Christokleptcy Plagues Nativity Scenes

A wave of unacknowledged miracles is sweeping the country, as untold numbers of Baby Jesuses are walking away from the nation’s nativity scenes. But rather than recognize God’s wrath against scientists for attempting to reschedule the virgin birth to June, officials are conspiring to attribute the disappearances to common thieves.

A rundown of the latest shocking reports:

  • In Athens, Georgia, bandits swiped a white-jumpsuited Lord from His manger for the second straight year. “I don’t know what kind of person would steal a baby Jesus,” said owner Richy Huston. Police valued Our Savior at $13.
  • In Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a concrete block and chain proved no deterrent for a baby heist that also included the manger. “I support anybody that takes the baby Jesus,” said 2005 godnapper Virginia Voiers, “but I did not nor did I encourage anybody to.”
  • In Canton, Ohio, Christina Auvil set a seven-foot inflatable nativity scene in her front yard on a Saturday afternoon. By Sunday morning, it was gone.
  • And in Kittanning, Pennsylvania, vandals got their Peanuts specials confused when they replaced Jesus in the manger with a pumpkin.

Perhaps the most unsettling development is the lack of faith displayed by nativity landlords: Instead of relying on the power of prayer to get Jesus back in the crib, they’re resorting to tagging the King of Kings with GPS devices.

GPS technology used to track baby Jesus [Chicago Sun-Times]

Dog Nativity [Collections Etc.]

41 Comments

“I don’t know what kind of person would steal a baby Jesus.”

Me neither. I am a sad panda.

Thank you, nojo, for a hard-hitting expose on this new front that has opened in the ongoing war on Christmas.

Now I must go and pray that God continues to watch over Preznit Bunnypants as he makes his final victory lap to celebrate democracy and the bringing of to foreign lands across the sea. Because if I don’t pray He might forget, or something. Get distracted. Go to the movies.

TJ/ While on the Baby Jebus theme… I found it quite distressing that the makers of Milk should have recast the real man’s life in such an overtly religious manner. Harvey Milk was many things: he was not, however, Jesus. Nor were his friends the disciples. Neither was Dan White Judas. Or Scarpia (in the movie’s only original flourish). I think this film does a real disservice to what went on and what people did then. And Josh Brolin, who is excellent, gives best perf.

End of rant. The movie house was full of Hillz Pumas. About 3 people under 40. But it was full. I heard crying. Not from me.

Baby Jeebus would shed tears over the story if the bastards hadn’t stolen his tear ducts, too,

@Benedick:
amazing to hear crying. i can only assume this story is new to them. i remember my own crying–at the time.
can’t wait to see it. was the ‘twinkie defense’ prominent in the movie?
i do hate me the criminal defenders. might be personal though.

@baked: I don’t think it’s any good – Beyond being an expertly produced entertainment riddled with cliches. The movie is almost entirely taken up with the Christ/Milk story. The defense is mentioned only at the end, in what I found to be the only really touching part of the film. I won’t spoil it for you. It’s very well done. And I must say, the use of footage of the time is used brilliantly. As are the entirely convincing CGI shots.

I should mention that I cannot watch Limelight without crying like a fool throughout the movie. Same happened to me at Shakespeare in Love. I cry at anything. But the movie has no real story, only plot. So I found it hard to get involved. Plus afore mentioned religiosity.

@Benedick:
ahh, shakespeare in love! one of my top 10 faves of ALL time!
“well, you see, it’s about a nurse……”
and the play posters? priceless.

everything makes me cry too. exhausting.
….back to packing, speaking of exhausted crying.

Good God, what would happen if the Nativity Bandits should team up with the Counter-Palin Arsonists and Muntadar al-Zaidi? Think of it! Nativity scenes in flames, sponsors running out onto lawns to rescue them and being pelted with shoes hurled dead-eye at their heads!

@Benedick:

My thoughts re: Milk. No pumas in the audience, but sold-out theater of mainly gay men.

Josh Brolin and James Franco were great.

Diego Luna was so terrible with his bad method acting, I almost laughed during a few crucial scenes.

Maybe the “Milk as Christ” theme is more part of Sean Penn’s acting style, see, e.g., his movie Dead Man Walking.

I enjoyed all of the inside-SF references, and the fixed shot they used over and over of the Castro at different times of the day and night was shot from a corner I walk around every morning, so that was cool. The movie also captured my general SF resident exhaustion with protests – watching it I felt as if the queens did nothing but march from the Castro to Civic Center (the movie failed to demonstrate that it takes 20-25 minutes to make that walk, and you walk through Crackville on the way).

It was also a little surreal to be inside the Castro Theatre watching the movie with all the scenes that were filmed just outside, and walk out of the theater and past the stores that are still here 30 years later. And Milk’s old camera shop.

SanFranLefty: See, with Dead Man Walking, you had Sean Penn, literally, acting as Christ. (And being with Saint Sarah Sarandon didn’t freaking help.)

In re Crackville — I presume you mean the Western Addition, right? I thought that was more to the north of Market than being right on top of it. (1970s may have been way different, though. For example: no crack.)

In re crying: yes, here in Chicago, I heard sniffles. But nothing like that time when I journeyed to the South Side to watch The Passion of the Christ. I was the only white guy in the theater that afternoon. The theater was about a quarter full. Half of them brought their Bibles with them (obvious joke referencing “gitcherprogramshere!” omitted). There was open, sustained sobbing, which is more than that snuff film deserved. (Seriously: about a minute of Christ’s ethical teachings, overhauled by two hours of Christ being tortured. Thanks a lot, Mel.)

@chicago bureau:
Western Addition is more to the north and east of the Panhandle.

More the south-of-Civic Center/Tenderloin, southern Hayes Valley three block stretch of Market Street is what I’m talking about, although Hayes Valley has gotten hipster-fied since I moved to the Bay Area.

This is a Stinque Newsbrief. Here is the ghost of Jessica Savitch.

Good morning. Shoeless al-Joe is an instant hero in the Arab street, after yesterday’s shoe throwing incident. There is only one street in the Arab world, as has been prev– previously reported by wire services. In other news, Laura Bush thinks that the “Barney Cam” video is actually fooling people.

Where is my makeup person, God da–

This has been a Stinque Newsbrief.

@Benedick: Sorry, my Limey friend. I thought it was well done, and I bawled toward the end after clutching the arm of the bear seated next to me as Harvey was gunned down.

The damn film should have come out way before November. Perhaps fires would have been lit under the No on 8 peoples’ asses, as well as those of the homo-and-friends nation at large.

@SanFranLefty: My other half, who is a director with an annoying ability to spot lapses in structure and/or logic, picked up on the Christ deal. I don’t know if it’s structural – I suspect it was – but it’s certainly the structure they used, consciously or not. That’s in the writing, (Sean Penn was fine and I thought rather more charming than usual) eg. the owners of The Advocate standing in for the rabbis, all those young men as apostles, the outcast finding his mission, etc.

As a piece of work I found it entirely lacking a story. Lots of plot – but that’s not the same thing. It proceeded by zooming from one incident to the next without ever dealing with why or how anything happened. It’s all done with great skill and there are some good performances but it doesn’t really make up for the lack at the centre of the film: what’s going on. A better idea might have been to focus on Milk and White and really try to tell that story. It could be an opera. Is there already an opera about H Milk? I seem to have it in my head that there is.

Of course, my own reaction is colored by my repugnance at the current crop of Gay Saint stories. There is nothing special about being gay, either for good or bad, it’s an aspect of a life not its raison d’etre. The characters in the film were only gay. That was their occupation. They didn’t seem to do anything else. This has never been a world I recognize. Plus, the drag queen thing really gets up my nose. They seemed to crop up in every crowd scene. As does the ‘girlfriend’ talk. I despise the ‘feminization’ of gay men by themselves and others. It seems to me to be no more than a ploy to appear non-threatening to society at large and therefore accepts the societal contempt we all still have to endure.

Did you think that was Josh Brolin under heavy make-up as Scarpia? I did. And thought it was kind of imaginative. But again, it feminizes Harvey Milk by turning him into the ultimate romantic heroine, Tosca.

Must have been fun to see it where it happened. No doubt I’ll make a pilgrimage when I’m there. I bought my ticket.

TJ: Today is the convocation of the Electoral College, which means impending doom for us all if the PUMAs get together with the uppity-negro haters to upend the will of the voters.

Seriously, I’m curious to see the number of faithless electors — they might be minuscule, but surely at least one of them is going to cast their vote for the Hillbot SecState Model. Actually, 1 or 2 won’t hurt, and will record I think the first electoral votes for a woman evah.

@rptrcub: Strangely enough, it wouldn’t be the first time; that honor goes to Theodora Nathan. (Isn’t Wikipedia magic? Bonus trivia: She was one of two challengers to Bob Packwood for Senate in 1980, the other being my distant cousin, the current governor of Oregon.) I wonder if nojo remembers her at all from her talk show days.

@Benedick: You would have hated me in college. I was GAY GAY GAY all the time first and foremost. Of course, growing up where I did and being in college where I was sort of necessitated that, just for my personal development I think. Being in Chicago since has moderated that a ton.

Still, I do respect people that make that part of their identity such a huge and public part of their lives, because many of them are reacting to their surrounding and fighting for GLBT civil rights.

I have not seen ‘Milk’ yet so I can’t really comment about the characters being portrayed as one-dimensional. As far as drag queens, I think one of the great things about being gay is the ability to not be constrained by pre-conceived concepts of gender roles. I like to think of it as subversive rather than oppressive, and no one turns gender on its head like queers. And this works both ways – I nelly boy dressed like an A&F frat boy is just a much a drag queen as Regina Upright.

Sorry, this comment is a little bit scattered, but real work calls.

@mellbell: Whoa — Teddy’s a distant cousin? He’s been around, like, forever.

Packwood I’ll never forgive for beating Wayne Morse in 1974. (Plenty of other reasons followed…)

And who the hell is Theodora…

Oh. Tonie Nathan. (Theodora? Learn something new.) I wasn’t yet listening to the radio, and I don’t recall her hosting a KVAL “talk show” at the time — although it would have likely been a short segment at 12:15 following the noon news, and I would sooner watch a soap opera than something like that. (Thus my All My Children addiction, for lack of a competing game show in its time slot.)

I don’t remember Tonie Nathan clearly, but I don’t recall having anything but respect for her. She may have co-founded the Libertarian Party, but I didn’t encounter classic idiot Libertarians until I moved to McMinnville.

@homofascist: When we moved to Christopher Street I was astounded by the nightly parade of half-naked men acting out. But then I thought if I’d grown up terrified in Texas I’d probably do the same. I freely admit to my own bigotries – I try not to be proud of them – and to the fact that having grown up in the theatre I’ve been more protected than most. Though when I was a lad what’sisname and I hid our relationship from everyone except close friends. Even when we worked together nobody knew. Looking back on it – sad but true. I think what the push for marriage rights is about is the right to be boringly ‘normal’ – which is why it’s such a threat.

The fighting thing has never been for me – not overtly, at least – it’s not part of my temperament and I can’t conceive of it. I suspect that most gay men are like me in that respect, for good and ill.

See, now, I think that drag queens totally buy into the gender stereotypes. I don’t feel the same about effeminacy. It’s the women’s clothes I don’t understand. Apart from its mardi gras aspect. I think we all have an evolutionary need to dress up from time to time and drag gets confused with that. I get to do it at work.

Don’t get me wrong, the movie is very well done and quite a lot of it is entertaining. And perhaps I expect too much from it given the exigencies of movie making here in the greatest nation on earth.

@homofascist: It’s up to LGBTQ, and last week I swore I found a six-letter variant while researching Day Without a Gay, but I can’t find it now. Sooner or later they’re gonna have to buy a vowel.

@Benedick: Now that you bring it up, a very general point: Isn’t “straight-acting” something of a misnomer? I wasn’t aware there was a causal relationship between sexual preference and cultural behavior. There’s certainly a “gay subculture,” but I’ve always thought that’s more subculture than gay.

I have the same issue — and for the same reason — with straight guys who think they have to act like a “man”. That’s also a subculture, something you’re not born into, but may grow into. It’s like all the American Male can do is adopt one identity or another, as opposed to, oh, I dunno, being himself.

@nojo: I. For Intersex. And another “Q” for Queer (the other Q is for “questioning.”)

rptrcub: That’s cheating. Seriously, I’m as accepting and inclusive as the next dirty liberal. But Intersex = Transsexual / Transgender. C’mon.

And the LGBetc. Community (herald trumpets? again?) now has a Q, another Q, and yet no U. Further cheating.

Footnote to Incident #3: Mom reports via email this morning from the ancestral neighborhood…

One house has a huge balloon type Christmas scene — one group is three snowmen carolers and next to it a snowman and penguin on a motorcycle.

Inflatable Christmas decorations. Truly a disturbing trend.

@rptrcub: @chicago bureau: Enough with the jawbreaker acronym. The time has come for a glyph. I hear Prince’s is available.

@nojo: I think the expression of sexuality is entirely socially constructed. All you have to do is look at pin-ups from 50 years ago. Or Fox Newshos.

But back to Jebus. I pray there will be no further outrages before our dear Lord’s special day. Or if there are that they are confined to the South. Ramen.

@nojo:
BTW, I can’t decide if I’m horrified or amused by the dog nativity scene. I like the terrier-looking mutt holding the bowl on the left hand side.

Oh, and inflatable menacing Xmas decorations are hugely popular in northern New Jersey. Maybe I should get an inflatable dreidel for my deck.

@SanFranLefty: Blow and He will cum.

Sorry. Forgive me. *hides face in shame*

@SanFranLefty: Now that you mention it, I would accept a nativity that consisted of nothing but those giant wavy tubes.

@nojo: Otherwise known as a — wait for it — NativiTube!

@nojo: Not-Straight would work for me, then again, it has the negative Nancy “non” in it, to which some types would have objections. Or perhaps a symbol of a middle finger. I dunno.

Wait — the middle finger should be our gang sign.

@rptrcub: Or maybe the Stinque Award — it was an initial thought, but I didn’t want to cop the Fickle Finger of Fate.

@SanFranLefty: I think it’s the best creche EVAR, but I am concerned that the fox disguised as Joseph is going to eat the baby Jeebus puppy while the Blessed Virgin Dalmatian is asleep.

Hmm. No dachshunds. That can’t be right.

@Mistress Cynica: Why are you using fancy French words to describe the pure virginal birth of our Lard and Savior? Are you a godless heathern?

@Benedick: Have you seen Frost/Nixon? I wouldn’t recommend watching it just for the dachshund scene, but there is one.

@Mistress Cynica: I was going to comment on that too and applaud the edgy interspecies message it’s sending, but then I remembered that poor Joseph fox isn’t supposed to have anything to do with the paternity of puppy Jeebus.

@mellbell: No I haven’t. Extremely interesting piece on it by Elizabeth Drew over at HuffPo.

@flippin eck: Is that why puppy Jebus is a yellow Lab? Is there some tie-in here with Marley and Me?

My other question is: where can I get me one of them things? Our pack would love it!

@rptrcub: If I wanted to be fancy and eleetist, I would have put the circumflex over the E, comme ça: crêche.

@Benedick: When I was in college a prevailing theory in feminist and queer studies was that all gender is performance, and instead of viewing drag queens as insulting to woman, they were turning the idea of gender on its ear by showing that anyone could take the characteristics of ‘feminine’ and act on them. It obviously wasn’t tied to someones physical sex organs, it was literally a way of acting out that we learn and internalize.

Or I look at it another way. I am certainly a man, but would not describe myself as manly. Or butch. I have many characteristics some would regard as feminine – hell, my parents started suspecting I would be gay when I was two. Was I internalizing hateful messages at that age and acting out on it in a fit of self-loathing? I am about as social constructivist as it gets, but even I doubt that. At some point I am just Jason – the sum of my parts, some that people would consider masculine, some that would be consider feminine. The beauty to me of being gay is that I don’t have to apologize or hate myself for any of it. I can like and play sports and still once in a blue moon have a blast doing drag (I have legs from here to ya-ya baby!).

Do people internalize these gender messages and act out in spates of self-loathing? Absolutely. But to me, those A&F, “straight-acting” wanna be butch boys illustrate that more than anything. Back when I was single and doing online dating, ‘straight-acting’ was an automatic ‘no thanks’ in my book.

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