2011-08-17

For the Love of God: David Allen Green, Captain Mainwaring, and the Catholics

I suppose the background to what I am about to relate is the fact that, even at the height of the recent looting and arson attacks, the lawyer, journalist, and prominent tweeter David Allen Green was enjoining us all not to panic. Since the disturbances he has expressed the view (a view with which I concur) that we should not overact. (David can speak for himself here, and has indeed done so here).

Commenting on the above facts, the Telegraph columnist and staunchly Catholic commentator Damian Thompson ("@holysmoke") offered the following tweet late yesterday (2011-08-16) evening:

@holysmoke

Is it just me, or is there a touch of Captain Mainwaring about @DavidAllenGreen?

Now I can only assume that Damian is confusing Captain Mainwaring with Corporal Jones here, but even then the joke doesn't really work very well. In "Dad's Army" Corporal Jones ran about shouting "don't panic, don't panic" as a way of compensating for his own rising panic. I've not seen any signs that David Allen Green has conducted himself in anything other than the calm and collected manner he urges on his readers.

Anyway, David saw fit to respond with this:

@DavidAllenGreen

@holysmoke It is just you.

Some exchanges then ensued in which @holysmoke claimed that 12 of his 6000+ followers had DMed him in agreement, but not all @holysmoke's Catholic followers were as reticent. One of the public responses from "@Patriccus" went as follows:

@Patriccus

@holysmoke Well, they are both about 5'2 tall, and speak like they've been constipated for the past 3 years @DavidAllenGreen

Now when I last encountered David Allen Green, he was an impressive public speaker (albeit an impressive speaker with a rather endearing Brummie intonation) and (though I did not actually get out my tape-rule and measure him) did not strike me as being unduly short in stature (I'm 6'1" tall). But even if he had a voice like Donald Duck and the stature of Frodo Baggins, it would seem rather unchristian to point this out - especially if you believe (as I assume @Patriccus does) that we are all created by god in his image.

I sent the following (public & obviously ironic) message to David:

@Schroedinger99 - that's me on twitter

@DavidAllenGreen such charming caring compassionate considerate people the catholic faithful

I had intended to construct a further observation on the back of this alliteration but thought better of it. I soon had cause to regret even what I had sent.

Before going further, I should add that Damian himself later saw fit to issue an apology (of sorts):

@holysmoke

Sorry to have raised the @DavidAllenGreen Capt Mainwaring thing. But, to be fair, @PennyRed made the same point.

[NB I added the above tweet a couple of hours after the original publication of this post]

I'll let the other tweets speak for themselves:

@dolphinmaria

RT @Schroedinger99: @DavidAllenGreen such charming caring compassionate considerate people the catholic faithful > aww *sobs*

@dolphinmaria

I don't fink @Schroedinger99 likes us :-(

[A valid observation and I was beginning to lose my restraint by this juncture:]

@Schroedinger99

@dolphinmaria No I don't suppose I do. I think you are evil, bigoted, & nasty; but I wish none of you the kind of harm you intend for me.

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 *syrupy voice* : we don't intend any harm for you on the contrary we desire the sweet salvation of your soul.


@Schroedinger99

@dolphinmaria "salvation of my soul" oh, I understood I was heading for eternal torment in a lake of fire

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 Indeed I have already embarked on a novena for that very intention *begins hocus pocus chanting*

[NB It occurs to me now that the order of the previous two tweets may be wrong. @dolphinmaria may have have embarked on a novena for the salvation of my soul rather than for the lake of fire treatment. If that's the case, I apologize for suggesting otherwise - see also note below]

@Patriccus

Well I for one don't wish @Schroedinger99 any harm. Only that he would grow a chin. @dolphinmaria

[So it's not just short people they disapprove of.]

@Schroedinger99

@Patriccus well perhaps if DAG & I pray to your imaginary friend or visit Lourdes he will correct our physical defects that so offend you

@Patriccus

@Schroedinger99 No need - your physical appearance is outmatched by your debonair wit and independent thinking

[I urge you all to admire @Patriccus's finely chiseled features, Adonis like physique, and debonair wit on twitter.]

Meanwhile:

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 No, dear. You're mixing your fate up with mine. Do keep up!

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 Don't sound so bitter. Not everybody can be an example of delectable pulchritudinous like me.

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 Plus you more than make up for it with your blinding personality.

@dolphinmaria

Fabulous one from @Schroedinger99 there on us Cafflicks "I think you're evil, bigoted and nasty". What, all of us?

{I thought I should respond to that:]

@Schroedinger99

@dolphinmaria No, not all of U. Chiefly the more doctrinal among U. I concede that most notional Catholics R far more open minded & tolerant

{For example I follow at least one Catholic on Twitter who is not in the least bit evil, bigoted, and nasty, but that's precisely because she does not go along with much of the doctrine of the church to which she notionally belongs. (Not sure she would put it quite like that of course, but that's how I see it.)]

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 *Scratches head*. Ok, so we've narrowed it down somewhat. D'you think orthodox Jews/Moslems/Gellis evil, nasty, bigoted too?

@Schroedinger99

@dolphinmaria usually yes


@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 Is this based on intimate personal experience of significant numbers of Catholics. orthodox Jews etc?

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 Hurry up!

@Schroedinger99

@dolphinmaria no, it's based on the doctrines they preach & the inference that being orthodox they fully subscribe to those doctrines

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 Ok, so you don't actually know m(any) Catholics, Jews etc etc to say they are evil, nasty, bigoted. You just assume they are

@Schroedinger99

@dolphinmaria no, see previous tweet

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 Yes, see my previous tweet. You have no meaningful personal experience on which to base yr sweeping statement.

@Schroedinger99

@dolphinmaria U've lost me; ok I insist U go round all the atheists & ask us 1 by if we believe in a deity B4 pronouncing on such matters

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 Surely not? I merely demonstrated that your sweeping statement was wholly irrational.

@Schroedinger99

@dolphinmaria my point is that religious doctrine is evil nasty & bigoted so it follows that those who strongly subscribe to such R too

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 Yes, I knew what your argument would be before you articulated it, so to speak.

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 The more interesting question is why you hold such irrational prejudices about Catholics, Orthodox Jews, Moslems and Gellis.

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 Wild guess here - I think it's something to do with sexual politics. Just a wild guess.

[Yes it is to do with the attitude of most religions towards sex in general and women and homosexuals in particular, but also the indoctrination (and worse) of children, the promotion of mumbo jumbo, the insistence that our real human corporal lives are somehow lacking in worth - just a kind of trial run for the (un)real thing .... I could go on, and on....but I held my tongue.]

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 But I'm not sure that you've thought through your argument at all.

@Schroedinger99

@dolphinmaria I'm not making an "argument"; I merely expressed an *opinion* about ppl who hold certain types of belief

@dolphinmaria

@Schroedinger99 I was being kind when I referred to it as an argument.

And I was being kind (or at least restrained) when I referred to @dolphinmaria and her ilk as evil, bigoted, and nasty, but I let matters rest there .... until this morning.

I now invite you all to judge these exchanges for yourselves!


[NB These tweets were flying thick and fast last night. I've done my best to interleave the tweets and order them in the most logical fashion possible - not always the exact order in which I saw them. I've not left any out or put any in, but these tweets are all in the public domain and you can judge for yourselves whether you think I've misrepresented the exchanges in any way - as I have just been accused of doing ;-)]



6 comments:

  1. As someone who is an atheist and secularist though was brought up in the Prod faith (why is it when commentators attack Catholicism they ignore the right-wing reactionary scary rubbish of various sects of the Prod variety) I find this blog post strange.

    This for example, "I follow at least one Catholic on Twitter who is not in the least bit evil, bigoted, and nasty, but that's precisely because she does not go along with much of the doctrine of the church to which she notionally belongs. (Not sure she would put it quite like that of course, but that's how I see it.)]"

    Not sure if that's meant to be tongue in cheek but it looks crass. I mean, you follow at least ONE Catholic who is not in the least evil... and so on. There has been a lot of anti-Catholic bigotry doing the rounds lately. I follow number of people who are atheists, agnostics, religious and so on. Mainly because I am interested in what they have to say sometimes I agree and sometimes I disagree.

    But have to say this started on some comment on the behaviour of Jack of Kent and snowballed there. What was the point of creating a post based on late night tweets? It's your blog but why bother. You say, "started to lose my restraint by this juncture"... after a couple of tweets based on something or nothing and it goes into this because of your indignation. I think you need to have a cup of tea.

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  2. Calling someone evil bigoted and nasty, is approximately 7.5 x more offensive than likening them to Captain Mainwaring - even if you actually meant Jones.

    Just sayin'

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  3. "I think you need to have a cup of tea" You are probably right ;-)

    I also take you point about anti-catholic bigotry, but it's the ideas of all (especially fundamentalist) religions I despise. I never grew up with the notion that Catholics and other religious groups were somehow different "tribes".

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  4. @Anonymous

    I concur. I did not suggest that there was anything particularly offensive about @holysmoke's initial jibe.

    Nevertheless, I find his beliefs and those of similarly minded people extremely offensive.

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  5. @Anonymous

    And I thought the ensuing exchanges rather reinforced my prejudices .....

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ok..This from that. Far as i can tell most catholics approve of child molestation by priests. I have never heard one criticize the pope for what he allows in his church.

    As for Yahweh based religions being nasty, all you need for proof is their own "good" book. It's filled with murder, incest, rape and countless other atrocities perpetrated and condoned by the very deity they worship!

    I think most religionists wish us (You guessed it!...i'm an Agnostic/Atheist!) a happy afterlife. They just want to frack up this life with their inflexible and unscientific dogma. I know about these things having first hand experience as a former papist.

    ReplyDelete

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