Monday, August 06, 2007

Artists' Law of Bravery In Action

Artists' Law of Bravery

'Criticism of a religion is inversely proportional to the probability of its proponents killing you multiplied by their density.'

Meet Sydney-born Van Badham and Jonny Berliner, two artists determined to bravely prove the rule.

They are the writers of a new 50 minute musical, Cash in Christ, premiering this weekend at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival.

Badham wrote the play, which satirises the 'modern capitalist mega-church', to reflect her fears of the rise of that global killer- far right Christian fundamentalism.

"I find the Christian right groups that are enormously powerful in our own culture a larger numerical threat than extreme Islam. Bush is from the religious right and he has the bomb; that terrifies me far more than the potential of other extremists to get their hands on nuclear weapons."

Badham is concerned that despite the many world-wide conflicts involving Lutherans, the increasing prevalence of Methodist suicide bombing to achieve martyrdrom, and the killing of innocent civilians by extremist Presbyterians, they have become immune from criticism.

"In the religious right it is the self-appointed moral majority that sets its own rules, and anybody opposing them is labelled unpatriotic and shouted down."

Badham was angered by the issue of a fatwa on the artist who designed the Chocolate Christ, death threats against Richard Dawkins following publication of 'The God Delusion' and the 24 hour guard necessary to protect artist Andres Serrano after the Piss Christ was exhibited.

"It terrifies me that a few religious groups were able to cause a furore around Jerry Springer – The Opera in Britain." shaked Badham.

She is particularly concerned that Islam has been tarred with the same fundamentalist brush and is keen to redress the balance,

"I've been very sensitive to extremists in other religions, particularly Islam, being demonised."

When conducting research for the show, she chillingly described the Christians she met as 'kind' but she was wise to their trickery and said she 'felt their attitudes might foster religious intolerance.'

Other opinions at A Tangled Web and The Brussels Journal