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Anorak | Coffee & Wafers

Coffee & Wafers

by | 11th, February 2004

‘COULD a French boy legally wear to school the T-shirt from Mel Gibson’s new biopic based on the last days of Jesus Christ’s life?

‘I love Catholics’

Chances are not, because, as the Independent says, the lower house of the French parliament has overwhelmingly voted to ban all obvious religious symbols from school.

But being a schoolboy and so an impish rapscallion, young Pierre could test the waters.

By way of defence, he could quote from the Telegraph, which has seen the movie of the best-selling New Testament books and notes how ‘for Christians, it is a challenge to re-examine the most problematic aspects of their faith’.

And even if M Professor is unimpressed, our young rule breaker can score points with his friends because, if the film is any guide, the T-shirt will be dripping with gore and blood, soaked in the excrement of torment and suffering.

Pierre might also like to try his luck with another religious-themed T-shirt, this one inspired by the latest outburst from that man of rhetoric, Ian Paisley.

‘I love Roman Catholics,’ the Times hears Dr Paisley say, the leader of the Democratic Unionist party declaring his view during an interview on an Irish current affairs TV programme.

He did then qualify his message with a quick ‘but I detest the system of the popery’.

But the slogan is now on record, and it cannot be long until T-shirt sellers on the Falls Road have a new No.1 to replace those old favourites: ‘I love the Pope, the Pope smokes dope’; ‘I went to Dublin and all I got was this lousy Molotov cocktail’; and ‘They shot JR’.

And very soon such desperately fashionable items could be adorning the backs of Church of England vicars, who, says the Times, are thinking of radical new ways to keep step with changing times.

Rounding up this religious bulletin is the tale of how the General Synod, meeting at Westminster, is looking for alternatives to the traditional Sunday rituals.

A report called Mission-Shaped Church, penned by a group headed by the Bishop of Maidstone, urges the uptake of ‘café congregations’, where ‘seekers’ are encouraged to meet and talk about God in youth clubs and community centres.

Churches will be encouraged to sell off underused areas of their estates (pretty much everywhere beyond the cemetery) to coffee shops, bars and even nightclubs.

And what about a cinema too, in which shrouded by the protective cloak of darkness, French schoolchildren on exchange trips can watch Mel Gibson in the latest nail-’em-up action thriller while dressed in head-to-toe monks’ habits.

And with a free sip of Kia Ora and a bite of a communal Frankie’s hot dog for every one, Catholics can even get loved up with their Protestant brothers.

The kids will be banging down the doors…’



Posted: 11th, February 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink