In the past I’ve really enjoyed Simon Baker’s humour. He often veers close to that line between hilarious and offensive but usually pulls it back from the brink with a self-deprecatory twist.
Introducing the April Spotlight however he got it badly wrong in my eyes. He went too far and didn’t pull it back, it was as though this time he meant it.
Being the Friday after Easter Simon decided to take swipe at Christians. Easy target that, in these days of Dawkins and those factually innaccurate bus ads.* My favourite riposte was the cartoon of a man stood shivering in the rain outside a church where the notice board read ‘There’s Probably No Bus!’.
So Simon had picked up a card from the Christian Bookshop, telling the familiar parable of the footsteps on the sand. It seemed Ok at first, his little insertions were in his usual self-mocking voice. Gradually he abandoned pretense however and the bile poured out. Christ, he said, was a crutch for the weak, the pathetic, the socially-inept, and in being that crutch He prevents them every getting ‘better’.
We, yes we, Christians, according to Simon are emotionally retarded, stunted and lacking all social skills, mentally ill and sexually inexperienced until we finally find someone equally desperate. And all of this is because of our faith in Jesus. Well thanks for your insight Simon.
I’m not going to cite the millions of examples of good, successful, mature, Christians throughout history as counterpoint (well maybe just Newton, Dickens, Obama, or Nightingale.) I have a question instead:
Would it have been acceptable for Mr Baker to stereotype all women in the same manner? All the handicapped? Or all gay people, all black people or all Muslims in such hateful language? Would that have been ‘funny’? Of course not, and it is not acceptable for this ill-informed bigotry towards Christians to be promoted on a stage in Lancaster.
(*Factually innaccurate not because I am arguing that there definitely IS a God but because that slogan is taken from Richard dawkins’ The God Delusion, Chapter two I think, whereby he claims to have proved by logic that ‘there probably is no God’. However Professor Keith Carr has taken Dawkins’ premise and his logic and shown clearly that Dawkins’ conclusion is wrong in its own terms. Whether there is or isnt a God is not the point, the point is that Richard Dawkins atheism is founded on a failed understanding of his own assumptions. Simon Baker praised Dawkins in his vile rant too.)