Last night I spent at my parents’ since I do not have a television… or that is I don’t have access to any television signal. And yesterday evening the Danish public service channel DR2 (also known as the egghead channel since it mainly broadcasts cultural and political programs) transmitted three programs about Rembrandt. One of them taking place in Statens Museum for Kunst where some of my colleagues were interviewed. Cool.
But…what I want to tell you about is the excellent news program that followed: “Deadline”. This evening they had called on the Secretary of Education and Church, Bertel Haarder and Ph.d. in history of religions and associate professor of the University of Copenhagen Mikael Rothstein. The two men were to discuss the future of the tuition of religion in the Danish elementary school and whether it is (as according to Rothstein) not secular enough.
Right wing Bertel Haarder is an old school Danish Christian which means that he is a tolerant protestant who cheers for the popular “Grundtvigianske” branch of the Danish church. He also believes, with some right, that Danish culture is inextricable from a Christian ideology, and he concludes: Danish kids should know their bible and secondly know something about other religions. In other words: he takes his double title seriously…
Mikael Rothstein: Atheist and scholar of various religions. He thinks it is problematic with a school focusing on one religion and doing it (according to him) with an intention of evangelizing.
What was so enjoyable (to an old atheist and socialist as myself) was seeing rock hard Haarder being humiliated completely. And not only humilitated but humiliated by the most cordial, nicely talking and hot looking humanist from hell Rothstein. Haarder is normally most eloquent but Rothstein’s charming way of attacking without making unjust allegations silenced the unbeatable minister. He kept summing up their differences of opinion and kept asking how Haarder could be a serious representative of the political sphere (not the religious) and the total Danish population and still wanting to evangelize. Haarder just looked more and more like a nervous ostrich (normally he just looks like an ostrich) and kept repeating the same sentences.
Oh – it was pure enjoyment. Of course intellectual and ideological enjoyment, but surprisingly enough also a visual enjoyment with the sweating Haarder and the wonderfully looking Rothstein. Just my idea of a hot man: highly intelligent AND good looking. Go ahead and google them;-)
Now THAT is television!