Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Frank Skinner's Claims of Religion

  In a conversation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, comedian Frank Skinner made quite a few interesting claims relating to his Catholic faith and his profession as a funny man.  The main point that the media has taken, understandably, is that Atheists are a threat to humanity but there are some more interesting observations made in the 90 minute conversation.

It's no longer fashionable to have faith; you have to be athiest to be cool.
  Agreed.  Especially, it seems, in today's society, 'religious people' are seen as idiotic, stupid and irrational, as demonstrated by Skinner's comedy partner David Baddiel: "Doesn't it ever worry you that everyone else who believes what you believe is an idiot?".  I enjoyed Skinner's reply: "Doesn't that bother you at Chelsea games?".

There's too much apologising for the magic in religion, making concessions on the virgin birth or the resurrection.  Don't give in to them!
  Also agreed, although I wouldn't use the word magic.  Magic is illusion, smoke and mirrors, but the miraculous power of God is something that is very real and is often a huge stumbling block for non-believers.  This power is the same that created the universe and that we can experience today.  Indeed, as Skinner went on to say, "if you believe in God, all bets are off".

If [religion] is like a big wooly jumper, it can't be that important can it?  I don't want religion to be a handrail, I want it to be a precarious walk with no handrail!
  And it will be a precarious walk although the handrail may be there.  Jesus didn't hide the fact that following him would be tough but throughout the Bible God promises that he will be with us to help us along the whole way.

Priests and vicars should improve their sermons which are often uninspiring.  They should use more oratorial skills and stick to one point rather than superficially touching on many points.
  It's sad that Frank finds the sermons he hears uninspiring on a Sunday at the church he attends.  The Bible says that if you preach in the Spirit and proclaim the gospel, it will not return empty so that is surely the first place to look to improve sermons.  Hopefully uninspiring sermons don't turn people away from the Church.

I've always thought that Jesus and his disciples were 13 blokes hanging around together, travelling, getting food wherever they could - there must have been lots of swearing and ribald conversation.
  Swearing and ribald conversation (sexual jokes) is a touchy issue as many Christians, and non-believers alike, having ranging opinions on using naughty words and sexual conversations.  I agree that Jesus and his disciples would have had a good time but the Bible talks about not using coarse language and fleeing from sexual immorality so this, again, is a touchy issue!  God is holy so we can be sure, whatever they got up to, it would not have been the way we act today as sinners.

There is not one example of what I would call a good gag from Jesus.  I think that would have brought more people in, made him more human.
  Maybe but the purpose of the Bible is not to tell jokes but for knowledge of salvation.  Having said that, Jesus related to everyone he met so I'm sure him and his mates had some laughs.

Religion is like football: they all gave some sort of allegiance to his great game but it's compartmentalised by tribalism...it's all about this brilliant game.
  Skinner's pluralistic view of the world and religion is where we differ the most.  Jesus said he is the Way, the Truth and the Life and that nobody comes to God except through him.  This 'different sides of the same mountain' idea just isn't compatible with Christianity.

  Whilst it is good to see a celebrity conversing about these things, Frank Skinner seems to have a few strange ideas.  Either way, Christ proclaimed is Christ proclaimed.