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Saturday, April 11, 2015

The end of shock

This is an amusingly wry commentary on Christianity and those trying to use 1980s shock-marketing tactics in a world where they are decades out of date:
 'Dear Charles, How are you?” says the unsolicited publicity email from someone I have never met, “I would love to share this controversial new play with you… you are welcome to talk to the writer… The play discusses Jesus’s exorcism, the atheist prostitute, Mary as a polytheist, a Greek homosexual and Jesus’s involvement in a stoning.” The play – I won’t trouble the reader with its title or venue – is “provocative and radial [sic]”, she tells me. It is “bound to shock many”, she adds hopefully.

I shan’t be taking up the kind invitation. For about 50 years now, almost the only way playwrights and television producers have felt able to treat Jesus is as something that he either probably or definitely wasn’t – a gay rights campaigner, a political revolutionary, the lover of Mary Magdalene, a rock star, a member of the Green Party etc. They have tried, with ever-decreasing success, to stir up his traditional followers into righteous anger against them in the hope that this will attract a bit of attention and so increase their ratings.

Once upon a time, such efforts, despite their crudity and bad taste, may have had some value. I am just old enough to remember the last gasps of an era when Christianity in Britain was often little more than an expression of social respectability. This was a strange way of dealing with the most explosive story in the history of the world, and it deserved to be satirised and challenged. But those days are long, long gone, as dead as men in the City of London wearing bowler hats. The playwrights who think they being are “shocking” and “subversive” are colossally out of date. The religion whose moralistic, puritanical, self-appointed spokesmen badly need challenging today is not Christianity, but Islam. You won’t see many brave new would-be avant-garde plays taking that one on, funnily enough.
I loved that "she adds hopefully". That was what can best be described as a literary glass dagger, smooth, subtle, and sharp. Anyhow, it was, and is, a mistake for Christians to react angrily towards the blasphemers-for-profit. It can be effective to calmly ban their activities and lock them up, as was done in Christendom for centuries. It can be effective to publicly denounce them, whip them, and stone them, as is done in communities with Sharia-based legal systems. But it is not effective to get angry and attempt to change the artist's behavior with outrage.

Christendom has already been subverted. There is no power center left untouched by the anti-Christian entryists. Those trying to cash in on being shocking and subversive are simply too late; it is now those of us who reject the shiny, post-Christian secular technotopia who are the subversives. The people of the West have made a terrible mistake in opting for an equal society rather than a free one; in EQUALITY: The Impossible Quest, Martin van Creveld convincingly demonstrates that they will enjoy neither freedom nor equality.

Christians should not be outraged when they are attacked, or when there is no sympathy for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. We were told this would happen. We were warned that this would be the case. And we were told that if the world did not hate us, we were doing something wrong. So, when Christianity is attacked, when our faith is belittled, when our Lord and Savior is ridiculed, and when our God is blasphemed, don't be angry. Smile, because the very foundations of your faith are being confirmed right before your eyes.

The Almighty is perfectly capable of defending Himself. He doesn't need us to defend Him. We need Him to defend us.

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31 Comments:

Anonymous jm April 11, 2015 9:02 AM  

The British do it best, it must be said.

Anonymous sawtooth April 11, 2015 9:02 AM  

Churchians are as "shocked" and "outraged" at blasphemous portrayals of Jesus as they would be if you insulted their favorite reality television show or pop rock act.

The elephant in the room is the SJWs cowardly reverence toward the religion that will behead them, fedora, neck beard/shaved green lesbo hair and all and their mocking and (trying) to shock the religion that loves them enough to pray for their everlasting souls and put up with their infantile shit;...for the time being, anyway.

Anonymous rienzi April 11, 2015 9:04 AM  

Vox: "So, when Christianity is attacked, when our faith is belittled, when our Lord and Savior is ridiculed, and when our God is blasphemed, don't be angry. Smile, because the very foundations of your faith are being confirmed right before your eyes."


True that. Christianity is the ONLY religion that those who consider themselves to be "edgy, transgressive, great artistes" seem to be interested in attacking.

Can you even imagine a Hollywood movie: "The Rabbi Loses his Faith" ? Now that particular firestorm truly would be edgy and transgressive. I'd actually go to a theater to see it just for the novelty factor.

Blogger Mark Citadel April 11, 2015 9:09 AM  

While impotent outrage and column writing may be of no use to Christians, I simply have to admire those who go to a gallery where 'P*ss Christ' is on display and take a claw hammer to it.

Blogger Lucas April 11, 2015 9:14 AM  

Amen

Blogger Salt April 11, 2015 9:15 AM  

I watched the film adaption of O'Reilly's "Killing Jesus." I haven't seen anything so badly done since, well, ah... It was glossed over crap.

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2015 April 11, 2015 9:31 AM  

Sure, in everything praise/ give thanks, and still, I don't think Noah or Lot were smiling. There is something awesome in where this is heading.
Watching people throw themselves off the twin towers rather than burn. Justice hasn't fallen yet on who really did it.. Justice hasn't fallen in Kenya, for 147 slain. We're not here to put lip stick on pigs, nor to celebrate anyone else's persecutions even if our own are affirmations of faith. Soberly warn and or move on. Get an inch of justice where it can be had.
SJW are fools by enlarge, stupefied or pig ignorant at the least. And be ready.

Blogger JDC April 11, 2015 9:42 AM  

I think Killing Jesus can be differentiated from other purposeful subversive writings / art in that O'Reilly's book claims to be a historical account written by a Christian author. I can smile at the latter because it's prophetic. I have contempt for the former because it's all too prophetic.

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2015 April 11, 2015 9:44 AM  

correction....by and large... there would have been a time for such a word. [nightfall]

Blogger JDC April 11, 2015 9:46 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous The Gray Man April 11, 2015 9:56 AM  

Hey Vox,

I may have missed this somewhere, but will Castila House or some other company ever publish hard or paper back versions of books like Equality?

I've never been big on e-Readers but I might have to invest in a nice Kindle.

Anonymous Godfrey April 11, 2015 10:07 AM  

"... it is now those of us who reject the shiny, post-Christian secular technotopia who are the subversives." - Vox


The above is worth repeating.

Remember "The Passion of the Christ"? Who was shocked and outraged then? And who received a fantastic ROI on the film?

So, go out and subvert their "culture". Create plays, books, movies, board games, pc games, etc. You'll make money. And hell, it's fun too. Just observe how fun the Huge Awards shock and outrage has been.

YOU are the counter-culture.

Now go and undermine their dystopia.

Blogger Vox April 11, 2015 10:09 AM  

I may have missed this somewhere, but will Castila House or some other company ever publish hard or paper back versions of books like Equality?

Yes. Victoria is next in paperback, then A History of Strategy and Equality in hardcover.

Anonymous BigGaySteve April 11, 2015 10:33 AM  

"Can you even imagine a Hollywood movie: "The Rabbi Loses his Faith""

They are willing to put it in jewish & gay news.http://www.gaynewstoday.com/meet-the-grindr-rabbi-who-says-the-gay-sex-app-can-bring-jews-together-daily-beast/ Did you think I was joking about the Temple of the gay bacon eating Grindr Rabbi?

They are cowards, it is kind of fun to say "I am gay but I am not as big a pussy as you"

Anonymous sawtooth April 11, 2015 11:35 AM  

JDC;
I haven't watched O'Reilly on Fox in years, nor have I read Killing Jesus or seen the movie.

That having been said, I got the impression that O'Reilly's "faith" in Christ ran along the same lines as the Clintons; i,e, a label that is pulled out when expedient.

Blogger Michael Maier April 11, 2015 12:05 PM  

Reading the piece, I am confused. Is the PEDO thing over in GB a seeming overreaction or webs of vile crimes covered up by the complicit?

At first blush, the shrieks of "Witch Hunt!" remind me of GROSS POINT BLANK when Cusack says "You're overreacting!"

Blogger Michael Maier April 11, 2015 12:07 PM  

sawtooth April 11, 2015 11:35 AM
JDC;
I haven't watched O'Reilly on Fox in years, nor have I read Killing Jesus or seen the movie.


If you're referring to Mel Gibson's "THE PASSION", I saw it some time before coming to Jesus and it was the most horrifying, amazing and moving film I've ever seen.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 11, 2015 12:17 PM  

n era when Christianity in Britain was often little more than an expression of social respectability. This was a strange way of dealing with the most explosive story in the history of the world, and it deserved to be satirised and challenged.

Ah, well, there's the problem. No, it didn't deserve to be satirised and challenged, that was just the juvenile excuse the Boomers and their euro-bretheren the 68ers used. Only a few people ever burn with the inner fire of true believers. For most people their religion is little more than social respectability, but an era when social respectability was exemplified by the village vicar sure seems nice compared to our own era where it's defined by SJWs screeching about global warming, multiculturalism and gay wedding cakes.

But that'll all be to our advantage tearing down the modern religion of Leftism, as it's also true that only a very few of it's adherents burn with the fire of a zealot. Most followers are just doing it out of social respectability. And I expect the zealots will make the same mistake Mr. Moore makes in thinking the less enthusiastic followers are unworthy of any such respect. They'll make it good and hard, especially if we help egg them on.

But let's not make make the mistake on our side again. Moore understands the problem ("Where does this leave civil society, cut adrift from its historic moorings and now bobbing on the turbulent waters of secularism? "), so why doesn't he see the connection between mocking and challenging mere "social respectability" and cutting society adrift?




Blogger darkdoc April 11, 2015 12:49 PM  

I'm don't think we are in a post-Christian era, though there are times when being in a Christian era has been close, or at best, only briefly.

I think we are still in the pre-Christian era, and wonder if that will always be. When Christianity starts to have influence, we are attacked, and if the attacks are effective, we get to remnant status, and then the cycle starts again.

If we are in a post-Christian era, there have been many similar post-Christian eras throughout history, and there is nothing particularly special about this one. A lasting Christian or post-Christian era may be impossible. Because Jesus.

Blogger Anthony April 11, 2015 1:04 PM  

"Rabbi loses his faith" can be done, but it will be so full of Jewish-American inside baseball that even British Jews would be bored by it, not to mention anyone not raised Jewish. Though "Rabbi finds Jesus" couldn't be made in Hollywood, and would provoke quite a lot of screeching.

Blogger Anthony April 11, 2015 1:07 PM  

la bourgeoisie ne sont pas epateé

Anonymous Luke April 11, 2015 1:20 PM  

rienzi April 11, 2015 9:04 AM

"Can you even imagine a Hollywood movie: "The Rabbi Loses his Faith"

If the rabbi's not Orthodox, IMO he's already lost his faith. If he's Reform, he's PROUD that he lost his faith.

Blogger ScuzzaMan April 11, 2015 2:42 PM  

"Smile, because the very foundations of your faith are being confirmed right before your eyes."

"God damn, people; you're proving them right!"

Thought I'd wandered into the previous thread for a moment ...

Blogger Rantor April 11, 2015 5:40 PM  

@Luke, when my wife's bible study group read Esther, their teacher invited a female Rabbi to the class to talk about the book and Purim, the associated holiday. The Rabbi(ette?) admitted that she wasn't conversant in Hebrew, thought Esther was just a story, and Purim a nice tradition. No theology in that one, but she was an official Rabbi in some Jewish tradition. My wife was disgusted by this ethno-atheistic approach to religion.

Blogger John Rampton April 11, 2015 5:49 PM  

"And we were told that if the world did not hate us, we were doing something wrong."

An altruism the Mormons are all too intimate with. But the luxury of being hated is that it culls the wolves from the ranks.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus April 11, 2015 5:57 PM  

"Christendom has already been subverted. There is no power center left untouched by the anti-Christian entryists."

That's why we need to get away from the whole "universal church" heresy that crept in beginning in the late 2nd century, and get back to "church" as God intended it to be all along - the autonomous, independent, local church assembly not involved in denominations, hierarchies, or other useless superstructures.

Blogger rycamor April 11, 2015 8:10 PM  

rienzi April 11, 2015 9:04 AM
Can you even imagine a Hollywood movie: "The Rabbi Loses his Faith" ? Now that particular firestorm truly would be edgy and transgressive. I'd actually go to a theater to see it just for the novelty factor.


Even funnier, a film trying to shock us with it's courageous exposure of the hypocrisy of Hinduism, or the phoniness of Zoroastrianism.

In truth, Hollywood even treats Catholicism as a different religion. Their true ire is saved for the Middle American or Southern fundamentalist church. Positive Christian characters in Hollywood are almost always the iconic defrocked priest.

I think "The Apostle" was the last Hollywood movie to treat fundamentalists in a sympathetic light. Of course, it was written by Robert Duvall.

Blogger Akulkis April 11, 2015 9:17 PM  

The Roman Catholic Church has been a political entity since day one. Christianity is merely window-dressing it uses to seek and hold riches and power.

Anonymous Rich Fader April 12, 2015 3:40 AM  

"The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; But my Lord laughs at them, because he sees that their day is coming."

--Psalm 37:12-13, NABRE

Blogger ajw308 April 12, 2015 8:31 PM  

@The Grey Man, I have an e-reader, but when competing with my phone, my phone won due to ease of carry, availability, and weight. If you have a smart phone, give that a try befor you spend money on another gadget.

Blogger stpete78 April 14, 2015 10:11 PM  

Typical. Already been tried before. It's called Protestantism. Dad starts a house church in the barn. Has an endearing quirk where he sneezes before prayer. Three generations later, everyone fakes a sneeze before prayer and his grandchildren argue over whether sneezing is doctrine. Point being, humans institutionalize everything. There can be only one, Christian and universal Truth of which everything else is a part of the truth to some degree. The flaws of imperfect men in application of that universal Faith does not invalidate the Faith or universal truth. If anything, it would merely highlight the validity of the One Faith.

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