We all know the various Christian churches spend much of Advent moaning about how people are "forgetting the true message of Christmas", and how we secular types are devaluing their flagship festival in our desire to take time off work, eat, drink, and be merry. We also know they like to complain about depictions of Christmas scenes that don't fit the church-approved image of Jesus et al, such as the "sacrilegious" Red Bull ad we featured on this blog last week.
Considering this, it's probably fair to say that many Christians won't approve of the "Chavtivity" scene featured in this morning's Metro newspaper. The image, entitled "A Glasgow Nativity Scene", is being used widely on online Christmas cards and depicts Mary and Joseph as tracksuited "chavs" sitting in a smashed-up bus shelter while the baby Jesus lies in a Burberry-patterned pram. Mary sits smoking a cigarrette, while Joseph holds a pitbull terrier on a gold lead. The Three Wise Men are also depicted as chavs, and they come bearing gifts of booze, cigarettes and a stolen satellite box. Joseph also seems to appear on a "wanted" poster on the bus shelter notice board.
Elsewhere in the Metro, one reader, an E Mathieson of North Yorkshire, is displeased with secular encroachments on the festive season: "In these times of heightened religious inspection and introspection, I find myself faced with several issues of intellectual clarity and integrity. Is it not fair to ask all atheists to refrain from participating in all aspects of Christmas? Equally, given that December 25 is of no significance within the atheist calendar, should they not ask for the restoration of their denied right to work on that date?"
I'll throw that one out to readers of this blog...