Freakshow

Last night’s edition of Question Time was superbly entertaining. Ken Clarke was there, being round and genuinely impressive; Janet Street-Porter was making her extraordinary voice heard, as well as showing off a haircut which entirely covers her eyes (how does the woman see?); and Stephen Green, the National Director of famously Jerry Springer the Opera-hating organisation Christian Voice sat at one end of the panel being every bit as much of a dick head as we all hoped he would be. And then some.

In true Bible-bashing tradition, he began every answer by rattling off two Bible verses he had in front of him which were virtually incomprehensible due to his diction but in any case which he probably didn’t understand. He stuttered and spluttered his way though the questions and as it became increasingly clear that the rest of the panel and studio audience alike held him in absolute contempt, the look of disbelief on his face effectively expressed his sudden revelation about the true difficulty of forgiveness.

When he commented on Labour’s anti-heckling tactics saying their restriction of freedom of speech was worrying and David Dimbleby gently pointed out that restricting freedom of speech seemed high on Christian Voice’s agenda, his superbly idiotic response was ‘There’s a difference between freedom of speech and deliberately offending people in the name of artistic expression’. Er…no there isn’t.

It was great television and I was delighted that came across as such a dreadful person – the man’s a twat and Christian Voice are at best misguided, at worst judgemental and destructive. On the other hand, as a Christian I couldn’t help feeling he probably didn’t do the faith I subscribe to any favours in the public eye. Thank God Janet Street-Porter was on hand to point out (as ‘a believer’) that he only represented a minority extremist group (and I never ever thought I’d end up thanking God for her), and Simon Hughes was there to put his hand up as a Christian to prove that some of us have got brains.

On the other hand, Huges was there primarily representing his party, and Janet Street-Porter was representing – well, not sure who, in fact – perhaps minorities with disastrous haircuts. Wouldn’t it be lovely if one day they could have a person representing Christianity whose opinion is actually worth listening to? Rather than the freakshow approach to Christians which is not dissimilar to what the Romans did except that instead of lions we now have Janet Street-Porter and Patricia Hewitt, who are infinitely more scary.

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