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The Cardinal and the Bishop

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Can I come out now?

Is it safe to stick my head up?

GOF has been huddling in the bunker at the bottom of The Bucket for the past week taking shelter from the fusillade of vitriolic verbal missiles which were aimed at my godless little ears by Australia's church leaders during Easter.

Catholic Bishop Fisher, apparently blessed with greater maturity, wisdom and worldly experience than I, in the spirit of charitable  Christianity chose the occasion to announce a list of atrocities for which my athiest beliefs are somehow responsible.
It included "Nazism, Stalinism and Pol-Pottery", but as good luck might have it, made no mention of paedophilia against altar boys, sectarian killings in Northern Ireland, and the prohibition of contraception, all of which apparently must be the fault of some other very naughty people.

Cardinal Pell, reinforcing Bishop Fisher's opinion, also went on to hit me with this profound Easter observation;

"we find no community services sponsored by athiests".

Perhaps dear Cardinal many of them are simply too busy
co-operating with people of all faiths during their daily volunteer firefighting, surf lifesaving, school pedestrian crossing duty, Meals on Wheels and State Emergency Service activities.
They probably don't care one iota about those who choose to adorn themselves in splendid regalia and shout out their irrelevant divisive religious messages from the rooftops to an increasingly disinterested, and disenchanted audience.

Bishop Jenson went on even further to accuse my quiet unobtrusive acceptance of the ultimate power of nature and evolution as being an "assault on God".

Bishop, I am sure that despite having to function within the mental straitjacket imposed by your church, you are a good man, but please also have the good grace to accept those of us in the world who have chosen different beliefs, and cease using us for pontifical target practice.

Me assaulting God?
My dear Bishop, please let me tell you a story.
It is perhaps similar to one you might relate in one of your sermons, only mine is shorter and it does not conclude in the realms of theosophical fantasy.

Our Organic Chemistry lecturer at college after a few months of unsuccessfully trying to teach us the difference between alkanes, alkenes and alkynes, one day became terminally disgusted with our disinterest and apparent (and possibly real) lack of intelligence.
He threw his arms up into the air in a gesture of surrender, and with reference to our lack of brains, declared in his broad Scottish accent;

"How can I work with something that isn't there"
Similarly Bishop, I am unable to assault something that for me, based on the lack of evidence, isn't there, and does not exist.

Gentlemen, how about a little more tolerance and acceptance of the beliefs of others next Easter.

The world desperately needs it, and I am sure Jesus would approve.

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

16 responses »

  1. Well said, GOF. I think that most of we atheists acknowledge that the worth of a person is not in what he believes, but what he does in his allotted time on this planet. I seem to recall someone saying a long time ago, "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone". It seems that some of his supposed followers today have forgotten that little piece of advice.

  2. Thank you, and equally well commented upon Snowy.

  3. Amen! Ahem… I mean… Bravo, jolly good show old chap!! I'd like to add a word to the bishop if you don't mind, GOF. I think the reason we atheists don't have specific charitable organizations is because we actually (and accidentally) follow his Book better than he does:"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it
    with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the
    streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received
    their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your
    left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be
    in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will
    reward you." Matthew 6:2-4

  4. Good comment…thank you LOM. I also found it necessary to give some thought to his accusation that voluntary organisations are not named after athiest groups. I am pleasantly surprised that my Vox neighbors are so scripturally versed, and the one you selected is most appropriate. I am sure the Bishop is reading and will modify his behaviour having been reminded of the Matthew 6:2 text.

  5. I am liking the phrase "Pol-Pottery', which brings all sorts of odd mental images.
    I thought one of the tenets of Christianity was tolerance, which woudl presumably include tolerance of those who don't believe as you do. Not showing a great deal of it is he?

  6. I used to find it surprising when I found atheists so well versed in scripture. Now I realise that most of the atheists I know know the Bible as well as (and often better than) most of the Christians. I guess this would inspire comments from some about how the devil can quote scripture and all that. Bah. I guess the other thing is … there are plenty of non-religious/secular community services out there. We atheists just don't seem to need the support of other overt non-believers in order to help out other people.

  7. I wanted to make a joke about Pol-Pottery being high art and therefore divine but given the serious nature of the rest of the post, thought better.Hypocrisy springs eternal.

  8. We atheists just don't seem to need the support of other overt non-believers in order to help out other people. Nicely said….thanks LOM.

  9. I am liking the phrase "Pol-Pottery', which brings all sorts of odd mental images. Yes, it's a nice phrase…..if it did not refer to such horrendous genocide then we could make something funny out of it.

  10. I wanted to make a joke about Pol-Pottery being high art and therefore divine but given the serious nature of the rest of the post, thought better. You just go ahead and keep making them m-t….this is GOF's blog we're talking about here…..the home of irreverence and inappropriate politically incorrect humor 🙂

  11. Congratulations on your gentle and respectful treatment of these pushy men.I feel far less generous towards folk who have the hide to claim Hitler was caused by Atheism and not Catholicism as is the actual case.It's very interesting that Pell doesn't recognise the good works of Atheists and I assume it's because its not a club. He should be scared of folk decamping to Atheism because the track record of Catholicism is pretty hard to stomach (and that includes Hitler.)

  12. Thanks for your informative comments Peter……perhaps I should take these people a little more seriously, but in writing about them I would prefer to err on the side of generosity.

  13. Hello..Thus I speak to organized religion..for the histories put forth 'unabridged'..wonderful funny posting..true to the bone..Peace Tony

  14. Hello..If Hitler could speak..he would and did say..'The Jews did everything bad'..accompanied by..everyone who did not have blond hair, blue eyes and a Germanic pedigree..Tunnel vision implants itself on every generation it seems..The most infamously horrific are of literary consequence..I would rather see a voxer of good intent be the Pope..if they would accept the job..It has been rather tarnished in seems certain alter boys..and in going through perfectly natural confusion in maturing..'where attacked by horny old men..posing as prodigals of'..Peace Tony


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