Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Sour Faces of Those with Faith

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. 


  1. Hari Om
    Here, here! Party-poopers. They lurk in dark corners. Like dust bunnies under furniture.

    In the interests of statistics, I just read your past post on Blogging per the link above. HAH! Perhaps all those pearls ought to be shelled and strung together in book? &~>

  2. Actually Farve, though I wasn't one of the people who complained I have a great deal of sympathy with at least some of those who did. i say this as one who enjoys quite a bit of late-night TV comedy and occasionally attends comedy gigs.
    1. The language used was not what I would have expected pre-watershed. My two lads are now in their late twenties, so this isn't a personal issue now , but I would have not been happy hyad this been broadcast at this time 15-20 years ago.
    2. As you say, the BBC did a wonderful thing. But I rather felt that on a night when they should have been doing stuff which was uniting, and encouraging the widest range of people to give, this sketch was inappropriately divisive in ridiculing some aspects of Christian belief - especially prayer, which apparently "doesn't work". I would not have been so bothered with the sketch in the context of a regular (non-CR) show.
    3. As some others have ppointed out, the comedy was actually quite dated in its approach.

  3. Why is it that those who could well be great harbingers of joy in a world so desperately in need of it feel it necessary to be so short-sighted, pinched & severe? Don't answer that ... I'll add it to the growing list of "God forgive them, for they know not what they do"s category.

    There is little wonder why those of the unbelieving sort have such difficulty wanting anything Christianity offers.

    As for me & my house, we'll take a hearty laugh wherever it can be found, and all the more so when the disenfranchised will benefit.



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