Thursday, May 29, 2008

Christian fundamentalism?

Very good article by Ekklesia's Simon Barrow on where Christian campaigning groups like Christian Voice - who, like the NSS, get media attention out of all proportion to their membership, because they're guaranteed to take a trenchant stance - fit into the wider Christian scene. Unfortunately because the media prefer headlines to nuances (witness the raft of stuff about the Bish of Rochester today), there are certain people who will always be seen or quoted more regularly than others, and be taken to stand for the Christian consituency. There's been a lot of talk about 'go to' bowlers recently - the one you turn to when you need a wicket - and the media has it's 'go to' religious voices.

I must confess I'm torn. I share Joel Edwards' wariness about these groups, but at the same time sometimes they are the only people campaigning on certain issues - even if their campaigns are a bit of a curates egg. Is it because the more 'extreme' voices drown out the mainstream ones, or because mainstream Christians have become scared of public campaigns for fear of being labelled fundamentalists and ending up on a Channel 4 documentary?

I've not yet watched the vid of the Mary Whitehouse drama from the other night, the reviews sound like it did a decent job of being fair to her, which comes as a surprise. As one reviewer put it: That Mary Whitehouse might have had some kind of point is difficult to deny when you find yourself knee-deep in the bilge of the modern television freak show

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