the brilliantly leaping gazelle

Category: god

If hell actually existed, I’d burn in it for all eternity for this….

MGOver the last few days a rather troubling thought has struck me, and so I thought I’d share it with you. During the last month or so, whilst the media has been awash with allegations of sexual assaults and various types of unwanted and unwarranted behaviours, it appears to me that another sexual predator has been lurking in plain sight.

His crimes may well have been committed many years go but are blatantly boasted about today. Celebrated even. These are no mere allegations, but reported as fact, with the victims deluded into thinking that happened to them was acceptable. If indeed the past is to be viewed through the lens of the prevailing norms of what is and what isn’t acceptable now, exactly how far back in the past should we go in this journey of exposing wrongs? Who is exempt?And why?

I can’t help but feel that what is happening now is happening at just the right time. I mean not the right time, in the sense this should have happened years ago, but the right time inasmuch as it is the right time of year, when the Christmas season is soon upon us. I mean Christians frequently bang on about what lessons the Bible has for us regarding modern life and how its – highly dubious – morality sets us some kind an example to follow. Nowhere is this more starkly illustrated than in the story of the “Immaculate Conception”. I contend that there’s nothing “Immaculate” about the “Immaculate Conception”. Immaculate means pure and clean and two things the “Immaculate Conception” is so not is pure and clean; it’s the very antithesis of those things.

In case you need reminding of the details, here’s an extract from the Gospel of Luke (C1 v: 26 – 38)

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

And this isn’t the first time God does this either. In verse 36, where it says “ Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month”, Gabriel admits that God did it to someone else. Like that would be of some comfort!

I know that some of you reading this will think that I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. But am I? Really? You should be asking yourself why you think that, and consider that perhaps my interpretation has validity. Some celebrate the birth of Christ like some kind of wondrous event, instead of a monstrous one. Why is this actively celebrated, in Nativity plays at schools where this kind of abuse – and that’s what it is – acted out by children? They might go further and say I’m being too literal or twisting the Bibles words. Again, am I really? It clearly says that God has found so much favour with Mary that he’s going to impregnate her. And she thinks it is a good thing? Is this really what we should be indoctrinating young girls with, that their bodies are not their own?

Just because things in the Bible are supposed to have taken place over two thousand years ago does that make it somehow alright? Whilst I might believe that all religions are basically fairy stories for grown ups, last week I had the misfortune to be in a church the other day where the preacher was an evangelical Christian and clearly believed that the bible abounded with self-evident truths, and clearly he is not alone in his dangerously erroneous beliefs.

I know that the all of the so-called sacred texts of all religions are deeply problematic, with a highly dubious morality, but as I was brainwashed as a Catholic until I read Darwin as a teenager, I can only comment on the Bible. Why does religion get an exemption from the re-evaluation of the norms of now? Perhaps the only miracle of the Virgin Birth is that some of you still think of it as a miracle!

Some people should be disqualified from the human race….

Since my diagnosis of Bells Palsy, I’ve been visiting an acupuncturist in an area of south London that has according to estate agents been up and coming for the last 20 years. (If this area were a man then he’d need Viagra.) Not that I believe in acupuncture, anymore than I believe in UFO’s, the Loch Ness Monster or god, but what I do believe in is the placebo effect. The power of the mind has on producing beneficial outcome on health. The placebo effect has been the subject of double blind randomized trials, evidence gained and made open to scrutiny with the results peer reviewed, which is more than can be said for alternative medicine.

I’m with Richard Dawkins on this one when he says, “If alternative medicines actually worked, they’d be called medicine.” Of course some people will get better of whatever ailment was troubling them, but then that proves not that alternative medicine works but a lack of understanding of regression to the mean. Basically most minor ailments would get better without any intervention whatsoever. (For a detailed explanation of it see here, but for a less detailed explanation of it see here. Or you can believe me without any evidence whatsoever. Rather like alternative medicine.)

Sorry about that, but it makes me weep for the continued existence of the human race, people who believe in all that claptrap. The moon landings were faked? If the KGB had found any proof of that whatsoever, you think we’d have heard about it at the time. Maybe? It’s not as if the Russians had a vested interest in sparing Americas’ blushes during the Cold War. And lets suspend rationality for a second and imagine that they were faked. The conspiracy would need to have been huge. Sure those involved at the upper echelons might have had an interest in keeping schtum. But think about the people who did the catering. Or prepared the fake moon surface. Don’t you think some credible expose of the fraud would’ve emerged by now? Homeopathy? Water has memory, you say? Of course it does! This glass of water in front of me has a faint memory of it being turned into wine once!

People who believe this trumpery moonshine deserve to be disqualified from the human race. I’m not advocating killing them. But rather, by them having demonstrated their abject failure to engage in any deductive reasoning, they should be barred from partaking in civil society. Ask yourself, if you were on trial accused of a serious crime, for which there was a lengthy custodial sentence and social isolation on release, who would you want on the jury? A jury whose job it was after a careful and sober examination of the evidence presented to them, to decide your fate? Equally at elections. Why should anyone manifestly devoid of the requisite skills needed to evaluate one party’s policies from anothers, why should they have the vote? I’m serious.

Participating in democracy isn’t a right, more of a responsibility.


The point I was going to make before I got side-tracked down Tangent Street is that an up and coming area necessarily provides many and varied opportunities for businesses to creatively relieve people of their money. This area of south London isn’t particularly well off, but a tiny pocket of it is reported to be, and businesses charge accordingly. No doubt you will have encountered Artisan bakeries, which gives rise (no pun intended) to the joke, ‘What is the difference between an artisan bakery and a normal bakery?’ ‘About three pounds a loaf!’ I was reflecting upon this in the café I normally go to after my acupuncture, this bizarre notion that expense somehow equates to honest and/or authentic as I was having some tea. Not a lot of tea. Some tea. Now a pot of tea conjures up images of a large pot that you could at least get two cups out of. Unfortunately this café has prices well above its portions, meaning that the pot of tea was only capable of filling just one and a quarter cups of tea. By cups I mean those little dainty things that force you to make that little dainty maneuver with your little finger. This wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t paying £1.95 for the privilege.

I’ve the menu in front of me, their brunch menu offers house baked beans topped with Gruyere cheese on sourdough toast for £5.95. To you and me that means beans on toast with a bit of cheese. They also do a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel for £5.95, but the item on the menu that really takes the (overpriced) biscuit is a croissant with butter and jam for £2.95! One feels like handing them an empty cup and when they ask what it’s for, you can tell them it’s for the p*ss they’re taking.

This is café Twatteratti – not its real name – but a café that is popular with men who have floppy hair, unique facial grooming and worrying amounts of free time. And mothers, forced into the pretence of being mothers while their nanny’s are on a lunch break, loudly praising their portable fecal factory, for doing what an adult would be chastised for. Looking around at all of them I am struck by numerous thoughts none, of them edifying. The first is that the café is a triumph of style over substance. Secondly, and more worryingly, is the fact that when I look around at the easy confidence displayed by the customers, their fastidious sense of appearance, their casual insouciance, it only serves to remind me how far removed from that world I am now. Not that I was ever in any danger of being subsumed into that world before, but now even if I wanted to I couldn’t afford the price of admittance.

Literally. Whilst I wasn’t encumbered by a massive amount of savings, over the years – and thanks to a very lucrative death – I was able to squirrel away a tidy sum. All of my savings have gone, evaporated like a puddle on a hot day. How is now a matter of history, the facts don’t change the end result. Not that I’m angry about this.

I’ve got too many other, more important things to be angry about.

Next time…According to the bible, God would go all Bruce Banner…