Feb. 1st, 2006 06:06 pm
liadnan: (Default)

Many are aware already that The Religious Policeman, a Saudi dissident, is well worth reading and often extremely funny. But his take on the Danish cartoons story, particularly today, really deserves attention.

ETA: In the meantime, various newspapers reprint them, for which the editor of France Soir is sacked (by the Egyptian owner). And (via Ritu) the New York president of the World Jewish Congress weighs in with a letter to The Times

I have to wonder whether it would be a criminal offence to print the cartoons in the UK, ECHR not withstanding, had the Government managed to reverse the Lords amendments on the question of incitement to religious hatred. I think there would be a real issue there, which to my mind highlights why it was so important the Government lose that one.

Seems to me it's a grave insult to any religion to suggest that it is so weak it requires threats of penalties under the civil or criminal law or of violence to protect it and the faith of its members from criticism, comment, or satire.

liadnan: (Default)

But it would somehow be sad to see a notoriously unfortunate (in English) name pass without comment: Cardinal Sin has died.

liadnan: (Default)

I was reading Mansfield Park today, and was struck by a line I don't remember before. Miss Crawford turns away from discussion of Fanny's brother, a mere midshipman, with a comment that she only knows Admirals, but of those she knows many "Rears and Vices". And then, disingenuosly, she disclaims having made any kind of vulgar pun.

The thing is, I can only conceive of one pun that might be involved here, and it isn't something one expects to find in the mouth of even an inimical Austen character. Not that blatantly, and certainly not from a woman. And while Edmund and Fanny mutter about her afterwards, their indignation seems directed more at the fact Miss Crawford has been rude in public about her uncle, Admiral Crawford. Am I missing something here? Is it I who need my brain scrubbed out?


Spent the weekend being quite the observant Catholic at the cathedral (yes, despite being a heretic on several counts, a semi-agnostic at least half the time, and the rest, I still do go to mass on and off-and a Happy Easter to those who observe it in some way) and then seeing my mother (and sister and family for Easter Sunday lunch). Somewhat trying, this seeing family most weekends. Love them dearly as I do. And the bloody paperwork seems never-ending: mum can't really cope with it all, and while my siblings have done an awful lot, probably more than me, two of them have babies under six months and the other lives at the other end of the country.

liadnan: (Default)

I suppose it's an intensely parochial issue, limited in interest to any but the handful of you who live in or have some connection with Hampstead, Highgate, or Camden Town, that the Hampstead Ponds may be closing. But I think it goes beyond the loss we're facing: if the Corporation of London* can't find a measly £200,000 in its petty cash drawer then the economy of this country is in deep, deep shit.

Heard from a politician on Radio 4 this morning: "a quicker and faster response" (by the police). Quicker and faster, my word.

And some of those in favour of a law to ban incitement to religious hatred are arguing that it should, for instance, be useable against another Salman Rushdie. Which makes me fairly fundamentally opposed.

*note for those who don't know about the insane complexities of London government, the Corporation is the local authority for the City of London -the Square Mile, not the metropolis of Greater London-, is the richest local authority in the country, dates its privileges back to before the conquest (you'll occasionally find the rather dubious claim that it wasn't conquered by William, it made a peace treaty with him) and tends to manage to get into any statute dealing with land law or local authority powers some clause along the lines of "but not in the City of London". Which is why it's the only feudal tenant-in-chief left where that status actually has some meaning, I think.


Dec. 8th, 2004 08:36 pm
liadnan: (Default)

Both of the email lists that, together with the blogosphere, drain away such an alarming proportion of my time have been discussing this story today:

The director and screenwriter of the film adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials is to remove references to God and the church in the movie.
Chris Weitz, director of About a Boy, said the changes were being made after film studio New Line expressed concern.

I confess myself to be somewhat mystified, not least by the claim that Pullman has approved the change (and incidentally, what happened to Uncle Tom Stoppard, who was writing the screenplay last I heard?). I do find myself wondering, on that score, whether the truth is closer to what I heard Pullman say at the ICA a couple of years ago - that his attitude was that he'd sold the film rights, taken the money, and run, and wasn't taking any part or interest in what happened next.

You may love the books or loathe the books; generally sympathise with Pullman's views or not; find Pullman slightly irritating or charming. Personally I love the books, sort of half sympathise with his views, and find the man's preachiness more than a little irritating.

Whatever you feel about it, I am incapable of understanding how a sequence of books which, I think, is essentially an attempt to take Paradise Lost, imagine it written by Blake instead, and then turn the result into a children's fantasy; and which was also, quite expressly, conceived as an extended disagreement with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe et al, can possibly have the religion taken out. I despair, I really do. Joff said months ago he smelled an approaching train wreck and I told him he was over-pessimistic.

ETA: oh look, why don't I just stick to ghost-posting the chaps on Crooked Timber - first thing I read after I hit send and says it much better.

Chick Crap

Nov. 11th, 2004 11:03 pm
liadnan: (Default)

Via Katy, who is frankly far too fascinated by this stuff for her own good, comes the news of two new Jack Chick tracts (1) (2).

Actually, it seems that should be Jack Chick LLC. Fascinating, the man's incorporated himself. One wonders why.

Normally one would sigh and move on but this time he's excelled himself with his opinions on Islam and on the relative merits of Israel and Palestine. With a sideswipe at the Great Whore of Babylon for good measure. As Katy asks, one wonders whether a fatwa is imminent. I'm having moral difficulties with my instinctive response to that.

"And seeing the multitudes he went up into a mountain: and when he was set his disciples came unto him; And he taught them saying...
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew, 5:1,2,9)

liadnan: (Default)

Once again, Christ on a bike... (link via Rainstorm).

LAX or Checkpoint Charlie circa 1970: you decide.

On a more amusing note (via Neil Gaiman) thousands of Christians (for certain values of Christian) plan to move to South Carolina and then secede from the union. As Gaiman notes, it is unclear what the current population of South Carolina think about this.

On a final note, days spent arguing against litigants in person are somewhat tiring. And I have a full day's trial on something rather more substantial tomorrow...

Edited to add a small theological point on the Christian Exodus people.... they say their definition of Christianity is as wide as possible, but I notice they've included the doctrine of salvation by faith alone. Well, that excludes the Catholic and, to the best of my knowledge, Orthodox churches...

liadnan: (Default)

Yes: in a deliberate answer to The Passion, Life of Brian is being re-released.

I think that's an absolutely splendid idea. In fact, they should show them back to back.

A monk I used to know, and a fine and wise fellow he was, used to say that Life of Brian was one of the most important religious films ever made, and that everyone who professed Christianity should watch it.


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