Of Interest: Controversial Christmas Billboard Priest Welcome in Australia

The Common Dreams conference people released this press release this morning.

From: Common Dreams Melbourne Inc.

For Immediate Release - 21/12/2009

Controversial Christmas Billboard Priest Welcome in Australia: Creator of Mary and Joseph Sex Poster Invited to Speak in Melbourne

A New Zealand priest, at the centre of a storm over a Christmas billboard, will be invited to speak at a Melbourne Conference. Glynn Cardy, the vicar of Auckland’s St Matthews-in-the-City church, was forced to defend the posting of a billboard depicting Mary and Joseph after sex. The billboard, which included the caption, Poor Joseph, God was a hard act to follow has caused outrage amongst conservative Christian groups.

But president of the Common Dreams progressive religion conference, Richard Carter, said delegates would want to hear more from Rev Cardy when they convene in Melbourne next April.

“Whether you agree with the approach or not, this issue goes to the heart of progressive Christianity.” Said Mr Carter. “It’s about the shift in thinking from a set of supernatural beliefs, to how Jesus lived and encouraged others to live.”

In a prepared statement Rev Cardy said “We have no regrets about bringing this discussion about Jesus’ origins and the nature of the Christian God into the public sphere – into homes, workplaces, universities and the internet. We are glad that discussion about Santa, food, and present-buying was momentarily usurped by a discussion about Jesus."

The Common Dreams conference will bring close to 1000 delegates together in Melbourne next April. It will draw together delegates interested in progressive religion, and particularly progressive Christianity, for keynote lectures and discussions. The numerous provocative speakers will include renegade Canadian clergy-woman Gretta Vosper – author of the book With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe – and deposed Catholic priest Peter Kennedy – leader of the rebel St Mary’s in Exile community in Brisbane.

For more information:

Richard Carter 0416 006 671

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