Thursday, January 12, 2012

We must be free to insult our neighbour

What the hell is the point of life if you can’t get out of bed in a morning and hurl insults in the general direction of your neighbour? Yes, we know we’re supposed to love them – for so we are commanded – but loving doesn’t preclude insulting: indeed, sometimes a solid dose of the truth is entirely justified and wholly necessary.

Of course, one man’s truth is another man’s offence. But, hey, that’s life. Being able to offend is one of the foundations of liberty. Freedom of speech must be tolerated, and everyone living in the United Kingdom must accept that they may be insulted about their own beliefs, or indeed be offended, and that is something which they must simply endure, not least because some suffer fates far worse.

What’s the point of being a Member of the European Parliament if you can’t stand up and denounce the Pope as antichrist? Why would you want to open a hotel if you can’t call Mohammed a terrorist or paedophile or rail at the oppression of hijab-wearing women? Why would you want to stand in Hyde Park Corner if you can’t call Scientology a cult, or open a café if you can’t tell gays they’re going to hell for their abomination?

It may not be very Christian in the PC Christology of perpetual tolerance to say any of these things, but should it be illegal to do so? Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 outlaws ‘threatening, abusive or insulting’ words or behaviour if they are likely to cause ‘harassment, alarm or distress’. This is increasingly being used by certain people to get the police to arrest and silence Christian street preachers, prosecute hotel owners for chatting about their faith with a Muslim hotel guest (no, they didn’t use the 't' or ‘p’ words), and to prosecute a teenager for calling a religious cult, err... a cult.

This is the New Inquisition: the demand for theological orthodoxy has given way to prohibition of ‘feeling insulted’. And you might be next. Indeed, His Grace’s blog may well be closed down because someone complains to the police that religio-political polemic makes them feel uncomfortable and causes them distress; that they feel ‘insulted’. This blog is, after all, a public space and His Grace is publishing alarming material. He probably not infrequently falls foul of equality and diversity demands, or transgresses the bounds of acceptability for those of other faiths or ‘exotic’ sexual proclivities. His Grace rarely means to insult, but the intention is irrelevant: if the beholder feels offended, His Grace may be reported to the police under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, and they are obliged to investigate.

If you wish to continue to be free to insult and be insulted, please support the Christian Institute's campaign to have the word ‘insulting’ removed from this Act, as part of the forthcoming Protection of Freedoms Bill. THE CLOSING DATE IS TOMORROW (Friday 13th). The campaign has cross-party support, including Edward Leigh (Con), Tom Watson (Lab), and Alan Beith (LibDem), along with very many others. They believe that the freedom to disagree and to challenge received wisdom lies at the heart of a democracy. It is certainly intrinsic to the proclamation of the gospel.

The Government are asking for our views on Section 5 to help them decide on whether or not to introduce an amendment to the Freedom Bill. Of course, they may very well ignore us, but that shouldn’t deter a response. Please respond now, using the Christian Institute's online guide, and submit your response by Friday 13 January 2012. Please note – if you decide to complete the form, you may be put off by the unnecessary questions they ask. Please just complete questions 1-9 in part 1 (you can ignore the rest).

The link is HERE: there is a quickie version, and a longer one... While ye may...

102 Comments:

Blogger Jon said...

I'm rather surprised about the Christian Institute being behind this. The Church used to regularly prohibit freedom of speech and call it "blasphemy". What's changed in the heart of God?

12 January 2012 at 10:33  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Jon ... Nothing has changed the heart of God. And "Blasphemy" still exists, but now in it's secular form of Trademarks & defamation legislation.

Can we assume you support the CI on this issue then?

12 January 2012 at 10:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Blimey, I never thought in a million years that I'd agree with the Christian Institute on anything. :O

12 January 2012 at 10:49  
Blogger Jon said...

Rebel Saint - so just to clarify, the Church is fine for everyone to get insulted by free speech, except God? Surely that's a loop hole you could drive a popemobile through? Where do you draw the 'divine line'? What about religious iconography? What about religious buildings? What if someone worships cheese - can you allege it's gone off?

Exactly what are we allowed to be free to speak about, and if you're limiting freedom of speech, that's not very free, is it?

In short, I'd examine their caveats, but if it's as principled as HG says, I'd support it.

Nice to see God PLC using the full force of Intellectual Property law though! ;-)

12 January 2012 at 10:56  
Blogger Oswin said...

First control the 'word' and you're halfway to controlling the thought.

As evidenced during the last forty-odd years of Government (?) brainwashing.

12 January 2012 at 11:14  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Jon: By blaspheming God you imperil your soul. That's your choice.

As a private citizen you can, and I'm sure on occasion have, blasphemed. I know I have. Though I've also sought forgiveness (a concept rather alien to a legal system), and would encourage you to consider doing the same.

Whilst I think it's rather pointless to insist on Christian standards of behaviour for non-Christians (indeed the Bible tells us to expect precisely the opposite - and also to avoid being like non-Christians), I'd also be surprised if a habitual and unrepetant blasphemer didn't get rebuked by his church. Which, in the case of somebody not a member, readily falls under the right to offend, surely.

12 January 2012 at 11:26  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Jon ... er ... no!! I'm not at all sure what you are on about tbh.

You are not allowed to defame people or trademarks. That has been the case and will continue to be the case. Seems perfectly reasonable to me. These are simply secular equivalents of blasphemy.

12 January 2012 at 11:41  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace;
Boy o Boy. What a palaver. They really know how to make these forms hard to fill. Just like the Scottish one the other week except that had so many double negatives you didn't know where you were. Tend not to follow CI so much as Christian Concern but whoever gets the job done. Good on them. Thanks for bringing to our attention.

12 January 2012 at 11:46  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

.

All blasphemies against (the Christian) God, including denying His being or providence, all contumelious reproaches of Jesus Christ, all profane scoffing at the Holy Scriptures, and exposing any part thereof to contempt or ridicule, were punishable by the temporal courts with death, imprisonment, corporal punishment and fine. The law became involved only when rreligion assumed the form of an insult to God - not to men. It was not considered blasphemous to speak or publish opinions hostile to the Christian religion, or to deny the existence of God, if the publication was couched in decent and temperate language.

The death penalty for blasphemy was abolished in 1676.

In 1656, the Quaker James Naylor was sentenced to flogging, branding and the piercing of his tongue by a red-hot poker by the Second Protectorate Parliament

The common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel were abolished at the instigation of the Labour Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, by the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act in 2008.
Today it is individuals who are protected from upset or insult as opposed to offending God.

12 January 2012 at 11:58  
Blogger Scribe said...

Has someone complained directly about Cranmer's blog? Is this why we've had 2 whole days for something new and interesting? I was starting to get worried!

More to the point; yes, freedom of speech should stand. Even if an individual or group doesn't like what is being said, it's up to that party to speak up and say so, in a respectful and loving manner of course.

Reasoned thought/reponse goes far beyond, 'just because I said so', despite society's best efforts to reject personal responsibility.

12 January 2012 at 12:03  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This sort of law amounts to nothing more than "Thou shalt not assert the truth of thine own non-government-approved world view." You must understand that not all insults are in fact insults. For example, this ...

"You are a hateful bigoted homophobe!"

...is not an insult. It is a government-approved assertion of truth. On the other hand, this ...

"Homosexual behavior is a perversion of the natural order."

... is an insult because it attacks the nature of a government-approved protected group.

See, it's all very simple. This is simply a means by which the government criminalizes anyone it desires to criminalize for saying what they believe. Best to keep your mouth shut - unless you have been officially approved by the government.

carl

12 January 2012 at 12:17  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

"Yes, we know we’re supposed to love them – for so we are commanded – but loving doesn’t preclude insulting: indeed, sometimes a solid dose of the truth is entirely justified and wholly necessary."

I can't agree with this. Loving does preclude insulting, and when we insult someone, we prove ourselves temporarily incapable of living up to the commandment. To pretend otherwise is to demean the commandment. I would rather be guilty of the first error than the second.

I agree with everything else in the post. The freedoms to insult and to be insulted are indeed precious, and deserve to be defended vigorously. But we need these freedoms because we can't always love.

12 January 2012 at 12:20  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Sam Vega ... You think Jesus didn't leave the pharisees felling insulted? He even caused John the Baptist offence.

Go do a new testament word study on "Scandalon"

12 January 2012 at 12:30  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

Rebel Saint

Feeling insulted and intending to insult are two different things. And as I am not a Christian, I can conceive of Jesus falling short of the commandment.

This is not intended to insult you or him, by the way!

12 January 2012 at 12:36  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Sam Vega

Loving does preclude insulting

This is not about someone saying "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries." There will never be any interest in prosecuting that sort of nonsense. This is about restrictions on making judgments according to the light of your own worldview. Some world views will be proscribed. Any man who holds a proscribed worldview will be made a de facto criminal whenever he speaks consistent with his worldview if that speech is determined to be insulting. What is the standard of "insult?" The regnant worldview.

When the Lord Jesus called the Pharisees 'whited sepulchers full of dead men's bones' he was not insulting them. He was pronouncing judgment upon them. His defense is truth. That is same the defense that will be made today against the silencing of Christians who would speak in public in violation of proscribed viewpoints. But today it will be made with considerably less authority.

carl

12 January 2012 at 13:32  
Blogger Jon said...

AnonymousinBelfast - as is clear from Dodo's post, the Church has seen fit in the past to impose its standards of blasphemy on everyone in society. I wonder what else the CI are prepared to compromise on now...

I suppose the defence was that it was assumed that everyone was whatever flavour of Christian was de rigeur at that moment in time. And that everyone believed that the sun went around the earth. Indeed - the very fact that one could be persecuted throughout much of our history over whether one followed Rome or not depending upon the views of the monarch of the time goes to prove that freedom of thought, association and speech have been anathema to the Church for much of our history.

12 January 2012 at 13:38  
Blogger Jon said...

Rebel Saint - I don't think blasphemy is the religious equivalent of trademark infringement, unless you accept that God derives some financial benefit from his image.

IP legislation generally is in place to protect the future cashflows derived from work put in to create an image or some other piece of intellectual property. Defamation legislation is a recognition that someone's image is central to their ability to earn money.

I'm rather surprised that you would allow blasphemy and trademarks to be linked. To do so opens the question of what future cashflows the church and/ or God is protecting by protecting its/ his trademarks?

12 January 2012 at 13:44  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you for posting this, Your Grace. Under the rules of your blog, we are all free to play at insulting Christianity, or to be insulted about the games ... if we can be bothered.

However, the survey is rather more disquieting. The 'no longer Home Office' isn't just wasting our time and money by playing with the definition of "insult" - it's messing about with face-coverings, curfews, and the roles parents should be allowed to play in "youth crime."

What with armoured protection for our "Governors," development of militias, the possibility of police oaths of allegiance to the euSSR ---- --- Why do I get the feeling that the cultural invaders are either paranoid, or are deliberately pushing us towards revolution?

12 January 2012 at 14:00  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Mr Cranmer

Is it now okay for me to revert back to causing you offence and others when I don't like the views expressed about certain things? Its so much easier than engaging in polite discussion. On two occassions you threatened me with extinction! I know its your blog and doesn't claim to be democratic but fair do's.

12 January 2012 at 14:13  
Blogger IanCad said...

All done YG.
Thanks for bringing this up.

12 January 2012 at 14:33  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: well we cant have you experiencing difficulties; it wouldn't do to make your life too difficult, now would it? Feel-free to ease your passage, when and where etc.

As for the matter of completing the 'survey' thingy, I'm wondering if some of my answers might get me arrested?!?!?

12 January 2012 at 14:33  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It's unlikely that the blog owner would cause a public order offence by writing an article which someone found insulting. For starters, I think Section 5(3)(c) has more weight than it first appears. It is also balanced by the HRA and it must be in the public interest to proceed. I suspect people who are actually arrested in the street have fallen foul of Section 5(4). Even so, I still don't like Section 5 as it stands.

12 January 2012 at 14:41  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

Carl Jacobs

Yes, I agree with the gist of your point (and thanks for the British cultural homage - these things are appreciated!)

I agree that Jesus did not insult the Pharisees, and that there is a huge difference between passing judgement and insulting. In a sense, that is my point. You can pass judgement with love, and you can certainly do it without insulting. There is a huge danger in proscribing certain viewpoints, and (in my view) another one in pretending that one's insults towards another originate in a loving concern for their well-being.

And perhaps a third one. The hypersensitivity of some individuals and groups, their constant readiness to take offence and claim that the judgement passed on them is too much for them to bear, and that something legal should be done about it...

12 January 2012 at 14:47  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Oswin
Thank you, so kind and understanding.

As you know I'm not a supporter of assisted suicide and, being the last of my species, I do have a responsibility to survive, so I wont be acting on your advice.

Knobhead!

Jon
I actually believe we should have retained the laws on blasphemy instead of replacing them with this secular nonsense of causing offence. Maybe drop the death penalty and hot pokers through tongues. Britain is still a Christian country and, as such, we should defend the honour of God through our laws.

12 January 2012 at 14:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Anyway, it's in everyone's interests that street preachers are allowed to to preach on high streets on a Saturday afternoon. I'd even pay them. The chances of normal people, especially teenagers, wanting anything to do with a small bunch of god squaddies in woolly jumpers with a weird gleam in their eye trying to talk up a crowd is about zero. A good result all round.

12 January 2012 at 14:50  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Sam Vega

thanks for the British cultural homage

"Holy Grail" has become a transcendent film by this point. A timeless classic that remains and will remain one of the funniest movies of all time ... well, except for the last two minutes. The script has simply become part of the English language. I will never forget watching the movie in the theater, and seeing the coconuts for the first time.

carl

12 January 2012 at 15:20  
Blogger Belsay Bugle said...

Done it at last!
What a carry-on filling it in!

Using 'behaviours' in the second question rather gives the game away about which side the framer of the questions is on.

It's scary that 'insulting' someone could become illegal. If I tell my neighbour he or his wife are fat, or that having his initials on his numberplate is vulgar or his football team is rubbish, will I get my collar felt if he complains to the police?

12 January 2012 at 16:07  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

All done YG Thank you.

Belsay Bugle 16:07
Well if they arrested and took to court someone for barking at a dog who knows? There are a lot of spiteful losers out there who would ring 999 claiming they'd been insulted and take it to the wire.

12 January 2012 at 16:32  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 January 2012 at 16:32  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Sam and Carl, I think that Jesus did insult the Pharisees and he was right to do so. In addition, as a catholic, I think that anyone who wants to insult a paedophile priest would have my encouragement.

12 January 2012 at 16:54  
Blogger Roy said...

Even those people who claim that we should not be free to insult others have to admit that the problem is that anybody can claim to be insulted by something or other. If the wording of the proposed law is not changed then you can be sure that judges will interpret it in such a way that some people will have a greater right to claim to be insulted than others.

If Roman Catholics in parts of Northern Ireland claim that a march by Organge Men is insulting then the law will support them even if the Orange Men claim that they were insulted by the behaviour of protestors against their marches.

On the other hand if anyone objects to obscene cavorting by participants in a Gay Pride march it will be the objectors that are judged to be guilty, not the marchers. Political Correctness means the death of equality before the law. Some people are more equal than others.

12 January 2012 at 18:02  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

January 20, 2011 will mark the 17th anniversary in prison of Hadi Saeed Al-Mutif in Saudi Arabia. Aged 18 years, he allegedly quipped, "Let's pray on the penis of Muhammed" and was sentenced to death; this later being commuted to life imprisonment. He denies making the comment. He is from a hated, Shia Muslim minority group in Saudi Arabia.

12 January 2012 at 18:10  
Blogger Roy said...

@ DanJ0

Anyway, it's in everyone's interests that street preachers are allowed to to preach on high streets on a Saturday afternoon. I'd even pay them. The chances of normal people, especially teenagers, wanting anything to do with a small bunch of god squaddies in woolly jumpers with a weird gleam in their eye trying to talk up a crowd is about zero. A good result all round.

In some of our cities you will find street pastors working late at night helping people who are hopelessly drunk or high on drugs while you are safely tucked up in your bed (assuming that you are not one of the drunkards!).

When the Salvation Army started preaching in the streets many people regarded them with the same contempt that you regard contemporary street preachers. Some of their preachers were beaten up. One young woman evangelist with the Salvation Army in the Rhondda Valley was arrested for causing an obstruction and died in prison.

Similar things happened in earlier centuries with the Methodists and other non-conformists but it was thanks to them that slavery was abolished and probably also thanks to them that Britain never experienced a Revolution and Reign of Terror like France did.

Everyone including so-called normal people (and you probably count yourself as one of those) owes a debt to the street preachers of the past.

12 January 2012 at 18:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. The Inspector decries the use of our police forces as Orwellian ‘thought police’. We must do everything to remind them that they are the servants of free men, not the enforcers of men too fearful to speak out. The Inspector is sure your site will last a thousand years, and you will NEVER be shut down. (Might have to base you offshore on a ship though…) But if you do find yourself in the dock, the Inspector will willingly join you. We’ll ‘hang together’ so to speak. (…Though the Inspector expects you’d like to be burnt again, you are always going on about it. And we all want to be different and special don’t we, but really, there is a limit you know…) {INSPECTOR MUTTERS ON AND ON...}

Your humble servant, Sir.

12 January 2012 at 18:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. When the Inspector saw ‘ease your passage’, he initially didn’t think as in cash in your chips, close your account, vacate the premises, take the easy way out, put ones self up for burial, get measured for a wooden overcoat, shuffle off the mortal coil, clock out for good, hand in the key, cancel your membership, wave goodbye and join the choir invisible, terminate the agreement, stop the standing order, cast off your carcass, fall off your perch, become an ex Dodo…

Instead, it did occur to the Inspector that it was your back passage Oswin was on about and that he was willing to rub some Anusol in for you. Greater love hath no man etc, eh Oswin. {AHEM}

12 January 2012 at 18:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Roy: "In some of our cities you will find street pastors working late at night helping people who are hopelessly drunk or high on drugs while you are safely tucked up in your bed (assuming that you are not one of the drunkards!)."

I know! I was once approached by a young man of Grecian God beauty, including blond curly locks and a winning smile who seemed very keen to talk to me once the pubs were shut. Imagine my disappointment when it became evident that he had god squad intentions rather than amorous ones. :( I was still tempted to give him my phone number anyway.

"Everyone including so-called normal people (and you probably count yourself as one of those) owes a debt to the street preachers of the past."

I'm often exhorted to show respect to the unions, including the miners unions during the Thatcher years, because of changes to working practices that the unions encourages many decades ago. I have the same reply as now: respect for the union action at the start of the last century does not necessarily mean I should respect the behaviour or intentions of the unions today.

12 January 2012 at 18:44  
Blogger len said...

Rather interesting that some communicants feel the need (indeed the desire) to insult and offend others (no names mentioned but you will know them by the fruits, rather acid and leaves a nasty after taste)indeed it is the whole life purpose and the intentions of 'trolls' to offend, seems they cannot help themselves.

Of course the 'other side of the coin' is that the truth will often offend people especially the religious when their' sacred cows'are 'disrespected'but in my opinion the only good reason for offending people(unintentionally and without malice) is when one tells them the truth ...in love of course.

12 January 2012 at 19:08  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

I completely agree with you, you f!#*@ng &+!$.

12 January 2012 at 19:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

“Look mummy, it’s that nasty man Len and his sandwich board.” “Yes dear, so stay close, we know he’s always up to no good, don’t we.” “That’s God’s truth Ma, but why does he criticise Catholics so often and harshly, especially as we are members of the one true apostolic church. ” “He thinks he’s been put here to judge us all, AND expects to insult at will without reproach, bless him.” “That’s not very nice, do we know anything about him ?” “Well, they say he lives alone, with seven evil cats for company that make him say bad things.” “Truly scary, mother, but is there any hope for him ?” “Unlikely child, it’s said not even God can find it in him to forgive. As Len will one day find out. heh heh”

12 January 2012 at 19:45  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Cranmer, where do I sign, you Protestant git?

12 January 2012 at 19:59  
Blogger len said...

Inspector you prove my point!.Yet again.

12 January 2012 at 20:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

“Mummy, Mummy” “Yes child” “There’s more about Len you’re not saying.” “Yes, it’s true, but you must not tell the thought police what you will hear otherwise Mummy will be sent to chokey to do some stir, while you will be sent to a childrens home where if the staff don’t sexually abuse you, the other children will.”

“So here we go...

It is written he can adopt the form of a Least Weasel, and then scurries off to his other home. When he is in his weasel state, he is known as Weatsop. He lives under the kitchen waste tip in a nursing home. The walls of the burrow are lined with pages from the bible. He has befriended one of the inmates of the home, a mad man called Blofeld. Sadly Blofeld is quite barking, as communicants to the Archbishops site will attest after reading what he posts.”

12 January 2012 at 20:35  
Blogger len said...

Not tried Christianity yet then Inspector?.

12 January 2012 at 20:53  
Blogger len said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 January 2012 at 21:02  
Blogger len said...

Inspector,
The really beautiful thing about Christianity is that when you forgive everyone then you become untouchable(in a nice way) and beyond the reach of anyone to offend you.

Which brings us back to the thread.

I forgive you Inspector and Dodo too(in anticipation)of his impending attack.

Question, How do you offend a dead man?.

All the best.

12 January 2012 at 21:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. You Jesus like loveable old heretic, come over and have a hug...

12 January 2012 at 21:23  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

len

Now you're inviting an attack? And I thought you were a sensitive soul who was easily offended.

As you know dead men cannot be offended. For that to apply to you, you will have to surrender your 'self' and stop believing you are right all the time.

Have a nice evening in the kitchen waste heap and say please hello to Ernie the Milkman.

12 January 2012 at 21:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

You see, “We love you Len and we hope you will love we too”

12 January 2012 at 21:53  
Blogger Nibor said...

I filled in the forms and under comments I said the questionaire was bogus , devious and that senior civil sevants were mendacious self aggrandising bullies .
I said they were too cowardly to prosecute me for insulting them .
I mentioned a few of their names if they wanted to take the libel route .

They wont prosecute or do anything .
The truth can be told sometimes .

12 January 2012 at 22:08  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Well done Robin.

12 January 2012 at 22:38  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Weasel is so ugly just after he was born, his mother said "What a treasure!" and his father said "Yes, let's go bury it."

Some Questions for Weatsop

As an outsider, what do you think of the human race?

Did your parents ever ask you to run away from home?

Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you'd had enough oxygen at birth?

Do you want people to accept you as you are or do you want them to like you?

Can you tell me everything you know? I've got 10 seconds.

Hi! I'm a human being! What are you?

How did you get here? Did someone leave your cage open?

12 January 2012 at 23:44  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The Papists seem to be running amuck. I think it's about time that we called ... the British Inquisition!

NOBODY expects the British Inquisition! Our chief weapon is understatement...understatement and bad food...bad food and understatement .... Our two weapons are understatement and bad food ...and ruthless stoicism .... Our *three* weapons are understatement, bad food, and ruthless stoicism...and a mild devotion to the Archbishop of Canterbury.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as understatement, bad food.... I'll come in again.

13 January 2012 at 00:23  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

13 January 2012 at 00:30  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Hm! He is made of harder stuff! Reginald! Fetch...THE AMERICAN TEA!

13 January 2012 at 00:42  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

On the sixth day God turned to the Archangel Gabriel and said: "Today I am going to create a land called Canada. It will be a land of outstanding natural beauty. It shall have tall majestic mountains full of bears and eagles, beautifully sparkling lakes bountiful with trout, forests full of elk and moose, high cliffs overlooking sandy beaches with an abundance of sea life, and rivers stocked with salmon. I shall call these inhabitants "Canadians", and they shall be known as the most friendly people on the earth."

"But Lord," asked Gabriel, "don't you think you are being too generous to these Canadians?"

"Not really," replied God. "Just wait and see the neighbors I'm going to give them."

13 January 2012 at 01:46  
Blogger IanCad said...

Carl,

You've got three of them right, But you are so wrong on the food.
The quality and choices over here are far better than in the US. Particularly in prepared foods there is no comparison. Far cheaper too.
They still overcook their cabbage but there has been an astonishing change for the better in the last thirty years.

13 January 2012 at 07:44  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Thank You

As a card-carrying atheist, the infringement of my right to tell all religious loonies to eff off is seriously inhibited by this nonsense

13 January 2012 at 08:32  
Blogger bluedog said...

Done, Your Grace.

And Mr Tingey @ 08.32, after the Home Office exercise in Continuing Professional Development, are you confident that you will no longer confuse your abuse with your insults?

13 January 2012 at 10:09  
Blogger Oswin said...

Inspector @ 18:39:

NOT me personally old chap! Sans 'greasy pole' Dodo is free to please himself, as was my original er, point. Chortles...:o)

13 January 2012 at 11:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Inspector would like to announce in this atmosphere of insult and forgiveness, even that tragic animal, the crazed sectarian “Scottish barking Mouse” is loved. Isn’t Roman Catholicism wonderful !

13 January 2012 at 12:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Alas Oswin , your perceived ‘anal manipulation technique’ will have already aroused the Archbishop's gay following. Lucky you !

13 January 2012 at 12:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl. Once you renegades have paid up for one lost consignment of tea and the tax it would have attracted, we can then seriously consider reinstatement of the Americas into the British Empire, where everybody knows you belong...

13 January 2012 at 12:44  
Blogger Oswin said...

Inspector: ...continues to profess innocence!

13 January 2012 at 14:21  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Oswin

I never grease my pole and I must confess until Inspector pointed it out I was unaware of the possible nature of your offer. There are a couple of buggers (oops, mean bloggers) on here who might want to take you up - not me.

13 January 2012 at 17:56  
Blogger len said...

Inspector I see within you the glimmerings of humanity, not so sure about the Gaily coloured fish thing though.

13 January 2012 at 18:59  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13 January 2012 at 20:11  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

13 January 2012 at 22:08  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Orifice oi Genitalia

Dear Chappie

Should you desire a Tête à Tête with Ernst just ask, no need for the mind numbing cobblers spouted.
All Ernst did was measure the sh*te fluid flow rate using the Bernoulli Equation (for compressible flows (e.g. gases) ) to calculate the absolute neccessity for Ernst to blog.
I hear you fella!

Dodo the Katholikos Dude tried humour but..

Dickie, Ernst can see that somebody put a rather antiquated joke book in thy christmas stocking this year, only for you to bombard the living daylights out of the rest of us here on this blog with excerpts, which only you find humourous.

It must be some strange Opus Dei cyber flagellation you both go scouring this blog for. {Slap} {Slap} Happy now chaps?

Ernst

ps

Katholikos - is that Greek for no-mates? B-)

14 January 2012 at 02:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

There you are Blofeld. The Inspector has been rather concerned about your non appearance of late. He had thought you giving up tobacco at your advanced years might have seen you off. Still, one day, eh, in the not too far away future. By the way, you too are loved, of sorts, at a push, with a fair wind, on a non cloudy day, ad infinitum, etc.

14 January 2012 at 11:11  
Blogger Oswin said...

Ernst: you mean Dodo's collection of Tesco's 'Xmas Cracker' comedic inserts?

14 January 2012 at 11:16  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Oswin..ahead of the game as per.

Dear fellow

No wonder that COO @ tesco sold those 50,000 shares. Must have been the realisation that a very bad batch of Tesco's 'Xmas Crackers' jests (Must have bought them from that Scottish Sikh chappie Hardup Singed Ecoli, the decidedly unfunny comedian turned broadcaster..Poor Brillo on This Week !) had gone onto the market and some fool would soon give the game away online.

Don't know whether to bless or curse that stupid bird. *Chuckling to self*

Ernsty , My favourite blog jester

14 January 2012 at 12:41  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

14 January 2012 at 14:02  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Oh dear, I note freedom of expression doesn't extent to Monty Python humour! It seems remarks about flatuluance are too offensive to post.

len and Ernsty
"I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I **** in your general direction. Your mother was a weasel and your father smelt of elderberries.

14 January 2012 at 19:21  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dickie ' a very naughty boy ' no mates stated

'I note freedom of expression doesn't extent to Monty Python humour!' Nay, tis your freedom with the 'impression' that is at fault, lad.
'Ernst asks the Inspectwat Genwal to Stwike the Bird, Stwike him as vewy wuffly as possibible!'

In Nomine..., old bird, In Nomine..?

Ernsty 'the Wowdy Wome Webel ' Blofeld ;-) *sniggewing*

14 January 2012 at 20:21  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

E.xtra S.ensitive Bloe + Dribbles. I say old chap, your dementia getting worse, can barely read the last bit posted...

14 January 2012 at 20:35  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Orifice oi Genitalia

And you are.. Er.. Excuse me. Are you the Tiberian People's Front? , old boy? "He He He".


I was only... - It was a joke. I'm only pulling your leg! It's a joke! I'm not a leftyfooty hater! I'm just having you on! Put me back on the Katholic komode! Bloody Roman Catholics! Can't take a joke!

Ernst 'Sillius Soddus' Blofeld

14 January 2012 at 20:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Mr Bloe. Now you know we Catholics rejoice at a remorseful sinner. Hugs and Whisky all around, what !

14 January 2012 at 21:14  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Ernsty

In case youmissed my question:

Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you'd had enough oxygen at birth?

It's clearly showing now.

Inspector

Witnessing such distress makes one wonder about assistance in helping him along. But no, his suffering is self inflicted and necessary.

14 January 2012 at 21:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. He probably doesn’t even know what day of the week it is, bless him

14 January 2012 at 21:55  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Inspector
Let's hope he's being well cared for. I suspect he has to rely on a care attendant now to log onto to the internet. Can't remember his password, poor soul.

14 January 2012 at 23:38  
Blogger len said...

I suppose any intelligent person stumbling across this Blog will conclude that the Circus has come to town and the clowns have been let out and quietly slip away.

15 January 2012 at 10:12  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

So saith the oracle, the man who can do no wrong, the very saint in our midst. Our own dear len, patron saint of weasels everywhere.

15 January 2012 at 12:35  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: the Patron Saint of weasels, and other small animals, St. Melangell, was the daughter of a 7th, Century Irish King. She had a pet polecat (foulmartin) and was adored (she, not the polecat) by rabbits and hares ...I'm not sure how that worked out exactly, but seemingly it did.

15 January 2012 at 15:28  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Oswin

Should have known with your interest in the Celtic Church you'd have picked up on this.

St Melangell, who hid a hare in the folds of her cloak to save it from hunting hounds, is regarded as the Patron Saint of rabbits, hares and small animals in general. However, I'm sure the Irish Princess is a generous Lady and she'll not mind permitting Saint Len of Weasels to protect this particular group.

15 January 2012 at 15:42  
Blogger len said...

(Yawn) I have had far better insults than that!.

Bit like being savaged by a dead sheep, or should that be goat?.

16 January 2012 at 08:06  
Blogger Oswin said...

Len: It seems St. Dodo of Wiki, has rather superceded St. Christina 'The Astonishing' and, St. Dympna, as patron saint of lunatics. Doesn't it fill you with a rosy glow; we should offer thanks, perhaps? ;o)

16 January 2012 at 12:51  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Oswin
No, no, I'm not ready to be elevated to Sainthood! Len has claimed this honour for himself as he is no longer a sinner like mere mortal men.

Thanks for the suggestions but my favoured Saint is St Isidore of Seville. I could suggest a suitable Saint for you for you but it's best if you do this yourself.

16 January 2012 at 14:07  
Blogger Oswin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 January 2012 at 16:20  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: thank you; I didn't know much about St. Isidore, a most interesting character.

As for myself, I have my own name, but cannot clainm any glory beyond mere kinship. Neither do I wish to be murdered, to acquire any!

17 January 2012 at 16:24  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Oswin
Truthfully now, are you really related to Oswine, King of Deira, and the Patron Saint of the victims of betrayal?

17 January 2012 at 22:32  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: we prefer to miss out the 'e' as it tends to lead to confusion, and to accusations of dubious Irish ancestry: O'Swine!

Yes indeedy, all perfectly true. You may now genuflect; feel-free to leave an offering. Bless you.

18 January 2012 at 14:29  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Oswin
I'm genuinely impressed. Respect, Sir.

Have no fear, there will be no assassination attempt. You have my word.

18 January 2012 at 21:53  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: ah but, King Oswin, raised as a Roman Catholic, came to prefer the Celtic Church; whereas his murderous cousin, King Oswi, raised by the Celtic Church, came to prefer the Roman Church!

Thus, the real conflict behind the Synod of Whitby (more than an argument about tonsures and the date of Easter, as you once remarked upon!)... Oswin's murder, twelve years earlier, was less about jealousy and land-grabbing, and rather more about forging strong, political links, with the might of Rome etc.

One might even be tempted to call it a sort of a prototype 'Jesuit assasination' wouldn't you say? ;o)

19 January 2012 at 13:58  
Blogger Dodo the Renatus Dude said...

Oswin
I really have no certain idea but if you push me I'm sceptical about the existance of a 'Celtic Church' as a distinct tradition uniting Irish, Welsh, Scots, Breton, Cornish, and Manx Churches.

As in most of these things the dispute between these particular cousins was probably a mix of ambition overlaid with religion.

Iona and Whithorn needed to get their act together vis a vis Rome for the sake of Scottish and Northumbrian Christians. Even today in Scotland this rift, now centuries ago, raises its head and bubbles under the surface. Of course protestants claim it was the suppression of the 'Celtic Church' by an over bearing 'Roman Church'. The suppression of a spiritual, romantic people by a rational and repressive system. Myth or reality - who knows?

Today Scottish Presbyterians, and before them the promoters of the Reformation, tell a 'story' with an anti-Roman. Catholics tell a different tale, seeing it in terms of a universal Church needing to get its structure and canonical and sacramental discipline consistently adopted.

Oswin was betrayed after fleeing the battle field and going into hiding. I doubt Oswiu was motivated by the grander sentiments of the Society of Jesus.

Nationalism, Kingship and Religion - not a stable brew!

20 January 2012 at 00:57  
Blogger Dodo the Renatus Dude said...

Oswin
As you know I'm sceptical about the existance of a 'Celtic Church' as a distinct tradition uniting Irish, Welsh, Scots, Breton, Cornish, and Manx Churches.

As in most of these things the dispute between these particular cousins was probably a mix of ambition overlaid with religion.

Iona and Whithorn needed to get their act together vis a vis Rome for the sake of Scottish and Northumbrian Christians. Even today in Scotland this rift, now centuries ago, raises its head and bubbles under the surface. Of course protestants claim it was the suppression of the 'Celtic Church' by an over bearing 'Roman Church'. The suppression of a spiritual, romantic people by a rational and repressive system.

Today Scottish Presbyterians, and before them the promoters of the Reformation, tell a 'story' with an anti-Roman. Catholics tell a different tale, seeing it in terms of a universal Church needing to get its structure and canonical and sacramental discipline consistently adopted.

Oswin was betrayed after fleeing the battle field (he ran away) and going into hiding. I doubt Oswiu was motivated by the grander sentiments of the Society of Jesus.

Nationalism, Kingship and Religion - not a stable brew!

20 January 2012 at 00:59  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: you cannot be sceptical about something that clearly existed!

Further, Oswin did not flee the field of battle. (How dare you Sir!) Even Bede, who had his own axe to grind, did not say such.

Oswin was returning from Ad Grefrin, with half his War Band, around thirty warriors; the t'other half having accompanied his wife, Nia, their children and baggage-train, several days earlier.

Oswin was moving south, unkowingly on a converging course to that of Oswi, when he became aware of a large army, of many hundreds, travelling south too.

At which point he scattered his men across his Kingdom, to raise an army. Oswin remained in the area to await reinforcements, at the home of a supposed friend, who subsquently betrayed him.

Bede states that Oswin released his army, to save their slaughter, against a massively superior force. This is little more than Bede 'bulling up' Oswin's 'Saintly' qualities, to better fit St. Aidan's appraisal.

Besides, remaining in the area makes absolutely no sense, if one were to accept Bede's version.

Sighs ... putting the record straight, for the umpteenth time. We've been doing this ever since Bede stuck in his ecclesiastic oar!

20 January 2012 at 16:42  
Blogger Dodo the Renatus Dude said...

O'Swine the Apologist

I bow to your superior knowledge about your kinsmen. I'm pleased to hear this version as a cowardly Saint would never do.

So far as the 'Celtic Church' is concerned, there's too much partisan baggage associated with the historical accounts nowadays. Clearly something existed and Christianity was evidently divided over certain questions of ritual and authority. Given where I live and my allegiance to Rome, I am a predisposed towards St Ninian and Whithorn.

20 January 2012 at 20:41  
Blogger Oswin said...

YOUR version, you mean! Hm, I may have to kill you Dodo; horribly!

21 January 2012 at 14:46  
Blogger Dodo the Renatus Dude said...

Oswin
Trial by combat, what?

Name the hour, venue and weapons of choice, Sir! Or will you be making a 'tactical withdrawal' too?

21 January 2012 at 17:12  
Blogger Oswin said...

''Tactical withdrawal'' ... but only inasmuch as I'd prefer a distant 'Dodo' within my cross-hairs. After all, we are supposed to learn from the errors of history; otherwise you just might get lucky, and ruin my day.

22 January 2012 at 13:33  
Blogger Dodo the Renatus Dude said...

Oswin

Ummm ... then withdraw the idle threat "I may have to kill you Dodo" or the assassins will be recommissioned. Northumbria, being part of Bernicia, falls within my sphere of control.

22 January 2012 at 17:17  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: guffaws!

23 January 2012 at 13:10  

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