The queen is losing face

NativeA reader who would like to remain nameless writes, “Is it wrong … that I find this awesome?” The this that he, she, or it refers to is a Reuters story about vandalism at Madame Tussaud’s.

It turns out some deranged protester attacked a wax nativity scene. The Mary and Joseph statues were pushed over, causing some damage. According to a spokesman for the museum, however, “the baby Jesus is fine.” And Christians in the UK are outraged … that the museum had the audacity to display the nativity scene in the first place.

Reuters reports that “Anglicans, Catholics, and Presbyterians have united in calling the exhibit a new low in the cult of celebrity worship.”

I can see those thought bubbles forming in readers’ heads as I type: How in the world could a nativity scene fire up Christian campaigners? Did the artist present the Holy Family with horns? Or smear them in elephant dung? Or what?

Depending on your point of view, it’s not as bad as that or much, much worse. The nativity scene features “England soccer captain David Beckham as Joseph and his pop star wife ‘Posh Spice’ Victoria as the Virgin Mary.” The background is described thus:

In the wax tableau, Australian pop star Kylie Minogue hovers above the crib as an angel while Victoria lays her shawled head tenderly on Beckham’s shoulder.

Tony Blair, George W. Bush, and the Duke of Edinburgh star as The Three Wise Men. The shepherds are played by Hollywood star Samuel L. Jackson, British actor Hugh Grant, and camp Irish comedian Graham Norton.

The museum has issued a partial apology for offending anyone with the display but insists that the intent was to bring the nativity story to a wider audience. The reporter pretty much calls the management a bunch of liars by closing with this: “The Beckhams disassociated themselves from the nativity, saying they had no idea they were to be depicted that way.”

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  • Richard

    ” a new low in the cult of celebrity worship.” Well, considering the fact Madame Tussaud’s is in the entertainment business, why would anyone be surprised they would put on such a display. I happen to be of the opinion that many people in the entertainment business and in politics are or at least appear to be a generally immoral lot – many of them wealthy, selfish, self-absorbed, demanding, and arrogant. Why wouldn’t ordinary people feel a bit queasy about this bunch being depicted in this manner. George Bush a wise man? Not in my book.

  • Jon S.

    Good, bad, there they go, down the same drain.

  • Jon S.

    A lot of bees gave their all for this!

  • Will

    I will, of course, NOT make any remarks about certain public figures residing where they can’t find three wise men and a virgin.

  • jj

    No one has the right to destory the property of others. Perhaps we Christians boycott and break other peoples’ art is because we are unable to create great art, art that produces greater admiration and attention?

  • dw

    Jeremy, is it just me, or do you have some sort of Steve Taylor fetish?

    So, next article on some controversy in CCM going to have the title “Try Buying Records Like Mine?” Or “Heads Are Gonna Roll If Jesus Rocks?”

    (I dug out my Taylor CDs a couple of weeks ago and ripped them for my iPod. The music is dated, but the message is still very timely.)

  • Jon S.

    Actually, dw, I think it’s just a personal thing.

  • ASC

    What if Posh and Beckham were cast as Mary and Joseph in a film, by Mel Gibson say, about the Nativity? Would it be any less offensive?

  • Jill

    I was going to say the same thing about the Steve Taylor song, “Meltdown at Madame Tussaud’s.” As soon as I read the title, “The Queen is Losing Face,” it made me feel like getting that LP out! (Or maybe we have it on cassette?) Anyhow, the whole thing is nuts, IMHO. But after all, England is no longer a “Christian nation,” is it?

  • Warren

    ‘Actually, dw, I think it’s just a personal thing’

    And THAT is the Steve Taylor song I heard in my head all throughout the election this year.

  • Jon S.

    “No one has the right to destory the property of others.”

    Maybe the “vandal” considers his actions performance art. He could win the Turner Prize.