Sunday, 3 January 2010

Obama, the children, and the meaning of Christmas

My father was a primary school headmaster and, like everyone in the profession, had some good stories of how children can upset the planned direction of a lesson. One one occasion, a well-meaning priest went into a class to talk to them about grace. He wanted to use petrol as an analogy so he asked the children "What makes a car go?" One bright lad waved his arm frantically and, on being selected, said "Please, Father, the internal combustion engine." I have had plenty of such moments myself. Here is one with President Barack Obama:

Here's the transcript with my comments in red:

THE PRESIDENT: I think one thing that's important to remember is that, even though there's a lot of fun at Christmas, you know, you got -- especially when it's snowy like this, so it's pretty outside, you got the Christmas tree, you got the Christmas cookies, you've got presents. You know, I think that the most important thing is just to remember why we celebrate Christmas. [You're on dangerous ground there, Mr President. One of those children just might know.]

CHILD: I know! [Oh! Here it comes!]

THE PRESIDENT: Do you know? [Nail-biting moment...]

CHILD: The birth of baby Jesus. [Aaargh - that's not in the script! The White House only just about allowed the Christmas crib this year.]

THE PRESIDENT: The birth of baby Jesus, and what he symbolizes ["what he symbolizes"? - I'm not sure the children are going to follow this] for people all around the world is the possibility of peace and people treating each other with respect. And so I just hope that spirit of giving [Shifting onto safer ground here - "peace, respect, spirit of giving" and all that.] that's so important at Christmas, I hope all of you guys remember that as well. You know, it's not just about getting gifts but it's also doing something for other people. So being nice [Oh yes! Being nice is good] to your mom and dad and grandma and aunties and showing respect [Yep, that too - nobody can argue with showing respect] to people -- that's really important too, that's part of the Christmas spirit, don't you think? Do you agree with me?

CHILDREN: Yes. [They're nice children and they show respect; but they also have this darned knowledge of the Christian faith...]

THE PRESIDENT: You do? Do you have an interesting observation? [This child was waving frantically - always a warning sign.]

CHILD: I know why we give gifts to other people.

THE PRESIDENT: Why is that?

CHILD: Because the three wise men gave gifts to baby Jesus. [Aaaargh! - the child has gone back to the gospel again!]

THE PRESIDENT: That's exactly right. [Cool - always affirm the answer even if you think it is wrong.] But [Not so cool to come in so abruptly with the "but"] the three wise men -- the reason -- (sign falls off wall) -- uh-oh, I thought that was the cookies going down. We couldn't have that. You know, the three wise men, if you think about it, here are these guys, they have all this money, they've got all this wealth and power, [Oh yeah? Or were they just Persian priest astronomers? Neat link in to the socialist agenda, though.] and yet they took a long trip to a manger just to see a little baby. And it just shows you that just because you're powerful or you're wealthy, that's not what's important. What's important is what's -- the kind of spirit you have.

So I hope everybody has a spirit of kindness and thoughtfulness, and everybody is really thinking about how can they do for other people -- treating them well, because that's really the spirit of Christmas. [and that's got it all dumbed down nicely Mr President. Forget the divinity of Christ, the incarnation, the redemption of the human race from sin - kindness, thoughfulness, niceness and nonrespectfulnesslessness will do fine.]
I did enjoy this clip: thanks to Creative Minority Report for posting it, and via them, thanks to The Brody File for the transcript.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...