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'Christmas isn't about escaping to a perfect world... it's about the real world' Reality shows come under fire.

Byline: Robin Turner

THE Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan has hit out at The X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and even Christmas carols for making us "hooked" on perfection.

In his Christmas Day sermon at Cardiff's Llandaff Cathedral yesterday he said God loved our "messed up" world with all its imperfections.

Glossy TV adverts, he added, just reinforced an image of perfection, putting us in danger of missing the point of the festive season.

Dr Morgan said: "Christmas isn't about escaping to some perfect world, it's about the real world. God loves this world as it is in all its brokenness - the awfulness of unresolved conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, the hardship faced because of the credit crunch.

"Even some carols seem to portray perfection. Take Away in a Manger - portraying baby Jesus surrounded in a stable. In fact, it's such a perfect scene the writer doesn't want it spoiled and so writes: 'Little Lord Jesus no crying he makes'.

"A baby who doesn't cry - there's something abnormal about that.

"Or take O Little Town of Bethlehem, the writer paints a picture of a quiet and peaceful city. Yet we know Bethlehem has never enjoyed that peace and tranquillity."

TV domestic goddess Nigella Lawson, however, came in for praise.

The Archbishop agreed with her criticising Christmas pressure onwomen and confessing she'd often prefer "curry and chips" for Christmas dinner.

The Archbishop added in his sermon: "Christmas is not about perfection... it's about God in Christ coming into a messy world, precisely because it is all messed up.

"The trouble with us is we're hooked on looking for perfection.

"X Factor judges regard as 'total rubbish' anyone less than perfect. Strictly Come Dancing judges couldn't cope with John Sergeant because he couldn't dance perfectly.

"But this feast is about God's love for the actual world."

Dr Morgan said Jesus was born in occupied Palestine and specialised in mixing with "imperfect people".

He said: "He came to show God's love for those who others found unlovable."
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 26, 2008
Words:334
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