The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Papal in Glass Houses


Derick Perry • 23 September 2006

On reading Anthony McIntyre`s piece of September 18th, “Kick the Pope”, the oddest thing happened. I found myself agreeing with every point and conclusion and particularly with the “get lost” parting shot. My progress through the article was punctuated with internal comments of, “absolutely” “couldn`t agree more” and concluded with “spot on”

Mr. McIntyre`s and my viewpoints on politics diverge greatly where Ireland is concerned but converge when suppression of rights, freedom of expression and religious intolerance is to the fore. As a secular humanist I suppose I should be somewhat insulted and take offence at the pontiff`s comments but sure what would that accomplish but higher blood pressure. Suffice to say I disagree with what you say but defend your right to say it.

(That has a familiar ring!)

For the Pope to single out and condemn the prophet Mohammed as one who would proselytize with violence and threats, even by proxy in quoting an obscure scholarly text seems a bit rich. History is peppered with Catholicism’s brutal take on the whole heresy issue. However, in the time honoured spirit of Irish whataboutery, certainly Protestant reformist religious fervor spawned a mirror image of the whole inquisition attitude with the typically succinct Ulsterism “Turn or Burn”.

Generally religions, with some rare exceptions, have consistently taken the view, better dead than damned. Buddhism and the Society of Friends (Quakers) as notable exceptions to that pattern come to mind. Its difficult to picture the kindly old gentleman on the porridge packet roaring “Turn or Burn” unless it’s a stern warning on the danger of over cooking the oats!

Indeed the Christian soul owner’s manual contains a passage where the writer clearly directs all owners of said soul to be conscious of the plank of wood in one’s own eye before pointing out the speck of sawdust in another’s. Perhaps the Pope should re-acquaint himself that passage, as should we all. Hey, wisdom is wisdom, no matter the source!

Yes, the radical Moslem clerics overreacted and look for insult when none was intended.

Yes, they seem to be missing the whole point of hypocrisy and irony as a concept.

“Islam is a religion of peace, accept it or die!”

Yes, they purposefully reject intellectual debate and condemn any differing viewpoint.

But as we have seen down through the ages they are not alone in this, particularly where Roman Catholic and Protestant fundamentalists are concerned.

With apologies to the Bard…A plague on all their houses!

Perhaps at this point the reader may care to view this video clip of a secular humanist scholar who spells out clearly the present struggle between two opposing viewpoints.

This clip was submitted and made available for viewing by The Blanket during the infamous Moslem cartoon insult fest several months ago under the heading Straight Talk v Orthodoxy.

With the editor’s indulgence it seems appropriate to give those who may be interested, an opportunity to view it for the first time given recent Moslem (over)reaction to the most innocuous of criticisms.

It should be noted that the recorded discussion first aired on Al Jazeera.

My parting shot….Religion should be prescribed as a vaccine.

A small dose may be beneficial, too much is poison.















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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
- Frank Zappa

Index: Current Articles

25 September 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

DNA and Diplock: A Recipe for Injustice
Martin Galvin

Carrots and Sticks
Dr John Coulter

The Time of My Life
Ray McAreavey

Hunger Strikers for Sale on Ebay
Breandán Ó Muirthile

Strange Logic
Anthony McIntyre

Digging Up the Past
John Kennedy

The History of the Belfast Anti War Movement
Davy Carlin

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 11 & 12
Michael Gillespie

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 13 & 14
Michael Gillespie

Lights Out
Anthony McIntyre

Papal in Glass Houses
Derick Perry

The GFA and Islam
Roy Johnston

Muhammad's Sword
Uri Avnery

We Are Not As Evolved As We Think
David Adams

Stone Me
John Kennedy

18 September 2006

Kick the Pope
Anthony McIntyre

When Saying Sorry Isn't Enough
David Adams

"The third camp is about real lives": Interview with Hamid Taqvaee
Maryam Namazie

John Kennedy

Sympathy for the Victims
Mick Hall

For The Victims of Britain's Holocaust in Ireland
Brian Halpin

Dreary Eden
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Legalize the Irish
Frank [Name Supplied]

Careful What You Wish For
Dr John Coulter

The Peace Process — A Children's Fantasy
Tom Luby

John Kennedy

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