The Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Church of England (well, just below the queen) and top dog in the worldwide Anglican fellowship, has created a bit of a firestorm about a reference to the nativity 'legend'. Here is what Dr. Rowan Williams (aka, the AoC) had to say:
During an interview on Radio Five, the Archbishop of Canterbury dismissed the well-known version of events as legend saying: "Matthew's Gospel doesn't tell us there were three of them, doesn't tell us they were kings, doesn't tell us where they came from.
"It says they are astrologers, wise men, priests from somewhere outside the Roman Empire, that's all we're really told."
Turning to the topic of when Jesus was born, he said it was 'very unlikely'that there was snow.
He said there was no evidence of animals present - a popular theme of Christmas cards.
He dismissed the idea that the star of the North stood still in the night sky - because stars just don't behave like that.
For good measure, he added Jesus probably wasn't even born in December. He said: "Christmas was when it was because it fitted well with the winter festival".
Well, now of course there wasn't snow. But is it also groundbreaking to point out that there is no indication of how many wise men there were? Or that they weren't kings? Or that they weren't there on the night of the birth of Jesus? In fact, they may have been there up to two years later, as that was the target age of Herod's massacre. One must commend Dr. Williams for actually paying attention to the Biblical account rather than to Christmas songs for his information.
Now as far as how stars 'behave', well in this instance they 'behave' however God directs them to. And for animals, He was laid in a manger (Luke 2:7, 12, 16), although it's unlikely any cows bowed down to Him.
But the real question for the Archbishop is, was Santa really there kneeling before the manger?