December 24, 2006


Radio City Christmas is a treat -- until it decends into preachiness: The Radio City Music Spectacular is everything you expect, until the final 20 minutes. (MARK LOWRY, Nov. 15, 2002, Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
No one expects high art from something like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes; instead, you want think-free holiday entertainment. [...]

For the first hour-and-40-minutes, the big-budget revue succeeds in entertaining and building holiday spirit.

But then the tone changes rapidly.

A recreation of the biblical Christmas story, complete with live animals, wise men and shepherds drags on for a good 20 minutes.

An ominous voice narrates the entire story, beginning with Isaiah's Old Testament prophecy, with such seriousness that it turns preachy and overbearing. You almost expect the narrator to tell the Easter story and read the Book of Revelation.

Had NextStage been a church and its congregation known what to expect, terrific.

But to lure spectators of all faiths (and non-faiths) with the promise of an entertaining holiday revue, and then to ambush them with Christian theology, is dated and borderline offensive, especially at a time when understanding of other cultures and beliefs is more important than ever.

The RCCS creators are wrong to assume that Jews, Muslims and other non-Christians don't have the same right to holiday fluff that Christians do.

Our grandparents used to take us every year. Usually there was a dreadful movie--Mame and the remake of Lost Horizon are two I recall as being particularly awful, though the Albert Finney Christmas Carol was actually good--and then the stage show. The living nativity is the point of the whole exercise. They used to even have camels and the wise men would walk in from the wings. It was awesome.

This nitwit seems to think that tolerance means that the religious should forego their celebrations lest someone take offense. One would have thought that it meant that non-believers could enjoy the show and, just maybe, gain some of the understanding he's talking about. Or is the requirement of greater understanding a one-way street, to be imposed only upon Christians? [Originally posted: 2002-12-04] Posted by Orrin Judd at December 24, 2006 12:00 AM

His presumptions: "dated"=Christianity is supposed to fade into the past and secularism dominate evermore; "offensive . . . wrong . . . [violating our] right to holidy fluff"=I'm going to verbally bully and intimidate anyone who tries to practice Christianity in public; "had . . . its congregation known what to expect, terrific"=Christianity, like tobacco, needs warning labels; "seriousness"=when Christianity does appear it should be treated as a joke.

BTW, isn't the Star-Telegram the same paper that treated Harry Stein so shabbily?

Posted by: pj at December 5, 2002 7:22 AM

Am I missing something here? Someone goes to a Christmas show and is surprised and offended that it is about Christmas?

Posted by: DCJ at December 5, 2002 7:56 AM

Somebody better tell this guy to turn off "Charlie Brown's Christmas" before Linus walks on to the stage.....

Posted by: Foos at December 5, 2002 8:42 AM

One philosophy that the GOP... hell, all of us, need to get militant and uncompromising about is.....

You, I, and everyone else does not, repeat, DOES NOT, have any right to go through life unoffended. Get used to it.... which means, get used to ME, while I need to get used to you. That is called life. Live it and stop whining.

Posted by: Andrew X at December 5, 2002 9:21 AM

Andrew - agreed - the core American/liberal principle is "live and let live" - I can be me, you can be you - those who get offended at me for being me have rejected this core principle - they are baby fascists, seeking to enforce a particular mode of behavior on everyone.

We have a moral duty to promote the "spirit of liberty" by resolutely being ourselves and not bowing to this intimidation . . . with charity and grace and pure hearts untinted by animosity or an "in your face" desire to give offense.

Posted by: pj at December 5, 2002 11:10 AM

Keep Christ in Xmas

Posted by: Harry at December 5, 2002 6:40 PM