This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Monday, 9 January 2017

Do students of Christianity need a trigger warning?

The normally rather saved Professor Stephen Bullivant has written that students of Christianity need a trigger warning, because they may see distressing images. We asked a few students for their opinions.

girl facepalm

Bernadette Snowflake, studying Christianity, Human Flourishing and Liberation Theology, University of Roehampton.

Oh definitely. Although, I'm not too bothered about images of crucifixion, torture, decapitation, rape, and martyrdom: after all, I can see these things on the BBC children's programmes every day. Did you watch their latest dramatisation of Pride and Prejudice? I thought the bit where Mr Collins was eaten by a crocodile was really meaningful and relevant - all right, it was only implied in Jane Austen's novel, but seeing the animal chewing his vital organs one by one was really artistically necessary. And my baby brother liked it too.

Pride and Prejudice

The Bennet sisters cheering on the crocodile.

No, what triggers me is the general homophobia, transphobia, femininophobia, and brutality in the New Testament. Who does this character Christ think he is, choosing male disciples? Also, my friend Rebecca is vegan and has a gluten allergy, so she literally threw up when she read about 5,000 wicked people gorging themselves on bread and fish.

Lastly, someone mentioned Heaven and Hell. I've been to Luton, so the idea of Hell doesn't frighten me, but some of my friends found the whole idea very unpleasant. And, anyway, I'm sure Pope Francis has told us that Hell doesn't exist.

I wish I'd taken a less stressful degree course, now. Perhaps Professor Spadaro's Advanced Logic Course?

man facepalm

Austen Allegro, studying Church History and Marxist Studies, Jesuit University of Little Snoring.

Church History is a fascinating subject, and largely consists of people shouting "heretic" at each other, after which the winner gets to burn, decapitate, or torture the loser. But this is perfectly normal human behaviour, and in my family we had no scruples about feeding Auntie Alice to the dogs when we caught her wearing a mantilla at Mass.

However, things have definitely turned nasty these days. I need a trigger warning when I see the name of Cardinal Burke - a man whose actions are more shocking than those of all the Tudor monarchs combined. The way he and his accomplices asked the pope "What rules are we playing by these days, Holy Father?" reminds me of the worst excesses of Hitler. Or Donald Trump. Or Nigel Farage.

I want my Mummy!


  1. I wonder what explanation students of Notre Dame get about the name of that university these days...

    1. Anon, you need not be concerned. "Explanations" are, like, so pre-post modern.

  2. What they do need is a health warning - a spiritual health warning. All RE classes should have a notice pinned to the door: 'Abandon hope all ye who enter here'.

  3. "I want my Mummy!".

    What's his name ?

  4. Did that really happen in Pride and Prejudice? Good heavens!