David Thompson
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November 30, 2007

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Brendan

It is baffling. I wonder what might have been at morning prayers to get them so riled up? Certainly not a "message of peace" it seems.

David

Brendan,

Quite. There was more nauseating prattle on the radio earlier this evening involving the Bishop of Liverpool - the usual noises about “interfaith understanding”, “respectful appeals for clemency” and, of course, “showing respect for Islam.” Some callers were actually blaming the victim rather than her aggressors. The level of displacement and dishonesty was extraordinary, and the subtext - which I assume was tacitly understood by the speakers - was quite clear:

On no account must the prideful little thugs in question be made to feel shamed by their own actions and ludicrous vanities. That would be “insensitive” and, more to the point, would elicit even greater barbarity. Thus, the thinking seems to go, we must pretend to “respect” that which is absurd and grotesque or risk the savagery (of which we must not speak) becoming even more savage and harder to ignore.

nobody important

David, I love the way you write. "[P]rideful little thugs", "ludicrous vanities", "that which is absurd and grotesque" are lyrical as well as apt. Thank you and keep up the excellent work.

Horace Dunn

This teddy bear lark has got me thinking. A country in which something like that can happen is one in which the polity is corrupt and inefficient and the social norms tend towards the supersticious and backward. That much is clear.

Of course, the UK is no great shakes. There's an awful lot wrong with our society. But on balance, and weighing everything up, I can't help thinking that we're rather better than they are.

Hmm. Yes. Yes: I think I'm right to make that statement.

There. I've said it. Gosh, that felt good. So good, in fact, that I confidently predict that most people in the UK, including bishops and BBC employees, will follow suit. It will be a triumph for logic and rationality. Human beings are wonderful.

herbert

Grwowing up in a neighboorhood and being a member of a minority group, I was beaten up from time to time as a child. That stopped when I took a 2x4 and beat the shit out of my tormentor and 3 of his friends. The same apprach should be used here. Respect for the other is earned; mouthing nice things about mutual respect and "understanding" achieves nothing except to promote a misguided view

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