Monday, 4 April 2011
In the Bad Books
Te Graun has a corker of an interview with CJ Grayling. CJ provides a veritable trainwreck of logic, which he no doubt thinks is a razor sharp and ice cold analysis of the situation that is facing us:
'It's only in the past decade that these three strands of thought have developed into a public campaign against faith – but it wasn't the atheists, according to Grayling, who provoked the confrontation. "The reason why it's become a big issue is that religions have turned the volume up, because they're on the back foot. The hold of religion is weakening, definitely, and diminishing in numbers. The reason why there's such a furore about it is that the cornered animal, the loser, starts making a big noise."
Well, call me a cornered animal CJ and it really is a red rag to a bull. But who is the 'cornered animal'? It seems to me that the C of E is too much of a poodle to really be much of a cornered animal to have you quaking in your boots CJ. Or is it the Islamists, who seem to be going strong and increasing in numbers? Or is it the unmuzzled rabid dogs of the American Evangelical right who are getting increasing power and seem to have slipped their leashes that are making this thunderous noise so beloved of losers?
Well, firstly, I think the charges of militancy and fundamentalism of course come from our opponents, the theists. My rejoinder is to say when the boot was on their foot they burned us at the stake. All we're doing is speaking very frankly and bluntly and they don't like it," he laughs. "So we speak frankly and bluntly, and the respect agenda is now gone, they can no longer float behind the diaphanous veil – 'Ooh, I have faith so you mustn't offend me'. So they don't like the blunt talking. But we're not burning them at the stake. They've got to remember that when it was the other way around it was a much more serious matter.
Well, that's it CJ. Never again will I be able to float behind a diaphanous veil. In fact I think I'd plummet like a lead balloon if I tried. I've heard tell that you can still float behind a diaphanous veil in Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia... but can I take it you're not going to set up office there to bring them down to earth with a thud?
Still, I suppose we 'theists' who have never burnt anyone alive at the stake, or stoned people, or thrown acid in faces, or murdered Ossetian schoolkids should be very grateful that you have chosen to make your priority the Census methodology which will really free us from the manacles of the Inquisition and has no doubt saved countless people from being burnt at the stake. But... what's all this about 'they' and 'them' and 'us'? Its like a right libertarian talking about 'government': some bizarre abstract entity that justifies their persecution complex. Except I actually find right libertarians a bit less scary (not to mention a bit more rational given that the world really does have some horrific theocratic regimes, but the Humanist Society's heroic assault on 'Thought for the Day' will do b***er all for the victims).
Still, all is not doom and gloom so let's lighten up. Cj has a very original line in side-splitting humour, which will leave you with aching sides:
'The little jokes and kindly bearing can make Grayling sound quite benignly jovial about religion at times, as he chuckles away about "men in dresses" and "believing in fairies at the bottom of the garden"
I feel poleaxed by these utterly original aphorisms. They are a hammer blow to my faith and make me want to run like greased lightning to embrace atheism.