The Auckland Anglican archdeacon who erected the above very effective billboard, aimed at getting passersby discussing the true meaning of the Christmas Story is, admirably, refusing to back down or apologise, after a storm of negative media coverage, a paint bomb attack and calls and warnings from the utterly humourless Catholic Church :
Cardy, and other members of his church, have had to even endure threats of violence for daring to get people to have a think and a laugh.
Archdeacon Glynn Cardy said the church meant to challenge a fundamentalist interpretation of Christ's birth.
"What we're trying to do is to get people to think more about what Christmas is all about. Is it about a spiritual male God sending down sperm so a child would be born, or is it about the power of love in our midst as seen in Jesus?"
"They are driven to give threats and abuse - and [yet] they say 'we love Jesus and he loves us'. I'm sorry, but they don't get the irony of their behaviour."The New Zealand Herald received this e-mail :
"May the wrath of Almighty God strike down this abomination and bring those responsible to their knees in fear of Him."Come on. If anyone was going to find this billboard deliciously funny, it would be God.
- title of this blog post stolen from a Sam Kinison routine.
Dec. 19 update from ninemsn :
A win for the crazies. A loss for those who don't believe Christian myths are above parody, or healthy debate.
....Glynn Cardy, said the billboard was "attacked by a knife-wielding Christian fanatic".
Later in the evening another group of fanatics ripped it down.
"When knives are wielded in the name of God, I have two responses. One is to act to ensure the safety of the public and parishioners. We will, therefore, not be replacing the vandalised billboard with an identical one.
"My second response is one of deep sadness at those in the Christian church who don't want to offend any faith position, even the most literalistic view of a male god. By having unity as their priority they inadvertently feed fanaticism."