Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Catholic "sky fairy" cult continues its campaign against same sex marriage in Scotland

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Cardinal of the Roman Catholic "sky fairy" cult in Scotland has caused to be read out in all 500 parishes in Scotland the following subversive message, designed to enlist the followers of this cult to attempt to thwart the will of the elected Scottish Executive (aka 'Government') in its stated aim of legislating for same sex marriage in Scotland:

A Message for
Marriage Sunday
26 August 2012
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland

In all things, we as Catholics look to Jesus Christ as our model and teacher. When asked about marriage He gave a profound and rich reply: “Have you not read that the Creator, from the beginning, ‘made them male and female’, and said: ‘This is why a man must leave father and mother and cling to his wife and the two become one body’. (Matthew, 19: 4-5)

In the Year of Faith, which begins this October, we wish to place a special emphasis on the role of the family founded on marriage. The family is the domestic Church, and the first place in which the faith is transmitted. For that reason it must have a primary focus in our prayerful considerations during this period of grace.

We write to you having already expressed our deep disappointment that the Scottish Government has decided to redefine marriage and legislate for same-sex marriage. We take this opportunity to thank you for your past support in defense of marriage and hope you will continue to act against efforts to redefine it. We reaffirm before you all the common wisdom of humanity and the revealed faith of the Church that marriage is a unique life-long union of a man and a woman.

In circumstances when the true nature of marriage is being obscured, we wish to affirm and celebrate the truth and beauty of the Sacrament of Matrimony and family life as Jesus revealed it; to do something new to support marriage and family life in the Catholic community and in the country; and to reinforce the vocation of marriage and the pastoral care of families which takes in the everyday life of the Church in dioceses and parishes across the country.

For that reason, in the forthcoming Year of Faith we have decided to establish a new Commission for Marriage and the Family. This Commission will be led by a bishop and will be composed mostly of lay men and women. The Commission will be charged with engaging with those young men and women who will be future husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and with those who already live out their vocation to marriage and parenthood in surroundings which often make it hard to sustain and develop the full Catholic family life we cherish.

We wish to support too, those who are widowed, separated and divorced and all who need to feel the Church’s maternal care in the circumstances in which they find themselves. The new Commission will promote the true nature of marriage as both a human institution and a union blessed by Jesus. The Commission will be asked to develop an online presence so that prayer, reflection, formation and practical information on matters to do with marriage and family life can be quickly accessible to all. It will also work to produce materials and organise events which will support ordinary Catholic families in their daily lives. During the course of the coming year we will ask for your support for these initiatives.

Our faith teaches us that marriage is a great and holy mystery. The Bishops of Scotland will continue to promote and uphold the universally accepted definition of marriage as the union solely of a man and a woman. At the same time, we wish to work positively for the strengthening of marriage within the Church and within our society.

This is an important initiative for all our people, but especially our young people and children. We urge you to join us in this endeavour. Pray for your own family every day, and pray for those families whose lives are made difficult by the problems and cares which they encounter. Finally, we invite you to pray for our elected leaders, invoking the Holy Spirit on them, that they may be moved to safeguard marriage as it has always been understood, for the good of Scotland and of our society.
My objective in quoting the text of this letter here is not, just to state the obvious, because I support it in any way, but because I think it is important for as many people as possible to read for themselves the full measure of the delusions that afflict this particular 'sky fairy' cult. Let no one ever forget that this is the same organisation which for decades in many of the countries in which it operates actively covered up the criminal misconduct of its paid operatives (aka 'priests') in their deviant paedophile activities involving children of both sexes, misguidedly placed under their care by parents and guardians. Supposedly this organisation has now 'cleaned up its act', but I remain sceptical and whatever changes it has made have been brought about solely by the threat of financial sanction, not because it has fundamentally changed its ethos of intimidation and control, as is amply demonstrated by this ridiculous and hateful 'pastoral' letter. For a religion which is supposed to stand for peace and support for the weak and downtrodden is in fact nothing more than a crude protection racket in the Roman Catholic 'cult' version of it.

Of course, adherents of this subversive cult have the right in our democratic society to believe whatever nonsense they choose to and even to promulgate their deluded ideas should they so wish, but it gives them absolutely no right to have any more attention paid to their notions than that accorded to any other citizens. Elected politicians are how we as a country choose to run our affairs and it is time that this subversive cult remembered this. The Scottish Executive (aka 'Government') will, I hope, carry out its stated policy of legislating for same sex marriage as soon as possible.

Separately, the UK government has held consultations on introducing similar legislation in England and Wales and will, no doubt, continue to be the object of similar tactics there on the part of the Roman Catholic 'sky fairy' cult; I hope the UK government will be just as resolute in standing up for democratic values.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Roman Catholic cardinal in Scotland throws a wobbler & Boris comes good

So what else is new? Roman Catholic Cardinal Keith O'Brien has thrown his toys out of the pram - not really the first time he has done this, but passing on...

The good Cardinal's strop relates to the intention of the Scottish Executive (aka 'Government') to [consult to] legislate for same-sex marriage in Scotland and his decision to cease personal contact with the First Minister. Well, bully for him! But who really cares? This is just the petulant reaction of a person who has no serious commentary to make. Anyone who has read my blog will know already that I have little time for Alex Salmond (the First Minister of Scotland, Gawd help us!) and none at all for the aims of the SNP, but even I must sympathise with Mr Salmond having to deal with self-important nonentities such as O'Brien. In any case, why should the Roman Catholic Church be given any special right to have discussions with the Executive, or even officials - of course, individuals within that sky-fairy organisation, as citizens, have a right to have their opinions heard, just like any other citizen, but beyond that I fail to understand what special right this organisation has to any special consideration. His sky-fairy organisation is trying the same tactics of intimidation it tried with the last Spanish government in 2005, when it legislated for same sex marriage in Spain in the face of the virulent attacks of O'Brien's co-religionists in that country and the rogue-state Vatican, the nexus of that sinister organisation (* - see below); the current Spanish government (and its President/Prime Minister) is trying to reverse that legislation, but have so far not stacked the Constitutional Court there sufficiently to assure themselves of success, fortunately, but it will require continual vigilance to thwart these homophobes whose real job should be to try and solve Spain's economic problems and importantly to try and reduce the chronic levels of unemployment there - witch-hunts against the LGBT community may satisfy their core supporters but will do nothing to address these issues.

Now, passing on from nonentities such as 'Cardinal' Keith O'Brien to more important matters, it is pleasing to note that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has become the latest senior politician to express his support for permitting same sex marriage. Well done, Boris!

(*) Just for clarification, this is not a commentary directed solely at the Roman Catholic Church; it applies equally to the Church of Scotland and the Church of England, which are just as blinkered in their own ways, if perhaps less blatantly publicity-seeking for their sick ideas. If this offends any reader, then I make no apology - if you adhere to such disfunctional organisations please note I consider they merit all the negative commentary that is justifiedly thrown at them.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Nairn Highland Games - 18 August 2012

Below are a couple of brief video clips of the first march around the Games field by the Massed Pipe Bands, led by three local Olympic Torch-bearers from the recent London 2012 Olympic Games:
Part 1

Part 2

It was a lovely day in Nairn today. It started off with brilliant sunshine, but toward the end of the morning it dulled over for a while and there was a lengthy and quite heavy shower of rain, but this soon cleared and by the time most people began to arrive for the Games, both participants and spectators, the sky had cleared, the sun had reappeared and it turned into a lovely afternoon.

Below are a few of the photographs I took:

135th Macallan Nairn Highland Games
18th August 2012

Click here to see enlargements of all these photographs.

Bandstand with the innovation of a 'beer tent'
behind and to the left

The Half-Marathon gets under way

Three Scottish Country Dancers (3f)

Three more Scottish Country Dancers (2f,1m)

Click here to see enlargements of all these photographs.
- both videos and all photographs were taken from my home, which overlooks the cricket field where the Games are held each year.

The website of Nairn Highland Games is here.

PS/ (Added at 19.35 BST 18AUG12) Because it turned out to be such a lovely afternoon, the large inflatable structure for the 'beer tent' (first photograph above) was taken down quite quickly and now lies rolled up in a corner (* & ** - see below). However, the bar and temporarily floored area which were within the structure, together with a group of trestle tables and chairs placed there for today are still in place and from my observations over the past couple of hours business appears to be very brink indeed, specially as it is such a lovely evening. A little further up the slopes surrounding the cricket field is another large group of people also enjoying the evening warmth and sunshine, many with drinks in their hands from the two hotels/inns close by on the other side of Marine Road. It is such a lovely evening here today - something that is specially to be welcomed, because our weather here tends to be somewhat fickle, even in what is 'high summer'.

PPS/ (added at 20.15 BST 18AUG12) I thought I would add that a Police van has appeared on the upper slopes, referred to above, a while back with video recording equipment on the roof as it does most years - however, and whilst I may personally regret the necessity for such 'surveillance' it is undoubtedly largely precautionary as my close-up observations of the scene (through my binoculars) show that the whole scene remains one of bucolic charm - people out on a lovely evening enjoying conversation with drinks in their hands within feet of the police van. It is really pleasant to be able to report just how lovely an evening this is and although I haven't spotted the police personnel in the crowds (they seem to be seated in the van - perhaps there are others in the back of the van, manning the recording equipment). No doubt in a while as night begins to fall - in about an hour or so from now - most of the 'punters' will drift away to continue their evening celebrations elsewhere. Of course the funfair, just beyond the Games field, will continue until midnight and as it is such a lovely evening I expect they will be kept quite busy for a few hours yet.

(*) (Sunday 19AUG2012 11.15 BST) I have read reports, all 'anonymous', indicating that the inflatable beer tent 'exploded' - if this is truly what happened then perhaps I'll read authoritative reports about it later, perhaps in the upcoming edition of The Nairnshire (local 'dead tree' media, with no on-line presence unfortunately) on Tuesday. Coincidentally I also read a remark elsewhere prior to the event which was: "I hope no one arrives with a sharp kilt pin!" so one must wonder if this or similar is what happened, but until the facts are known all this is mere speculation.

(**) Further news (Monday 20AUG2012 09.30 BST) Well, the 'disaster' of the exploding tent has made it into those two national 'journals of record', the Sun and the Daily Record, as well as the more local Press & Journal.