Christians' Cross

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 6:36 AM

Rooney loves fingerpaint time at Kindy.

Lifted from The Independent:

* On the day Wayne Rooney returned to England's starting line-up, off-the-pitch activities have once more put him in the firing line. The Liverpudlian superhero's new Nike advert - pictured right - has upset right-wing Christians, who see it as a "bastardised" portrayal of the Crucifixion.

In the billboard poster, unveiled to great ceremony this week, the striker appeared with arms outstretched, and red paint across his naked front. Since Rooney is England's supposed saviour, critics believe this to be an unwieldy attempt to draw parallels between his swift return from injury and Christ's Resurrection.

The pressure group Christian Voice - which has run a long, noisy campaign against Jerry Springer: the Opera - yesterday issued a stern condemnation of the Nike poster.

"The cross is so iconic that it sadly being often used in advertising in a tasteless manner," said the organisation's national director, Stephen Green. "There are surely other ways for Nike to get their message across. Footballers are exalted celebrities. I'm not blaming the players, but their agents should think a little more carefully about the kind of publicity they get sucked into."

Nike, for its part, denied that the poster was designed to offend.

"This shot is not intended to have religious connotations," said a spokesman. "It's a celebration of Wayne Rooney's unique goal celebration style represented with a St George Cross. Wayne celebrates with his arms outstretched."

Once again Christian groups with too much time have shown us the right path. Hallelujah! And in line with Christian Voice's belief that every cross is their cross, Couch Culture will now be boycotting the use of the letters "t" and "x", in case their use offends our right-wing religious friends.

Couch Cul-ure also sugges-s Chris-ian Voice should speak wi-h -he Red Cross, Swi-zerland, Sco-land, all Scandanavian coun-ries, the Mal-ese, halfbred dogs, and of course -he musical duo "Kris Kross" abou- -heir misuse of -his mos- sacred of symbols.

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