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Undermining the faith - Comments

AndrewP's Avatar Comment 1 by AndrewP

Reminds me of the joke about the American tourist on vacation in Scotland and, upon seeing a man wearing a kilt for the first time in her life, approaches him.
Girl: Is anything worn under the kilt?
Angus: Nay, lassie; it's all brrrand nooo.

Mon, 03 May 2010 00:12:00 UTC | #465125

mimsyswallows's Avatar Comment 2 by mimsyswallows

Bugger me... I can't believe I just read that. What's wrong with the woman?

Okay, yes - 'bugger me' is a bad choice of words. It goes with the territory.

Mon, 03 May 2010 00:27:00 UTC | #465130

Crazycharlie's Avatar Comment 3 by Crazycharlie

"...Men above men, or prats
In your high hats
You priest, you mullah so high
You pope, you 'wise' rabbi
You are invisible to me
Like vapor from the sea..."

"... How dare you be the one to assess
Me, in this God-forsaken mess
You, a man in a purple dress
A man in a purple dress..."

Popes, priests, mullahs, rabbis all look ridiculous in their dresses.

Mon, 03 May 2010 00:31:00 UTC | #465132

GodlessHeathen's Avatar Comment 4 by GodlessHeathen

the "they are picking on me!" defense. UUuuuhhhrrgh.

Mon, 03 May 2010 00:42:00 UTC | #465134

jackal's Avatar Comment 5 by jackal

It's odd that no one ever uses the word "dresses" to describe the ankle-length liturgical garments worn by Episcopal priests. Nor are Protestant ministers or Jewish rabbis derided as cross-dressers when they don long robes for religious services. Has anyone ever called the Dalai Lama "a man in a dress"?

I'm sure we would, if we caught them covering up for clergy who were caught sexually assaulting children.

Or Genghis Khan? Not unless you wanted to see your ribcage sliced into salami by a scimitar.
Um, Mongol envy?

Mon, 03 May 2010 00:59:00 UTC | #465139

prolibertas's Avatar Comment 6 by prolibertas

No, Charlotte, ranting about something trivial isn't going to distract people from the real issues. Sorry.

Mon, 03 May 2010 01:53:00 UTC | #465148

Crazymalc's Avatar Comment 7 by Crazymalc

I think the Dalai Lama would laugh if you said he was a man in a dress. I don't think he would slice your ribcage into a salami

Mon, 03 May 2010 02:12:00 UTC | #465150

mirandaceleste's Avatar Comment 8 by mirandaceleste

Mon, 03 May 2010 02:23:00 UTC | #465151

secondsoprano's Avatar Comment 9 by secondsoprano

The whole "men in dresses" thing (including Richard's "leering old villan in a frock" comment) annoys me too, though for very different reasons than Ms Allen's beef.

It's thrown in as a thoughtless general negative, in the same way as "that's so gay".

It's used as a linguistic shortcut for "ridiculous/not to be taken seriously/pretty unsavoury/generally unlikeable".

Don't get me wrong - I ABSOLUTELY consider the catholic priesthood to be ridiculous, not to be taken seriously, pretty unsavoury and generally unlikeable, but that's not because they wear dresses.

There are plenty of good arguments to be made against the pope and his ilk, and plenty of ways to ridicule them. Using the fact that they wear robes is a pretty poor effort, considering.

Mon, 03 May 2010 02:24:00 UTC | #465152

Papalinton's Avatar Comment 10 by Papalinton

"Undermining the Faith"

If faith is not able to establish its bona fides (and I use it in a legal sense) in the glare and rigour of modern thinking and science, then so be it. It collapses under its own fallacious structure.

Mon, 03 May 2010 02:34:00 UTC | #465154

Phasic's Avatar Comment 11 by Phasic

I agree with secondsorprano. There are plenty of reasons to disagree with, and on occasion ridicule, the Catholic Church. What they wear is beside the point.

I have a university degree or two, and I've worn the robe and funny hat, as have many here.

Not to mention that the whole "Teehee, men in frocks!" is ridicule based in concepts of rigidly-policed binary gender roles, and we don't need to go there, either.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong in wearing a dress. I've worn dresses on a number of occasions.

Mon, 03 May 2010 02:40:00 UTC | #465155

hoops mccann's Avatar Comment 12 by hoops mccann

Victim, victim, victim. Yawn.

Comment #485951 by Phasic: "I've worn dresses on a number of occasions."

Are you a lumberjack?

Mon, 03 May 2010 03:37:00 UTC | #465160

genetheory's Avatar Comment 13 by genetheory

Was watching this video today (see below) and commenting to my better half that once you decide that these nutters look hysterically funny in their rediculous costumes, it's almost impossible to take anything they do or say seriously. You just laugh out loud and their pomposity melts away. That goes for all of them, not just the catholics.

This lot (see below) for instance, look like they are auditioning for extra's in a bad Star Trek, inter-planetary convention scene lol

Mon, 03 May 2010 03:39:00 UTC | #465161

Eshto's Avatar Comment 14 by Eshto

Speaking as a godless homosexual here, I wouldn't make fun of the virgins in dresses if they didn't go around making proclamations about what is "normal" in terms of sex, gender and relationships. They are constantly saying I am depraved and sinful (or "objectively disordered" as Ratzinger puts it) and fighting against my rights. Virgin men in dresses and child rapists telling me there is something wrong with my sexuality...

Mon, 03 May 2010 03:45:00 UTC | #465162

genetheory's Avatar Comment 15 by genetheory

Comment #485948 by secondsoprano - whilst I take your point that it may be seen as a 'cheap shot', it is however, a wonderful opportunity to burst the bubble of authority that they like to drape themselves in. It's fairly difficult to maintain authority over someone who is laughing at you. They choose to dress themselves in ludicrous costumes - whether they look like dresses, star trek delgation uniforms or disney character costumes, the net result is that they look rediculous. They deserve to be laughed at for how they seek to give themselves extra authority by dressing in a way that nobody else would choose. If what they choose to wear just so happens to look like a dress, then unfortunately it IS a fairly obvious comparison to make.

The catholics in particular also seem to be terrified of femininity. It does seem somehow ironic that they would choose to wear what reminds us of traditionally female clothing.

Mon, 03 May 2010 04:18:00 UTC | #465165

Kmita's Avatar Comment 16 by Kmita

"The pope heads an organization that protects child molesters" would just be another media "cheap shot" in this persons eyes, no matter the validity of the statement.

"the kimonos of Japanese samurai"

At least the samurai had the good sense to cut themselves open for besmirching their own honor.

Mon, 03 May 2010 04:36:00 UTC | #465167

Narvi's Avatar Comment 17 by Narvi

"Has anyone ever called the Dalai Lama "a man in a dress"?"

Yes. Also, priests of all religions. It's not uncommon if you actually take the time to listen to people.

Mon, 03 May 2010 04:37:00 UTC | #465168

Logicel's Avatar Comment 18 by Logicel

The Catholic Church is ridiculous, and even without this latest scandal, deserves every bit of scorn it gets. As does Allen who apparently has cottage cheese between her ears (being an faith-head does that to your brain).

Allen, your church is being confronted, criticized, and ridiculed because it is fitting to do so because of its beliefs and actions. As you are also because you are as idiotic as the church of which you are a member. No respect for either one of you. Your faith may be precious to you, but it is non-evidential while supporting and encouraging many negative aspects like prejudice, hypocrisy, ignorance, etc. It is an ugly religion whether you think it is or not. Your inability to recognize what piece of crap Catholicism is, is your problem, not ours. We will continue to criticize and hold up to the light of reason your archaic and dangerous beliefs.

It is your beliefs, stupid, and not a conspiracy because of some specialized form of anti-Catholicism. Your brain-dead and sewage-filled beliefs just happen to be Catholic. The unsuitability of your ideas is the focus, not its Catholic nature.

Mon, 03 May 2010 04:51:00 UTC | #465170

zengardener's Avatar Comment 19 by zengardener

Professional atheists Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins

Where's my check?

Oh wait...Those men actually contribute to society for their money.

The author of this article seems to forget that the jibes about dresses are superfluous. It is the most obviously true statement, but meaningless compared to "rape, conspiracy to rape, oppression of women, suspension of rights, mental torture, Child rape, raping of children and then telling those children that they should pray for forgiveness."

Honorable men in dresses are given respect.

Just ask Samurai Jack and The Scotsman.

Mon, 03 May 2010 04:57:00 UTC | #465171

Hamilton Jacobi's Avatar Comment 20 by Hamilton Jacobi

This lot (see below) for instance, look like they are auditioning for extra's in a bad Star Trek, inter-planetary convention scene lol

This meme seems to be picking up steam. So far only the Lutherans have really been burned by it, but I suspect visitors to the Vatican are now inspected carefully for Star Wars paraphernalia.

EDIT: Since when are URLs automatically stripped out? Anyway, the video is here:

Mon, 03 May 2010 05:12:00 UTC | #465174

Papalinton's Avatar Comment 21 by Papalinton

"Professional atheists Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins...." much more preferred over: ' Professional shaman Pope Ratstinker .........'

Mon, 03 May 2010 05:25:00 UTC | #465176

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 22 by mordacious1

Maybe Charlotte Allen doesn't understand what's going on, maybe she's just trying to obfuscate the issue...the latter would be my guess, unless she's just been drinking the purple kool-aid for too long.

I was just reading a book where the author was using "immoral" in a manner that I thought was questionable, so I typed "immoral definition" into yahoo search and the first three hits were about the Vatican...before the dictionary defintion. That's how the situation stands now.

Picking your boogers in front of people is inappropriate and rude, but certainly not immoral.

Men wearing dresses in the U.S. is not normal (might even be funny sometimes), but that in itself is not immoral.

Fucking and torturing children IS immoral and criminal. Covering it up IS immoral and criminal. This is what we are talking about. So Ms. Allen can just go eat a baby's diaper (sorry, watched Family Guy tonight) and piss off.

Mon, 03 May 2010 05:34:00 UTC | #465178

Phasic's Avatar Comment 23 by Phasic

hoops mccan:
I'm not a lumberjack, but I am OK, and do indeed sleep all night and work all day.

Anyway, I don't really want to defend Charlotte Allen. I'm just saying the robes/frocks/dresses aren't the issue, the covering up of the child rape is the issue.

But then we may well descend into one of those arguments about "tone", and I fear we shall never escape.

Mon, 03 May 2010 05:57:00 UTC | #465182

mira's Avatar Comment 24 by mira

I do speak out when 'feminity' or 'gay' is used as a synonyme for stupid or weak or what ever degrading. However, I don't see an issue here right now and if I will suddenly, you can count on me to speak out again.
It only works the way it does on RCC because it itself chooses to take any hints on feminity or gay culture as severe offence. I say then let's hand some more to them and let them choke on their own bigotry.

EDIT: On a second thought the association to the Catholic Church may not look good on dresses... but I like dresses. So stop making the connection!

Mon, 03 May 2010 06:39:00 UTC | #465190

Rodger T's Avatar Comment 25 by Rodger T

Dare I suggest to Charlotte ,that, the media didn`t expose anything that the church did not already know about?

Also, a signature on documents is hardly "microscopic evidence".

Mon, 03 May 2010 06:43:00 UTC | #465191

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 26 by Richard Dawkins

To those here who complain that ridiculing the frocks and silly hats is to emphasise the suburbs of the issue and miss the main drag . . . Yes, you have a point. If ridicule really did distract attention from the important charges against the church, it should not be used. But the RC church gets away with what it does precisely because it expects, and hitherto has received, excessive respect. Priests are honoured guests at dinner tables, they are revered, looked up to, their opinions sought. It is precisely this elevated position of respect and authority that enables them to prey on bewildered children, who have been brought up to think that a priest can do no wrong. And it is the same misplaced respect that leads adults to abet the cover-ups and resist attempts to bring the culprits to civil justice.

The priests' exaggerated sense of dignity and entitlement, and the public acquiescence in it, is an important part of the problem. I therefore maintain that, far from being irrelevant, ridicule is a precisely targeted weapon. Let's prick the bubble of priestly dignity and respect.


Mon, 03 May 2010 06:44:00 UTC | #465192

Rodger T's Avatar Comment 27 by Rodger T

Anddddd, if anything is in dire need of undermining,its that disgusting edifice .

Mon, 03 May 2010 06:49:00 UTC | #465193

Phasic's Avatar Comment 28 by Phasic

"emphasise the suburbs of the issue and miss the main drag..."

I see what you did there...

Anyway, yes, point made and taken. I just also think that academics aren't always in a position to poke fun at other people's funny robes. Unless they are also poking fun at their own. Which I admit they do a lot...
Ah crap I need more coffee.

Mon, 03 May 2010 06:52:00 UTC | #465194

Reckless Monkey's Avatar Comment 29 by Reckless Monkey

Comment #485958 by Eshto on May 3, 2010 at 4:45 am "Virgin men in dresses"

Problem is very few of them are virgins.

Mon, 03 May 2010 07:18:00 UTC | #465199

Craigmcg's Avatar Comment 30 by Craigmcg

Ridicule and scoffing at their beliefs is a potent weapon at the grass roots. I never raise the subject of religion but don`t half take the piss when it comes up, I rarely decline an opportunity. After reading The God Delusion I have a whole new set of tools. Keep laughing at them and they will get the message. By the way, the kilt is not a dress.

Mon, 03 May 2010 07:24:00 UTC | #465202