Credibility issues

As Sarah Britten penned an article documenting Helen Zille’s slow but steady meltdown on Twitter and with political commentator Eusebius McKaiser even suggesting:

For its own sake, the DA might need a new leader.

suddenly the rug has been smartly pulled from beneath DA supporters’ feet, as their previously solid and reliable leader seems almost to be suffering some sort of breakdown, resulting in her, her party’s and her supporters’ credibility being eroded; the sage advice of arguing only with logic and not emotion seemingly forgotten.

But while the own goals of opposition politicians are important in our democracy, there are bigger problems involving credibility facing our country. Hot Cross Buns.

Yep – Woolworths (and as we’ve said before, this isn’t the same Woolworths as went bust in the UK, this is the SA equivalent of M&S) are out and about offending christians again. But after their previous capitulation on the decision to remove loss making christian magazines from their shelves back in 2010 (a decision which resulted, incidentally, in a loss of credibility for the store), “surprisingly” this time it’s the christians who have lost the plot. This just a couple of weeks after their “Jesus is alive/Jesus is dead” car crash of an argument over the Red Bull ad.

Because today, christian people (not all christian people, it should be said, but some very vocal christian people) are ever so upset about there being a Halaal marking on Woolworths’ Hot Cross Buns.

And yes, they’re really annoyed:

I hate woolworths… How can you do that to the Christians, I hope that God will have mercy on you. And dnt be surprised if your shops run bankrupt.. I will pray to my living God and you will see what he is capable of!

Let’s pop back and review that threat in a few weeks, months or years, shall we? Because while your bloke upstairs is allegedly both omnipresent and omnipotent, Woolies do sell awfully nice chocolate brownies, very decent fresh fruit and veg, and have a huge selection of quality clothing as well. With their latest results indicating a turnover up 11.4%, profits up 26.8% (despite not selling very many christian magazines) and total assets of R9,218,000,000, it seems unlikely that they’ll go under any time soon.

But with several people up in arms over some seasonal bakery products, who knows what the future may hold?

Even the SA Catholic Bishops’ Conference spokesperson Chris Townsend said “people were overreacting and needed to be more understanding”:

Hot cross buns are only a symbol, and not a central tenet of Christianity. There are a lot more weighty issues to deal with in SA than a few ‘hot cross Christians’

However, for me, it’s just another nail in the coffin as far as christian credibility is concerned. And to be honest, we’re running out of space on the lid now. When members of a religion (or any other group) display such stupid, irrational (shock) and intolerant behaviour, there comes a point when society will simply stop listening.

And if they want their reasonable and sensible suggestions to be considered in the future, just like dear Helen, someone needs to tell them to pipe down before that moment comes.

UPDATE: Here’s some opinion from Georgina Guedes. You may recall that I also agreed with her thoughts here back in 2007.

UPDATE 2: Oh dear – there’s precedent! Tesco in the UK has lost market share, profit and has been infested by mice (twice) – all “since supporting Gay Pride“.

UPDATE 3: Hayibo’s response is brilliant.

UPDATE 4: This is also worth a read for a different perspective on this.