Go Home, Mr. Scrooge

Taking exactly zero notice of the beating Christmas has endured this year, some geniuses have decided that what the day really needs in 2005 is … empty pews:

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Central Kentucky’s largest church will be dark on Christmas Day, a decision drawing some criticism among the faithful.

Southland Christian Church near Lexington is joining several evangelical megachurches across the country in canceling services for the holiday, which this year falls on a Sunday.

Officials at the church, where about 7,000 people worship each week, said the move is designed to allow staff members and volunteers to spend the holiday with their families.

At least Easter is on a Monday this year so twice-a-year attendees won’t get shut out completely.