ll never be invited again.
Global warming will probably just become unfashionable one day. It’s already had to be rebranded as Climate Change. The end will come when some fashion leader – like Tom Cruise or something – says in a Vogue magazine interview that he always had profound doubts about it. And then there’ll be a rush to get off the sinking ship as quickly as possible. And everyone will be saying that, yes, they too nursed deep doubts about it all. It will suddenly be fashionable to be sceptical.
And the same will happen, rather later, with antismoking. It’s very fashionable right now, and everybody (everybody who’s anybody, that is) wants to lead the world in daring and imaginative new bans. And Santa Monica council wants to be a world leader. You don’t want to leave all the glory to NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg, after all, do you? Of course not. But, just like with those Peruvian sandals, the lustre will soon wear off (it was painted on by child slave labour). And then smoking bans will become Very Last Year. Particularly when some fashion leader, writing in Mayfair, airs a little of their Nazi history, and expresses some reservations about the ‘science’, and everyone starts heading for the exit.
Nazism was very fashionable in its time. Well, those uniforms were very chic, weren’t they? And such an arresting logo too. And those goose-stepping Nazi marches were a form of ballet. And it was all new! And scientific! Who wouldn’t want to dye their hair blonde, and join the Party, and get their very own free take-away Messerschmitt 109?
But it’s not very fashionable now. You wouldn’t want to be seen dead in one of those things.
Me? I’m completely indifferent to fashion. I’ve got rid of all my If-You’re-Going-To-San-Francisco-Please-Wear-A-Flower-In-Your-Hair flower power shirts. And now my Peruvian sandals too. I kinda knew from the outset that they’d been painted in dungeons by manacled slave girls. But I didn’t want to rock the boat. Or the gas chamber.