We must respect the atheists! says Murphy-O'Connor.
You first, tosspot.
If one is truly to "respect" the atheists, then one must respect that they are atheists, that is what they have chosen, and it is not one's place to try and convince them otherwise, yes?
No, of course not. "Respect the atheists" means "Give the atheists a cup of tea and a biscuit before giving them a Bible." One must "respect" the atheists in order to make the atheists think that atheism is a stupid idea, no? One must not insist to an atheist that God is a fact of life. Why? Because God is a fact of life and you're all stupid.
Murphy-O'Connor says: "Our life together in Britain cannot be a God-free zone and we must not allow Britain to become a world devoid of religious faith and its powerful contribution to the common good."
Yes it can, Murph. I sincerely hope that one day our life "together" will be a God-free zone. You can have as much God in your own personal life as you please, but that's not what you mean, is it? You want God to come into every little bloody thing, and it'll have to be your damn God as well. If my God (such as it is) were to enter into your interactions with me, you'd have a spiritual heart attack and start lecturing me on morals and values or some such crap. And what on earth does the second clause of that sentence mean? Don't worry, Cardinal, Britain will never become a world devoid of religious faith. Because it's a fucking COUNTRY. Yeesh. Please, for the sake of all our gods, cut down on that horrific flowery prose.
'Last year, he complained of a "new secularist intolerance of religion" and the state's "increasing acceptance" of anti-religious views.'
Shut up, Murph. We all know that when you say "anti-religious views" you mean "the atheists are persecuting me and not letting me have my hardline Christian way on absolutely everything! Waaah!" Jennifer is now complaining of a "new drive by Cardinals to foist their stupid religious views on everyone" and the state's "increasing acceptance" of "interfering old buggers". Also, she prefers not to write in the third person like this and is very upset at having been driven to it.
"I want to encourage people of faith to regard those without faith with deep esteem because the hidden God is active in their lives as well as in the lives of those who believe."
People of faith: Christians (Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists and Pagans don't really believe in God, y'know)
Those without faith: Anyone who is not a Christian/Evil bastards
Esteem - Patronising, martyred patience
The hidden God - My personal judgement
Active in their lives - You can't get away from me, so there. You may as well just give up now.
I want to know why the Cardinals are making so much fuss lately. Is it because we have a new PM? Is it because Blair came out as Catholic after leaving office and they want to make sure to get as much guilt in as possible in case Brown is the same? Is it because of Bush and the Religious Right in America? I'll make my usual disclaimer that I have no problem with any religion in and of itself, but I will protest to the last second against religious "leaders" trying to advance the encroachment of their, or any, religion on our government and on our essentially secular state. I also feel the need to point out yet again that Cardinal Murphy O'Connor is a leader in the CATHOLIC church. The UK is officially an ANGLICAN nation. Those two are DIFFERENT. The CATHOLICS do not get to interfere with the running of the country because we are technically ANGLICAN. It doesn't work like that, bub. I apologise for all the capitals, but I've had several fights of this nature on the BBC's Have Your Say (I've stopped now, don't worry).
I get particularly cross even at the most innocuous stories regarding cardinals and bishops and their complaints about lack of religion in the public eye, because I know what they want. They rag on the abortion limit, saying that a lot of people would like to see it lowered. First of all, "a lot of people" are not doctors. Most don't even have a rudimentary understanding of the hows and wherefores of abortion. Second of all, most of these people don't want abortion banned. And the cardinals do. If we let them lead the charge of "Just a two-week drop" (though it appears they would push for a 12-week drop to bring us into line with some other European countries. Yeah, twelve fucking weeks. If you haven't been trying, you may not even have notied you're pregnant at twelve weeks), then they'll keep going. They'll keep attacking it a little bit at a time, using "new technology" as evidence - which means that when you can grow a foetus in a petri dish and incubator, they'll call for a total ban on the basis that every foetus is now viable - until we really have nothing left of our abortion laws. You think they'll leave it there? Bollocks they will. They want a Christian nation. They want five-year-olds to be forced to pray and go to church and learn the Bible, on the basis that for every hellchild like me who was put off Christianity by attending church and reading the Bible (it's horrible, guys), there'll be ten who believe what they're told or can at least be frightened into saying they believe.
I am going to make a fuss any time they say anything. I am going to yell about it. I am going to write to every single politician they go to, just to make sure they know that this stupid "women support lower abortion limits" thing is not in fact true. If any of their persuasive tactics begin to work, I will protest. I will make a banner out of a pillowcase and I will go down to London and I will scream my head off. I will not hand over control of my uterus to these men. I will not allow them to dictate what I say. I will not allow them to dictate what my future children do. I will not allow them to force me to act like a Christian and I will not allow them to further push the discrimination faced by those like me. I do not want my religion in schools or dictating law any more than I want theirs to do so. I just want religion kept OUT. Out of the schools, out of the government, out of society's model. I will fight you, Murphy-O'Connor. I went to church for years as a kid and I read the whole damn Bible from cover to cover, and as a result I am truly lost to your cause. Do not underestimate the lost cause, Cardinal. The lost cause is watching you.
You know, if I'd known I'd be doing so much Cardinal-bashing, I would have called this blog the Lost Cause. Perhaps I'll make it into a series instead.