Threat Threat Threat Bless You

And there arose a great noise in the land, and a whirling on the waters, and the people were sore afraid, or upset, or worried, or puzzled, or something. Why? Because of a movie, of course. What movie? you ask, all athirst to know. Well what movie do you think? The Rembrandt code, of course. No no, I know; the Renoir code. No no, I’m just playing silly buggers; the Kandinsky code. Oh all right, the Da Vinci Code. (A title which causes a faint electrical hum of irritation every time I hear or see it, because as any fule kno, Da Vinci is not Leonardo’s surname. It’s like titling a book and movie The Of Devonshire Code after the Duke of Devonshire, or the Of Arc Code after Joan of that ilk. Tsssss.) Okay so the Da Vinci Code and how people are all knotted up about the underwear. There’s this cardinal for instance.

“Christians must not just sit back and say it is enough for us to forgive and to forget,” said Arinze. “Sometimes it is our duty to do something practical…This is one of the fundamental human rights – that we should be respected, our religious beliefs respected, and our founder Jesus Christ respected,” said Cardinal Arinze.

See, I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that it was a fundamental human right that we should be respected. (We who? Christians? Humans? Cardinals? People who pitch fits about movies? Zealots? Wannabe censors? Nags? Bullies? Who?) I also didn’t know it was a fundamental human right that our religious beliefs be respected and our founder Jesus Christ be respected. That is news to me. Here’s me trundling along from day to day with my human rights being violated from here to Sunday, because I can tell you for a fact that there are people in this world who don’t respect me. The ones who’ve never heard of me would be one place to start; the ones who know me well and think I’m a bore and a nuisance would be another. And yet, all the time, it is my human right to be respected (and not, apparently, everyone else’s human right to decline to respect me, however boring and useless and a complete waste of time I may be), and nothing is done about it. Comrades, what we have here is a wholesale violation of civic order, a massive breakdown in the fabric of how things are supposed to be. What we also have here is a potentially worrying state of tyranny, in which we are all required to respect more than six billion people, at least five billion of whom we wouldn’t recognize if they sat next to us at the annual Bus Spotters’ Gala and said howdy. That seems like a lot of respect-duty we’ve all been falling down on.

The cardinal goes on, in his pleasant mild humble conciliatory way.

“Those who blaspheme Christ and get away with it are exploiting the Christian readiness to forgive and to love even those who insult us. There are some other religions which if you insult their founder they will not be just talking.”

Ah! Very true! They will not be just talking, they will be shouting and threatening and torching and killing. They will be putting out bounties, they will be traveling towards Denmark, they will be taking action. How heart-warming it is to see a cardinal using their pleasant example to threaten the blasphemers. How exhilarating it is to know that religions think they have a right to veto novels and movies that tell stories about their story. How the walls do keep getting closer and closer and closer.

13 Responses to “Threat Threat Threat Bless You”