It’s first cup of coffee time, which usually means I find an interesting article that has that headline screaming out at me, and I offer a response. These articles or topics generally have little to do with web design or LA SEO. Most of the time I look at the intent of the ‘journalist’, the depth of analysis of the ‘topic’, and the strength of their ‘argument’. In fair warning for this one, I am a Christian, so my opinion will invariably be skewed from that perspective (but since this is not an appropriate platform, I won’t be preaching from here). I will also point out that majority of our online marketing agency is not, including our company founder Joel. The original article can be found here- at the Guardian.co.uk.
The story, written by Michael Ruse, offers up a little splash that was sure to grab my attention and likely that of many other readers.
First of all, I want to note that I understand that Mr. Ruse is writing strictly from a hypothetical sense- his subtitle is “What if the newly found codices provided evidence of Jesus’s same-sex activity?” I’m not going to accuse him of blasphemy or go on a crazed rant on how insulting this whole thing is. I firmly believe that if the majority of Christians believed their God was the Almighty Creator of the universe, they wouldn’t spend as much time screaming and ranting about small issues that they can’t resolve on their own…
As to the intent of the article- obviously he is challenging the rather firmly held belief by many people that homosexuality is an abomination in God’s eyes. His final argument that Jesus being gay would do nothing to change the whole of the message of Scripture is aimed at that point. Is that a somewhat rosy and over simplified analysis? Yes. I think that anyone with a thorough understanding of the ‘homosexuality is sin, is not sin’ argument that occurs within the church understands that this is a much more convoluted subject to address in 800 to 1000 words, or whatever Mr. Ruse used.
I am rather disappointed on the strength of the article. I’m open to considering the opinion’s of others but a lot of the article stretched into needless hypothesis- “over-possessive mother, hostile father, gay son”, etc added nothing to his primary question. I did find it interesting that he uses a classic nurture stereotype to present Jesus’ supposed reasons for being gay. This seems like a rather shallow attempt at humor (?) from what is almost assured to receive some explosive secondary coverage.
In the end, I think that Mr. Ruse failed on several points. He didn’t expand his article or dig deep enough to support the hypothetical, and by doing so, left the editorial to be a wholesale work of fiction, rather then a well constructed argument. Look at Dan Brown, and his whole series on the history of the Catholic Church (Angels and Demons, The DaVinci Code). He spent a great deal of time constructing support for the arguments his characters presented in his book. In the end, the arguments held enough water to garner a significant discussion outside the circles of fiction readers. By publishing this article, Ruse failed to offer anything more then the question presented at the very beginning of the article, and the substance of people’s reactions would likely be the same. Ruse also failed to address anything beyond the fictional hypothesis other than one summary paragraph.
All in, I think that this was an ill advised attempt by Mr. Ruse to be the topic of discussion. His article doesn’t have enough quality to garner serious thought or contemplation because he presents no real arguments, just a simple what if question. I think the fact that he wrote this without rationale or logic shows that he is looking for an emotional response for his readers, and if this hovers on the first page of Google News for a while, I’m sure that will happen. Sadly, I think many of those reactions will be stupid and just as baseless as the article.
Perhaps Mr. Ruse had to get something in by a deadline and threw this together. Like many journalists these days, he seems to be aimed at readership numbers (page views) rather than at actually contributing meaningful insight/opinion to the broad discussions of our cultures. I wish that he had spent more time constructing something other than an attention grabbing headline however.