Xians cross at Rooney

Offence-seekers have been tripping over each other in their rush to express their dismay at the recent Nike ad, featuring England footballer Wayne Rooney painted up with the cross of St George in his habitual goal-celebration pose.

The Daily Mail quotes Labour MP Stephen Pound:

Wayne’s a good Catholic boy and I think the obvious crucifixion nuance is one part of it, but the aggressive nature of the pose is something we could do without.

And the Rev Rod Thomas of the CofE evangelical group Reform (catchy slogan: “Our overall aim is to win the nation for Christ”):

It’s quite a disturbing image and because the paint is wet, it really looks like blood

It therefore brings to mind the crucifixion to many people, and why Nike would want to do that, I haven’t a clue, unless it is simply as a publicity stunt.

The trivialisation of Christ’s suffering is highly offensive to Christians and to God. This will cause real hurt to people.

But being offensive to Christians isn’t going to get you anywhere, so let’s try to recruit some other offendees:

The other aspect of it is the aggression contained in it, bound up with the flag of St George, which you might see as a throwback to the Crusades, which is hardly going to go down well with Muslim countries. It’s offensive on several different levels.

Also in the Mail is an opinion piece by Stephen Glover in which he hilariously describes the advert as having “confused theology”:

Rooney is part Woden, the Norse god of war, part the suffering but triumphant Christ.

And, of course, prominent Christian think tank Stephen “Dog Shit” Green also has something to say about it. This time it’s the Independent’s Pandora who has the quote:

The cross is so iconic that it sadly being often used in advertising in a tasteless manner.

There are surely other ways for Nike to get their message across. Footballers are exalted celebrities. I’m not blaming the players, but their agents should think a little more carefully about the kind of publicity they get sucked into.

Nike defend their poster:

This shot is not intended to have religious connotations. It’s a celebration of Wayne Rooney’s unique goal celebration style represented with a St George Cross. Wayne celebrates with his arms outstretched.

5 Responses to “Xians cross at Rooney”

  1. Marc says:

    I saw the Xian cross in the advert long before the George X and had a good chuckle. I find it even funnier that the Xians are insulted.

  2. Tim Ireland says:

    Stephen Green is just pissed because Rooney’s been dating his mum.

  3. “Rooney is part Woden, the Norse god of war, part the suffering but triumphant Christ.”

    There you go, he’s following the old Christian tradition of half-inching bits from other, older religionsand passing them off as Christian. Seems pretty devout to me.

    “Our overall aim is to win the nation for Christ…”

    …in the forthcoming Christball World Cup! Tune in to ITV in the Autumn to see representatives of silly fundies from all over the world go head-to-head in a race to see who can produce the most staggeringly insincere fulminations for the newspapers.

  4. Andy A says:

    What next, then? We’ve had an ice-cream cone with a logo or whatever on it that, if you turn it sideways, squint a bit and use some imagination, looks like the Arabic symbol for Allah; we have the Rooney cross, which looks a bit like this and a bit like that (and I may be wrong but weren’t crosses around before the Romans used them for barbaric executions?). So who’s going to be the next cartoonist, architect, graphic designer, painter, advertising-logo artist, performance artist, sculptor or just doodler to be hauled before and fall foul of the righteous, unelected judges who lie in wait for such transgressions from what is Decent and Respectful, just because someone, somewhere, thinking he’s doing a Rorschach test, will see shape in it?

    Even if you fart, someone will say, ‘Oi! That sounds like the last trump! Can’t do that. It’s offensive to Christians.’ Burp and your Muzzie neighbour will come around saying, ‘How dare you imitate a pig? Do you not know that pigs are offensive to us good Muslims?’ What if you wave your arms about so quickly you look like that Hindu god with six arms? The possibilities are endless. Jerry Springer: The Opera could begin to look positively tame.

  5. Pinchbeck says:

    I’m considering putting out a line of t-shirts and hats that just say ‘FUCK GOD/S’. Multicultural, non-discriminatory religious hatred for the fashion concious rational thinker. Probably best worn in groups of 20 or more at appropriate events.