I've just been listening to a discussion on the radio (on the Jeremy Vine show) about the controversy surrounding the proposed screening of The Jerry Springer Opera which contains some 8,000 expletives including those which are deemed particularly offensive as well as portraying the Virgin Mary as a victim of rape by an angel and similarly dubious and pejorative portrayals of Jesus and God. An unprecedented number of objections has been received by the BBC some 15,000 letters of protest. Indeed I know someone who has written.
Now I am all for exploring the issues of society through art and literature. I am also not of the belief that religion should be exempt from such scrutiny and exploration. However I think that, by the sound of it, this opera is using references to Mary and Jesus in order to shock as much as possible.
The discussion on the radio was between an art critic called Nicholas De Jong and a Christian preacher called John Blanshard. De Jong came across as aggressive and dismissive. Blanshard defended his position humbly and yet forcefully.
Here are some great highlights though:
Nicholas de Jong Have you SEEN the show?
John Blanshard: No and I haven't committed adultery
but that doesn't mean that I don't know it's wrong!
and my personal favourite...
Nicholas de Jong "We don't live in a theocratic state, thank God" (!)