Re: "Mangers feature prominently in the Christmas story"
> The entire story is a fabrication, designed to play off of existing Solstice ritual and sucker the rubes. Thus my laughing at today's unthinking masses.
In England we do have some unthinking, but not as much of it is inspired by the Christian sects as it is in the USA, if conversations between Douglas Adams and the Humanist Association of America are a guide. Indeed, many of our English non-conformist Christian sects were also political in nature, formed in times when the political and the religious vocabularies were harder to separate. Rather than ubthinkingly conforming to the political orthodoxy, they were actively taking a stand.
The Church of England is generally considered to fairly low down on the nutter scale.
That said, phrases such as 'unwashed masses' have been used within priesthoods for millennia, so just be careful now!