Thursday, November 17, 2011

Is it offensive to photoshop the Pope?

Benetton has withdrawn the advertisement which shows Pope Benedict XVI kissing Islamic Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb. Perhaps understandably, a number of Roman Catholics found it offensive, and Fr. Lombardi at the Holy See called it 'unacceptable'.

But if it be, why is not also 'unacceptable' to photoshop images of any world leaders kissing each other? Benetton have not pulled their posters of President Barack Obama smooching Venezuela’s Hugo Chàvez, or that of Chancellor Merkel snogging President Sarkozy.

Are not these offensive to their followers? Do not Democrats find manipulated images of their saviour offensive? Why should religious leaders be preserved from 'unacceptable' parody or satire? We are not, after all, talking about the images of Mohammed or Jesus or any demi-god; we are talking about fallible men (except, of course, in dogmatic matters of faith).

And if be offensive to show the Pope kissing, is it not also offensive to juxtapose the Archbishop of Canterbury with Animal? Is that not designed to provoke? Who deterimes the threshold of offence?

Give a Jew a bacon sandwich, and he’ll roar with laughter, and what's more there will be no lawsuit for infringement of their human rights or a call to jihad. Islam is no laughing matter, Mohammed no joke, and Allah apparently incapable of humour. One must hope this incapacity for levity does not become too widespread, or Rowan Williams Atkinson will be out of a job.


Blogger len said...

One word sums this up(accept in the Case of Merkel?) is......... grotesque.

17 November 2011 at 08:04  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

Funny the way 'humour' works. I have an 'eraser,' bought in Freiburg Dom, which is adorned with a picture of His Holiness and the "halo" contains the legend "Ratzefummel."

I don't think whoever approved these actually thought through what it means ... Yes, the Germans DO have double entendres ...

17 November 2011 at 08:57  
Blogger non mouse said...

Chancellor Merkel snogging President Sarkozy, Oh,Your Grace... if I ever stop laughing I expect I'll agree with Mr. Len!!!!!

17 November 2011 at 09:46  
Blogger David B said...

HG said 'Why should religious leaders be preserved from 'unacceptable' parody or satire?'

Why indeed?

From my secular point of view, people can believe what they want, and criticise what they want.

What I want to see is a level playing field, in which religion (of whatever flavour) is not given some sort of automatic respect to the point of untouchability which is not given to choice of football team, musical taste or politics.

Perhaps it is some sort of legacy of my Baptist early upbringing, but I personally find the conspicuous consumption and manipulation by advertisement that I see exemplified by the fashion industry, of which Benetton is a part, far more offensive than these images in themselves.

I don't expect any great deference to be shown to my feelings of offense though.

Sometimes, Your Grace, I am gratified to find posts of yours that I can happily endorse.

David B

17 November 2011 at 10:03  
Blogger Kiwi said...

More likely the ad was withdrawn as a result of the Benetton management team checking the fire insurance policy for head office, in order to avoid a Charlie Hebdo moment, perhaps?

17 November 2011 at 10:40  
Blogger The Judicious Hooker said...

Mr Ratzinger snogging the Mullah captures the cosy relationship the Vatican and world Islam have together these days.

This ranges from cooperation in international fora in their sustained oppression of women to establishing chairs in Islam/interfaith studies in (Roman)Catholic universities throughout the world.

I sense the only photoshop figure enjoying the snog is Benedict. After all he revived the pre-Vatican II vestments aka popish rags which the Man's Man pope JP2 abandoned and which look rather high camp to 21st century tastes.

Maybe the photoshop osculation is a little close to the truth for the Vatican to handle.

17 November 2011 at 10:41  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

An interesting post that raises a number of issues.

Roman Catholic's sincerely believe the Holy Father is Christ's representative on earth; His Vicar. Disrespect for the Pope would therefore be viewed as disrespect for the the Holy Office and, by extension, would be regarded as disrespect for Our Lord.

Protestants will disagree about the position of the Pope but should ask themselves how they would react if this was instead a fake picture of Jesus Christ 'snogging' the Imman. How about there being a picture of Queen Elizabeth 'snogging' Kim Jong-Il?

Are we so liberal these days that we sit back and allow Christianity to be attacked in this way? Is this equality and diversity at play?

Add to this that the fake photo of Benedict and El-Tayeb depicts these two leaders 'snogging' at a time when relations are tense. In January, al-Azhar suspended interfaith dialogue with the Vatican to protest the Pope's call for better protection of Egypt's embattled Christian minority.

The Vatican has called the image an "offense against the sentiments of the faithful" and evidence of how advertising can "violate the elementary rules of respect for persons in order to draw attention through provocation."

I, for one, agree. They are more than entitled to state this and to threaten legal action. Similarly others can follow suit if they feel offended.

And now let's look at the conception of "universal love" depicted in this constructed photo. A homo-suggestive image deliberately intended to be provocative? And the commercial dimension? Bennetton are not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. Is this really what inter-faith dialoque is about - the idea of love depicted in this manner? I don't think so.

The Vatican were right to "express the firmest protest for this absolutely unacceptable use of the image of the Holy Father, manipulated and exploited in a publicity campaign with commercial ends." It does show a grave lack of respect for the Pope, an offence to the feelings of believers, a clear demonstration of how publicity can violate the basic rules of respect for people by attracting attention with provocation.

Alessandro Benetton says global love is an ambitious but realistic goal. He says:

At this moment in history, so full of major upheavals and equally large hopes, we have decided, through this campaign, to give widespread visibility to an ideal notion of tolerance and invite the citizens of every country to reflect on how hatred arises particularly from fear of ‘the other’ and of what is unfamiliar to us.

Read the secular message. More 'anything goes, let's hold hands and love one another' nonsense! All very 'brotherhood of man' stripped of all conceptions of God and Christ's propiatory sacrifice.

17 November 2011 at 11:48  
Blogger Gnostic said...

What the images don't show is that while the couples are busy snogging they are actively picking each others pockets...


17 November 2011 at 12:03  
Blogger Jimbo said...

Is it offensive to photoshop the Pope?


But is it offensive to photoshop the Prophet Muhammad snogging the Pope?

17 November 2011 at 12:04  
Blogger The Judicious Hooker said...

Dodo, it's not just Protestants who disagree about the position of the pope, the Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, and many RC's are uneasy about Benedict's 'reign' and the papal office in general.

Studying its origin, its history and many of its unsavoury incumbents makes one very uneasy and the whole edifice seems quite contrary to the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth.

One thing that is instantly attractive about the Christian ethic - and modelled in its best leaders - is the virtue of humility and not taking ourselves too seriously. Disregarding this sort of thing works wonders in not fanning the flames of publicity.

While the Lord is recorded as receiving a kiss from Judas, I like to envisage it as more cheek than lip. It was dark after all in the garden.

17 November 2011 at 12:08  
Blogger Hoodedthis said...

The advertisement is only provocative to those who still abide by a bronze-aged morality. If Roman Catholics learnt to love and accept homosexuals for who they are, seeing two men kissing would not be a big deal, but an act of love we should all admire.

17 November 2011 at 12:10  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

It's really a bit like those women who insist on breast feeding their children in public. It isn't being done for the benefit of the child, it's being done so the Earth muffin can show how achingly cool she is. In effect, the viewer is being manipulated by somebody who thinks she's smarter than he is. The same applies with Beneton. This is not a charity, it's a private business for profit. Nothing particularly wrong with that, but the problem is that those who design and run these kind of ads don't give a rattling damn about universal peace, brotherhood or all the rest of that old blarney. People get offended because they're being worked like wind-up toys, and they don't like it. Their intelligence is being insulted, and to that extent then I say, yes, pull ALL the ads, including the ones depicting politicians.

17 November 2011 at 12:37  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Hey, Hoodedthis, here's a wild thought: how about accepting Roman Catholics for who WE are? Ok, we're not currently on the liberal tick-list of who is 'acceptable', but fashion statements come and go. How about evolving a unifying, underpinning philosophy to guide you, rather than just checking who's in and who's out this season?

17 November 2011 at 12:41  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Judicious Hooker
So how do you suppose His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and Vladimir Putin might have reacted to similar pictures? Would Anglicans be offended if it were Archbishop Rowan Williams?

This isn't a debate about the validity of the Pope or the history of the Papacy. Some of the comments made already indicate the success of the secular erosion of faith taking place and the need to adhere to Christ's commandments. What a wonderful opportunity to poke fun at Christianity.

At it's heart is the respect shown to the Gospel message and acceptance of God's plan for human salvation ie through faith, baptism and .

True, there is a division within Roman Catholicism about the current Pontiff's ministry and the validity of the policy of eccumenism with other Christian churches and across non-christian faith groups. One senses this is being reconsidered after 40 years. There are also some questions about the orthodoxy of some of the current Pope's theological speculations. Many 'traditional' Catholics want a return to pre-concilliar days; modernist and 'liberal' Catholics want more of the same.

The advert represents so much more than humour and levity. Men 'kissing and making up' and 'tolerating differences' is not the path to world peace. Associating the Church of Christ with such religious indifferentism and acceptance of the unacceptable, is offensive to God.

17 November 2011 at 13:12  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Incomplete sentence above:

At it's heart is the respect shown to the Gospel message and acceptance of God's plan for human salvation ie through faith, baptism and membership of His Body, the Church and following hHis commandments.

17 November 2011 at 13:15  
Blogger Sam Vega said...


"It's really a bit like those women who insist on breast feeding their children in public. It isn't being done for the benefit of the child, it's being done so the Earth muffin can show how achingly cool she is."

Erm, no. As the father of children who were all breast-fed in public (whatever that means!) I can say that it is usually done for the benefit of the child. They get hungry, they only drink milk, you are away from home, and so...

We never heard any disapproval of such a natural act, nor can I imagine what that disapproval feels like.

If you can bear it, meet some images of

Maria Lactans.

17 November 2011 at 13:26  
Blogger Matthew said...

That first picture isn't photoshopped ;)

17 November 2011 at 13:43  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

Well spotted, Matthew.

Our European friends could just have been snapped in the course of a clumsy continental greeting-kiss. The Obama/Chavez encounter looks more like clumsy 13 year olds at their first drunken party. The inter-faith intimacy is, however, marked by something deeper and hungrier.

Or I guess that's what it is, knowing nothing whatsoever about such despicable ungodly practices, and being a little anxious to tell everyone so.

17 November 2011 at 13:57  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

From my secular point of view, people can believe what they want, and criticise what they want.

What I want to see is a level playing field, in which religion (of whatever flavour) is not given some sort of automatic respect to the point of untouchability which is not given to choice of football team, musical taste or politics.

The trouble is, photos are not simply criticisms of other people's opinions. They give the impression of reality. The natural response of someone seeing the picture of the Pope is to assume that he does not in fact take the Catholic line on human sexuality. Or that he does teach it, but is hypocritical in his own personal life.

It's the unwillingness of the secular liberal to accept that some of us just don't agree with the latest secular liberal diktats on what is moral or not that motivates them to give the impression reality isn't as it is. It's an excellent way of shutting down debate, like the "Homophobe of the year" awards.

Besides, I still think that to give the impression a straight man is homosexual is wrong. But of course, that too, is probably to express an unacceptable opinion. So in the end, this isn't about religion being above criciticism, it is (as so often) about a particular kind of liberalism being above criticism. I'm amazed really, that Dr Cranmer can't see that.

17 November 2011 at 14:01  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Ok, Sam Vega, I'm convinced. Since I often get caught short in public, would you be offended if I carried a bottle and took care of business wherever I needed to? I'm sure you wouldn't; it's a perfectly natural function, after all.

17 November 2011 at 14:06  
Blogger Sam Vega said...


I'm sympathetic to your stance, and would not wish to give needless offence to any type of believer. But there is a weakness in your argument if it relies upon the proposition that

"The natural response of someone seeing the picture of the Pope is to assume that he does not in fact take the Catholic line on human sexuality. Or that he does teach it, but is hypocritical in his own personal life."

Anyone who recognised the Pope would probably be aware of Benetton and their daft campaigns. A believer might be upset by the intention to shock, but would not seriously think that the Pope's teaching or behaviour had changed one iota. Most of Benetton's target audience would probably not even recognise the Pope, but would dimly register that something transgressive was intended. " 'Cos it's Benetton, like!"

17 November 2011 at 14:13  
Blogger Sam Vega said...


I think many people would be offended by your antics with your bottle, and can scarcely imagine it happening without someone remonstrating. My point is that my wife and I have never even heard of disapproval being (erm...) expressed.

Ultimately, we make our own decisions about being offended. With a little practice, I believe most people can avoid being offended if they want to. I would probably be a bit shocked by your unconventional behaviour, and might worry that you were drunk, mad, or otherwise threateningly unpredictable. But once I knew you were that harmless old bloke who just happens to relieve himself into a bottle, I feel fairly confident that I would remain equanimous.

17 November 2011 at 14:23  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

OLD bloke? How dare you, sir! As for nobody expressing disapproval, that doesn't mean they don't.

17 November 2011 at 14:41  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

‘Unacceptable’ or too near the truth for comfort? The Italian magazine Panorama investigated some of Rome’s gay priests; scroll down for ‘Il video di Padre Paul: il francese’. The Daily Beast covers the story.

17 November 2011 at 14:53  
Blogger Sam Vega said...


Apologies! I was of course replying in the counter-factual terms which you had initiated, and felt free to give rein to fantasy!

"As for nobody expressing disapproval, that doesn't mean they don't."

True, but if they don't let me know, then what am I to do? They would queue up to smash my urine-bottle, and some get really vocal about images of religious leaders. But having never heard any disapproval of my children feeding in public; and mixing with a wide section of people who couldn't care less either way, why should I not assume that public breastfeeding is OK?

I'm sure I could find someone on the web who would be shocked at the bare legs of our piano. I put taking offence at public breastfeeding into that same tiny category. With all due respect, if people are not concerned to moderate their emotional responses, then I don't see why I have a duty to appease their archaic sensibilities.

17 November 2011 at 14:57  
Blogger Jon said...

Before you ask, Dodo, if you had a picture of Peter Tatchell kissing Margaret Thatcher, I wouldn't mind at all. In fact - I think that's one that they missed.

The fact that the underlying message of the campaign is "unhate" should surely raise some cheers though? After all, hatred is counterproductive and not Christian?

17 November 2011 at 15:05  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Jon, yes, hate is counterproductive.

However, the Christian message is love and sacrifice. A positive 'agape', not a physical one. It is also founded on acceptance of the Gospel of Christ and all that that entails.

'The Great Architect', the 'All Seeing Eye', blasphemously named 'jahbulon', would of course disagree. Instead, he whispers, spread religious indifferentism and moral relativism, kiss and make up, tolerate sin, just 'unhate'.

Why not? Well. read your bible. I suggest you start with the last book - then go to the first.

Mr Rottenborough
This Pope has launched a purge against homosexuality within the Priesthood. It is a cancer in the Church and will be removed.

17 November 2011 at 15:41  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

I HOPE it is offensive to photoshop the vile lying and corrupt inhabitant of the Vatican.
The RC church is one of the vilest bodies on the planet.
The more it is mocked and vilified the better.

17 November 2011 at 17:10  
Blogger Albert said...

Sam Vega,

Anyone who recognised the Pope would probably be aware of Benetton and their daft campaigns.

I recognised the Pope and am not aware of daft Benetton campaigns. But all you're saying is that at best the Pope is being trivialised, rather than engaged with - a typical liberal move. At worst, people will be left with the impression that there is something not right about the Pope - in much the same way as when someone has been falsely charged with murder, it can sometimes be hard to remember whether they were guilty or not.

Don't get me wrong: I do believe people should be able to criticise the Pope or anyone else. But that's not what this is. This is about trashing someone, so you don't have to engage with them.

17 November 2011 at 17:15  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

Satire is fine but there is a line between humour and offence which the Pope Photoshop picture crosses.
Men kissing on the lips in other cultures is not unusual but in this case the pose suggests other than a formal greeting which is likely to cause offence. So far as the Archbishop of Canterbury is concerned I would have thought he would have had a good laugh.

17 November 2011 at 17:17  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Ratzinger is just a bloke like the rest of us when all is said and done. Moreover, it's an eyecatching advert to sell colourful clothes presumably using the usual theme of diversity and bringing people together so it's hardly just gratuitous offence. I don't see the problem really. If some Catholics get the hump over something fairly trivial like that then stuff 'em. Had the picture shown el-Tayeb bending Ratzinger over a table with his popey dress over his back then they might have a point.

17 November 2011 at 18:06  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace

Rather poor taste, and is there a case for defamation of character. I wonder if the Holy Father is seriously considering a no win no fee solicitor...

17 November 2011 at 18:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "Rather poor taste, and is there a case for defamation of character."

Had the Vatican just let it go it would have been over in a couple of weeks and forgotten not long after. Now, it'll be memorable for several decades. The Vatican should sack their PR advisors after this ... or at least, erm, move them to a department in another area where no-one knows them.

17 November 2011 at 18:34  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. Memorable for several days you mean. This kind of advertising is so banal, it’s a wonder it made the press at all...

17 November 2011 at 18:37  
Blogger Oswin said...

''Offensive''? Distasteful; yes.

As we all of us know, there IS a line to be drawn; but that line is drawn differently for each eventuality and circumstance, unless, that is, that line be encapsulated within purview of the law(s).

However, if the depiction has some purpose beyond humour itself - like some 'unholy' alliance, then the line changes yet again. The Merkel/Sarkozy pic' (someone says that it is genuine?) is such an example, and makes a cogent point.

17 November 2011 at 18:38  
Blogger Sam Vega said...


"all you're saying is that at best the Pope is being trivialised, rather than engaged with - a typical liberal move."

No, this does not follow from what I said. At best, the Pope will have a good laugh, Benetton will sell more clothes, and nobody will take offence.

"At worst, people will be left with the impression that there is something not right about the Pope - in much the same way as when someone has been falsely charged with murder, it can sometimes be hard to remember whether they were guilty or not."

Hmmm, yes, you have a point there. Having seen that advert, I find myself genuinely confused as to whether the Pope was locked in a passionate gay embrace with a Muslim cleric. Did I see it? Was it just a dream, perchance? Or a photoshopped image? Or has the Roman Catholic Church decided to defuse the sex abuse scandals in the most graphic manner possible?

I think you might be seeing Liberals like I'm seeing openly gay Popes!

17 November 2011 at 19:00  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

As someone who's been too long in advertising and found liberation and peace through the warm and purring feel of the Eaton-Fuller 13-speed under his right palm, I can tell ya all that what drove this silly ad campaign is the same old "aren't I so naughty" syndrome from which most ageing marketing execs have suffered since the early 60s. Being "edgy" is "cool," even when the concept doesn't always work or bring in business for your client, but it will make you interesting to the ambitious twenty-somethings at the office, and there'll be backslaps at the cocktail parties from the sycophants and I-scratch-yours-you-scratch-mine "awards."

But, mark well boys and girls, you can only be edgy in the acceptable and conventional (for the "unconventionals") matter, you see. Thus, you won't ever find any politically incorrect edginess; no mocking of windmills, laughing at Occupy Whatevers, digs at the heroes of the left, jokes about whales, dissing of the holy Palestinians or mocking of Islam, for example.

One of the most effective ways to punish and discourage the silly corporations from being obnoxious idiots is not with petitions or legislature, but by smartly smacking the heads of their ad agencies by complaining to and scaring away their ad clients. Those clients will quickly look for another, less toxic agency, since mythology notwithstanding, the agencies are all pretty much alike in their mediocrity and pricing, and there's plenty of hungry competition's not the 50s or 60s anymore when big names mattered and there was money to burn. Not easy to do, though, and it's really a job for an organization with a competent staff, some business contacts and decent "reach," but when it works, it works well and it's a joy to watch.

17 November 2011 at 19:13  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

wonder would his Grace feel as levitated if it were the Archbishop Rowan Williams in that repulsive pose instead of the Pope? It does look very sexual, what he is doing is against the teachings of the Bible.

Would he be so worried about the erosion of freedom of expression and the freedom to offend then too?

I think it's in bad taste and mocks the religious teachings of morals and decency the Pope is trying so hard to convey and uphold. I wouldn't rush out and buy a pullover from them they are not value for money and no wonder as they waste so much money on bad advertising.

17 November 2011 at 19:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Good for you Avi, giving that facetious industry of advertising the push. As Dylan sang, “his clothes are dirty but his hands are clean”. Well done that man !

17 November 2011 at 19:23  
Blogger Albert said...


No, this does not follow from what I said

Really? I thought your post illustrated the point I was making more clearly than I made it!

17 November 2011 at 19:49  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


Ha! After a tense Mexico run, sealed in the cab and sleeper with a weak air conditioner, a chain-smoking co-driver and a loaded 12-gauge, neither my clothes nor my hands are all that clean, but I get your point. (Love that song, btw, one of Robbie Zimmerman's best.) And even at the hairiest of times, like trying to shakily fumble with the map to sketch out a bridge-free route away from that tornado growing in the left side mirror...and that's exactly the time you really, really need to take a pee...I never looked back to the agency days with anything but dread and loathing.

17 November 2011 at 21:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi. Mexico run ! For a Canadian trucker, you cover vast distances ! Do say where you are when you post in future and the Inspector will track you on his ‘Times Concise Atlas of the World’, Tenth edition. He’s quite old fashioned you see, nothing like the hard feel of a book to appreciate God’s earth....

17 November 2011 at 21:27  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ TWOTD (15:41)—I hesitate to burden the Pope with yet another purge but isn’t heterosexuality within the Priesthood also a cancer to be removed?

17 November 2011 at 22:03  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Mr Rottenborough


The condition of homosexuality is a sexual disorder and is also prone to compulsive behaviour. Therefore those burdened by it are unlikely to sustain compliance with the voluntary discipline of celebacy that is demanded by the Priesthood. Heterosexuality is natural and less prone towards the grave crime of abuse against children.

God willing, the Catholic Church will succeed in addressing all forms of unacceptable and sinful sexual behaviour within it.

17 November 2011 at 22:24  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ TWOTD (22:24)—Thanks. When you talked of homosexuality being purged from the Priesthood, I thought you meant that only active homosexuals would be sought out and defrocked, and my comment was intended to suggest that, in a celibate Priesthood, active heterosexuals were just as much a cancer needing removal.

17 November 2011 at 22:56  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Mr Rottenborough
Glad to have helped clarify this for you. It is worth noting that 90% of sex abuse cases within the Church have involved crimes against boys.

New rules introduced by the Vatican in 2005 precludes from admission to the Priesthood any with homosexual tendencies.

" ... it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture".

It added that men with "transitory" homosexual leanings may be ordained deacons following three years of prayer and chastity. However, men with "deeply rooted homosexual tendencies" or who are sexually active cannot be ordained.

The Vatican followed up in 2008 with a directive to implement psychological screening for candidates for the priesthood. Conditions listed for exclusion from the priesthood include "uncertain sexual identity" and "deep-seated homosexual tendencies".

17 November 2011 at 23:32  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


Canada and Mexico have a free trade pact. We get a lot of produce from them and even manufactured goods. I didn't mean to sound blasé about it. Believe me, it all still blows my mind and I haven't lost the romance, my capacity for amazement at the size and beauty of this continent, or my gratitude to the Almighty for giving me the grand tour of His incredible creation whilst letting me make a living from a comfy cockpit...with the CB warbling softly and my wife's lasagna heating up in the sleeper.

As for real time tracking, unless it's a low value load, we have to keep mum about our whereabouts or even destinations; overly-paranoid insurance regulations, and carrier and owner agreements get in the way of the fun. It's not unusual to carry goods a few million worth and sophisticated hijackings, based on communications info, have been happening more frequently latey. Think of the value of a trailer-load of chocolate bars, for example, never mind consumer electronics. A colleague just finished delivering a what he thought was a shipment of old batteries and was told afterwards that he carried a load of two-dollar coins to the tune of 20 million. Things are so cooky nowadays, a good friend set me up to do my personal internet activity, like this stuff here, and even occasional design work requiring software, remotely through my server and home PC. I'll remember to let you know, though, when I'm bobtailing (no trailer) to somewhere or carrying crap privately; my well-kept but ageing tractor's not worth anyone's bother. I'm only doing Ontario (Toronto-Huntsville along Hwy 11 and Toronto to North Bay or Saul Ste. Marie on the Trans Canada Hwy) for the next couple of months. Still, incredible countryside. Just look up those routes on Google Maps' satellite view and see why I begin every trip with joy.

17 November 2011 at 23:38  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Oh no, Dodo, no, no, no! That won't do at all. What were you thinking, man, you should've consulted with us first.

Posting a fish on your avatar is odd, but has a certain cool about it, especially since a lot of visitors will just assume a dodo is a fish, which is quite amusing in a way, but a garish cartoon of a fish? No, sorry, you have to do better than that. We din't let the Inspector drop his old avatar either, so you're not being picked on for being a Catholic. (Wait, that won't work, the Inspector's a Catholic too...hmmmm.)

17 November 2011 at 23:55  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

PS: I may be just displaying my astute grasp of the obvious to everyone's amusement, but do I see the rainbow spectrum on that fish cartoon of yours, Dodo?

18 November 2011 at 00:02  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "The condition of homosexuality is a sexual disorder and is also prone to compulsive behaviour. Therefore those burdened by it are unlikely to sustain compliance with the voluntary discipline of celebacy that is demanded by the Priesthood."

Perhaps those burdened with the twin evils of being inclined to homosexuality and being drawn to membership of the Catholic clergy are cursed such that the two corruptions work together in unholy harmony. ;)

More seriously, it's not just sexual abuse is it? Anecdotally, almost all the survivors of the Catholic Church that I know tell of child-oriented viciousness in the Church, especially by nuns. In fact, my step-brother and sister experienced it in the local Catholic school. There appears to be a darkness at the core of some of these clergy people.

18 November 2011 at 05:48  
Blogger len said...

My mother was sent to a boarding school which was partly run by Catholic nuns.
One of the punishments for these infant girls was to be locked in an upstairs cupboard for the night which the nuns told them was haunted.
There are levels of sadism within religious organisations which are quite astonishing.
Religion cannot change anyone in fact in my estimation it makes them considerably worse than secular people.
God`s plan for salvation is that by the spiritual re birth God implants His Love within the believer and this is outworked by the actions of the believer towards God and man.

Thereby the Whole Law of God is fulfilled, firstly loving God and secondly loving others.

18 November 2011 at 07:55  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

len and DanJ0

All of us taught by Sisters in the 1950's and 60's will have encountered a certain form of harsh treatment. In those days the focus tended to be on reforming behaviour and imposing discipline. This wasn't restricted to the religious. Those were the days of corporal punishment. The ethos being, "spare the rod and spoil the child".

You are observant!

Yep, a Rainbow Fish. Not a homosexual fish, mind. A rainbow in the Noahadic sense - a promise from God not to destroy the earth by flood.

I'm reclaiming the symbol as one of hope. A unity not of pervertions, sin and false creeds. But a 'unity of diversity' representing the physical creation and the different cultures of the world that are under the care of God.

The Raphus cucullatus has shaken off his mortal coil (for now).

He may return ......

18 November 2011 at 10:48  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Aha, I see, Dodo. Very good. You're engaging in an asymetric brand management and brand implementation campaign over a visual symbol still in the public domain. A quixotian effort perhaps, but then again, who knows? Great battles sometimes begin with a single shot. Good luck to you.

18 November 2011 at 12:14  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ DanJ0 (05:48) and len (07:55)—A few years ago Channel 4 ran a documentary on celibacy that looked at how the intense frustrations of celibacy give rise to acts of mental cruelty and to physical and sexual abuse, directed particularly against those least able to resist.

18 November 2011 at 13:57  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Avi, if I understood all that I might agree.

"Mighty oaks from small acorns" and all that!

Mr Rottenborough, so anybody who is celebate is a threat to society?

Better start offering prostitutes on the National Health Service to the single and widowed and organising escorts for our prisoners and troops serving abroad.

Well, if Channel 4 says so ....

18 November 2011 at 15:05  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ TWOTD (15:05)—Not Channel 4 but the psychiatrists, psychologists and others who were interviewed by the programme makers. When healthy young men are required to abstain from sex, it would be surprising if there were no side effects. As they grow older and the sap rises less willingly, celibacy becomes easier to bear; the Pope must find it a doddle.

18 November 2011 at 15:23  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Mr Rottenborough
As I said, if Channel 4 gathered these 'experts' it must be so.

"When healthy young men are required to abstain from sex ...."

Excuse me for asking, but are you a Christian? Isn't this what a Christian way of life expects of unmarried men and women?

As for the "sap rises less willingly", tell that to all the middle-aged rapists and peadophiles. They could use it as grounds for parole.

18 November 2011 at 16:07  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ TWOTD (16:07)—The Christian way of life expects men and women to marry, not fall victim to a vow of celibacy instituted only to safeguard the Church’s wealth.

Am I a Christian? I applaud the Christian message of love but I have difficulty accepting the supernatural elements of Christianity. It doesn’t help either that Christ’s message is proclaimed by Churches that have grown bloated and corrupt on the back of it.

18 November 2011 at 18:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. Rather liked that cartoon weasel you posted under once – yours to use, as Len has declined the opportunity...

18 November 2011 at 18:41  
Blogger William said...

"It doesn’t help either that Christ’s message is proclaimed by Churches that have grown bloated and corrupt on the back of it."


18 November 2011 at 18:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi. Forgive a daft old Inspector for suggesting you should advertise your whereabouts to every gangster in America. We have them here too, the press always tag them with the Americanism ‘heist’. Must be a fairly easy crime to solve, can imagine it to be an inside job every time....

18 November 2011 at 18:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Mr Rottenborough and William. Examples of bloatedness and corruption please...

18 November 2011 at 18:47  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ OoIG (18:47)—The Vatican.

18 November 2011 at 18:54  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

18 November 2011 at 18:58  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

I trust you're not suggesting I have bloodthirsty, weatsop like characteristics.

Mr Rottenborough
Your acceptance of the benefits of Christianity is like a parasite feeding off a host. You applaud the message of love but decry the the 'supernatural elements' and the Churches who over 2000 years have changed societies.

18 November 2011 at 19:02  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Mr Rottenborough. Hardly old chap, that’s Catholic HQ, as you well know. Anyway, you Islam watchers ought to be grateful we’re on side...

Dodo the whatever. You do operate as a formidable carnivore, much as a Least Weasel...

18 November 2011 at 19:19  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...


Just The Way of Dodo. As Avi observed, neither "fish nor fowl".

18 November 2011 at 19:28  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ TWOTD (19:02)—It’s a little self-defeating to put words in my mouth. I didn’t decry the supernatural elements of Christianity, I said I had difficulty accepting them. I don’t think anyone has ever likened me to a parasite before; odd that my first time should be at the hands of a devout and saintly Christian.

@ OoIG (19:19)—My mistake. The Vatican: a byword for thrift and transparency.

18 November 2011 at 19:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. Nice picture of a Least Weasel in next week's Radio Times. Cute little fellow, vicious killer that he is...

Mr R. You do indeed have it, apart from the transparency bit...

18 November 2011 at 19:46  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

JR: "I don’t think anyone has ever likened me to a parasite before; odd that my first time should be at the hands of a devout and saintly Christian."

Whenever I open one of the threads that Dodo has 'scent-marked', I immediately smell roses. I bet everyone is thinking the same as me here: odor of sanctity. Yep. In years to come, scholars will be poring over Dodo's words here and recording their inherent goodness and charity for the edification of the Faithful.

18 November 2011 at 20:10  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ DanJ0 (20:10)—I’m sure Dodo means well but a bit of humility wouldn’t go amiss. To celebrate one of our rare agreements click here for a hunk, courtesy of His Grace.

18 November 2011 at 20:36  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

An unholy alliance between the homosexual and the agnostic (or is it atheist?). Not entirely unexpected that they should be bed fellows.

Your views and lifestyles are sheltered by Christian convictions of love and acceptance which don't belong to you but come from the Judeo-Christian society of which they form a part; you are nourished by processes in which you take no share. And should these Christian convictions decay and these processes end, the alien life which they support will end too.

If Islam comes, a phobia of Mr R it will be because the Christian basis of our society has been eroded by secular humanists who have no moral substance.

"If a man be utterly indifferent to the truth of God, if he look upon the Ten Commandments as temporary laws evolved out of the consciousness of a certain Semitic race, if he questions the fact of God's existence, makes little of the fact of immortality, denies the fact of sin, and the freedom of the will, what basis can he have for the moral law?"

18 November 2011 at 21:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"To celebrate one of our rare agreements click here for a hunk, courtesy of His Grace."

Thanks. I've heard that one is supposed to make a clean breast of things in the confessional. I'd be tempted to become a Catholic myself if that were the likely sight behind the curtain.

18 November 2011 at 21:06  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. You of course are right. When Islam takes over, DanJ0, Mr R, the Inspector and you might be hanging from the same gibbet...

18 November 2011 at 21:22  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ TWOTD (21:01)—
● How our very own patron saint of vitriol and holier-than-thou didn’t choke on the words ‘Christian convictions of love and acceptance’ is beyond medical science.
● I ‘take no share’ in Christian belief because to do so (as one who has difficulty accepting the supernatural elements of Christianity) would be hypocrisy, but I have always acknowledged the debt Britain owes to Christianity.
● If Islam comes it will be because the politicians invited Muslims to settle here and because the Churches think a sprinkling of love dust will transform Christianity’s bitterest enemy into a harmless old dear.

18 November 2011 at 22:12  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Mr R
I neither love nor accept your open ridicule of the Church. Your constant carping about this and that and now your sharing in a sick little homo-erotic fantasy.

As such, in my opinion, this makes you an enemy of Christianity and means you are contributing to the erosion of this country's moral strength. This is the very thing that will open the door to the growth of Islam. Spitting out contempt for Muslims is hardly likely to lead to world peace and love.

Christian Europe faces a threat from enemies within - and you appear to be one of them!

18 November 2011 at 23:22  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Should this happen then, like the good thief, we can be assurred of eternal rest if we die with Christ.

18 November 2011 at 23:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. The Inspector believes you’ve been rather hard on Mr R. He has trouble accepting the ‘supernatural’ elements of Christianity. But of course, Christian‘s have to accept that somethings above the natural state of affairs happened, ie super natural events occurred.

Far from being an enemy, the good Mr R keeps us informed about the surreptitious nature of Islam. And remember, Islam in this country has not been silent in its contempt of us....

18 November 2011 at 23:43  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...


The enemy of my enemy is not always my friend.

"He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters."
(Luke 11:23)

19 November 2011 at 00:05  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ TWOD (23:22)—I love it when you’re in full pomp and mad as hell. BTW, apologies for not noticing you’d changed your username… again.

@ OoIG (23:43)—Good of you. Thanks.

19 November 2011 at 00:40  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...

Mr R

I do get worked up! No personal offense meant - except to the little limpet that attached itself to you. You really shouldn't encourage his nasty little fantasys. He'll be 'up' all night.

Apology accepted about my name. I've changed it again. Shorter - DW will suffice.

19 November 2011 at 01:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

JR: "@ TWOD (23:22)—I love it when you’re in full pomp and mad as hell."

You mean in Troll Overload mode, I think. In all probability, Dodo's not even a Christian let alone a Catholic. At one point, it was very obvious he was reading up using the online Catechism as he went along. Like with the Telegraph article he was practically quoting from earlier, he essentially wears an opinion or position for the occasion. At least there's no saying that about you, you're focused and straight down the line, which is fair enough really.

19 November 2011 at 06:12  
Blogger len said...

Dodo having been caught posting with multiple personalities(arguing with himself at times)has now dredged up a weird looking fish and plays games with his name.

Get real!,( and possibly a change of medication?.)

WV ' SHAMMER 'cannot stop laughing ,God certainly has a sense of humour.

19 November 2011 at 08:44  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...

Now both you and I know you are a liar.

19 November 2011 at 10:34  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Dodo’s Way (01:42)—I’m sure you meant no offence to Dan, either.

@ DanJ0 (06:12)—I don’t know what to think about Dodo. He seems well informed about the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church (I thought the Magisterium was the Vatican’s BDSM club until I discovered Dodo) but his comments are, at times, such a poor advertisement for his faith and his Church that one thinks he must be conducting a vendetta against both. I see you had a lie in today.

@ len (08:44)—Of all Dodo’s names, it was ‘Man with No Name’ that took the biscuit.

19 November 2011 at 11:58  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...

DanJ0 said ...

In all probability, Dodo's not even a Christian let alone a Catholic.

If its being a 'Troll' to say that according to the Bible and the consistent teachings of the Church that to stubbornly persist with a homosexual lifestyle will result in eternal damnation, then guilty as charged.

If its being a 'Troll' to say that a wilful and conscience rejection of Christ will result in eternal damnation, then guilty as charged.

As 'soft' as the message is being dressed-up today by some 'liberal' Christians and as much as they attempt to reinterpret scripture and teaching, these is the brutal, uncomplicated truth.

Ignore or accept it, that's your God given free will.

19 November 2011 at 12:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Ignore or accept it, that's your God given free will."

You have the same choice and threat of punishment from Allah for choosing incorrectly. I doubt you lose much sleep over it either but bear it in mind.

I actually accused you of being a forum troll, not for putting out an accurate summary of the Catholic Church's position on homosexuality. That's a different matter.

19 November 2011 at 14:34  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...

Well, you are wrong.

19 November 2011 at 14:43  
Blogger len said...

Still cannot find Albert.....................alllllllllllbert.

Dodo says you have 'called me out'.

19 November 2011 at 19:53  

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