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Reform Magazine | August 19, 2017

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A time to heckle

A time to heckle

Sometimes two unrelated news stories coincide and turn out to be commentaries on each other. And sometimes the result is utterly bloody depressing.

So there are two religious stories from Australia in UK papers at the moment. One is the horrible story about a Salvation Army children’s home in Queensland, where in the 1960s and 70s boys were subjected to serious sexual and physical abuse, involving cages, flogging and eating animal food and grass.

The other is a comedy show at the Adelaide called Come Heckle Christ. In it, a comedian (pictured) with long hair and a beard dresses as Jesus, invites the audience to heckle him and builds the improvised show around their heckles.

The Salvation Army has issued a statement on the revelations about its boys’ home, and the Archbishop of Adelaide has issued a statement on the comedy show.

One of them said it was “extremely offensive to people of any religious persuasion”, “outrageous” and “anti-Christian”.

The other said it was a “failure” and that it is “grieved” and feels “deep regret”.

Which statement goes with which offence? The answer depends, I suppose, on just how messed up you think the priorities of Christian institutions are.

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