The recent use by an Australian sports betting agency caused a ripple of angst for using a Christian image and instruction as a tool to encourage betting on the world cup. Deputy Premier, Peter Ryan said on radio that ‘they ought to sink it‘
Was it sacrilege? We know that statues, even ones of Christ the Redeemer, are only statues. They are not Christ himself. That being said, I am pretty certain that the one who chased rip-off merchants out of the temple in his day would not have given permission for his image to be associated with such an activity (I mean promoting gambling, not the World Cup.)
Was it smart? Well, in the sense that it picked up on familiar themes and images and links to the location of the World Cup the answer is ‘yes’ A clever little marketing ploy, with a touch of irony.
But for me it was really silly and sad. Silly to link such profound truths and deeply held beliefs with gambling on a sporting event and sad because our world has come to the kind of silliness that will take something good and life giving and apply it to something potentially damaging to so many people.