Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lucia What would have been appropriate in response to the offensive billboard

Before Christmas, liberal Anglican Glynn Cardy of St Matthews-in-the-City of Auckland put up an offensive billboard lampooning Our Lady, Joseph and God. With out a doubt, a truly blasphemous billboard.

I have just been reading a book on Purgatory, and quite honestly, Glynn Cardy needs our prayers. Blasphemy is a mortal sin, one that severs a person from God, and even if repented for, could quite easily call for a long, long (and very unpleasant) time in Purgatory. (For more, see St Catherine of Genoa: Treatise on Purgatory)

A number of Christians on David Farrar's blog have applauded the consequent vandalism of the offensive billboard, first coated in brown paint and then attacked by knitting needle wielding elderly lady. David Farrar's response, thinking Christians are dangerous fanatics, is almost appropriate, except for the fact that the vandalism was restricted to the billboard itself. It seems I was incorrect in thinking that most Christians would not approve of an evil act (vandalism) for seemingly good ends, ie the consequent removal of the billboard.

Andrei asked, early on, what were we to do in response to this billboard. I laid out a few ideas, but now I know they are not enough. More should have been done and still can be.

What should have been done initially, is that those that noticed the sign and realised it's blasphemy should have approached Glynn Cardy privately and pleaded with him to remove it. Only when private appeals failed, should the declaration of the offence have been made public.

With the public declaration, an appeal to all good hearted men and women who felt the billboard was blasphemous, to join in a concerted effort in prayers and penances for the change of heart of Glynn Cardy and reparation to God for the offence caused. Along with a plea to respect the property of St Matthew's-in-the-City.

Now that the billboard has been removed, the major thing left to do is prayers and penances to God in reparation. And the same for Glynn Cardy's soul, as the man is in dire need. Also prayers and penances for those who participated in the vandalism.

2 comment(s):

Andrei said...

This is a tricky one

Despite protestations to the contrary the erectors of this travesty knew full well the upset it would cause.

In fact to ensure the maximum exposure to their "conversation piece" they put out a press release before it went up.

I held off from blogging on this initially because I felt that by so doing it would play into the hands of those who raised it.

Of course the Herald ran with the presser - and the usual suspects took their cue from that.

The rest is history.

The man behind it isn't Glynn Cardy but his assistant Vicar Clay Nelson who has most definitely denied the Divinity of Christ. Glynn Cardy did give the go ahead though.

I'm not sure defacing it is in itself wrong though, after all Moses did destroy the Golden Calf.

But I am sure that the vandalism played into the hands of the erectors who could then try and cast all of us who are greatly offended as fanatics - presumably with medieval outlook unlike modern 21st century "Progressive Christians".

Despite my uncertainty about how to react to this there one thing I am sure of and that is: This is Spiritual Warfare and as you have pointed out Lucia the best weapon we have in that battle is prayer.

Lucia Maria said...


Ah, a press release to start the whole thing rolling ... how interesting.

Then the reaction from should have been to not only point out the blasphemy, but to ask for prayers and penances for the offence caused, and for those involved to have a change of heart and take the billboard down.

I'm not 100% certain on this, I think vandalising the billboard was wrong, but given the provocation involved, understandable.

Three things make me think that it was most likely wrong:

1) Goes against one of the Commandments (under stealing).

2) The other commandment against Blasphemy is being perpetrated by those who own the billboard.

2) Evil may not be done to ensure a good outcome.

And then, Psycho Milt's story about having to destroy Catholic status - it keeps bringing to mind those that think they need to destroy objects that offend them. To some Protestants, Catholic statues are blasphemous.

I don't think Jesus and the moneychangers in the Temple gives us license to do as He could - Our Lord has authority we do not.

Likewise Moses, in destroying the golden calf, most likely had the authority to do so.

As I've said, I've just been reading a book on Purgatory, and one of the visitations to the living from Purgatory was an artist who had died, who had created an immoral painting for someone. Even though the artist's style changed over time to more and more religious art without immorality in his work, that one painting caused him to be tormented most dreadfully in Purgatory. God permitted that the artist be allowed to appear to a Saint who was asked to go to the man who owned the painting, to tell him that he must destroy the painting. If he did not, he would die shortly and go to Hell. If he did destroy the painting, he would be granted a long life of sickness, whereby he could spend the time atoning and preparing for death and Heaven. But whatever he decided, God would take two of his children in the meantime.

That story, in a sense, is very similar to the billboard story. But, at no point were instructions given to the Saint to destroy the painting - the man who owned it had to do it himself.

But as I said, I'm still not 100% certain on this - what if we were talking a desecrated Eucharist, rather than a billboard?

Post a Comment

Please be respectful. Foul language and personal attacks may get your comment deleted without warning. Contact us if your comment doesn't appear - the spam filter may have grabbed it.