It is, as all those 80s pop stars remind us, Christmas-time, and so the Baptists of the Tabernacle on Auckland's Queen Street have done what they always do at this time of year: they have brought out their alarmingly life-size Christmas Crib. It gives me the shudders everytime I see it. Nativity scenes, traditionally, are on a miniaturised scale and so they should be. But the Baptists proclaim that a child is born with huge and scary figures.
Among the Corinthian columns Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and two kings of orient are. The whereabouts of the third king are unknown. They are an odd looking bunch. Mary must be the oldest virgin in town, while Joseph seems quite shocked at the prospect of surrogate fatherhood, as well he might. The two kings appear to be advancing on the less than happy family as zombies do on teenagers. There are no certain shepherds, no sheep and no asses; which is fortunate, because there would be no room at the Tabernacle otherwise.
But what of that third king? Perhaps he was taken in the night by drunken revellers. That may be the reason why the holy mannequins are returned to the recesses of the Tabernacle every evening and regrouped the next day. Or perhaps the king's disappearance is a sign of something more sinister.
Perhaps the royal absence is "part of a larger war that the secular Left is waging on all things Christian," In the USofA, manger attacks are breaking out all over. In one such incident, a public school coach and some of his students "damaged a number of Christmas displays, let the air out of inflatable figures and rearranged plastic reindeer into X-rated sexual positions." Flumadiddle is monitoring the lordnappings and, at the last count, reports thirty-two baby Jesuses taken.
Whether this disturbing trend has come to New Zealand remains unreported. Family First really ought to be monitoring this sort of thing.
Elsewhere, Going Jesus has assembled a Cavalcade of Bad Nativities.