Famous Christian makes fatuous comments

Sentamu3

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has spoken out on one of the most important issues of the day.

       Chemical warfare in Syria?

                                              Poverty?

                                                     The repercussions of Britain’s departure from the EU?

No, none of these. Chocolate Eggs. Or more precisely Chocolate Egg Hunts – those arranged by the National Trust in conjunction with chocolate manufacturers, Cadbury. This year, you see, these are not being promoted as Easter Egg Hunts but as Cadbury Egg Hunts.

And I’m sure you can appreciate just how significant this is. Because you see, without the name of a Germanic goddess of fertility (from which we also derive the word ‘oestrogen’) in the title of such a deeply spiritual activity, then, according to Sentamu, ‘faith is being airbrushed out of Easter.’ After all, chocolate eggs were such a crucial part of the original Christian Easter story, when the first thing the resurrected Jesus instructed his disciples to do was find all the Easter Eggs he’d hidden round the garden. And so it came to pass.

That’s why omitting the word ‘Easter’ from the Egg Hunt is, again according to silly old Sentamu, ‘tantamount to spitting on the grave’ of John Cadbury, who was there for that very first Easter but didn’t start making chocolate eggs until 1875.

But wait! Wasn’t John Cadbury a Quaker? And isn’t it the case that Quakers don’t celebrate ‘Easter’ because of its pagan associations? So Mr Cadbury is hardly likely to be upset, even if dead people could be, at his company’s alleged metaphorical grave spitting. Furthermore, might it just have been the case that those original Easter Eggs were – and remain – a cynical capitalist cash-in on a festival that the man himself didn’t actually believe in? Oh my, yes.

So, here’s all that spitting right back atcha, Senty – one in the eye for all your vacuous, self-promoting twaddle.

 

Next time: Why the side-lining of cute and cuddly Easter bunnies is an affront to the faith of many devout Christians, by Theresa May.

 

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John Sentamu To End All War

SentamuNever one to shy away from self-promotion, the Archbishop of York, ‘the most reverend and right honourable’ John Sentamu, has begun a week-long fast and prayer vigil for world peace. The Archbishop reckons this will show ‘solidarity with the suffering people of our world, particularly in the Middle East.’

How, I hear you ask, will it do this? How will John’s fasting and praying – ‘on the hour, every hour’ – be any more effective than, say, his cutting up his dog collar in 2007 in protest at Mugabe’s presidency of Zimbabwe (seven years later and Mugabe is still there.) What will all the prayers and the fasting accomplish, other than thrusting the Archbishop briefly into the limelight once again?

Does God need Sentamu’s prayers to alert him to what is going on in the world? Doesn’t God know already? Will his pleading prick God’s conscience so that he intervenes and brings to an end the bloodshed in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine? Why doesn’t God do something anyway?

And isn’t all of this rather arrogant, this assumption that God will only act if problems are pointed out to him by fallible human beings? (Even Jesus thinks this is how it works in Luke 11.5-8.) What sort of God is this, who is unaware of how things are here on Earth and is unable or unwilling to do anything about them until important show-offs men like the Honourable Rev. let him know?

Maybe though, the Archbishop is less ambitious. Perhaps he just wants to demonstrate to those caught up in the world’s conflicts that he stands with them – though only metaphorically. But if that’s it, what exactly is he saying in all those prayers, on the hour, every hour?

Whatever it is, there will be no divine intervention. There is no God to take action, as evidence throughout history has shown us time and time again. Religion is part of the problem not its solution.