Dis is me, Eccles

Dis is me, Eccles
Dis is me, Eccles

Friday, 25 July 2014

Something for Catholics to celebrate

These are hard times for Christians who want something to celebrate, as Archdruid Eileen has pointed out. Our fellow-Christians in Mosul are being persecuted by Islamic thugs - although this can't be a very serious massacre or else Messrs Obama, Cameron, Hollande and Merkel would have said something about it, and Clegg the wonder dog would have barked. Not all that far away, the people of Israel and Gaza are getting on rather badly, as even the politicians have noticed. Then if you're a Christian in the West you will be assailed by the forces of darkness in various ways: abortion, euthanasia, "gay pride" parades, ... and you are increasingly likely to be persecuted if you stand up against them. Not a lot of laughs so far.

Melencolia

The story so far.

However, for Catholics, it is a time of celebration! 500 years since the Reformation (or it will be in 2017). Indeed, the Lutherans have invited us all to celebrate this, and why not? 500 years since the Catholic church got rid of some of its most boring members! Douglas Adams would have put the Lutherans in the B-ark along with the hairdressers and telephone sanitizers, and this is the religious equivalent. As the Mikado has it:

All prosy dull society sinners
Who chatter and bleat and bore
Are sent to hear sermons 
From mystical Germans 
Who preach from ten to four.
Fortunately, Catholics are more likely to get a five-minute homily (say, the same length as the Beatitudes) rather than a six-hour German sermon with all the verbs packed into the last half-hour - even if it may be an anecdote about a power cut in the deacon's shed rather than a piece of solid theology.

Luther

Luther: never wrote one thesis when he could write 95.

Of course, the Reformation had more consequences than simply putting some of the most boring Germans into their own little box. Lots of people (both Catholic and Protestant) were martyred, enduring what the Bishop of Lancaster might call "a voluntary period of being burnt to death". Shall we celebrate that, too? Oddly, we don't do that to each other any more, we leave it to the Muslims to do it for us.

multi-faith

If you lose your luggage, say a prayer to someone. Anyone will do.

It's unlikely that ISIS will invite us to a multi-faith celebration in honour of the "cleansing" of Mosul, but if you do get an invitation, do accept! It is always blessed to be ecumenical, and it doesn't matter what you believe provided that you believe something! Not that I would wish to offend our non-believing brothers and sisters either, of course.

Peter Glaze

Jubilate Deo!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Esther

Welcome back to the Eccles Bible Project, where we present the books of the Bible to atheists and other backsliders. Following on from Judith we now have, according to the Catholic and Orthodox listing, the book of Esther.

Richard Dawkins, you've read this book as part of your homework. Would you like to stand up and tell the class what it's all about?

Well, I've only read the first chapter and the last chapter, as that's enough for a clever man like me to work out what's going on. Indeed, if you look on my website you can read the first and last chapters of The God Delusion for free, and they hardly even mention God because I was thinking of something else at the time.

God in cloud

ACTUALLY, I'M NOT A DELUSION, RICHARD.

What? Stop plugging my book? Oh, all right. Esther it is, then. Incidentally, this book doesn't mention God either, so obviously it supports my atheist pericope that we're just a mass of little cells, and that God is a delusion. Now, the book of Esther starts off with a King Assuerus, who is said to have reigned from India to Ethiopia over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces: he holds a great feast, and after seven days of eating and drinking he calls for his wife Queen Vashti, but she refuses to come in.

Dawkins stuffing himself

King Assuerus / Ahasuerus / Xerxes / Artaxerxes enjoys a feast.

Actually, that sort of thing happens to me a lot too. After the seventh day of a feast at New College, Oxford, many a learned professor might ask his wife to come along and drive him home, but she might equally well have gone off in the Tardis in disgust. By the way, may I point out that Assuerus, or whatever you call him, almost certainly didn't exist? I'm a trained biologist and I know these things. Esther didn't exist, either. Or India. Or Ethiopia.

Now, the other chapter I've read, Esther 16, contains a letter sent out by Artaxerxes. It does mention Esther, but only briefly. He seems to be going on about some chap called Aman being disobedient, and the Jews being well-behaved. Basically nothing much happens in this book, and they're too ashamed even to mention Jesus or Mohammed. End of.

Haman hanging

An 'appy ending: Aman is 'anged.

Thanks, Richard. I'll give you 2 out of 10 for effort there. You did miss a few details, in fact. There's a Jew called Mardochai / Mordecai who saves the king's life, there's a man called Aman / Haman who wants M. killed, and there's a Jewish woman called Esther who becomes a friend of the king and invites him to several dinners; in the end she contrives for Aman to be 'anged, er, hanged, on the gallows he built for Mardochai.

By the way the ``expanded" version of Esther's book does mention God, but this is not the version accepted by most Protestants. My brother Bosco, who thinks that God wrote the King James Bible and that all other versions are mistranslations of the KJV, would certainly not approve of it.

That's life!

That's Life! Esther, Mordecai and Haman offer an oddly-shaped parsnip to King Assuerus.

So next time we'll discuss Job. He was a bundle of laughs and no mistake...

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

At the drop of a biretta

With apologies to the original Flanders and Swann song Transport of Delight.
Some people like a Latin Mass: they say, "Credo for me!"
Or for bonny Agnus Dei, they'd lay them down and dee.
Such means of praise and worship do seem old and rather crass,
To the priest...
... yes, and the deacon...
... in a very modern Mass!
   
Sing Alleluia! Ch-ch!
Sing Alleluia! Ch-ch! 
   
When you are sitting in our church, the coolest place in town,
You'll see the priest processing in, dressed as a jolly clown.
He greets the congregation with "Hey folks! This is a gas!"
In a swinging sixties, Novus Ordo, 
Liberal and progressive modern Mass.
clown Bible

The Gospel reading

We start off with some dancing girls, for in our litur-gy
We take out all the holy bits and shout "Hey! Look at me!"
So let's have wild cavorting now from every lad and lass
In an all-inclusive, Tablet-sponsored, swinging sixties, 
Novus Ordo, liberal and progressive modern Mass.
   
This is a transport of delight. 
Of delight!
Walk in delight! Walk in delight!
This is a transport of delight. 
Walk in delight!
Walk walk walk walk walk in delight!
liturgical dance

... your right arm in, and shake it all about...

We now bring on our puppet friends, to help us with our prayer:
For who can say that Mass is not improved by Fozzie Bear?
Those nasty traddy Catholics were faced with an impasse! 
The priest is putting on a show,
The deacon is Pinocchio
In the all-inclusive, 
Tablet-sponsored, 
Swinging sixties, Novus Ordo, 
Liberal and progressive modern Mass.
puppets

A solemn moment in our devotions.

We don't have moral standards now - that really is too tame!
Since Vatican the Second, things just haven't been the same.
We praise gay rights, abortion, women priests, divorce - 
   it's clear
That Jesus, Peter and St Paul had simply no idea!
Our secular religion they may say is a "morass".
We don't believe in Heaven or Hell,
And really, that is just as well,
For the priest is putting on a show,
The deacon is Pinocchio
In the all-inclusive, 
Tablet-sponsored, 
Swinging sixties, Novus Ordo, 
Liberal and progressive,
Liberal and progressive modern Mass!
   
Sing Alleluia! 
Ch-ch!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Let's talk about the weather

Yesterday's post about the devils of ISIS was a little vitriolic, so let's talk about something gentler. Following a suggestion of leutgeb, this post will be all about the weather, which seems to have been typical of an English summer - sun and heavy rain. We invited some of our favourite religious figures to comment.

Beattie

Tina Beattie, Roehampton.

Whenever I see a flash (!) of lightning or hear the bang (!) of thunder, I am reminded that the phallocentricism of neo-orthodox theology risks reducing the Mass to an orgasmic celebration of homosexual love, from which the female body is excluded. It makes me very cross, even if I remembered to bring an umbrella with me! We Tablet directors have concluded that the only answer is to ordain women, liberalise the abortion laws, and drop the God-centred aspects of religion in favour of human flourishing! By the way, if anyone would like me to give a lecture in a prestigious place - say, the Scunthorpe under-7s Bible Class - I will be glad to accept. But don't tell the local bishop beforehand - he might try and stop it!

Campbell

Michael Campbell, blogger, bishop and controller of information.

Although I do not approve of humour on blogs - or indeed anything but the most tedious platitudes as a rule - it may be that the following hilarious story might make an exception. It was raining hard in Lancaster last week, and one of my deacons came to ask my advice on a moral dilemma. He had discovered an outbreak of cannibalism in my diocese - in particular his parish priest had been eaten by some members of ACTA - and wondered whether it was appropriate to mention it on his blog. However, he voluntarily slipped on the damp pavement and fell into a puddle, voluntarily ruining his vestments and breaking his leg. How we laughed at his voluntary misfortune! I think he's in for a period of voluntary prayer and reflection, don't you?

mad hatter's tea party

Damian Thompson declines a cupcake at the Mad Hatter's tea party.

It's been very hot lately, hasn't it? My spies in the Vatican tell me that this is because Pope Francis is finally getting to grips with the English weather. Whereas Pope Benedict was satisfied with the traditional mixture of rain, cloud, more rain, and fog, the man that his intimate friends call "Pope Francis" is determined to impose his own South American weather on the Catholic church. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that a new bishop, with responsibility for weather, had been appointed, with instructions to pray for sunshine! I have even heard the name of Fr Ray Blake mentioned - it is no secret that while at Brighton he has produced significantly more good weather than they get in northern cities such as Luton.

All Gas and Gaiters

George Carey (2nd left) is corrected on a matter of theology.

A lovely day, isn't it? Of course, as the Bible says, if you don't think it's a lovely day then you are not appreciating God's creation to the full, and should take medical advice as to whether to carry on living! Trust me, I know all about these things, I was once an archbishop.

Inwood

Paul Inwood, composer and liturgist.

Here's a little something you might like to sing at Mass. Don't forget your ukelele!

The sun has got his hat on, hip-hip-hip-hooray!
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today... ch-ch!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Time to get nasty about ISIS

In general, this is a somewhat friendly as well as spiritually nourishing blog. We do occasionally tease one or two backsliders - for example, Tina Beattie the preposterous professor, Michael Campbell the bullying bishop, Vincent Nichols the cardboard cardinal, Richard Dawkins the drivelling don, and George Carey the absurd archbishop - but these people are not evil through and through, and our comments are kindly meant.

Al-Baghdadi

"Caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - or "Piggy" as he is known to his friends.

However, once in a while one has to write about real bastards: if Charlie Chaplin was able to mock Adolf Hitler in The Great Dictator, then surely Eccles can get uncharacteristically nasty about Caliph Piggy, self-styled ruler of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and an Allah-fearing Sunni Muslim?

Sunni Jim

"Sunni" Hundal Jim, Piggy's second-in-command.

To be fair, Piggy is mad as well as bad - and I am not going to mention his disgusting personal habits, his loathsome infectious diseases, or the fact that he smells like a dead rat. Our hero is planning to march on Rome in his quest to establish an Islamic State across Europe. However, we know that there is no chance of that, as President Obama is on the case!

Obama at golf

Obama takes charge of the crisis.

You may have heard the parable of the wheat and the darnel (or tares) in church today. It's all dressed up in agricultural metaphors, but the basic plot is that God sends Jesus down to the world to redeem mankind, and then Satan sends Mohammed along to poison everything. Well, Satan is certainly having a great time in Mosul at present, as the ISIS goes about its business of exterminating Christians.

Nun

An Arabic "nun" letter, used to denote a Christian's house.

The above picture shows Piggy's idea of a smiley emoticon - or at least a smiley as designed by a one-eyed cyclops. There is a school of thought that says that the false prophet Mohammed - as well as being nearly as obnoxious a character as Caliph Piggy - was in fact a one-eyed cyclops. We could not possibly comment.

cyclops

Could this really be Mohammed?

Oh, and late news has come in that President Obama has left the golf course and is sorting out the situation. Contrary to what some people say, we do not believe that Obama is himself a Muslim - this would be incompatible with his own sincere self-worship. No, for him it is a matter of complete indifference whether the Muslims massacre the Christians, or not.

Obama sleeping

A Nobel Peace-Prize Winner at peace with the world.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Assisted Dying on the Orient Express

"That was a strange case, Hastings, mon ami," said my friend Hercule Poirot. "I was taking the ad Orientem Express to the mysterious east (Margate), to consult my friend Fr Tim Finigan on a curious question of hermeneutics, when we were held up by two or three snowflakes on the line - apparently, they were the wrong kind of snow. Still, there we were, marooned in some uncharted wastes near Faversham, with no hope of rescue for several days."

Somewhere near Faversham.

The chef de train summoned Poirot to one of the compartments, where there lay the dead body of a fattish man in his early sixties. One could tell at a glance that he was dead: there were stab wounds and bullet holes in various parts of his body, a rope round his neck, an empty bottle of pills by his side, and the marks of a blunt instrument on the back of his head. "His name is Charlie Falconer, and he was some sort of gangster," commented the train guard. "Could it be suicide, M. Poirot?"

Lord Falconer

Charlie Falconer in happier times, singing the Nightmare song from Iolanthe.

Poirot examined the body carefully. "I think not, mon vieux. Someone evidently helped him on his way. The worse case of assisted suicide that I have ever seen. We must find an explanation for his death."

An eager, fresh-faced man joined them. "Hi! I'm Tony!" he said. "I used to be something big in politics, but now I go round the world making money. Also I've been bringing peace to the Middle East. Charlie was an old friend of mine, and I gave him a job once."

"I have heard of you, Monsieur," acknowledged Poirot. "You are a pious Catholic who supports abortion and same-sex marriage. Can you think of any reason why M. Falconer could have opted for assisted suicide?"

Blair and Pope John-Paul II

Tony gives Pope John-Paul II some tips on becoming a saint.

"Well, he had a sore throat, and he didn't like train journeys, and England did badly in the World Cup, and he was worried about his pet hamster, Miliband, and he scratched his car against the gatepost last week, and they'd run out of gin, and he thought it might rain later, and..."

"I understand. All perfectly good reasons for a doctor to recommend assisted suicide. Now, let us see if there are any likely suspects." At that moment, a strange character entered the compartment.

Davros

John Birt. Formerly of the BBC.

"EX-TER-MIN-ATE! EX-TER-MIN-ATE! AS-SIST SU-I-CIDE! AS-SIST SU-I-CIDE!" screamed Lord Birt, for it was indeed he. This was a man who had been Director-General of the BBC, an organization that had employed megastars such as Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris. During his rule, it was said that more people had switched off their televisions and said "I can't go on!" than ever before.

"There are indeed marks of extermination on Charlie Falconer's body," said Poirot, "but they may have been inflicted after death." He was then joined by a bumbling figure dressed as an Anglican archbishop.

Lord Carey

"And if my sermons don't finish them off, a good swipe with the crozier will do it."

"Hello, everyone, I'm George," said the man, who was wearing a strikingly silly mitre and carrying a large blunt instrument. "I am man of deep Christian principles. Can I be of assistance to you as you seek to end your life in a truly Christian way?"

"No! No!" said Poirot. "I wish to live to be 130. Indeed, if Agatha Christie doesn't sort out the chronology of her stories, I may be forced to."

At that moment the compartment began to fill up with other well-intentioned supporters of assisted death: apparently, the House of Lords had organized a day trip to Margate for all its most irritating members.

Ian Blair the Sikh

Ian Blair as seen in "Hello (Hello, Hello)!" magazine, deals with the old and Sikh.

"You've all been very helpful," said Poirot. "Of great assistance, in fact..."

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Scalfarius interviews Jesus

Galilee, 30 A.D.

Many people will know of me as the leading journalist of the Roman Empire, and founder of the newspaper Res Publica. I spoke to Jesus of Nazareth shortly after his famous Sermon on the Mount, and what He had to say will shock you.

Scalfari

Sorry, my hearing aid's been broken for years.

I interviewed Jesus under the best possible circumstances: I refused to record the interview, or to take notes, and my hearing aid was broken, so I couldn't hear Him either. In fact most of the time I hid in a cupboard, so as to resist the temptation to try and lip-read the Messiah. Nonetheless, I can tell you exactly what He said, even though He spoke Aramaic, a language unknown to me.

Jesus told me that He is very keen on an all-female priesthood, and that the all-male priesthood favoured by Jewish tradition was simply a mistake. He had given the keys of Heaven to Petra, an ambitious young lady that He had met somewhere, and she was going to become the first Holy Mother.

St Petra

St Petra shows off the keys to Heaven (ringed).

Jesus is well-known for saying "I came not to judge the world, but to save it." He expanded on this theme to me, explaining that old-fashioned notions of Good and Evil were now redundant. "If a man wishes to commit theft, murder, adultery or even bear a little false witness, who am I to judge? Who is my Father to judge? No, just SMILE, that's all I ask my disciples to do."

Pope Francis sad

Smile, Francis! Football's only a game!

Evidently, reports of Jesus's teachings from journalists such as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have got things completely wrong. They claimed that Jesus believed that one of the Twelve would betray Him, but in fact what He said to me was "Do you know that 8.333333% of my disciples are perverts?" Trust me, I'm a Tablet journalist, would I make up something like that?

Well, there are many other things Jesus said to me (such as "Why are you hiding in that cupboard?") but I think I have given the essence of his character: a quiet man, who merely wants to be left alone, with simple hobbies such as climbing mountains, messing about in boats, and sometimes riding on donkeys. I would say that He was probably an atheist, like myself, and that all that He wishes to do is to undermine religion, as I do.

walking on water

Simply messing about in boats (or out of them).

© Large Scale Fairy Stories inc.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Church of England votes to allow atheist bishops

In an historic vote at the General Synod (now rebranded as "Oddsyns"), the Church of England has voted that atheists may be consecrated as bishops. This is seen as a general move towards equality and diversity, following a modern interpretation of Galatians 3:28:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Dawkins and fan

Two aspiring bishops.

It was pointed out that there have been Jewish bishops in the past (e.g. St Peter), although he is not generally considered to have been an Anglican. So, if you're reading this, Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis - he's the successor to Jonathan Sacks, but nobody seems to have heard of him - then there may be a cushy job available in the Anglican church.

Ephraim Mirvis

Rabbi Mirvis... looking for a nice comfy diocese.

Applications from the Greek Orthodox church are also warmly encouraged.

Today's historic vote was welcomed by Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, since it means that self-declared atheists such as he will be allowed to become bishops. Until now, atheists who wished to become Anglican bishops had to be more subtle in declaring their beliefs, usually by denying the truth of the resurrection, or, more subtly, by contradicting Jesus's teaching on marriage, life and death, etc.

Nick Clegg

Soon-to-be-unemployed atheist politician seeks bishop job. Has got own mitre.

Many of my readers are either Catholics (hello, there, Vin!) or atheists (hi, Richard!) and may be unsure what an Anglican bishop actually looks like. We decide to go to the Church Times for an authoritative picture.

bishops levitating

At a solemn moment in the service, your bishops will levitate.

Of course the Catholics are unlikely to consecrate women, atheists, liberals or Jewish rabbis as bishops in the near future. However, there was a scandal recently in Lancaster, where the bishop was seen performing what looked like a Vulcan Death Grip on a worshipper, and was promptly accused of being a logically-minded alien. It was soon agreed that such a claim was ludicrous.

Campbell death grip

A deacon and his wife are accused of blogging.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Carey on Killing

A new film in the long-running "Carey-on" series, has been produced, but it has been seriously panned by the critics, and it may not go on general release.

Entitled "Carey on Killing", it stars Sid James as Sid Falconer, the dodgy proprietor of the "Zap-Yer-Grandad" Assisted Suicide Company.

Carry on Doctor

Sid Falconer and Bishops Wilson and Carey come to a patient's assistance.

Glamorous support is provided by blonde bombshell Rosie Harper (Barbara Windsor), who tells the House of Lords that the "moral and Christian" approach to sick and dying people is to push them over the edge.

Barbara Windsor

Saucy boy! Wait till I tell my bishop!

A key role is played by Archbishop George Carey (Bernard Bresslaw), who, sick and tired of promoting orthodox Christian doctrine (or at least an Anglican version of it) decides to go out in style!

George Carey as the angel of death

George Carey dresses up as the Angel of Death (non Angeli sed Anglici...)

It is a pity that this film is so poor. Our own personal favourite amongst the Carey-on films was "Carey on Praying" in which George Carey was molested in Canterbury Cathedral by Peter Tatchell (a comic role played by Kenneth Williams) when he tried to defend the traditional family. This film simply does not compare in terms of spiritual nourishment.

Tatchell and Carey

"Infamy! They've all got it infamy!" says Tatchell.

Eccles verdict: do not go and see this film. The characters are totally unbelievable.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

World Pope Competition

As most of our readers will know, the Catholic Church has abandoned the old method of choosing its pope - whereby a lot of old men sat in a smoke-filled room trading insults for several days - in favour of a new competition in which the candidates battle it out in pairs. Brazil has been hosting the current competition, which started with the World Youth Day in 2013 and has been carrying on ever since.

two popes with football shirts

The finalists, from Argentina and Germany.

The British did very badly in the competition. Keith O'Brien from Scotland failed to qualify - indeed he was accused of foul play - and England's Vincent Nichols was eliminated at an early stage when it was discovered that he had very few goals, and was incapable of saving.

Vincent Nichols football shirt

Vincent Nichols: "a disappointing performance".

In fact England have not won the competition since 1154, when Pope Adrian IV (Nick Brakespear) took the title after extra time. However, the English always live in hope of a repeat performance, and one often sees the St George's flag being displayed during papal conclaves.

23 shirt

Cardinal Vingt-Trois of France wore this shirt, but failed to win.

The competition was not without incident. Cardinal Suàrez of Uruguay was disqualified for biting his opponent, evidently misunderstanding just what is considered acceptable conduct for the "kiss of peace".

Marge Farley and Tina Beattie

Don't cry for me, Marge and Tina! Farley and Beattie want to see a woman win.

In the semi-finals, Joe Ratzinger (Germany) put seven key doctrinal points past the Archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia (Brazil), whereas George Bergoglio (Argentina) struggled to beat the Metropolitan Bishop of Utrecht (Netherlands) on penalties. The entire universe waits to see who will win the final: will the modern philosophical style of Bergoglio really prove stronger than the traditional dialectic of Ratzinger? As the referee puts it: "Who am I to judge?"

Pope John-Paul II with football

St Charlie Wojtyła (Poland), a previous winner of the title.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Way, the Truth and the Death

The story so far:

1. An Anglican calling herself Canon Rosie Harper, Chaplain to the Bishop of Buckingham, tells the House of Lords that voting against Lord Falconer's Assisted Death bill is "neither moral nor Christian".

"... and there's a poor old man behind me that we could bump off..."

2. The Anglican blogger Cranmer points out that she is wrong and misguided (and her views are contrary to the C of E's official position).

3. The Bishop of Buckingham jumps in with both feet and describes Cranmer's comments as "outrageous trolling".

4. The Baptist blogger Geoffrey Sales asks "Bishops: what are they good for?" with special reference to recent blunders by +Buckingham, +Oxford and +Lancaster, whom he memorably describes as a "bunch of Vichyite jellyfish".

5. The world looks to Eccles for a ruling.

"Hello, I'm your new bishop."

Well, when in doubt go back to the scriptures and see what Jesus said and did.

Mark 1:40. And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst put me out of my pain.

41. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; go forth and die.

42. And the leper lived happily ever after dropped dead.

Jesus bumpeth off the leper.

Pretty conclusive, eh? Jesus saveth the man a lot of unnecessary suffering. Let's see what else Jesus did.

Mark 5:22. And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,

23. And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and "do a Falconer" on her, that she may be finished off quickly.

Of course this one hath a twist in the tail...

35. While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?

36. And Jesus said, Great! That letteth me out!

Get the point? If the girl had been brought back to life, she would only have had to die again one day!

"Bring Me a hammer, in case she is not really dead."

Well, that's enough of that. But think how cross Lazarus would have been if Jesus had raised him from the dead? "Owwwww! Now I've got to go through that suffering all over again," he'd have complained.

VERDICT: Three cheers for Rosie Harper, the Apostle of Assisted Suicide!