“even to an atheist it was clear this was third-rate religious programming”

BBC NI’s “What the papers say” quotes from some of the reviews of last night’s The Bible: A History as presented by Gerry Adams [£10,000 appearance fee duly registered with the House of Commons]. The Times’ short review notes that “Adams was equally unflinchingly cosy with himself and his faith, responding to challenges with “my own lights”-style vagaries and evango- jargon on “the Jesus message”, coming across more as a smiling member of a Songs of Praise congregation than a man squaring faith with such a bloody history.” And the Independent’s Tom Sutcliff

Like the presenters who have preceded him in this series, Adams discovered that the moment the Gospels touch the historical record they tend to be exposed as all too human, twisted by political considerations or local pragmatism. Wouldn’t it prove awkward to have the Romans as the killers of Christ at the very moment when you were seeking Roman converts? Never mind, you can shift the blame to the Jews instead with the story of Pilate and Barabbas. Unlike all the presenters who have preceded him, Adams had to submit to some cross-questioning from off screen, an acknowledgement that he was always going to be a controversial choice. “Surely you can’t pick and choose?” someone asked, referring back to Christ’s commandments. “Well, you can,” replied Adams. “You mightn’t be right to do it… but we all do it.” Then he sat down with Alan McBride, the husband of a woman killed by an IRA bomb. “I think we need to be more like Jesus and a bit less religious,” McBride said, a penetratingly simple injunction that contrasted pointedly with Adams’s easy self-absolution.

And from The Guardian’s John Crace

This week’s instalment was supposed to be Adams’s mission to uncover the real Jesus. But since all he seemed to find out was that not everything written in the gospels about Jesus is wholly reliable and that much of his ministry took place in the last year of his life – things most of us discovered at primary school – it’s probably fair to say Adams had a rather different agenda. Rather, in what looked like a sombre black cape and backlit to resemble St Francis of Assisi, Adams’s goal was to present himself as a Man of God. All that was missing was a guest appearance from Dan Brown to claim Adams was a direct blood descendant of the Messiah.

So what we got was Jesus as misunderstood freedom-fighter, a man who was prepared to die to lead his people to the kingdom of heaven. A man ­remarkably like Adams. In a limited way, it’s a moderately interesting – if quite familiar – take on Jesus, but the comparisons had become overstretched long before Adams strolled to the top of the Mount of Olives to ­consider the Sermon of the Mount.

In his own mind, Adams is one of the great peacemakers. In one of the few feeble attempts made on screen to confront his past, he was asked about forgiveness. He replied that the Catholics had been badly treated, that conditions in Long Kesh had been brutal but he forgave his oppressors. He didn’t seem to realise that he was being asked if he felt forgiven for his own actions.

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  • Paddy

    Was the UFF HQ’d over Frizell’s shop? If so, what has MacBride and the shipyard spongers who marjced to say about that?

    A nice, handy little earner for Herr Adams. Surely politicians should give suchh gains to charity?

  • Scaramoosh

    “He didn’t seem to realise that he was being asked if he felt forgiven for his own actions.”

    The problem being that Adams and his cronies do not seem capable of coming to terms with what exactly their own actions were. Not that one would want to accuse Gerry of Solipsism…

  • RobertNoonan

    Paddy, “Shipyard Spongers, ” what sort of person are you.The UFF are as much responsible as the IRA
    In War there areno winners, and usually the innocent suffer.Grow up you gobshite

  • FitzjamesHorse

    FOUR threads on Gerry and Jesus…and none starts off complimentary.
    I think its just jealousy.

    Surprising that Mr Baker, Mr Fealty, Mr Walker and the fourth person simply could not find the “off switch” for the TV. One Mary Whitehouse was enough. Four seems…careless.

  • [quote][i]“Surely you can’t pick and choose?” someone asked, referring back to Christ’s commandments. “Well, you can,” replied Adams. “You mightn’t be right to do it… but we all do it.” [/i][/quote]

    Well said, Mr Adams. Hear, hear.

    And some would even say …. Allahu Akbar

    Whilst others would ponder and battle with Oy Vey for whatever reason.

  • Nordie Northsider

    It was so bad that I couldn’t watch it (and I watch UTV Insight). At any point during the programme you could have called out ‘It’s not about you, Gerry’ and you’d have been right. I switched off at the point where a British archaeologist was showing Adams an underground burial chamber from about the time of Christ. ‘Well, Sinn Féin was an underground movement’ quipped El Beardo and followed up with ‘A lot of people would like to see me in a tomb’ and ‘I’ve been incarcarated before’. Laugh? I nearly joined Éirigí.

  • st etienne

    it was a remarkable show only for it’s absurdity

  • Rory Carr

    So Gerry Adam’s imperfect understanding of the life of Jesus does not satisfy those television critics whose own understanding we must assume is unassailable.

    Given that my own understanding is a little bit shaky and my feeble attempts to follow the teachings of the Christ would hardly be considered as praiseworthy, I look forward to the next spiritual retreat to be conducted by Messrs Sutcliffe and Crace. Who knows they might even invite a few guest preachers like Pete Baker and Turgon to liven things up a bit and it would be a shame to leave out John O’Connell.

    The gates of heaven may yet be opened for me.

    Hallelujah!

  • Greenflag

    ‘“Surely you can’t pick and choose?” someone asked, referring back to Christ’s commandments. “’

    The airhead who asked that question should ask the same question of the Irish RC Bishops , the Orange Order , and every other elected politician in Northern Ireland .

    Adams is quite correct ‘we all do it ‘ Which explains the raison d’etre for Catholic ‘confession ‘ trade off , and the Evangelical protestant -twitching, jerking and tongue babbling rituals -the Shiite self flagellation whip ins as they parade around the black rock in the desert.

    Which of course should confirm for those who are still in denial that mixing religion politics just ends up giving both a worse name than either deserves individually. And as we all know Northern Ireland is the supreme example in the EU where both religion and politics are inextricably linked .

    What goes around comes around as they say .

    I watched Schindler’s List last evening for the first time and followed that by looking at a German TV -news program .

    In Schindler’s List there was a scene in which several hundred Jews are forced to shovel snow . The SS officer says to Schindler that many Germans like to see the Jews (i.e rich folk ) shovelling snow. That’ll teach them appears to be the subtext. .

    Fast forward to the news program 2010 AD and there is the new German Foreign Minister a Herr Westerwelle of the FDP ( think the former ROI PD party or the British Tories ) pontificating on what’s next in store for Germany’s Hartz 4 ( the long term unemployed -poor etc) . The openly gay Foreign Minister proposed that these ne’er do wells i.e the Hartz 4 should be forced to -you guessed it shovel snow.- I guess Herr Westerwelle can’t force the Turks or the German gay community to shovel snow ?

    The former Tory Minister Norman Tebbitt was a much more considerate soul. he merely told the 3 million plus unemployed in the North of England Scotland and Wales to ‘Get up on your bike ‘ and go to where the ‘jobs ‘ are .

    I suppose nowadays that would be quite a long bike ride . China is after all about 9,000 miles away .

  • Henry94

    I can’t believe all the threads on this. I’m sorry I missed it now. Did he make the point that Barabas was freed under the original Good Friday Agreement

    PS

    Shane Duffy has declared for the republic.

    http://www.rte.ie/sport/soccer/2010/0222/northernireland.html

  • John O’Connell

    Greenflag

    ‘“Surely you can’t pick and choose?” someone asked, referring back to Christ’s commandments. “’

    The airhead who asked that question should ask the same question of the Irish RC Bishops , the Orange Order , and every other elected politician in Northern Ireland .

    Adams is quite correct ‘we all do it ’

    Adams is suggesting that the sole purpose of Christianity, to be a sword that liberates human kind, is flawed. How can he be right unless he is in fact the son of God himself. Is he God?

    His name contains Adam the first man’s name and the first son of God. Could it be that Adams is Christ or is he the Antichrist?

    His name comes out at 666 on my numeric alphabet. I’d say we’re getting near to the mark now, the mark of the beast.

  • Strange that Gerry was chosen to talk about a man who brought Lazarus back from the dead.
    If only Robert Maxwell were around to present a programme on the credit crunch.

  • Alias

    Since Adams’ tribe are no longer nationalists (having been led to renounce their former right to national self-determination and a nation-state), it follows that the focus should be on their de-politicized role as a catholic tribe within the British state. Therefore, they should be led by a catholic – which is probably why the British state is using its media to promote its tout as a catholic.

  • Greenflag

    John (Son of God) O’Connell ,

    Please address your mumbo jumbo to your fellow believers .

    Christ was a poor God . What kind of a God would allow himself to be crucified by imperial Romans? What kind of a God would choose as a profession -jewish carpenter ?

    That mark of the beast did’nt pitch up in 2000.AD nor in 1000 AD nor will it in 2012 AD which is the latest ‘End Days’ for the hysterical followers of Armageddon .

    All a pile of oul shite along with astrology , necromancing, and voodoo .

    Keep playing with that ‘numeric ‘ alphabet . I’m sure it can tell you anything you want it to

  • Marcionite

    I made the point yesterday and Paddy alludes to this, but noone has responded properly, did the Frizzell’s knowingly and willingly and voluntarily let their premises be used by Loyalist murderers to plan their next moves?

  • Neil

    Adams is suggesting that the sole purpose of Christianity, to be a sword that liberates human kind, is flawed. How can he be right unless he is in fact the son of God himself.

    I’m curious about your logic here. Even if I bypass the first sentence above (Christianity being a figurative sword to liberate human kind (from evil/hell presumably)), why does this mean he can’t be correct unless he is the son of God? Are we not all the children of God, presuming that we follow the correct deity?

    It actually sounds more like he’s suggesting that our Christian God is one who, unlike Allah for example, we can negotiate with. There are rules that can be broken (I’m sure you’ve broken some yourself John; you have pride do you not, we are all supposedly sinners after all from the moment we are born), and God will still forgive us if we are sorry and (from a Catholic perspective at least) will let us into heaven eventually, so long as our sins aren’t too serious.

    Finally on the programme (which I didn’t watch), it’s painfully obvious why the filmmakers chose Adams. To generate this kind of discourse, and encourage a few extra viewers. To what ever Adams said, it should come as no surprise to anyone that he’s squared off his own situation with regard to his soul, we all do that in spite of the many ‘sins’ we commit.

  • percy

    “even invite a few guest preachers like Pete Baker and Turgon to liven things up a bit”
    Oh god no rory, more O/T scribes we do not need.

    The bitterness and hatred coming from these endless bores; whilst masking and ignoring
    their own learning difficulties would be a story worth telling though!

  • “What goes around comes around as they say”

    Greenflag, Malachi O’Doherty may not have received the tablets but he has seen the writing on the wall.

  • Alias

    Percy, I was walking along Brighton pier one fine summers day when mine ears were grievously assaulted by the sound of high-pitched inebriated warbling beneath an oversized and out-of-season leprechaun hat of “Oh, come let us adore you. Oh, come let us adore you, Gerry my Bearded Lord.” Was it you? 😉

  • Fabianus

    Greenflag,

    “The openly gay Foreign Minister proposed that these ne’er do wells i.e the Hartz 4 should be forced to -you guessed it shovel snow….

    “The former Tory Minister Norman Tebbitt was a much more considerate soul.”

    You forgot to tell us that Tebbit was openly straight. Such information is frightfully relevant you know.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Ah the TV reviewers in the Times, Independent and Guardian have written about Gerry Adams & Jesus.

    The Cow spoke and ir said “Moo”

    PS Great news about Shane Duffy and Marc Wilson

  • Framer

    Marcionite

    I don’t know if “the Frizzells knowingly and willingly and voluntarily let their premises” to the UDA.

    If they did should they and their customers at their Shankill fish shop have been murdered?

    Did Mrs Finucane know what her brothers-in-law got up to?

  • John O’Connell

    Neil

    why does this mean he can’t be correct unless he is the son of God?

    If Jesus is wrong then he cannot be the Son of God. And if Gerry Adams is right and Jesus wrong then Gerry Adams becomes the son of God by logic.

    It actually sounds more like he’s suggesting that our Christian God is one who, unlike Allah for example, we can negotiate with.

    You can’t negotiate with God on the right to take human life. Gerry is just deluded. Adams is suggesting that he can support some of the message but the reality is that the more important your actions in their effects on others the more you are bound by the rules.

    If he was just sinning about telling the occasional lie yes he might get away with it, but to sin by organising a killing machine is a little more serious. I think Gerry knows that even if he is profoundly deluded.

  • percy

    alias.
    I’m happy there is relative peace, yes.
    The myopia you hardhearts suffer from is ya can’t see that in these days yous are the sharks swirling,
    and we’re the dolphins.
    I tell a lie, I think you know who you are.

    come to brighton I’ll take to to the aquarium buddy.
    WELCOME TO SEA LIFE BRIGHTON

  • Fabianus

    John O’Connell,

    “If Jesus is wrong then he cannot be the Son of God. And if Gerry Adams is right and Jesus wrong then Gerry Adams becomes the son of God by logic.”

    Logic? Er, no. This is the difficulty the religiosi face when they try to apply logic to something as illogical as religious belief.

    If Gerry Adams is right then he need not necessarily be the son of God. For all we know he may be the son of Satan, or even the son of Xenu (or Xemu). That is equally logical—or “illogical” as we sensible people put it.

    “You can’t negotiate with God on the right to take human life.”

    Really? How do you know?

    “Gerry is just deluded.”

    There’s a lot of that about. I blame the BBC.

  • John O’Connell

    Fabianus

    My argument stands.

    By the way Gerry Adams is the son of Satan. He is not right and simply cannot be right to anyone in their right mind. You cannot pick and choose Jesus message to the extent that he is talking about and not be meddling in something that is very dangerous to him and his people.

    For example, if we take Gerry Adams’ logic to its logical conclusion then it may mean that Nationalists will one day face their own Bosnia with a much better organised unionist population in the military sense.

    The only logic you can follow if you are an inferior military people is that you encourage everyone to follow the paths of peace. That is what Jesus said in similar circumstances and that is what the SDLP say.

  • Secret Squirrel

    Priceless stuff John. :o)

  • Rory Carr

    If the Christian churches (and indeed the Muslims and yes, the Buddhists) are all so gung-ho for peace and dead set against slaughter then how come they all invariably have their various priests out to bless their national armies before they go into battle (or, in the case of the British and US forces in recent times, embarking upon the callous slaughter of civilians)?

    It’s a bit bloody rich to read the apologists for mass murder on a scale unseen since WWII take issue with Gerry Adams for his involvement in a guerilla campaign against overwhelming opposition occasioned by the injustice and intransigence of the state against which they fought.

  • John O’Connell

    Rory

    You are refering to Old Testament Christians in that they are doing what is acceptable in Old Testament times.

    I imagine that Jesus would object strongly.

    As for Gerry Adams, your position would not be reagrded as moral under New Testament values. His abiding law was an eye for an eye and that can’t be acceptable to a Christian.

  • Seanchai Ard Eoin

    John, who exactly wouldn’t be considered Old Testament Christians around these parts?

  • Alias

    “…take issue with Gerry Adams for his involvement in a guerilla campaign against overwhelming opposition occasioned by the injustice and intransigence of the state against which they fought.” – Rory Carr

    And being the slowest of slow learners, Gerry and the Peacemakers got nothing for their selfless sacrifice of other peoples’ lives that was not on offer to the catholic tribe in Sunningdale – except, of course, the ‘extras’ of formally renouncing their national rights and the Irish state giving up its claim to Her Majesty’s fully legitimised and fully sovereign territory. 😉

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Percy-Dave

    After two days of singing “We hate Gerry………oh Yes we do” slugger could change it’s name to Gerry the Tool. The hatred and bitterness exibited towards the man is telling. Imagine if he was still the political head of the revolutionary army, rather than a guy who set his nose for peace and reconcilliation many, many moons ago. What is it chaps? Is it the equality angle? Gie’s peace and grow up!

    Oh and Davina (whit lol) I’m not on facebook, not my thing.

  • John O’Connell

    Seanchai AE

    In a professional capacity I have to say that if you’re trying earnestly to be a Christian you are one. That’s all that Christ can ask.

    Those who defile Christ by openly disregarding his message are usually in the Old Testament mode and account for a considerable section of our populace as your question implies.

  • Alias

    Prionsa Eoghann, it’s always shocking when others don’t share your love for state-sponsored sectarian murderers but what can ya do…?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Alias

    Away’n’impersonate someone with something useful to say!

    The fool you are disguising yirself as the now is a bore.

  • John O’Connell

    Prionsa Eoghann

    a guy who set his nose for peace and reconcilliation many, many moons ago. What is it chaps? Is it the equality angle?

    I don’t hate Gerry Adams. But he has set a precedent of the freedom fighter turned politician who gave up on all that he was fighting for after failing to listen to the SDLP from day one. It is a hollow precedent in reality but one that might hold sway in the short term.

    What if a Bosnia happens tomorrow? Are you ready to eat your testicles out of an eggcup as happened there? You might see the hollowness of the precedent Gerry Adams has set then.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Even I as A Republican do not want Gerry Adams to turn out to be actually Jesus !

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Panic

    I’m startin to believe lol!

    Imagine Jesus up there before the crowd, only it is all sluggerites. I don’t reckon he would make it to the cross.

    John, I don’t believe you hate GA, obsessed aye. I will vote for the stoops next Holyrood elections…………….promise;`)

  • John O’Connell

    PE

    Not even obsessed about Gerry Adams. I keep telling people that I had an experience as a student in Galway in 1986 where I worked out Gerry Adams name at 666 (like Ian Paisley’s too).

    I just find the whole thing extremely interesting as I have written little books about it that might one day sell like … ;o)

  • RepublicanStones

    I just find the whole thing extremely interesting as I have written little books about it that might one day sell like … ;o)

    Lets face it John me aul flower, theres more chance of this episode of Gerry and Jesus reaching No.1 in the dvd sales this christmas.

  • John O’Connell

    RS

    YOu may be right in the sense that such a DVD is going to be a very big seller in geberations to come. Gerry mocking Jesus they will say. Antichrist takes the piss of the son of God.

  • socaire

    I see another bunch of poor Afghanis have been slaughtered by the NATO peacemakers today. Collateral damage – casualties of guerilla warfare. No! Murder!

  • Critical Alien

    If I may add to the silliness…

    If Jesus is wrong then he cannot be the Son of God.
    1. JW -> -JS

    And if Gerry Adams is right and Jesus wrong
    2. GR & JW

    then [I take this ‘then’ to be one of entailment] Gerry Adams becomes the son of God by logic.

    /G=S QED

    3. GR &e,2
    4. JW &e,2
    5. -JS MPP, 1,2

    Er, that’s it. Nothing logical about the oddly combined outpourings above, I’m afraid. The content of the ‘argument’ is: ‘If Jesus is wrong he is not the son of God’, whatever that means, and as such this is no argument as these propositions occur in the assumptions. The purported conclusion is just another assumption, misplaced. Where Gerry comes in is anyone’s guess. This is less syllogism, more silly jism.

    Logic doesn’t make anything anything, by the way. It’s about structure. Don’t take its good name in vain. To be clear; the above is not logic, it’s piffle.

    Now if you’ll excuse me…

  • “I’m not a pacifist,” Gerry Adams informed the shocked viewing public, who might have been fooled into believing that the 1970s hokum – the Gospels not being eye-witness accounts and all that sort of thing – peddled by those whom Channel Four had conveniently lined up for him to interview was somehow objective, uncontested, or even terribly respectable these days.

    Adams maintained that he remained in the Catholic Church in Ireland despite all the scandals. Well, bully for him. At least the goings on that he presumably had in mind, and which need to be seen in the context of almost everyone in the Irish Republic’s education by the Church (have they all turned out like that?), involved breaches of the rules of the organisation in question, the Catholic Church. Whereas Adams’s activities were precisely the purposes for which his organisation existed. And in view of his covering up for his brother, would an Irish priest with that sort of record be allowed on air?

    All this, and we have not even begun to discuss the role of Channel Four in promoting sexual relations between men and teenage boys.

  • Fabianus

    John,

    Gematria is interesting, yes. I fooled around with it myself a long time ago and it was amusing. Not sure if there’s anything in it though.

    Oddly enough, one has to insert an extra “o” into the name Osa(a)ma Bin Laden to also arrive at 666. Don’t know if there’s any significance though. After all, the above is simply an English approximation of the sound of the name in Arabic.

    But it’s fun!

  • Fabianus

    Correction, an extra “a”.

  • Alias

    Prionsa Eoghann, you’ve put in so much practice on this thread brownnosing Gerry’s hirsute arse that you’d make a fortune hiring your tongue out a Preparation-H applicator. 😉

  • percy

    tony
    I’m percy..
    Alias is Dave woz Dubs.
    he never came back on my dolphin/shark
    I could have used fox/rabbit

  • Nordie Northsider

    Has John O’Connell considered another possibility suggested by the alphabetical or numeric value of Gerry Adams’ name? G (pron ‘jee’) and A (pron ‘ah’) gives us Jee-ah, which closely resembles the Irish ‘Dia’, or ‘God’.

    Gerry Adams is Jehovah and I claim my 10,000 pounds.

  • slappymcgroundout

    Brian, you do your cause no favor by relying on The Guardian.

    All that I will otherwise report is, first:

    “He didn’t seem to realise that he was being asked if he felt forgiven for his own actions.”

    Excuse me, Mr. Guardianista, but did he not say something about some desiring him to be in that tomb? So he doesn’t feel entirely forgiven.

    Mr. Sutcliff does not do any better:

    “Wouldn’t it prove awkward to have the Romans as the killers of Christ at the very moment when you were seeking Roman converts? Never mind, you can shift the blame to the Jews instead with the story of Pilate and Barabbas.”

    Shift the blame? Dialogue from a film:

    Lord Judge: Surely this (literature in question, in midst of trial for inciting racial hatred), incites racial hatred?

    Denzel’s Biko (smiling, as if the Lord Judge is dumb as a post): My Lord, blacks are not unaware of the hardships that they endure…

    So, Mr. Sutcliff, for the F you receive today in Logical Thought Process 101, everyone knew that only Rome had the power to take life, so it didn’t matter how it was written up, as everyone knew the score.

    And perhaps Mr. Sutcliff missed the line, from Pilate to my Lord…what is truth? Meaning, whatever Pilate needs truth to be, to keep the Peace of Rome (lest his own head roll)(remember, he has superiors looking for a calm and quiet Judea and environs). And so if that means you, dear sir, in lieu of Barabbas, then so be it. And in response to Pilate’s, what is truth…there is Romans 1:18: For the anger of God is revealed from heaven against all the impiety and injustice of mortals, who by their injustice suppress the truth.

    Lastly, for an exercise in compare and contrast, Roman propaganda: Res Gestae Divi Augusti. Or the Acts of the Divine Augustus. We left the Divi out, and explained by that touching wherein Cornelius, that early convert to the way, prostrates himself before Simon Peter, and Simon Peter then says, stand up, (since unlike the claim of that miscreant named Caesar) I too am just a man. Someone can otherwise tell Mr. Sutcliff that there is an inscription at Priene, near Ephesus, dating to at or around 9 BC/BCE, which inscription reports that Augustus’ birthday was the birthday of a god, and he gave to Rome and the world the euangelion of peace that will never be surpassed. I’ll let Mr. Sutcliff determine for himself on just which of those points the NT operates as counter-propaganda. Almost forgot, but whereas Augustus and the Caesars that followed prayed capite velato, or toga pulled up to cover the head, we could not, as our imitation would demonstrate our peitas (piety) to Caesar, which would dishonor our head, who is Christ. Here is Augustus, capite velato (under Perform A Roman Prayer):

    http://www.wikihow.com/User:Agricola/sandbox