Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Another blog bites the dust

John writes to me to point out that the Morrisons blog has gone - the work-related posts have all been deleted and now there is a message on the site with (what seems to me at any rate) to be a rather smug and gloating edge to it saying "Oh dear. It seems that Morrisons Employee, has deleted his blog. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to create this one with the same name." It then directs folk to a new 'forum' for Morrisons employees.

Perhaps I am just a cynical and suspicious person, but this didn't look like a private undertaking to me, especially with all its rules on what you could and couldn't post (not keen on anything too negative - in fact not much room for any real debate their, so is it really a forum?). Perhaps I'm wrong but I got the impression of a very controlled environment designed to give the appearance of an open forum while not being anything of the sort. If so it would be a hi-jacking of the original in a most underhand manner, but then I suppose it was a matter of time before a control collar was fastened around Morrison Employee's neck. What happened to that blogger I do not know, but I wish them well and hope they rejoin us in the blogosphere at some point.

Brotherly Love

Oh, those wonderful ultra-right, super-caring Christian fundamentalists have been busy the last couple of months proving they are as big a danger to civilsed society as Muslim fundamentalists. And no, I'm not talking about those nutty right-wing, God-fearin' folks in the USA who love life so much they shoot doctors. Nope, I'm talking about the disturbing rise of their intolerant cousins right here in Blighty.

Back in December I blogged about a bunch of ultra-Christian numpties who were trying to force the chief constable in Fife to shut down a play in Saint Andrews because it was blasphemous (it had a gay Jesus). They didn't actually go to see it, they just demonstrated against it without viewing the play then tried to get the law to stop anyone else seeing it. Does that strike anyone as being a bit ridiculous that a tiny number of religious zealots think they can tell the rest of society what they can watch? And if you looked at that group's website (as I did) the homophobic, intolerant ranting was obnoxious and awful. Good caring folk practising the message of Jesus to love they neighbour... Hypocrites.

Then there was the Jerry Springer - The Musical debacle. It's been around a while but when the BBC screened it - with many warnings as to the content being offensive to some, so they may wish to not watch - there was a shitstorm. Out came these right-wing Christian wankers again, attacking the BBC, calling for it to be banned because it so offended them. Well here's an idea for you, DON'T BLOODY WATCH IT! But don't ever tell the rest of us what we can, as reasonable adults, watch. These are the modern, more vicious descendants of the religious bastards who attacked the Life of Brian on its release (of course, it is a revered film from the Monty Python team loved around the world two decades later while those who tried to 'protect us for our own good' are largely forgotten).

Ah, but that wasn't all. These same gits then went on to threaten a charity. Yes, devout (supposed) Christians attacking a small charity which ran a hospice caring for people with cancer. The Jerry Springer Musical folk offered to do a charity fundraiser - the Christians threatened the charity with a blockade of their hospice if they accepted. In other words they were prepared to abuse terminally ill patients and their carers and families.

How fucking sick are these people? What sort of Christianity is this supposed to be? Doesn't seem to follow the path laid down by the man who walked among the lepers, the poor, the prostitutes and sick to care for them, does it? They have since pressured numerous theatrical venues to pull out of hosting the tour of the show (and shame on them for caving to these fools so easily, cowards).

So this small group of religious whackos are forcing their views on the entire population, attempting to control what we can see and hear. I'm all for legitimate protest (if it is informed) and wholly support the right of everyone to their own views (even when I think they are daft or even obnoxious) but they have no right in a democratic society to try and impose their restricted views on the rest of us. We don't go round saying we should ban their homophobic, culturally intolerant websites or church meetings (and I wouldn't, its their right, but its our right to argue against their bitter rhetoric). The freedoms which protect their rights of worship and expression also protect ours, something they seem to selectively forget.

But they seem to think they can turn back the clock three centuries to the puritancial times of Cromwell (another man with little time for those who disagreed with him, even old comrades in the army he fought alongside and certainly not the theatres or, ironically, parliament). I think they should recall that Cromwell's 'New Jerusalem' ended up in the riot and debauchery of Charles II's court and the people loved him for it because they were sick and tired of the ious, miserable bigots who had run their lives (and those nasty folk I mentioned shooting doctors in the States today are the descendants of those puritans who left a now merry Britain to go and make a miserable but Godly existence in the New World).

A woman reader emailed me weeks back about the charity incident (very sorry, I can't find your email now, but thanks for sending me the story) and I've been following it since then (and since my December blog on the Saint Andrews play) and it has just been growing ever more disturbing as the weeks go past. The scariest part is that these numpties are convinced they are saving us...


Anonymous Debbie said...

I'd agree with you that work places, particularly large companies, may seem open, and may claim to give their employees 'free rein', allow free speech ( it has to be 'allowed'?) and all the other democratic slogans they, or rather their HR minnows, claim to honour and respect, but in fact the are neither democracies nor meritocracies. More like malign dictatorships, home to thousands of underpaid slaves held in chains by their mortgages.

It seems fair game these days to slag people who work for the army - and I don't condone the dreadful excesses some of their members got up to in Iraq - but a lot of the organisations we work or have worked for seem to me to be organised similarly to the army. Dare to dissent and be Cast Out! Begone, thy ungrateful human, down, down, down to the dregs of life on Income Support! Oh Hell, we forgot to cut his tongue out. He's rediscovered freedom, free time, and free speech. Quick, quick! Kill his blog.....

1:18 AM  
Anonymous Pete said...

As a christian myself, and a regular church goer, I would just like to say that this group of militant christians do not represent anywhere near all of us, in fact the bunch hassling the BBC are a very small minority group.

Life of Brian, great film, loved it, and as a member of a 2000 year old religion I feel secure enough to know such a film won't destroy my beliefs.

Jerry Springer Movie, not seen it, not interested, and again, I think my religion is strong enough that some alledgedly blasphemous film is not going to destroy it.

So please, attack the religious NUTTERS as much as you want, we who are secure in our christianity know that you are only attacking that minority, and not us as a whole.

Love the blog, especially the explanation of the new terrosim laws, that was a beutiful piece of writing.

I've missed you comments over the last few days, I realise you're busy with your new job though.

Keep it up, thanks

11:17 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

I think the late, great Spike Milligan summed up these sorts of folks best when he said they don't enjoy their reilgion, they don't take succour or strength from it, they suffer from it like a mental illness.
Not religious myself (despite or perhaps because of all the Bible classes I was made to go to as a kid) but I really can't recognise anything of the teachings of Christ I was taught in what these folk do, or in what Bush and his right wing 'muscular' Christianity friends do. What Jesus did they read about on Sundays? I'm sure the historical Jesus probably had a decent sense of humour (he seems to have been a people person after all) and would have had a laugh at Python as well. Like you say, Pete, a person would have to have a very weak faith to feel threatened by it; anyone who does really believe can take it in their stride.

6:43 PM  
Blogger John said...

There's a worrying republican wind sweeping across the Atlantic from the USA, which appears to have chilled the British body politic. I never thought I'd see the day when abortion would become a political issue in this country, which it is rather more than threatening to do. I truly hope that religion in this country never achieves the frightening level of political influence that the religious right have achieved in the United States.

On another subject, thanks for blogging about the Morrisons Employee blog. I’m relatively new to the blogosphere (a new word on me), and consequently don’t know how unusual it is for an established blog like that just to disappear. But I can’t help thinking that something rather unpleasant has happened. In order for the blog to be deleted, the user would have to have surrendered his log-in name and password. I would love to know the story of what happened here. Are we now living in a world where people are supposed to be uncritically grateful for the lowliest of paid jobs?

7:59 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

There is indeed a great irony that a nation like the USA which has a strict seperation of religion and governance built into its very constitution should end up being ruled by a religious minority (albeit a large minority), imposing their views and morals on everyone.

When you see giant posters with a grinning GI, flag and the words 'pray for our troops' above car dealerships you should be worried. As an old SF geek I keep being reminded of Torquemada's religious, xenophobic lunatics in 2000 AD's old Nemesis strip.

12:44 PM  
Blogger The Merry Rose said...

The religious fanatics are everywhere, not matter what religion they adhere too. I love to watch Monty Python and have learnt the hard way not to watch “The Life of Brian” at Christmas time as it can cause some very funny moments when sitting in a church service trying to listen and be serious. Truly, it hurts! ?
Also as a person who lives in Australia, which while being a long way from the UK and the USA, we still end up hearing the same rhetoric from dear old Johnny Howard and I still disagree with it, especially since Sept 2001. These days we seem to have allowed people who want to scare you into living our lives in fear, and that is really no way to live life.
I personally am a Christian and I enjoy my freedom to think and live what I believe even when I differ greatly from my own family and friends, if you don’t like something – “Build a bridge and get over it!” I agree with what Pete said – I am also secure in my faith enough to chose not to have that faith destroyed by a couple of films or plays.
On an other note, love the blog, I have been reading it for a little while and enjoy your Easter break as I have been enjoying some the beautiful autumn weather here in this wonderful place.

5:41 AM  
Blogger KH said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Joe,
Took your advice to checkout the morrisons blog. Cor blimey! What a joke!
For a laugh I registered as "tesco rules" and am now leaving polite comments about how good tesco is to work for.
Trust the job is all you hoped for?

11:09 AM  

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