Crikey staffer Jane Nethercote writes:|
Oct 10, 2007 12:00AM |EMAIL|PRINT
The Hillsong-Idol beat-up, ahem, controversy is heating up.
Last night, Jacob Butler, who has no affiliations whatsoever with the Assemblies of God, was voted off the show.
That leaves eight performers in the competition, four of whom are members of the AOG pentacostal church groups — Matt Corby, Tarisai Vushe, Ben McKenzie and Daniel Misfud -– and a question hanging in the air: is the church group stacking Idol results?
Today Tonight’s been in there right from the beginning with the tough questions. They spoke to two former Hillsong members, “fallen angels in confession mode”, about the church’s tactics recently; how AOG pastors strongly urged members to watch Idol and vote for church-sanctioned contestants.
But in Idol forums, many are keen to burst TT’s bubble.
“If Hillsong produces the talent then so be it, those who criticise are mostly jealous & should build a bridge & get over it, & themselves,” writes Meyounow at the Australian Idol forum.
“It just goes to prove the Christian Church can be a good force, positive influence on our culture.”
The Daily Tele’s Garth Montgomery however is suspicious, writing mysteriously:
There is something very wrong about these places [AOG churches] and I’m still stunned that Australians fall for such an American product. Scepticism of anyone posing as an Idol, or purporting to have all the answers – for an exorbitant fee – is threatening what little cultural heritage has contributed to the identity of this young country.
Meanwhile, Dougyfresh of Edgecliff reckons we’re ignoring the real scandal.
A major political party is getting ready to defraud the upcoming Federal election through coordinated vote-rigging (they have admitted to it in the past!) — and remember, this election will decide the entire trajectory of Australia’s future — and yet here we are in a frenzy about rigging of votes on a television show.
What’s clear is that Christian bashing could be the last refuge of a PC world (though the Sudanese community may have a little something to say about that).
Really, Christians provide this fabulous grey area for those who like to be outwardly intolerant towards a particular religion; after all, can you imagine a smarmy expose along the lines of, ‘The vote-stacking Synagogues of East St Kilda’ or ‘The practising Buddhists who are overrunning our reality/talent shows’?
Indeed. Though she prompts an interesting question. Where are all the Buddhists? According to the latest Census results, they outnumber Pentecostal followers two to one. So are they great at chanting but hopeless at singing? Too zen to care? And if all four remaining contestants end up being Christians, how will God choose? And can He/She SMS?