Female vicar causes controversy with obscene car sticker

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Female vicar causes controversy with obscene car sticker

A Cambridgeshire vicar has caused offence amongst churchgoers in her parish by displaying a bumper sticker with the letters 'WTFWJD?'

A play on the established 'What Would Jesus Do?' evangelical motto, which adorns stickers, t-shirts and wristbands across the globe, the bumper sticker had sat on the back of Rev Alice Goodman's red Subaru Legacy for seven years.
> It was only when a parishioner realised that the sticker stood for 'What The F*** Would Jesus Do?' and sent a picture of the offending graphic to a local newspaper, did the furore occur.

The unnamed worshipper sent an anonymous letter accompanying the snap, referencing the Bible's prohibition of swearing.

However, the 54-year-old American-born vicar remains unrepentant over her choice of bumper adornment, stating that critics should "get a life".

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Rev Goodman said: "F*** is not a blasphemy, it's a vulgarity, an Old English word.

"My bishop knows I have the sticker on my car, and has no difficulty with it, and I've had the former Archbishop of Canterbury in my car, Rowan Williams, and he didn't raise an eyebrow."

Female vicar causes controversy with obscene car sticker

The vicar, who is married to Sir Geoffrey Hill, professor of poetry at Oxford University, said she never used such language in her sermons and that the bumper sticker was just a stunt to get people's attention and raise awareness of the church.

She also insists that in the context of the bumper sticker, such language did not take the Lord's name in vain.

John Beer, the Archdeacon of Cambridge, came to the vicar's defence, saying he thought the sticker didn't cause a problem.

"It sounds like the Rev Alice Goodman has responded in all good conscience to the criticism of this anonymous newspaper reader," he commented.

"Perhaps a way forward may be for the vicar and the reader to meet together to discuss it further.

"Christianity has a long tradition of open debate where people can bring their differing views and share their perspectives."