The triumphalism of Avalon, the company behind Jerry Springer the Opera, at the announcement of their spring tour of Jerry Springer the Opera, was condemned today by Christian Voice, who led the protests when the show was screened on BBC2 in January. Christian Voice also held a witness at the Cambridge Theatre in the show's dying days in the West end.
Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said this morning:
"It is clear that director Stewart Lee is being driven by some kind of perverse missionary fervour from the tone of what he is saying. I wonder if the municipal theatres from Plymouth to Aberdeen share his anti-Christian zeal and are prepared to sacrifice community cohesion for it.
"This production portrays Jesus as an coprophiliac with an infantile complex who admits to being homosexual and who is told "F*** you" by Satan and "Jesus, grow up for Chr***'s sake and put some f***ing clothes on" by Jerry Springer. Almighty God is put across as an old fool who needs therapy, Mary the mother of Jesus is told she was 'raped by an angel' while the character of Jerry Springer himself emerges as the true saviour of mankind. With references to 'Judeo-Christian mythology' added in, it is hard to see how Lee could have made the show more offensive to Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.
"Stewart Lee has said the tour is not financially viable and he has announced that he does not expect to make and money from it. Curiously, after the Arts Council refused to fund the run, it seems he has managed to persuade local theatre managements to become financially involved. We shall want to challenge local councillors about their support of such a divisive and anti-Christian production on their doorstep.
"Councillors will have some explaining to do to their constituents especially come the May local elections. And if any mayor or council leader has the audacity to turn up to a church service or carol concert in the run-up to Christmas, ready to blaspheme the babe in a manger in the New Year, local Christians should hold him or her to account.
"This tour can only bring the judgment of Almighty God on the United Kingdom. The whole nation prayed to God in the name of Jesus Christ just sixty years ago, and God delivered us from the Nazis in answer to that prayer. George Mason, the American Founding Father, said: "As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, so must they be in this." To publicly blaspheme the name of Jesus Christ is to bring shame and judgment on those towns where it happens and on the United Kingdom as a whole. However, we are almost ready to issue proceedings for blasphemy on Avalon and the BBC, so the timing of Avalon's announcement is interesting, to say the least.
"This could be a wake-up call for Christians. 1500 Christians came out onto the streets when 'Springer' was screened on the BBC in January. We held street vigils outside the Cambridge Theatre as it wound down and turned the show into an evangelistic outreach. A challenge has been laid down to us to stand up for our Lord all over Great Britain, and I pray we shall be up to it."