Corpse-kicking for Jesus

A Scottish friend drew my attention to a recent letter in the Oban Times by one Donald Morrison, who comes across as a major league retard, even by the notoriously low standards of Scottish Calvinism.

Morrison took the hump because someone had the audacity to organise a humanist funeral in Inverness, so spent about a page ranting in the local press about it. He claimed people who attended thought it the worst funeral they’d been to. He presents as a compulsive fabulist, so I assume he’s lying about that, and is using any weak excuse to (effectively) attack a dead person, their family and friends at a sad time.

Even for a god-bothering small town throwback this fool is offensive. He spends whole paragraphs whingeing because his god, sin, heaven and hell weren’t mentioned once, neither was his favoured collection of fairy tales, and nobody prayed. Shock horror.

He then rants on for another couple of paragraphs because the funeral celebrated the deceased’s life instead of dwelling on death and salivating about it. Finally he attributes a fictitious book to Nietzsche before saying that a popular joke (”God is dead: Nietzsche/ Nietzsche is dead: God”) appeared as graffiti days after Nietzsche died, when any fool knows it was little more than an icebreaker used by teachers in the 1960s to introduce fourth formers to some basic philosophy.

In a town where everyone must have known about the funeral, one feels for the friends and relatives of the deceased this boor insulted. The island suffers from thoughtless, fundamentalist cretins, but even they would not stoop to this.

Idiots like Morrison should stick to things they actually know about – like molesting sheep. I’m the last one for censorship, and generally love it when such religiots put their wellies in their mouths and give us all a good laugh. But in my days as a journo for small local papers even I would have thought twice before allowing them to denigrate the recently dead.

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“Hate won’t win”

I’ve been in Peel Cathedral once in recent years for the funeral of a close friend, because I owed him that. It was an awful funeral and I’ve never been able to set foot in the place since. When showing some guests around the island and they wanted to take a look in there I actually had to stand outside, because I felt physically sick.

The sad thing is that there are increasing efforts to create a myth of the Cathedral as a place which celebrates diversity, cares about human rights. An excuse for more public subsidy, more like.

Actually, that is not a cheap crack. In fact the joke is a very expensive one, considering the public money that is being poured into a vacuous scheme to turn a cold faith-barn into some sort of educational resource where local school-kids can go to learn about, say, the Holocaust or more recent atrocities.

Given, for example, the Manx church’s direct involvement in the oppression of gays and lesbians for years, this suggests that Manx civil servants – especially in the Education Department – must get through the day on very powerful medication.

And to add to the hilarity, tomorrow there is to be a vigil for the Orlando victims in the Cathedral (see http://www.isleofman.com/News/details/79516/vigil-reaches-out-to-lgbti-community ). Not only that, but this week in the Cathedral gardens you could actually see the rainbow flag at half-mast for a day. No, seriously, you could.

Out of curiosity, when Manx Rainbow Association forwarded the image from the Cathedral’s Facebook page, I asked the Cathedral what happens the next day. Is it back to “business as usual” for the other 364?

Anyone familiar with the Manx church’s usual stance on gay issues would get the joke immediately. And anyone who read their way through the appalling “contributions” by local churches to a 2014 government consultation on equal marriage would be far too angry.

The Cathedral did not get the joke. A spokesperson just replied to say all were welcome at the vigil. I doubt it, and am not about to go in order to check. I would strongly recommend others also boycott this cheap stunt.

The event looks set to be a smaller scale version of the annual Holocaust Memorial Service which, while initiated and organised entirely by Jewish volunteers, must take place in a church and be overseen by the bishop and his staff in order for senior politicians to grace it with their presence.

For the last two years, in an effort to help my long-suffering Jewish friends on the committee turn it into something genuinely open to participation by those of all faiths and none, I’ve attended as a speaker, and even that is a struggle. The attitude is so oppressive that I am usually the first out of the door.

Tea and stickies with hatemongering hypocrites who are only there because they can claim expenses? No thanks. In fact I am seriously thinking of asking if someone else will represent the human rights group I speak for. The whole event really does upset me so much.

Like the Holocaust, Orlando was an atrocity entirely caused by religious hatred, so for the same bigots to monopolise “official” efforts to grieve or show sympathy is ridiculous.

But as I finish this, an e-mail pinged in from Southern Poverty Law Center noting that today is the anniversary of the killing of nine black people in a Charleston church by a white supremacist. SPLC quote the brave words spoken by one woman to the killer of her grandfather, “Hate won’t win”.

We cannot let it, just as we cannot let the haters dominate our attempts to remember their victims.

So, what’s the addiction to giving therapy called?

I read this, written by a good friend and sometime editor of mine (see
http://freethinker.co.uk/2016/06/04/drunken-priest-assaulted-a-police-officer-and-a-paramedic/), laughed, made a comment and went about my daily business elsewhere. Later, out of curiosity, I looked again to see if anyone else had commented.

Then I laughed even more.

Fellow atheists,  falling for a notorious 20th century religious scam? That has to be a bad joke.

The thing is, I no more believe in alcoholism than I do Christianity. Because the concept of alcoholism didn’t exist until the religious shysters behind AA invented it to justify their silly racket.

No, for me, you do something stupid, you take responsibility, you move on. Simples.

It’s nothing to do with the religious concepts of guilt and helplessness. It’s simply being honest enough to admit that, as humans, sometimes we do dumb stuff.

And if you do, stop whining, stop making excuses, stop expecting that someone else will clean up the mess and (for the right price) validate your victimhood. Hold your hands up, make recompense to those you messed about, then get on with normal life.

When it comes to AA and their myth of a Higher Power, I’m with Julia Phillips, first woman producer to win an Oscar and the most acid-tongued wit ever around the Hollywood cesspit.

“I think you take more responsibility for yourself if you don’t believe in God than if you do. The I’m-one-of-God’s-children-he-will-forgive-me concept has become so much more popular than the I-am-unique-and-possibly-alone-therefore-accountable-for-myself-and-my-behaviour school that it really should not be surprising to us that we have become so greedy and unethical and immoral.”

Spot on, girlfriend.

Alcoholism is just another dumb fetishisation – medicos or other “experts” creating a fake need, offering another fake product which fills the need (but never enough for you to stop buying it) and profiting handsomely from it.

Frankly, if I had to choose between having a vice and having the therapy I’d stay with the vice every time. The exploitation is more honest. The decision to stop more straightforward. You walk away, the supplier shrugs and finds another mug. And they certainly don’t use the state to get you back under their thumb.

But the other one that gets me is, why this pathological need to be a therapist anyway, to have control over people? Is there a cure for that?

Because all the sickest religious parasites I know seem to have a pathological addiction to dominate and control others in quite obscene ways. Maybe there should be a term for it – dominionism maybe?

When therapy creates abuse

There is a hilarious story on the front page of the local paper this week which nicely illustrates the complete inadequacy of Manx government drug policy. It also drops clues about the collaboration between police, courts and supposedly independent advice agencies which funds nice little earners for faith-based therapy scams. For some reason, the full story has not made it to the newspaper website so I must briefly outline it here.

A reporter was present in court when a man found in possession of cannabis with an estimated street value of just £1.59 was sentenced to a six month probation order and compulsory ‘supervision and support’ from what the Manx government still describes as a drug and alcohol team (with the inference that employees of this entity have expertise in substance abuse). In effect, an innocent bloke had the temerity to treat the minor everyday stresses of life with the odd joint so now has a criminal record, and in future either suffers regular interference from pig-ignorant fundamentalist prod-noses or gets a worse criminal record.

Why?

Well, certainly not because the Manx court system is trying to do what lay people would understand as its job, i.e. to deal with crime; frankly, it rarely (if ever) deals with real criminals anyway.

For example, in another recent case a woman caught stealing logs and coal to stay warm got a five week prison sentence (which I suppose is one way to deal with the government’s inability to help poor people with their heating needs) plus a £625 fine for another offence. As a veteran commentator on Manx inequality remarked, if the woman cannot afford a bag of coal, how the hell is she supposed to ‘magic up’ £625 to pay off a fine?

And certainly not because anybody involved in the Manx court or social services either understands or knows how to identify or deal with genuine substance abuse (rather than whip up a moral panic).

A body currently employed by government to interfere with any individual who the police (in order to beef up underwhelming prosecution cases) can identify as having used alcohol regularly (or an illegal or semi-legal substance ever) notoriously only enjoys that contract because of common evangelical links between their staff and others in key government positions. Reports back from their reluctant ‘clients’ indicate that these ‘therapists’ could be considered an absolute joke by any moderately street-wise adolescent if they did not also have the power to completely screw over any victim referred to them.

Yes, there are serious dependency and abuse problems to be dealt with here, but we need to stop the abusers, not supply them with a steady flow of fresh victims.

I have maintained for years that the essential difference between Jesus and heroin is that even the most shameless smack dealer would never dare suggest his goods can offer life after death, and even the dumbest junkie would not believe him.

Additionally, we really must deal with the deep-seated and irrational need of hardcore prod-noses to offer one useless ‘therapy’ after another: psychological basket-cases who spend their lives trying to obtain life or death powers over the innocent, dreaming up ever more bizarre scams and networking with any fellows in delusion with authority to grant them government funds.

Government employees who chatter away and howl at walls on Sunday mornings are not a health hazard. Government employees who claim authority from their imaginary invisible friend to spend public funds on bogus therapies for imaginary problems – and ruin real lives in doing so – quite definitely are.