It was a cracking start to the new series exploring Christianity on Channel 4. Howard Jacobson didn't pull his punches and actually made me sit up and take notice of what he was saying.
Here's Howard talking to Cardinal George Cottier, former Theologian to the Pope...
HOWARD: I'm wondering how, for example, a Jew can never read parts of the New Testament without feeling more than scandalised. I mean, when John talks about the Jews as devils, for example, the children of Satan.
GEORGE: The Gospel of John isn't an anti-Jewish gospel. It is a gospel that speaks about love. And from this vision of love, one can understand, relativise the meaning of these texts. But we certainly cannot touch what is, for us, a word of God.
Hmmm. So this evening I consulted our Collins Holy Bible and read the following, which John wrote at 8:44...
"You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires."
This, according to John at almost a quarter to nine, is what Jesus said to the Jews.
Howard's right! How can George say there is love in Jesus' words? Unless I've taken those words out of context.
Next week it's Michael Portillo who used to make me physically sick just to look at him. But after a decade of smarm-meister Blair he doesn't seem so bad after all.