Some Christians recently made headlines when they decided to cart a large couch and barbecue to the top of Mt Taranaki.

This obviously upset local iwi as the mountain is tapu or sacred and cooking on top of it is a big no-no.

Everybody knows that the mountain is tapu, certainly all those on the "What's Happening on Top of Mt Taranaki" mailing list.

A basic rule of thumb in New Zealand is: If in doubt, just assume that it is tapu.

The fact that it is tapu is one of the reasons I have never actually climbed it myself. The other is the fact that I can't be stuffed.

Let's face it, a Christian barbecue under normal circumstances sounds about as much fun as, well, a Muslim barbecue.

But I think the Christians need to apologise not only for their cultural insensitivity (a trait we have seen from them throughout history) but also for their stupidity.

Why not take up an inflatable couch and small camp-style cooker ideally suited to the circumstances?

My Great Uncle Kenny, nicknamed the Taranaki Mountain Goat, has been a mountain guide in that area for more than 40 years and had never heard that it was culturally insensitive to cook and eat on top of Mt Taranaki.

He is, however, the first to admit that he has never actually climbed the mountain himself, choosing to spend most of his time on the coast, or at his partner Raylene's flat in Palmerston North. It was Raylene who gave him his nickname.

This is, of course, the same Uncle Kenny who was involved in a plane crash in the Peruvian Andes, much like the infamous incident involving a South American rugby team two years earlier.

The bulk of the passengers on Uncle Kenny's plane, however, were new recruits into the Jenny Craig programme.

In both tragic crashes the survivors had to eat their fellow passengers to survive. However many people have since argued that Uncle Kenny's plane may never have crashed at all, had the pilots not been the first to be eaten.

But let's get back to the present controversy.

The barbecue looked fairly lame - there was no alcohol involved, so local iwi can be thankful that there wasn't more long-term damage caused to the mountain.

The guy carrying the couch all the way to the top was certainly engaging in some sort of act of martyrdom, designed to resemble the burden Jesus had to bear when he carried his cross up Golgotha.

If they really wanted to make a scene they should have conducted a mock crucifixion on top of Mt Taranaki over Easter.

Carrying a barbecue, as opposed to something more practical like a camping cooker, is another prime example of the impracticalities of modern religion, always focusing on unimportant symbolism, as opposed to common sense.

Jesus didn't feed the 40,000 with a humungous sausage sizzle.

He did it simply and tastefully by breaking fish and loaves, and both would have been easy to transport to the top of the mountain.

But no, they had to cart up the sacred barbecue and holy sofa.

The Christians were clearly showboating.

Mt Everest, the mother of all mountains, is extremely sacred to the local sherpas - yet Sherpa Tensing and Edmund Hillary shared some food and soup at the summit, because if they hadn't they probably wouldn't have had the strength to get down and take their place in history.

The point is, common sense must always be the deciding factor, and I am glad I wasn't at that barbecue.