Archive for September, 2005


The BBC has more on the breaking news of JS:TO’s revival, including some choice quotes from Stephen Green.

He accuses Stewart Lee, the show’s director, of being driven by “a perverse missionary fervour”!

I wonder if the municipal theatres from Plymouth to Aberdeen share his anti-Christian zeal and are prepared to sacrifice community cohesion for it?

he muses, menacingly.

One man in a shed

The Times and The Guardian have finally cottoned on to the fact that the Jerry Springer: the Opera tour is back on. 21 out of the 28 theatres originally slated have stepped in with an offer of £125,000 towards the marketing costs, and the tour begins on Jan 23rd.

Stewart Lee suggested that Christian voice was no more than “one man in a shed”. Green, as usual, refused to say how many were in his organisation.

It is a crazy fringe group which lists on its website which police forces have gays in them […] It discredits itself by its own rhetoric. Since Mary Whitehouse died there is a space and it has been filled by Stephen Green.

John Beyer won’t be pleased to hear about that.

It is true, however, that CV gets media attention disproportionate to its size. This is partly because it was wrongly credited with organising the 60,000 pre-broadcast complaints to the BBC about JS:TO. In fact, an anonymous email circular, which Green admits was nothing to do with him, and a campaign by Premier Christian Radio, were far more influential. Christian Voice only became linked to the campaign because they put the producers’ names and addresses on their website. Green, of course, saw no reason to disabuse the media of their misconceived perception of his great power. In fact, he seemed to believe it himself when he threatened the cancer charity, allegedly telling them that CV had 50,000 supporters.

Speaking to The Times, Green once again refused to put a figure on CV’s
membership, and promised to hold vigils outside theatres.

I think that disparaging and humiliating our God and our Saviour on stage in Britain brings judgment on us all. […] There are some choices that we are not morally equipped to make.

In Stephen Green’s case, that last statement is certainly true.

UPDATE: You can hear Stephen Green avoiding the death-threats question on R4 today.

JS:TO returns to its birthplace

Jerry Springer: The Opera is due to be shown at the theatre where it debuted back in 2002: Endinburgh’s Festival Theatre. According to The Scotsman, the move “has brought delight to theatre bosses and critics who believe it deserves to be performed.”

Inevitably, local clergymen are expressing their concern. The Rev Andrew Anderson of Greenside Parish Church starts badly:

Although I am against censorship, I believe we live in a free world and therefore I am entitled to say what I think about this.


I watched a bit of it on television and I can understand that they are trying to satirise Jerry Springer’s programme, which sounds pretty awful. But we live in an age where we want to be tolerant and respectful of all the major faiths, so to give such gross offence to Christians was really very hurtful.

It is very upsetting and I find it both unnecessary and unacceptable

Continued the irredeemably confused Reverend.

Furthermore, I am sure it would not be allowed with other faith figures.

Ah, that old refrain

Not accepting acceptability

Mediawatch-UK has commented further on the revival of Romans in Britain in Sheffield. Speaking to The Telegraph, Massah John Beyer said he couldn’t see the point of the revival,

Any production of this play has to abide by the law of the land […] I do not accept that the male rape scene is acceptable just because the author of the play says it is symbolic of the rape of Britain.

A local vicar adds,

I am concerned about its effect on young people or school students.

The satisfyingly late Mary Whitehouse failed in her attempt to bring an obscenity prosecution against the play’s original director, Michael Bogdanov. Will Beyer have the balls to try again with Sam West?

Let’s hope so!

Romans in Britain opens at the Crucible on 2 February.

Political correctness cone mad


According to The Sun, fast-food chain Burger King are withdrawing their ice-cream cones because the swirl on the lid looks a bit like the word “Allah”.

The MCB’s Inayat Bunglawala commented,

We commend the sensitive and prompt action to prevent any hurt being caused to the religious sensibilities of others.

(Thanks to Pickled Politics for the scoop)

UPDATE: Eastern Eye has more. The complainer was Rashad Akhtar, 27, of High Wycombe – and he’s not happy. He doesn’t think BK have gone far enough, and wants the designer sacked.

Them recalling this product is not sufficient. It should be taken away from the stores now.
I have had no correspondence from Burger King.
These people who have designed this think they can get away with this again and again. This is my jihad.
How can you say it is a spinning swirl? If you spin it one way – to the right, you are offending Muslims.
I ordered my food and then got talking to a worker, a French guy.
He asked me: ‘Are you Muslim?’
He showed me the cone.
I felt humiliated.

Apparently Mr Akhtar only ever eats strawberry ice-cream. When asked why, he explained that he felt humiliated by the flavours chocallaht and vanallah.

Oh, hang on. We just made that last bit up.

(Thanks again to PP – but not for the joke, for which we accept full responsibility)

The Plinth of Darkness

The Independent runs a piece on public reaction to the new statue on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth – Alison Lapper Pregnant.

Acclaim for the installation is almost universal. Ken Livingstone said “This is a work about courage, beauty, and defiance, which represents all that is best about our great city.”

What possessed Louise Jury, the Independent’s arts correspondent, to ask Stephen Green for his opinion is anyone’s guess. He seized the opportunity to have an irrelevant pop at the Labour government before going on to say that he thought the statue was “indecent”:

it would have been better to do a statue of her with her kit on. It’s a pity he had to do an indecent statue. She has her breasts and other bits hanging out. We need more modesty in our nation, not less.

Deep, Stephen. Very deep.

(Thanks to Peter)

Not-very-Christian Voice

Charity-blackmailing, theatre-threatening bibliolater, Stephen Green of Christian Voice, hasn’t been in touch for a while. He and MWW used to have a lively little email relationship going, but the self-styled John the Baptist-a-like has maintained an undignified silence ever since his story about the alleged homosexualist recreation of “gerbil stuffing”was revealed to be an urban myth.

The allegation appeared in Stephen’s book, The Sexual Dead End. Before the myth-busting took place, he had written

…if I am completely up the creek on this of the gerbil, which I do not concede, I am rather pleased that this is the only matter of fact which has been challenged in a book of 482 pages, with 1100 points of reference and an index of 1300 names of people and organisations in the thirteen years since it was published.

MMW concluded that Stephen’s thesis can’t have received a great deal of critical attention, so we asked him to send us a review copy. Imagine our surprise when he asked us to send him £10 first. The cheek of it!

So, we asked him again. Very politely. But this time reminding him of one of the direct commands given by Jesus regarding how a Christian should react to those who ask for things. From Matthew 5:42:

“Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.”

The command is repeated in Luke 6:30. Taken in context, Jesus Christ Almighty – Mr Green’s King and saviour – is pretty unequivocal on this point: if someone asks you for something, you’d better bloody well give it to him.

Thrice we have asked Mr Green to send us his book, and thrice he has denied us.

Is Stevie having second thoughts about his chosen path? Has being called a “twat” by Stewart Lee and an “irrelevant runt” by Claire Fox shaken his resolve to live the Christian life? What could have led him to such outright defiance of his King’s commandments? Has the biblical literalist come up with a metaphorical interpretation of this one? Or is he just a hypocrite?

We will keep you informed of any developments (but don’t hold your breath).

Porn flood

The Daily Mail (no link yet, but transcribed at Mediawatch-UK) reports on a survey by Screen Digest which reveals that the UK has the highest number of TV channels (416). This includes 29 adult channels – which is the fact which the Daily Mail wishes to highlight of course, even though those channels are much more tightly regulated here than in other parts of Europe – UPDATED to add: and they are subscription only (thanks Dan).

John Beyer is wheeled out for a comment, as usual. He complains about pornographers being allowed to “flood” our screens:

Some things they put on are in breach of generally accepted standards. But the failure of the Obscene Publications Act means pornographers know they can get away with pushing the boundaries and showing harder and harder material.

Sounds like you’ve got a bit of a porn habit there, Johnny-boy. If it makes you feel dirty, give it up.

Blog forced to close by fatuous whiner

Shot by Both Sides was a popular, acerbic, left-leaning blog which MWW used to read regularly. That was until John B commented on Ken Livingstone’s “concentration camp guard” remark, and the over-reaction of the Board of Deputies of British Jews to it:

Send the Board [of Deputies] to the gas chambers, that’s what I say (no, not for their ethnicity; for their fatuous whining. And obviously, the people who complain about Bob Geldof saying ‘fuck’ on the telly should be ahead of them in the queue….)

John’s CV was on his website. Someone took such strong offence to his remarks that they contacted his employers. John was forced to shut down his blog.

Europhobia has a roundup of the reaction from the blogosphere to this outrage.

Is Paul the new Jerry?

According to the Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, the National Theatre has received 200 pre-emptive letters of complaint about its plans to stage Howard Brenton’s Paul. The theatre’s director, Nicholas Hytner, describes the play as “a secular hypothesis about the founding of a great religion”.

…it won’t be a comfortable or satisfactory play to a particular type of devout Christian

The type of Christian that makes threats of eternal torture on behalf of their deity:

…are all praying for me, and they are telling me I will go to hell unless I take the play off. I don’t mind, because I don’t believe in hell.

This has all the signs of being an organised campaign:

They are all kind of the same letter, all handwritten or typed. They all assume that the play is about Paul’s being homosexual and misogynist; they assume it’s going to be a prurient hatchet job.

But the play is not concerned with the sexuality of the misogynist who invented Christianity.

It’s a play about the nature of faith. Not a devout play, a sceptical play. It is not programmed in order to be controversial or shocking.