Council criticised over ‘scandalous Bible spoof’

We, the members of Trinity Reformed Presbyterian Church in Mossley, were deeply saddened by the decision of the council to allow the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s performance of ‘The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)’ to go ahead after all.

We appreciate the efforts taken by many councillors to prevent the staging of a play that is extremely offensive to the religious beliefs of so many of us in the borough.

Although the RSC claims to be handling the Bible in an ‘affectionate’ manner, it also admits in the same sentence that their play is ‘irreverent’. As a Christian church, we do not believe that the Bible is on the same level as other works of literature, or that it is appropriate to lampoon or parody it as if it were just another book.

Since we hold that the Bible is nothing less than God’s words from his mouth, to mock the Bible is to mock God.

The RSC are absolutely right when they assert that God created human beings with a sense of humour, but this wonderful gift can either be used in a right way that enriches life or it can be abused. God sets limits on how we may use our humour, and some things are simply not meant to be laughed at.

The Bible’s authority is being increasingly ignored in our province and we are reaping the bitter fruit of that carelessness. This kind of calculated irreverence exemplifies and undermines further people’s lack of respect for the word of God.

Trinity Reformed Presbyterian Church

‘Scandalous Bible spoof’

I share the disappointment about Newtownabbey Borough Council, felt by the many people who are offended by the satirical play mocking the Bible.

The councillors who supported the staging of this show form part of that group of politicians responsible for the plummeting moral standards of our country. This ‘anything goes’ attitude has fostered the loss of respect for what is good. The councillors who supported this abusive show criticise those who are opposed to and accuse them of censoring freedom of speech. Yet it was those same councillors who tried to censor, as offensive, Newtownabbey mayor’s commendable act of sponsoring a show that commemorated those who fought and gave their lives to defend that very freedom of speech they seem to cherish, a freedom they now choose to abuse. They will be asked to explain their double standards when they come knocking on doors at the next election.

Ivan Hunter