This is NOT the official weblog of Mark Thomas; this is a place to post his articles and news to bring them to a wider audience. This blog is in no way endorsed by the activist/comedian Mark Thomas. Most of the posts appeared on - hopefully they won't object to them being republished here.

Friday, January 14, 2005

This post is offensive to Christians

Before starting this column, readers should be warned that it contains explicit language throughout. In fact, this 820-word column features the word "fuck" 46,000 times - according to calculations done by evangelical Christians.

The editor would like to issue a second warning to really stupid Christians. Evangelical Christians especially, please be aware that the following column features the word "God" a mere seven words away from the word "evolution".

The protests that surrounded the broadcast of Jerry Springer: the opera on BBC2 on Saturday 8 January left me heartened, for I truly hate evangelical Christians and it is great to see them as the bastards they are.

Their upset at the portrayal of Jesus (a man they believe to be alive 2,000 years after his death) as "a bit gay" is more homophobic than the musical is sacrilegious. And this is in spite of the evidence of their own book, which gives no record of Jesus having a relationship with a woman (other than his virgin mum) and portrays him hanging around with 12 men and being arrested for kissing a bloke in a public park. Smell the coffee, Christians. You are worshipping a man who, if he were alive, would prefer show tunes to hymns and call his disciples "girlfriends".

It seems supremely reasonable to me that Jesus should appear on TV; unlike the BBC, I think it should be on daytime TV. The Bible is littered with dysfunctional families portrayed as role models that at best should feature on Trisha and at worst be sectioned.

One generation into the Creation and Eve is expelled from Eden for the crime of discovering knowledge; then her son kills his brother in a fit of spiritual sibling rivalry. Abraham, the father of not one but three religions, is prepared to kill his own son because God's voice told him to do it - still a popular excuse for serial killers of all religious persuasions today. And Lot, the man whom God saves from the destruction of Sodom, ends up being raped by his twin daughters. This isn't a religious text, this is Brookside!

However, despite all of this, I would like to thank the evangelical Christian Voice, which orchestrated the protests. Thank you as well to those Christians who issued threats to BBC personnel and their families in the name of Jesus - even though their understanding of irony is as advanced as their understanding of the faith they purport to have.

Thank you all for providing a timely reminder of what will happen should Charles Clarke choose to finish off the work proposed by his predecessor at the Home Office and introduce a law criminalising religious hatred. Far from fighting racism, Clarke would be handing bigotry a legal cosh.

Christianity is woven into the fabric of our culture. The very first line of the national anthem asks a deity that doesn't exist to save an institution that shouldn't. By and large our births, marriages, deaths and holidays are Christian.

Yet Christian Voice claims that Christians are being picked on. "They wouldn't do it to the Hindus or the Muslims," cry the evangelical Little Englanders, missing the point that a satire on the morality of US or UK television would hardly work by using Hinduism. If the Church of England was once "the Tory party at prayer", Christian Voice is the UK Independence Party with a tambourine.

Meanwhile, in Whitechapel, another act of censorship was trying to play itself out. The squatted art centre rampART is running an Indian film festival, which it planned at open meetings with Indian film-makers and anyone else who could be bothered to turn up and help out.

The festival opened on 10 January with the documentary Ayodhya to Varanasi: prayers for peace. More than 100 people crammed into the small studio to see it.

The film looked at the far-right Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) and its attempts to mobilise anti-Muslim feeling in Uttar Pradesh, using religion as a cover. It has particular resonance for those who care to recall the genocide in Gujarat just a few years ago.

However, the festival has attracted the displeasure of some far-right Indians, who phoned the organisers and threatened to "firebomb your place, rape your mother and kill you". The rampART website discussion forum has been inundated with threats of retribution from people who claim that the festival is anti-Hindu.

Campaigning associations such as the South Asia Solidarity Group are quite clear that this is an act of political censorship, masked as religious and anti-racist protest. It is, they say, the far-right supporters of the BJP (India's former ruling party) and supporters of the VHP that are using the mask of religious protest for a political purpose - which is to establish a Hindu India, expel Muslims and preserve the caste system.

So no racist agenda there, then.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please find below details of a fantastic night of music, comedy and cabaret, all in aid of Tsunami relief. We’d love you to list the event on your site, all the help we get is greatly appreciated.

It’s a great line-up – The Blockheads (with Chas Smash from Madness, who might have a mate with him too...), stand-up from Mark Thomas and Rob Newman,  the incredible Miss Behave – world record holding sword swallower, aerial opera from Incandescense and The Miniscule of Sound - the world’s smallest nightclub, amongst many others...

Date and Time: Tuesday 8th February, 8pm

The Hackney Empire,
Mare Street,
E8 1EJ

020 898 52424 - £10 plus booking fee

Tsunami Fundraising Cabaret...

Continental Drifts / Missing Link / Hey Chihuahua

The Empire Strikes Back - IN AID OF TSUNAMI RELIEF
An Amazing Gig at a Fantastic Venue - and not just for your benefit.
The legendary Blockheads are old friends of the Empire.
The Blockheads rock like the rockingest things.
Vocals from them and special guests will ensure the sharpest London sound.

The UK's rudest political commentator, comedian and activist
One of the funniest and most astute contemporary comedy voices
Your host for the evening, 19th Century Music Hall with a 21st Century Hip Hop Line.
Sign Language Rock Star

Ballroom Champions

Aerial Opera with death defying grinding and giant leaps, fresh from Thailand.
The world's most famous Female Sword Swallower.
Speciality Acts
The Laundromat of Love Pamper Zone - Winners of Best Area in Lost Vagueness at Glastonbury. Festival favourites who will whip up a 1950's hairstyle or apply free layers of love and care .
The worlds smallest Disco ever and Hackney's key movers and shakers in the smallest disco world.
..and More Special Guests  TBC

All artists are giving there time for free
Please support them and us by buying your ticket as soon as possible.

Anna Strickland
The Circus Space
Coronet Street
N1 6HD
T +44 (0) 207 739 7713

"Work like you don't need the money, dance like nobody's watching, love like you've never been hurt, sing like no-one's listening and live like it's heaven on earth"  

If you wish to be kept up to date with MissingLinkProductions subscribe to our free monthly newsletter -  

The Empire Strikes Back
Hackney Empire
8th February 2005
The Blockheads, Mark Thomas, Robert Newman, Miss Behave, Caroline Parker, Ida Barr, The Miniscule of Sound, Stickleback Plasticus, Incandesence, The Laundrettas, Jon Hicks and many more...
TICKET HOTLINE 020 898 52424
£10 + booking fee

2:20 pm


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