has come out in defense of Top Gear
host Jeremy Clarkson
after the Reverend Graeme Anderson, vicar of St. Mary's Church in Radcliffe-on-Trent
, complained that the entertainer "trivialized, belittled and cheapened" Jesus Christ. Clarkson has a long history of rousing the ire of different groups, and Anderson specifically took issue with a segment in which Clarkson took the wheel of the KTM X-Bow
. After hearing Clarkson's exclamations of "God almighty" and "Jesus wept," Anderson says he was both surprised and upset. The vicar has since vowed to never watch Top Gear
After petitioning both Clarkson and the BBC for an apology, the network responded by saying the speech is part of everyday language, and that while its program strives to portray society as it really is, it respects the "fundamental human right to exercise freedom of thought, conscience and religion."
Clarkson has remained uncharacteristically mute on the dustup.