Spiritual Alignment

The other day I was talking to a friend about how the homepages of corporate websites tell you very little about what the organisation actually does, instead displaying some woolly guff which could mean anything. To demonstrate this I looked at two random companies, having no idea what their websites looked like in advance. Here’s KPMG’s:

Here’s Accenture’s:

I didn’t bother looking at any others. Whereas a corporate homepage might not tell you much about what the company does, it leaves you in no doubt as to what they are selling. As I’m fond of pointing out, the academic research is very much ambivalent as to whether gender diversity results in better corporate performance, which means they’re doing it purely for ideological reasons and lying about it. Then again, McKinsey’s commissioned a non-academic study to show that gender equality makes firms more profitable, but I also hear Daz washes whiter than any other powder.

Share

The Ardern of Good and Evil

In the wake of the massacre in Christchurch, the New Zealand government led by 38 year old Jacinda Ardern has been doing everything it possibly can to disprove the oft-repeated mantra that terrorism will not change us. Before the echoes of the shots had faded completely they’d decided to impose new restrictions on the ownership of firearms, consistent with the knee-jerk reactions of other governments in the wake of a shooting spree. Within days the image of Arden wearing a headscarf was splashed across the pages of the global media, followed by campaigns encouraging all women to get with the program. Tomorrow, the Islamic call to prayer will be broadcast across the whole of New Zealand in a sign of solidarity. Meanwhile, a New Zealand bookshop has pulled Jordan Peterson’s bestselling book from the shelves, the police are arresting people for sharing the video, and ISPs are now blocking 4chan. All this within a week, but apparently terrorists will never change us.

Overseas things aren’t much better, with everyone clambering over the corpses of those massacred in Christchurch to justify what they’re doing anyway. The British police are doing their usual thing of arresting people for nasty words on the internet, US Democrats are blaming Donald Trump, Brits are blaming Brexit, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is using footage of the attack to fire up the crowds at public rallies in Turkey, and the usual bunch of lunatics have come out and said all white men are the problem.

The opportunism doesn’t bother me so much; activists and politicians have been doing this since time began. What I find more interesting is people’s opinions of Jacinda Ardern. Her reaction was one of a mother who’s infant son has just fallen over and grazed his knee: endless soothing words, sympathetic grimaces, lollipops, and promises of a safer world in which knees don’t get grazed. I’m not likening a gun massacre to a grazed knee, rather I’m saying a prime minister should display the characteristics of leadership not motherhood. That is, a calm, rational analysis of what is certainly a highly complex issue covering mental illness, drug use, religion, racism, disenfranchisement, immigration, and gun control. We didn’t get that, and we’re not going to.

Unfortunately, as the gushing media shows (and social media comments) the chattering middle classes don’t want leading, they want mothering; that they celebrated Arden being New Zealand’s first prime minister to get pregnant in office should have served as a warning. It’s easy to see why women like her: she’s basically the president Mumsnet would have if it were a country. That men are on board with this shows how feminised society has become, despite the claims that women live under the jackboot of toxic patriarchy. If people don’t want to be infantalised by politicians they’re going to have to quit electing women who run on a platform of being mothers before anything else.

Whats going on here is a morality play, not too dissimilar to those you see on Mumsnet where women describe a domestic situation in the hope others endorse their moral stance. Arden and her worshippers are signalling that they are the Good people, and over there are the Bad people. If this massacre hadn’t occurred they’d have just waited for the next one: the virtue signaling never stops, only this time it’s amplified for a global audience. By choosing who to sympathise with, who to demonise, and who to ignore the middle classes and their elected priesthood can demonstrate to each other how morally virtuous they are. This explains the staggering difference in reactions to an Islamic terrorist bombing children in Manchester – “don’t look back in anger” – and a white lunatic shooting up a mosque in New Zealand. It also explains why the story of a man of Turkish extraction murdering three people on a tram in Utrecht in broad daylight this week didn’t get much attention. Apparently the fact it might have “only been an honour killing” is reason enough to downplay it, as if that’s unrelated to issues surrounding alien cultures, immigration, integration, and violence – the sort of things the Christchurch shooter took an interest in, as it happens.

Proving one’s moral virtue to one’s peers used to be the purpose of attending church on a Sunday; everyone saw you, and it showed you were a good person. As I’m fond of pointing out, while the western middle classes stopped going to church they never lost  the innate desire to show their peers how virtuous they are. This part of Arden’s biography didn’t surprise me one jot:

Raised as a Mormon, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ardern left the church in 2005 because, she said, it conflicted with her personal views; in particular her support for gay rights. In January 2017, Ardern identified as “agnostic”.

She’s not so much left the church as joined a new one, this confused jumble of sacred cows such as multiculturalism, environmentalism, and poor brown people which must be worshipped while denouncing temptations like conservatism, tradition, and pride in one’s culture (if you’re of European stock, anyway).

So my view is this. Most people clearly want mother figures ruling over them rather than leaders, and they want comfort and lollipops instead of being forced to grapple with serious issues requiring tough decisions. Which is fair enough, and why not? A mother figure like Arden will preside over a much more pleasant society than that of, say, Attila the Hun. The trouble is, as I’m fond of saying, I’m not sure societies run by mother figures will last very long. If New Zealand over the past few days is any guide, I very much doubt it.

Share

Queen to Bishop

A few days ago a 17 year old Australian walked up behind a politician and planted an egg on the back of is head, filming as he did so with his phone. He promptly got filled in, firstly by the politician and then his mates. Due to the politician being right wing and having said nasty things about Muslims, and also because women these days think a 17 year old is a child, otherwise sensible people are leaping to the defence of Egg Boy. Here’s the founder of Quillette, for example:


If the new rule is we can make physical contact with people we don’t like if our intent is not to wound, merely humiliate, things are going to get interesting indeed. Where this will leave women I have no idea: I can think of a dozen ways a man can utterly, appallingly humiliate a woman if the only restriction on physical contact is that he must not wound her. Has anyone asked the #MeToo lot about this? Can men go around egging women or not?

I suspect what we’re seeing here is Lehmann making sure she and her publication are positioned within the boundaries of polite society, edgy enough to upset the SJWs but not enough to cause the polite middle classes to start wringing their hands. Note the I’m not a fascist, but he is gambit. As Quillette grows in stature and comes under increasing attack from the hard-left, we’re going to see a lot more of this. These days if you’re anywhere to the right of Lenin and you want to keep being invited onto podcasts and TV shows, it’s important to signal you’re not an SS officer on a regular basis.

Speaking of signaling one’s morals, here’s Oliver Kamm:


The irony is this kind of moral pronouncement and surety of one’s righteousness would be quite at home in the houses of any religion. As I’m fond of saying, religion never went away, it was just replaced with other dogmatic belief systems complete with preachers, true believers, heretics, witchfinder generals, and those constantly passing moral judgement on anyone who disagrees with them. What’s amusing is their practitioners consider themselves progressives.

Share

Induced Labour

Last year the UNHRC decreed that access to abortion services was a human right (.pdf):

States parties must provide safe, legal and effective access to abortion where the life and health of the pregnant woman or girl is at risk, and where carrying a pregnancy to term would cause the pregnant woman or girl substantial pain or suffering, most notably where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or is not viable.

The problem with terms like “must provide X” in lists of human rights is it assumes there are people willing to provide X, unless they intend to force them at gunpoint. The right to education assumes there are enough teachers willing to do the job at the going rate. The right to an abortion assumes there are doctors willing to terminate a fetus. This assumption has run into hard reality in Argentina:

News that doctors performed a caesarean section on an 11-year-old rape victim has reignited a debate on Argentina’s abortion rules.

The girl became pregnant after being raped by her grandmother’s 65-year-old partner and had requested an abortion.

Abortion is legal in Argentina in cases of rape or if the mother’s health is in danger, but in the case of the 11-year-old girl uncertainty about who her legal guardian was caused delays.

The girl’s mother agreed with her daughter’s wishes but because the girl had been placed in the grandmother’s care some time earlier, the mother’s consent was at first deemed not enough.

However, because the grandmother had been stripped of her guardianship for co-habiting with the rapist, she could not provide the necessary consent either.

By the time the issue had been settled, the girl was in the 23rd week of her pregnancy.

This is a horrendous case and one half of the problem ought to be solved using a dark cell, a sturdy padlock, and a one-time use key. The other part is more complicated:

Further problems surfaced when a number of doctors at the local hospital refused to carry out the procedure, citing their personal beliefs.

And therein lies the rub. What do you do? Personally, I think the young girl should have had her pregnancy terminated but then I’m not the one pulling the gloves on to do it. There is a prevailing opinion among swivel-eyed feminists who are largely childless that doctors should have no say in whether they carry out abortions; they liken any refusal on religious or moral grounds to be akin to refusing to operate on a black person. To some people, the concept of medical ethics and the Hippocratic oath simply don’t exist: if the state orders a doctor to carry out a procedure he or she must comply without question. No doubt Josef Mengele agrees. In this case, rather than carrying out an abortion, the doctors peformed a C-section instead:

On Tuesday, the health authorities in the northern state of Tucumán instructed the hospital director to follow a family judge’s decision and to carry out the “necessary procedures to attempt to save both lives”.

The family court which the statement quoted has since come forward to say it had made no mention of saving two lives.

The doctors who performed the C-section said they did so not because of the instruction to “save both lives” but because the abortion would have been too risky.

The baby is alive but doctors say it has little chance of surviving.

I suspect this isn’t true, and they carried out the C-section as a workable compromise to rid the girl of her unwanted baby while keeping their consciences clear. I expect they knew its chances of survival were slim, but preferred to let God decide its fate than take the decision for themselves. Personally I don’t see any issue with this even though it’s probably making things harder for the girl. Between that and the alternative – forcing doctors to carry out abortions – I believe they chose the lesser of two evils. Not everyone agrees, however:

But human rights groups Andhes puts the blame on the Tucumán state health authorities, and pro-choice groups have said that what happened to the girl amounted to “torture”.

Yes, the state bureaucracy has complicated the already-horrific situation but this sort of reaction isn’t helpful, and only serves to give the impression abortion advocates won’t be happy until doctors are forced to terminate pregnancies on demand for any reason even if the baby has been born alive. This seems to be the case in the US, where last week the senate voted down a bill which would oblige doctors to provide medical care to a child born alive after an attempted abortion. I guess they’ll just leave ’em in the corner to die instead.

Abortion is a contentious issue in Argentina and this latest incident comes six months after a divisive debate about whether abortions should be legalised in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

A bill to that effect was defeated in the senate, much to the dismay of pro-choice groups which had been campaigning for a loosening of the laws for years.

I suspect many Argentinians don’t want a loosening of the laws for having looked at the US and other western countries, they fear of where they may end up. As with many contentious issues, the hardline fanatics are making any sort of workable compromise more difficult, leading those they claim to care about to suffer needlessly. The UN throwing its weight behind the fanatics can hardly have helped. When does it ever?

Share

Cult leaders wanted

Yesterday, during a lecture, I was shown this video:

 

I’ll not ask my readers to watch the whole thing, but the gist of it is that people should change the world by uniting with small groups of like-minded people under whoever steps up to lead the way on that particular issue. The point is, you don’t need to create a demand for a movement, it’s already there; it just needs someone to lead it. Incidentally, the video dates from 2009 so it was rather prescient as far as Donald Trump’s election is concerned.

What I took away from it was that, in an age of increasing secularism, people are flocking to those who can give them the spiritual satisfaction they used to get in church. I’ve mentioned before that people don’t really get more secular, they just shift their faith onto something else; just because they don’t worship at the altar of a regular religion, it doesn’t make them non-believers. A few years ago I read John Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven, which includes a history of Mormonism. Its founder Joseph Smith was a teenager during a period called the Second Great Awakening:

The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant religious revival during the early 19th century in the United States.

The revivals enrolled millions of new members in existing evangelical denominations and led to the formation of new denominations. Many converts believed that the Awakening heralded a new millennial age.

A combination of economic and social changes had caused many people to grow disillusioned with the traditional denominations, leading to hundreds of sects popping up headed by all manner of chancers promising salvation. Joseph Smith was physically imposing and staggeringly charismatic, and so it was his particular cult that grew into an established religion while most of the others died out. I was reminded of the clamour of the masses to worship something, anything, during the Second Great Awakening when I watched this video. In the 9 years since it was made, I think the clamour has only grown louder.

Share

The consecration of the Grenfell Tower

When future historians look back on the collapse of Britain, they may devote an entire section to the Grenfell Tower. It started as a human disaster born of poor cladding, bad regulations, unaccountable management, and an obsession with green initiatives but quickly became a quasi-religious symbol erected atop a hill on which the ruling classes are prepared to die.

Most of the country thought it was a crying shame then moved on, but many believed it symbolised the utter corruption of British politicians who encouraged mass immigration, hosed foreigners with welfare payments, and ignored wholesale fraud. These feelings were reinforced when professional hustlers, many of whom appeared to be foreign, took up the disaster as a stick with which to beat the government, demanding yet more concessions. On top of that, the charred remains became the focus of possibly the most brazen acts of fraud in British history. For instance:

So as many saw the Grenfell Tower as a symbol of the government’s worst policies, the ruling classes realised their most cherished beliefs – mass immigration, generous welfare payments, and multiculturalism – were under attack. Their reaction was as predictable as the fraud: they attempted to shut down all dissent. The trouble is, while it’s possible to place people in protected classes and criminalise any criticism of their behaviour, it is rather more difficult to do so in the case of an incident like a fire. I can think of many cases of a person being off-limits for mockery and derision; I can think of several objects which must not be disrespected in various parts of the world; I can also think of several government policies and actions which may not be discussed, let alone criticised. But I cannot think of a single instance anywhere in the world when something like a domestic fire was elevated to the status of a holy relic, placed beyond criticism on pain of criminal prosecution. Yet this is what the British ruling classes have done:

In short, the day before thousands of Brits burn an effigy of a Catholic man in celebration of his trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament, someone made a cardboard replica of the Grenfell Tower complete with people hanging out of windows and chucked it on a fire. They then made a video which was passed around on social media. It’s in rather poor taste I admit, but hardly something to concern the police in a country populated by adults. And were this to have been something else, say an effigy of Jacob-Rees Mogg or a bus full of Brexiteers, they’d not have batted an eyelid. But the Grenfell Tower has become a holy relic, and blasphemy is a matter of national importance:

Theresa May tweeted: “To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable.”

Unacceptable to whom? The sensibilities of the ruling classes, who know their entire catalogue of cherished beliefs is represented by that cardboard model?

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire said the group’s actions were “beneath contempt”.

Was there anyone who held them in esteem?

Commander Stuart Cundy, from the Met’s Grenfell Tower investigation team, said any offences committed would be “fully investigated”.

“I am frankly appalled by the callous nature of the video posted online. To mock that disaster in such a crude way is vile,” he said.

I suspect Commander Stuart Cundy cares as much about the Grenfell Tower victims as his comrades in Rotherham did about the underage girls who were systematically gang-raped with their full knowledge. All he’s doing here is signalling to his masters he’s on-message, and smoothing the waters for when he’s confronted by the mob at the next public meeting. Whatever the case, his personal opinions are irrelevant: if he wants to talk about his feelings, he is free to sign up to Instagram and befriend some teenagers.

Now I’ve written before about how Britain has adopted the Soviet approach of “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime”, and sure enough:

Five men have been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence in connection with a model of Grenfell Tower being burned on a bonfire.

The Metropolitan Police said the men – two aged 49 and the others aged 19, 46 and 55 – handed themselves in at a south London station on Monday night.

A public order offence?

The men have been arrested under section 4a of the Public Order Act 1986, which covers intentional “harassment, alarm or distress” caused via the use of “threatening, abusive or insulting” words or signs.

If this legislation can be used to prosecute those who circulate a video mocking an incident which happened over a year ago, it can be used to shut down speech of any kind. The only reason it’s being brought to bear now, as opposed to when everyone else is insulted, mocked, and derided in appallingly bad taste, is because the Grenfell Tower is a holy relic in the religion of the ruling class. And right on cue, here’s a high priest who’s come to preach to us about sin, blasphemy, and holy punishment:

Moyra Samuels, part of the Justice For Grenfell campaign group, told the BBC the video was “a disgusting attack on vulnerable people”.

She added: “We have no doubt that there are actually decent, generous people across Britain and this actual act doesn’t represent ordinary British people.

“But there is a worrying rise of racism in this country at the moment. And that is concerning, because it’s now starting to impact on us directly, which means that we actually need to be thinking what we do about this, and how we respond to this as a whole.”

Were we asked to sign up to this new religion, or were we simply born into it like with Islam? ‘Cos I’d rather not have to listen to this imbecile lecture me on racism every time someone does something her priestly caste doesn’t like.

Under the Public Order Act, racially or religiously aggravated offences carry a prison sentence of up to two years, a fine or both.

Religiously aggravated, eh? See what I mean?

I think future historians will find this interesting not only because it signifies abject desperation on the part of the ruling classes, but also their departure from reality. I get the impression a lot of people are rather incensed that the entire country is supposed to be in perpetual mourning because, apparently, something was upsetting for Londoners. But just as nobody outside Liverpool cares much about Hillsborough, few outside Aberdeen or who aren’t in the oil industry are still traumatised by Piper Alpha, and hardly anyone remembers the Bradford stadium fire, Grenfell Tower isn’t something which non-Londoners care about that much. They certainly don’t expect the incident to occupy the national government to the point they’re reinstating blasphemy laws. Was this video even made in London? Had the fire happened in a tower block in Newcastle, you can be sure the police wouldn’t be running around arresting people over videos and the Prime Minister blubbering on Twitter.

As they lose their grip on power, the ruling classes cannot see beyond the capital, and attempt to appease only the noisiest mob outside the palace gates. They’re not alone in this, either in historical or contemporary terms, but it won’t end well. The trouble with those who start new religions is they often end up burned at the stake, usually when they’ve overestimated their numbers and begun to annoy everyone else.

Share

Modern Britain

There’s a lot going on in this story:

A community iftar meal traditionally held during Ramadan has this year been opened to members of the public.

Usually the only non-Muslims who flock to these events are politicians looking for a photo op. I’m curious as to who will show up to this one.

The free event has been organised by Qamar Abbas, president of UK Islamic Mission Solihull, and his team. He will also speak at the event, along with Idrees Sharif, vice president of UK Islamic Mission Midlands.

Taste Ramadan is an invitation to “share food and share friendship” and will take place at St Edburgha’s Church Hall in Church Road, Yardley, on Saturday, June 2.

Heh. This is either some serious high-level trolling, or Britain is being subject to a shit-test it’s failing miserably.

Confirmed attendees are councillors Babar Baz and Neil Eustace, West Midlands Police and representatives of several local churches including Stechford Baptist Church, All Saints Stechford and Corpus Christi RC Church.

I suppose this makes sense. Church attendances in Britain have been collapsing as proper Christians die off and the population switches to other forms of worship. Those running the Church of England and now even the Catholics seem little interested in taking religion seriously, so why not hand over the infrastructure to people who do? And how comforting to see Plod involved; we wouldn’t want them to miss out on free iftar food and not be on hand should anyone tweet something Islamophobic.

Mohammed Yasin, chairman of Stechford Mosque, some of whose congregation helped put together the event, said: “We have people from all religions and communities coming together to share an iftar meal and more.

“This is the first community iftar we have held in a church rather than a mosque and the first one we have opened up to the public. We hope to see people there from all walks of life.”

This all sounds rather positive. What’s not to like? Oh, wait:

He added: “This is a male-only event and the church has a capacity of 100 people.”

Over to you, feminists!

Share

Secular Muslims

This amused:

Turkish President Recep Erdoğan has accused Israel of carrying out a “genocide” as more than 50 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in one day of protests.

Well, nobody could accuse the Turks of having a consistent understanding of the term “genocide”, so it’s unsurprising their president continues to struggle with it.

The Turkish president accused Israel of being a “terrorist state” and announced he would pull ambassadors out of Israel and the US. The announcement came as the US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, inflaming protests on the Israeli border in Gaza.

This is also to be expected. As support for the Palestinians has waned in the Arab world, particularly among those countries on the Arabian Peninsula, Erdogan has stepped in to fill the void. In parallel, he seems keen to turn the once-secular Turkey into an authoritarian, low-level Islamist state along the lines of contemporary Iran. He may not go as far as the Mullahs but his reforms have seen Islam being shoved to forefront in areas such as education where it was previously absent, and I suspect it is a matter of time before women are unable to walk the streets in some areas without a headscarf. I note that Erdogan is in London at the moment on an official visit; strangely absent are protests over his jailing of journalists, persecution of political opponents, gutting of the judiciary, assault on civil liberties, and erosion of women’s rights. Let’s bear this in mind when Trump comes to visit. Personally, I’m disappointed that nobody from the British government has brought any of this up with Erdogan and the press don’t seem interested in doing so either, but between the current government and media it’s a toss-up between which is the more useless.

I was watching France 24 this morning and it showed a protest march through the streets of Istanbul in opposition to the opening of the new US embassy. They interviewed a woman decked out in a headscarf and carrying a plastic model of a mosque, who I suspect was Syrian rather than Turkish (a lot of refugees have crossed the border). She screamed that “Jerusalem was Muslim”, and if she had anything to say in addition, France 24 neglected to share it with us. However, before that they interviewed a man in his 50s who began with:

“As a Muslim, I…”

Us westerners are – correctly- encouraged not to lump all Muslims together as one homogeneous group, but these efforts are somewhat hampered by Muslims themselves.

A year or so back I met a Turkish lady here in Paris who was as westernised as it’s possible to get in terms of education, lifestyle, social relations, and political outlook. She ate pork, drank alcohol, and claimed she was totally secular. Having got to know her quite well, I believed her. And then Trump signed Executive Order 13769 prohibiting entry to the US for people coming from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. My friend bought wholesale into the notion that this was a “Muslim ban” and she was incensed, because she believed it a result of blatant Islamaphobia on the part of Trump and, sooner or later, these policies were going to effect her. I had several lengthy, heated arguments with her during which I pointed out the seven countries were not selected because they have Muslim majorities but because the civil infrastructure has collapsed in each to the point they cannot verify who is coming and going from their end (Iran being the exception). She was having none of it, and believed she had a right to be concerned and angry at what she saw as a blatantly Islamaphobic policy.

I went away and thought about this. What has someone from Turkey got in common with someone from Libya, Sudan, Yemen, or Somalia? Absolutely nothing whatsoever, and the Turks would be first to insist upon it, but with one exception: Islam. The one and only reason a Turk would oppose US visa restrictions on someone from Sudan is out of Muslim solidarity; there is absolutely no other reason which could apply. So my next thought was why somebody claiming to be secular would be loudly championing the rights of people from collapsed nations in a state of civil war on the grounds of Muslim solidarity?

When I tell people I’m secular, I don’t follow that up by denouncing Trump’s border wall on the grounds that Mexicans are Christian. Nor do I back the Philippines in their territorial disputes with China out of religious solidarity. When I say I’m secular, it means my nominal Christianity does not influence my political or social opinions in any way. But to my friend it seemed to mean something else, so I confronted her. Her first reaction was one of utter shock; she didn’t seem to have realised there was any contradiction in claiming to be secular one minute and raving about Trump’s “Muslim ban” the next. When it dawned on her, she got quite upset.

I realised then what I’d probably known since I lived in the Middle East all those years ago: a secular Muslim is quite different from a secular anything else, and often not very secular at all. I’d noticed back then how often I’d meet a very modern, westernised Lebanese, Egyptian, or Arab who would for all outward appearances be very secular. Then without warning they’d start raving about the Jews, or swearing the Koran represents the word of God. And I don’t know how many stories I’ve heard of western or Russian women getting involved with modern, secular Muslim men only to find they’re nothing of the sort.

But the experience with my Turkish friend was perhaps the most interesting. Here was the most secular Muslim you could ever hope to meet, and one would have thought she would have recognised the elected US government’s right to set visa policy and understood their security concerns. Yet when push came to shove, her being Muslim mattered and that came before anything else. It’s worth bearing this in mind over the coming years as Ataturk’s secular republic slowly gets replaced with something else. It’s also worth remembering when we’re told not to treat Muslims as a homogeneous bloc.

Share

Prodnose Priests

Last October I said:

A couple of years back I realised that middle-class snobbery is what drives so much social and political campaigning these days. Probably the best example is the campaign to reduce sugar in people’s diets – for their own good, of course. It is always fizzy drinks and sugary snacks that get cited, never fancy desserts.

Who is trending on Twitter this week, leading the charge in campaigning for the government to introduce new laws aimed at restricting certain foodstuffs in the name of tackling obesity?

I’m sure the lower classes, who are forever blamed for putting a burden on the NHS with their delinquent lifestyles, are delighted to have former Etonian and Oxford graduate Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall telling them how to live. Naturally, multi-millionaire Jamie Oliver is four-square behind him:

Albeit looking rather porky himself. Maybe he should do a little less meddling in other people’s lives and hit the gym? And speaking of Jamie Oliver:

Mr Oliver told BBC Breakfast that he does not ban junk food in his home, but that it is only eaten by his children as a “treat”.

Ah, so he’s free to feed his own fucking brats whatever shit they demand, but the choices of other parents ought to be reigned in by the government.

I’ve said this before, these dickheads would be a lot better off going to church. There they can do all the moral posturing they like, and receive assurances of their virtue from someone who is paid to deliver them. People are fond of saying that religion has declined in Britain, but I disagree: all it’s done is take other forms. The prodnosery, meddling, hand-wringing, and moral sneering at those considered less virtuous is alive and well, it’s just the clothes worn by the high priests are different.

Share

Rape Culture, Religion & the Bible. But just the Bible.

Via reader Rob Harries, an article claiming Jesus was sexually abused:

The idea that Jesus himself experienced sexual abuse may seem strange or shocking at first, but crucifixion was a “supreme punishment” and the stripping and exposure of victims was not an accidental or incidental element. It was a deliberate action that the Romans used to humiliate and degrade those they wished to punish. It meant that the crucifixion was more than just physical, it was also a devastating emotional and psychological punishment.

Right, but where was the sexual abuse? I mean, if the Romans had set out to sexually abuse the Son of God, they would have done something which everyone would recognise as such, and not nail him to a cross and rely on some dingbat academics to interpret it two millenia later. It’s not like the Romans lacked imagination when it came to cruel and unusual punishments, is it?

The convention in Christian art of covering Christ’s nakedness on the cross with a loincloth is perhaps an understandable response to the intended indignity of Roman crucifixion. But this should not prevent us from recognising that the historical reality would have been very different.

Very different? Will this be the plot of the next Dan Brown thriller?

“Renkowned undergarment expert Robert Langdon uncovers a terrible truth the Vatican have kept secret for centuries when he stumbles upon a skid-marked loincloth buried in the basement of the Louvre that he can prove was torn from Jesus moments before he was crucified.”

I’m getting good at this blurb writing, aren’t I?

This is not just a matter of correcting the historical record. If Jesus is named as a victim of sexual abuse it could make a huge difference to how the churches engage with movements like #MeToo, and how they promote change in wider society. This could contribute significantly to positive change in many countries, and especially in societies where the majority of people identify as Christian.

Ah. This is all about bashing Christians who aren’t woke enough. But just Christians, though. Yeah, because they’re the ones who keep turning up in courtrooms charged with rape and sexual assault.

Some sceptics might respond that stripping a prisoner might be a form of violence or abuse, but it is misleading to call this “sexual violence” or “sexual abuse”. Yet if the purpose was to humiliate the captive and expose him to mockery by others, and if the stripping is done against his will and as a way to shame him in public, then recognising it as a form of sexual violence or sexual abuse seems entirely justified.

Perhaps, but I’m confident not even the most miserable medieval peasant was ever tortured as much as this argument.

The scene highlights the vulnerability of the naked prisoner who is stripped and exposed in front of the assembled ranks of hostile Roman soldiers.

Those Romans who were famous for their communal baths and shithouses?

The scene also hints at the possibility of even greater sexualised violence which might be in store.

The authors’ argument for overturning centuries of Christian thought is based on what is hinted at in an episode of a TV series.

Analysis of the gendering of nakedness by Margaret R. Miles demonstrates that we view male and female nakedness differently.

As Patricia Arquette allegedly said: “Things you’ll never hear a woman say: ‘My, what an attractive scrotum!’”

Some present day Christians are still reluctant to accept that Jesus was a victim of sexual violence and seem to consider sexual abuse as an exclusively female experience.

The sexual abuse of Jesus is a missing part of Passion and Easter story retellings.

Rather than trying to convince people that Jesus was sexually abused in the absence of any biblical or historical evidence, these academics might want to look at what the Bible has to say about hubris and conceit.

Share