Sunday, August 19, 2012

BBC finally pays tribute to Usain Bolt's Christian faith

A few weeks ago, His Grace bemoaned the fact that the BBC never mentioned Usain Bolt's Christian faith in the context of his stunning Olympic triumphs, while poring over every other aspect of his life in minute detail. Despite crossing himself and mouthing a prayer before every race, and exalting God after each victory in both word and physical supplication, BBC commentators were mute: there was a distinct 'Don't mention the prayer!' policy, for fear of offending someone somewhere.

Well, His Grace is delighted to note that Auntie has recanted and written a very impressive tribute to Bolt's faith:
Christian prayer

Jamaicans were overwhelmed with joy and Bolt reciprocated their support by expressing his sense of appreciation for all Jamaicans, irrespective of where in Jamaica they came from or which clan they belonged to.

This, I think, has further lifted the reverence the Jamaican people had for him.

He chose to appreciate the bigger picture in a deeply divided society and as a result has perhaps created a sense of unity that has long been missing in the Afro-Caribbean community.

Additionally, he has remained true to his religious beliefs, giving a Christian prayer after each win and thanking God for his victory.

This will no doubt restore confidence in black youth, who often grapple with finding a balance between their Western upbringing, African or Caribbean roots and Christian faith.

I am optimistic that his win will shed light on a different kind of role model black youths can look up to and aspire to emulate, and maybe we might be lucky enough to see more Jamaican-British youngsters competing in the next Olympics.

Bolt's display of his faith portrays to the rest of Britain that Afro-Caribbeans can remain true to their culture and beliefs while fully integrating with the wider society, which will hopefully counter-balance the common association of black youth with crime and under-achievement.

It is precisely for these reasons that I think Usain Bolt will remain dearly cherished by all Jamaicans both inside the country and beyond, and I hope his effect will stretch wide enough for all Christians to unite once again.
Oh, hang on. Dammit. His Grace is surely mistook.

His Grace has got it completely wrong. (Again). This is becoming tiresome. He apologises.


Blogger Sam Vega said...


One day I will not be taken in, but until then, I am full of admiration.

19 August 2012 at 10:23  
Blogger MrTinkles said...

Hate to admit...I too was taken for a bit...

...excellent "making of point" there, YG.

Incidentally, in reference to the Beebs article, they also seem to have missed this comment from Farah himself when ask by some hack about his Somali roots

"Look mate, this is my country. This is where I grew up, this is where I started life. This is my country and when I put on my Great Britain vest I’m proud. I’m very proud"

Agenda? The BBC? Never....

19 August 2012 at 10:36  
Blogger bluedog said...

Neat work, Your Grace, but what else can one expect with the Head of Religious Brodcasting at BBC a Muslim.

This communicant notes that Mo is never called Mohammed, which saves fawning politicians from having to invoke the prophet's name in praise.

Hypocrisy? Perish the thought, just good politics.

19 August 2012 at 10:50  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Cranmer, this is becoming a habit. You really ought to be more careful!

I wonder if the BBC religious affairs dept is working today or not?

19 August 2012 at 10:58  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19 August 2012 at 10:59  
Blogger Old Blue Eyes said...

I blame it all on Margaret Thatcher. Why she didn't privatize the BBC with all the other public money guzzling services I'll never understand.

19 August 2012 at 11:24  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Bless you Archbishop, but the Inspector was not taken in, and doubts he will ever be again in the future...

The BBC man was rather reminiscent of a mid nineteenth century’s missionary report to home. Let’s see if the Inspector can provide an acceptable facsimile....

“Brethren, I have come to the black man. His noble savagery and nakedness is most formidable, but beneath lies a good soul worthy of salvation. Through God’s strength and patient mercy will this transformation take place for He did not create a man that cannot, when shown his Almighty’s grace, take his just place in Christendom. One indeed looks forward to the day when the black man can live in harmony with others of his making and go forth and shine the light of Jesus’ truth. PS, in case this takes a little longer than expected, send more whisky; it’s thirsty work, don’t you know...”

Now, your ninetieth century man had a hard enough time as it was, riding on the back of European colonial interests. Today, if he tried it, surely he would do so with the possibility of sudden death as his constant companion...

Toodle pip !

19 August 2012 at 13:31  
Blogger Jessica Hoff said...

Very neat YG. If it had not been for the sheer impossibility of the Beeb doing any such thing, I would have been taken in!

19 August 2012 at 14:33  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

I was taken in by Usain Bolt pretending to be Richard Branson and David Camerons impression of Tony Blair was better than Rory Bremners

19 August 2012 at 14:59  
Blogger Nino said...

Pretty unpleasant articles from the BBC/Guardian axis.

I am of foreign extraction myself, but I am a British citizen and would represent the UK at the olympics.

I would be aghast if the media emphasised my foreignness if I were to achieve anything for this country.

Shame on the BBC.

19 August 2012 at 18:29  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19 August 2012 at 21:04  
Blogger non mouse said...

I don’t get it. This is just too wyrd, Your Grace.

But then, maybe that’s because it’s so hot with all this global warming. It’s like being in a melting-pot full of frogs, all bubbling and shrieking because they’ve seen some part of a dragon. We really must unite against AGW before the sky is permanently red and we can tell neither morning from night nor East from West.

Thank you though, for highlighting Auntie Hecate’s visionary assumptions. Her deconstruction is sickening: she needs to stop speaking in tongues of fire and blood. Anyway, I don’t believe most of her audience (including Jamaican Pentecostalists) really want Mohammed’s success(orsome as it is) to rule the Western Skies. That would just be another crime against nature.

Which gives rise to one more dismembered thought. Since Auntie pretends to come to terms with Bolt, we could send her into retirement. Let's transform thoughts into deeds and “take ‘er to Jamaica** where de rum comes from; de rum comes from; de rum comes from...Then she’d have some fun!” She'd love the Obeah tradition that survives there, and she could take some hemlock roots with her to add to the goat curry.


**The island is a hotspot; it's only 18 degrees north of the equator, remember. It's also conveniently situated by the Windward Passage: 90 odd miles southwest of Gitmo.

19 August 2012 at 21:40  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...


19 August 2012 at 21:45  
Blogger bluedog said...

non mouse @ 21.40, see Edvard Munch's painting 'The Scream'.

Compare and contrast.

19 August 2012 at 22:07  
Blogger non mouse said...

Mr. bluedog... that's what I'm talking about. Please note that, while assiduously avoiding direct quotes I'm also relating it to a certain "Play."


19 August 2012 at 22:25  
Blogger non mouse said...

Oh dear, Your Grace. I hope that's an ironic sigh!!

Honest Injun: I read all your links very carefully.

19 August 2012 at 22:30  
Blogger non mouse said...

Mr. bluedog... that's 4.1 of the drama; + a diary entry of munch's.

Underlying sentiments derive from indoctrination with old incantations. Like one my grandmother taught me:

Don't care was made to care;
Don't care was hung.
Don't care was put in a pot,
And stewed until he was done.

19 August 2012 at 22:42  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Heavens, even the mouse gets a sigh from his eminence. Something earth moving has / is happening... {REACHES FOR SINGLE MALT}

Chars !

19 August 2012 at 22:44  
Blogger non mouse said...

Oh... and Obeah's another thing I learned about while just above knee height: but in Jamaica. We do all know it's a surviving strand of African witchcraft, right? Locals around me were all terrified of the 'obeah woman'!!!

19 August 2012 at 23:29  
Blogger outsider said...

A brilliant and telling post, Your Grace, at least for UK readers.

20 August 2012 at 00:01  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...


Most odd. Me thinks non mouse has been sampling the Mistress and Master's sherry.

(That or she's finally lost her bloody marbles.)

20 August 2012 at 00:36  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Muscular christianity

I had to put up with years of this lying bullying SHIT at school.
It's now over 52 years since I was last forced into this form of muscular team-games fascism, with all the lies and blackmail (fear of physical force) & I still remember it with horror.

The correct headline should be:
Another brain-dead muscular TWAT.

What's the difference between this idiocy and the praise heaped on the glorious revolutionary collective effort of soviet-bloc athletes of 60 years back?
None at all.

20 August 2012 at 07:33  
Blogger Roy said...

G. Tingey said...
Muscular christianity

I had to put up with years of this lying bullying SHIT at school.
It's now over 52 years since I was last forced into this form of muscular team-games fascism, with all the lies and blackmail (fear of physical force) & I still remember it with horror.

What a wimp! One excellent justification of school sports is that athletic ability is not dependent on IQ. Some kids are extremely bright and also very athletic but there are some who are bright and not good at games and some who are not very clever but excellent at games. School sports allow children in the latter category to shine and they also teach the bright but unathletic children not to look down on others who are not as clever as themselves.

20 August 2012 at 08:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Interesting Dodo.

Mouse is starting to talk in tongues. Definitely some spirit at work here....

Father Jack Hackett-Tingey gives us all a homely at his most joyous, gripped with the evangelical fever and love of creation, don’t you find ?

20 August 2012 at 08:20  
Blogger Lazarus said...

You had me! And for a few minutes, I had a glimpse of an earthly paradise where the BBC recognized the importance of Christianity, and Guardian atheists, whilst unable to share our belief in its truths, nodded sadly in recognition of their goodness and beauty.

Oh well. Back to dismal reality.

20 August 2012 at 10:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

non mouse: "We do all know it's a surviving strand of African witchcraft, right?"

Beyond Belief today on Radio 4 has just been talking about witchcraft and its mix with Pentecostal Christianity in parts of Africa and in the UK. Interesting topic. Certainly had me shaking my head at the radio anyway. Also had me wondering what criteria we might use to separate out those beliefs from other religious ones given that they're apparently based on an objective reality as far as their various adherents are concerned.

20 August 2012 at 17:15  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. They (...the mid nineteenth century missionaries...) couldn’t do it then and you won’t do it now. African’s primitive bone and spirit worship is alive and kicking in certain tribes. Of particular worry is ‘Muti’ which is the witchdoctor element. Most prized are the genitals of virgin boys and girls, for they are considered a cure all. After preparation they are best ingested for maximum benefit. God alone knows what these proto humans are getting up to over there, and very occasionally, over here...

20 August 2012 at 18:47  
Blogger len said...

Inspector you really need to get out more often,perhaps a trip to the local?.

20 August 2012 at 19:14  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector, the thrust of the debate was that the existing kindoki beliefs were linked with the New Testament stories of possession by evil spirits and carried forward by Christian groups. They've taken the literal interpretation of those stories and understood them to be objective reality according to the Bible.

20 August 2012 at 20:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...


Don't label these pagan beliefs Christian. They are not. This is precisely the issue with the 'happy clappy' form of 'Christianity'. It lacks doctrinal and dogmatic integrity.

20 August 2012 at 22:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It's those churches and pastors and congregations who are doing that. Who am I to challenge their beliefs? More to the point, on what basis can I do that?

Who's to say that my rather more prosaic interpretation of our shared reality is more accurate than theirs if imagining all sorts of internally impossible things is okay?

The thing is, who are you to challenge their beliefs either, and on what basis can you do that? They have interpreted our reality in a particular way and with reference to a religious text.

What does "doctrinal and dogmatic integrity" really mean? Why should we all accept the implied authority there? Or the religious text it holds up as universally significant?

Just because a Calvinist or a Catholic imagines a specific external reference point, and imbues it with a specific interest in us, and overlays a detailed design and purpose, it hardly makes it all true. Does it?

At the end of the day, those Congolese beliefs about Christianity and the spirit world seem ludicrous to most of us in the UK. Outlandish. Unattached to reality. But really, their primary attribute is that they're unfamiliar to us.

21 August 2012 at 07:10  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace:

On the African diaspora and Witchcraft... we might also remember the ‘Voodoo/Hoodoo’ tradition in Louisiana. That involved itself with RCism.

Of course, one view of Transubstantiation has related the doctrine to our own traditions of alchemy and witchcraft. And it otherwise took us centuries to get our witchcraft problem under control! The stories extend from Anglo-Saxon times, through the Merlin legends, to the magical world of Baldwin’s Beware the Cat.* Then there was James I/VI’s Demonologie** and the trials that stretched through the other Stuart reigns.

“Magic” always had religio-political dimensions, then. Shakespeare used something of it also, in the “Scottish Play” to which I alluded yesterday. Indeed, part of my suggestion is that we suffer from similar evil today, under the umbrella of Communist Authority. Their smoke and mirrors distracts us while they toss us, all dismembered, into a religio-cultural hodgepodge. Munch’s painting depicts the effects of such a crime against nature.

* Online @ (Caution: Requires a sense of humour; sensitive Catholics might prefer to avoid this. It's also very long, often dubbed "the first English novel.")

**Also available online

21 August 2012 at 15:43  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace... a slight correction and apology. May I edit my submission of 21:40 yesterday?

My Since Auntie pretends to come to terms with...should read "As one imagines that Auntie Hecate has come to terms with...”

21 August 2012 at 15:51  
Blogger len said...

Dodo,( 20 August 2012 22:42 ) 'Don't label these pagan beliefs Christian. They are not. This is precisely the issue with the 'happy clappy' form of 'Christianity'. It lacks doctrinal and dogmatic integrity.'

This applies as much to to Catholicism as to any cult.

21 August 2012 at 19:12  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

You just can't help yourself, can you?

There's really no answer to your questions. One cannot prove or disapprove the existance of God.

At the end of the day it really is a matter of faith - and this is a freely given gift which we can take or leave.

21 August 2012 at 20:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

That sounds rather hollow to me. Just sayin', like.

21 August 2012 at 21:54  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...


Really? When it comes right down to it you either believe in God or you don't. It's not a student debating chamber topic. You either want to know Him or you don't.

Do you want to accept God? If so, this will not come from repetitive arguments on a blog. If not, they all the snide comments about the faith of others?

I've always believed in God - even when I went through an atheist period. Why? I really can't say. And it was not just my Catholic upbringing. It has always just felt so natural to me that a God existed. I've not always been Catholic or even Christian and have considered other faiths.

If that's hollow, then you have my sympathy. Your life must lack mneaning. You say you are comfortable and contented. So you have a career; no mortgage; a good pension and no children or other 'commitments' as a drain on your resources. And ....? To me, such a self-centred and barren existance is hollow.

"Just sayin', like."

22 August 2012 at 00:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It appears some Congolese Christians feel the same way about kindoki, and witches. Their existence is obvious and natural. Funny old world. They, and you, have my sympathy.

22 August 2012 at 06:15  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

The Congolese pagans are living in ignorance and under the influence of non-rational beliefs and tribal customs.

Christianity is a faith based on theological reasoning and rationality - a faith accepted through choice.

Your sympathy is misplaced in respect of Christians. And your denial of Christianity because other people worship other gods is really juvenile. If you knew, or even suspoected, a priceless diamond was in a bag containing worthless imitations would you throw it away without looking at its contents?

23 August 2012 at 00:25  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Those Congolese Christians are interpreting reality using the Bible and its passages about possession, witches etc. You forget, I think, that Western European Christians used to accept the existence and power of witches, witch's familars, and curses.

You are a product of your time and culture which dismisses such things now. You're also a product of your catholic upbringing, which still venerates old bones as relics with magical powers, and thinks wafers and wine magically turn into flesh and blood in some mystical way after spells are said over them.

23 August 2012 at 01:46  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0, yes, yes, we've heard all this from you before. It's starting to wear a bit thin as a reasoned argument and is playground stuff. All rather tiresome.

The Catholic Church does not and never has believed in the use of magic or spells - do you understand these concepts?

And such patronisation assertions too. We are all influenced by our culture and time and our childhoods. Then there comes a point when we stand back and assess this and make our own choices.

Time you did too and dropped the smug, self satisfied veneer that fools no one anymore. Do yourself a favour, have a little read up on passive aggression and narcissism.

23 August 2012 at 12:14  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, feel free to bugger off if you've heard it all before and find it tiresome. I really don't mind. You engaged me here, not the other way around, you know. ;)

23 August 2012 at 18:34  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0, because you were talking nonsense about Christianity - again.

One day come up with an orginal thought.

Have you researched passive agression and narcissism yet?

23 August 2012 at 20:09  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Like a moth to a flame. Bless. :)

23 August 2012 at 20:29  
Blogger len said...

There has been a major revival in the Occult over the last decade or so,I am astonished at the amount of films and programmes involving witchcraft at some level or other.These go from cartoon characters through Harry Potter to the really nasty horror films and even video games.

This is not a subject to be taken lightly or dismissed as' so much nonsense'.Evil spirits(demons) are a spiritual reality and they do actually exist.What would possess(no pun intended) someone to
take a gun and to shoot innocent people without reason?.Evil exists and it is personified in spirits whose sole intention is to gain a physical body to express itself through.
I was looking through a' well known bookshop' the other day and on the 'spiritual shelf'there were several books on how to' curse people'or how to manipulate people through 'white magic'(no Bibles though.)
Needless to say I bought nothing!.
Evil exists but it is 'channelled' through people who are willing' to open themselves up to it and this practice is extremely dangerous!.

23 August 2012 at 22:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...


You've led a very sheltered life.

24 August 2012 at 00:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"This is not a subject to be taken lightly or dismissed as' so much nonsense'."

On one level, you're right. In the case of kindoki, it influences some people to abuse children, thinking they are possessed, now they are looking at cultural quirks through the viewfinder of the Bible and its related passages and themes.

It's all very well building a huge inverted pyramid of rituals, mysticism, dogma, doctrine, tradition, and legacies of political power on a speculation of a single issue of how our reality might have come about but it opens the door on all sorts of nonsense as a result.

24 August 2012 at 09:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

When our country was mono-cultured and people didn't really travel, other religions must have seemed rather exotic. In the more hierarchical and ordered society of the past, broadstroke Christianity must have seemed a fairly natural view. Further back when society was rather simple and people were barely educated and the nights were very dark, it was easier for a priestly caste to use mysticism and frightening imagery to maintain the church's hegemony and hold people in thrall. The translation from priestly language and the printing press put paid to a lot of that. Of course, ideas float freely now and are open to test by the common man.

One of the benefits of globalisation, is that we are much more aware of different religions and cultures and can see for ourselves how these things work. Christianity is no longer an obvious way of viewing our reality for most people. We can around the world now, and look back in history, to see the many claims of an external reference and an absolute morality, and we notice that they are and were usually different. Moreover, the certainties people have and had about doing Good, at least when measured using their religious beliefs, look rather dubious now. I expect many Christians in the UK today look back at some religiously-inspired acts and recognise that they were, in fact, moral atrocities to the modern eye.

24 August 2012 at 10:20  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

And your point is .....?

24 August 2012 at 20:29  
Blogger len said...

Dodo 'missed it again(sigh)do try and keep up there`s a dear.

24 August 2012 at 22:34  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...


Jumping into bed with atheists again, I see. Anything so long as you have a dig at Catholics.

Is your own faith so shallow and fragile that it can only be energised in this way?

25 August 2012 at 21:05  

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