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King James Bible

8 October – 6 November

‘Amid the paraliturgical proceedings, the quotation of Scripture was not wanting’

In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Book that changed the world.

An ensemble of leading actors including Alan Howard, Alex Jennings, Paterson Joseph, Patricia Routledge and Simon Russell Beale will read twelve extracts edited by Edward Kemp.

In the Beginning Let My People Go The Line of David

Psalms of David and Song of Solomon Where Shall Wisdom be Found? The People that Walked in Darkness The Gospels According to Mark, Matthew, Luke and John The Tongues of Men and Angels Revelation

Tickets from £5. Groups offers available. WIN TICKETS

For your chance to win one of six pairs of tickets to a reading of your choice, send your name, daytime telephone number and email address to the below address or email Competition closes on Friday 23 September. Subject to availability.

Theatre Competition, The Tablet,1 King St Cloisters, Clifton Walk, London, W6 OGY

020 7452 3000 no booking fee South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

14 | THE TABLET | 17 September 2011

A photograph of Robert Peraza – one knee on the hard paving at the 9/11 memorial in Manhattan, head pressed against the polished surface of the wall of names and one hand on the name of his son, one among the 2,983 inscribed there – featured prominently in the Financial Times, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, The Sun, The Guardian, The Times and The Daily Telegraph on the morning following the tenth anniversary. The popular press reported the memorial events in New York, Washington and Shanksville quite as prominently as the heavyweights, excepting the Daily Express which mentioned nothing on its front page and set aside one page inside, where its rivals each offered two double- page spreads in colour. The Express has become so dull and foolish a paper that it is hard to remember that 600,000 a day still buy it. Amid the paraliturgical proceedings of last Sunday’s event in the United States, the quotation of Scripture and the invocation of God were not wanting, in this nation where Church and State are formally separated. They were reported haphazardly in Britain. President George W. Bush read from a letter sent by Abraham Lincoln to a mother who had lost five sons in the American Civil War, The Guardian reported: “I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming.” It was The Independent that

reported the other half of Mr Bush’s quotation: “I pray that our heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” President Barack Obama, the Financial Times and others reported, “read from Psalm 46 at Ground Zero, saying, ‘God is our strength’ and ‘therefore we will not fear’”. The separate remembrance meeting at the Pentagon had at times “a distinctly Old Testament air

of defiant revenge”, reported Toby Harnden for The Daily Telegraph. “No prayer alone can dampen the yearning that must fire yet inside you,” said Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. Despite the general reluctance of the British press to report words about God, which they see as a minority interest, this was a day when formal memorials in church were recorded. The Mirror said that in Manhattan, “at nearby St Patrick’s Cathedral another service was held in memory of the hundreds of firefighters who lost their lives”. The Sun reported that the service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London “featured a newly commissioned anthem based on a message sent by the Queen in the wake of the attacks. The song, arranged to music by American composer Nico Muhly, is based around the monarch’s words, ‘Grief is the price we pay for love’.” Among the events of the day around the world, it noted that “Pope Benedict XVI prayed for the victims and called on world leaders to resist a ‘temptation towards hatred’.” Two discordant incidents were

picked out, from New York and London. “Three blocks away,” wrote Giles Whittell, from New York for The Times, “the rancid bigotry of Fred Phelps’ notorious Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas was on display in placards calling 9/11 ‘God’s fury against homosexuals’.” The correspondent said that Mr Phelps “has given America the ultimate test of its resolve to defend the right to disagree. He has the law but not the people on his side. ‘This event is like a funeral. Families are walking by,’ said Patty Madden, looking on with her daughter. ‘It shouldn’t be allowed.’” From Grosvenor Square in

London, Alex Peake reported for The Sun. “Cops held back more than 100 chanting extremists armed with megaphones trying to march on the US Embassy. One yelled out in a rant against the West: ‘We don’t want your freedom!’ “The banner-waving mob cruelly waited to torch the Stars and Stripes just as a minute’s silence was held during the ceremony to mark when the first hijacked airliner hit the World Trade Center. Further shameful scenes saw them clash with far-right yobs protesting against THEM and throwing bottles. ‘These two groups are taking over what is supposed to be a sacred day,’ Diane, from Chiswick, West London, said.”

■ Christopher Howse is an assistant editor of The Daily Telegraph.

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