Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Boxing for Jesus

I noticed the story about the boxer Tyson Fury today, somehow I've managed to avoid it up til now. It's one of those car crash kind of stories that's totally cringe-worthy but hard to put down once discovered, such is the cognitive dissonance on display. 

Big time Christian, Fury is being vilified in the media at the moment for repeating the sentiments articulated in the holy book at the centre of this most populous of religions, uninteresting you might think but apparently he has a track record of making outrageously sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, racist and bigoted comments. Thumbing through the alleged examples of this makes him sound like some kind of old testament version of Dapper Laughs. 

Tyson has clearly been successfully indoctrinated into some kind of born again, evangelical flavour of his religion, one which actually takes the central texts seriously and literally; this seems to be mixed with an unhealthy obsession with machismo and violence. He also brings to the narrative a "traveller" upbringing, and a family history of violence, you could say a one-man Jeremy Kyle episode.

I always find it amusing when talking to more progressive religious apologists, that they so easily and conveniently dismiss beliefs like those held by Mr Fury when in fact such views are probably represented to a significant degree in a sizeable chunk of the Christian following (it's certainly the case for Islam). The pitch always goes something along the lines of literalism being merely a fringe activity, a tiny minority, a few rotten apples; I don't buy it for a second, it's so trivial to point out examples and the infrastructure that supports and encourages them. I do wonder where this particular story will end though, in tears surely? It's a shame as the man is clearly hugely talented at his chosen sport; but as the old saying goes, no brain, no pain, in this story that seems prophetic on so many levels.

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