The Gerry & Jesus Show

You would imagine that there would be no laughs left to squeeze out of the North’s politicians. Until Iris the Virus came along that is and caused much mirth for all but her husband and family. After that there could be nothing else to rouse the laughter and douse the ennui. Or so we thought. Step in St Gerry of Jerusalem.

Channel 4’s documentary The Bible: A History was billed to be hilarious. Big Percy Pompous gallivanting around the Holy Land, explaining the true Jesus to the hoards of Philistines. New insights were certain to abound. The origins of the peace process might just be traced to the Bible. Jesus supported it too you know. All but the bovine bunch cringed at the thought of it.

The amount of texts and phone calls I received from people thinking it would be like something out of Monty Python left me fed up and reluctant to answer the phone or even read messages. That takes nothing away from the fact that in the end The Life of Brian had more in the way of serious religious content and discussion. I waited hoping Gerry would burst out in song – ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ an appropriate ditty given the occasion. Besides, he knew the lines well, knew them before those that wrote them even did.

A man apart – great leaders have to be – Gerry seemed to warm to the idea of the tomb when he entered the crypt that had at one time contained a brace of bodies, even joking about how it resembled Long Kesh tunnels and making quips about Sinn Fein having previously been an underground movement. I wasn’t sure if that was a loose reference to the fact that the party had undertaken certain business that had been carried out beneath ground or if it was just a reference to its one time illegal status. Whether he, the only civilian to have served as O/C of Cage 11, was ever down a tunnel I don’t know. The tomb had only recently been discovered, having been secret for a long time; a bit like Ireland where he can’t seem to escape association with secret burial sites. Here they have the annoying tendency to make the headlines at awkward junctures.

The anticipated spoofing began early enough. He had negotiated the Good Friday agreement which led to the release of the people who shot him. They were actually out four years before the Good Friday Agreement. Nor did he negotiate the Good Friday Agreement. The SDLP and Irish government did that. As Paul Bew put it two years ago: 'Presented with a fait accompli which he could not alter, he moved rapidly to claim ownership of the deal which had, in fact, been created by others.'

I may not have sat down to view The Bible: A History exactly with popcorn and soda but the gravitas with which I plonked myself on the settee had no great weight to it. I arose – not from the dead, the documentary didn’t quite do that for me - feeling the same way.

I can hardly claim amazement to have heard Gerry Adams say he had no blood on his hands – blood spilt by the IRA was the work of others, not he. The thought did cross my mind as he sat peering at Alan McBride, who lost his wife in the Shankill bombing of 1993, whether the thought crossed Alan’s mind that the man in front of him was often reputed to have been a member of the army council which ordered the bombing in which his wife lost her life. If Alan put the question to him it was edited out of the finished product.

While Gerry Adams as much as anybody else has the right to discuss biblical interpretation – and he did introduce some interesting observations into the discussion which made his interlocutors seem less than surefooted - his appearance had less to do with the erudite biblical knowledge he would bring to bear on the subject and all to do with the controversy it would provoke – helps push the ratings up. Moreover, it has helped compound the image of the North as a place that played host to a conflict sustained by a bunch of religious cranks.

During The Bible: A History, Gerry Adams claimed that his friends viewed him as a staunch Catholic. He hardly disappointed them as they watched him receiving Holy Communion and praying. I came away from the show with the realisation that at last there was at least something I had in common with Gerry Adams after all these years. Neither of us believes in god.


  1. "Moreover, it has helped compound the image of the North as a place that played host to a conflict sustained by a bunch of religious cranks."

    This crystalizes my feelings about this show in one swipe.

  2. you were quick out of the traps. The ink is still wet!!

  3. Well, Gerry looked a lot like Moses, and we all know he was responsible for the parting of the ways, so to speak.

  4. "Staunch Catholic"? Hmm... I remember he claimed in some ladies' magazine in the South that he was a druid hugging trees. And an ex friend was trying to convince me that "Gerry is a true communist in secret". If he is, that must be of the same breed as Gorby: he completed his own Irish version of perestroika designed by imperialists, just like good old Mikhail did.

  5. I have often wondered why the word hypocrite was invented but here was the reason explained by all from Channel 4
    Gerry Adams trying to find the real Jesus what a load of bollix. I watched many a program that was based around or about the great leader but this takes the biscuit. He was never in the IRA but he was a devout catholic.
    The Chan 4 people have a brilliant sense of humour because they have produced and shown the many programs others wouldn’t, but this nonsense is beyond humour its down right vulgar. Maybe the British people believe this nonsense but god spare us I really hope we the proud Irish nation do not.
    I am lost for a word or explanation to say about Alan Mc Bride , his thoughts or views after seeing himself and Gerry on the program would I am sure make us all feel very small. Others have taken part in reconciliation in the past even Michael Stone whom most people hated, but I really believe was the worst attempt at reconciliation ever it was embarrassing to say the least , in my opinion he made a complete mockery of the poor man. Was this the best ambassador we a very proud nation could find to represent us.

  6. Gerry Adams s/f president for life ,mp, mla,wanna be Irish president,judas, and now the new messiah,

  7. I have long lost any illusions I might once have had about GA, but I found this programe shocking, is there nothing this man will not do to ingratiate himself with reaction. If anyone who is a member of SF still believes their president is a radical they surly must have lost this when watching this programe.

    He was directly appealing to the most reactionary elements within Ireland. Rather than challenging the church spokesman, he went along with all the crap. If you think how GA has changed the truth on its head over the last 20 years, imagine what those who wrote the Bible did, as the earliest gospel was written at best a hundred and more years after Jesus supposedly lived. I found it revealing that Adams thought this was fine. Implying it is what the bible teaches which is important not when it was written or by whom.

    He was given an out at one point by the biblical historian, did he take it, did he hell. By the way if you wish to know where Gerry went for advice about Pedos, you only had to watch this nonsense.

    The way he throws a few titbits to the boyos back home; and tries it on with a backward glance at his past, pitiful. It was as if he was saying unlike the rest of the jailbirds, who had those foreign ideas, I kept my faith attending mass daily.

    For sure Tomas now you know, you spent all those years engaged in a sectarian conflict based on religious differences, only you could not see it, all it took was Gerry to step up to the plate and get the Brits to act as an independent arbiter and hey presto, you all saw sense.

    All you need to do now is get down with him, onto your knees and pray for forgiveness, oh and say sorry at 10K a wack, over and over again.

    By the way what were all those monkish shots, bible in hand about? if he had a staff handy he could have parted the Sea of Galilee. Although it did make me smile when he paddled in the River Jordan and the woman looked at him in horror as she new it was full of pesticides and shit.

    Perhaps he was having a go at walking on water, say what you will he has been doing that back home for years whilst wading through shit.

  8. Hi Mick Gerry doesnt need to worry about anything that may infest the river Jordan ,nothing sticks to shit, and have you any idea how much Grecian 2000 £10k can buy,

    1175–1225; ME ipocrite < OF < LL hypocrita < Gk hypokritḗs a stage actor, hence one who pretends to be what he is not, equiv. to hypokrī́(nesthai) (see hypocrisy) + -tēs agent suffix.
    As the upper echelon of Sinn Fein climb higher(grow older) the thinning air clouds memory and judgment delusional utopia from the ArmaLite and the ballot box to the Bible and the ballot box.
    The party of god or the party of fraud as one nears mortality the gates of Hades become clearer and Dante’s “Abandon all hope ye who enter here” becomes a reality that youth ignores.
    Questioning Divine law is not just for theologians matters of faith being personal and complicated having faith implies hope which in turn shapes belief.
    Being a Roman Catholic unlike many the best I can hope for as a friend’s analogy politely puts it “a very long wait in an airport terminal without a departure time.”
    Politicians use belief to a degree for public relations a volatile mixture as ego masks truth. Sinn Fein even if their intentions are honest and principled chose to take the republican peoples party into the corruption of Parliament alongside all those other corrupt parties. In relative terms an upstart party with an old threat of armed struggle is hardly a match for the masters of political manipulation after all can they outsmart the English using the English language?
    In a sense Sinn Fein intentionally or not have legitimized British rule in the North.
    Republicanism is in chaos and can offer no real alternative and little political opposition. At day’s end the Union Jack flies proudly over a conquered people surmising even God has abandoned republicanism as people lose faith in the Church the same applies to political parties.

    Dia? In ainm an tsaoirse

  10. And to think that manys a Blanket Man smoked the Bible. I believe that the New Testament was milder than the Old one...

    For his next 10 grand we'll see Gerry head off to Tibet to meditate with a wee Buddhist Monk somewhere in the Himalayas.

    "These mountains remind me of Cavehill." He'll tell the wee monk, who'll reply;

    "Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.

    And Gerry'll with all the wisdom bestowed upon himself will say;

    "Always look on the Bright side of life...Woo Wee Woo Wee Woo Wee!"

  11. I am inclined to think that the original idea probably looked good to Channel 4. The original Jesus was a revolutionary; he had a band of followers which included a tout, he knew his life was on the line, especially after he started a riot in the temple.
    If Gerry had approached this honestly and said, OK there are parallels here I can talk about; leadership, confrontation with the state, danger, betrayal,a sense of mission and the lesson that violence doesn't get you a result - then this might have been a good programme; that is, if it had been the forum on which Gerry would finally come clean and be honest.
    I would guess that that is the sort of programme C4 hoped to get and that they perhaps now feel they have had their eye wiped by a presenter who gave so little.

  12. Mackers, brilliant as per usual. I have printed off a few copies for friends and I told B MC K I would get him one. Found the whole programme nauseating and choreographed. My friend warned me not to watch it, "you'll get flashbacks" she said "just put the pins in your eyes." Bet after she reads this she will be sticking pins in her eyes that she did have the nerve to have a peep. Do you think Mr Adams has an agent who gets him all these parts?

  13. Just had a thought, what happened to that pipe Adams was always posing with in the 1980s as if he was Harold?

  14. Gerry Adams is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy!

  15. If you're elected for SF are you appointed or annointed?
    And if it is classified as a Hate crime to deny the Holocaust surely there should be a similar law on European statute books to deny your role in the IRA? Being brought before the ECJ would really piss off his handlers.
    Gerry is more Walter Mitty than Walter Mitty me thinks.

  16. Dixie…
    "These Mountains remind me of Cavehill."
    I doubt Adams would mention the Cavehill considering the dissidents who gathered there and plotted the overthrow of his new employers.
    The last time Adams and company were in North Belfast they almost took a dip in the Waterworks (Queen Mary’s Gardens) as they stumbled while posing for pictures. Unlike Jesus Adams failed to walk on the water.

  17. Fitzy

    A powerful and pertinent post.