Wars of religion

September 13, 2006

First fisticuffs at a vicar’s tea-party, ably reported and commented on in this excellent blog. Now today I read that ‘”All Hell broke loose when Mel Gibson film The Passion of the Christ sparked a row between a deeply religious couple. Michael Watson almost throttled wife Patricia after watching the controversial DVD on his birthday. But she stopped him in his tracks by reminding him they were both Christians, gasping: “… Do not touch God’s anointed.”  Care worker Patricia, 51, said: ” I cooked curry and we had two glasses of wine each…After a while Michael got upset because of the way Jesus’s crucifixion was portrayed. He pulled the leads from the back of the TV in anger, then went upstairs.”
Now I’m not one to brand all Christians as extremists but isn’t it time that so-called ‘moderate’ Christians spoke up and condemned this violence? But then re-reading Martin Amis’s article in the Observer, I begin to understand the silence:
“All religions”, he says, “are violent; and all ideologies are violent. Even Westernism, so impeccably bland, has violence glinting within it. This is because any belief system involves a degree of illusion, and therefore cannot be defended by mind alone. When challenged, or affronted, the believer’s response is hormonal; and the subsequent collision will be one between a brain and a cat’s cradle of glands.”
Meanwhile the Christians in my part of the world have annoyed me by committing acts of violence on the environment in the shape of huge yellow notices pinned to the majestic trees that line roads through the forests. Apparently Jesus is waiting round the next corner to punish sinners like me. Well, if he tries, I think I’ll take a leaf out of Mrs Watson’s book and engage him in theological discussions.


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