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The moral minority

The moral minority (Guardian)

An interview with Stephen Green, director of Christian Voice, on the subject of his crusade to stop this ‘tidal wave of filth’ and Jerry Springer: The Opera.

I’ve not chuckled to myself for this long in ages.

“Nobody can deny that the last 50 years of legislation have turned us away from the laws of God. We say that God knows best and if we go away from God we’re going to bring judgment upon ourselves.” What kind of judgment? “Read Deuteronomy 28 – that tells you.” Deuteronomy 28 says many things. Verse 17, for example, says that if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees, “your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed” – not something that would compel many 21st- century sinners to adhere to the straight and narrow.

Perhaps Mr Green isn’t as familiar with The Bible as he claims?

How many members do they have? “We’re bigger than David’s band, but not as big as Biblical armies,” says Green, gnomically … According to 1 Samuel 29:6, David, the future king of Israel, had a 600-strong band of followers, though their leader was not, as the Christian Voice is, based in Surbiton.

It surprises me that this group has more than 600 members. Who are these people?

The website also complains that Britain has “abolished the death penalty but legalised the murder of children in the womb, enacted no-fault divorce on demand and forced mothers out to work, legalised trading on the Lord’s day and instituted a national lottery, legalised pornography and homosexual acts and taught evil to our children in school, and given away the Queen’s sovereignty – owed to Almighty God alone – to the EU …

The spur for Christian Voice’s establishment was Edwina Currie’s 1994 amendment to reduce the age of consent for gay sex to 16, the same as for heterosexual sex.

He should be a Daily Mail columnist! Or maybe he is Melanie Philips in disguise!

This post was filed under: News and Comment.

The vocal immoral majority

This is an interesting take on the reaction to the broadcast of Jerry Springer: The Opera. I do hope that, up to now, I’ve not said anything which people will consider offensive, because that’s simply not what this blog is about. I certainly hope I don’t come over as dictating what people can and can’t be offended by. However, the blog post I point to makes me slightly uneasy, simply because of quotes like this:

Blogging should be something that adds to this world’s knowledge and understanding, not a means of disseminating predjudice.

Just as I should not dictate what offends him, why should he dictate what blogging should be about for me? Especially when posts such as this prejudge the opera. I do not pretend to understand why people would find this opera offensive, unless they take specific parts completely out of context. And, let’s face it, we can do that with the Bible and be mortally offended.

I used to attend church quite regularly, until a particular question occured to me – not a question, I hasten to add, that is meant as an insult to Christians, more a question that exposes my ignorance. How can people who claim to believe that what they do in their life of about 70 years could result in eternal damnation possibly lead anything like a normal life? If they truly believed that there was a possibility of spending an infinite amount of time in unbearable suffering, surely they would spend a relatively tiny seventy years in abject squalor, dedicating every second of their life to the service of God. Surely they would have followed Jesus’s example and given up all of their possessions and wealth to dedicate their life to their religion. And yet very few Christians, and almost none of the clergy, do this. Why have large church buildings when the Bible tells us that we best serve God when serving others? Surely the buildings should be sold, and the money distributed to the poor? So my, no doubt ignorant, conclusion from this is that very few people actually believe in the God portrayed in the Bible. Certainly none of the people threatening to burn their TV Licences can truly believe in God, because how do they consider that sitting watching TV is dedicating their life to their Lord?

This post was filed under: News and Comment.

Lewd, licentious yet lovely

Lewd, licentious yet lovely

If anyone was offended by Jerry Spinger: The Opera, then they are over-sensitive. It did not, as the Christians claim, mock anybody’s religious beliefs. Yes, it featured Jesus in a nappy singing that he might be a little bit gay, and out of context that does sound terribly offensive. And yes, it did contain an awful lot of swearing. But it was clearly not mocking religion, it was mocking the absurdity of Jerry Springer, and similar TV shows, and mocking the elitism of opera.

It did this through hyperbole. What more ridiculous situation could there be than a TV argument between Jesus and the Devil, moderated by Jerry Springer? That isn’t insulting to religion, it’s insulting to the over-grand self-importance of American talk shows. A provacative talk show host cannot reunite heaven and hell any more than an eleison can be based on the name of a talk show host. Both are hilariously absurd – and anybody who doesn’t respect Christian teachings simply wouldn’t get the joke.

The whole thing is a bit excessive and extreme, but that’s the point. The church should be embracing cultural formats that poke fun at quick-fix TV solutions to life’s problems, not shunning them. Unless, of course, their apparent faith is so weak that they believe that their religion is one of those quick-fix solutions. In which case, they deserve mocking.

It was an excellent opera, both musically and ideologically, and I heartily congratulate the Beeb for being brave enough to go ahead with it.

This post was filed under: News and Comment, Reviews.




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