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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Defending the faith in Ireland

On the heels of the successful campaign to get Sony to pull its obviously outrageous adds, the struggle against the irresponsibile liberties that companies are taking with religious images moves to Ireland. Here are two unfortunate incidents to report.

The first involves the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power which depicts Jesus and his disciples playing poker at the Last Supper. Jesus has a stack of chips, Judas has 30 pieces of silver, and the other disciples hold cards. The poster states, "There's a place for fun and games."

"There's a place for fun and games"? They take the Last Supper, the institution of the most holy Eucharist, the washing of feet, the beginning of the priesthood, the betrayal of Jesus, and all they are able to say about it is "There's a place for fun and games"? Not only does it horribly cheapen the life of Christ, it's horribly unimaginative. The really surprising [and doubtful] part about all of this is that the creators of this trash always act surprised that anyone might be upset.

"We didn't mean to offend anyone so if anyone takes offence apologies for that," said a spokesman for the bookmaker, also called Paddy Power.

"It's a tongue-in-cheek situation -- people aren't supposed to take it as seriously as some people seem to be," Power said.

There were no plans to withdraw the posters, he added.[source]

I'm sure that advertisements including Muhammed are even now ready to be released.

The second incident involves an image of a potato wearing a crown of thorns and carrying a cross. Again, the promoters of the poster deny that there was any desire to offend.

Shaun Gallagher said he was mystified how anyone could be offended by the image of a potato carrying a cross.

"It is so preposterous," he said. "How could anyone be offended by it? We are artists who have created a piece of work."

Yet, offend he has done - both for his desire to depict the Son of God as a potato and for his assault on the memories of those who died in the Great Hunger. Furthermore, it seems quite clear that his sole goal was to offend as indicated by other promotional literature for the "art" which Mr. Gallagher supports:

The plays, 'Finnegan's Wake Me Up Before You Go Go', described as "a sordid tale of love, death, religion and Wham' and 'F*** I'm Hungry' billed as "An Historical Portrait of The Great Famine" are advertised with the warning that the plays contain "strong language and material that may be considered offensive by religious types and listeners to the Joe Duffy Show".

These businesses and artists willingly and knowlingly insult the faith of Christians knowing full well that when outrage is voiced, they can plead "We didn't know it would be offensive. We were misunderstood" and still capitalize on all those who will check out what's being advertised either curious about the uproar or to deliberately show those religious types that they won't be told what to do. Bad press is better than no press - and the only god these people worship is Mammon.


Blogger Fr. Seraphim Beshoner, TOR said...

I had to delete one comment on this post. I have no problem with people leaving comments that disagree with me, even vehemently - but I will delete any comment that uses foul language. If the anonymous poster wishes to recomment without the offending language, you are more than free to do so.

2:27 PM  

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