Je­sus golf joke com­plaint dis­missed

Weekend Witness - - News -

CAPE TOWN — St Peter was ex­press­ing his feel­ings, not swear­ing or blas­phem­ing, when he urged Je­sus not to “f**k around” in a golf game, the of­fice of the press om­buds­man ruled on Mon­day.

Therul­ing fol­lowed a com­plaint by a mem­ber of the pub­lic against an ar­ti­cle in the March edi­tion of mag­a­zine Sports Il­lus­trated about the pur­suit of sport­ing per­fec­tion.

Deputy om­buds­man Johan Retief said the ar­ti­cle in­cluded a joke about St Peter and Je­sus play­ing golf in heaven.

He said the joke went that when Je­sus hooked his first tee-shot, an an­gel guided the ball back into play, the dove of peace caught the ball in its beak and dropped it on the green, from where the Holy Spirit blew the ball into the hole.

“So St Peter said to Je­sus: ‘Do you wan­naplay golf or do you wan­naf**k around?’.”

Retief said the com­plainant, An­dré Wil­liams, main­tained the ar­ti­cle went too far by telling a joke about Je­sus, and that the use of the word “f**k” amounted to blas­phemy.

How­ever, Retief said that in the joke, St Peter felt done in, and that Je­sus was not play­ing fair.

“The phrase ‘f**k around’ is used to ex­press this feel­ing, and does not as such amount to swear­ing …

“Al­though it can be said that the use of the phrase ‘f**k around’ con­sti­tutes bad taste, it does not by def­i­ni­tion amount to a breach of the Press Code.”

He also said the con­text of the joke in the story — that technology could turn sport into a joke in its pur­suit of per­fec­tion — was of vi­tal im­por­tance.

The fact that the joke had been pub­lished many times all over the world in­di­cated a moral cli­mate that tol­er­ated it. Retief dis­missed the com­plaint. — Sapa.

PHOTO: AP

Robert Pat­tin­son and Kris­ten Ste­wart ar­rive at the pre­miere of The Twi­light Saga: Eclipse on Thurs­day in Los An­ge­les. The film, the third in the teen vam­pire se­ries, opens world­wide on June 30.

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