Monty Python’s letter—apparently thousands of these were sent out—to judgemental people who had never actually even seen their 1979 film Life of Brian but who nevertheless found it to be blasphemous anyway:
Thank you for your letter regarding the film Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Whilst we understand your concern, we would like to correct some misconceptions you may have about the film which may be due to the fact that you have not had the chance to see it before forming your views. The film is set in Biblical times, but it is not about Jesus. It is a comedy, but we would like to think that it does have serious attitudes and certain things to say about human nature. It does not ridicule Christ, nor does it show Christ in any way that could offend anyone, nor is belief in God or Christ a subject dealt with in the film.
We are aware that certain organizations have been circulating misinformation on these points and are sorry that you have been misled. We hope you will go see the film yourself and come to your own conclusions about its virtues and defects. In any case, we hope you find it funny.
Below, some images I found of the “haters” protesting Life of Brian in 1979:
I’m not sure, but I think that maybe this one is supposed to rhyme?
Here’s one of the most infamous BBC broadcasts of the late 1970s: On November 9th, after Life of Brian had been banned by many local councils in Britain for being blasphemous, Tim Rice –the lyricist of Jesus Christ Superstar, which itself had been accused of blasphemy earlier in the decade—hosted a debate between Malcolm Muggeridge and Mervyn Stockwood (the then Bishop of Southwark) representing Christians and on the other side were two Pythons, John Cleese and Michael Palin defending their film. It’s an amazing and important bit of television history and gets quite tense.