Monday, 24 August 2009

(Ab?) normal service will be resumed...

It feels like a good time to laze about, read books and generally disconnect from this digital goldfish bowl thingie for a while.
Frankly, I'm bored with 'business as usual', so I'm off to play silly games with my kid, get away from this 3rd world kipper republic.......stuff like that.
Back early in September.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Bad business as usual

I had to wait for one ridiculous item in this week’s Examiner to go online at, just to check it wasn’t a joke.
The headline says, ‘Businesses throw support behind Cathedral proposals’.
Oh really?
Well... ..... no. Actually they don’t – at least not any which can get by without public handouts and charity.
The clue comes in the revelation that:
“The 14-strong BAG boasts inside knowledge of the building, legal, finance, training, service, retail and catering trades as well as the police.”
You see, once you know that the Talbots not only run connect2charity but are part of the evangelical mafia which runs Stepford Central and the Police Advisory Group, that Mr Talbot’s professional services are most regularly used by churchy charities who can’t manage basic book-keeping or the minimal requirements of Manx charitable status, and that Mrs Talbot trains folk like nursing home staff most bases there are covered.
And I wouldn’t be too impressed either at the assurance that:
“These plans have been endorsed by the Cathedral Chapter, composed of the Bishop of Sodor and Man, Archdeacon and five Canons who represent churches across the Island.”
Just see or even Re-arranging the Titanic’s deckchairs if you want to know in more detail.
So, looks like a drain on the public purse (rather than business) as usual then, and from an ever more desperate and incestuous crowd of losers who beg from genuine businesses and working people.
Ho hum.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Muzzie, muzzie, muzzie!! Nobody died, move on

An ironic little censorship story has come my way.
What’s ironic is that the group involved, GALHA (Gay & Lesbian Humanist Association), was born from a famous free speech battle – the Gay News trial.
I’m actually a little uncomfortable going into this, because I value and support GALHA, but you have to be consistent in defending free speech. We can’t just criticise the fundie groups for their censorship and ignore the topic when it crops up amongst those we call friends.
Briefly, GALHA has an online discussion group, and one poster used the word “Muzzies” in a posting, (coincidentally not about Islam) much as you might use terms like “godbotherer” or “fundie” (or for that matter ‘Toffees”, “Baggies”, “Blades”, etc. , etc. in a footie discussion group, I suppose).
The post was disallowed, and it was at this point that members realised someone at GALHA must be censoring e-mails. As it turned out, this had been going on for months without members realising or agreeing to the practice.
Things got worse as discussion on the list continued, because everyone wanted to know what the ‘banned’ word was, but as it was banned the original poster couldn’t enlighten them, and the original censor didn’t seem to want to tell them. Eventually, for the purposes of explanation, the original poster was allowed a single “Muzzie”, though his ‘original’ remained censored.
(At this point I’m reminded of Mike Harding talking about how the BBC once allowed him two tits and a bum but no buggery during a TV routine)
Anyway, still following? No laughing at the back, either, because now things get more serious.
The ‘uncensored’ post happened only after a GALHA committee member had suggested that “Muzzie” is akin to “Paki” or “Nigger”, thus intimating the intent of the poster was racist. As the poster is another stalwart of the gay humanist world, who I've come to know well, I don't believe that for a second.
But all this fuss about a word, when surely it’s when, where and how it was used that matters. Excuse me saying so, but isn’t being scared of the power of a word a little superstitious? Manx people know where I’m heading here – but for the benefit of off-island readers, the Manx have a phobia of the word ‘rat’, as if the mere sound could conjure up a plague of them. A fellow Freethinker once reduced a Thought For The Day producer to tears with a ‘talk’ consisting of repeating the word “rat” for one minute just to prove it wouldn’t. Needless to say, it wasn’t broadcast!
And being scared of letting the world know there’s a disagreement is even worse. We’re talking about groups of thinking, feeling people here, not the dress alike, knee-jerk cults of biscuit munching, rug-butting, tax-dodging zombie worshippers we’re not supposed to snigger at.
But seriously though, as this is something I’m experiencing more and more myself, it worries me when people tell you to shut up because, somehow, arguing in public lets down the side and suggests to the ‘opposition’ that you have no clear ‘party line’. It worries me when humanist groups start acting like churches, where somehow ‘divine wisdom’ (profane wisdom?) filters down through the ether from the top and is not to be questioned. A lot like New Labour and modern politics then.
Oh, and by the way, I’m sick of being told that whatever Richard Dawkins pronounces is what I think too. If he wants to know what you or I think, he can ask us instead of palming easy money with pointless TV 'interviews' of faith leaders which are edited to hell and back to avoid either party losing face.
Atheist role models? Fuck 'em all. Who needs them if you can think for yourself?
No, argument is good. Argument is debate, argument says you’re part of a group that thinks and cares, that wants to know what you think (not tell you what to think) so that your contribution makes the whole richer and stronger.
I’m not saying humanism should descend to the Judean Peoples Front level of Manx evangelicals, where every third bampot splits and forms a new cult, inevitably demanding the same tax exemptions and access to government as every other two village idiots and a mangy dog howling at the moon in an empty building.
I would argue the opposite in fact. It is at the times we noisily, passionately argue in public about stuff that others notice and join in. It is at the times we don’t speak for fear of offending that the same religionists and their hopelessly hierarchical churches who claim offence take our silence as ‘evidence’ that we are few and irrelevant.
Oh sod it.
There, nobody died, nobody got bombed, nobody called a lawyer or a police officer.
So move on.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Knit yer own trannie

There’s a lovely article about Richard O’Brien, creator of the Rocky Horror Show, over at
Anyone of about my age who had to spend part of their life in a right wing backwater has fond memories of this show, and will have taken O’Brien’s advice to “Don’t dream it, be it”.
While the US and the rest of Europe were happily dressing up, joining in and throwing toast at the cinema screen, even in the late 1980’s things were different when the film eventually got to Moaners Isle. No wonder me and a few other dissidents were slung out of the Palace Cinema for using our loaves!
For a start, homosexuality was totally illegal and redneck attitudes so ingrained that not even a kid in punk gear walked alone into an island pub. To compound the stupidity, Anderton’s protégé was running the Manx police and bringing ‘pretty policing’ entrapment tactics to the island (leading to a spate of suicides which handily avoided the police ever having to defend such tactics in court).
How much things have changed. For instance, the WI are the very pulse of middle class decency, so when you read of them knitting a 6ft Frank N. Furter for the local carnival (no, really, see if you don't believe me), you know it’s all over……
Except amongst a few politicians who are convinced that, just because one or two godbothering flat-earthers can’t cope with humanity in all its varieties, we should be the last place in Europe to allow civil partnership ceremonies.
So, we are now officially the Third World, but the funny thing is, these days if I see a bloke with shaved legs walking round here in a basque and fishnets I just yawn, instead of fearing for his safety.
Honestly, what is it with these chartered accountants? Can’t they just loosen up a little?

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Bored again

It’s Parental Guidance Festival time again.
No, seriously, I’m glad I’m not only a heathen but over the hill when I see the desperate efforts of godly dull young ravers to put on Manx music events.
First we have the organisers of Mannifest putting a brave face on another abject failure (see Still, even a long, wholewheat lecture with music is better than the original Mannifestation of this snorefest.
It started life as a Christian ‘family values’ weekend organised by Churches Together in Mann. I remember the first one was so bad the highlights included a golf tournament for godbothering dads and a marriage workshop by a local showbiz couple who everyone (but the organisers) knew were going through an ugly breakup at the time.
And tomorrow it gets worse, when local batshits and pent-up cross dullards start their annual bash, Firestarter. See and weep.
This year they’ve moved to St. John’s, which is slap bang in the middle of the island. Now, could this be because emergency services in coastal towns are so fed up of dragging ungrateful godbothers out of the sea at midnight?
It was getting to be a habit. Late night prayer meeting, go for a dip to cool off, float away blissfully on your blow-up Jesus doll……and get picked up at 1 AM by an RNLI crew with much better things to do.
To really annoy the long suffering local emergency services volunteers, the dozy batshits had a habit of going on local radio and giving sermons praising their imaginary playmate for looking after them….. but never once a “Thank You” for any of the poor sods who actually got out of bed and put out to sea within minutes.
On the other hand, there are other reasons why they might prefer St. John’s.
Only a stone’s throw from Stepford Central, where they can visit exhibitions of the bland, godly and pointless then buy overpriced tat fit only for colour blind farming families with more public money than taste. Also, the highest concentration of known BNP members in any square mile of the island.
Yup, bigots, fashion-deficient lard-arses and public freeloaders. It will be just like any other Sunday for most of them. For anyone else, St. John's is a no go area until at least next Monday.

Monday, 17 August 2009

We're still exporting ignorance to Uganda

I blog about Manx evangelicals helping theofascist nutjobs screw up African lives until I’m sick of the subject.
Sadly I see from they’re still doing it.
Most recently I posted on Southern Poverty Law Center’s work exposing the role US Christian charities are playing in a witch-hunting of Ugandan gays which has to be compared to the build-up of German anti-semitism in the 1930’s. See for more, and be sure to follow up the links to
As there’s now a major fundraising effort to bring a crocodile tears, fact free expo about Anne Frank to the island’s major centre of religious wrongheadedness I have to assume ‘irony’ isn’t a word Manx Christians understand any better than ‘humanity’ or ‘decency’.
I can only repeat, yet again, what I said the last time I posted on Ugandan human rights abuse funded by Western Christians, who prey on ignorance via the charity system to screw up young lives….
“That people on the Isle of Man still give money to evangelical ‘charities’ who stir up such hatred disgusts me. The sheer stupidity and cluelessness of Manx Christian charities always amuses friends and relatives in countries where they consolidate the island’s reputation as a third world backwater and major exporter of village idiocy. Our role in Uganda, though, is in a whole other league, and far more deadly.”
Still, at least there’s one advantage to catching this twaddle as ‘community news’ on Manxnet before it hits the local media. When it appears in the 'proper press' under another byline, we’ll know exactly which ‘Freedom To Fester’ goon planted it, and which journalists are too lazy to rewrite it.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Empty vessels

A houseful of visiting relatives is keeping me away from the blog, but I couldn’t let a letter from the pompously titled ‘Youth Group of Ramsey Independent Methodist Church’ in this week’s Indie (see go without note.
For a town of under 5,000 where nothing happens, Ramsey (in theory) has a bewildering number of tiny churches, all with their own phonebook entries and all careful to demand listings on government databases. They mostly achieve the latter by writing cretinous responses to any government ‘consultation’ on a vaguely faith-based or moral issue.
From the few times government publishes examples of these responses I suspect most were written in red crayon with stick man pictures. I’m sure writing them makes illiterate losers feel important, and it also feeds the illusion of a lively Christian community. The truth ( as press releases from ‘proper’ churches such as or show) is that the church will be dead in a generation, and knows it.
When less than a hundred are in all Ramsey churches combined on an average Sunday, beats me why they not only heat and claim tax exemption on empty buildings but get schools opened as temporary places of worship – because so many godbotherers can’t bear to talk to those in any of the currently deserted sheepsheds.
So, you see, the situation is even sillier, because it isn’t sarky, media -savvy heathens like me or ‘the other Stuart’ (Peters) bringing about this demise, just the inability of any three Manx Christians to meet for more than ten minutes without splitting into two factions.
Think of the Peoples Front of Judea and Judean Peoples Front in Life of Brian and you’ll be pretty close. I’ve monitored with incredulity and hilarity incestuous, grandly titled nonentities in the many places I’ve lived or worked, but the Isle of Man would be Shangri La for either anthropologists or situation comedy writers.
The name on this letter is a perfect example. Just a wee local history lesson here ….
Manx Methodists signed up to the current mainstream UK Methodist position about a century ago. Those who wouldn’t formed a fundamentalist faction, known as the ‘Prims’ (Primitive Methodists), which maintained separate chapels and fought to get control of the two Manx ‘circuits’ for a couple of decades.
In some cases, even a husband and wife would attend separate chapels at other ends of the same street. By the way, in small communities where being in the ‘wrong’ church could deprive you of a job or home such moves were pragmatic and practical, not faith-based.
But ‘Independent Methodists’ aren’t part of that tradition, and are not even Methodists. They’re a tiny evangelical sect comprised of lapsed Baptists and Pentecostalists. Bear in mind these ‘denominations’ have such a weird Manx history that you can only get expelled from them for being vaguely sensible, honest or public spirited. For example, alcoholism, drug dependency or fraud don’t tend to cause eviction, and adultery certainly doesn’t, but going to the police to stop a ‘pillar of the church’ who assaults your under-age child does.
And what can you say about another tiny Ramsey evangelical cult which expelled the only teenage worshipper for "singing too loud"? I’m sure their decision had nothing to do with him admitting some confusion over his sexual orientation, because despite all the sicko rants such churches print in government ‘consultations’ whose results they know will go unpublished, in public they claim to love the sinner but hate the sin.
So this letter was written by bampots who found even those madhouses too ‘high church’ – as you surmise if you read it closely. By the way, as even locals will find it difficult to recall this ‘church’ I should say it’s halfway up an alley used as a toilet by patrons of the pub at the main road end, next to a charity shop which stopped wellwishers leaving clothes outside because the bags get nicked by skip-divers.
Not, in short, an upmarket venue. And not compelling evidence of a thriving local faith community.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

The Emissionary Position

Many will now be aware that government routinely publicises bad news on Fridays, knowing that we’re too busy trying to slip away for the weekend to notice.
Similarly, Radio Cowshed, our nation’s only publicly subsidised broadcaster, has little or no professional staff and no newsroom at the weekends. A skeleton staff hangs about long enough to collate Saturday sports reports from club secretaries then hands the keys to the religious correspondent. This explains why the Sunday ‘news’ items are so often dominated by faith-based tittle-tattle.
Today’s features a report on the future of Anglicanism ( see, which confirms much of what I’ve said over the last year – i.e. that it’s flogging off the spoons, laying off the professional clergy and finding ways to hand the everyday stuff over to lay volunteers. Nothing there but good management sense for a business whose traditional market has gone, in fact. Almost makes you wonder if they’ve roped in the Tourist Board or Manx Heritage. The problems, navel-gazing cluelessness and solutions are so similar, and it would at least explain why government agencies are flogging gigs like Songs of Praise at Rushen Abbey.
What might be interesting, considering that rural deans are professional clergy and at least nominally in touch with their congregations, is to see if (as I suspect) these ‘Mission Partnerships’ will be controlled by locals notorious for a dislike of transparency and the democratic process who have skulked in government broom-cupboards for years.
The stuff about the website is no news either. I was told months ago who will run it and the horse-trading that went on first, but that can wait for another day.
In fact, my only concern, given a long history of shady dealings between Manx government and the ‘Established Church’ which is almost a pocket history of the denial of Manx democracy, is who, exactly, is this ‘mission’ to?
Is a self-selected elite trying to preach to congregations who have few problems with women, gays and folk of other cultures and creeds, and who just won’t get with the right wing agenda? If so, we shouldn’t care less as long as we are not asked to subsidise a fatuous tiff between devotees. However bizarre it is to the rest of us, people freely choose their faith and should live with the consequences.
Or is a church which already gives moral approval to shady politicos in return for privilege coming for our children through compulsory school activity? As both many of us and our kids now see that church as an amoral, anti-social hate joke we’re sick of listening to, that just might be a problem.

Another week, another deluded Archtwit

Ah well, another week, another Archbishop trying to preach unreconstructed Noah’s Arkisms to the evolved.
These outbursts are so deluded and so regular that this one is only of note because this time it’s the Archbishop of Wales, and as Wales was where our own bishop put on his clerical stabilisers it allows us another glimpse into his past and influences.
Dr Barry Morgan’s comments (see come because Wales has followed England with a law allowing pupils of 16 and over to miss collective worship without parental consent. While schools are still required to offer daily worship the Education and Inspections Act 2006 allows sixth-formers to opt out.
Dr Morgan, says the law “degraded the status of faith schools” and that group prayer offered pupils a rare opportunity for “recognition, affirmation and celebration of shared values” and should be encouraged.
In fact he thinks that:
“Collective worship has been branded as something that young people grow out of by the age of 16, at precisely the time when it might be the best way of feeding both their minds and their hearts as they start to explore the responsibilities and consequences of adult life,”
and furthermore that
“I am concerned that this is the thin end of the wedge and could be just the start of a process that devalues and ultimately marginalises the provision of collective worship in schools”.
Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the National Secular Society, quickly put the man in his place yesterday when he commented:
“The Archbishop is either ignorant of or cares nothing for older pupils’ human rights. It is not legitimate for the state to force older pupils to worship. He even wants to row back on rights of withdrawal enshrined in law since 1944. It is simply ridiculous and arrogant to insist that those old enough to join the armed forces, and who will already have endured ten years of forced worship, should not be permitted to withdraw themselves. The National Secular Society fully supports assemblies at which values can be shared, but this is not the same as forced worship.
“It is little wonder that the Archbishop is so determined to force his world view on unwilling near-adults. Church attendance in Wales is less than half of what it was in 1980, and is projected by Christian Research to drop to around a quarter of what it is now by 2050. Given he cannot stop the churches from emptying, where could be more fertile ground than pupils captive in school?”

In the Isle of Man things are worse and Keith's comments are even more apt, because while there are no plans or proper facilities for any child to be withdrawn from collective brainwashing (even with parental permission) the voting age is 16. In effect this means that the imbeciles who kids are encouraged to vote for don't trust them to make an informed decision not to believe in fairies.
I'm also as unsure as Keith how long the Archbishop has been asleep on the job, but I have to say that even in my day (the early 1970's) we regarded collective worship as a bad joke in my secondary school.
The only element most of us paid attention to was the competition amongst school prefects to see who could sneak the wildest blasphemy into the daily bible reading without the headmaster noticing. Amongst the best I recall were quotations from Chairman Mao and punchlines from Monty Python sketches. That none of the miscreants were ever punished suggests that even then most staff in a well regarded traditional grammar school must have considered the whole exercise as futile as we pupils did.
The sad thing is, half the staff in my school were Oxbridge graduates, so while it was a very conservative, traditionalist school there was also a strong emphasis on civilised questioning and debate ( “Because I say so, boy” just wouldn’t do). By comparison, a quick glimpse around Manx schools reveals a culture of conformism and fear, and I include teachers scared of cutbacks in that.
In such a culture, those capable of believing six impossible things before breakfast thrive: those who think do not, or are shortlisted for redundancy (if staff) or filed under ‘awkward’ (if parents or pupils).
Inevitably, the first thing kids in such an environment learn is how to tell when Teacher doesn’t believe the guff s/he is preaching either, and how to make their own way through a system that simply does not work. My East European friends tell me this is exactly how they learnt to outwit and eventually discard their dimwit leaders, so maybe retaining Third World values and superstitions when the rest of Europe has not will ensure our own kids do the same.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

From Peel to Cheltenham and Nigeria the hate song remains the same

It seems the gap between moderate Christians and the New Christofascism is showing in the most unexpected places.
Greenbelt is, I suppose, the Christian equivalent of Glastonbury and is held in Cheltenham in late August annually. It’s run by decent enough folk whose views on most moral issues are on the same planet as anyone else with an education who reads the odd newspaper, just that they feel the need to run those views past a collection of fairy tales and a fictitious invisible friend first.
But this year they have brought down the wrath of their conservative pewmates by inviting along Gene Robinson, the openly gay Bishop. Apparently that meant that all sorts of dullards whose misogyny and cretinism is allegedly excused through such fairy tales planned to boycott the event.
Logically, you’d think any good time would be improved by the absence of such chuckleheads. Unfortunately their arrogance exceeds their ignorance, so they’ve insisted on turning up anyway and having facilities put aside for them to put everybody straight (if you’ll excuse the pun) on Christianity and sexuality. You can read more at .
The main culprits are the Church Mission Society. This raises alarm bells locally.
The thing is, these jokers were brought in last year by local godbotherers to run ‘workshops’ on slavery in Manx schools. At the time I thought it hilarious that an outfit formed by slave-owning churches (so that, after the official abolition of the slave trade, churches could just brainwash natives throughout a developing empire instead) should think itself capable of taking a moral view on any topic. One look at hellholes of religious hatred like Nigeria and their chums in the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans proves where all of that led.
That fiasco demonstrated the CMS and their local sponsors were either dishonest or simply incapable of understanding their role in past and present racism and colonialism. It also proved the Education Department doesn’t care how our kids learn about morality as long as the pondlife running the workshops ask less than the going rate.
We should watch out in case this bunch of racist, neo-colonial and homophobic know-nothings are ever let loose on our schools again. There are enough problems with the homegrown variety skulking around school corridors without importing them.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Quakers say 'Yes' to gay marriage while Manx can't even say 'When' for civil partnerships

One of the newer links on this page is to the Christian thinktank Ekklesia – a small oasis of good sense in the intellectual faith desert.
Symon Hill, associate director of Ekklesia and a Quaker, commented on 2nd August:
“I trust this decision will inspire people of all faiths and none who are working for the inclusion of gay, lesbian and bisexual people. As with other churches, this has not been an easy process for Quakers. I hope that others will have the courage to follow this lead and speak up for the radical inclusivity of Christ. As Christians, we are called to stand with those on the margins who are denied equality”.
Symon’s comment followed last week’s decision of the Quakers' Yearly Meeting in York to fully affirm the principle of same-sex marriages, not just give the nod to civil partnerships. For some two decades now Quakers have without fuss blessed same sex unions during their meetings, and remain the only Christian denomination to not only do so but to want to conduct legal Christian civil partnerships as well as heterosexual marriage ceremonies.
Meanwhile, here in Europe’s Third World, where we still await even a vague date for a basic Civil Partnership Bill, we can only marvel.
But then, Manx Christians still don’t recognise Quakers as ‘proper’ Christians anyway. The executive level of Churches Together in Mann remains an airtight ghetto where just four distant patriarchs decide and pronounce the ‘official’ beliefs of the many they claim to represent. While CTIM loves to take the credit for a Quaker-led Manx landmine clearance project, the woman who ran it had to be given a special associate status to a CTIM sub-committee in order to make things official.
In turn, we have no real idea how these grey and ghastly ‘church leaders’ come to agreement with equally grey, equally distant senior politicians over new laws and continued Christian privilege.
They just do, and we just suffer the consequences.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Catholicism. Just say 'No'.

Vincent Nichols, the latest Archtwit of Westminster, was supposed to be the Vatican’s secret weapon.
The media savvy intellectual who was going to put all us gobby heathens in our place. The anecdote to all the belly laughs caused by the stream of misanthropic irrelevance spouted by his predecessor.
Fat chance, as his latest lame-brained interview with the Torygraph proves yet again.
Apparently Facebook is driving kids to suicide. No, honestly, the Archtwit says so at And he’s a really, really important clergyman so he knows these things and we should be terribly grateful that he takes the time to tell us poor, unedjumacated sinners.
Cos, you know guys, he cares about us. Well, more than he cares about kids who get their lives screwed over by priests anyway, because when they want to self-harm or commit suicide it’s just attention seeking and Vinnie’s god doesn’t like that sort of thing.
Sorry, I just fell off my chair laughing again. Any smackhead trying to flog a broken TV he pulled out of a skip could come up with a better sales pitch than this loser.
Honestly kids. It doesn’t matter how bad your day has been, or how many people and things in your life have got you down.
Catholicism just isn’t worth it.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Bigots to host bigotry exhibition

According to this week’s Indie (see ) there are plans to bring an exhibition to encourage tolerance and mutual respect to St German's Cathedral for a month in March 2010. The report tells us that: ”It is hoped the project, led by the Anne Frank (+You) Isle of Man Committee, will encourage Manx students to consider issues of tolerance, mutual respect and human dignity.”
Any serious analysis of the rise of fascism and similar phenomena sees the Anne Frank mythology as unhelpful. It fits in nicely with the touchy-feely fashion for personalising world change and offers no analysis of the structures which have to be put in place, the way large social and political groups take sides to build or protect their power over others, the way emotion replaces reason, hysteria replaces social dialogue and so on.
It pretends that the Holocaust was a specific, unrepeatable atrocity which only affected a specific group (which it so obviously wasn't) caused by a few 'evil' individuals (when again, it so obviously had broad social support ) and says little about how we recognise the signs that it is happening to another quite different group in a quite different place and time.
That aside, and assuming for argument's sake the organisers mean well and want to prevent future horrors on the scale of the Holocaust, why are they putting it on in a place which is a beacon to Manx bigotry?
That’s easy. The local churches are trying to delay their eventual demise and simultaneously get more state subsidy by reinventing themselves as ‘community resources’. I blogged on the cathedral plans before (see Lies, more lies and moral cowardice), so put that with this week’s news and you quickly see what is going on.
In a recent report of a talk to a Ramsey women's group in a local paper (sadly not on line) Sentamu’s Apprentice really lets the cat out of the bag. He admits that the diocese is not only replacing the professional clergy with hobby vicars as they retire but setting up church-sharing arrangements with the other denominations too.
Legal preparations for this were actually put in place a few years back when something called the Church Sharing Act was quietly slipped through Tynwald. As in the UK, Manx Anglicans have powers to have their equivalent of the Attorney General (the Vicar General) draw up their own legislation, providing it only affects Anglican internal affairs and not the rest of us. This must either go through Tynwald unchanged and without comment or be rejected outright.
The only politicos who saw or discussed this Bill with the Vicar General would have been the Ecclesiastical Committee, a small group of pliable godbotherers who only meet in private. If you ever need a handy list of political botty kissers who you can absolutely depend on to push through any superstitious codswallop just look up the personal profiles of every MHK and MLC on the Tynwald website. If they’ve ever been on the Ecclesiastical Committee they're superstitious rednecks.
The previous venues for this exhibition don’t convince me it’s exactly a rigorous affair which queries the roots of anti-semitism and other prejudices either. Blackburn Cathedral (see I'm not eating that! for a snapshot of that particular madhouse) and Liverpool, whose Bishop is not exactly noted for a tolerance of gay churchgoers and clergy though, like Sentamu, he carefully keeps a foot in both camps.
I’ll tell you what. The day an exhibition which traces the history of anti-semitism back to medieval outrages like the York pogroms and also includes the vital collaborations between early fascism and the German and Italian churches comes here, and the day Manx Christians talk openly about the vital role of religion in producing discourses which turn particular groups of people at particular times and places in history (always times and places when Christianity is itself in a crisis) into the totally illogical ‘causes’ of ‘evil’ which must be eliminated by wiping out that entire culture….
Well, if they ever do (which I doubt) I might consider their monuments to inhumanity and ignorance fit places to allow my child on a school trip without a responsible adult.