In the weeks leading up to Easter, the big story in the United States is the History Channel’s miniseries, “The Bible,” but across the pond, BBC’s Radio 4 series, “Lent Talk,” is broadcasting six lectures on abandonment, in which journalist Benjamin Cohen compares the gay community’s experience to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Cohen, a former Channel 4 News reporter and founder of the gay news website PinkNews and co-founder of Out4Marriage.org, presented a controversial 14-minute lecture on his experience growing up as an Orthodox Jewish boy who attended Christian prep schools and even performed in nativity plays.
The lecture is honest and introspective, but it’s also offensive to Christians who believe that comparing anyone’s lot in life to the sacrifice of Jesus, humanity’s lord and savior, is blasphemous.
Andrea Williams, director of Christian Concern, told The Telegraph that: “To link this experience to that of Christ is to misunderstand the biggest event in history – it is blasphemous.”
Cohen, who has been campaigning for marriage to be re-defined in England, cites Psalm 21 and Matthew 27 to link his life as a gay Jewish man growing up in 1980s Britain, in which he feared persecution and abandonment by his family and community, to the life of Jesus.
Reading from the Scripture Matthew 27:46, when Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” Cohen compares England’s abandonment of the gay community with the Jewish priests’ treatment of Jesus, and ultimately, his crucifixion.