But then I discovered a new feature on Garth's online column: comments!
The article itself is reasonably unremarkable, going with the standard 'Christians are repressed' meme that he does so well.
A flash of anger ... then sadness ... then perplexity over why anybody would choose to produce a scurrilous - nay, blasphemous - so-called comedy [some play called 'Christ Almighty'] about the central characters in the biblical Christian story.Oh dear. Garth's upset at a play that I'm pretty sure he hasn't seen.
[...] We Christians - well, most of us anyway - can certainly laugh at ourselves, because we don't take ourselves too seriously.
We do, however, take our faith seriously, and while we rarely have issues with irreverence, many of us find downright pornographic profanity deeply offensive and, for some, profoundly hurtful.
Is anyone else as sick of this argument as me? Oh, we're so grateful that you don't threaten us with violence! It's like a politician getting a knighthood, or a dog getting a treat for not pooping on the carpet - not threatening violence is the default option, and you don't get praise for it. Sorry.
Simei-Barton's review makes another good point: that if such blasphemies were aimed at the Prophet of Islam the consequences would be dire.
How about, instead of portraying Joseph as perhaps having an improper relationship with his donkey, "some virgin who claims she's been knocked up by God" and a cross-dressing angel, the writers could have chosen to make a farce out of Muhammad and his harem and his prurient interest in his camel.
As someone who finds all religions/metaphysical philosophies equally ridiculous - don't get me started on Buddhism - I can say that, while Muslims might have cornered the market on violent outrage at blasphemy, Christians are still tops when it comes to self-righteous moaning.
Laying it on thick today, Garth. He doesn't seem concerned that if he hadn't written about it "tens of thousands of New Zealanders" would never have heard of this play, and would be happily tucking in to tea and scones without having to worry about Joseph buggering a donkey.
The thing I find most disturbing about this latest denigration of Christianity is that tens of thousands of New Zealanders will be deeply hurt by it - again, since it's only the latest of several.
[...] No one seems to be concerned that the salacious slurs cast upon these revered historical figures might bring real distress to thousands of believers, reduce many to tears and drive others to their knees in lamentation and to beseech God to forgive the perpetrators.
But, I suppose, it's not surprising. Jesus himself warned his original disciples that they and their faith would often be ridiculed, and we modern disciples can expect the same. However, on the bright side, we Christians can be grateful that, unlike those early followers, we are not persecuted in this country - yet.Yeah... but you had a good run, didn't you? I mean, 1500 years at the top of the charts! You got a lot of persecuting done, but every party has to come to an end. And it could be worse - gays may be roaming the streets, but at least they can't get married - yet.
Fittingly, he finishes off by
He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty.Sounds about right.
Anyway, the most exciting discovery was the comments!
It's spelt 'prophet'.
I think you're in the wrong forum.
ANYWAY. I hope everyone is as excited by this development as I am.