Christianity By Hearsay: BBC’S Tony Jordan


Although I’ve struggled to work out exactly what my faith is, I have always tried to live by the doctrines of Jesus. It’s not rocket science: be kind, be thoughtful, be respectful, don’t hurt or judge other people. If anyone has a better blueprint for getting through life, I haven’t heard it yet.

Tony Jordan, writer of BBC1’s Eastenders, Hustle and The Nativity

I have found this quotation on a rather strange, more than vaguely disquieting page about which I might write separately.

Unsurprisingly, a BBC writer manages to tell us in two lines everything that is wrong with himself and his ilk. We live in such stupid times that people who are supposed to be fairly well-educated show a lack of basic understanding of simple things that would have embarrassed an illiterate peasant of the late XIX century.  And the embarrassment would have been fully justified, as the above mentioned illiterate peasant would have been much better educated in what really counts than the nincompoop from whom the quotation is taken.

Let us take all the components of this astonishingly stupid statement, so that the abyss of arrogance and ignorance it contains may be fully revealed.

1) “I have struggled to work out exactly what my faith is”.

This is so BBC it’s embarrassing. One is supposed to “work out what his faith is”. Hhhmm, let me see, what should my faith be? Perhaps a buddhist base with added Hinduism would do the trick? I might add a topping or two perhaps, like Confucianism and some Yoga; a helping of Kabbala might be interesting, and let us not forget Islam and (how is it called? o yes..) Christianity in order to be inclusive… 

Seriously: even a child would – provided he is smart – know that before one talks about faith one should have an idea of what a faith is about: not something you work out yourself, but a system of religious values you adhere to. Otherwise it is not faith (whether a true or a false one), but merely a form of self-worship which, besides being utterly vapid, will most certainly be self-contradictory.

2) “I have always tried to live by the doctrine of Jesus”.

Here it gets really funny. Notice “the doctrines of Jesus” are separated from the concept of Christianity as faith (he is “struggling”, remember? “Working out”…); Jesus is that nice chap who seems to have doctrines which seem to, in a way, be in agreement with the moral values of the chap; hey, if he agrees with Jesus, Jesus can’t be wrong, can he now…. One starts to understand this man has no clue about Jesus, Christianity, or anything else… This is amply demonstrated by the following statement.

3)  “It’s not rocket science: be kind, be thoughtful, be respectful, don’t hurt or judge other people”.

If I were to teach the fundamentals of Christianity to a class of morons, I would feel obliged to make it, erm, rather more complicated than that, and I am sure the morons would fully follow and digest the lesson. But this here is something which you might, if it were right, explain to a five-years-old. I know, it isn’t even right. But heavens, a person can’t claim to be happy with such a level of childish, extremely superficial thinking and call himself an adult, surely?

He is, of course, entirely wrong. If there’s something that can be said of the statement above, is that in it Christianity is largely non-existent, or openly denied. “Be nice, and allow everyone to do everything he pleases” is the purest antithesis to everything Christianity stands for. No Commandments, no hell, no heaven, no proselytism, no fear of the Lord; no original sin, redemption, real charity, system of Christian values, or church of any kind to be seen; besides, no reason why Jesus would have come on earth in the first place, no sign he would be in any way better than a very fine chap, & Co., & Co. Nothing of nothing.

A nicely sounding nothingness is what this man has, after his “struggle”, “worked out” for himself.  I can tell you with absolute certainty that in kindergarten I was instructed better than that, and both my class comrades and I would have laughed at such a statement; but again, the man works for the BBC, so do not expect any sense in what he says…

4) “If anyone has a better blueprint for getting through life, I haven’t heard it yet”.

This is a declaration of intellectual – besides moral – bankruptcy as I have seldom read anywhere. Clearly, this man “struggled” so much that he has never bothered, whilst “working out” what kind of religion he should build for himself, to read a Catechism, or even a Protestant book of introduction to Christianity for Children if he wanted to have the message accessible to him. His statement makes the impression of one who has “worked out” his religion by talking to other miracles of moral vacuity at cocktail parties, and has at the end decided humanity cannot have made better than his effort. Seriously, read it again.

Now, that there are people like that is not new. What is typical of this generation is that such statements and such mentality is mistaken for, in a way, wisdom, or – if this is too big a word for the age of the X-factor – at least for some kind of thoughtfulness. Astonishing.

A recent survey indicated almost 60% of the Britons still defines themselves as “Christians”. If the likes of Mr Jordan include themselves among them, we are in really bad shape. 


Posted on December 16, 2012, in Catholicism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Mundabor,
    well, if he leaves out the first sentence about “still struggling to work out his faith” he might apply for a job as cardinal of the Catholic Church. Aren’t they generally those kind, respectful, non-hurtful, non-judgmental softies…?

    Growing up in an agnostic-to-atheist family firmly believing in the principle of non-contradiction, it was exactly this kind of “Christianity” that made me despise Christians and their religion. They had to be imbeciles if they really believed this nonsense. Anyone’s belief is essentially a set of statements. Therefore, any serious belief (whether Atheist, Buddhist, Christian or whatever) implies rejection of every contradictory belief-system. If “A” is true, then “non-A” is false. If Christ is risen, then He did not remain dead, and He was not just “a prophet”. If Mohammed received a divine inspiration from God, Jesus was not the Son of God but a blasphemous pretender, and so on. The Muslim is compelled by simple logic to judge Christianity as false, and vice versa.

    A genuine seeker knows at least that he has to search for the truth, even if he has not yet found it. He might say he is still “working out his faith”, but it would just be an awkward way to say “I do not yet know the Truth”. He would certainly accept the need to judge any belief-system incompatible with the true one (whatever that may turn out to be – the seeker does not know yet) as false. Therefore we are compelled by logic to conclude that Mr. Jordan and his ilk are not genuine seekers. I do not see any reason not to continue to despise the weak, idiotic, imbecilic “logic” of much of “modern” Christian “thought”. I have not changed one bit on this topic on becoming a Catholic.

    I do not know how many people despise Christianity because they believe it is a weak, illogical illusion used by “the establishment” to “impose their morality on us”, but I suspect the number is very large. Well, those people could be won over, if Christians abandoned “non-judgmentalism” and started to champion the truth. At least there might be fruitful discussion of the issues at stake and a significant amount of conversions. Even those who did not embrace the truth could be partially enlightened by some aspects of it, creating further opportunities for conversion down the road. But no, we might offend somebody. Let us be nice instead.

    The road to hell is paved with nice intentions, as they almost say.

    • I grew up in a traditional Catholic country, and in my family even the agnostics had the respect for religion pretty much everyone has (militant atheism isn’t really our thing); but like you, I was put off by the insane amount of incoherent, appeasing waffle I heard from priests (many around, also at school; official religion, you know…) and unceasingly on TV. If you read the Pope’s tweets you understand what I mean.
      It’s not that I considered the idea of a Church ridiculous, rather than I considered (and still consider) the clergy largely useless and did nto even have the sources to find wisdom in the past (in bookstores you could find the likes of Messori, and a general V II dictatorship; go figure…).

      It is only when I started to get access to the immense patrimony of pre-Vatican II literature (with the Internet and the explosion of traditional sources) that I started to understand (with great enthusiasm) how wonderfully logic and coherent, strong and beautiful, Catholicism is and always was. I always think of it as a diamond: extremely hard, but extremely beautiful.
      Obviously there was an element of culpability in my own attitude – not helped by my very tepid parents – but it’s difficult to take a church seriously that is represented by waffling cowards.

      Together with the discovery of a cogent system of thinking, traditional Catholicism also brought very near to me countless generations of very brave Popes and Bishops, now even nearer to us because their brave words are so much what is needed today.

      God bless the Internet. It’s what, in time, will save the Church from her clergy.


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