Flyposting for Jesus

torn-poster-1068025To the University of Glasgow yesterday for a seminar in the theology department. One of the questions we were looking at was, “Who owns clergy bodies?” (Answers on a postcard, please). The other one was about whether churches attitudes to same-sex couples inhibits people’s human rights.

In in dealing with these questions, I was quite struck by the attitude that a great many Christians take to Law – very many Christian groups think themselves quite above the law in all kinds of ways. I’ve sat in plenty of meetings in my time where people have openly argued that we should flout health and safety legislation (ladders?), employment legislation (minimum work temperatures, anyone? working time directive?) or disability legislation (“well, its never been a problem before, I don’t think we can be expected to make the church accessible….”). And don’t get me started on Episcopalian (and Episcopal!) attitudes to Canon Law, which so far as I can see is exemplified in the phrase, “Let’s see what we can get away with”.

All of this was exemplified for me yesterday by a poster near my flat. We’ve quite a problem with illegal flyposting around here – that is people putting up posters in places they shouldn’t. It makes the locality look shabby, isn’t liked by local residents and is, in any case, illegal. Yesterday as I walked towards the university seminar room, I noticed a new poster, advertising the local Christian Unions’ next mission week. (Freedom Week, I think they call it). It seems to say it all. A Christian group which, God knows, sees itself as inhabiting the moral high ground, advertising itself by committing an act that is illegal.