Pussy Riot quite deliberately decided to enter a cathedral with the express purpose of creating a scene in order to embarrass, shame and provoke the Christians worshipping there. These are not innocent young girls carried away by the exuberance of their music. These are privileged, well educated, hard core political activists who knew very well what they were doing. Their bourgeois conceit and middle class contempt for the ordinary people of Russia, whom they consider to be dumb sheep, involved committing the criminal act of hooliganism.
Nevertheless, the chattering classes loved them for it. The indignation was immediate (well, as soon as it became clear Pussy Riot’s plight was going viral) and celebrities were quickly elbowing each other out of the way in order to get to microphones to express their outrage that ordinary people should actually object to the right of ‘artists’ to do whatever pleased them.
Compare them with the untold numbers whose lives are in very real danger for actually upholding or living out the freedoms we, and our celebrities, take for granted.
In Saudi Arabia two men are due to go on trial on 15th September for the ‘crime’ of helping a woman convert to Christianity and then flee the country. The apostate hussy is assumed to have fled to the UK without even seeking the permission of her near male relatives. One can imagine the kind of ‘justice’ the two men, one a Lebanese the other a Saudi, will get in hard line Islamist Saudi Arabia. I wonder if we could persuade Paul McCartney to petition the Saudi embassy on their behalf?
Muslim clerics have taken 80 children from Christian homes in Bangladesh under false pretences and kept them in radical madrasas where attempts to forcibly convert them to Islam have been made. 11 children have been rescued, the whereabouts of the other 69 are unknown. Madonna is known to care for children, perhaps she could be persuaded to speak up for them and their families.
A Hindu extremist group the, Nepal Defence Army, has mounted a campaign against non-Hindus in Nepal. “Nepal is a Hindu nation,” they loudly proclaim as they make it clear that adherents of other religions are not welcome. Churches have had to hire security guards to protect their property. Church leaders have been threatened with death if they do not leave the country. Do you think it would it be worth approaching Joanna Lumley, who is so well known for her concern about Nepal, on their behalf?
Nima, a 17 year old Iranian has been forced to leave school in Shiraz. He was not allowed back after being arrested along with his mother, Fariba Nazemian, and father, Homayoun Shokouhi, as well as other Christian converts from Islam on 8th February 2012. He is now working in a shoe shop to support himself and his sister Helma, he also has to send half of his wages to cover his parents’ prison expenses. I wonder if Stephen Fry who has such a respect for education would consider leading a march on the Iranian embassy on his behalf?
On second thoughts perhaps not. Why? Because they are not ‘exciting,’ ‘edgy,’ ‘challenging,’ ‘provocative’ and all the other adjectives beloved of the chattering classes. They are just boring, ordinary everyday people trying to live their lives by their faith. Besides, what would it do for their trendy credibility if our celebrities were seen to support Christians? No, much safer to support the ‘edgy,’ ‘provocative’ etc.
The counter-culture of the 60’s has become the orthodoxy of today and our oh so conventional celebrities will shy away from stepping out of line with the powerful progressive establishment of which they are an integral part. It would cost too much.
The real counter-culture in our society are Christians who would hold to the Gospel which brings freedom and fulfilment. The true radicals are those who would reject the tawdry and demeaning in order to cling to the true and enabling.