Jesus Christ Superstar at the Olympics
Also, God is a freak
As I mentioned last week, I preached last Sunday on Luke 5:1-11. If you’re interested, you can catch up on the Leichhardt Uniting Church Facebook page (I start at the 20 minute mark).
Jesus Christ Superstar!!! on ICE
It’s the chilly Olympics, and religion lurks even in Communist China, not least because of the controversial inclusion of Uyghur athlete Dinigeer Yilamujiang as a torchbearer in the opening ceremony. This is of course despite accusations the Chinese government is committing widespread human rights abuses against the Muslim minority.
But today I will focus on Russian figure skater Mark Kondratiuk, who lit up Christian and figure skating Twitter alike by skating to a Jesus Christ Superstar medley - including a dramatic finish with the 39 lashes - dressed as Jesus himself.
Twitter’s restrictions on video and Olympic licensing copyright stuff means there’s no video of the complete choreography available where I live. The start is in the first tweet below and the end is in the tweet below that, but he’s also skated this choreography before at the Russian Championship in St Petersburg.
What little I know about figure skating I learned from Yuri!!! on ICE, so I’m sorry I probably have this wrong: Wikipedia leads me to believe he did not medal in this free skate event, but he was part of the Russian team and they won gold overall? But one of his teammates is subject to a doping scandal so they might all get disqualified?
To my legions of readers who are also avid figure skating fans, I am so sorry for butchering this. I have now learned there is a small but passionate stan army for figure skaters! Their Bible pun tweets about Mark are great, and too numerous to all post here. I support it!
It’s not the first time the rock opera has been used in a skating routine. While trying to find video of Mark’s performance I came across this article on godupdates.com breathlessly describing a doubles routine by Russian pair Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov in 2018.
This is what that means, right
Stephen Colbert on faith and comedy
This has already begun to go viral among my most offline Facebook friends so I won’t dwell on it, but this video of Stephen Colbert answering a question from singer Dua Lipa is really worth a watch.
She asks, “Does your faith and your comedy ever overlap, and does one ever win out?” What follows is one of the most precise and generous answers I have heard in a long time. TikTok priest David Peters described it as “a whole sermon”, but Colbert speaks for under two minutes.
In addition to being a Catholic, Colbert is a Lord of the Rings nut, so…
Here’s a deep cut
One for all my Bombadill Option stans out there.
Sometimes you can’t really tell how zany something is unless it’s all written out, so here’s a small (??) update to tie off the loose ends of the Citipointe story from last week.
Since that time, the school withdrew the enrolment contract and Executive Pastor of Citipointe Church, Brian Mulheran stood aside as principal after staff threatened mass resignations. Then, when he spoke at the church days later, he received a standing ovation and told the congregation to lobby MPs about a religious discrimination bill currently before Australian parliament.
That bill, which would allow religious people to make otherwise discriminatory statements so long as it is a genuinely held belief, also banned religious schools from expelling gay students (but did not protect trans kids). It was then opposed by moderate members of the very government who introduced it. It was also opposed by the Labor opposition, but they voted for it anyway, then teamed up with Greens, independents, and the aforementioned moderates to add a protection for trans students in a literal all-night sitting.
Once the Australian Christian Lobby realised they couldn’t use the bill to exclude trans children from religious schools anymore they pulled support for the bill and called for the government to withdraw it. Conservatives in the government also no longer supported the now-amended bill, and so today it was withdrawn indefinitely before being heard by the Senate.
All in one week. A mess!! I’m never doing news in this newsletter again.
Speaking of LGBT and Christian stuff though…
Do 30% of young Christians identify as LGBTQ?
Spoiler: No. But that didn’t stop Newsweek from publishing it and Jordan Peterson from tweeting it.
Tyler Huckabee dissects the claim over at Relevant, and finds the poll used “has some real problems”.
God Is A Freak
I came across this story on Religion News Service about Australian musician Peach PRC who’s gone viral among exvangelicals on TikTok for her song ‘God is a Freak’. She describes it as an “anti worship song for my religious trauma girlies.”
In many of the “God Is a Freak” TikToks, the song plays in the background while users share about finding healing after abandoning what they’ve experienced as restrictive and harmful teachings on sexuality.
The song lyrics are explicit and I guess blasphemous, so if that’s not your thing maybe don’t click. It’s catchy though.
Like manna from heaven, links:
This post on The Terminal is behind a paywall, but it’s one of the best interviews about Pentecostalism I’ve read
A thread of VeggieTales as this year’s Oscar nominees