'On the Spot' aims to highlight some of the complex positions, questions and comments experienced by Catechists, teachers and parents. It tries to outline the knowledge necessary to be faithful to Church teaching and which will best help those we teach who call us to account for the hope that is in us. [cf I Peter 3:15] Here we look at the challenge faced by those who try to present the faith in a hostile and aggressive environment.
‘Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from ...a magical tree...yeah, makes perfect sense.’
Of course, it makes no sense at all - and it certainly isn't Christianity, even in an extreme fringe form. Yet, quite suddenly it seems, the beliefs of Christians are no longer either quietly respected or ignored. Whatever the cause, many who do not accept Christianity, or even the existence of God, now feel able to publicly deny, ridicule and attack Christian belief in a way that would have not been accepted before, nor would it be tolerated now if directed towards other religions. This attitude now pervades our public life, our schools, homes and even parishes to an extent that would have been unthinkable even ten years ago. The parody quoted above has been passed around by those who find it very funny; it's possible those people would not have found it so amusing had their own deepest beliefs been lampooned in a similar way.[i]