IT is with a little trepidation that I venture into matters ecclesiastical once more in the space of a month. Not so long ago I defended Jerry Springer – The Opera, and was told, quite firmly, by my theological correspondents, that Satan and all his tiny demons were waiting to give me a good roasting come the day that I shuffle off this mortal coil.
Ah me, so much for that free will business. But, like buses, now along comes another issue about which those who would be the gatekeepers of Heaven are getting themselves in a right froth.
The latest thing causing consternation to the clergy is The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown's magnum opus which bases a, fictional, thriller on the theory that Jesus didn't die on the cross, he lived on, married Mary Magdalene, moved to France and sired a bloodline that survives to this day...in France.
So far, so barmy, if hope you're still with me, and I hoipe those of you who've packed it for the beach this summer haven't had your enjoyment spoilt. I've not actually read it, so I shouldn't be giving anything else away, other than it's a load of old rubbish.
But now it's incurred the disapproval of men of the cloth, including Rev Canon Geoffrey Marshall, Dean of Wrexham, who doesn't want us to be fooled by the Da Vinci Code. Well that's alright then, because I was about to book my holidays to Provence, hoping to find cheese, wine and eternal salvation on the basis of an airport blockbuster. Because that's how stupid I am.
What strikes me as ever so slightly rum is the way that churchmen have been queueing up to rubbish the bestseller because of its fantastic plot, while ignoring the sensationalist storyline they and their ilk have been peddling for the past two millennia.
Let's compare the two shall we? Firstly you have Dan Brown who expects us to believe that Jesus didn't die on the cross, he lived, married Mary Magdalene, and started a bloodline which continues to this day in France.
Or rather, he doesn't expect us to believe that, because the last time I checked, WH Smith and every other shop that stocks it was doing so under 'Fiction' not 'History'.
Now, let us just cast our eye over what Mr Brown's hefty opposition would have us believe – and remember this is not just Canon Marshall who is saying this, the Catholic Church has set about debunking Brown too.
Well, let's look at the claims for Jesus for a start: Virgin birth: water into wine; walking on water; curing lepers; feeding the 5,000 and then ascension into heaven following crucifixion. As to his father, well the claims are even greater: parting of the Red Sea; plagues of Egypt; walls of Jericho (tumbling down of); and creation of Heaven, Earth and all the creatures and plants that live thereon in just six days.
And that's just my faulty memory of primary school RE, as residents of the Chapel Belt out there will tell you, there's a lot more than that they expect us to swallow.
So what they're telling us is not to be too gullible about Brown, while swallowing their own fantasies hook, line and sinker.
Now, I'm no enthusiast for the works of Dan Brown. Of course I envy his ability to turn a little plot and a modicum of writing ability into a multi-million pound bestselling, Hollywood-enthralling fortune, but then what mediocre hack wouldn't? Not bitter, not bitter at all.
But his holiday blockbusters are hardly a thing of beauty and a joy forever are they? Although I suspect that's not entirely what he intended them to be.
But my problem is that if the Vatican has to appoint cardinals to debunk it and every clergyman in Christendom feels the need to denounce it, then perhaps the Da Vinci Code has shown that Christianity is a bit weaker at the knees than we suspected.
NORMALLY if Wales were under-represented at anything I'd be the first to complain, but this is something quite different.
Big Brother House – two out of 14 inmates are Welsh – what gives? Do we represent two out of 14 of the UK population? No we do not, so why so many of us in there to make fools by proxy of the rest of the Welsh nation.
And who have we got? A beauty queen who thinks everyone fancies her and a lifeguard who fancies himself. Glorious, what fine specimens of modern Wales. But you have to say par for the course for the parade of self-promoting dysfunctionals that this programme seems to attract.
And now, we're told the pair have been warned not to speak Welsh to one another in case it's a code. Apparently Big Brother is listening in bilingually in case they contravene the rules.
What a shame to miss the opportunity to show the rest of the UK that Welsh is still a living language.
HAVING cut my teeth as a reporter in Wrexham, where I first met Martyn Jones, I can't think of anyone less likely to have a run-in with the law.
Although this is, reportedly, what happened when the MP was asked to produce his security pass by one of the guards there.
Maybe he felt that his flamboyant bow ties were identification enough, but he declined to comply. Fair enough, he's been there a long time, but what hope has the Government of convincing us to carry ID cards when it can't even gets its own MPs to carry their own.