May 27th, 2010


Good News Bad News

Recent events in Bradford mean that Comment Is Free will be holding over my Demonology piece for a few days at least, which is a pain for me, but far worse for the families of the women the accused is alleged to have killed.

I have the first copy of Battlestar Galactica: Investigating Flesh, Spirit and Steel the critical collection edited by me and jennyo. As one might expect, it looks shiny.

Things I am already very tired of No 1.

Religious believers using the worse excesses of Islam, its believers and polities dominated by it as an excuse for their own fanaticism and bad behaviour. Complain about homophobia in Orthodox Judaism (as Julie Bindel does here and yes, JB condemning intolerance, too sweet, baby steps, I could not possibly comment, now that's out of the way - and the usual CiF people will start whinging that people are worse off in Saudi Arabia or Palestine. Blaspheme, and they'll blame you for not decrying the Prophet and taking real risks. Even a sensible bishop - not an oxymoron, I will always maintain, because there are bishops so much less than sensible that it is important to make a clear distinction - like Tom Butler will sometimes let his African colleagues off the hook for homophobia a little on the grounds that if they don't persecute LGBT people their Islamic rivals will point and mock.

Two points - there are plenty of devout and profoundly spiritual Muslims who find the Wahabism of Saudi Arabia and its missionaries profoundly alienating and threatening. And saying other religions are worse does not let your own off the hook. After all, to an atheist or an agnostic, you are all wrong to begin with without making excuses.

(This in no way lessens my horror at the extent of religious persecution in some Islamic states - my only caveat is that it is not only Christians who are being persecuted but that we don't hear as much about other groups practicing smaller and less powerful religions.)