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Holy (roasted?) cow! My oven believes in God

Atheists might well expect to find religious nonsense intruding, uninvited, into the most unlikely corners of their lives, but sometimes even their wildest expectations are exceeded. As were mine today.

I installed a Miele 5681 oven in my Norfolk kitchen last week. ‘Big deal,’ you might think: that’s hardly worthy of comment in this august arena. But wait.

This piece of domestic architecture comes with a weighty tome of instructions which I, being only a man, ignored, proceeding directly to button-pressing mode.

Scrolling through and trying the various cooking functions provided much delight (I am easily delighted these days) but then the damn thing jammed on and locked up. ‘Cooking time remaining 72 hours,’ the display informed me, helpfully. No amount of testosterone-induced button-pressing frenzy could stop the thing.

I know times are supposedly hard and I might buy cheap cuts of meat, but none that actually need 72 HOURS to cook. Not yet anyway. Even my neighbour’s cat was tender in little over 24 hours. What the hell is this?

I had no choice but to jettison any remaining masculine dignity and read the bloody manual. It appeared I had inadvertently entered ‘Sabbath mode.’

Oh crikey.

To achieve this feat, one scrolls to the right menu, then presses one button, once only. That’s it. The oven then stays on for 72 hours without human intervention.

And here’s the clever bit: if you open the door to insert or extract food, the LIGHT DOES NOT COME ON! The lighting function is disabled, so you may open the door without labouring on a Sabbath, or during even the longest religious holiday, in this case by not causing a light to, err, light up.

I think this is an orthodox Jewish thing – I can’t be bothered to look up the details – but who does Miele think this is kidding? Surely not God?

Does anyone who subscribes to this stuff really believe that God might be so easily fooled? That they can circumvent Divine Will with a bit of electrical engineering and clever software?

Surely any God who is not only omniscient and omnipotent, but also not a complete idiot, would see straight through such a scam and send the perpetrator directly to Hell for what we in England would call ‘Taking the p!ss.’

It really is extraordinarily stupid, on so many levels. It will irritate me every time I look at my oven: this strange juxtaposition of humanity’s scientific achievements: electrical engineering, micro-electronics, metal working, glassware, infected and debased by archaic, ignorant superstition.

It’s deeply sad.



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