Call me precious

I was raised a Catholic, went to a Catholic school, and am from one of the most prominent Catholic families in this country. I ceased practising Catholicism for a number of reasons. Selfishly, I put my social life first, but probably more importantly, I experienced a growing distaste for the witnessing of the politics of a church community. Increasingly it seemed to me that those who placed themselves in the front pews at Mass, or in positions of authority in church committees, were those least likely to practise the most basic of church teaching in everyday life. That most basic teaching is respect and tolerance for all, including those different from yourself. Now, however that message has been hijacked over the years by many groups, including some Catholics, and Catholic leaders, it remains the single most fundamental teaching of Jesus Christ, and as far as I am concerned, if the world did the simple act of revisiting that message and living by it, we’d have world peace and all of the benefits that go with it.

That message, and the bloke who delivered it, and regardless of whether you believe in the miracles and all the rest of it and I share reservations about those, simply do not deserve to be insulted and mocked. We claim this new found tolerance for women, other races, other sexualities etc but this bloke was saying all of that 2000 years ago. And for that he was crucified. That’s a matter of historical fact, not one of belief.

How any person in this blog can preach tolerance, equality, justice for all, human rights, peace or any of those niceties whilst allowing by open encouragement, silence, or only very muffled protest, the continued posting followed by the ongoing defiling of that image, having been alerted to its offensive nature by at least one blog member, three times, is breathtakingly hypocritical.

Ladies and Gents, it’s been fun.

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268 Responses

  1. James

    I was also born and raised a catholic form a very strict catholic family and I no longer practice, yet still have firm beliefs in many of the teachings of Christ.

    I went to mass every day, benediction, exposition of the blessed sacrement, stations of the cross and all religious celebrations. We lived only 5 doors fomr the church.

    But Jesus also preached forgiveness, so while I was initially offended by rebs psoting I decided to forgive as this is community and things we do will offend at times. I have chosen not to comment on the thread but rather just made a note on it that I hoped you would still be around.

    I also made a conscious decision to have virtually no comment regarding the terrorism debate being raged here for such a long time. I respect others rights to comment and post threads and choose to either become involved ar wait for one that I do wish to comment on, to appear.

    So while you are offended I certainly hope you choose to forgive.

  2. James, I was brought up C of E but hubby is a Catholic and one side of my family is Catholic..so much so that I have a 2nd cousin who is a priest.

    My mother in law choofed the kids off to Mass each Sunday (while the roast dinner was looking after itself). Those certainly were the days.

    My thoughts are that this is not God’s image, it’s a painting and comes but from someone’s imagination.

    From my own spiritual journey I’ve never found that Himself is often offended as he sees into everyone’s heart. And anyway He’s been there, done that throughout the millenia so that anything that we silly sockes can come up with will receive but an indulgent raise of the eyebrows.

  3. James, one of the great benefits of this site is that comments are just posted (usually).

    They may be offensive, or otherwise. The critical point is that it is all very open and very available.

    I’d always draw a distinction between ignorant intolerance and teasing disrespect.

    We should always push back on ignorant intolerance; on the other hand teasing disrespect is probably a strength of the Australian character.

    For what it is worth.

  4. My God…………………..!

    I actually agree with you James. Although not being all that religious myself I was brought up in a Catholic school. I must confess I do feel a tad uncomfortable with the image and the later additions to it.

    Even if you take umbrage at the Christian churches and religion itself I don’t see a need to mock the entire message of peace and harmony as conveyed by the individual nailed to a cross.

  5. James

    Not precious just deluded. There is nothing of the historical “fact” about the crucifixion of Jesus.

  6. IATW – I don’t regard pushing and annoying the predominant culture/religion in a society as offensive. Generally, it is only offensive when the majority puts shit on the minority.

    Annoying the majority is usually how the attitudes and opinions of the community change.

    When offense is intended, and it probably was here, it is unwise to take the offense.

    I think James needs to get over it.

  7. Droo…and also do a bolt up to Arnhem Land and tell the elders that their dreamings are likewise delusional.

  8. My background is Catholic as well (what is it about micks and blogs?) but haven’t practiced religion since leaving boarding school. My guiding principles are Christian ones, however – mainly ‘do unto others…’

    I don’t have a problem with what Reb has done with that picture, and see it as a kind of Pythonesque parody. And since this is a community blog, and we’re all believers in freedom-of-expression, I’d like to ask Reb to put up one of these images – under my name if you like (the one with the virgins would be OK).

  9. Didn’t see the original image and haven’t followed that conversation…so these are some more general thoughts.

    I think you’ve got to be careful about over-the concept of “tolerance”. Most often when people use it (especially about religious views) they mean “respect”, and they tend to invoke it when they mean “respect MY views” rather than “respect others’ views”. In my view tolerance and respect are not the same thing and I suspect you’d find the same if you consulted a dictionary.

    Tolerance of your views means I allow and agree that you are entitled to your own views. Respect means that I defer to them and avoid criticising or satirising or mocking or making fun of them.

    Given the nature of religious belief, and especially in a secular democratic society (that values free speech and freedom from state imposition of or control of religion), we can’t insist on respect for everyone’s religious beliefs. This is especially true as the religious beliefs of one faith are often anathema to those of another, and therefore mutual respect is practically impossible.

    I also think one needs to distinguish between respect for an individual and respect for their beliefs. The latter I cannot give; the former I aim for.

    Finally, mockery is a slippery concept sometimes. It is often in the eyes of the beholder, as is any response to art. The mere use of religious symbology or iconology as a basis for art is not mockery – in my eyes – but it may be in yours. That said, using religious imagery as a basis for your art is at the very least fraught with the possibility of causing deep-felt offense.

    And yes, FWIW, I grew up in a fairly strict conservative Protestant household. And I’ve seen Aussie Jesus on Mambo T-shirts, and the current version of the image on this blog that I presume is the subject of this post, and I don’t find either offensive. But that’s just me.

  10. Tony, as I suggested above, there is nothing wrong with hanging it on the prevailing culture/religion in a society.

    That’s often how opinions and attitudes change – the status quo gets tested.

    There is something very wrong with deliberately being offensive to a minority culture. That helps feed intolerance.

  11. I don’t regard pushing and annoying the predominant culture/religion in a society as offensive. […]

    Hear, hear.

  12. I have been raised a Catholic, but (and many anglos may not know this) in Italy Catholicism is a bit like having a tax number. You’re a Catholic because everyone else is, and it is not a big deal for most people. I guess in anglo countries the Irish Catholic vs. Scottish/English Anglican/Protestant thing makes being a Catholic more prominent.

    Anyway, while I wasn’t offended by the image in question it is true that we need to be sensitive to other people’s beliefs. I guess that many of us are opposed to the homophobic and misogynist attitudes of many Christian churches, while as James said this cannot be attributed to Jesus Christ (maybe St. Paul….but that’s another discussion).

    I am sure that most of us would not intentionally mock and denigrate aboriginal beliefs, so I guess that in the end why should Christian beliefs be any different?

    However there is a risk that we enter the slippery slope of censorship.

    The book and movie ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ is an example. Some Christians wanted both banned and I am against that. People who are not Christians (or who are Christians for that matter) have the right to see and read that. So that is the difficulty which has been going on for centuries. When freedom of expression is so offensive to some that needs to be curtailed.

  13. Muslims also take offence at caricatures of their prophet.

  14. I don’t regard pushing and annoying the predominant culture/religion in a society as offensive.

    Tom and Lotharsson, I have no problem with that either, but to suggest as Tom seems to here

    There is something very wrong with deliberately being offensive to a minority culture. That helps feed intolerance.

    that any other culture or religion is automatically immune from having their own flaws pointed out – just because they are not of the “majority” – is ridiculous.

    And freedom of speech, in my book, includes freedom to offend. You of all people should agree with that, Tom.

  15. Tony, it probably wasn’t clear that I agree that freedom to cause offense – even to minorities – is important. Otherwise the entire society is held hostage to some small group’s idea of what constitutes “offense”. That was the point of my distinction between “tolerance” and “respect”. Respect means not causing offense, tolerance allows doing so, even whilst holding that people are free to hold those beliefs.

  16. freedom to offend? The pope and Pell do that all the time. I’m just returning the favour.

  17. I suppose when gays get offended and vilified, or worse by catholics and muslims they should just bend over like good little alter boys and take it up the arse without retaliating!

    I’m on Reb’s side on this issue.

  18. Tony – ‘that any other culture or religion is automatically immune from having their own flaws pointed out – just because they are not of the “majority” – is ridiculous’

    That’s quite incorrect Tony, because that’s not what I said. Pointing out flaws is fine. But deliberately offending? That’s something else, particularly when directed towards a minority or ethnic group already suffering a great sense of deprivation, detachment and discrimination from the majority of the society they live in. That’s bad.

    Being provocative and offensive towards the prevailing, majority opinion here is what I do plenty of. So no problem with that.

  19. Scaper

    After your first sentence I really do not think that you would want to be on “Reb’s side”… hehe hehe hehe

  20. Personally I think catholics should get all the respect they deserve.

  21. That’s where we differ, Tom, because I believe being deliberately offensive, although not likely to improve your social life, is a right, attached to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

  22. Well Tony, I can’t agree that there is an inherent right to further marginalise those already marginalised, by being deliberately offensive. It’s fine to engage in constructive dialogue, even criticism to promote change/exchange and understanding.

    Pushing and probing a predominant culture through satire, mockery, ridicule or derision is fine with me.

    There should be more of it (except during cultural/religious celebrations, then they can get on with their commemorations without developing a mob mentality).

  23. It’s fine to engage in constructive dialogue, even criticism to promote change/exchange and understanding.

    Pushing and probing a predominant culture through satire, mockery, ridicule or derision is fine with me.

    All of that I agree with Tom. I just don’t see how you can pick and choose which groups to exclude from such scrutiny. If it’s right for one, it’s right for all.

  24. “My guiding principles are Christian ones, however – mainly ‘do unto others…’”TOSY

    Those are certainly not exclusively Christian principles.
    I would argue that they are principles held by the vast majority of reasonable people, irrespective of religion or lack thereof.

    The idea that morality is not possible without religion is nonsensical.

    James, you seem to always take exception to christbaiting & that’s your prerogative.
    Often your gripe becomes a case of “it’s not fair to pick on Christianity, that is a soft target. Why won’t y’all slander teh muslims, they’ll burn your embassy & implore fatwa against you”…which is overlooking the fact that, in my case at least, I see Jesus, Allah, Vishnu & the Giant Devil Dingo ALL as charming fables which have been useful as moral lessons in the past to those indoctrinated into their respective clubs.
    Notably they are ALL as fantastical & man-manufactured as eachother & unsurprisingly I don’t take any of them literally seriously.

    What bothers me most about religion is that each (even down to schisms within similar denominations) sees itself as worshipping the One True God whilst other religions are viewed as debased & “wrong”. Ridiculous.

    I am just as certain that it is all a crock as any believer is that their particular flavour of faith is beyond doubt, that is my prerogative & I’m at least equally as entitled to it given that I’m not inventing imaginary characters by which to ensure my morality.

    James, you seem like a nice, generally reasonable bloke but you are being a little precious about this.
    I hope the sting goes away, it really isn’t worth being upset over.

  25. There is nothing of the historical “fact” about the crucifixion of Jesus.

    Droo, on April 30th, 2009 at 4:38 pm Said:

    That’s not correct……………….In fact Tacitus (an ancient Roman historian) refers to a Jew called Jesus being crucified.

    And Tacitus is unlike others, like Seutonius, considered a very reliable Roman Historian

  26. The idea that morality is not possible without religion is nonsensical.

    I don’t think you’re suggesting I said anything like that, but if you are you’d be mistaken.

  27. And here is a reference from/to the Tacitus “Histories”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ

  28. Boy oh boy Reb, you’ve really scraped the bottom of the barrel ol chap. Reminiscent of most newspapers and blogs at a time when circulation or web hits lessen, the old faithful subjects arise: Homosexuality, same sex marriages, abortion, religion, war; something T. Dunlop was a past master of. A quick visit to Tim’s old blog will prove my point as to the subjects attracting the most hits.
    Shock jocks one and all (on occasions)..

    The great thing about blogs of course is that there are no financial nor physical repercussions. Merely a dented ego, an angry response or two from those susceptible to taking the bait. What I find more reprehensible is the use of a common blog (public forum) to push a point of view to the max.
    The thing most lacking in blog discussions is accountability: to wit; Reb, can you show whom and how the Pope offends?
    Pell is irrelevant, a non-event, no more and no less than most politicians in this country.
    In fact, most religions on this earth are striving for relevance in a world society that is way too materialistic.

    ‘Personally, I think catholics should get all the respect they deserve’ – Reb.
    Interesting comment. I sincerely hope you have some affection for the ‘chinese’ population of this world Reb.
    1.3 billion individual inquisitions (trials) may take a while.
    Personally, I simply hate pygmies. Little bastards.

  29. A prime example of a good church goer this guy is

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25409575-421,00.html

    What do you Melbourne people drink for Gods sake ?

  30. Where’s “Pilgrim” when you need him ?

  31. “Reb, can you show whom and how the Pope offends?”

    Me for a start. And the fact that he is no doubt responsible for hundreds if not thousands of people becoming infected with HIV due to his outspoken stance against people using condoms.

    Abstinence and fidelity are the keys claim Pell and the Pope. Let’s tell that to all the thousands of Africans that continue to be infected with HIV, and say it like you believe it.

  32. And the fact that he is no doubt responsible for hundreds if not thousands of people becoming infected with HIV due to his outspoken stance against people using condoms.

    The problem with that argument, Reb, is that you have to believe that people refrain from using condoms because the Pope says so, while simultaneously ignoring him on extra marital sex – unless you believe all those people acquired aids in monogomous marriages.

  33. And let’s not forget about Pell being dragged kicking and screaming to acknowledge the sexual abuse of young male parishoners during the 80’s and 90’s.

    And demanding that “gags of silence” form part of the settlements against those victims of abuse.

    There are countless examples of the Catholic Church and those that represent them abusing their power of privelage and trust against those that they are meant to care for.

    The fact that some people here think the Catholic church is hard done by is frankly a complete bloody joke and an insult to the thousands of people that have been forever scarred by their methods and abuse.

    F**K YOU POPE AND PELL.

    F**K YOU VERY MUCH.

  34. *monogamous*

  35. For the record, I won’t defend anyone on sexual abuse – especially those, like priests, in positionsof trust.

  36. Tony,

    If the Pope had any sense whatsoever, he’d suggest that people do use condoms, unless of course they’re HIV negative and want to have kids.

    The Pope (and Pell) maintain that people shouldn’t use condoms AT ALL.

    Which is simply irresponsible in contemporary society.

  37. “For the record, I won’t defend anyone on sexual abuse – especially those, like priests, in positionsof trust”

    Good for you Tony. Pity many of the so called “leaders” in the Catholic Church don’t feel the same way.

    Instead the victim is regarded as “the troublemaker”.

  38. ‘and lest not forget about Pell being dragged kicking and screaming’

    I believe that was also the case with a former Anglican Governor general. So when do we devour Anglicans?

    As some here have alluded to ‘the Pope’ is not truly representative of all ‘catholic’ nor christian people’s views on ‘morality’, amongst other topics.

    ‘Me for a start’ – Reb. Only 7 billion to go Reb. Which proves its your own personal vindictive gripe.

    ‘personally, I think all pygmies are little w*****s’. – OB

  39. “I don’t think you’re suggesting I said anything like that”TOSY

    That’s right Tony, I’m not suggesting you said anything like that.
    Your positions are rational ones.

    Poorly organised sentence structure on my part.

  40. Don’t you think that James should just apologise for his outburst and get over it?

  41. No worries Tb, I appreciate your comments. It’s just your music I’m not sure about.

  42. That’d be you & nearly everyone else on the planet mate!
    Feel free to ridicule it, I won’t get distraught; most likely I’ve heard it all before.
    Doesn’t lessen my enjoyment one iota.

    I kinda expect everybody to feel the same way about the things which they hold dear; ie, “who gives a f@ck what other people think of my particulars?”.
    I guess that doesn’t hold true for all.

    As silly as I think religion is, of every description & denomination, I don’t begrudge anyone holding whatever beliefs they choose. If those convictions are strong enough then why does derision hit home at all?
    I’d more expect them to be satisfied in the knowledge that I’ll eternally burn for my indiscretions.

  43. As silly as I think religion is, of every description & denomination, I don’t begrudge anyone holding whatever beliefs they choose. If those convictions are strong enough then why does derision hit home at all?

    Again I agree, but that’s not to say I don’t believe James was truly offended. I think he was, and who are we to judge his reasons. I just hope he calms down and comes back (Scaper did) because he has plenty to offer.

  44. Reb, can you show whom and how the Pope offends

    Well, there’s the Brazilian incestuous rape victim, aged 9 IIRC, who was excommunicated along with her doctors (and mother?) for having an abortion which ordered by her doctors because pregnancy endangered her health and possibly her life.. The father, the rapist, had no such sanction. That offended a huge number of people. I don’t think the Pope specifically ordered the excommunication of one and not the other but IIRC he supported it afterwards because it’s Catholic doctrine.

  45. *wasn’t truly offended*

    D’oh!

  46. Still not right? (You know what I mean.)

  47. “Again I agree, but that’s not to say I don’t believe James was truly offended. I think he was, and who are we to judge his reasons. I just hope he calms down and comes back (Scaper did) because he has plenty to offer.”TOSY

    I agree with all of that Tony.

    I am not thinking of offending James when I get on an antireligious tangent. I find him to be a sensible person towards whom I harbour no ill will.
    Agree to disagree usually works well enough.

  48. Oftenbark:

    “Which proves its your own personal vindictive gripe.”

    Really? Why not try asking those who have suffered physical, sexual and emotional abuse at the hands of the Catholic clergy (and all the subsequent ‘cover up attempts’) and tell me it’s my “own personal vindictive gripe:.

    I mean really, just have a think about it.

  49. More like thin skinned, James.

    One person’s poison is another’s meat.

    I find’s Sparta’s constant spurious attempts to justify torture deeply repugnant, so I simply do not read anything he posts anymore.

    Problem solved.

  50. Tom:

    For what it is worth.

    Nothing.

  51. ‘I mean really, just have a think about it’ – Reb

    Nothing to think about Reb. The suffering of individuals due to the actions of catholic clergy is well documented, as is also now my compassion for those individuals.
    As for the comment of Lotharsson, religion is truly the opium of the masses in South America.
    Quite honestly, this is a non-subject in light of the original post which claimed a blogocrat may have been offended by the depicting of JC on ‘that’ cross.
    Really, Reb, I’m not playing the ‘religion’ debate. I find nothing more tedious, boring. To each his/her own, as long as ‘it’ remains private, I couldn’t give a rats which religion one claims to follow.
    Finally, what I find more disgusting is bible bashing bastard world leaders who send young citizens to war against predominantly innocent civilians.
    With God on our side indeed. God bless America.

  52. gab, on April 30th, 2009 at 8:22 pm Said:

    More like thin skinned, James.

    Indeed!

    Oftenbark, on April 30th, 2009 at 8:41 pm Said:

    Quite honestly, this is a non-subject in light of the original post which claimed a blogocrat may have been offended by the depicting of JC on ‘that’ cross.

    Agree in spades.

    Clearly James is not yet over his religious handicap.

    Move along folks – nothing to see here. Dummy spits are part of life and I predict he’ll be back in a rather short time.

  53. I think James has really over played the religious persecution angle. He really needs to get over it.

    Personally, I think religion is the only safe reason to persecute people these days. Everything else is pretty well out. Damn political correctness.

  54. I’m offended by bible thumping godbothering and all religions in general.

  55. “Ladies and Gents, it’s been fun”

    Mmmmmmm………!

    Tom did you “top” yaself this arvo………………!

    You really must love Lists

  56. reb

    I also now ask that you temper your outspoken rhetoric against catholicism.

    I do not condone things that happened, but you are now starting to generalise all catholic clergy as some sort of monsters who are all paedophiles.

    Being gay you of all people should understand that generalisation of a community is wrong and you are now simply throwing a tantrum. Seems like you have the opinion the catholicism is a scurge on the world.

    I hope all those who committed any crime get the justice they deserve. Yet there are so many innocent clergy facing abuse and threats due to generalisation of comments against catholic clergy such as your own.

    Not one sinle comment from you on the good, only raving about the bad.

    If you want to see good being done look no further than St Vincent DePaul, who hands out vouchers for payment of bills or to purchse food for the needy. Clergy are on call 24 hours a day and are frequently involved in violent family altercations and place themselves in difficult and dangerous positions.

    I was taught by Nuns and Priests and not one of them ever attempted to sodomise me or any other students that I am aware of. In a boarding school the news would have travelled like wildfire.

    My final comment on this matter.

  57. I Am The Walrus, on April 30th, 2009 at 11:05 pm Said:

    Oooops……!

    I mean’t James

  58. Really? Why not try asking those who have suffered physical, sexual and emotional abuse at the hands of the Catholic clergy (and all the subsequent ‘cover up attempts’) and tell me it’s my “own personal vindictive gripe:.

    reb, on April 30th, 2009 at 8:11 pm Said:

    Yes reb……………………….you are generalizing. What you are bangin’ on about is a miniscule number that probably reflects any population sample anyway.

  59. OK, this is interesting and all but a few comments as (after all) it’s about religion 🙂

    @James:
    Seriously mate, you are being overly precious. You have a choice in not being exposed to the image in question but chose (obviously) to repeatedly visit the page. In continuing to expose yourself to the image (and complain about it), you were pushing your beliefs onto us. Not vice versa – this being the web, it’s a voluntary action.

    @Anti-Catholics:
    Guys, simply put, the Catholic church is made up of alot of people and I would say most of them are decent enough people (somewhere in the 80-90%). They may or may not be “deluded” (depending on your own spiritual beliefs), but on the whole I doubt they stay awak at night thinking how to sodomise small children.

    Give the members of the Catholic Church some acknowledgement and you might find a little less resentment from the other side of the debate.

    @Pro-Catholics:
    That said and all – people judge an organisation by it’s leadership. Not all Republicans/Liberals branch members and voters were rabid right-wing Christian war nazis. Not all Democrat/Labour branch members and voters are gay latte sipping union thugs (interesting image though it may be). However, like most things, people generalise based on the leadership.

    We know for a fact that leadership in the Catholic Church ostracised and otherwise demonised people claiming (and later proven) to have been abused by Catholic clergy. I doubt there is even half a percent of clergy involved in sexual activity (outside the occasional fiddle), but that is not the point. The point is that the “organisation” that is the Catholic Church decided (through it’s leadership) that it was better for them to bury any claims of abuse through ethically dubious means.

    @Proof of Christ:
    Guys, there is more proof Buddha and Joseph Smith (of Mormon origin) existed than Jesus did. Given you are not using that as a basis to become a Buddhist or Latter Day Saint – beating up or down the fact that some guy called Jesus was nailed to a cross (along with alot of other people during the same time) seems a little ridiculous.

  60. When the catholic church gets genuinely serious about compensating it’s victims, then people can talk about the good that the church does.

    To date, the church tries to force victims into their own ‘system’ of compensation, where the perpetrators are not brought to justice and the victims are not financially compensated enough for their often lifetime of pain and suffering.

    Broken Rites

  61. Shane:

    “I also now ask that you temper your outspoken rhetoric against catholicism.”

    Sorry, I refuse to be censored just because some people think the Catholic church should somehow be above reproach.

  62. reb

    Where did I say the catholic church was above reproach ?

  63. I didn’t say that you said that they were above reproach.

    You asked me to temper my language. I’m declining.

  64. ok then, been nice knowing you all.

  65. Why should anyone here have to temper their language?

    If you don’t like it, post your annoyance, and debate the point. Or just ignore it.

    The notion that people stop participating here because they disagree with the tone of language used is juvenile dummy spitting.

  66. For the record, Reb, the image could be insulting to non-Catholic Christians as well. James mentioned it was due to his Catholic upbringing, but I don’t see how the offence taken (if any) would be limited to that particular sect of Christianity only.

    On the whole, provided this doesn’t leak too far into other threads (you know, like a caption contest or something like that *grin*), I’m not worried. If it becomes an obsession to the extent we get daily threads on the Financial Cris… er, Catholic Buggery, then it’ll affect readership. Being on the Left of politics (which, let’s face it, is where most of us here reside) does not equate to being Atheist/Agnostic. In fact, it is possible to believe in the Great Bearded Sky Man (&/or his progeny) and still practise love, tolerence, and a fair go… I know, strange concept but it’s been known to happen!

  67. “What you are bangin’ on about is a miniscule number that probably reflects any population sample anyway.”

    A “miniscule number?”

    in Australia alone, 112 Catholic priests and religious brothers have been sentenced in Australian courts in Broken Rites cases since 1993.
    “Thousands” of other alleged offences have also been reported.

    And this:

    “Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale walks to court, accompanied by his support person (Bishop George Pell, then an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne), when Father Ridsdale was pleading guilty to his first batch of criminal charges in May 1993.

    But no bishop accompanied the victims, who felt deserted by the church hierarchy.”

    And people wonder why I focus on the negative of the Catholic Church, as if child abuse is some sort of isolated incident?

    The reality is that there are very few positives to report.

    The Catholic Church, through years of abuse – physical, sexual, psycological and the vilification and rejection of its victims, and the attempts to cover up and protect the perpetrators, has done far more damage to society than it has in terms of any “good things”.

    It operates on a culture of fear, intimidation and vilification.

    Come all ye faithful.

  68. Kitty: I’m not touching your comment; not even with asbestos gloves.

  69. Addendum (to Kitty): (Although I do agree entirely with the sentiment of your post).

  70. The Catholic Church…has done far more damage to society than it has in terms of any “good things”.

    I was just thinking about my own education, and the nuns and brothers who taught me – none of whom are paid in any conventional sense (although there are some, like Kittylitter, who would say they are “just doing their job”) and wondered how many people had been through the Catholic education system – hundreds of thousands? millions? – in Australia alone.

    That’s a lot of “good things” for a start, not to mention their charities and hospitals.

  71. Any group of men that decide at a relatively youthful age, to abstain from loving, caring and sexual physical contact are hardly likely to become a group well adjusted middle aged or elderly men.

    They’re more likely to develop into frustrated, suppressed and psychologically unusual types. Some of them will seek a release from their suppressed urges by preying on the young and vulnerable.

    Why would any respected institution seek to maintain and protect this unhealthy burden?

    The Catholic Church can only blame its own strange celibacy requirement for the predatory behaviour.

  72. But James and Shane should get over it.

  73. Tom of Melbourne @ 10:47 am.

    As much as it bothers me to admit it, but I actually agree with you.

  74. As usual I find myself in agreement with both Tom and Miglo.

    Which is odd given that you two normally disagree with each other…

  75. Then I must be wrong, apologies for the confusion.

  76. I’m pretty sure the Pope isn’t a member of any union.

  77. Then I must be wrong, apologies for the confusion.

    I think that should be a footnote on all of your posts Tom.

  78. LOL Miglo…

    🙂

  79. *laugh* Yes, Tom – you must be the vaunted opponent or we are all lost!

  80. (just to stir the pot a bit)

    But was the image torture as defined by the UN?

  81. Joni: Time to invite Salman Rushdie into the debate.

  82. LOL OB

  83. Maybe I’m off base, but I don’t see how a voluminous rehearsal of the collected crimes attributable to nominal members of a Church bear any relationship to the genuine hurt felt by a fellow member of this virtual community in the desecration of one his iconic beliefs by a fellow member of this virtual community.Am I meant to be drawing inferences about that person from this rehearsal and discounting their genuine feelings accordingly?

    I’d also say to Lotharsson that I acknowledge that Australia’s governmental system is nominally a secular democracy, but would note that Australian society is nominally a liberal democracy. One wonders if and where the boundaries are drawn between a right to cause offence as part of free speech and the right to peaceful enjoyment of professed faith in instances where belief is inseparable from person. Or, in other words, are tolerance and respect part of a dynamic continuum inseparable from specific context and the personalities involved?

  84. Yeah! What Legion said!

  85. Legion: Yes.

  86. inseparable separable

  87. Yeah! What Legion said!

    I think he was having a go at you, Reb (although I can’t be sure).

  88. Mamma mia Joni. Do we take James’ valedictory speech as genuine, gospel? What then becomes of the Footy blog?
    Good grief. This is serious stuff. James, come back son, all is forgotten.
    Surely we cannot permit rabid croweaters; to wit: Miglo, Toiletboss, to offer any constructive critique of matters AFL.
    Tony has not witnessed a good game of footy for around five years.
    I’m way to busy to help out.
    Angel is no help. Her team keeps winning.

    So there we have it Joni. Anoint and appoint. Or, invite applicants to be ridiculed for their AFL diatribe.

  89. ‘too’ – sorry – as in Desmond Too Too.

  90. Sandgropers suck.

  91. Miglo,

    An idea for the inevitable wager you and Toiletboss will be having on the Crows-Port derby: loser does a nudie-run through the Catholic thread.

    (Apologies to Kamahl for being off-topic, but due to our resident footy writer being off-ended, there is nowhere else to put this.)
    .
    Kamahl: It all seems to be because people can be so unkind. Although he’s a c**t, I’ll ask reb to put up the footy thread in James’s absence..

  92. One wonders if and where the boundaries are drawn between a right to cause offence as part of free speech and the right to peaceful enjoyment of professed faith in instances where belief is inseparable from person.

    Very good question, but there’s a whiff of the excluded middle about it to me.

    Some would argue that their “right to peaceful enjoyment of professed faith” (which is a new formulation to me, and not one I’m sure I wholly endorse at first blush) encompasses a “right” to not hear criticism of that faith or anything much related to it, in any forum. I tend to reckon (a) that’s precious, and (b) don’t be bloody ridiculous – given the different beliefs dearly held by people in this country, that’s never going to work.

    Others might be more focused on ensuring their right to practice their faith in peace, free from (say) picket lines outside church services. I have a lot more sympathy for that position, depending on what it means to practice their faith – which might in some cases inherently give offence to others of different faiths. That’s the nasty little problem at the core of granting religion special protections.

    But it gets a lot less black and white if you have (say) a powerful hierarchical organisation protecting its own leadership against credible allegations that some of those leaders have grievously abused other decidedly non-powerful people under their care. There might be some justification even for picketing certain strategically chosen religious services under those circumstances, although I would hope that legal and/or leadership approach channels would be attempted in the first instance.

  93. in Australia alone, 112 Catholic priests and religious brothers have been sentenced in Australian courts in Broken Rites cases since 1993.

    reb, on May 1st, 2009 at 10:54 am Said:

    Mmmm…..!

    Clearly homosexuals are usually pedophiles as well then………!

  94. Lotharsson on:

    April 30th, 2009 at 5:11 pm
    May 1st, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    My sentiments exactly re right to free speech including “offensive” free speech. And, to me, that includes muslims, gays and aboriginals. No group should be immune from criticism – “justified” or not.

  95. Tony, Port and Crow’s supporters don’t have wagers. They have wars.

    And it’s always those Crow’s supporters that start it.

  96. OK, now we’ve lost our financial adviser, and our mortgage broker. All we’ve got left that comes close is an offensive wealth crazed prick.

  97. Walrus:

    “Clearly homosexuals are usually pedophiles as well then………!”

    Not “usually” Walrus, “always”.

  98. Tony, on May 1st, 2009 at 1:26 pm Said:

    And who lives in Canberra……..!

  99. IATW,

    Him too, but the one I was referring to lives further south. Much further south.

  100. Tony, on May 1st, 2009 at 1:46 pm Said:

    Mmmmmmm……..!

    Oh you mean the one aflicted with the chronic addiction to alcohol who constantly states “………………….I’ll have you know that I have not sipped a ……………..” and then complains about his blood not flowing freely enough due to dehydration.

    You better be careful………..you might upset him and he’ll leave the joint as well.

  101. As opposed to the idiot who is probably cruisin’ up and down Northumberland Avenue right now while us taxpayers contribute to his inflated salary which runs in direct mathematical correlation to his inflated ego………..

    Is that the other on………..?

  102. You better be careful………..you might upset him and he’ll leave the joint as well.

    Not likely, I’d suggest. Then again, if we crank up the abuse of poofters, Tasmanians and WCPs, you never know.

  103. Tony, on May 1st, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Interesting…

    No group should be immune from criticism – “justified” or not.

    …and precisely the musing I was musing about in relation to boundaries and transferences of perceived nominal group characteristics onto particular individuals in the expectation that a caused offence, as of an absolute right or as an object(ification) of indiscriminate criticism, can’t be justified necessarily by claiming a general and over-awing right to cause offence to some convenient grouping or another which exists only in the mind of the offence-giver, and one which absolutely discounts the experiences of the particular Other as an inter-relationship embodying a particular social tension.

  104. And that’s the reason I put “justified” in quotes – offensiveness, and its justification, are in the eye of the beholder. If I think you’re in the wrong, I reserve the right to tell you, whether you think I’m being offensive or not.

  105. Having said that, I believe in polite society – or online communities – some things are better left unsaid, but I defend your right to come out and say them if you so desire.

  106. *I believe that, in polite society, etc*

  107. Tony, on May 1st, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Having said that, I believe in polite society – or online communities – some things are better left unsaid, but I defend your right to come out and say them if you so desire.

    I tend to agree, Tony, but I’d swap ‘just’ in place of ‘polite’, perhaps; and otherwise suggest to Lotharsson that the whiff of the excluded middle is the aroma of multiple overlapping ‘freedoms’ and a piecemeal peacemeal of multi-value logics.

  108. …is the aroma of multiple overlapping ‘freedoms’ and a piecemeal peacemeal of multi-value logics.

    I tend to think it’s largely the aroma of multiple overlapping freedoms – and responsibilities also need to be taken into account.

  109. Legion, on May 1st, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    ( Link fix: ‘just’ )

  110. “Reb, can you show whom and how the Pope offends?”

    He offends me. Particularly his dishonest and dangerous pronunciations on the use of condoms in preventing the spread of HIV.

  111. Lotharsson, on May 1st, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    and responsibilities also need to be taken into account

    Agreed, with the reservation that responsibility is notionally at least bi-directional; which means, for me, that there are going to be some few occasions where I am compelled to advocate, contrary to Tony, for a diminution of a posited absolute right to cause offence/free speech/criticise; eg scapegoating, or extreme hate speech, or other attempted suppressions of a person’s capacity, or persons’ capacities as part of a group, to exercise freedom of conscience through (non-)religion in such a way that it offends that core liberal sense of social justice.

  112. …eg scapegoating, or extreme hate speech, or other attempted suppressions of a person’s capacity, or persons’ capacities as part of a group,…

    I’m generally with you there. While it’s a bit of a fuzzy boundary, I think there’s a difference between merely causing offence and engaging in those behaviours whilst (also) causing offence.

    None of which makes for a pithy soundbite summary, which is why it takes some discussion to outline a position (and why there are a lot of paragraphs in many laws…)

  113. Actually, I’d agree with ‘Huh’ here (that nick just sounds weird in some contexts doesn’t it?).

    That is, I find the Pope’s deliberate statements against condoms as a method of preventing the spread of HIV highly offensive. To knowingly state falsehoods (i.e. “Using condoms aggravates or makes worse the spread of HIV”) and justify it because the “Great Beardy Sky Man” told him so is beyond the pale given the situation in Africa.

  114. Lotharsson

    Scapegoating???

    I take offence to that, I was aquitted!

  115. scaper…

    LOL

  116. I take offence to that, I was aquitted!

    LOL 🙂

  117. Huh – “He offends me.”

    so what? My observation is that everything offends you.

    Try another reason.

  118. Tom 😆

  119. @Tom of Melbourne:
    Ooooh, snap! I’m liking the sizzle of this thread… 🙂

  120. You’re all destined for vengeful eternity in Hell!

    Well, most of you anyway.

    If you want to avoid this inferno your only realistic choice is to permanently flee the blog with a twist in your knickers.

  121. Look, clearly James is offended about something to do with this post an I reckon that we all ought to owe him an apology.

    The problem is that I can’t quite find a reason for why an apology should be offered.

    Is it me ? am I the cunt?*

    *(it’s after 9.30pm so SBS standards apply)

  122. yes your a cun*******. no doubt

    We?

  123. we have denial too

  124. No reb, you’re just the antagonist (one of a few).

    I’ve already stated that I like James & I’m sorry that he’s upset…but.
    I don’t think that religion should be any more immune from parody than anything else, least of all used as an excuse to censor others because they take the piss out of it.
    He is an adult, judging by his complex opinions on most issues, & hopefully he’ll get over it.
    I’m sure that god (the one I deny) doesn’t care about such human frivolities given that he’s supposed to be omnipotent.

    As others have said, if someone is offended by something they are not compelled to look at it, especially when others clearly are not offended or affronted. Censor your own garbage in, not everybody elses by default.

    You’re not a cunt.

    Oh no, the “C” word, bound to upset a cavalcade of others. Sheeesh.

  125. Fair comment Aqua.

    You caught me using the royal we.

    I don’t mind being labelled a cunt, nor do I intend to apologise for offending the sensibilities of god fearing morons.

  126. I know that thats why i have no problem holding back… same thing really

  127. i find it hard to put others down, i thank you for making this easy.

  128. god fearing morons

    Now they’re the words of a bigot (if not a cunt). And I defend your right to say them.

  129. Exactly Aqua.

    If “God hates fags” the least I can do is return the sentiment.

    In fact, I consider it “my calling.”

  130. If god hate fags, you poor thing turn it personal.

    this was about james not god.

    Dispute me that james was a good bloke.
    then say what you want.

  131. the blog was not religious, dont make a thing out of something else.

    if it were a relogiuos blog i would of said NOTHING.

  132. anything else or can i leave knowing i made a small point at least.

  133. fine then dont carry on like you do after saying you dont hold anything personal then write about it in a blog.

  134. Dear James

    I this site has been awfully cruel to the God fearing for displaying photos of Jesus.

    Many of us counselled Reb against the provocation. It was totally unnecessary.

    I’ve personally sent numerous requests that he desist from this outrage. I personally had nothing to do with it.

    Reb is ignorant, as so many people in Tasmania are. He seems to have this totally unexplainable grudge against the views of the Catholic Church against homosexuals and safe sex.

    I think Reb is obviously a terribly unforgiving character. He simply won’t let bygones be bygones about the predatory behaviour to priests and their sexual abuse of the children in their care.

    Fortunately James, most of us here aren’t anything like Reb. Most of us prefer to be bland, respectful and uncontentious.

    May God forgive him.

    Kindest and sincerest regards

    Tom of Melbourne

  135. “this was about james not god.”

    You’re right, James is a good bloke.

    But this was equally about James trying to prevent others from expressing disrespect for his sensibilities.
    Virtually demanding that a pic of Jesus (not everyone’s saviour BTW) be removed because he, & a few others, didn’t like it.
    I don’t think that that is particularly reasonable.

    Granted, the pic of Jesus was irrelevant to a thread about dead Australians, but some peoples sense of humour doesn’t agree with others (that’s life).
    Most would have noticed by now that reb’s wit is black & irreverent; I like it, plenty don’t…& the world keeps on turning.

  136. TBoss,

    but nicely as the blog was a religious issue. i still stand on that. if it were about christians faith or religious belifiefs then fine.BUT IT WASNT

    James had a valid request, only an asshole would hold up too such views after that.

    Make it about Jesus or god James had to option of avoiding it at that stage or i would stand by your comments.

  137. Reb your not so nice making everyone enter your chioce not to help out a friend in a not so important blog.

    write one about religious views and i’ll stand back for sure and enjoy the negative views.
    But James deserves my outburst.

  138. You win, i give up.

  139. James had a valid request…

    …and presumably reb had a valid response, as in “no”.

  140. i remember once we had a post on depression, why is it so if what we are saying today that post means shit.
    Im drunk and i want this blog to mean more then a Piers Ackerman typy of reply.

  141. Aqua,

    I also remember Reb being offended by teenagers referring to uncool things as “gay”.

    Seems hurt feelings are selective.

  142. And of course there was this “request”:

    I demand an end to the victimisation of Muslims.

  143. Gay isnt uncool, its a sexual preferance.
    Teens have a way of making conversation personal.

  144. If it happen here i would back up Reb. Please dont take away what i beleive i have ern’t. I like most online here and if some days we have a bad one lets not completly take anothers voice.

  145. I’m not including you in this at all, aqua. I am pointing out the inconsistencies in Rebs stand. He can defend himself if he’s reading.

  146. Thats fair.
    I must of overdone it Tony.
    or over read what was said.

  147. By the way, It’s not personal at all. It’s about intellectual integrity.

  148. Bed time for me, one glass to many.

    cheers Tony.

  149. Nice chatting aquanut.

  150. “intellectual integrity?”

    Bloody hell. Me, an intellectual?? Maybe it would help if I had a “reb code of conduct”.

    I thought about writing one, but then I couldn’t be bothered.

    If people are offended or don’t like what I write they are entitled, and actually I would encourage them, not to read it.

  151. Reb,

    I’d rather read what you say. That way I can call bullshit when I think you’re wrong.

  152. Excellent Tony.

    Unlike the Catholic Church and Christians in general, I don’t consider myself beyond criticism.

    Let us rejoice…

  153. Look – this is obviously a storm in a teacup.

    James is offended that Jesus was depicted in a bad taste attempt at humour. I didn’t find it funny, but neither did I find it offensive. Taking offense at the image is not James’ problem – trying to enforce his sensitivities on the rest of us because of his beliefs was.

    Reb has a chip on his shoulder about the Catholics. Personally, I find this justified. That said, while he uses it as a reason/excuse for the image – I do simply think it was an attempt at humour that went off course for a religious subset (aquanaut & James) of the blog.

    On balance, I find James to be the overly obnoxious one. Having been offended by the thread (or image withing) in question; he could have left off visiting after expressing his outrage. Instead he tried pushing his sensitivities onto a blog managed by people with a grudge against the Catholic Church.

    Given it was not false statements or otherwise that caused the problem (i.e. Reb was not trying to lie to us or otherwise mislead the blog readership) – I see no ethical dilemma. James is well aware of Reb & Joni’s opinions & proclivities.

  154. I see no ethical dilemma.

    You see no ethical dilemma in someone appropriating a religious icon for the purposes both of desecrating it and of using at as a dogwhistle, because it embodied not just unspecified criticisms of policies but a total abnegation of others’ faiths? And that ethical dilemma ceases to exist because it’s a known and upfront practice? And it was that wider practice over time that was the source of the complaint? I think I have a little gold yellow star for you, if you’re really running with that line of reasoning; and for Reb, a little pink triangle.

  155. The catholic church is free game as long as it’s adherents seek to tell others how to live their lives.

    As long as the church tries to influence others through the power of the state to oppress criticism and impose their beliefs and views upon others, it should be open for questioning and mockery.

    As long as the taxpayer supports powerful and wealthy charitable institutions and they remain tax free parasites, we can criticise all that they are and all that they do.

    Don’t think organised religion is a force for good, it has brought nothing but misery, grief, war and hatred to the world.

  156. Don’t think organised religion is a force for good, it has brought nothing but misery, grief, war and hatred to the world.

    Really?, But stained glass is so pretty when it’s accompanied by chants. And who governed and developed ethical frameworks in the era of judges, which lives on in the words of love of Michael Kirby? I’ll have to keep what you say in mind, too, when it comes to the sacking of Tibet; after all, organised religion is a scourge, and the Dalai Lama is the living embodiment of evil, just as the Maoists say.

  157. Agreed Kitty that the institution of the Catholic church should be up for severe criticism..pedophile priests, causing poverty in 3rd world countries due to the church’s insistance that women who try to avoid numerous pregnancies will rot in pergatory, and that those who have abortions will rot in hell. Actually I wouldn’t mind a discussion/debate on this, but would like it taken away from this thread.

    However, the above is aside from a person who has a personal belief and I agree with Legion regarding respecting that belief. James asked for only 1 thing, that the religous pic be replaced with something else. But anyway..he’s gone now and won’t be back and so there is no point in trying to convince him that he’s wrong and others are right.

  158. Legion,

    I’ll have to keep what you say in mind, too, when it comes to the sacking of Tibet; after all, organised religion is a scourge, and the Dalai Lama is the living embodiment of evil, just as the Maoists say.

    Touche!

  159. But anyway..he’s gone now and won’t be back and so there is no point in trying to convince him that he’s wrong and others are right.

    Indeed, the right to withdraw labour is the last bastion of the otherwise powerless.

  160. Just to possibly take this discussion on another tangent…I’ve always have been puzzled by the African situation concerning conflict.

    Would I be remiss to say that the influence of religion with a dash of exploitation would be the root cause of the problem?

    A kind of failed misadventure to create the ‘noble savage’?

  161. scaper…, on May 2nd, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    I’m not sure there was much of the ‘noble savage’ thinking going on while sundry Empires were busy creating ‘ignoble slaves’; more like a strict separation than an assimilation, by way of comparison to Empire’s activities here. Otherwise, the remnants of tribalism which preceded Empires’ drawing themselves little invisible ownership boundaries and afterwards imposing artificial notions of nationhood on those trapped within those near-arbitrary boundaries continue to echo, perhaps. And then there’s competition for scarce resources, including political and administrative capital, also, as different groups transition among different kinds of socio-politico-religo-economic arrangements amongst themselves (with continuing external interference assistance, it must be observed).

  162. Kittylitter”

    “The catholic church is free game as long as it’s adherents seek to tell others how to live their lives. ”

    My sentiments exactly.

  163. James asked for only 1 thing, that the religous pic be replaced with something else.

    He asked for censorship on the basis of his personal religious beliefs.

    …In the mid-1970s Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, told a Polish newspaper that he thought he would be the last Dalai Lama. In a later interview published in the English language press he stated “The Dalai Lama office was an institution created to benefit others. It is possible that it will soon have outlived its usefulness.”[23]

    ( wiki)

    Man made religions created to influence and control others?

  164. And so he did Kitty but then I would take away a picture of deceased persons if a traditional Aboriginal was offended and nor would I serve pork to a Jew.

    The origins of religious belief is a topic entirely unto itself. Just a quick’un because today I get to cuddle my 4 1/2 month old grand-daughter and I haven’t seen her since she was 10 days old.

    Anyway…religion to explain creation, to explain disasters and to fix tribes into a cohesive and therefore more formidable group. As per your example of the Tibetans rallying behind His Holiness the Dalai Lama in order to differentiate themselves from the Chinese and other ethnic groups. The current or maybe the next or the next Dalai Lama will outlived his usefulness, or at least part thereof when Tibet achieves her independence.

  165. Min

    I expect that all the hugs for the grand-daughter will be squishy…. and so we send you a reserve of squishy hugs to use from us.

  166. Thank you joni. Only 30 and 1/2 minutes until touch down in Brisbane, not that I’m counting or trying to kill time or anything like that.

    Yes indeed several special squishy hugs for little E from her honorary uncles. Actually at present she looks not unlike your good self (via the avatar) eyes just as huge but are brown.

  167. We claim this new found tolerance for women, other races, other sexualities etc but this bloke was saying all of that 2000 years ago. And for that he was crucified. That’s a matter of historical fact, not one of belief.

    I’ll let the first sentence go with – what new found tolerance? Yeah, women are just taking over the hierarchy of the catholic church aren’t they? And there’s no racism or sexual intolerances shown by the religious today are there?

    There is absolutely no evidence to support the claim that JC existed.

  168. Kitty..I think that you are confusing the church heirarchy with the message. JC’s message of respect, tolerance and equality has basically been bardardised by so called ‘christian’ religions.

    If JC didn’t exist and I have no idea whether he did or he didn’t because I wasn’t around 2000 years ago, then ‘someone’ had a good philosophy and that’s good too.

  169. kittylitter, on May 2nd, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Man made religions created to influence and control others?

    If that is what you see, then that is what you see; but, me being me, I’d probably want to understand what the Dalai Lama means to the free afore his teachings being overwritten by kittylitter or the PRC.

  170. And so he did Kitty but then I would take away a picture of deceased persons if a traditional Aboriginal was offended and nor would I serve pork to a Jew.

    Well, I’m a little different. I would not, for example, take down the picture of a dead relative in my house regardless of the offense it caused a visiting Aboriginal nor would I stop eating a ham sandwich because I was having lunch with my Jewish friends (I have two of them).

    If I were expected to do either of those things – I would be offended because that is having someone else’s belief pushed onto my lifestyle. On the other hand, they have the right to expect I won’t be offering them pork roast for dinner or flashing photos of dead people in their homes.

    No-one was forced to have a go at JC by Reb’s picture. The blog is, in essence, reb’s & joni’s place which has been opened to all and sundry to discuss politics, sport, etc. Just as a Jehovah’s Witness cannot walk into my house and seriously demand I remove the alternative religious texts from my bookshelf – James cannot come here and demand people bend to his religious sensitivities.

    People trying to equate reb’s bad humour on an online blog to Nazi labelling of jews & gays are seriously deluded. No ifs, buts, or maybes there. Political correctness can only go so far before becoming idiotic.

  171. B.Tolputt, on May 2nd, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    I assume you have ciphered the significance of your renewed, and apparently unquestionable, line of reasoning for Reb et al’s criticisms of sundry places and demands of and for other places, BT? It was a central plank of James’ contention, and Tony has also raised it since.

  172. “It was a central plank of James’ contention”

    Actually, that’s rubbish Legion.

    James simply demanded that the post be removed for the sole reason that he found it offensive. No other reason was forthcoming at all.

    In terms of my so called “demands of others” I think the only thing I have ever written along these lines was a demand to the end of vicimisation of muslims in Australia – by the media and politicians, hardly a predicament that the Catholic Church or any mainstream Christian Church find themselves in Australia.

    In fact, quite the opposite I would suggest. Howard was a strong advocate of George Pell, Abbott is an outspoken Catholic and cant seem to seperate his own beliefs from his previous role under the Howard Government, Rudd is proudly proclaimed Christian who spent millions of taxpayers dollars on the “Pope’s Big Day Out”.

    But you know, think whatever you like…

  173. Reb,

    In the same article you wrote:

    Sure, there are Muslim “extremists” who give everyone else a bad name, but that would be like judging white Australians by the Exclusive Brethren or Americans by the Ku Klux Klan.

    It seems somewhat hypocrtitical, then, that your hatred of the Catholic church (leaving aside your unsupported vilification of the Exclusive Brethren) could be based on the actions of a relatively small number of priests guilty of sexual abuse, “who give everyone else a bad name” .

    Or we could take your other offered reason: the curch’s attitude towards homosexuality. Why then don’t you apply the same standards to Islam and Muslims?

    Double standards abound. Some religions are immune from your criticism, and, in fact, earn your open support; some – Christian ones – aren’t, and ‘earn’ your outspoken denigration, instead.

  174. As for James’s ‘central plank’, I believe Legion was referring to this paragraph from the topic-post that begins this thread:

    How any person in this blog can preach tolerance, equality, justice for all, human rights, peace or any of those niceties whilst allowing by open encouragement, silence, or only very muffled protest, the continued posting followed by the ongoing defiling of that image, having been alerted to its offensive nature by at least one blog member, three times, is breathtakingly hypocritical.

  175. Tony:

    “a relatively small number of priests guilty of sexual abuse”

    As I have mentioned already 112 priests have been convicted of sexual abuse of minors in Australia alone since 1993. I wouldn’t call that a “relatively small number”

    “Some religions are immune from your criticism, and, in fact, earn your open support; some – Christian ones – aren’t, and ‘earn’ your outspoken denigration, instead.”

    So….? Am I not entitled to have an opinion?

  176. Reb,

    So….? Am I not entitled to have an opinion?

    As long as I’m entitled to point when you’re being sanctimonious.

    (I won’t bother debating the meaning of “relatively”.)

  177. *to point out*

  178. Me “sanctimonious??”

    LOL!!

    sanc⋅ti⋅mo⋅ni⋅ous   /ˌsæŋktəˈmoʊniəs/ [sangk-tuh-moh-nee-uhs]

    –adjective

    1. making a hypocritical show of religious devotion, piety, righteousness, etc.

    2. holy; sacred.

    How funny…

  179. But by all means Tony, if you think I’m sanctimonious, please feel welcome to point it out…

    (as you have done)…

    🙂

  180. So….? Am I not entitled to have an opinion?

    Rather than just claiming your entitlement to your opinions, what about addressing your responsibility to defend those opinions when challenged, particularly if those opinions are publicly expressed, controversial, and have proven offensive to some readers?

    (All right, scratch sanctimonious. I’m happy to stick hypocritical.)

  181. *stick with*

    (First line only is a Reb quote.)

  182. What’s the problem with the above image?

    I certainly hope we haven’t got to the point yet where a bit of religious satire is unacceptable (like, say, it would be in places like Iran or Afghanistan under the Taliban).

    We ‘re supposed to be a free secular society right?

    That means religion is not a sacred-cow (!) and that people can post the odd bit of satire or humour without being subjected to some sort of fatwa from offended fundies, like those cartoonists in Denmark were a year or two ago.

    Call me precious? Absolutely.

    James, have you sent any letters of complaint to Mambo recently? I seem to recall that they produce an extensive range of humourous Aussie-Christ t-shirts with artwork by Reg Mombassa that you might object to.

    If the above image of “Ned on the Cross” stirs your water, then some of Reg Mombassa’s stuff will give you apoplexy: Beer-swilling Suburban Christ; Jesus the Surfer Dude; Stoner Christ (complete with bong and stash-bag), to identify but a few.

    So, if you haven’t complained to Mambo yet, what are you waiting for? Fire-up the indignation and get cracking son.

    And yes, I was brought-up a Mick too. Difference is, I got over it

  183. Tony,

    I’ll say it again, if some people find what I write offensive then I encourage them not read any of it.

    And as for justifying my opinions, why should I?

    Does Kevin Rudd justify his stance against gay marriage? No, he just says it’s “not something we believe in” (note the use of the royal we).

    Likewise I enjoy taking the piss out of the Catholic Church because it’s something “we believe in”.

    And as I have mentioned before, whenever people see anything that has my name as the author, they are perfectly entitled not to read it.

  184. maybe I should’ve run with this instead:

    http://www.cafepress.com/bettybowers.22944034

  185. Kevin Rudd? Now he is sanctimonious.

  186. or maybe this one…?

  187. (selective understanding)
    F**K religion, the post had nothing to do with religion but 5 dead Aussies.

    So in sticking up for James makes me religious, that means if i support gay peoples rights im gay or against war im a terrorist supporter, i think we know that aint true.

    Also james stated he wasnt that religious just grew up around it and pointed out the picture had nothing to do with the subject. (i agreed )

    but the point is clear and its s shame it takes a lot to get the point out. If you want to keep discussing this email james or move on, it dosnt help telling us.

  188. Hey Reb, is that a pic from a Collingwood reuinion?

  189. Nice picture reb, looks as if you ate the dog.

  190. “but the point is clear”

    Is it? I’ve got no idea what the point was, or is now…

    seriously…

  191. I like this one too…

  192. Kevin Rudd? Now he is sanctimonious.

    Oh goodie. Something we can agree on…

    🙂

  193. Can I vote Evan’s most recent contribution as being sanctimonious?

  194. Reb for what its worth i agree church and religion is like a magazine it just makes you feel bad about yourself in the end.

    You dont offend me when you say stuff about jesus and religion as i agree.

    if you were serious about not knowing what its about anymore. my i use you as an example of me being week.
    If you were offended about a comment or picture that had nothing to do with the subject i MAY stand by you after all this, thats me being soft and weak?. This was not about hijacking a thread as it could of continued easly without the picture or one off a number of loathed dead australians.

    I wish all was taken lightly and smoothly but how you handle a small situation shows others how you will drive them down for a simple request or complaint and this was from one author to another so imagine how a blogger will feel raising a subject from here on in.

    Please dont be a dick and continue to make it about a religion or i’ll have no option but to agree with you but disagree about the original subject this was under.

  195. I blame one person for all this…the butler did it!

  196. “how you handle a small situation shows others how you will drive them down for a simple request or complaint ”

    WTF…?

    The “simple request” was that James wanted to censor my post by demanding that I remove it.

    I declined the request to be censored.

    And you’re accusing me of “driving others down?”

    In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t “driven James down” or said anything negative about James at all.

    All I’ve said all along is that I refuse to remove it.

    If you don’t like it, don’t f**kin look at it or read it.

  197. Ok reb i understand you.

    over pampered self absorbed.

  198. by the way you dont like what im saying dont read it. How stupid when its there to read.

  199. Imagine Tim Dunlop writing somthing like that.

  200. might be over stating it but if he wrote dont read what i write in a debate it would be silly. i know i have an option but i choose not to use it as you do with may things.

  201. I’m not Tim Dunlop.

    “Over pampered and self-absorbed…”

    🙄

  202. YES, you dont recognise a discussion but choose to make it all about yourself. Still not caring if we lost people for a dumb stand and so to speak a dumb photo about 5 dead aussies or was it.
    I wanted to let go of this when i said email james or move on but lets both see each others arguement for a minute. i see your side and agree you choose to ignore the real dabate about a choice as i agree religion sucks.
    I thought Authors were people that didnt let things get to far(hence deleting a whole blog) but instead put on the site that you helped start it. but your not a nice person to others and are self absorbed.

  203. Talk about extending an arguement so be it.

    You Know what Reb, all that stuff two weeks ago about you not holding anything to heart and just wanting to enjoy blogging was crap in my opinion. your a loose canoon playing nice guy till he cant take it anymore and then play bad man and ruining it for others.

    so as you do carry on for days about a subject that didnt go your way like a spoilt boy in his underwear pretending to have an underbelly style life which is more like a flying nun story to justify being mean to others.

  204. Actually aquanaut, Reb has not been the one “carrying on”. That would be the rest of us. Look at who posted this thread (James). In fact, you’ve been somewhat more active on the argument than Reb has.

    I agree it was a bad taste joke. I’m pretty anti-religion myself and I didn’t find it funny. That said, reb left it at “I’m not removing it”. As far as I can tell, reb has been responding to the accusations of others (be it about him directly or about why the Catholic Church should not be held accountable for the “few” priests who abused children).

    For example, your last post was typical flame-bait. Attacking reb about something completely unrelated in order to get one up on the guy. Personally, I would delete such a post, but reb & joni keep this board open to all attacks worthy or otherwise.

  205. “Still not caring if we lost people for a dumb stand”

    Are you suggesting that I should have conceded to James’s request that I pull the entire post down just because he found it offensive?

    That is the essence of the issue isn’t..?

    I’m not sure about all your other accusations of me being a “loose cannon” and “playing nice guy” and then “playing bad man and ruining it for others, or being like “a spoilt boy in his underwear”.

    But you know, you’re entitled to hold those views…

  206. be it about him directly or about why the Catholic Church should not be held accountable for the “few” priests who abused children

    Well, you’ve got me in, Ben. How about supporting that statement, for a start. Who, and where, did anyone here say anything like that?

  207. that I should have conceded to James’s request that I pull the entire post down</b? just because he found it offensive?

    Just on a point of fact: It was the picture James objected to, not the entire post, was it not?

  208. B.talputt
    I have never engaged in a conversation with you. you just popped up one day as an author because John didnt do what he said, but thanks for your opinion.

  209. Dont be offended Reb, thats soft.

    stand up for your self in a dog eat dog world of just offending anyone, caveman style.

  210. Tony,

    You are correct. James wasn’t specific about whether he was offended by the picture or the post (or both) in his first two mentions, but specifically mentioned the picture in the third.

  211. Thank you Reb.

  212. “Dont be offended Reb, thats soft.”

    What makes you think I’m offended?

    I’m not.

    I just noted all your observations that you think I’m a“loose cannon” and “playing nice guy” and then “playing bad man and ruining it for others, or being like “a spoilt boy in his underwear”.

    All I did was refuse to remove a picture from my post, on the grounds that I don’t think that any blogger here should impose censorship of content on my post because of their sensibilities.

    If people don’t like what I write they’re perfectly entitled to go elsewhere and read someone’s elses blog, as are you.

  213. #If people don’t like what I write they’re perfectly entitled to go elsewhere and read someone’s elses blog, as are you.

    I respect that wording.

    Reb, eatme

  214. Well unfortunately the only bad press I’m getting is from the Lord Mayor of Crapperville, and I regard that as a compliment.

    For what is worth (Miglo – “nothing”), I think this blog is open to all. Annoyingly so.

    It is reasonably self regulating, and discussion/debate can continue to the point of exhausted frustration, and beyond.

    So there is no need for anyone to opt out or boycott.

    Personally, I’d never opt out over principle, only if I stopped enjoying it.

  215. I ment the last line… i should be more clear…

    Only if you dont carry on.

  216. All I did was refuse to remove a picture from my post, on the grounds that I don’t think that any blogger here should impose censorship of content on my post because of their sensibilities.

    I parsonally have no problem with that at all, as I have consistently stated.

    I beg to differ with other positions you have taken, however – some of which I have pointed out on this thread.

  217. *personally*

  218. Reb, eatme

    Good, aquanut, but please don’t leave. It is better to stay and debate opinions you disagree with, than to leave and let them stand unchallenged.

  219. “I beg to differ with other positions you have taken”

    And fair enough too.

    We can’t expect to agree on things all the time…

    And I’ll happily admit that I’m wrong when it’s clearly the case and not just a matter of someone’s opinion versus mine.

    However I draw the line at people telling me what I can and cannot include in my posts.

  220. Reb dosnt want me too leave yet. do you Reb?

    In a way you have deep meaningfull feelings for me that you cant explain.
    lol(trying to lighten the situation unless i get pissed off again).

  221. Reb, Jesus loves you.

    I think you’re a good bloke too.

  222. And I’ll happily admit that I’m wrong when it’s clearly the case and not just a matter of someone’s opinion versus mine.

    Good, we’ve established that then. Now perhaps you’d care to explain your inconsistencies in the way you criticise some religions, and let others off scot-free – particularly when most of them are ‘guilty’ of at least some of your complaints.

  223. he is a good something but i need to experiment on him to make sure. lay down Reb.

  224. spread!

  225. Aqua, are you one of the camels that one of the Three Wise Men rode?

  226. i like too be ridden, dont care how wise they are

  227. i make weird noises in the dessert night

  228. call me presious, i cum easy

  229. call me precious, i cum easy

  230. damn it i came twice

  231. lol aquanut. Is there something you’re not telling us?

  232. what do you mean Tony?

    i am joking something some are incapable off

    have my crabs Tony they mean nothing too me

    Should i shut up. anyone?

  233. Shutup.

  234. Reb are you and me at a mutual understanding if not an agreement.

    Or is this still open i have heard nothing from you?

  235. Muddies, or Blue Swimmers?

    (Excuse me, I have to scratch.)

  236. “Perhaps you’d care to explain your inconsistencies..”

    This would assume that I have made some prior commitment to be consistent.

    “Consistency” is something which I’ve never really aspired to..

    How else would I be able to explain away my inconsistencies?

  237. i sentance you to 5 dollar wine Miglo, and speaqr gun up your…. i like this music, wish i knew who sang it

  238. Reb has probably just gone for a wander through his vast cellar. I’ve heard that it’s big. Real big.

  239. Mud crab for life tony in your armpits and moustach for questioning me. What sauce would yu like with that?

  240. Miglo i have a cask wine cellar.

  241. BTW, here’s reb’s cellar.

  242. some have been in foil bags for a hundreds of years.

  243. Here’s Aqua’s.

  244. Give Reb more credit, im sure theres a coffin.

  245. Reb,

    “Consistency” is something which I’ve never really aspired to…How else would I be able to explain away my inconsistencies?

    If you’re consistent, you don’t have to remember what you might have said before. Just apply your principles, and, ,i>voila,/i>, there’s your answer.

  246. That’s my wine cellar after Migs has been round for dinner!

  247. Chilli sauce, naturally.

  248. “principles?”

    What are those?

  249. I’ve just had some wine delivered. Will need help stocking into the cellar.

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/27/103981051_a3e905bb8b.jpg?v=0

  250. This is the wine cellar before Miglo arrived…

  251. I understand Reb but you cant say i didnt try.

  252. Looks like you’ve got a good two week’s supply there Migs..

  253. Yes reb, that was what I saw. But where were you hiding the good stuff?

  254. Aqua after a few drinks.

  255. No thats me after miglo gets his way.

  256. Aqua after a few drinks.,

    Yes Miglo. And now he’s smoking cigars too. Great. Just great.

  257. F**king code!

  258. bloody camel rides means abuse to some, you know animals wont dob.

  259. ask monica what cigars mean?

  260. i regret that comment. Hey Reb any nicotine scares.

  261. stains would have been more humorous but i was to late .

  262. Ok , it’s been a blast. No, really.

    Catch you all later.

    Maybe Joni will get off the couch tomorrow and write a provocative post. (God forbid!)

  263. lets hope on the one good thing about this blog so far in the last few day. Reb aint it.

  264. like you miglo i hae no spare bottles and often weep at the site off an empty cellar. wait i must weep for no cellar first.

  265. I have never engaged in a conversation with you. you just popped up one day as an author because John didnt do what he said, but thanks for your opinion.

    Um, I’m not wure how that is important… but “you’re welcome?”

  266. wure = sure

  267. reb, on May 3rd, 2009 at 8:20 am

    But you know, think whatever you like…

    You know that Kilroy has a very long memory, Reb, so I do know how Reb reacts when his precise demands aren’t being met. 🙂

    Actually, that’s rubbish Legion.

    As for the ‘rubbish’, in the interests of congenial conversation, I’d clarify that it was just an observation based in realpolitik, and also observe that you can place whatever value on that observation you like. One imagines, though, that it’s almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy for someone having a wider agenda of demands met in a liberal democracy, and not a ‘secular society’ per se, when that someone is busy alienating, through ever so ‘natural’ indiscriminations among members of a class, those most sympathetic and best positioned to help them achieve that someone’s own progressive aims for shared places beyond the microcosm of Reb’s place. Sure, mutual annihilation, and bugger the collateral damage, appears to be fun, perhaps; but I’m more sure that there’s a win-win-win out there for somebody if the quids pro quo of reciprocity are paid in full, and the collateral contracts to the grand social contract are fully accounted for, and some of them not discounted away as if they were nothing significant in, and of, themselves.

    James simply demanded that the post be removed for the sole reason that he found it offensive. No other reason was forthcoming at all.

    If the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, sometimes Mohammed must go to the mountain. I can’t be sure as to what James’ ultimate reasons were for taking offence beyond those he’s explicitly rehearsed above. I can, however, observe from my own hummock that the vast bulk of Christians, across most of the denominations, consider themselves ‘in the body of Christ’ from the point of baptism; and, for those taking or having taken some form of communion and not relinquished that relationship, that the body of Christ is in them; and yet again, for some if not certainly many, that the Christos represents the kind of universal love that is the best of Everyman. From that perspective, anything that is done to the one is done to the many, including the symbolic suggestion of loathing of that which is theirs as a fundamental human right; as fundamental as any other when it’s a constitutive aspect of personality and common humanity.

    But what would I know as a male, female, genderless, gay, hetero, lesbian, bi, transgender, asexual, promiscuous, monogamous, polygamous, abstinent, married, unmarried, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Agnostic, Atheist, Gnostic, Raelian, rich, poor, right-handed, left-handed, Bible thumping, Bible burning, Australian, un-Australian, just a person, right?

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