When you have a religion that espouses “Turn[ing] the other cheek” as a major principle (Matthew 5:38-42, NIV, Bible™ fans!) then you have to expect to be ignored after a while. A predatory school-yard bully will only hunt where the meat is tastiest and at its most succulent, which is when the victim shudders and its fear-centre’s hormone production reaches crisis-point. No hunter worth his salt ever got an adrenaline buzz from the quarry taking every attack on the chin: There’s no sport in it.
But now the Christian Voice, their maws flecked with foam and spittle, are desperately trying to grab any attention they can before the belief-well runs dry and the last of their deluded kind keels over and finally – quietly - dies. They seem to have had enough - as the website slogan goes - of the “Enemies of God” who are “all having their say” (which clearly means Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is on hold)! So desperate are they for attention and support that they drag the, frankly, dull ‘Jerry Springer – the Opera’ through the courts with a blasphemy law that hasn’t seen the light of day since 1977 when it was last used by the Wicked Witch of Warwickshire: Mary Whitehouse (Loony Christian TV activist).
I can just imagine Stephen Green (the grisly and gnarled head of the Christian Voice) and an army of blank-eyed solicitors scratching through every law book they could lay their translucent hands on; desperate to make those smug BBC heretics pay for their insolence. Imagine their faces when they found the blasphemy precedent in some musty old tome in a forgotten library vault; they must have felt like David picking the pebbles by the river that would finally fell the mighty Goliath. Anyone else with any sense would look on at their escapades with a piteous and heavy-heart because, at the end of the day, no-one gives a damn.
But there is hope for you and your cronies, Steve; in the shape of my good self. I offer you and yours a chance, bundled along with my invaluable media expertise, as long as you are okay with working with a dyed-in-the-wool unbeliever, heretic and fully paid-up degenerate.
All for a small fee of course but we can discuss that later.
If you can bring yourself to side with the enemy, however briefly, for the greater good (never forget the greater good) then we can get down to the task of getting you boys and girls into the public consciousness. Can you make a deal with the Devil? Because that is who I’ll be, the swarthy agent offering you fame and fortune if only you’d show just a little more flesh.
Good to have you aboard.
Now: to gain a sure-fire hit in this the age of mechanical reproduction you should always use ideas from a tried and tested model; that way you can’t possibly go wrong. The media has, after all, become a business where taking chances is viewed as welcome as a gun in a schoolyard. The model that I suggest you try to adopt is one that has never failed to garner whatever attention they want on any number of occasions and that forces artists, TV executives and journalists to self-censor; saving themselves a lot of hard work.
I think you should follow the example set by radical Islam.
Now, now, Steve; stop foaming at the mouth and hear me out. I know you believe Islam to be a “Counterfeit rather than a logical continuation of Judaism and Christianity.” I know you also believe it operates in a “draconian way… control[ing] the minutiae of everyday living”, so pipe down. I can tell that you see that Islam has certain qualities, ones that you look on yourself with hungry eyes. Come off it, Steve! You are paying me a fortune to help you, don’t throw thinly veiled lies at me! You wrote yourself that “their religion rules the whole of their lives and they say it should rule the whole of politics… Reformed Christianity should be the same.” If that isn’t faith-envy, what is?
Islam has an undeniably amazing media presence, especially in last twenty-odd years, totally circumnavigating the usual media routes and always using the latest in technology. As a religion it is clearly the most talked about. Remember back a few years, Steve, some cartoonists came up with a smashing idea: they drew a picture of Mohammed and a bomb in a Danish Newspaper. There were riots, protests, clerics demanding the heads of the cartoonists for no less than $1 million and all kinds of other crazy vibes. Everything went a little insane back in those hell-fire days, you had to pay attention.
What did you guys do when Jesus was portrayed as “a little bit gay”? You handed out leaflets and blocked a run of the show where the ticket money would have gone to a cancer charity.
That’s not the way to win ‘hearts and minds’ now is it, Stevie-boy? If the creators of ‘Jerry Springer – the Opera’ said the same thing about Mohammed then Islamic radicals would have been all over them: bag’s over their heads they would have been dragged kicking and screaming to some idling beat-up rust bucket of a van with a machete firmly raked across their bobbing Adam’s apple’s after being forced to recite a long retraction mumbled into a humming DV camera. The video would be on Youtube and T-shirts would go on sale saying “Death to the Infidels” (all with suitably gruesome pictures) and all of this would happen within an hour.
Now that is the kind of ruthlessly efficient marketing you need, Stevie: it grabs attentions; it makes headlines. Go and grab yourself an AK-47 and some semtex and blow the hell out of any pro-choice supporters, homosexuals, Muslims, Sikhs, Catholics, women, blasphemers, casinos and any other “Enemies of God” you can think of. That is what you are missing, my son; conviction and the balls to back it up. Everyone listens to radical Islam because they use violence. Everyone listens to American Christians because they use violence. Therefore, logically, violence is the only way to be heard these days; it’s the only way to get through to the people and to make the news.
It’s a scary thought, but the facts speak for themselves.
It’s not your fault, Stevie; so shed no tears. It’s not even radical Islam that has caused the problem; every news story has a lot to live up to in a post 9-11 world. Let's be honest here (it's all we have left), It's been like this forever but those particular images have upped the ante; they are some of the world’s most startling visions so how can anyone compete? Sadly, we live in a world where violence and mass murder are the only currency; the only thing anyone wants to watch. It's twisted and depressing but it is the way of things now. We are trapped by the saftey bars of this wild ride, there are holes all over the track and there is no hope of escape. All the explosions, suicide bombings and beheadings will always drown out the, to put it bluntly, pathetic protests of a religion that is dying here in the UK in the twenty-first century.
That’s it though, isn’t it Steve? You’re scared and cornered like an injured fox, the hounds slobbering and growling all around you, so you believe your only recourse is to lash out at anything you can. I understand. I’m here for you, remember? But, for now at least, your time is on the wane. Forget about it, Steve; either start crashing planes into buildings and add to misery in the world or get back to the builder’s site and spout your fascist rhetoric to people who are more likely to listen. When you’re there, though, and you see some blasphemy on your TV set, some affront to God or another religion getting better air-time than you, just remember:
Turn the other cheek.