Monday, December 23, 2013

21st century Jesus would be born in Travelodge or a garden shed

Where would Jesus be born if this year were the first Christmas? 

This was one of several questions in a new poll conducted by the Bible Society to get people thinking about the Christmas story.

Other questions included what presents would be offered to the newborn, and who would make the best Wise Man.

The poll revealed that the most popular birthplace of choice for Jesus is the Yorkshire Dales, with almost one third of the votes, while second place went to London with 23 per cent.

Swindon was last choice, with only two percent of those asked believed Jesus would be born there, which, ironically, makes it about as likely a choice as Bethlehem - a tiny city where no one expected a royal birth.

One third of those polled thought Jesus would be born in a garden shed in the 21st century, while 17 per cent decided a Travelodge would be more fitting. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, almost nobody chose the Hilton hotel or a bus stop as a likely modern birthplace for the Messiah.

Just over one in 10 (13.7%) think Jesus would have a sweet tooth and they would give him a chocolate orange if he was born this year.

Just over 10% would give him the more practical gift of a pair of socks, while 6% chose a Playstation 4, an iTunes voucher or a football shirt.

Professor Brian Cox was the most popular choice for a Wise Man with 33% of the vote. Sir Trevor Macdonald was runner up with 16%, while the unlikely pairing of the Archbishop of Canterbury and reality TV star Joey Essex each came close to the bottom of the list.

The survey also revealed that, given the chance, a whopping 40% of women want to be an angel in a Nativity play, while only 8% of men would choose to don the wings and tinsel halo, despite every angelic name in the Bible being masculine.

Matthew Van Duyvenbode, Head of Campaigns, Advocacy and Media at the Bible Society, said: "This poll is a bit of good fun, but it also points to a story of enduring significance. At the heart of Christmas is the message that God cares about the everyday, the ordinary and the seemingly insignificant. By encouraging people to think about the Nativity in terms of today's ordinary experiences, we hope that they'll revisit one of the world's best known stories with a fresh perspective."

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