This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Saturday 27 June 2015

President Obama discovers that he is saved

It is now possible to listen to President Barack Obama singing "Amazing Grace" in public. For many of us there are problems with this hymn, as it assumes that salvation is automatic once you sign up to the Calvary Chapel, Southern Methodists, Salvation Army, Freemasons, etc., and that the Day of Judgement will be a mere formality. In the words of Mr Obama, "We is all saved persons. Hallelujah!"

Obama sings Amazing Grace

"For an encore, I'll sing the Dies Irae."

Obama began by singing the following lines:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch* like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
*One mark for self-awareness.

He later explained - exclusively to this blog - how those words applied to him personally. "Yes, I know Google offers 27,100,000 results for 'Crimes of Barack Obama', but I am a changed man. I no longer support late-term abortion. I condemn those creepy judges who said that changing the definition of marriage to include homosexual couples was linked to the U.S. Constitution. Now that Jesus has entered into my life, and I is saved, I has renounced evil."**

**As my Brother Bosco will confirm, when Jesus enters your life, you also renounce grammar.

burning the rainbow flag

A symbolic gesture from a newly-saved president.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
It is not clear when exactly Barack Obama first believed in any god other than himself. but if he says he is saved, who are we to judge?

We asked the President how - as a saved person - he would be dealing with the real crises of the world such as the massacres of ISIS. He kindly granted us an exclusive picture in which he is seen to be taking charge. Hallelujah!

Obama playing golf

A saved person shows how to deal with Islamic terrorism.

Friday 26 June 2015

Pope Francis declares himself fallible

The Catholic Church enjoyed a rare moment of unity today, when Pope Francis made an ex cathedra declaration of the doctrine of the fallibility of the Pope. For nearly 150 years, successive Popes had enjoyed the status of "infallible", but under such restrictive circumstances that the doctrine was almost meaningless: the Pope must speak ex cathedra, he must speak on faith or morals, he must have the permission of the editor of the Tablet, he must be wearing the holy socks of Pope Pius IX, and he must speak in Latin. All this is now (infallibly) swept away.

Pope Pius IX, the possibly fallible.

There has always been a slight paradox in the notion of papal infallibility, since Pope Pius IX was not infallible until he declared that he was, and so maybe he was never infallible after all. By that logic, anyone who declares himself infallible (e.g. Richard Dawkins or Giles Fraser) could be regarded as such.

Note that Papal infallibility has always been misunderstood by non-Catholics, who make trolling remarks such as "Hee, hee, hee, if he's infallible, why doesn't he tell us who's going to win the 2.30 at Newmarket today?" In fact the Pope KNOWS but he is not allowed to TELL (cf. the secrets of Fatima).

And the winner is Pope's Fancy at 100-8.

Still, there was a general sigh of relief today when Pope Francis renounced infallibility. Some Catholics were worried that he was going to declare that carbon dioxide was the Devil's gas; others feared that he might declare that Jesus's words about divorce were in some sense part of infallible Catholic teaching. (Which bits of Jesus's teaching are to be regarded as infallible is another good question for Catholics: apparently this will be answered at a forthcoming synod.)

The Holy Father himself is greatly relieved, now that he no longer officially infallible. He commented: "I admit that I contradict myself on a daily basis, and so it is a great weight off my mind to know that it really doesn't matter. Actually - what am I saying? - I don't contradict myself, and it does matter. Oh never mind."

Wednesday 24 June 2015

How do I write a good encyclical?

You may think it will never happen to you, but perhaps one day the world will knock on your door demanding an encyclical. This may be because you have been elected Pope, or possibly because the editor of the Telegraph would like a few hundred space-filling words from you on any subject that takes your fancy. So here is a guide to writing encyclicals.

Pope Francis writing

"Once upon a time..."

1. Choose a good title. Maybe you should do this last, when you have seen what you have actually written, but usually two or three words in Latin, expressing some deep philosophical idea, will do. CAVE CANEM, perhaps, or ILLEGITIMI NON CARBORUNDUM. Or you can use Italian, as Pope Francis did in his recent piece O SOLE MIO. (Memo: check the title.)

It has been noticed that James Bond movies are also a good source of encyclical titles: "You only live twice", "Tomorrow never dies", "The world is not enough", "Skyfall", etc. Given a good title, the encyclical virtually writes itself.

2. We'll assume that you're addressing this encyclical to faithful Catholics, with an eye to its being approved by liberals such as Hillary Clinton, Giles Fraser, etc. who will cherry-pick the bits they like. You can spice it up with lots of non-dogmatic stuff - e.g., your favourite recipe for rice pudding - knowing that this is not part of the Magisterium of Catholic teaching. There is no need to point out that those who wish to cook rice pudding in a different way are not automatically heretics. Although they probably are.

rice pudding

A non-heretical rice pudding.

3. When we come to the more dogmatic stuff, then Catholics are expected to take it seriously. So anything you say about sex will be regarded as important, because that's all that most people think of when you mention moral teaching. Reminding people of what previous writers have said - especially if it is obviously good sense - will earn you kudos too. So, point out that, in the words of Aquinas, "God sent the almond tree to flourish in the wilderness. However, extracting cyanide from it and using it to poison your neighbour is a neo-Pelagian habit, and should be rejected."

sparkling cyanide

Warning! There's a neo-Pelagian about!

4. Be brief! You may have been spammed with 200 pages of pro-genocidal propaganda from an atheist friend called Schnellzug, but there is no need to copy and paste it into your encyclical (the same goes for viagra adverts and offers of untold wealth from the widows of Nigerian dictators). Stick to the point: "STOP SINNING," "READ THE BIBLE," "STAY SAVED," "BRUSH YOUR TEETH" - that sort of teaching is clear and orthodox. There is no need to mention carbon dioxide more than 12 times - in fact most popes managed to avoid mentioning it at all.

5. Don't be pretentious. "The people of the world are in pain, and the Earth itself cries out with a bad headache." Who do you think you are? Leonardo Boff? Similarly, Yoko Ono-style advice such as "When you go to bed tonight, take a hedgehog with you. You will not sleep, but the hedgehog will love you" is a waste of time, and very dubious theology.


A grateful hedgehog.

Well I hope that was helpful. Get encycling, guys!

Monday 22 June 2015

Julia Carpet-Chewer tells the Pope to shut up

Pope Francis's little essay Laudato Si' has received some strange responses, such as an enthusiastic reception by the Hillary Clintons of this world, who didn't spot the attack on abortion. However, the silliest must be Julia Carpet-Chewer's piece in the Telegraph. To save readers from severe brain injury caused by hitting their heads against the wall in reaction to her obsessive drivelling, we will give you a more coherent summary.

Julia Hartley-Brewer

Just do us a hatchet job on Pope Francis, Julia. It doesn't need to make sense!

So, the Pope's written an encyclical on the environment!!?? Most of my readers won't know this, but he is the top Catholic, and so some people will be taking his words seriously!! When that's precisely the reason why HE MUST BE WRONG. What's worse, he's dabbling in science, even though he only has an Argentinian Diploma in "Chemistry for Theologians", unlike myself - I've got a Nobel Prize in "Stinks", even though I don't advertise this widely!!


Pope Francis and Mgr Guido Marini. Need I comment??!!

Popes are very bad at science. Benedict XVI told people that having sex with all and sundry might give them AIDS. Whereas everyone knows that the real answer is for men to wear condoms at all times, even when not having sex!! What's more, there was Galileo!! And now me!! For years I've been trying to convince the Pope that the sun shines out of my backside - but he refuses to listen!!

Julia's Law: Catholics don't understand science!! Forget Mendel!! Forget Lemaître!! Forget Lavoisier!! Forget Marconi!! Forget Pasteur!! All idiots!!

But WHAT IS FAR FAR WORSE than the Pope's dabbling in science and claiming that filling the air with poison could be a bad thing - I've been doing it for years without any ill effects - is the Pope's attempt TO DEFINE CATHOLIC MORALITY!! Pass the valium, nurse, I'm about to explode!!

smoke stacks

Be it ever so humble, there's no place like (my) home. Got a problem with that??!!

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS WRONG ON EVERYTHING. Murder?? What's wrong with that?? Adultery?? No problems!! Theft?? False Witness?? The Catholic Church is clinging onto viewpoints that are stuck in the Dark Ages and is wrong on every issue!! Faith, Hope and Love?? Arentchasickovem!! Why, if St Paul had been around today he'd have said this:

Now abide these four - gay marriage, women priests, divorce and death - and the greatest of these is death. Whether it's tearing babies to pieces in the womb, or sending your granny on a surprise trip to Dignitas, God wants death every time!

Never mind all that nonsense about the Catholic Church providing schools, hospitals, famine relief programmes, etc. THEY ONLY DO IT TO DRAW ATTENTION AWAY FROM THEIR INNATE EVIL.

Harveys Brewery

Julia Harveys-Brewery

Look, just wait until the Julia Harveys-Brewery encyclical is published, provisionally called "I'm a Loud Hater, See!" I'll soon put the Catholic Church in order!!

Thursday 18 June 2015

Religious leaders comment on the environment

Well, never mind the Pope's encyclical for the moment. What do other religious leaders have to say?

Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama.

The isness of the one is the oneness of the all. We are one with the Earth, and the Earth is one with us. Putting it more simply, the wholeness of the essence of being is the key to the oneness of the why. If I say to myself, "Hello, Dalai!" then am I not talking to myself? Whereas, if I say to a tree, "Hello, Laurel," then am I not communing with the Universe? The upshot of that is that we should talk to trees, indeed we should listen to trees. For are we not trees ourselves? I know I am.

Justin Welby

Justin Welby.

Now, it's not for an Anglican clergyman to preach to you; indeed, until my opinions have been approved by a 2/3 majority at the General Synod, we cannot be sure that they are truly the will of God - if He exists, and that's a question that we still aren't agreed on! However, I think I can stick my neck out here and say - in a very real sense - that if we are all doomed to be inconvenienced by War, Famine, Disease and Death, then this will be jolly unpopular in some circles. Still, I am happy to reassure my critics that the Church of England is instituting a system of "Smoking Bishops" to minister to those who think that being drowned by rising seas and bursting into flames is a good thing on the whole. So, as usual, we are catering for all beliefs and none. After all, that's why we're here!

Abu Hamza

Imam Abu Hamza.

We are all called to Jihad, and by that I mean the massacre of the infidel. But Allah asks us to do this in a way that respects the planet. Beheading Christians is ecologically sound - it has a very low carbon footprint - whereas shooting them releases dangerous greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. I used to be quite keen on the use of landmines, until I discovered Green Terrorism; nowadays I respect all nature - except for humans of course.

screaming clown

Brother Bosco of the Calvary Chapel.

I don't care about the environment. If the Pope says we must respect it, then he's saying this as part of some international baby-eating conspiracy including the Jesuits, the freemasons, Sepp Blatter, the Mafia, the Inland Revenue, the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing show, and the Mothers' Union. Trust me, I read all about it on,,, and Richard Dawkins's website The Catholics are just using atmospheric pollution as a smokescreen. Nurse! Where's my medication?

Wednesday 17 June 2015

The Laud-a-to-si Chorus

For those who haven't time to read the whole encyclical, here's a singable version, which contains the essence of the Pope's thinking. The more traddy version is here, with music by Handel.
Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si!
For the environment's a mess.
Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si!

For the environment's a mess.
Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si! 
Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si! 
choir in St Peter's, Rome

Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si!

The world is heating up
Yes it's true, the world is heating up,
It's all your fault, it's all your fault;
And we shall burn for ever and ever,
For ever and ever, for ever and ever.
lake of fire

If only we'd turned those lights off!

Carbon's bad, yes, carbon's bad,
Carbon's bad, yes, carbon's bad,
Yes, carbon's bad,
And we shall burn,
And we shall burn for ever and ever.
Carbon's bad, for ever and ever,
Yes, carbon's bad,
Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si!
Paul Inwood

"Hmm! A bit repetitive!" (Paul Inwood)

And we shall burn for ever and ever.
Carbon's bad, yes, carbon's bad,
And we shall burn for ever and ever.
Carbon's bad, yes, carbon's bad,
Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si! Laud-a-to-si! 

Tuesday 16 June 2015

The Eccles encyclical is leaked

Pope Eccles writes:

I am deeply shocked that the draft text of my new encyclical on the environment, Sanctus Fumus, has been leaked by a consortium of people including Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Sandro Magister. These people have of course been excommunicated, along with a few other dubious characters I've been waiting to deal with such as Enda Kenny, Timothy Radcliffe and Reinhard Marx.

polluting chimneys

Sanctus Fumus! I reveal that pollution is a BAD THING.

Of course one of the leading causes of global warming is the leaking of encyclicals into the environment, so I hope that the Reverend Magister and friends are deeply ashamed of themselves.

Well, now that I have seen the reaction to my encyclical (or blog post, as I prefer to call it), I have decided to revise it. However, the bit about how popes are always the right people to ask about scientific questions is to be left as it is, and I am definitely keeping the short 500-page discussion of how Pope Urban VIII dealt with "space deniers", such as Galileo, who refused to believe that the Earth orbited round the Moon.

Urban Spaceman

I'm the Urban Spaceman - as my predecessor declared.

Strange name, Urban. It's like being Pope Municipal, or something. But I digress.

Anyway, do wait for the final version of the encyclical before commenting. Apart from the general waffle about climate change, which I've mostly copied-and-pasted from James Delingpole, er, I mean Geoffrey Lean, there's some cracking good stuff about how abortion kills babies, which probably won't be widely reported, as well as some new jokes about people changing low-energy lightbulbs, which Mgr Guido Marini tells me will make my encyclical appeal more to the "yoof" of today. Yo, dudes!

pedal-powered Popemobile

The planet is not saved, only I am saved.

Monday 15 June 2015

The Spirit of Magna Carta

As readers will be aware, today is the anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta - a little-known Vatican II document - by "King" John XXIII, who had been forced to make concessions to the powerful barons of the Church (known in those days as bishops). Since Magna Carta has long been regarded as the main origin of the rights enjoyed by modern Catholics, it may be helpful to explain exactly what these are.


King John XXIII checks the Magna Carta.

It was agreed:

1. That the following sins were no longer to be considered as serious, or to be punished by eternal damnation: murder, theft, adultery, false witness, coveting neighbours' oxen.

2. That no Catholic could be forced to sing "Shine, Jesus, shine," "Lord of the Dance," "If I were a butterfly," or anything by Paul Inwood.

3. That no Catholic could be forced to attend clown masses, puppet masses, gay masses, or masses with liturgical dancing.

Dalek mass

The same applies to Dalek masses.

4. That retiring collections should be optional (the official position of "burly chap who stares menacingly at you until you have coughed up money for CAFOD to squander" being abolished).

5. That masses need no longer be in Latin, but the common people were allowed to worship using vernacular expressions such as "Eee, by gum", "Yaki da, boyo" and "Cor, strike a light, guv!"

6. That the "Kiss of Peace" was strictly optional, and anyone seen prodding his neighbour in order to intimidate her into a kiss would be considered guilty of assault.

mouse kissing cat

Eeek, my lunch just kissed me!

7. That the barons would be allowed to celebrate Ascension Day, Corpus Christi, etc. on any day that suited them, rather than using the same ecclesiastical calendar as the King.

Such hard-won rights continue to this day, so we are indeed lucky to have Magna Carta.

Saturday 13 June 2015

2067: the date of the Second Coming

A revised version of a Spectator piece by Damian Thompson.

When my editor asked me to write a scare story for the Spectator, I considered several possible scenarios:

2067: the date that world reserves of custard will run out.

Eccles cake and custard

A possible victim of world food shortages.

Pretty scary, you'll agree, but in fact this is not going to happen. Here's something more likely.

2067: the end of the Daily Telegraph.

This is more probable. Indeed, now that the Telegraph is basically a clone of the Daily Mail, without the intellectual gravitas of a Richard Littlejohn or a Piers Morgan, we may expect the last rites by 2017, shortly after Tim Stanley finally gives it up as a bad job.

Kim Kardashian

The Mail offers Kim Kardashian as the thinking man's Cristina Odone.

2067: the end of British Christianity.

This one is pretty certain, too. My own priest, Mgr Bottletop, is worried about declining congregations, and it can't be due to the fact that certain priests refused to sign a letter sticking up for Catholic teaching on marriage and the family. No, the Catholics and Anglican leaders have done their best to fit in with the "Spirit of the Age" and to reject anything that would make Christians look somehow "different" from liberal secularists. Richard Dawkins could walk into most of our churches without finding anything to throw a tantrum about. It's all very mysterious.

bar chart

By 2100 there will be MINUS THREE MILLION Christians in the UK.

The above chart was helpfully provided by my former colleague Geoffrey Lean, who also tells me that climate change will cause his zimmer frame to burst into flames tomorrow. It proves that we are in deep trouble, and Christianity in the UK will become extinct at 3.13 pm. on August 27th 2067. Indeed, I'll be over 100 by then, and probably departed to that great Newspaper in the Sky, and the same goes for most of my friends. All right, there'll be a few bishops left: indeed, that man Cormac Murphy-O'Connor will only be 130-odd, so I expect he'll still be meddling in things. But no Christians as such.

John Laurie as a cardinal

We're doomed, I tell ye. We're doomed!

2067: the Second Coming.

Actually, this is the most likely scenario. I took an Eccles tour to Medjugorje ("Your money back guaranteed if you don't get a personal apparition of the Virgin Mary"), and as a result I became convinced that we live in the end times. In fact, it was the hotel cleaner not the Virgin Mary who appeared to me, but - whoever she was - she was very persuasive. Basically the Lord is fed up with the whole human race, and wants to try something else. And who can blame Him?

Lego bishop

With spiritual leaders like this, are you surprised?

Thursday 11 June 2015

New Encyclical eagerly awaited

Corinth, 55 A.D.

Next week sees the publication of a new encyclical, provisionally entitled 1 Corinthians; since the Holy Father (Peter) is rather busy with audiences, travels, and photo-opportunities at the moment, it is believed that the encyclical has been mostly drafted by a very senior colleague, probably Cardinal Paul.

Cardinal Pell

Cardinal Paul, with the draft encyclical.

So what shall we see in the new encyclical? Will it refer to climate change on the Sea of Galilee, to the man who sowed a crop of wheat only to find that his enemy sowed biofuels among it, or to wind farms near Jerusalem? No, of course not, this is the Catholic Church, and the purpose of the encyclical is to save souls, not to argue about energy policies.

We have learned that Cardinal Paul is not too keen on Christians taking other Christians to law, even if they are accused of heresy in each other's blogs (e.g. making schoolboy blunders such as saying that the Holy Spirit is a girl). We may also expect that the encyclical will be very strict on immorality, probably with a strongly hostile reference to the recent same-sex marriage referendum in Corinth.


Catherine Pepinster, Elena Curti, Tina Beattie, and Timothy Radcliffe.

Readers of the Tablet will also be dismayed to learn that women are encouraged to cover their heads in church and to SHUT UP. That means you, Catherine. And you, Tina.

Cardinal Paul will also entertain us with little snippets of news from his past life: for example, did you know that when he was a child, he spoke as a child, he understood as a child, and he thought as a child? But that when he became a man, he put away childish things? In fact he gave most of them to Cardinal Kasper.

Eccles doll, now in the possession of Cardinal Kasper.

We are expecting to see a final ruling on the big question of our times: Is Faith, Hope, or Charity the best of the virtues? We have been unable to get a peek at the encyclical, but our religious affairs correspondent, St Damian the spectator, has heard from sources close to Cardinal Paul that the answer will be "Hope".

Charity Commission

Whatever happened to the Faith Commission and Hope Commission?

So what is the purpose of this encyclical, apart from the usual one of allowing senior clergy to pretend that people actually care what they think? Cardinal Paul says that the document is not meant to make people feel ashamed but to "admonish" them as beloved children. Well, not me of course, but you might want to change your ways a little...

Tuesday 9 June 2015

The apparitions of Muddlejorge

It is likely that the Vatican will soon rule on the authenticity of certain apparitions that have manifested themselves to Pope Francis, apparently with the aim of confusing him (hence, "Muddle Jorge"). Since their messages appear to contradict all Catholic teaching, it is likely that they will be declared bogus.

Cardinal Kasper

A vision of St Caspar

St Caspar, one of the three Magi, is said to have appeared in a dream to the pope, telling him that divorced homosexuals should be allowed to marry other homosexuals in church - and by the way, the Holy Father should ignore everything that St Balthasar said, because he was "a bit African". It is unlikely that this vision of St Caspar will be authenticated.

Peter Saunders

Peter ("Cardinal Pell ate my hamster") Saunders

Peter Saunders, the Chairman of the SBGPE (The Society for Blaming George Pell for Everything), is another who pops up regularly with unconvincing pronouncements. It is hoped that he will soon be "moved aside" to a place where poisonous rubbish isn't out of place - so perhaps a career at the Tablet awaits him.

Pope and Volpi

Pope Francis and the late Fr Volpi

Well, De mortuis nil nisi bonum, as the Latin Mass has it, or So, farewell, then, as the modern translation puts it, so we can't say more here. Anyway, we're just off to a champagne party organized by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

But the visions of Muddlejorge are a load of nonsense, aren't they?

Friday 5 June 2015

Cardinal Nichols joins Twitter

Somebody claiming to be Cardinal Vincent Nichols has joined Twitter as @cardinalnichols. Since the Westminster Diocese account seems to endorse him, we have to believe that this is the real Vin posting, and not a rude and naughty sockpuppet.

The good cardinal's first tweet already contains two gaffes, for he refers to the Corpus Christi procession starting on Sunday from Farm Street Church. So, he'll be setting off three days after the pope, and he's chosen a church associated with the infamous "gay masses". Oh dear, perhaps someone is trying to make him look silly, after all.

Pope Francis at Corpus Christi

Pope Francis celebrates Corpus Christi on the correct day.

As the Synod of the Family (Part 2) gears up for action, all the sides involved are trying to keep a high profile, rather as if the Holy Spirit were going to be swayed by whoever shouted the loudest. It cannot be long before the great Cardinal Kasper ("the pope's jester") makes an appearance on Twitter, perhaps with a "deranged tweet of the day" to entertain his followers. The pope said this... the pope didn't say this... I know the pope thinks this... I never said that the pope thought that...

Of course some senior clergy have no trouble with computers.

Campbell and PTP blog

The Bishop of Lancaster reads his favourite blog (apart from this one).

Anyway, your Eminence, I know you're a great fan of this blog, so do take a bit of advice. Try and say something spiritually nourishing, not just the usual celebrity Twitter-stuff such as: @cardinalnichols Having a glass of wine with my fish today. Only Vin ordinary lol.

Vincent Nichols very serious

Vincent Nichols enjoys one of Eccles's jokes.

Here's a suggestion, Cardinal. You could, for example, quote bits of the Bible at us (it's the large black book on your shelves, covered in dust), or simply tell us what a great idea marriage is, when considered as a contract for life between a man and a woman. Still, if you want, I can lend you a joke or two about the pope's recent and very humble appearance with tatty sleeves - something about his making too many off-the-cuff remarks? Ha ha ha. Well, my aunt liked it.

Pope's frayed cuffs

Be not a-frayed!

P.S. I've been wearing shirts with frayed cuffs for years, but until now I didn't know I was a leader of fashion. Next, the pope will be copying my holey socks.

Wednesday 3 June 2015

"Slough of Despond" appears with a controversial cover

The popular fashion magazine Slough Of Despond caused outrage this week by printing a picture of Dame Edna Everage, the well-known "transgendered" woman, on its cover.

The Slough of Despond.

Many people have wondered why a magazine should be called Slough Of Despond, after one of the least appealing locations in John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, associated with sin and guilt; still, this is a magazine read by those who worship vanity, greed, despair and various other sins. It is therefore appropriate that its cover should bear the effigy of a man dressed as a woman - a man, moreover, whose friends have clearly deserted him and failed to counsel him in his madness.

Dame Edna Everage

Dame Edna.

By telling the world that Dame Edna's real name is Barry, we are aware that we shall be open to charges of transphobia - a fear of people who can't accept the sex they were born into - but we feel that sometimes it is necessary to stand up for the truth.

We refuse to be silenced. You may claim that Tootsie was a woman, and worthy to be put on the cover of the magazine Valley of the Shadow of Death, but we can exclusively reveal that her real name was Dustin.


Dustin. Yes, really.

On the other hand, we must apologise for our unsubstantiated claim that Katharine Jefferts Schori (seen on the cover of Doubting Castle magazine) was really a man. We may have been mistaken here. It's very hard to tell, sometimes. Still, if she is a woman, why is she dressed as a bishop?

Katharine Jefferts Schori

Dressed as a bishop. Still, this chap may be female.

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. Eccles. 1:2.

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Make God in your own image!

There is an obvious explanation for recent reports that some women priests and bishops - Anglicans of course - would like to rewrite Christian liturgy to make God female: not only did God make Man in His own image, but many people would like to remake God in their own image. Here are some case studies.

Pope Francis

God dictates the more boring bits of Leviticus to Moses.

Pope Francis writes: I see God as a rather confused old man, surrounded by some rather dodgy archangels (e.g. Kasper, the Father of Lunacy). God Himself, although traditionally described as a "Judge Eternal, Throned in Splendour", is really a much more humble character, who prefers to be enthroned in a rather spartan apartment, and is anxious to reassure people with the words, "WHO AM I TO JUDGE?" Most of what God says has been taken down by unreliable prophets and evangelists, and it suffers from translation errors.

Noah and the rainbow

God teaches Noah about gay marriage.

Fr Gerry O'Morrah, Irish Catholic priest: If there's any message that we should take from scripture and tradition, it is that God is really keen on equality, diversity, gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia, and cannibalism. There are examples of these throughout the Bible, all described in enthusiastic tones. He is the God of Death and Sex, and was known as such to the ancient Irish. The very fact that He placed a rainbow in the sky after the great flood proves to us exactly what His vision was for the world.


"Cake of Heaven - feed me from thy bounteous store."

Damian Thompson, Spectator journalist: God was described as a "blood-crazed ferret" by the Church Times, but in reality He is a much milder character, whose main joy is in listening to our worship, especially when we offer it in the form of Bach Chorales and Gladys Mills songs. Obviously, being the Almighty, He has no weaknesses, but His fondness for cupcakes and custard - the Cake of Life - almost amount to an addiction. Trust me, I know about these things.

a shed

A vision of Heaven.

Other writers have described God in these terms:

"He's a grumpy old man in a shed who likes harassing and insulting people."

"Well, dude, you just don't appreciate the fact that God likes to express Himself in the panoptically ironic semantics of patriarchal exclusion using Tzvetan Todorov's absolutely intersubjective formalism. The Bible would have been six times as long, except that the moderators got to it."

"Of course He doesn't really exist, but if He did, He would definitely be a learned Professor of Zoology, and His Kingdom would be in Oxford. By the way, did I ever mention that I really hate Catholics?"