Thursday, December 20, 2007

season of goodwill, season of schmoodwill

You can tell it's Christmas by the number of religious-themed stories in today's paper, some of which are quite amusing. Here's a little sampling menu for you:

Borders bookshop (and CD, DVD and coffee shop and who knows what else these days) have apparently been giving away cards with the only slightly amusing legend "O Come All Ye Faithless" written on them with every edition of Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion. Not a particularly interesting sales gimmick in itself, but it's prompted some amusing foaming at the mouth from certain Christian groups. That in turn has provoked some scathing comments at the Dawkins discussion forum, including this little gem:

Surely this must be deeply hurtful to all other faiths, as their imaginary friends are bent over and recreationally back-passaged by these deeply hurtful cards, without I might add the courtesy of a reach-around, or forgiveness and a Snickers bar from Father O'Badtouch.
British political party leader in unequivocal statement of atheism shocker: stand up Nick Clegg, newly elected leader of the Liberal Democrats. It's a sad reflection of the hysteria that inevitably follows such statements that he felt the need to "clarify" his position later on by saying that no, this didn't mean he was advocating setting fire to churches, putting Christian children into food processors, etc. The next mark of progress will be the leader of a party with a realistic chance of actually getting elected saying something similar. Nonetheless it's a pleasing contrast with dead-eyed shape-shifting vampire lizard in human form David Cameron's words on the subject (words which, just as an aside, make no grammatical sense anyway):

I believe in God and try to get to church more often than at Christmas, but perhaps not as often as I should.
Latest in the amusing spat over The Golden Compass: the Vatican steps in. The irony of the Catholic Church conforming pretty much exactly with their thinly-disguised portrayal as a brutally paranoid authoritarian regime in the books is piquantly delicious. And remember, kids: condoms give you AIDS.

Lastly, Ricky Gervais debates the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, about theology. Funny guy and all, but couldn't we have had Jonathan Miller instead? Now that would be a debate worth watching.

Anyway - happy Winterval!

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