Monday, January 7, 2008

Apparently, I'm blasphemous (but only a little)

TimeOnline brings us this list of 20 incidents of blasphemy, rated according to various impact criteria (including body count). The ones that strike me are:

17. Ecce Homo
Photographs showing Jesus eating with homosexuals and transsexuals in an exhibition in Sweden, raised eyebrows in Europe between 1998 and 2000. The vivid images caused Pope John Paul II to cancel a meeting with the Swedish Lutheran Archbishop Karl Gustav Hammar who supported their exhibition.
Vulgarity: 3 Criminality: 0 Religious impact: 7 Political impact: 0 Deaths: 0

I don't see what JP2's problem was -- wasn't Jesus known for hanging with the outcasts of society?

But this one is just amusing (especially the text highlighted in red):
14. The Life of Brian
Arguably, Monty Python’s finest hour the Life of Brian is a comic biopic of Brian Cohen, born at the same time as Jesus and mistaken for the Messiah. A satire on excessive religiosity the film was banned in many towns in the UK for its alleged blasphemous content. Particular offence was taken at the crucifixion scene where those being executed burst into song with the theme tune “Always look on the bright side of life”. In New York Nuns and Rabbis picketed screenings of the film, which was completely banned in some states. In Ireland Life of Brian wasn’t shown for eight years after it was made and not for 11 years in Italy. Just this year, a screening of the film in a church in Newcastle Upon Tyne caused uproar from conservative Christian group Christian Voice.
Vulgarity: 4 Criminality: 0 Religious impact: 5 Political Impact: 2 Deaths: 0
To me, the funny part is: a few years ago, my wife and I showed this video, in the church, to the youth group during the Easter sleepover, including the presence of a minister and the pastoral intern, with nary a protest heard. Who knew we were being so daring? The intern related how the seminarians she knew all loved Life of Brian.

Of course, this was the United Church of Canada, where just about anything goes.....

(Hat tip to Pharyngula)


Jonny_eh said...

Life of Brian is one of the funniest movies ever. The Pythons really hit it there, and is in some ways more relevant now than when it was released.

The scenes where one terrorist group espouses hate for the other terrorist group, or when they go on about how the Romans only gave them roads, sewage, etc. but 'what else have they given us?' The movie not only lampooned religion, but terrorism as well. It was really ahead of its time.

Gila said...

Well, clearly you at the United Church of Canada are All Individuals and You Can All Think for Yourselves! :)

I loved that movies--especially the random spaceship scene.


King Aardvark said...

The random alien spaceship scene was interesting. Great aliens, too.

The funny thing is that they can be so upset at the "blasphemy" of LoB when the movie doesn't really attack Christianity but religion in general. I'd even say it's more of a satire of terrorist groups than of religion.

The minister didn't have an issue with Graham Chapman's wang hanging out?