Some Snickers and One Flinch

Okay, I know I’m being bad. But some nonsense is just so nonsensical it just cries out for it. ‘And if the children cry out for rebuke shall we walk on the other side?’ I bet you don’t know what part of the Bible that’s from. Neither do I.

Anyway. They’re schlepping around with their tongues hanging out, begging us to laugh at them. So let’s laugh at them. First let’s laugh at Jesus-sniffing.

You can find candles with just about every fragrance imaginable, from blueberry to ocean mist to hot apple pie. Now there’s a candle that lets you experience the scent of Jesus, and they’ve been selling out by the case…”You can’t see him and you can’t touch him,” says Bob Tosterud. “This is a situation where you may be able to sense him by smelling. And it provides a really new dimension to one’s experience with Jesus.”

Next let’s laugh at the hilarious idea of a Catholic cardinal worried that people will believe lies and fables and things that aren’t true not nohow.

Mr Arcolao confirmed that the cardinal told an Italian newspaper: “It astonishes and worries me that so many people believe these lies.”
The archbishop told Il Giornale: “The book is everywhere. There is a very real risk that many people who read it will believe that the fables it contains are true.”

The book is everywhere! The president of the US has a group to study it every day in the White House! The Gideons give it away free in motels so that everyone will have one! Oh, wait, that’s a different book with fables in it. Still, it’s good that the cardinal is so vigilant, isn’t it.

And then there’s all the risible (and rather disgusting) drivel from the French Jesus-sniffers. (What price laïcité eh.)

The display was ruled “a gratuitous and aggressive act of intrusion on people’s innermost beliefs”, by a judge…Italy’s advertising watchdog said the ad’s use of Christian symbols including a dove and a chalice recalled the foundations of the faith and would offend the sensitivity of part of the population…”When you trivialise the founding acts of a religion, when you touch on sacred things, you create an unbearable moral violence which is a danger to our children,” said lawyer Thierry Massis.

So they can’t even tease doves and chalices? The Church has a monopoly even on them? So…if I say rude unkind things to the pigeons in Trafalgar Square next time I’m mincing and plodding around central London, and some little tiny Catholic children on their way to the National Gallery under the protection of their teacher overhear me – what will happen to me? Will I be extradited to France for punishment? Yet another thing to worry about.

And finally there’s an item that isn’t actually funny, but quite…blood-chilling. Eugene Volokh, whom I never read but whom I’m always seeing linked to and quoted as a rare example of the reasonable, rational conservative. Saying some very strange things.

I particularly like the involvement of the victims’ relatives in the killing of the monster; I think that if he’d killed one of my relatives, I would have wanted to play a role in killing him. Also, though for many instances I would prefer less painful forms of execution, I am especially pleased that the killing — and, yes, I am happy to call it a killing, a perfectly proper term for a perfectly proper act — was a slow throttling, and was preceded by a flogging…I am being perfectly serious, by the way. I like civilization, but some forms of savagery deserve to be met not just with cold, bloodless justice but with the deliberate infliction of pain, with cruel vengeance rather than with supposed humaneness or squeamishness. I think it slights the burning injustice of the murders, and the pain of the families, to react in any other way.

That ‘but’ after ‘I like civilization’ is interesting. Sometimes a ‘but’ can say such a lot.

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