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Post No. 47 (Interfaith dialogue – Xarabank style)

December 4, 2010

I laughed so hard that I couldn’t breathe.

Yesterday’s (03-12-10) Xarabank was about religion. I think.

Panel:

Alex Vella Gregory

Reason for being there: They had an empty chair that looked bad on telly. The light shining off the stubble on his head reminded me of a velvet bauble. Very suitable for the festive season.

High point: after repeating a few times that he can’t stomach fundamentalism, his closing statement was that he will never accept religion as long as it is institutionalised

Gordon Manche’

Reason for being there:  Runs something called the River of Love Christian Fellowship. TV personality. Added some colour to what promised to be an insipid show. One of those happy clappy chappies.

High point: Screaming his head off at the Muslims in the panel in the name of love for Jesus.

Fr. Joe Farrugia

Reason for being there: Not sure what the intention of the producers was, but he was the lonely voice of reason crying in the wilderness

High point: Staying there and remaining sane till the end of the show.

A Muslim woman (I didn’t get her name, unluckily)

Reason for being there: Didn’t quite understand why.

High point: after sitting quietly through a tirade against the Koran, she asked PASTOR Gordon Manche’ whether he had actually read the Koran.

A Maltese Muslim called Mario (Didn’t get the surname)

Reason for being there: You can’t have an interfaith discussion with only 2 Christians and a bauble. I was pleasantly surprised with the moderate tone of the man, though. He came a close second in the rationality stakes.

High point: persistently giving his back to and asking Wayne Hewitt to shut up

Wayne Hewitt

Reason for being there: Living proof that Dawkins’ theories about religion are stupid in any language. I have been observing this rising comedy star for a long time. I had never managed to catch his name before yesterday.

High point: Saying that Abraham founded Christianity (and Islam, but failure to see the link between Christ and Christianity takes the biscuit)

Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, Scientology and the rest are not recognised religions by the Xarabank team and so were not eligible for participation.

My sympathies lay with Fr Joe Farrugia, of course. I admired Mario the Maltese Muslim, though. I did not agree with some of the things he said, but he was civil and my impression is that he knows his onions. I can’t really fault him personally just because I don’t share his religious beliefs. The Muslim woman was decent, too. Nothing much was said – nothing much could be said. Xarabank is hardly the suitable place for such discussions.

The star of the show – by a long chalk  – was Wayne Hewitt.  He was  – is – a perfect illustration of the inanity of a secular world view. He couldn’t offer a cogent argument to counter any assertion made by the “believers”. All he did was quote and translate Dawkins, shake his head and sneer. Hardly enough to refute the rationale behind belief. At one point he suggested that the panel attend a healing service and watch an amputee regenerate his hand. Amputated for the experiment, mind you. There are gazillions of ways one can shoot down the vaudevillian acts that are brazenly called “healing services”. The sceptic in the panel couldn’t suggest one if his life depended on it.

PASTOR Gordon Manche’ brought a rabble of supporters with him. Whenever he spoke they brought down the house. I loved his pinstripe suit. He seems to think that adherence to a set of religious belief is akin to supporting a football club. His antics were entertaining. His inclusion was an excellent ploy to increase ratings. He didn’t contribute anything to the discussion per se, however his behaviour showed the dangers of fundamentalism. He loves Jesus so much that he wants to shout down everybody else who doesn’t love Him.

All in all an amusing show. I doubt whether the producers intended it to be amusing in this way, but with these marketing people you never know.

Toodle-oo.

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From → Misfires

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