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Caution: contains the occasional rude word, strong views on religion and politics, and will probably upset those of an intolerant disposition.
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Tuesday, 22 April 2014
A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY
I'll get to that in a minute, but first something else.
1. On an actor.
Is this phrase racist? A popular black actor.
Permit me to explain the context. I was watching TV when a trailer flashed up for tonight's Holby City, HC being one of two medical drama soaps I watch. In the trailer it was revealed that the arrival of a possibly extrovert new character could cause a fuss and bother for the regular cast. I smiled when I saw who it was -Don Gilet, a popular black actor who's been regularly working on TV for some time now. I remember him in lots of things, notably a cop series The Night Detective set up the road in Newcastle. Gilet played the lead. Not long ago he played a psycho killer in Eastenders and I remember him playing Donna Noble's deceitful fiance in Doctor Who. Good addition to the cast, I thought, and while I always watch HC I was actually looking forward to tonight's episode.
And then I thought to myself: Whoah Nelly! Did I just think of Gilet as a popular black actor rather than just a popular actor. I wouldn't of think of fill in your favourite name as a popular white actor would I?
So, is the phrase racist? It obviously wasn't intended to be as I find Gilet a good and engaging actor who always brings a certain something to whatever role he plays. But the question remains: is the phrase itself racist? I could have called him a popular bald actor for example, but I chose to single him out as black even the parts he's often played aren't race-specific.
Here's a Holby City photo of the worthy gentleman in case you don't know who I'm talking about. (To be honest, I forgot his name and had to look it up but that's just an ageing failing memory.)
2. Is This a Christian Country?
And on that note I'll leave and return to today's main dish: David Cameron and how dare he call this a Christian country!
Cue outrage, frothing at the mouth, racism, whateveryouhaveism, ignoring minority group feelings, the insensitive swine, pandering to the conservative heartland or what have you.
As regular readers or even anyone who's read anything about me in the sidebar will realise, I'm an atheist with no time for organised religion so you'd naturally expect me to be one of the hounds baying for our not particularly beloved Prime Minister's blood.
Well I would be if history wasn't on his side.
Britain is a Christian country. Its history, literature, and traditions are steeped in Christianity. It seems pointless to provide any examples because it's all pervasive and the contemporary secular tone of our era doesn't change that. Britain is traditionally a Christianity country and that Christianity shaped our society for both good and ill. We may well be in or emerging into (hopefully) a post-religious era but that doesn't affect the past and there is a lot in our past to be proud of. From it we've emerged as the most open, in every sense of the word, of all western nations with our acceptance of that which and who is different. We may no longer need religion but we can't deny it, deny Christianity, in shaping what we have become. So, yes, in that sense we are and remain a Christian country and it is nothing to be ashamed of or to deny.
Just don't expect a photo of either Dave or Jesus in this blog.