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A new recruit

Cristina, welcome to the battle.

I don’t share your faith, but we all share your concerns.


  1. NickM says:

    I shall keep this brief because I feel a post coming on. I read the article Cats and if that is a call to battle… And for what? It’s a cut and paste from Ms Odone’s Trashcan. So she had a delightful meal with Auberon Waugh and the wine was excellent. Great. Glad she enjoyed it. So fucking what? Truly delightful meals don’t tend to involve “filler” but if you can explain to me how that part of the article is anything but filler then you’re a better man than me…

    Then there is (surely not a Godly thing) the re-animation of the bloody guesthouse gay-a-thon and the BA Cross of Doom. Those were years back. It’s like me rummaging through the ash-tray for a reasonable butt. I said this would be a quickie and I have a lot to say about the substance of British Christianity finally getting off it’s arse after realizing it’s let itself become almost totally irrelevant but I’ll just say this. It’s a fucking dismal article whichever side of the fence you are on.

  2. Paul Marks says:

    Agreed Cats.

    As for the article – I disagree with some of C.O.s thoughts.

    For example, if a private employer does not want to employ somone because they are a Christian (or because they are a Muslim, or an athiest – or gay, or whatever) that is up to them.

    I am a freedom of association supporter – and that must include freedom NOT to associate (not to employ, or to trade with).

    However, the hatred that Odone has experienced is real enough – and is directed against Christians more and more (and not just in Britain – it is an international thing).

    As the effort to close down her website is vile.

    All censorship (and that is what this is) is vile.

    But the comments….

    Citeing Google (hardly a Christian or athiest conservative friendly search engine – and NO it is not a automatic mathamatical thing, the high ups in Google admit that they tweek results if they do not like what comes up, they play favourates and nonfavorates in political, and other such, matters). Erick S. does not like athiest conservatives (in the limited government sense) any more than he likes Christian conservatives. If you are not what he is (a leftist) you are shit as far as he is concerned – and a search using his search engine is going to show as shit (or he will have it messed about with till it does).

    Also attacking the lady for (supposdely) being concerned for her loss of “privilege” (when actually she was upset about being censored) and so on.

    Not all the comment people were bad – but a lot of them were (really bad).

    Perhaps Google does not need to do much tweeking if most people on the internet are really this intolerant (whilst screaming about how tolerant they are).

    Celebrating the closing down of websites they do not agree with – and on and on.

    Perhaps the population really is this bad.

    Oh well the forces of Islam will, perhaps, deal with the degenerate remains of the West.

    An end to Christianity – so the comment people will celebrate.

    Till their new Comrades (the Green flag that has come to the aid of the Red flag of the socialists and the Black flag of the, communal, “anarchists”) turn on them.

    Which they will.

    The children of the 1960s (the radicals) think they are using the Muslims – but it will not end that way.

    “Death to the West” also means their own destruction (that of the radicals themselves) – but they have not worked that one out yet.

  3. Kevin B says:

    I don’t really fear for Christianity, it’s survived worse. I’m more worried about atheism’s survival, especially now that Dawkins has gone all agnostic*.

    Still, it would be nice if people stopped blaming religion for their own inadequacies and started taking some responsibility for their actions. Oh, and started putting the blame for all the nasty things like war and slavery and stuff where it belongs; on evil** people seeking power over others and not on the systems they pervert to gain that power.***

    *NTTAWWT but if he’d told me he was joining us sensible ones, we could have had a party.

    ** If ‘evil’ is a bit too Santorimoneous for you, substitute your own choice of adjective. Or if you’re a Beeb or Guardian type insert ‘right wing’ or even ‘far right’.

    ***Although I have to admit that some systems are easier to pervert than others. It took real genius to take Christ’s message of peace and love and turn it into the Holy Roman Empire. Islam, Fascism, Communism? Not so much.

  4. RAB says:

    As a young writer starting out, I too had a meal with Bron (we were on a local radio show together) and he told me the exact opposite. To paraphrase…

    Shout loudly and blow raspberries. The more letters you get disagreeing with you, the more your Editor will love you and the more work you’ll get.

    How right he was.

  5. NickM says:

    Fascism and Commuism were not “turn it into” evil. They already were. As to Islam… Well, that’s more complicated but it seems to me that it was in essence a product of it’s time, place and a route to power for one particular man who was not averse to changing his mind as the politico-military blew one way or another. But I take your point: as a ideological base-line it has proven spectacularly effective in enabling totalitarianism over centuries. And Lenin and Hitler can put that in their pipes and smoke it.

  6. “Those were years back.”

    Beg pardon, but it is more recent than you think. The Chymorvah appeal was only this month. It’s not about discrimination at heart; it was about forcing a Christian couple to recognize civil partnerships as marriage.

    The intolerance is demonstrated by every gay hotel which then refuses to treat Mr and Mrs Bull equally with their customers who are in civil partnerships, discriminating against Mrs Bull in particular on grounds of her gender and sexual orientation. (It should be fairly noted that it wasn’t a hotelier who brought the case. )

  7. NickM says:

    Does not that freedom of association also apply to Google? Anyway… I think you re over-playing the ’60s (I was born in ‘7 so I would say that, wouldn’t I?). If you want a history of many in the West idolising Islam I suspect you go way back further than that! A good place to start is John Buchan (hardly a bleeding-heart lefty) and oh… his novel “Greenmantle”. If you think the SOAS in London is a hot-bed of Islamism and anti-semitism places then consider the character of Sandy in that book. I hate to get all “Ian B” but the “elite”‘s love affair with Islam is nothing new and indeed apart from smoking weed in Morroco, wearing kaftans and whatnot trekking the hippie trail through the ‘stan in a knackered VW Islam and the ’60s have very little to do with each other. Indeed much (most?) of the Western left cheered on the Israelis in ’67. Some went went to live on a kibbutz…

  8. NickM says:

    Yes, the specific cases Ms Odone mentions were years back. I didn’t say there wasn’t a current issue – where did I say that! I specifically called her for lazy journalism. ” It’s a cut and paste from Ms Odone’s Trashcan”, was what I said. And, “It’s a fucking dismal article whichever side of the fence you are on.” I was critiquing the quality of the journalism which is alas of a standard I’m am beginning to expect from the Telegraph and not the point Ms Odone was making, badly.

  9. RAB says:

    Well Nick, on the point that Ms Odone was making, badly or otherwise, I’m with WOAR.

    As a trained lawyer, I can’t see how small time not bothering anyone Christian hoteliers, can be targeted by Gay activist groups, and effectively persecuted and pushed toward penuary (because that’s exactly what has happened, and with malice aforthought) for their rules and beliefs under the new “Equality” Law, when an exclusively Gay establishment that would refuse me and the misses room and board for exactly the same reason, are not equally brought to book. What’s sauce for the Goose etc.

    Time a Christian Foundation got the cheque book out and “Sets up” one of the establishments WOAR mentioned in her link. Then we will see how clarified the Law really is.

  10. CountingCats says:


    That is not a call to battle, and it might not be good journalism, but so what?

    What I saw in that article is another person who has had the scales fall from her eyes and I welcome that.

    As to her specific concerns, atheist or otherwise I find militant secularism and militant equalitarianism to be as disturbing as militant any other ideology, and I am happy she has spoken up.

  11. NickM says:

    But she didn’t say anything new or worthwhile so why post that piece of churnalism? And BTW I found your use of the word “recruit” bizarre.

    Neither you nor WOAR seem to have actually engaged with what I said. OK, fine WOAR can say what she wants here but if she starts with a quote from my comment and then goes off on something totally unrelated to what I said you can see why I’m pissed off. You then back her up on the issue I never raised!. I didn’t say a goddamn about Britain’s apparent Basil Fawlty culture. My comment was solely about Ms Odone’s sloppy journalism. Now if Ms Odone had actually brought up as part of her piece the story WOAR does then at least it might have been close to, well, news.

    Does anyone actually read what I say?

  12. RAB says:

    Nick, all you said was it was old news and lazy journalism, what was there to engage with?

    I actually saw it as a compendium of things that have happened to her since being a young journalist and talking to Bron, who said keep your head below the parapet and you’ll do fine. The point was that she thought she WAS keeping her head down, and STILL the fuckers came for her!

    We would not be best pleased if a clever hacker took down this site in a fit of pique would we? (little do they know that wind from the wrong direction through an open window in Queensland can do that :-) ) or that our Wiki entry (if we had one) could be altered by slimy lying fuckwits like Hari.

    Like Cats said, the scales are falling from her eyes. She played by the rules as she thought they were constituted and now she realizes the opposition doesn’t. That’s the point surely?

  13. john b says:

    Cats & RAB, I’m assuming you’re not particularly aware of Ms Odone’s prior career? (which is fair enough – she’s a minor and not particularly distinguished hack). She’s a militant drum-beater for Catholicism, and has been for at least a decade.

    Her claim to have *recently* moved away from keeping her head down to start defending religious belief because those mean atheists started it, is about as convincing as a claim from Polly Toynbee to have *recently* moved away from keeping her head down to start defending socialism because those mean Tories started it.

  14. RAB says:

    A militant drum-beater for Catholicism eh? Well she may well be, but she isn’t having much effect is she? Outside the resurrection of the Spanish Inquisition, which I don’t think she advocates, she is treading water. Yet still her enemies gather to do her malicious harm, when she is pretty harmless, but they are not.

    Frankly I don’t give a damn what she believes as long as she is not intent on me believing and following it too. And I don’t think she is, unlike the One Religion I could name.

    The game is control freakery, it doesn’t matter what stripe. Get out of line, any line an elite has decided upon, and you are a target to be taken down as soon as possible.

    Good luck to her. Maybe now she will follow the advice Bron gave to me… Shout loud and blow Raspberries… You have nothing left to lose.

  15. CountingCats says:

    John b,

    I have been aware of Ms Odone since she was editor of Catholic Weekly, and I am aware of her career since.

    So what if she is a staunch member of the Church of Rome? I am not aware that Romanism is a current threat to my rights to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness, although some hundreds of years ago its supporters may have been.

    So she is a believer? So what? That is her right, and I for one don’t see that a secular society is required to banish religion from the public square. I support her right to publicly avow her beliefs, and it is my duty, and one of the few roles of the state, to help protect that right. I do not see your criticisms of her, however true they may be, as in any way relevant.

    Likewise, I may loath Pollys beliefs, but by God it is her right to both hold and proclaim them without hindrance – other than from the catcalls from here in the peanut gallery.

  16. fake says:

    The Christians keep complaining about having to allow gay adoptions, but I can’t get an answer to a certain question.

    Where do the kids come from?

    Are they state confiscated kids, or kids given to them by parents through mutual agreement (seems unlikely)?

    If they are state confiscated kids, I don’t see why they shouldn’t play the states fiddle?

  17. john b says:

    I do not see your criticisms of her, however true they may be, as in any way relevant.

    I agree wholeheartedly that she has every right to declaim her beliefs from the rooftops, or in any paper that’ll publish them.

    However, the last 15 years of her writings make her claims of having only now rejected non-boatrocking (and hence your suggestion that she’s a ‘new recruit’), a bit ridiculous.

  18. john b says:

    It’s as if I were to write a piece on Liberal Conspiracy about how I’d suddenly become a militant social libertarian because of the Tories’ attacks on civil liberties.

    The article would be worthless, because it would ignore the demonstrable fact that I’ve been publishing socially libertarian articles, arguing with authoritarian lefties, and criticising nominally left-wing governments for their authoritarian conduct, for over a decade.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t have the right to be a social libertarian or write socially libertarian pieces. I don’t, however, have the right to mislead people about my past in order to make my narrative more convincing.

  19. NickM says:

    You are correect. The state essentially sub-contracts to Catholic (and other non-state) adoption agencies. Yes, if you tke the King’s shilling you got to play his tune even if “My Heart Will Go On” and you’re piggy-rotten sick of it.

    Due to your comments here I have read a bit of your blog. I shall read more. I agree with you. I am sicken by the social illiberalism I see wearing a libertarian mask. I once had a long conversation with a radio-astronomer at a conference (in Hove – Brighton’s ugly sister – of all places!) and we talked about the casual evil of the Home Office. She had had a hell of a fight to get her non-EU girlfriend residency here. I, of course, had an ulterior motive in that her PhD supervisor was Jocelyn Bell Burnell so I wanted to know what it was like to be supervised by true greatness. And yeah, she’d written to the Home Office backing this and they’d been like who is this person? Not that it should have come to that. I mean the girlf was a biochemist so no worries about under-cutting A4e “slaves” there then! And by the way I don’t regard the “work experience” for the unemployed as slavery. I regard it as crony capitalism. Or phoney capitalism or, dare I say? Tony capitalism. Everyone has focussed on the folks dragooned into shelf-staking on the free. Nobody seemse to have mentioned the effect it has on people honestly wanting like a job, job type job with like pay beyond bus fare and a sandwich… Pissed from a great height on their combustion didn’t it.

  20. Kevin B says:

    The Catholic church, (and other denominations), offered adoption services in the local community. Single girl got preggers, Joe and Mary couldn’t have kids, Church arranges adoption.

    Gradually the state, first in the guise of the local authority, then the State, then the feds got involved.

    The State then decided that gay couples should be able to adopt. Then they decided that all agencies, including the Catholic ones, must offer kids to gay couples. Result; Catholic adoption agencies close down, state takes over all adoptions. The point here is that gay couples could adopt from non-catholic agencies, but demanded to be able to adopt from Catholic ones.

    Similarly, under Obamacare, the HHS Secretary has decreed that all hospitals must perform abortions. Catholics believe abortions are a mortal sin and thus most Catholic hospitals will close, bringing to an end hundreds of years of the church helping the community, and resulting in the state taking over.

    And, Sebelius has also decreed that all employers must offer free contraceptives and abortifacients in their employee health insurance. This might drive the church, and many other employers, out of the business of offering insurance to their employees. Again, the state takes over a function best left to the local community organisations. Women can still get the pill or the morning after pill, but not free with their insurance from a catholic employer. (i.e. not paid for by the collective premiums.)

    It seems to me that driving out local community efforts to provide the kind of social services that the community needs, thus allowing the state to take over these things is not conducive to individual liberty.

  21. Paul Marks says:

    Nick – yes freedom of association applies to Google (it does not give me the results I want – so I do not use it as a search engine, no problem).

    However, a lot of what it does is border line fraud – all the “Do not be evil” crap, and the spin about its objective mathematical methods (the admission that the high ups tweek the results if they do not like them, is very much a “small print” thing).

    But I get your point and act upon it (see above).

    You are also right about Marxism and Fascism being evil in theory as well as practice.

    The Holy Roman Empire (for most of the time – basically the House of Hapsburg) did many bad things, but it was not mostly bad.

    Although it was indeed (as Voltaire pointed out) “neiter holy, Roman, or an empire”.

    Sometimes it was truly heroic.

    For example, it guarded Europe (for about a thousand years) against the power of the Ottoman machine (a true Empire – and a despotism, in which such things as private property in land were basically meaningless).

    Even late on it “had its moments”.

    For example, the early 18th century with Price Eugine fighting the Ottomans, and both Eugine and Prince Max of Baden (for the Empire had Protestant Princes as well as Catholic ones) and Prince Eugine also fighting the centralizing tyranny of Louis XIV (who threatened to dominate all of Europe).

    The Empire (and its Dutch Republic allies) being helped by a certain John Churchill from England of course.

    Even after the HRE died (killed off by Boney) the Austrian Empire (the Hapsburgs) remained.

    With its bad and its good.

    Ludwig Von Mises was very proud to have been an army officer in the army of the House of Hapsburg – a loyal artillery officer in the service of the good Emperors Franz Joseph and Charles (Charles being the last Austrian Emperor).

    The anarchist students of Mises (such as Rothbard) thought this absurd – but I can understand how Mises felt.

    And he was a rationalist, and a utilitarian and a non Christian.

    Yet the sense of honour, of trying to do the right thing (of Emperors who may not have been very bright – but were decent men with a strong sense of duty) touched him. In the past the House of Hapsburg had contained utterly vile rulers (all familes have their black sheep), but most were not “baddies” (for want of a better word).

    And the enemies of Austria (the Ottomans, Louis XIV, Frederick the Great, the French Revolutionaries, the Emperor Napoleon, Bismark…..) were often horrific.

    Often very clever – but with no sense of personal honour, or common decency.

  22. Paul Marks says:

    Of course the Hapsburgs were truly heroic in the 1930s – in relation to Hitler (whose lack of honestly and honour disgusted them).

    As were their relatives the Ws of Bavaria – many of whom ended up in the Death Camps.

    Both familes seemed to act more freely after they have been overthrown at the end of the First World War.Trying to save the lives of others – even at the cost of their own. People whose beliefs (in religion and politics) were not their’s – but who had committed no crime, and were weak and helpless (to the true Paladin – that is all that should matter).

    Freed from state bureacracies that they did not really understand – and could not control.

    Free to act as what their forefathers had been a thousand years before.

    Christian Knights – who did not always live well, but normally managed to die well.

  23. fake says:

    *The point here is that gay couples could adopt from non-catholic agencies, but demanded to be able to adopt from Catholic ones.*

    Now hold on a minute.

    The point I am trying to understand is that if the Catholic agencies are dealing with kids confiscated by the state, why should a gay couple, who pays taxes to support a social system, then be denied part of that social system.

    I really don’t understand how Catholic agencies should be able to be part of the system, but then not want to play by the systems rules.

    Kids that are given by mutual agreement I have no issue with, but how often does that occur compared to kids confiscated by he state due to “bad” parenting.

  24. NickM says:

    Agreed. More generally I think this is about the “Third Way” and the obscene mangling of state and non-state actors. Now the left thinks this is “privatization” and they’re wrong because it ain’t private if my tax pays for it. The right tends to think of it as an encroachment of the state on non-state actors. I am inclined to agree but overall I think it’s just a fucking mess. And an expensive one at that. fake, the real tragedy isn’t at that end. It is the hoops prospective adoptive parents have to leap through. Smoker – forget it! I even heard a couple denied because the SS clocked a four pack of ales on the table. Hell’s teeth! I should have been taken into care especially if Liverpool FC were playing. And then there is the whole inter-racial adoption thing which is the closet we actually have to institutionalized racism.

  25. Paul Marks says:


    Most babies in Catholic adoption agencies are not “confiscated by the state”.

    So your argument is based upon a false assumption.

    And (almost needless to say) adoption services provided by churches are older than ones provided by the state anyway.

    Even secular ones are older than the state – for example, the late 19th century COS (Charity Organization Society).

    As for the “Third Way”…….

    The moderate left (and the neocon right) both engage in this sillyness, but it is a bit “last year darling” now.

    Efforts to corrupt independent associations, such as the Roman Catholic Church, (by offering them lots of tax money – IF they……) seem to be fading. Although the Catholic church did an almost terminal job of corrupting itself – via Vatican II ending effective oversight, and traditional checks and balances. The situation before Vatican II was far from perfect – but afterwards…..

    Anyway, it appears the statists (the hard core ones) have given up the effort to “coopt” independent things in civil society (such as churches) and have now returned to the old policy (as old as the Jacabins and beyond) to trying to destroy independent institutions in civil society (as a way of destroying civil society itself).

    Hence the attacks – in the name of “equality”, “anti discrimination” and the other usual suspects.

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