Thursday, 13 March 2008

What's worse? 'Jesus' or 'Christ'?

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Just a short blog on something I read today in ShortList, a free magazine you can pick up outside tube stations in London on Thursday mornings.

In today's edition they had an interview with comedians David Mitchell and Robert Webb (the guys from Peep Show), in which they discussed what you can get away with saying in BBC programmes. In addition to informing ShortList that you "can only get away with saying 'fuck' two or three times in a sketch show", Webb added that "with blasphemy you are allowed to say 'God' but you can't say 'Christ'. 'Jesus', but not 'Christ'."

Now, the reason I blog this is that, if it's true, it's an interesting little fact and I'd like to know why it's the case. In that wonderful arsenal of blasphemous terms, what's so bad about "Christ" compared to "Jesus"? Mitchell suggests it's because "Christ is his surname", though somehow I doubt this is the reason.

So, I'm putting two questions out there. Firstly, is this true? I had a go at finding out myself, but Googling "blasphemy" and the "BBC" together mostly just throws up loads of stuff about Jerry Springer the Opera and those delightful folks at Christian Voice. Secondly, is it worse to say "Christ" than "Jesus", and if so, why?

Answers on a postcard (or preferably in comments to this post)