This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Sunday 31 August 2014

We love Giles Fraser

From time to time Canon Giles Fraser, the Anglican priest-in-charge of St Mary's, Newington, darling of the BBC's Thought for the Day waffle-slot and the Guardian's leftie-rant pages, has received harsh criticism on this blog. This is mostly because his passionate approval of homosexual acts, same-sex "marriage" and secular socialism seem to jar badly with Christianity. Some have claimed that when he introduces himself with "It's me, Giles!" it does sound suspiciously like "It's Sméagol!" but I am sure this is purely a coincidence.


This is NOT Giles Fraser, merely a lookalike.

However, this blog is nothing if not fair, so credit where credit is due: sometimes Fr Giles gets it right. On August 29th he had a go at Dawkins and his remarks about Downs Syndrome, with a piece Nobody is better at being human, Professor Dawkins, least of all you. Sorry, Richard, if even Giles Fraser thinks you're barmy, then you're in trouble.

Dawkins and Einstein

Dawkins explains his theory of moral relativism to a rather bronzed Einstein.

Only a week earlier, on August 22nd Giles had decided that, all things considered, he wasn't keen on Islamic violence (decapitation, crucifixion, etc.), writing If this is real religion, then you can count me as an atheist. A poor title, Giles, as Guardian readers have a short attention span and many will have read that as simply You can count me as an atheist, but never mind.

death to juice

"When's George Galloway turning up?"

Go back one more week to August 15th, and he's writing Sometimes it’s good to talk – even to ‘terrorists’. This is his bravest piece of all, as it challenges the left-wing Gaza always good, Israel always bad line with a more balanced Gaza!? Israel?! Arentchasickofemboth?? judgement.

Well, you can see what a difficult position this puts me in. When I need a spiritually nourishing subject for my blog, I find out what Richard, Tina, Giles, ... have been doing, and usually one of them comes up trumps. But now I can no longer rely on Giles. Bastard.

Saturday 30 August 2014

The Pilgrim's Ogress 9: The Ghost of Digby Stuart

Continued from Part 8.

The story so far: Eccles and his Aunt Moly are on a pilgrimage. Expelled from Portugal for harassing the Prime Minister while he was making an in-depth study of fish markets, they have arrived in Roehampton, near London. M.R. James takes up the story.


What secrets lie behind these doors?

It was, as far as I can ascertain, in August of the year 2014 that a post-chaise drew up one evening before the door of Digby Stuart College, the site of a former Sacred Heart community and school for girls in the handsome borough of Wandsworth. The two passengers in the chaise were a young man in a red biretta, together with a much older lady clutching refreshment in the form of a bottle of gin.

They produced their cards - their names were Eccles and Auntie Moly - and were admitted by a maid, and shown to their rooms; for they had determined on passing the night on the premises in order to investigate a series of mysterious happenings. At around three o'clock of the morning, the young man was woken by a loud scream of "Woeful!" from the room of his aunt, so he hauled himself out of bed, and rushed to her assistance.

He found the old lady gibbering incomprehensibly, her faced twisted into a loathsome caricature: this was exactly as he was accustomed to seeing her, so he was not particularly alarmed. "Eccles!" she cried. "I have seen the ghosts of two nuns. They were writhing restlessly and moaning 'Beware Tina.' They would not leave until I threw my false teeth at them. What can it mean?"

Pope St John-Paul II

In happier times, saints would pass through Digby Stuart College.

Enquiries from the servants elicited the information that these two ghosts were frequently seen to haunt the college; they were said to be the spectres of Mother Mabel Digby and Mother Janet Stuart, who had founded the college in the nineteenth century. Perturbed by the wicked teachings to be found there, they were unable to rest in their graves.

"Who is this Tina?" asked Eccles. The maid replied that she was a professor at the college whose work centred on religion, society and human flourishing. More specifically, she was fascinated by sex - or at least the subjects of gender, sexuality and reproductive ethics, areas in which she had produced writings that drove most Christians up the wall.

girls on wall-bars

Some pious Catholic girls being driven up the wall.

After further enquiries, it was determined that Professor Tina Beattie lived in a houseboat on the tidal Thames, where she watched birds - focusing particularly on their gender, sexuality and reproductive ethics - and even wrote a webbed log about them.

Many of her most notorious publications had been inspired by the ornithological world; for example, God's mother, Eve's Avocet and Ornithology After Postmodernity: Diving into the Void.


Eve's Avocet.

"You are doing important work here," commented the young man on his arrival at the houseboat. "Watching the birds and the changing tides, occasionally plunging bravely into the river for a swim."

"You think so?" replied the professor. "Do we not agree that there is a need for a new historically and materially rooted theology of the unity of nature and grace? I told the Pope that and he put the phone down on me."

"This is too deep for me," admitted Eccles. "However, you can perform a great service for the souls of Mother Digby and Mother Stuart, simply by staying on your boat, and mumbling to yourself about nature. I would say 'Forget Catholicism,' except that it seems from your writings that you have already forgotten it."

"I shall consider your words carefully," replied his hostess. "Out of the mouths of grebes and ducklings." Eccles blenched in horror as she dived into the Thames, emerging a few minutes later with a fish in her mouth.


Tina Bee-Eater.

To be continued.

Friday 29 August 2014

The five levels of threat to your spirituality

In these dangerous times, it is important to know what the chances are of an attack from the forces of darkness. There are five officially-recognised threat levels, and, just as the Beaufort scale may be used to estimate the wind speed, and the likely extent of damage, the following table can provide a similar warning, based on what you observe when you attend church.


The threatometerTM.

Low threat - a sacred, devotional service; all music played is religious, rather than something from Paul Inwood; the sermon may have been stolen from a dusty 19th century anthology, but the anecdote about Cardinal Newman is spiritually nourishing; the emphasis is on God.


No sign of those 19th century Pusey riots.

Moderate threat - kiss of peace starts to get out of hand; "Shine, Jesus, shine" sung; children return from Bible class having drawn pictures of the Pope.

sketch of Pope

Well done, Maureen! Why not write a blog?

Substantial threat - guitars; liturgical dancing; guest sermon on "My holiday in Ecuador"; gospel replaced by readings from the Vatican II documents; copies of the Tablet sighted.

Pepinster and Tablet

Threat level raised to "substantial".

Severe threat - clowns or puppets deployed; deacon tips ice bucket over his head; favourable mention made of of Hans Küng (or it may be Cardinal Martini).

clown in bin

Fr Bosco - a severe threat.

Critical threat - Tina Beattie wanders in; priest introduces his "husband"; charity collection for the Family Planning Association; a distinct smell of brimstone; you're in deep trouble.

Nazi bishops

There's something badly wrong here.

Thursday 28 August 2014

The LMS Pilgrimage to Walsingham

The Latin Mass Society pilgrimage from Ely to Walsingham took place from the 22nd to 24th August. The big question on everyone's lips was "Venietne Frater Eccles?" or "Will Bruvver Eccles be coming?" Well, here is my account of the proceedings, and you can judge for yourselves.

LMS pilgrimage

Eccles and friends on the pilgrimage.

For me the pilgrimage was an opportunity of meeting several legendary figures for the first time. Dr Joseph Shaw, the LMS Chairman, had invited along his great friend Mgr Basil Loftus - at 103 he was the oldest participant - although Basil is no friend of Latin! "A priori, I may be persona non grata!" he admitted. "But I am coming along to meet the dramatis personæ, and, at the end, to say Veni, Vidi, Vici! even though the use of Latin is infra dignitatem!" He went on to say that God, having no supernatural language-learning abilities, could not possibly understand Latin.

Protect the Pope shirt

The shirt I was wearing.

Another surprise participant was Michael Campbell, the bishop of Lancaster. He was very keen on having his photograph taken dozens of times, so that he could post the results on his blog, along with all the other remarkably devout things he had been doing in August (Blackpool is such a spiritually nourishing place for a holiday). However, our friend +Campbell dropped out at an early stage, saying that he needed a spot of prayer and reflection.

Donnelly pub

A place for prayer and reflection!

I had hoped to see Fr Tim Finigan, but he sent his apologies, as he was packing in readiness for his move to Margate. I tried to persuade him that there was no need to take his vast collection of old copies of the Tablet with him, but he felt he could not live without them. Luckily, we did have Father John Zuhlsdorf walking with is, toting his trusty automatic, so that we received no attacks from those vicious gangs of Anglican ladies that roam the Norfolk countryside.

We were really honoured to see Professor Tina Beattie on our expedition. Admittedly, she complained non-stop about the absence of women priests on the pilgrimage, and asked Dr Shaw whether adequate arrangement for contraception and abortion on the walk had been made. I did not hear Dr Shaw's reply.

Vin in Walsingham

Walsingham! We ask a local resident for directions.

Well, that's it, really. A good time was had by all, and Damian Thompson - a mere spectator - was waiting in Walsingham to welcome us with a supply of nourishing cupcakes and custard. I think all this circumstantial detail proves that I was definitely present, even if I had doffed my usual red biretta for the occasion.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Anti-Catholic professor has another meltdown

A well-known anti-Catholic professor has managed to outrage millions of decent people yet again. In a Guardian article for which it is said she received a fee of "approximately thirty pieces of silver", Tina Beattie contrived to have one of her famous meltdowns, showing her contempt for the Pope and the Catholic Church, while rejecting their teaching on contraception and abortion.

Look at me! Look at me! I'm rude and naughty!

Although her remarks were welcomed by the Guardian, the Tablet, and similar anti-Catholic organs, criticism came from an unexpected direction. Professor Richard Dawkins, the distinguished biologist, theologian, psychologist and poet ("There's not a bonnie bird that sings, But minds me o' my gene.") was unimpressed. "This lady is supposed to be a professor," he pointed out. "That is, a person universally respected for her erudition and dignity. She's just annoying Catholics in the hope that people will talk about her more. Perhaps she's got a book to sell; anyway, she's starting to give professors a bad name."

"I'll send her one of my professorial tee-shirts," says Dawkins.

Although Tina Beattie is "professor of Catholic studies" at Roehampton, this cannot be taken to imply that she is a Catholic, or that she supports Catholicism. After all, Professor Malaria, who holds the chair of Tropical Diseases, is not a supporter of tropical diseases: on the contrary, he regularly publishes hard-hitting "Diseases!? Arentchasickofem?!" articles in the Guardian.

Bishops: help the Justice for Tina campaign by inviting her to your diocese!

For those who gave up reading Tina's piece after five lines, on account of its clunky and turgid style, we are delighted to reprint the very last sentence, even if it is total gibberish:

How about a maternal church in which the shepherds smell of bruised, hurting and dirty women dying in childbirth?

Sounds great, eh? Still, this evening Tina Beattie was unrepentant. "Repentance? Isn't that a papist thing?" she said. "Not my cup of tea at all!"

Sunday 24 August 2014

Damion Thomson treads on our toes

A special hatchet job by Mike Winters, reprinted from the National Protestant Reporter ("Fishwrap").

Damion Thomson (it's Damiun Thomspon. Ed.), who is an associate editor at the Spectator, is a brilliant and wonderful writer, whom we admire very much. However, he has written a piece that is wrong from beginning to end.

Mike (R) and Bernie Winters.

Damyan correctly points out that Pope Francis is a Jesuit: most people don't know this, because they don't read the Fishwrap, where all the newest versions of Catholic belief are written about in sympathetic terms by our own tame Jesuit, Fr Thomas Reese.

Damain claims that Pope Francis isn't a Marxist-Leninist with Stalinist tendencies, as we at the Fishwrap devoutly hoped. Indeed, he says that Francis is not going to change Catholic doctrine in any significant way: for example, Damein thinks that there is no chance that blood-drinking lesbian lizards will be ordained to the priesthood within the next five years. Instead, Damoin claims, the pope's priority is to reform the Roman Curia, forcing all those fat lazy bureaucrats to renounce evil or be fired.

Pope Francis hands out specially blessed P45s (pink slips) to the faceless bureaucrats.

We know better. The pope has previously warned, correctly, about neo-pelagianism and new forms of gnosticism. These are heresies we associate with conservatives - they grow from the same spiritual soil as orthodox beliefs and practices. So we should reject orthodox practices in order to avoid heresy. Er, this doesn't make a lot of sense does it? Never mind, let's skip on to a METAPHOR.

Reforming the Curia, and rewriting Catholicism in the process, are not small beer. But whether they are small or large beer - and mine's a large gin, if you're buying - the pope has reminded us that old wine should not be put into new wineskins, and that work is the curse of the drinking classes, while candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.

"We said we'd sue Him if He didn't change water into wine at our same-sex wedding."

These facts are as true as they were two thousand years ago, when the apostles went to the tomb and found that Christ was not there. We are proud to say that, since then, many readers have gone to the pages of the Fishwrap and also found that Christ was not there.

(After 3 months they still haven't corrected the spelling of "Damian". Looking at the original article might have given them a clue. E.)

Saturday 23 August 2014

Sponsor a tweet from Richard Dawkins

Professor Dawkins today announced a new opportunity to support his Dawkins Foundation by sponsoring an aggressive, offensive, insulting, or simply plain dumb tweet. Said the charming professor: "Everyone is so STUPID! They ignore all my learned books on theology, preferring to read my 140-character aphorisms on Twitter. Well this isn't paying the bills, so from now on you numbskulls have the opportunity to sponsor my ranting."

Dawkins with toilet seat

Rational scientists often wear toilet seats round their necks.

Of course the insults and invective available must be compatible with the SHARIAR (secular-hateful-atheist-rationalist-I'm-always-right) principles of Professor Dawkins. Thus, Richard will not simply tweet "Eccles's Auntie Moly is crazy" but for a fee of £10,000 he may tweet "Crazy people, like Eccles's Auntie Moly, should be killed off. It's LOGIC!"

ugly kid in bin

If you have an ugly child, the moral solution is to dump it and try again. © RD.

Preference will be given to tweets that mock the weak and helpless, such as disabled people or victims of sexual assault, and of course religion of any kind except atheism - preferably Islam or Catholicism.

Thai sign

Religious? Young? Pregnant? Disabled? Richard is waiting to insult you!

Do please take advantage of this special offer. We all want to see a world governed entirely by logic and rationalism, in which human feelings and emotions are understood simply in terms of chemical activity. Now you can buy professionally-composed invective while helping to support Richard Dawkins in his declining years. (Hmm... is it logical to do that? I'll come back to you on that one.)

Pause Cate

Catholics: mentally ill people engaged in child abuse/indoctrination. © RD.

As part of the offer, Richard will write another tweet the next day, free of charge, clarifying what he said in your sponsored tweet and "apologising" because the whole world was too stupid to understand the remorseless logic of his arguments.

Friday 22 August 2014

Liturgy for baptism with an ice bucket

The priest, the person seeking baptism, the wielder of the bucket, and the bearer of the video camera shall proceed into the church; meanwhile, a hymn evoking water, ice or snow may be sung, such as Good King Wenceslas.

Eric Morecambe

Probably not Pope Francis.

Priest: Who cometh here seeking the baptism of icy water?

Candidate: I come here so to seek.

Priest: And why seekest thou such a baptism?

Candidate: To raise awareness of ALS (MND) (or he may say "baldness", or "halitosis", or any other ailment that afflicts mankind). To raise awareness of myself and my virtue. Also, because I am too stingy to dip in my pocket and send cash to a charity.


I'm used to being humiliated. I can even stick my head in a bucket of water if you like.

Priest: And who wieldeth the bucket?

Wielder: I do.

Priest: Dost thou promise to wield the bucket fairly, taking care that most of the contents fall upon the candidate? And wilst thou endeavour not to splash me?

Wielder: I promise this.

Priest: And who beareth the video camera? (Or he may say "mobile telephone".)

Bearer: I do.

Priest: And dost thou promise to place the fruits of thine efforts on Youtube, that all may see how wondrous are the deeds of the Candidate?

Bearer: I so promise.

At this point there may be a reading from Lamentations 3:54. "Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off."

wine bottles in ice bucket

It is advisable to remove the bottles before proceeding.

Priest: Art thou ready to receive the icy water?

Candidate: I am ready.

Priest: Then let it be poured upon thee.

The wielder shall now invert the bucket, and the video camera shall "roll".

Candidate: Eeeek! Owwww! (Or he may use another form of words, such as "Yarooh!" or "Aaagh!")

Priest: Hast thou gotten a good "take"?

Bearer: This I have done.

Priest: Then the deed is done, so let us go forth in gladness.

Candidate: A-a-a-a-a-a-...

Omnes: CHOO!

The procession shall now leave the church, and the candidate shall seek a towel and dry raiment.

Thursday 21 August 2014

Eccles answers some burning questions

Dear Eccles, I read somewhere that it was possible to declare one's house a Galloway-free zone. How do I do that, and what are the advantages?

Galloway arrested

Sometimes our policemen are wonderful.

Eccles replies: A Galloway exclusion zone is generally considered to be a significant asset to a neighbourhood. Indeed, the value of your property may increase by up to 100% if the purchaser can be sure that there isn't a whining Hamas-supporter crawling round your living-room drinking the cat's milk.

To avoid an infestation of Galloways, you could hang an old shoe in your window, since Muslims consider old shoes to be insulting, and Galloways will tend to avoid them. Keeping pigs is another possible strategy, but these animals tend to think of Galloways as "unclean" and will probably be upset by their presence. In Bradford they discovered that inviting a few Jews to visit was extremely effective: despite his mighty rhetoric, the resident Galloway was reported to have disguised himself in a burka and fled to Scotland.

Dear Eccles, I am a pregnant woman, and very worried that my child may have Dawk syndrome. Could you advise me?

Dawkins and dog

People with Dawk Syndrome are often fond of animals. It's humans they can't stand.

Eccles replies: Dawk Syndrome is not usually a problem for the first 50 or so years of life: people with this condition can often live full and rewarding lives, for example by taking unskilled employment as professors of zoology.

In old age, however, we often see severe psychological problems develop: an obsessive desire for publicity, including the habit of saying nasty things in order to be noticed; a conviction that one is always right, even when the facts have shown that this is not the case; the habit of making gaffes ("unless you are a vegan (most Pro-'Lifers' are not) you are in no position to object to abortion"); and a total insensitiveness to the feelings of other people. It is tempting, if you think you may have a Dawk baby, to abort your child and "try again", but we cannot recommend that course of action. At any rate, the condition is much better understood these days.

Teenage Dawkins

Sometimes a 73-year-old will dress like a teenager.

Dear Eccles, whom are you likely to nominate for your "Catholic bishop of the year" award?

Eccles replies: It seemed at first that Michael Campbell of Lancaster would walk away with the prestigious "golden cake" for his courageous suppression of the far-too-orthodox Protect the Pope blog, and his brilliantly confusing handling of the situation. As devoted supporters of "Mike the Knife" we must remind people that shouting "Pants on fire!" at bishops is rude and naughty, even if this exact phrase is not explicitly forbidden by canon law.

Recently, Kieran Conry has been coming up fast behind him, with his imaginative request for the dissident organization ACTA to hold meetings in his diocese, going as far as advertising them on the Arundel and Brighton website. Well done, Kieran! Give the Vatican a piece of your mind! Just think, in a few hundred years time we may be talking of Conryans in the same way as we talk of Lutherans!

Stop ACTA boy

Attacking ACTA? Not in Arundel and Brighton!

Monday 18 August 2014

The Book of St Richard, Chapter 20

Continued from Chapter 19.

1. And Richard decided that the time had come to lay up treasure on earth, ignoring all warnings that moth and rust do corrupt.

2. Thus, following the traditions of L. Ron Hubbard and Sun Myung Moon, he set up a system of payments, whereby the faithful and somewhat foolish could give of their money to the Dawkins Foundation and buy Enlightenment.

3. Thus, Richard created six circles, and each circle was filled by progressively more gullible people.

4. Seven circles were there not, neither five circles, but six. And Richard was at the centre of all these circles, as was right and just.

Dawkins and his honey

$1000 annually for membership of the Glorious Circle of Honey.

5. And the first circle was called the Glorious Circle of Honey: and it commemorated Richard's great war against the forces of Islam, in which his honey was taken from him at an airport.

6. And those that paid to join the Glorious Circle were fed with milk and honey until they wanted no more.

7. Also, they were given the prestigious DAWKINS INITIATES MEDAL, and could write the letters D.I.M. after their name.

8. Next, there came the Wondrous Circle of Gallifrey, priced at two thousand five hundred pieces of silver per year, wherein the members were entitled to additional benefits, including a cup of tea with Mrs Dawkins, she that they called Lalla.

City of Death

Lalla explaineth her husband's writings to a disciple.

9. And the members of the Wondrous Circle of Gallifrey were awarded the DAWKINS UNIVERSAL MEDAL OF BRILLIANCE, and wrote the letters D.U.M.B. after their name.

10. Then (keep it short, please. God) there were four further circles of Hell Enlightenment.

11. The Noble and Imperious Circle of Blind Watchmakers, five thousand pieces of silver. Additional benefits, including one dinner a year with la famille Dawkins (Richard, Lalla and K9). Dinner cooked by Lalla, Richard promiseth to do the washing-up, and K9 walketh with thee in the streets of Oxford.

12. The Effulgent and Inscrutable Circle of Selfish Genes, ten thousand pieces of silver. Free admission to Dawkins's house once a week, and unlimited use of Dawkins's toilet, whereon he composeth his tweets.

13. The Lustrous and Ineffable Circle of Devil's Chaplains, twenty-five thousand pieces of silver. For him who reacheth this circle, Richard cometh to his house once a year to unblock the drains and do other odd jobs.

Dawkins and flowers

Richard demonstrateth his skills at flower-arranging.

14. Finally, there was the Supreme, Magnificent and Dreadful Circle of Deluded Gods, priced annually at one hundred thousand of those pieces known as "bucks".

15. And a mighty message was proclaimed: "If thou reacheth this level of wisdom, O mortal, Dawkins will bow down and worship thee - or at least worship thy money - and he will lick thy boots clean with his own blessed tongue."

Dawkins playing music

Dawkins serenadeth a member of the Supreme, Magnificent and Dreadful Circle of Deluded Gods.

16. And the multitudes spake, saying "Surely that man will do anything for money?"

Continued in Chapter 21.

The book of St Richard started here.

Sunday 17 August 2014

Westboro Baptist Church Ecumenical Events

My fellow saved Baptists,

This week sees a truly solemn occasion, the funeral of the actor Robin Williams. In a spirit of ecumenism we shall be sending representatives along to the event, with a message of condolence: "Burn in Hell you rotten faggot". As you may know, our researches have shown that Mr Williams led a double life as a homosexual club-owner, until he was exposed in a film called The Birdcage. Our investigations have also shown that he used to infiltrate himself into people's houses as a transvestite housekeeper - an activity specifically forbidden in the book of Leviticus.

Mrs Doutfire

Hell has a special circle for transvestite housekeepers.

Looking further ahead, we are starting to think of Christmas. Yes, it's the Panto season, and this year the Khilafa Players have promised us a real treat - Aladdin and his Magic Lamp! We shall be sending a party along to the first night at the Alhambra Theatre, and we're all looking forward to seeing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the role of Widow Twanky. When he comes on we shall arise as one - though there may be as many as two of us - and burn down the theatre, for GOD HATES PANTOMIME DAMES. They stimulate unnatural carnal desires, don't they? Well, they did in Pastor Fred Phelps, bless his memory.

Les Dawson

A source of unnatural carnal desires.

Finally, we are already making plans for next Lent, when the Westboro Episcopalian Church, St Thomas Cromwell's, will be putting on a passion play. This is going to portray several EVIL characters, and so we shall be involved in the production in a generally offensive capacity. For example, JUDAS - although non-Baptists love him - was a ROTTEN SKUNK, so any actor who attempts to portray him on stage had better watch out. Worse than Judas was PETER - who some say was the first pope, i.e., a CATHOLIC, i.e., worse even than FAGS! When Peter comes on he'd better watch out for hisses, boos, and a shower of rotten tomatoes!

Actually, there's nobody here that we Westboro Baptists can approve of!

Death to the infidel! And that means anyone who wasn't in church this morning!

Jim Phelps (Pastor),
The Impossible Mission,

Saturday 16 August 2014

Devilodge bans the Gideon Bible

The hotel chain Devilodge has announced that it will be removing the Gideon Bibles supplied to its guest rooms, "in order not to discriminate against any religion".

Gideon Bible

Too discriminatory for Devilodge.

It is thought that they originally planned to replace them with copies of the secularists' Guardian Bible, written by Laurie Penny, Owen Jones, Giles Fraser and Simon Jenkins, but, thanks to the good folk at Scarfolk Council, we have come across some other books that will replace the Gideon Bible.

Muslims can of course ask for the Koran, but here is an alternative that can be requested by ticking the appropriate box when you book online.

Bomb-making book

For the more militant traveller.

Satanists, too, are welcomed at Devilodge, and here is a book for them.

Witchcraft book

A good read.

Finally, with Calvary-Chapel types, such as my brother Bosco, in mind, here is something for the Evangelical Christian.

Rapture book

Getting ready for the big day.

Thanks again to Scarfolk Council for some brilliant ideas.

Friday 15 August 2014

What are my human rights?

QUAERITUR: What are my human rights? I have read recently that Judge Dedov, a comedian employed by the European Court of Human Rights, took the (minority) view that Catholic priests had the "human right" to remain priests, even if they disregarded the celibacy rule. Moreover, Michael Fabricant M.P. has just declared that homosexuals have the "right" to give blood. So is there a comprehensive list of rights anywhere?


Do I have the right to a silly mop of blond hair?

Professor Eccles answers: I once read a book by Simone Weil - clever lady - in which she argued that talking about "rights" was silly, and we should be talking more about "responsibilities". So instead of saying "I have a right to a silly mop of blond hair", we should argue "The NHS has a duty to provide me with a silly blond wig". Instead of saying "I have a right to give blood", we might say "The NHS (or Count Dracula, or whoever you wish to give it to) has a duty to accept this bottle of red stuff that I've brought in with me."

Tony Hancock and fat lady

"Cliff Richard might get your lot - that'd slow him down a bit."

Human rights have clearly changed over time: originally Ug the cave-man felt he had the "right" to food and shelter - but not necessarily the prime cut of mammoth or the most comfortable rock to lay his head on. The human right to watch Russell Brand on colour television never occurred to him (those were happier times). Even then he might feel he had the right to be a high priest and to participate in the sacrifices that were going on (mostly goats in those days, it seems).

After some thought, I have formulated the Eccles Principle of Human Rights. Human Rights are whatever someone else has that you want.

Clarkson and Mercedes

Jeremy Clarkson has a Mercedes Benz - so it is your human right to have one too!

It is clear that the Eccles principle will improve your life immeasurably. Want a seat in the House of Lords? It's your human right - frankly, the last few appointees seem to have been chosen at random, so you are probably just as suitable. Do you want to be a lady Catholic bishop? It is your right to reassign your gender as "female" (if necessary), and initiate a new career, bullying deacons and posing for narcissistic pictures - or whatever it is that bishops do.

Galloway and Hamas

You too have the right to participate in a Dr Who tribute act!

Correction: as we went to press, we learned that you do not have the human right to express your opinion if it offends atheists, liberals, socialists or terrorists. Sorry about that.