Make me a Christian? Or something else entirely?
This isn't very contemporary, because this TV programme was on a number of months ago, but I'm just watching on 4 OD. It's annoying the hell out of me, so I can't resist blogging as I'm watching it.
The programme is called Make Me a Christian and features George Hargreaves and three other Christian ministers trying to convert about a dozen non-Christians in Leeds. Charlie Brooker is right in saying "in the true oversimplified TV-conflict tradition, it's a clash of absurd extremities." It's conservative Christians vs a number of Leeds folks including a bisexual woman, a lap-dancer club manager who practices witchcraft, a big tatooed man, and other people made out to be cartoonish stereotypes.
They start at York Minister (where of course there's a statue of Constantine) with George saying "this is a Christian country" which straight away turns me off. The first introduction to Christianity is communion in York Minister, which doesn't seem a great place to start to me.
The group are supposed to "live like Christians" for three weeks. And what living like Christians means is based entirely on personal ethics, largely on sexual ethics.
If anything is likely to put people off Christianity, it's this programme. The Christians are judgmental, conservative and incredibly annoying.
Unlike programmes such as The Monastery and The Convent which gave people a chance to experience an entire lifestyle lived by religious orders, this programme is entirely based on not answering back, replacing pagan trinkets with Catholic trinkets and keeping it in your trousers.
After the first episode no one's mentioned peace, justice, good news for the poor, freedom for the oppressed or freely giving away your money. No one's being made a Christian.