Give It Up, for God's Sake

By Lewis-Smith, Victor | The Evening Standard (London, England), March 7, 2003 | Go to article overview

Give It Up, for God's Sake


Lewis-Smith, Victor, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: VICTOR LEWIS-SMITH

BACK in the days before all-night television, when post-pub viewers faced a sobering choice between The Epilogue and bed, my favourite pastime was collecting the most outlandish "... and you know, God's rather like that, isn't He?" analogies. Over the years, I've heard some real stinkers, including, "And you know, God is rather like this ventriloquist's dummy on my knee", and, "God is, in many ways, like a traffic warden", but the most tortuous simile of all was "God is like a pancake".

And yet, you know, the Church of England's God actually is rather like a pancake, because while this week's newspapers have been full of photos of near-naked samba dancers celebrating Mardi Gras on the streets of Rio de Janeiro with several drunken days of carnival, and similarly exuberant festivals have been taking place throughout the Christian world, how did we Brits mark the arrival of Lent? We combined flour and eggs, poured the mixture into a frying pan, then squirted the juice of a plastic lemon on to the circles of solidified batter, thereby proving that we are a nation of tossers.

God on the box is also rather like a pancake, being flat, insipid, sugary, greasy, a bit of a lemon, and very hard to swallow. That's why ITV schedulers used to fulfil their religious obligations after 11pm (when there were no rival programmes), and why today's broadcasters stick their God shows out during the graveyard hours on Sunday (when all good Christians should be in church anyway), but on Channel 4, they've started to colonise The Slot for this purpose. For years, I've been praising this precious gap that follows the excellent Channel 4 News because it (uniquely) allows programme-makers to experiment with the medium during primetime, so it's worrying to see it given over to blandness and pious platitudes, as with The Lent Slot. Having watched and listened to all four of the contributions this week, the sheer banality of the pontifications has left me giving thanks to God that I'm an atheist.

The common theme has been " giving up something for Lent", which in my case has meant almost giving up the will to live and wishing that the speakers would give up talking bilge. The first two were proudly putting their Christianity into practice by "giving up chocolate" for 40 days (I suppose it's Satan who decrees that piles of Easter eggs should appear in supermarkets as Lent commences, by way of temptation), but last night's contributor had grander spiritual ambitions.

"I would like to give up trying to achieve everything," declared teacher Zoe Baker, who went to great lengths to assure us that "I'm a very busy person" ("call mum, pick up shopping for dinner, go to upholstery class, mark A-level essays . …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Give It Up, for God's Sake
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.