Remember how the Mormon Church responded when The Book of Mormon musical came out? They embraced it (without quite endorsing it), placed ads in the Playbill, and even issued a well-crafted public statement:
The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.
So when a theater company in Northern Ireland wanted to perform a comedy called “The Bible: The Complete Word Of God (abridged)” — a show that pastors have long-enjoyed as it’s a satirical look at a subject near and dear to their hearts — you would expect the reactions to be along the same lines.
Instead, politicians there demanded the cancellation of the show because they believed it was too blasphemous:
Newtownabbey councillor Billy Ball claims the play makes a mockery of the Bible and Christianity.
“This is supposed to be a Christian nation and we are allowing the Bible to be mocked and slated,” he said. “Our parliaments are sworn under it, the courts offer an oath on the Bible, if that’s your religious choice.
“Christians can be slagged for their beliefs and I can take that, I don’t mind that, but when it comes to the Bible that’s different, it’s sacred.”
And as we all know, nothing that is sacred to anyone can ever be mocked! Well, guess what? Freedom of speech is sacred to me, and Ball’s call for censorship is far more offensive to me than anything this acting troupe is doing to the Bible.
Unfortunately, his tactic worked. Evangelical Christians in the nation’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) pressured the theater into canceling the production: