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Page 3, Camels, and context… March 2, 2015

Posted by P, J, or J in Uncategorized.

Evangelicals in the UK recently proposed a boycott of The Sun newspaper because after 40 years of featuring topless models, the newspaper was reported to have decided not to, but then appeared to change it’s mind.

I’m not sure this bothered The Sun much …although curiously enough Unholy Exclusive: Wages of Sinthe Archbishop of Canterbury made it to the front page shortly afterwards.

The facebook page for the Evangelical Alliance has 3,409 likes. The facebook page for the Sun has 1,782,153 likes. I probably would still recommend the EA page over the Sun. The Sun is probably quite effective in some of it’s moralistic campaigns but it’s moral compass is often severely skewed. It focuses heavily on sex, gossip and the latest media fads – an accusation that could possibly be leveled at a few churches too!

Noting that another blogger,  Carl Beech, had argued that boycotting the Sun won’t help reach the working class and perhaps unhelpfully claimed he didn’t know any Christians who read the Sun, former Wycliffe UK director, Eddie Arthur asked “Are Daily Mail Readers Evil?”

Eddie suggested, “There is a tendency to lump people together according to the newspapers they read and, more often than not, to dismiss them because of their assumed opinions. Nothing reveals this more clearly than the reaction of Christians on Twitter to the Daily Mail and Daily Mail readers.”

aka "The Scroll"

Tabloids not only appeal to their readers through often salacious subject matter but also connect by using simple every day language rather than clever academic speak. There is often a bit of linguist snobbery mixed in with people’s disdain of tabloids. (more on that in a later post).

Nick Page’s Tabloid Bible has made a few reappearances since it first launched in 1998, and did even feature Babalonian  but it was never quite clear to me whether it was an attempt to reach the tabloid audience, or just have a bit of fun while perhaps encouraging people to dig deeper and think about the real story.

If the church is going to have a go at newspapers and people that read them perhaps it’s time to stop picking on the working class. I wonder if after a conversation with the rich young man today, Jesus might have been tweeted saying:


“It is easier for a camel to appear on page 3 than it is for a reader of the Financial Times to enter the kingdom of heaven”

And so, while I might add some of my own reflections on faith and wealth sometime soon, I’ll finish with a link to a good sermon on Generosity of Money and Possessions, I heard at Riverside Church in Burton on Sunday March 1st.

Generosity of money and possessions



1. Who wants to be a millionaire? | Pete, Jennifer & Joel - March 5, 2015

[…] Stay tuned, more from fourteen year old Bible study notes tomorrow. You can read more about UK tabloids and why I was thinking again about money and possessions in my last post Page 3, Camel and Context […]


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