Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Not very wise of the Vatican to complain about anti-Christian TV show in Israel

The Vatican has lodged a formal complaint with the Israeli government over a TV programme that “ridiculed and blasphemed” Jesus and Mary. I think this is not wise. I guess that the Vatican has done this in order to divert attention from its own maverick anti-Semite bishop Williamson, who gets so much bad press for the Roman Catholic Church these days. But in the context of the Middle East, I think the complaint of the Vatican is rather unhelpful.

We need more liberty to say what we like! We do not need censorship over religious opinions. If the Vatican tells Israel when statements about the Christian faith should not be made publish because they are seen as an insult by Christians, why then should Muslims not forbid Christians in the Arab World to say what they want?

Be consistent and fight for freedom of speech everywhere!

O yes, what did the Israeli program say? The host denied Christian traditions - that Mary was a virgin and that Jesus walked on water - saying he would do so as a “lesson” to Christians who deny the Holocaust, a reference to the Vatican’s recent lifting of the excommunication of a bishop who denied 6 million Jews were killed during the Second World War. The rehabilitation sparked outrage among Jews.

The host, a well-known Israeli comedian Lior Shlein, also claimed that Mary became pregnant at 15 by a schoolmate and said that Jesus could never have walked on water because “he was so fat he was ashamed to leave the house, let alone go to the Sea of Galilee with a bathing suit.”


A Simple Sinner said...

John could you provide a link to an ourside article that reports this story, perhaps with the text of the complaint?

Does the complaint call for banning and censorship?

Do you wrongly understand Williams to be in good standing as a Catholic bishop just because the penalties of Ecclesia Dei Adflicta (1988) were reversed?

John Stringer said...

Dear SimpleSinner, I linked to Catholic News Agency. Banning or censorship would mean the same in this instance, I guess.

No, I do not think Williamson is in good standing. And I wrote the above comment not because of any anti-Roman feelings - I do not have those. I have made similar comments about Orthodox and Protestant calls for censorship in the Arab world.

All churches in the Arab world suffer from a lack of rights, but when it suits them, they ask their dictatorial governments to apply similar bad laws against others, if that suits the churches at any particular moment.

A Simple Sinner said...

I must have missed the link as I read SFM from my aggregator... sometimes hyperlinks do not always appear in the articles if you read them there.

That being said, I think I better understand your objection. It seems a "third option" is sort of on the table here... Rather than be silent, or call for banning, it is incumbant upon the Catholic Church to make it known that the material is objectionable and insulting. From there, with the freedom to respond how they please, the offending parties are free to proceed and show their true colors.

Fair enough.

I am glad you understand that Williamson was not "brought into good standing" per se, and that the reversal of a penalty against him was without regard to his looney (and very wrong) personal views which he foolishly shared on TV.

Sadly, it is rather like a judge reversing a parking ticket for someone who believes the earth is flat... In such a case, I suspect no one would raise the objection "How can this judge support flat-earthers!?!?" Yet that seems to be what the media is having a hey-day with here.

When it comes to the mainstream media, I have grown accustomed to the fact that they darn near NEVER get the story accurate.

Thanks again for the terrific blog.