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Christmas is a time for reflection. But sometimes, thankfully, someone else says pretty much what you might have said yourself, and probably better. Gratitude to Giles Fraser for his seasonal Guardian piece, 'The Bethlehem story takes us deeper into what it means to be human' (24 December 2013).
"It is not the present that they expected. Nothing close. They wanted the sort of God who would drive out the Romans. They wanted the sort of God that would set them in positions of power and authority. They wanted the sort of God who would answer their questions and make them feel good about themselves. No, it was nothing vaguely close.
"Freud attacks religion for presenting us with a permanent and all-powerful father figure who will look after us and provide us with boundaries, thus to replace the father we lost in childhood. It is a neurotic technique of anxiety reduction, helping us psychologically to manage an out-of-control world. But the God discovered by the Magi and the Shepherds could not be more different….
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