The Amazing Mr Pritchard (not)

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I should thank Mark Pritchard MP who, along with Cristine Odone, has given me a fantastic idea for this new pledge:

These people are obsessed with being martyrs, so why not lend them a hand?

10 thoughts on “The Amazing Mr Pritchard (not)

  1. I’m as unreligious as the next man, but I can’t help but think that this is in slightly poor taste. (Goodness me, I know it was my birthday a few days ago, but am I really aging this quickly?).

    Seriously, this is just a little bit over the line. By all means, mock the beliefs of idiots, but mocking an actual individual who was murdered in fairly gruesome fashion by an oppressive imperial regime who didn’t like his religious beliefs… Heh, I actually feel more than a little uncomfortable making this line of argument given that I’m more usually on the other side. I dunno, this just doesn’t strike me as particularly smart or funny.

  2. I’m not proposing to hammer the nails in myself. Surely, as liberals, we support expanding choice?

    On the slightly more serious note, I’m not mocking Jesus – I’m mocking those who claim to be fellow martyrs on the flimsiest of pretexts. Seriously, what is worse taste – this mock pledge or Cristine Odone alleging the UK is an anti-religious totalitarian regime just because a church asked her to moderate her language on its pulpit?

    Something tells me you don’t bristle in the same way when people make gags about 72 virgins.

    Finally, I don’t claim to be smart or funny – just annoyed.

  3. I nearly posted a comment saying that I doubted that you would have suggested a similar approach to Muslims that you disagreed with (my knowledge of Muslim legend is unfortunately not good enough to give me a direct parallel with the nails and the cross; I just assume that there is something that Muslims would find equally offensive). So, we both have our own (probably entirely mistaken) assumptions about each other’s views, as is always the case when people disagree over the internet.

    On reflection, I can see the funny side in mocking Cristina Odone’s ‘martyr complex’. Perhaps a Christian should have a better perspective on what real martyrdom is, hence the reminder. If I overreacted, then I stand corrected. Perhaps I’m just in a funny mood today.

  4. My point about 72 virgins was a reference to Islam. Fundamentally though, Muslims simply do not view martyrdom in the same way as Christians. They certainly don’t base their whole symbolism and iconography on it (indeed they don’t have iconography at all!). And although they recognise Jesus as a prophet, they don’t go along with the crucifixion.

    The bottom line is that Christian doctrine is far more morbid than its Muslim equivalent. It isn’t exactly impossible to offend a Muslim, ask Gillian Gibbons or a Danish cartoonist. But looking for equivalents is futile.

    I’ve got to ask though, is a gag about nails and planks of wood really that over the line 28 years after Life of Brian?

  5. Yeah, I was just worried that you thought that I was holding a double standard (happy to let jokes about Islam slide, but not jokes about Christianity). So, I posted giving an example of how I might have thought the same of you, in a misguided attempt at demonstrating why making those kinds of assumptions is a bad idea. If this sense no make, blame the whisky.

    I think what got me was the fact that (oh fuck, I know what I’m about to write is going to make me sound even more ridiculously pious than I already do) PledgeBank has, in my experience of it, been used mostly for ‘serious’ purposes of achieving positive social goals etc. etc. The idea of using it for a joke hadn’t occurred to me, and like the Pavlovian idiot that I am, I saw a Pledge and evaluated it as a semi-serious proposal (yes, I know you aren’t actually posting bits of wood and nails to people. At least, I hope you aren’t).

    Oops.

  6. Well, there’s a thing. While it is undeniably a frivolous pledge, I do support the Power of the Pledge. Thus, if 20 people did sign up – and I was satisfied that they were all sincere – then I think I would be honour bound to go ahead with it.

    Maybe I ought to start dusting down that old Screwfix catalogue I’ve got knocking about somewhere.

  7. On that basis, I will have to sign the pledge myself, if only because the outcry that would occur if people did start to receive DIY crucifixion kits in the post would be hilarious.

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