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"Now the sermon today is taken from a magazine I found; that I found in a hedge."
July 7, 2006 12:39 PM   Subscribe

Hobby religion considers major change. The Church of England is considering a motion to dump its patron saint, St. George, noted for slaying dragons and being a fictional character. You see, he might be offensive to muslims. Next up, "Should 'Jerusalem' be abandoned for 'Peace Train'?"
posted by Mayor Curley (37 comments total)

 
if Christians start erasing the characters whose actual existence is doubtful, very little will remain. Jews, too.

having said that, at least dump him:



posted by matteo at 12:45 PM on July 7, 2006


I suggest that the church take a hard line against admitting anyone in their pantheon is fictional. I mean, once you start, where will it end?
posted by jepler at 12:47 PM on July 7, 2006


This sort of thing is why I like the C of E - no need to believe in the resurrection, or even the existance of God, just so long as you're quite a nice person.

Tea and cake or death!
posted by jack_mo at 12:49 PM on July 7, 2006


Down-with-us Christians
posted by jouke at 12:55 PM on July 7, 2006


You'll all be laughing on the other sides of your faces next dragon attack.
posted by yerfatma at 1:10 PM on July 7, 2006


That is, unless matteo's plea goes unheard. My personal belief is a drunken Wayne Rooney would simply out-mean any dragon.
posted by yerfatma at 1:10 PM on July 7, 2006


That article on St George reads like something I'd have turned in as a book report in 5th grade.
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:16 PM on July 7, 2006



a drunken Wayne Rooney would simply out-mean any dragon

no, he'd stomp the dragon in the nuts and God would give Rooney a red card

posted by matteo at 1:20 PM on July 7, 2006


Rooney's disqualified anyway, he's Roman Catholic.
posted by psmealey at 1:29 PM on July 7, 2006


Great, lets burn him at the stake then.
posted by Artw at 1:31 PM on July 7, 2006


Can't really burn him at the stake for that anymore. Now for the red card, on the other hand...
posted by psmealey at 1:39 PM on July 7, 2006


If North American evangelists drank more tea they'd let that nice young man their daughter has been seeing stay over at weekends. Though it might take Battenburg cakes for the more resolute members of the church. Of course tea is popular in Iran, so it may have been the Battenburgs all along.
posted by econous at 2:04 PM on July 7, 2006


I'm typically the last person to defend the bafoonery of Xianity, but calling someone's faith a 'hobby religion' is a bit over the line, IMHO. Now, let the dragon slaying commence.
posted by moonbird at 2:25 PM on July 7, 2006


How is Blake's "Jerusalem" meant to be analogous to some absurd belief in a fairytale like St. George? Just because English yobbos are too stupid to understand the song and use it as a nationalistic rant shouldn't mean we grant them ownership of it. Blake despised anything as small minded as simplistic nationalism, sectarian religious belief, and tradition for its own sake.

Drive your cart and your plough over the bones of the dead!
posted by yoink at 2:42 PM on July 7, 2006


but calling someone's faith a 'hobby religion' is a bit over the line

It's a reference to an Eddie Izzard show ("Dress to Kill"), and I seriously only put in there because I'm a fan (and so are a lot of other folks here). Also, my family has been firmly within the Anglican Communion for many generations. And there is a cross of St. George on the rear window of my car. (No shit.)

(Actually, it's just the English flag, but I only have the flag as a jokey response to all the Irish flags on cars 'round here anyway.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:42 PM on July 7, 2006


How is Blake's "Jerusalem" meant to be analogous to some absurd belief in a fairytale like St. George?

The first half of the song is about Christ possibly visiting England, but He obviously didn't. Even if He's more real than St. George.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:46 PM on July 7, 2006


Also, the song might be more common among US episcopals-- I know it as about the most common hymn from going to church with my grandmother, but the few english nationals I've met who will admit to having spent time at Anglican service tell me that it's not really used. So I have a stronger association of "Jerusalem" with church than you probably do.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:52 PM on July 7, 2006


noted for slaying dragons and being a fictional character

There are so very many figures this could be applied to in the world. : >
posted by amberglow at 3:05 PM on July 7, 2006


but the few english nationals I've met who will admit to having spent time at Anglican service tell me that it's not really used.

Weird - I was forced to go to chapel every morning before school for seven years, and, believe me, we sang it a lot. There's really nothing like the droning sound of bored, half-asleep atheist schoolboys singing Jerusalem for the 50th time of their short lives at half past eight in the morning.
posted by jack_mo at 3:26 PM on July 7, 2006


Of course tea is popular in Iran, so it may have been the Battenburgs all along.

I think you're on to something there: there's nothing more pacifying than Battenburg. It's like eating a giant, squishy almond that takes three days to shit back out.

The general synod should let the football fans keep St George. Killing dragons isn't very CoE anyway. Were there any saints famous for car boot sales, humming loudly to hide the clicking of the death watch beetles, or bringing cans of beans to the harvest festival?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:07 PM on July 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


...takes three days to shit back out. Mmm.. almonds.
posted by econous at 4:13 PM on July 7, 2006


The rooney ad is near to art.
Wayne himself will dominate the next world cup.
St George will not be dropped as a patron saint, it's just the Daily Hate Mail stirring it up again.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:36 PM on July 7, 2006


It's interesting how a decision that Muslims had nothing to do with ends up creating hostility towards Muslims. Hmm.....
posted by laz-e-boy at 4:43 PM on July 7, 2006


No, I do realize that Blake's "Jerusalem" is widely used as a hymn. It's also generally embraced by the English right as a specifically nationalist hymn (Jesus visits England, England is a "green and pleasant land" woo hoo, we're the best and everyone else is shite). My point is the song is actually an plea for radical social transformation. The point of raising the dubious legend of Christ's visit to England isn't to say "England was especially blessed" it is to ask "what has become of England since that time?" Why has England become a land now UNworthy of "the countenance divine"? When Blake resolves through "mental fight" (using the "arrows of desire" no less) to build "Jerusalem" in England he is saying that he won't stop until he's overthrown the corrupt and oppressive church and state he sees as the chief cause of England's current unworthiness.

"Prisons are built with stones of law, brothels with bricks of religion."
posted by yoink at 5:12 PM on July 7, 2006


Ok, help me out on the logic of this one. St. George is today thought not to have historically existed. Yet...they want to get rid of him as a symbol as he's too warlike and offensive to certain groups? Um....
*pop*
[sound of tiny brain cells dying]
I know he's supposed to have been a crusader and thus one who killed Muslims - but he's also supposed to have killed a dragon, and you don't tend to see those wandering about in reality.

Or is this just made up to get people all rilled up and go to their local church just to argue with the clergy?

Also I can't hear Jerusalem and not think "someone's said mattress to Mr. Verity."
posted by batgrlHG at 5:18 PM on July 7, 2006


Didn't exist? By that logic, the Catholics would drop St Christopher.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:38 PM on July 7, 2006


First Piglet, now this.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:49 PM on July 7, 2006


Pretty funny, to do that to not offend a religion whose founder was a warior.
posted by HTuttle at 7:34 PM on July 7, 2006


Ah Mayor C., I'd not seen that show in so damn long, over-the-line-ness rescinded, Izzard is awesome.
posted by moonbird at 8:52 PM on July 7, 2006


"St. George Was a Homosexual."A tidbit by Dr. Paul Halsall. He did his doctoral work at Fordham on the androgyny of saints.
posted by trinarian at 12:30 AM on July 8, 2006


Surely the real story here is there's an article from the Daily Mail and it doesn't mention Diana once?
posted by vbfg at 2:49 AM on July 8, 2006


God damned Daily Mail Rubbish.
Given that St George is known and revered by some Islamic countries; that some Islamic scholars believe he gets a veiled shoutout in the Koran, I'd have to say this is islamaphobic nonsense.
posted by seanyboy at 7:04 AM on July 8, 2006


IndigoJones, the Catholics did drop St. Christopher, which was a pity, because church is just no good without giants. I wore my St. Christopher medal throughout childhood and even though he didn't exist anymore, I was absolutely sure that it was what was keeping me safe from giant birds, sharks and other perils. Note that it fell off one day when I was half way up a rocky cliff, hanging on with fingers and toes - St. Christopher had to give up on me.

In other tangential notes, we sang Jerusalem in school too, and I thought it was about the Industrial revolution and was actually some kind of Luddite plea to get rid of the factories? You know, the dark Satanic mills? Very early conservationist movement? Hmmm.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:24 AM on July 8, 2006


mygothlaundry-

Thank you, I was aware. I was making a joke.
posted by IndigoJones at 9:22 AM on July 8, 2006


Anybody with mad Photoshop skilz wanna show us what a Union Jack would look like if they substitute this funky Symbol of St. Alban for the Cross of St. George? I bet it'd look great.
posted by pax digita at 7:48 PM on July 8, 2006


Seanyboy: Given that St George is known and revered by some Islamic countries; that some Islamic scholars believe he gets a veiled shoutout in the Koran, I'd have to say this is islamaphobic nonsense.

Wow, really? Cite, please!
posted by BinGregory at 6:34 PM on July 9, 2006


Ah, Sayyidina Khidr, the undying saint, companion of Moses, and Alexander too.

Thanks, Seanyboy, for pointing that out.

Other sites with info about Al-Khidr, The Green One, probably the most enigmatic figure in Islamic history:

In Turkey

In Sri Lanka

posted by BinGregory at 6:47 PM on July 9, 2006


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