And another thing ...
We in the world of faith and all that would tell the world that we fear secularisation. Indeed, the likes of Lord Carey and the 'Ashamed' brigade would lead us to a place where we proclaim, from our rooftops, that we are not at all ashamed.
Recently, the BBC did something remarkable. It set aside much valuable schedule time to the end of improving the lot of people with less than the typical British Christian in material terms, in terms of hope, and in terms of basic human survival. Aunty's employees gave of their time to add to the event of Comic Relief in its 25th year and to the end that they corporately raised shy of £80million. Marvellous; thank you; great! Is not Comic Relief as a venture something very much in the vein of the mandate of Christ to feed, clothe and protect?
It was with no small measure of sadness, then, that I read that after such a significant charitable act, helping many countless nameless children and families, that the BBC was caused to make an apology. To the dictators of the Third World? To the regular viewers of Eastenders?
No. The BBC had to issue an apology to God-botherers; Christians.
The report said that 2,200 people complained at Rowan Atkinson's portrayal of the Archbishop. I watched it, and I thought it was hilarious. It was alarmingly close to the mark at times, but - and lest we forget - it was comedy, satire, humour, wit. One can only reasonably assume that the 2,200 people who complained were Christians. Christians without a sense of humour. Christians without a sense of joy. Christians who are afraid because their belief in God is somehow too fragile to contend with humour.
If ever a ball were to be kicked into one's own net - then this is the equivalent. Comic Relief made fun of almost everyone in what seemed to be a gentle, affectionate, harmless way. Yet it seems that Christians are so afraid that Rowan Atkinson joking that prayer doesn't work, a claim made in a programme of conspicuous comedy, comedy aimed at alleviating suffering, might just have done some harm to our cause.
I doubt that Rowan Atkinson wearing red horns and speaking in demonic tongues could do more harm than the simple fact that 2,200 Christians complained. Ashamed of my faith? No. Ashamed of the people who would judge the efforts of others to raise money to save kids from death? Most definitely.
There is a very very small gap between this and seeking to kill those who dare to satirise our Prophet of choice. A very small gap indeed.