Monday, August 06, 2007

Men Without Religion ...

Indie.

In the annual survey of MPs' holiday reading, released today by the bookshop chain Waterstone's, first place was taken by William Hague's biography of William Wilberforce, which was published to coincide with the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade. It came well ahead of books that received more hype at the time of publication, such as the latest Harry Potter fantasy, or the diaries of Alastair Campbell.

It is perhaps not surprising that Mr Hague should be the top seller among Conservative MPs, but what is less predictable is that the survey showed the same book to be the Liberal Democrat's top summer read.

A new mood of religious scepticism seems to have taken hold of Labour MPs, who have made The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, their main choice.


You don't surprise me at all.

Also in the Indie ... (via)

We have nothing to fear from al-Qa'ida. Christian fundamentalists are the real extremist threat. That's the message from the writers of a new play being shown at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. Cash in Christ, a sing-along play satirising the modern capitalist "mega- church", is arguably one of the most controversial productions in a Fringe with the largest satirical content in living memory.

The 50-minute show, written by Van Badham and Jonny Berliner, which premieres this weekend, comprises sermons from Christian literature, television programmes and church services. The authors conducted extensive research in America, Australia and online, and also spent three months attending services at London churches, including the Hillsong Church and Holy Trinity Brompton.

The writers said that, while there is public discussion about the dangers of radical Islamic groups, the influence of the Christian far right is underestimated. "I've been very sensitive to extremists in other religions, particularly Islam, being demonised," said Badham. "I find the Christian right groups that are enormously powerful in our own culture a larger numerical threat than extreme Islam. They are somehow removed from public criticism, and that is one of the reasons we did the show.

"Bush is from the religious right and he has the bomb; that terrifies me far more than the potential of other extremists to get their hands on nuclear weapons. In the religious right it is the self-appointed moral majority that sets its own rules, and anybody opposing them is labelled unpatriotic and shouted down."

Badham said the Wisepart/Jews and Communists co-production is entirely fictitious, but reflects wider political concerns. "It terrifies me that a few religious groups were able to cause a furore around Jerry Springer – The Opera in Britain. What I find frightening about the war in Iraq is that Bush and the people around him speak about it as if it's the crusades again."

She said that although people they met at church services were kind, she felt their attitudes might foster religious intolerance. "The propaganda is intense. We have been going to these megachurches to be told: 'Christianity is not a religion. It is the work of God to rescue all of humanity.' So everybody else can basically get stuffed."


I think that Messrs Bad Ham und Berliner can basically get stuffed. But if they fancy getting their play put on at Stratford, they need to get on the phone to Dominic Cooke.

9 comments:

Observer said...

They were probably given gift vouchers as a promotion

DumbJon said...

To quote the great Ann Coulter: if you threw a bucket of water over Leftists at 4 AM, they'd jerk awake denouncing the Religious Right.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, all those Methodists crashing airliners into buildings, no to mention the Baptists beheading people and putting the snuff videos on the internet... oh, hang on, that's not right...

JuliaM said...

"She said that although people they met at church services were kind, she felt their attitudes might foster religious intolerance."

Ah, obviously not the right kind of kindness.....

Anonymous said...

Yep, Bush has the bomb and is a Christian. No sign of him forcing the Iraqis to convert though, although clearly he has the tools that would enable him to do so.

The secular left forget that Christianity teaches both tolerance and restraint. If the shoe were on the other foot, however......

Dr Mabuse said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Badham

Van Badham was born Vanessa Badham in Sydney in 1978 [1]. Her mother and father worked in the New South Wales gaming and track industry

An only child, her family moved around a lot during her childhood and she grew up immersed in an adult culture whose currencies were betting, drinking and sports.

The influence of her unusual upbringing was evident in work presented to her teachers at school. Badham's first script was a second grade assignment to write up the class Nativity Play, which she duly set in the beer garden of a public house with Mary and Joseph ejected by a manager for failing to meet dress regulations



Left-wing is a soubriquet for mentally-ill and as such a worthy recipient of taxpayer funding to turn out "art" rather as a brain-damaged traffic victim paints blotches as therapy

Andrew K said...

Earlier versions of the Wikipedia page are fairly fruitful.

"An observant but tedious self-publicist, Badham's parents enrolled her in Sydney's Philip Street Theatre drama school to improve her manners. At Philip Street she was tutored by [Darrell Hilton, a respected and well-known acting teacher whose previous students included Nicole Kidman. Encouraged by Hilton to develop her writing for the stage, on graduation from high school Badham was admitted into the Creative Writing programme at the University of Wollongong."

"While a student she began to publish terrible, witless poetry and moronic short fiction as well as write shitty student dramas. At university, however, her political awareness flowered and she was drawn into involvement with student politics and left-wing activism, and she was elected editor of the Wollongong University Students' Association newspaper, the 'Tertangala'. By 1998, Badham was an avowed, fuck-awful anarchist and President of the New South Wales branch of the National Union of Students of Australia, caucusing with the radical group known as the Non-Aligned Left."

alex zeka said...

No doubt, the reason many might view Christians as the real threat is down to Bush's ill-conceived adventure in Iraq. That, however, was theorised for, planned and executed by those of the neocon persuasion, whose ancestral religion is far from Christian.

But then drawing attention to that would be hate, while denouncing 'kind' Church goers for some indeterminate intolerance is the height of radical bravery.

Anonymous said...

Bush isn't a Christian, he doesn't attend a church

What fucking idiots these people are