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Bart & Homer Simpson - James Robison - Emile Zola - Bertrand Russell - Thomas Paine - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie TV - Frank Zappa - James Joyce - Alan Ayckbourn - esias - Waldemar Janusczak TV - Simon Schama TV - Ian Paisley - Art of Faith: Christianity TV - Spitting Image TV - Father Tom Doyle - Judgment Day: The John List Story 1993 - Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 1958 - The Outrage 1964 - In Debt We Trust TV - William Blake - Alain de Botton - The Mystery of Edwin Drood TV - The Blues Brothers 1980 - Seven Days to Noon 1950 - W C Preston - Benjamin Franklin - Robert Burns - Procopius - Rab C Nesbitt TV - William Shakespeare - Daniel Defoe - George Crabbe - Fred Dibnah TV - Doug McLeod - Alexander Pope - Jim Jones - George Carlin - St Cyprian - Emanuel Swedenborg - Lenny Bruce - John Betjeman - Church signs - John le Mesurier & Flint 1978 - St Thomas Aquinas - Rt Reverend John Shelby - Raoul Glabar - David Thoreau - John Steinbeck - Bart D Ehrman - Kurt Vonnegut - Mark Twain - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - Ted Haggart - Martin Luther - Robert Ingersoll - Ken Dodd - Matthew 18:20 - I Corinthians 7:5 - I Corinthians 11:20-22 - Koran 5:82 - Book of Mormon Alma 1:19 - BoM Mormon 8:32&33 - Niall Ferguson TV - Il Conformista 1970 - Robert Heinlein - The History of Mr Polly by H G Wells 1949 - Bill Cooper - Penn & Teller TV - Samuel Butler - Thomas Hardy – Author Unknown – Noel Gallagher - Trailer Park Boys 2001-2018 - Ozark 2017-2019 - DailyKos online - Hail, Satan? 2019 - Sacred Places TV - Reggie Yates TV - Very Bad Men TV - Storyville: Hillsong Church: God Goes Viral TV - Simon Sebag Montefiore -      

 

 

104.  Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong God.  Every time we go to church we’re just making him madder.  (God & Church)  Bart Simpson

 

 

105.  Why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I’m going to Hell?  (God & Church & Hell)  Homer Simpson

 

 

122.  I’m sick and tired of hearing about all of the radicals and the perverts and the liberals and the leftists and the communists coming out of the closet.  It’s time for God’s people to come out of the closet, out of the churches and change America.  (God & Liberal & Communist & Church & United States of America)  James Robison, Christian televangelist, with Ronald Regan in attendance

 

 

416.  Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.  (Religion & Civilisation & Perfection & Church & Priest)  Emile Zola

 

 

418.  You find as you look around the world that every single bit of human progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world.  I say deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.  (Religion & Christian & Church & Morality)  Bertrand Russell, Why I am Not a Christian pp 20-21

 

 

465.  I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of.  My own mind is my own Church.  (Religion & Church)  Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

 

 

50,086.  All national institutions of Churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind and monopolise power and profit.  (Church & Religion)  Thomas Paine

 

 

6,916.  Surely, Miss Gaunt, church service is a form of theatre.  (Teacher & Church)  The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie II starring Geraldine McEwan & Amanda Kirby & Lynsey Baxter & Vivienne Ross et al

 

 

8,960.  My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child is: Keep him or her as far away from a church as you can.  (Children & Church & Religion)  Frank Zappa

 

 

9,125.  There is no heresy or no philosophy which is so abhorrent to the church as a human being.  (Philosophy & Church & Religion & Human Being)  James Joyce

 

 

9,456.  I’ve just been to church.  Pay my respects.  You know.  I like to go once a year, that’s all.  Just in case.  Keep the options open, eh.  (Christmas & Church)  Alan Ayckbourn, Season’s Greetings premiered 1980; BBC production 1986 starring Michael Cashman & Barbara Flynn & Nicky Henson & Anna Massey & Geoffrey Palmer & Peter Vaughan et al, director Michael A Simpson, Harvey to Clive

 

 

138,986.  The Chapel Under Suicide Bridge, [esias ryder, 2019]

 

After the last Summer of Love flower is plucked

God ensures the seventies are really fucked,

Bell-bottoms, decimal coins and glam-rock bands

The sky-jacker D B Cooper falls to land.

Between the metallic limbs of Suicide Bridge

Seahorses of smog dance upon the ridge

Of Archway Hill traffic flees to escape

From the black tarmac the bodies they scrape.

A splattering of teeth, brain, blood, stomach, bone,

Gone the sexy dimples, the gym-fit muscle tone.

On busy days more souls queue as a rule

Than the top board of your local swimming pool.

A winter plague of darkness sent from Heaven

Or down below to trigger Armageddon,

Black smoke lowering from London chimney-pots

That forms on the bridge of the nose big balls of snot.

The plague of smog needle-sharp slips inside the lungs,

A reservoir of mucus services the tongue.

The crack’d paving slabs freckled with blobs of spit

And white is the colour of most of the dog shit.

The cruel wind rips your cheeks like a devil’s kiss,

Your toes cramp stiff with pain like rigor-mortis.

A nun in black robes crosses without stopping

And fades from view a sinister Mary Poppins.

Mad dogs like missionaries mooch the mud-thick street,

Three tramps huddled over a milk-crate compete

To attract the brain-dead with their three-card-trick,

Your judgment, your soul, your pockets neatly picked.

Across the great divide of dual-stream traffic

Heaves a wretched man an exhaust jet of sick,

Holds to heaven an offering exquisite –

A ribbed bottle of methylated spirits.

But of all the horrors on this sabbath day

Beware the Mormon chapel of lower Archway

Nestled on a crack in the side of the hill

Like a monstrous bird of prey sucking your free will.

Hooray for our hero huddles to keep warm,

Cradles a Book of Mormon from the coming storm,

Overborne by his mother at the bus stop,

Like a little Greek hero, a budding Aesop.

Mother aglow with the gospel of the Lard,

Cheeks rouged like a lover’s, eyes agog and starred,

Radiates a high heat through the hairy stack

Of a back-combed, sprayed and teased beehive of black.

Ploughing through the rough-sea smog and down the dip

A big red bus like a modern Titanic ship,

Screaming iron brakes on the black plate-thick ice,

Grinding past the queue and stopping imprecise.

Clamber aboard the platform, grasp the chrome pole

Sticks the skin of your palm like a burning coal,

Scramble steel-tipped steps as big as concrete blocks

On wings of mother’s coat-tails and Sunday frock.

And emerge into a sea of thick blue smoke,

Reel down the aisle knocking knees of common folk,

Ears pop with the pressure of a devil’s choir,

From the front pretend you’re steering a Spitfire.

A sudden fear overwhelms your unformed mind –

That mother high with the urge to save mankind

Might throw her hands to heaven and lift her neck

And shock the poor passengers of the upper deck –

‘Let us bathe in the blood of baby Jesus!

Oh praise the Lard! Let not our faith be specious,

Hallelujah! Oh Lard, let me be consumed!

And let me live in heav’n if they have the room.’

Every sabbath you’re made to acquiesce in

Her soul’s infection with an object lesson:

Yeah, the allegory of a pack of cards,

For the Ace of Spades we liken to the Lard,

Jesus will be the King we pull from the pack,

The joker Joseph Smith of course is the Jack.

Our little hero author though barely eight

With full cynicism can appreciate

A Sunday pack of cards seems hardly fitting,

Does unseen damage to the victims sitting.

Though to the author seems a saddening bore

We see how addictive is the metaphor.

This tale regurgitated ad nauseam

Over endless Sunday chicken or charred lamb.

Don’t rupture the rapture of mother’s moment

Endowed on rosy-cheeked missionary gents

We always drag to our sacrificial dinner,

Made to walk the streets they wane weekly thinner.

– Children, where are you?  For the last time come back.

Sit at the table or I’ll dish you a smack –

Deep inside the membrane sac the soul has bled

Your senses soaked with the sense all hope has fled.

Life has tricked you to the fate of the forlorn,

You should never have left the Cave of the Unborn.

Suicide tempting, always a faithful friend

The nightmare of Life put to a grateful end.

Longing to be far from this withered wasteland

Of weathered analogies and woeful commands,

Far from the waking to endless depression

And guilt from a smorgasbord of transgressions,

And dark deep downright devilish dreary dread

And a grey unfriendly world of walking dead.

                                                      

 

81,392.  The European Court ruled recently that cults and religions were granted charitable status and public tax relief status as a privilege, not as a prerequisite.  The Court of Appeal holds that cults and religions must satisfy the public duty of care test of being for the public benefit.  And for action in the High Court, you must show that on the balance of probabilities, that the cult fails to provide reasonable charitable public benefit.

 

But when is your Brethren not your Brethren?  The Charity Commission supports the 2012 case of the Bad Boys Brethren – as reported:

 

‘MPs have made a robust defence of the exclusive Brethren church that has been denied charitable status by the Charity Commission in an important test case for churches and Christian organisations throughout the country.

 

‘In a well-attended debate led by Fiona Bruce, Conservative MP for Congleton, in Westminster Hall on Tuesday (13 November), members discussed the implications of the decision against Preston Downs Trust, which owns gospel halls in Torquay, Paignton and Newton Abbot.

 

‘The Brethren church was denied charitable status over concerns that it does not satisfy the ‘public benefit’ requirement; the lack of public access to the communion services held in gospel halls was specifically mentioned.

 

‘Ms Bruce and numerous other MPs highlighted the extensive work carried out by the Brethren in their communities, including support for families, care for young people, disaster relief, visits to prisons, hospitals, and donations of substantial funds to many charities.  She said, ‘Surely no-one can argue that they do not provide public benefit’ and also defended the ‘openness’ of the Brethren; they actively share their faith and make information about their services available to non-Brethren.  Ms Bruce said, ‘Restricting access to Holy Communion should not be a reason for refusing charitable status.’

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