Bethlehem gets Branson-ised

Below is Virgin Media’s advent calendar, advertising their TIVO television service. Look carefully and you will see Virgin boss Richard Branson’s face. Perhaps we should be grateful Virgin haven’t gone the whole way and exchanged the face of the Virgin herself for that of the bearded one!

People who read yesterday’s post might expect me to be offended by this. I think it is cheap, tacky and lacking in taste – but I am not offended. Few will have been expecting religious insight from Branson’s empire anyway! On a scale of offence it doesn’t come anywhere vaguely near the outrageous comments discussed yesterday. I try to reserve offence for those things where something far more important than my religious sensibilities is threatened.  Furthermore, there is a long established tradition, especially in mainland Europe, of depicting well-known characters in the nativity scene. It serves as a reminder that God ennobled humanity through the Saviour’s birth.

Of course, talking about ennobled humanity brings me right back to Clarkson’s comments, and the dismay we should all feel when words are used to to destroy rather than to create, and to dismiss rather than engage our fellow human beings…