How religion stifles art: Lesson 901

How religion stifles art: Lesson 901 December 15, 2007

lee-stuart.jpgTHE man behind Jerry Springer: The Opera is afraid “idiots” would close down a similar enterprise – so he says he won’t be doing anything like that again.
Stuart Lee (left) says he suffered financially because Christians orchestrated a campaign against the opera.
Even though judges have decided that JS:TO is not blasphemous, Lee says the controversy surrounding the show could nonetheless stop people from investing in such projects.

He told the free-speech group Index on Censorship (reproduced on the Chortle website), “There would be no point writing anything with any religious content which would require big box office receipts or public funding to float it, as a fuss like this could wipe it out instantly.”
Surely a lesson to us all that religion can and will stand in the way of freedom of expression if we let it. It has done so time and time again, whether it was the Sikh play Behzti or numerous suspected acts of self-censorship through fear of being targeted by crazy Muslims intent on beheadings, floggings and similar jolly activities linked to their “religion of peace”.
It doesn’t have to be a direct attack, as we see from the Muslim examples and Stuart Lee’s fears. We might never know what potential artistic delights have been stillborn because of fears of failure – failure not of their merit, but of their ability to please those who hold certain superstitions.

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