It’s the dead of night in Bethlehem. Maria’s in labour, Giuseppe’s holding her hand and desperately trying to fend off a few donkeys, cattle and sheep that are showing an interest. Eventually, a healthy baby boy is born, whom they decide to call Jesus. Common enough, not Pocohantas or anything daft like that.
Soon, some not-so-wise visitors appear carrying gifts: nappies, baby oil, onesies, the usual stuff.
Soon, one of them asks Giuseppe the critical question. “So, was he born before before or after midnight?”
Giuseppe shrugs. “Haven’t a clue. Around midnight. Didn’t check my watch, sor-reee.”
This starts an argument amongst the visitors: if the baby’s born on the 24th it must be a Muslim, but if it was born after midnight then a Christian it is. The argument threatens to wake the baby up.
Giuseppe cuts in.
“Listen, guys, does it really matter? He’s healthy and he’s going to help us be better people. Two thousand years from now no one will give a hoot whether he’s a Christian or a Muslim.”
There’s a moment’s silence then he adds, “Will they?”