ORIGINAL STORY: Some members of Hobart’s Christian community say they are disturbed by a series of inverted crucifixes which have been erected across the city in celebration of the annual Dark Mofo Festival, fearing that their presence will invite “the devil” to Tassie.
Speaking with the ABC, Tasmanian Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Mark Brown, has branded the wonky crosses “highly offensive”.
“The cross is a very important symbol,” he said. “What are we inviting in with these sort of symbols and the cult focus of these events?
“In the words of Jesus, the devil only comes to kill, steal and to destroy; my question is, is that something Hobartians really want?”
And Brown is rousing his fellow believers to speak out against what he says are Dark Mofo’s “occult” symbols, which he equates with “fear, anxiety and torment”.
“I don’t think those are things most people would want to invite in willingly or unwillingly,” he said.
“We’re dealing with spiritual forces here. I don’t think those involved with this event… would disagree with the spiritual realm being a real thing.”
Meanwhile, Hobart pastor Kim Valentine has confessed that he himself is “offended but not scared” by the contentious geometry, adding that, “There are many things about MONA that have a veiled joke at Christianity. Another is the guy being buried under Macquarie Street and being resurrected three days later… I wonder why Islam is not ridiculed in the same way?”
However, University of Tasmania Fellowship of Christians campus Director Mike Lynch reckons his fellow Christian leaders need “chill out”, calling the whole thing “a bit boring”.
“Being buried under the road is a bit like a Jackass episode, and hanging a cross upside down is like a Grade 12 art installation, so just chill out,” Lynch told the ABC.
“It’s a religious symbol and so for some people it is precious, so of course people are going to find that hurtful. For Christians, the cross is a symbol of shame and it’s about God taking on shame for the salvation of the word, so there’s a weird irony in getting offended by a symbol which in itself is offensive.”
Meanwhile, ICYMI: Tim Minchin and Chrysta Bell are some of the latest musical highlights to join 2018’s massive Dark Mofo lineup.
The huge festival, which will take place in and around Hobart this month, is already being headlined by St. Vincent, Zola Jesus and Alice Glass (of Crystal Castles fame).
UPDATE: In a statement to Music Feeds, Dark Mofo Creative Director Leigh Carmichael says:
“Dark Mofo has been exploring ancient mythology and religious themes since its inception in 2013.
“The cross is a powerful and deeply significant historical symbol, that has been used for thousands of years, with many cross-cultural meanings.
“For many, this symbol evokes an emotional response for reasons that we don’t fully understand.
“While we respect and understand different interpretations, we cannot be responsible for attitudes that people bring to the festival.”