Friday, December 11, 2009

'Party on, Garth' enters the digital age!

I wasn't going to bother writing about Garth George's latest column. I've got to the point, just about, where the urge to expose Herald-related awfulness is overwhelmed by feelings of futility and misanthropy, and visions flash before my eyes of bearded madmen shrieking wildly as they charge into battle, scimitar aloft.

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.

[...] 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.

Oh dear. Garth's upset at a play that I'm pretty sure he hasn't seen.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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 plagiarising borrowing the words of the Magnificat, apparently penned by the Virgin Mary herself.
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.


  1. Oh Christ, where do you start with such an infantile non-article as this (George's, I mean). Things that never cease to amaze me:

    1. Those words were written by an adult, presumably with a straight face. He wrote "drive others to their knees in lamentation." He really wrote that. We're in the 21st century and these people still babble like it's the fucking dark ages.

    2. The Christians who choose to be most offended (that is, people like George) usually suffer the greatest Jihad Envy. They want us to know how lucky we are that they aren't out to throw acid in our faces like those nasty Muslims.

    3. The readers comments neatly demonstrate there's a strong positive correlation between functional illiteracy and fundamentalist Christianity.

    Minor point:
    "not treating violence" -> "not threatening violence"?

  2. It's also spelt 'parody'.

  3. It's also spelt "gutless", "effigy" and "scenario". And "nonplussed" doesn't mean what he thinks it means.

    I also love how, despite him being on the internet, he actually couldn't be bothered taking the five seconds to find out how Muhammad is spelt.

  4. "It's spelt 'prophet'."

    Have you ever seen a poor church?

  5. Rusty,
    Poor churches meet in schools, homes, or other cheap venues, so you probably don't see them. Most of the "church" is now in Africa, South America, and China, and is dirt poor.

  6. @ ropata

    Yeah admittedly I don't spend much of my time in schools or other people's homes, or indeed Africa, South America or China. I'm sure I would spot them if I did, those poor churches.

  7. Nono, I think he spelt profit about right, actually.

  8. Classic stuff,

    Of course he forgets as well that the people who wrote the play about Christians probably come from a Christian society (such as New Zealand) so to comment on Islam would actually be worthy of fiercer criticism (unless of course they turn out to be Indonesian immigrants or some such).

  9. I always love the neighbourly cheer and goodwill emanating from these sort of discussions. That's what Christmas is all about... mocking the church and indulging in a frenzy of consumerism!

  10. Unnecessary. If you want to be an idiot it's not my problem! I thought perhaps my comment might make you think a little bit, but I was clearly being too optimistic.

  11. Thanks. I forgive you.

  12. You'll be walking on water next. Can't wait.

  13. Hey, that reminds me of a fun alternative lyric to an old Deep Purple number..

    We all came out to Capernaum
    By the Lake Galilee shoreline
    We had to feed five thousand,
    We didn't have much time
    The Father Son and Holy Ghost
    Were spreading lunch around
    Then there arose a mighty storm
    Our boat was going down
    (then he)

    Walked on the Water, and rose into the Sky
    Walked on the Water ... !!