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← Malcolm Tucker would have been proud. Jesus would not.

Malcolm Tucker would have been proud. Jesus would not. - Comments

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 1 by Stevehill

You're on fire this week Paula. Well done.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 08:53:52 UTC | #521086

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 2 by Ivan The Not So Bad

We should be encouraged. History might show his speech on Thursday to have been the moment when the Pope finally jumped the shark.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 09:05:37 UTC | #521090

Stonyground's Avatar Comment 3 by Stonyground

The point about Jesus is well made. Yet another US end-time preacher has popped up recently and set judgement day for May 21st 2011. In the unlikely event that this guy is right, I think that Jesus is going to give Benny one hell of a bollocking.

(Not sure if the word 'bollocking' translates to other parts of the English speaking world, means telling off, dressing down, carpeting.)

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 09:07:55 UTC | #521093

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 4 by rod-the-farmer

Oooo. Strident.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 09:20:48 UTC | #521096

DanielK's Avatar Comment 5 by DanielK

The man who, according to a spokesman for the Roman Catholic church, is here to “dispense moral guidance”.

The arrogance! That is the most ironic thing of this whole episode. As Geoffrey Robertson said in an interview, many countries have not had proper investigations into sexual abuse of children by the RCC. If they do and the results are anywhere near as bad as in the US, Ireland, Germany and Belgium, hopefully no one will accept their "moral guidance" anymore.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 09:29:39 UTC | #521098

nickthelight's Avatar Comment 6 by nickthelight

I too have read Robertsons book; it's informative and completely arresting at points. In particular he points out that the punishment for a priest going to civil authorities with evidence of a child abuse is more severe, under Cannon law, than the 'punishment' meted out to the guilty party.

Now, if rape molestation and threats of damnation can be expunged through penance, prayer and confession, what then is Hell for?

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 09:43:07 UTC | #521102

Paula Kirby's Avatar Comment 7 by Paula Kirby

nickthelight: Now, if rape molestation and threats of damnation can be expunged through penance, prayer and confession, what then is Hell for?

Hell is for those who don't expunge their guilt through penance, prayer and confession. Hell is not for people who are bad. Hell is for people who don't believe.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 09:48:29 UTC | #521106

steveneu's Avatar Comment 8 by steveneu

Now, if rape molestation and threats of damnation can be expunged through penance, prayer and confession, what then is Hell for?

What an extremely good point!

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 09:50:21 UTC | #521108

steveneu's Avatar Comment 9 by steveneu

Comment 8 was written before reading Comment 7.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 09:52:06 UTC | #521109

sbooder's Avatar Comment 10 by sbooder

Oh, how aggressive of you Paula, I could hear your hammer pounding Christian heads with every word...actually I couldn’t, what I could hear was an eloquent, truthful and concise article on the indifference, prejudice and bile this man drags with him and pollutes the air with whenever he opens his mouth.

Well done.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 09:52:30 UTC | #521110

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 11 by Stevehill

I am reminded of the fable of the chief of the lost tribe, talking to the missionary:

Chief: So what if you had never come to tell me the good news? Would I and my people have all gone to hell?

Missionary: No my son, God would never punish you for something you could not possibly know about.

Chief: Well why did you tell me then?

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 10:03:21 UTC | #521115

Paula Kirby's Avatar Comment 12 by Paula Kirby

Stevehill: Missionary: No my son, God would never punish you for something you could not possibly know about.

The missionary's conviction is by no means universally shared in the Christian church. Indeed, for some Christians, it is the very fact that God does punish people for something they could not possibly know about that creates the need for missionary work in the first place.

Loving religion, isn't it?

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 10:18:10 UTC | #521125

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 13 by the great teapot

Always women

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 10:48:38 UTC | #521136

nickthelight's Avatar Comment 14 by nickthelight

Paula Kirby: Hell is for those who don't expunge their guilt through penance, prayer and confession. Hell is not for people who are bad. Hell is for people who don't believe.

So, no matter what crime a priest commits against children, he will face no punishment in this life or 'the next'?

I thought Hell was a deterrent against believers committing sin.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:05:31 UTC | #521148

Paula Kirby's Avatar Comment 15 by Paula Kirby

Welcome to the world of Catholicism, nickthlight. Absolute morality is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

Actually, it's not just Catholicism. The idea that believing in Jesus and repenting of your sins is enough to wipe them all away is central to most versions of Christianity. There are some that emphasise the importance of good works too, but as an addition to, not a substitute for, the believing and repenting bit. That, we are told, is what the crucifixion and resurrection were for.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:11:27 UTC | #521150

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 16 by AtheistEgbert

I view Ratzinger as more a clown of political shenanigans. It was his predecessor that was the true master Machiavellian.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:14:07 UTC | #521154

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 17 by scottishgeologist

Comment 15 by Paula:

Reminds me of a famous article I read ywears ago, CH Spurgeons "Defence of Calvinism",


In which he writes:

Did not God Himself appoint our parents, native place, and friends? Could He not have caused me to be born with the skin of the Hottentot, brought forth by a filthy mother who would nurse me in her "kraal," and teach me to bow down to Pagan gods, quite as easily as to have given me a pious mother, who would each morning and night bend her knee in prayer on my behalf? Or, might He not, if He had pleased, have given me some profligate to have been my parent, from whose lips I might have early heard fearful, filthy, and obscene language? Might He not have placed me where I should have had a drunken father, who would have immured me in a very dungeon of ignorance, and brought me up in the chains of crime? Was it not God's Providence that I had so happy a lot, that both my parents were His children, and endeavoured to train me up in the fear of the Lord?

Remarkable eh? even for Victorian times

But basically saying, I'm all right Jack, I'm saved.....God was good to me.

BTW, this Calvinistic style of theology is making a comeback in a lot of places, Southern Baptists for example. And I think it is quote common among a lot of independent churches.

:-) SG

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:21:33 UTC | #521156

Vaal's Avatar Comment 18 by Vaal

Superbly written Paula. As you, I have been appalled by the obsequious fawning of the media these last few days. I have also been shamed by the lack of our elected representatives to stand up for democracy and secularism. They have almost all been so busy brown-nosing that it is if the old fool can say anything without any criticism. What they should be doing is listening to what the old bigot is actually saying and vociferously responding to it.

They should also be pointing out that his record speaks for itself, and what an appalling human rights record it is! If it was a politician spouting such poisonous bile, the newspapers would have hung, drawn and quartered him, and our comedians would have had ammunition for decades. They would most probably now be writing out their letters of resignation or back-peddling as furiously as they did in the expenses scandal.

Thankfully, I did manage to turn on the news last night, without feeling physically sick, to see the breath of fresh air of QC Geoffrey Robinson articulately decimate Ratzingers self-imposed moral authority, and utterly rout the apologetics of the Papal visit.

I haven’t seen RD’s splendid speech yet in the news, but I would like to think that with articles such as yours, reasonable and searching, that Ratzinger will be seen for what he really is, and what he stands for, underneath the thin veneer of holy pomposity.

Let’s hope that once the old fool has departed our shores, after insulting and maligning the vast majority of the taxpayers who are hoofing the outrageous multi-million Pound cost of his propaganda visit, that the media becomes a little more objective.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:35:27 UTC | #521159

RW Millam's Avatar Comment 19 by RW Millam

Excellent article, Paula. The only downside to reading your work is that I'm learning more about the RCC than I ever wanted to know -- and it depresses me that anyone still claims a membership in that vile, criminal sect.

I followed you on Facebook yesterday as this debacle unfolded. Congratulations on holding your emotions in check as you wrote for the Herald. I'm not sure the newsprint could have handled the full measure of your disgust. (Paper ignites at 451 degrees F., you know.)

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:36:48 UTC | #521162

Logicel's Avatar Comment 20 by Logicel

Excellent essay.

During the Papal™ visit I am looking for less than an expected turnout for the Pope™ and a bigger turnout than anticipated for protests. So far so good. Media coverage is desirable also--not so great in that department yet. Afterwards, I am looking for an continued criticism of Catholicism/analysis of the finished Papal™ visit by various talented and smart critics coupled with on-going atheist activism.

Yeah, baby!

Updated: Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:49:56 UTC | #521166

maria melo's Avatar Comment 21 by maria melo

Thanks this for permission. "Fake human rights" ah ?!!!!.... Yes, I could say so :"to hid the sun behind a sieve".

Updated: Sun, 19 Sep 2010 11:55:20 UTC | #521168

Ygern's Avatar Comment 22 by Ygern

A blistering critique. Superb writing, Paula!

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 12:33:01 UTC | #521191

catlover's Avatar Comment 23 by catlover

Brilliant article,Paula. "Ratzspeak", love it!

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 12:34:09 UTC | #521192

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Comment 24 by Tiende Landeplage

Excellent, Paula. I am hoping for a book collection of your writings.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 12:42:49 UTC | #521195

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 25 by Ivan The Not So Bad

Here is where to complain about the BBC coverage:

BBC Complaints Homepage

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 12:45:37 UTC | #521198

kscally's Avatar Comment 26 by kscally

For religion the only world that truly matters is the one we enter after we die.

That is what they want you to think. Actually the evidence from their behaviour suggests that exactly the opposite is the case. The next life is the carrot and the stick they use to achieve power very much in this earthbound life. It is the excuse they offer for their accumulation of wealth. The future life is the panacea they offer for the poor they rob, and their barrier against accusations of rape and torture.

Do not leave the religious demagogues with their pathetic defence. They care one hell of a lot more about this life and their personal comfort and security within it than you do. That is their true ideology. If they really believe they are facing a final judgement in some next life, don't you think they would have a personal conscience? Or don't you think they would be prepared to let you take your chances?

Not at all. For religious cults the only world that truly matters is the one where they can exercise power.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 13:11:04 UTC | #521205

Son_Of's Avatar Comment 27 by Son_Of

oh hey that's not fair. i like malcom tucker. sure he's manipulative and bullish but for the observant viewer there is the odd glimpse that he is driven by a belief in a fair and just society and that he thinks his brutal approach is the only way to make progress in a dirty system.

i take your point though that JR may be deviously stirring up other controversy to deflect from his senior role in a massive criminal operation of dreadful gravity

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 13:31:51 UTC | #521213

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 28 by chawinwords

In politics or religion, and whenever corruption is the issue, the best defense is always a diversion. Hence, blame Darwin (neither a politician nor a cleric) and secularist like Dawkins etc., for all that ails the world and not the movers and shakers from the netherworld (religion -- the world of the dead). Some things will never change!

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 13:54:29 UTC | #521218

Marc Country's Avatar Comment 29 by Marc Country

OK, seriously: why are there no brave British police officers? It seems to me that a precinct chief, or sergeant, or someone, could (SHOULD) direct a squad of officers to detain Ratzinger during his visit, in order to investigate the credible criminal allegations against him.

Surely, they cannot simply ignore the calls for any mans arrest based on clear evidence, and still expect respect from their law-abiding fellow citizenry.

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 13:54:30 UTC | #521219

Zelig's Avatar Comment 30 by Zelig

The BBC's coverage has been, at times, sickeningly dishonest. And to think we're all paying for this, regardless of the facts. So this is what a "mature democracy" looks like? Isn't progress wonderful. . . I assume the only reason we're not being actively prosecuted for "hate crime speech" is that there's far too many of us; how ironic.

Again and again the BBC dishonestly represented the sex-abuse scandal as being acknowledged by the Church as a great evil, for which it and the Pope profoundly apologised! What about the plain fact that it and He done everything in their power to cover things up!? Didn't this incontestable fact merit greater exposure? Apparently not. God bless the BBC. Who needs journalistic integrity when you've got period dramas, wildlife documentaries, sport, Muslim Driving School, Strictly, and so much more. . .

Sun, 19 Sep 2010 14:00:10 UTC | #521221