Tag Archives: charles dickens

Music for ‘A Christmas Carol’

I love Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and this wonderful 1984 movie version of it, starring George C. Scott as Scrooge. And I really love this theme music, composed by Nick Bicat, And God Bless Us, Every One.

I guess there are those who think A Christmas Carol is old hat. Are you kidding me? This is a movie about repentance and redemption–and who in this fallen world doesn’t need repentance and redemption? Who is more to be pitied than someone who has no hope of redemption?

But that’s exactly what Our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to do for us.

A Doomed Expedition–and an Enduring Lie

In 1845 Sir John Franklin took two British Navy ships and their crews into the Arctic to try to find and sail the Northwest Passage. The ships were never seen again, and no one from the expedition survived it.

Urged on by Franklin’s widow, and by a public clamoring to know what had happened, the Royal Navy sent out search party after search party, without success. It remained for Dr. John Rae, patiently traversing the Arctic on foot, over hundreds of miles, to discover the expedition’s fate.

But the news he brought back to England was so horrifying, so unwelcome, that his findings were rejected. Interviewing many Arctic natives, and collecting artifacts from the expedition, Rae found that the ships were destroyed in the ice and their crews, having reached land, died of exposure and starvation, with the last few of them resorting to cannibalism to prolong their lives. The men, for as long as they could, wasting what little strength remained to them, hauled behind them rowboats full of desks, books, and other useless items–irrational behavior that has led modern historians to suspect that these men were victims of lead poisoning from their canned provisions.

We have just watched a 2008 documentary from the Canadian Film Board, Passage–a gripping two-hour show that examines how Lady Franklin, with the help of Charles Dickens–yes, the famous Charles Dickens–got Rae’s story discredited and replaced by a lie. Thanks to Mr. Dickens, most of the British public believed that the members of the Franklin expedition, when they were most vulnerable and weakened, were attacked by savage “natives”… and eaten.

It’s a fact that, of the many explorers of the Arctic, not one of them ever reported being menaced, let alone attacked, by the native Inuit people. Instead, they found the Inuit friendly and helpful.

The Franklin Expedition came to grief because it was too big to live off the land, it was improperly equipped, totally untrained for survival in the Arctic, improperly provisioned, and had no business being there.

What the public wound up with was a story that was a lie, a slander against the Inuit–because it was impossible for Victorians to believe that Christian Englishmen could ever be reduced to cannibalism. We learn from the documentary that the Inuit found this libel hard to bear: and that it took an apology from Charles Dickens’ great-great-grandson to heal the wound.

Not that the great-great-grandson had anything to apologize for.

I’ve gone on a bit longer than I meant to, but only because I have an abiding interest in history, and I know how hard it is to know what really happened, even without people actively spreading lies and fictions. Poor Dr. Rae! He discovered truth that no one wanted to hear; so they replaced it with a lie. Makes you wonder what other truths of history have been successfully replaced by lies.

Anyhow, Passage is a fascinating film and I strongly recommend it.

Now They’re Sliming ‘A Christmas Carol’

Water pollution is bad; but easier to control than spiritual pollution.

So the Perky Publicist has invited me to read a new book. I will not mention the title or the author. It is a book that takes Charles Dickens’ beloved classic, A Christmas Carol, and dunks it in “transgender” poison.

The author used to be a man. Each and every cell in his body is still male, with an XY chromosome, but now we’re supposed to accept him as “a woman” or else be branded haters and homophobes. The fact that he is not a woman is irrelevant. Facts always are, these days.

As Dickens wrote it, A Christmas Carol is a story of repentance and redemption. Scrooge learns to see his sins for what they are, he is heartily sorry for them, and the sovereign grace of God turns his life around, and saves it.

But in this happening-now book, “Christmas” is all about sin not being sin anymore. You don’t have to repent because it’s not a sin, after all, and Jesus Christ does not have to redeem you because the Bible was wrong all along about certain types of behavior being abhorrent to God. The book “breaks through boundaries of traditional Christmas stories by including a transgender character” and “encourages families to accept those members who may be ‘different.'”

It asks us to affirm sinners in their sin, denying that it’s sin and rejecting the authority of Scripture.

Christ went to an awful lot of trouble for nothing, didn’t He?

Let me tell you what scares me. It’s the thought that God will simply run out of patience with us, wash His hands of us, turn His back on us, and not intervene as we drown ourselves in our own filthiness. But God is not a man, that He should lie, and God will keep His promises. Somehow He will redeem and regenerate us.

In spite of transgender Christmas stories.

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