Christianity often has a torrid time in the secular media but some of today’s references range from downright bizarre to disgusting to groundbreaking.In the north Indian state of Meghalay, there has been widespread outrage at the discovery of school text books carrying a photo of Jesus holding a beer bottle and cigarette. What’s worse, the Jesus picture accompanies the word “idol” to illustrate the letter “I”. The book, produced by a New Delhi publisher, has been widely distributed and used in schools and police have been seizing them in preparation for taking the publisher to court, charged with offending religious sentiment. The publisher has apologised for the drawing but the real story will be how on earth they managed to include the drawing as an illustration for idol.
Even more offensive and inexplicable has been the behaviour of a Sydney priest who has been sentenced to a maximum 18 months in prison for masturbating in front of a webcam which he believed was being watched by a 13-year-old girl. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that, “During online chat sessions, the priest who served for some six years at All Saints church in the Sydney suburb of Liverpool, used a webcam to show himself masturbating to a police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.” Judge Allan Hughes, in sentencing the priest in Parramatta District Court, said Fuller’s vow of celibacy might have had a role in his sexual urges. “It is suppressing a human instinct,” he said. “I don’t know why they don’t change the rules. It is archaic, it is cruel, it is cruel,” reports the SMH.
And, with some relief, on a positive note, The 7pm Project tonight took a moment to ponder the church going behaviour of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. Panel member Hugh Riminton revealed that staunch Catholic, Abbott, (that’s not meant to be a pun) attended mass early morning each day while Kevin Rudd is also a regular church attender. “It’s the first time both party leaders have been church goers” Riminton observed. He was glad that this was done discretely and without fanfare unlike in America, where church-going was obligatory for anyone seeking public office.
If you have spotted God and his followers (the good, the bad and the ugly) in the media, drop it into a comment.