Of Course, I Could be Wrong

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Coronavirus In A Time Of A Lack Of Love

Pubs, clubs and other indoor places of entertainment (including churches) should never have been allowed to reopen. People who can work from home should never have been encouraged to return to work. There should have been no gimmicky giveaways (like the half-price eat-out deal). Instead, we should have focussed the country’s resources on taking care of the workers affected by the compulsory closure of their places of work. The rich should have been taxed excessively for the period of the pandemic. It is only fair as they benefit the most during the “good times.” Borders should have been closed with only goods being imported and exported. None of these suggestions are made with hindsight. Everybody who put the nation’s health before the wealth of the extremely rich few were recommending all these things as soon as we realised the scale of the emergency.

A Moral Dilemma

Pretend for a moment that Donald Trump keeps his promises; is there anything that he could promise to do that would tempt you to vote for him, even if all his other policies remained as repulsive to you as before?

This is the question that those Americans who believe that abortion is murder are asking themselves, especially those who would normally vote Democrat.

I recently read a claim that single-issue voting was anti-democratic. That certainly sounds right but I am pretty certain that if Boris Johnson was to promise to abolish the U.K. arms trade or something else of similar moral importance to me, I would be sorely tempted to vote for him.

Alternative Saint Of The Day

(a.k.a. Ariadna, Ariane, Arianna)

Ariadne was a Christian slave of a Phrygian prince. She was flogged for refusing to join in pagan celebrations on her owner’s birthday and when she subsequently fled from his household, a large rock opened up for her to escape into. She was never seen again. It was assumed that she has died in the rock and that it became her tomb. Therefore, she is considered a martyr.

The date of her death was circa 130 A.D.

Pastors Need Sex After Delivering Sermon

Ghanaian Counselor, Rev. Charlotte Oduro has disclosed that one of the many activities that interest pastors is sexual intercourse. According to her, pastors love having sex a lot, especially after presiding at a church service.

In an interview with Abeiku Santana on Okay FM’s “Drive Time,” programme, Rev. Charlotte Oduro asserted that whenever pastors finish giving sermons and descend from the pulpit, sex is what they use to relax themselves.

What? Immediately? I hope not.

The Mad Gang Go To Where Saint Columba Trod

Keil Point is situated between Carskey Bay and Dunaverty Bay on the south coast of the Kintyre Peninsula, about a mile west of the village of Southend. It was here that the Scotis, a Gaelic speaking Irish tribe, landed in about 300 A.D. to begin their gradual conquest of the part of mainland Britain now known as Scotland. It is also where Saint Columba first set foot on Scottish soil in the year 563.

At the bottom of the cliffs at Keil Point are several caves, with names such as the Great Cave, the Piper’s Cave and the Hermit’s Retreat. These caves were occupied for centuries. Roman pottery was found here, which is rare in Scotland, and the discovery of empty whisky bottles alongside other signs of habitation indicate that they were still lived in up until the nineteenth century.

On a rise slightly to the east of the caves are a pair of footprints carved into the rock. One of these prints was carved by a local stonemason in the nineteenth century, but the other is ancient. It is thought that the print may have been used in the coronation of kings in the ancient kingdom of Dalriada. There is another similar footprint at Dunadd in the Kilmartin Glen; it may have been that ceremonies were held in several locations to affirm the position of the King.

Nearby is an ancient well and a graveyard which contains the ruins of the thirteenth-century Chapel of Saint Columba which replaced an earlier church building founded by Columba himself.

To the east of the cemetery lie the ruins of Keil House which was commissioned by the Glasgow merchant, James Nicol Fleming, and completed in 1865. The completed house was said to have had more windows than Buckingham Palace, so two windows were blocked to reduce their number in deference to the monarch.

In 1915, the house was acquired by the Mackinnon Macneil Trust and it became the Kintyre Technical School. The trust’s mandate was to “provide a decent education to deserving Highland lads.” Sadly, the house was destroyed by fire in 1924. Although the building was insured, the cover was insufficient to allow the house to be restored, so the school had to seek an alternate home.

Looming above the ruins of Keil House is the empty and dilapidated Keil Hotel. It is an imposing five-storey Art Deco building attributed to James Austin Laird. The original owner is believed to have been Captain James Taylor, who was to see his new hotel requisitioned almost immediately by the Navy in 1939. After the war, the hotel reopened around 1947. During its heyday, the hotel guaranteed its guests “sunshine or £10 off your bill.” Unfortunately, the good times were not to last and by 1990 the business had collapsed. The proprietors ripped out the plumbing and electrics and sold them off, leaving gaping holes in the walls and ceilings. There are plans to renovate the building.

Dunaverty Beach is a beautiful stretch of firm sand that our two dogs thoroughly enjoyed running about on. At its eastern tip is Dunaverty Rock. Although nothing remains today, Dunaverty was once the site of an important castle, as is evidenced by visits from King Haakon of Norway, Robert the Bruce and James IV. In 1647 it was the site of a shameful massacre. The royalist forces holding the castle succumbed to siege from the Covenanters’ army, led by General David Leslie. When they surrendered, the covenanters opted to kill all three hundred of them on the instruction of their chaplain.

To the south-east, a mile or so offshore, lies the island of Sanda and its small neighbour, Sheep Island.

Sanda Island is known for the ruins of a chapel built by Saint Ninian, for its Celtic crosses and its reputed holy well. It is said that the saint was buried here, and indeed, the island was in possession of the Priory of Whithorn in Galloway until the Reformation. It is said that Ninian’s grave was marked by an alder tree and that whoever stepped on it would die.

In the Middle Ages, there was some association with the Bruce family, notably, Robert the Bruce and his brother Edward. Robert was once forced to flee there, en route to Ireland after being pursued by the English navy. Rathlin Island, which is where he was said to have seen the legendary spider in the cave, is less than fifteen miles away.

The island has had a number of different owners in its history, including, in 1969, Jack Bruce of the rock group Cream. Presently it is owned by a Swiss millionaire who refuses to allow anyone to land on the island.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

One thing this pandemic has proved beyond doubt is that, contrary to what many of my Facebook friends were claiming last year, young people today are no more altruistic than we were when we were their age. In fact, if the proof is in the pudding, I would rate the young civil rights activists of the 1960s far higher than Millenials when it comes to sacrifice and putting words into actions. I do not doubt the sincerity of Greta Thunberg but I am pretty certain most of her followers just wanted a day off school. If they can’t be bothered to abide by a few simple rules to protect the lives of their own grandparents what hope is there for the future of humankind if left up to them?

The MadGang Go To Tarbert

On Monday we visited Tarbert, a fishing village about twenty miles north of where we are camped. After a packed lunch sitting in our car on the quayside, we made our way up to the ruins of the castle in which Robert the Bruce sought refuge when he was running away from the English. After that, we ascended the hills above the village to the Millennial Tarn before returning to the village to stock up on provisions.

Pope Takes Over YouTube

Amazing Word Ministries, an independent Seventh-day Adventist media ministry, has had its YouTube channel temporarily shut down for breaking the platform’s COVID-19 rules.

Pastor Emmanuel Nougaisse, from AWM, writes, “On April 23, 2020, YouTube’s CEO announced that content that ‘goes against’ World Health Organization (WHO) guidance on the coronavirus will get banned. Then around the same time, Facebook came out denouncing any discussion of COVID gatherings or to discuss going back to work!

“Jesus says: ‘Ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.’ Matthew 24:9. We believe this prophecy is being fulfilled.

“We would like to let all our brothers and sisters know that as of August 24, 2020, YouTube has put Amazing Word Ministries’ regular channel on lockdown and will not allow us to upload any videos until August 31, 2020, because they have completely bowed to the Papacy. We knew this was coming and it is now upon us. We are indeed living in the last days.”

So, there you have it, it’s the Pope’s fault. He has been running the Internet from his spare bedroom and only the Seventh Day Adventists knew it. Well I never, as they say around these parts.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has stated that Jacob Blake was carrying a knife. It is hard to think of a scenario in which this could lead to a justifiable reason for shooting him seven times in the back. However, it does show that whatever is wrong with American society, it is systemic. Some are more guilty than others, but few, if any, are innocent.

MadPriest’s Vacation Appeal 2020

As long as the Scottish border is not closed in the next three days, my wife, myself and our two dogs will be off on holiday at the weekend. We will be staying on a campsite not far from the Mull of Kintyre (in fact, just a few miles from Paul McCartney’s famous farmstead).

My only income is the donations I receive from friends to support my online ministry at Saint Laika’s. This amounts to slightly less than five hundred pounds a month which is enough to survive on as long as no big bills turn up out of the blue. Of course, it is not enough to cover holidays even when they are cheap ones as ours always are. Therefore, I have to run a fundraiser every summer if we want to get away. If you are willing and able to help by sending a bit of cash (no matter how little) my way, I would be very grateful. Please use the PayPal widget below (you do not need a PayPal account to send money).

I will be regularly posting photographs of the MadGang on their Scottish adventure.
In the meantime, here is a pic of our campsite and adjacent beach.

Prophet Of Power Predicts Election Result

In Trinidad, Pastor Devan Narine, who calls himself Bishop De Van Narine, is claiming that he prophesied correctly that Keith Rowley would be reelected as prime minister.

Narine is the little-known but controversial founder and head preacher of Prophetic & Apostolic Ministries International. He first attracted attention in April, shortly after the arrival of the covid19 pandemic, when he told followers via a Facebook post that they were required to pay tithes to the church from relief grants and hampers provided by the State.

He wrote, “Remember to pay your tithes from your grants and hampers. ten per cent belongs to the Lord’s Church.”

It was circulated widely. Within days he responded to the criticism, posting,

“Those who object to believers giving tithes and offerings now are demonic!”

On his Facebook page, he describes himself as, “God’s prophet of power and prosperity to his people. Pioneer, pastor, prophet, psalmist and preacher.”

In addition to cancelling people’s debt supernaturally, he says he can rid generational curses, hexes, spells, witchcraft, obeah, evil eye, necromancy, spirit wives/husbands, incubus, sleep paralysis and serpentine spirits.

Sticking The Knife In

I’ve just read the following quote in a book about the “war on drugs.” It was said originally about the harassment of Billie Holiday by U.S. Law Enforcement officers but it could equally (and yes, I do mean equally) apply to what Bishop Wharton, his henchmen and successors and my former parishioners and colleagues did to me.

“The cruellest thing you can do to someone is to
take away the thing that is most dear to them.”

Yep. I can tell you from experience that is a true a thing as can possibly be said.

Bible Thumper Arrested On Assault Charge

A twenty-seven-year-old man, Benjamin Parker, of Bangor, Maine, has been charged with robbery and assault. Police Department officials say officers responded to a report of an attempted car theft on West Broadway on Sunday morning. They say a family had stopped to take pictures and that’s when Parker tried to steal their car.

The driver of the car noticed Parker in the driver seat and a struggle ensued, with Parker hitting the vehicle’s owner with what was believed to be a copy of the Bible.

Parker was pulled from the vehicle and fled on foot. He was found behind a house on Cedar Street. A copy of the Bible was found, too.

Now that’s taking Bible-thumping to the extreme.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

I could never be an American liberal. Having to sincerely apologise to the first Americans for colonising their land in the past whilst, at the same time, defending unrestricted immigration into their land in the present day would be a contradiction that would probably cause my brain to short-circuit.

Randy Muslim Cleric Who Dissed Women Is Very Sorry

In Parkwood, Johannesburg, the religious leader, Dawood Sampson has been forced to retract and issue an apology for his “derogatory” statements about women posted in videos that have since gone viral on Facebook. Sampson comments in at least two videos on the social media platform that were made under the guise of polygamy and his upcoming nuptials to his second wife, which he claims to be under Sharia law.

In one of the videos, Sampson said: “If there are men who still got it, then get yourself a love bird. You can have, like a cock has two, three hens, come on men, we are cocks and get those hens”

In another video, promoting a ten-week “marriage course with a difference”, Sampson said, “a wife is cute when she is mute and a husband is honey when he gives money.”

The videos sparked an online petition which has garnered more than 2000 signatures and called for the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) to address the “issues of toxic masculinity by Islamic leadership.”

In his apology, Sampson said: “It was regrettably misconstrued to undermine and be disrespectful to our women. Sometimes it is not good to say things in jest. Please accept my heartfelt and humble apology.”

Church Leader Warns Nigerian Government Of God’s Wrath

The Company and Allied Matters Acts, which were signed into Nigerian law on the seventh of August, bring the finances of churches, mosques and charities under the same governmental scrutiny as secular businesses. The founder and General Overseer of the Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, has warned President Muhammadu Buhari’s government that God will get them for daring to limit his church’s freedom to make lots of money without interference from the State.

During Sunday service yesterday, Oyedepo said, “The church is God’s heritage on earth. Molest the wife of somebody and you will see the anger of that person. The church is the bride of Christ. You know how a strong man is when you tamper with his wife. The church is the body of Christ. We are under obligation to give warnings to wicked rulers so we could be free from their blood. I know that it is the prosperity of the church that is making them jealous. This is a secular nation. The church is the greatest asset of God in this country. Please be warned.”

He warned that judgment is coming, adding that God is about to arise. He stressed that “anybody that is in this deal is taking poison.”

Below The Grade

I do feel extremely sorry for those schoolkids whose grades have been downgraded by the Government’s algorithm. However, the fact that if the grading by teachers had been accepted it would have meant a twelve per cent rise in standards this year compared to last year does indicate that you cannot trust human beings to be totally objective about such things. I do not understand why the young people were told how they had been graded by their teachers in the first place when it was only a provisional assessment. That was just asking for trouble.

Mind you, I am so glad I did not have to rely on my teachers’ grading my A levels as I would have failed all of them. They hated me and with good reason. I was even more obnoxious back then than I am now.

Crying Over Spilt Milk

In India, a priest and a devotee have landed up at the police station for allegedly abusing each other over the matter of pouring milk at a Khadia temple.

Raju Shah, a sixty-three-year-old cutlery businessman, told police that he visited Mahadev temple and that the moment he was done pouring milk on the Shivling, a priest, Perth Bhatt, approached him and told him that only some amount of milk is supposed to be poured on the Shivling while the rest was to be deposited in a bucket kept there. Shah
claimed that Bhatt abused him. He also alleged that Bhatt’s wife and aunt joined the priest in abusing him.

However. in a cross-complaint filed by Bhatt, he claimed that Shah had poured milk from the pot in such a way that it dripped onto the floor of the inner sanctum. Bhatt told police that when he asked Shah not to block the way and not to spill milk on the floor, the businessman and his wife began abusing him. He claimed that the couple left and returned with their sons and acquaintances who allegedly abused and
bashed him up.

Shah has filed a complaint with Khadia police against Bhatt, his wife and aunt whereas Bhatt has filed a complaint against Shah. his wife. sons and other acquaintances. An investigation is underway.

Dig In The Dancing Priest

A Georgia pastor’s parody of a popular “Hamilton” song was only intended
for his church’s virtual talent show. But the Reverend Lonnie Lacy’s comedic
rewrite of the Broadway musical’s hit song “You’ll Be Back” has spread far
beyond his St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Tifton. Lacy’s song has amassed
more than one million three hundred thousand views after it was posted to
YouTube on the twenty-fifth of July.

But Just In Case, I’m Wrong

The Diocesan Bishop of Lagos, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Humphrey Olumakaiye, insists that no virus or disease can be contracted in the church of God. He claims that even when members used the same cup for Holy Communion, they could not catch any disease.

The cleric, in a statement on Wednesday, explained that the principle was beyond tradition, it was divine.

“However, in obedience to all laid down protocols of wearing nose masks, regular washing of hands, physical distancing and so on, our churches have made adequate preparations. In all of these, let the joy of the Lord be our strength because that is what we will be spreading and not any virus,” he added.

So, he is going to make his church members abide by all the rules and then when none of them catches the coronavirus because they are all taking the right precautions, he is going to claim they were saved by God. The man is wasted in the Church. He should be in politics.

The Wrong Judge

A former army chaplain, who was dismissed for having sex with a stranded lady while guarding a church, has asked the Chief of Army Staff to review the decision and reinstate him into the Nigerian Army.

The soldier’s troubles started when he allegedly had sex with an unidentified lady, who solicited financial assistance from him, while he was on duty at the Protestant Church, Camilla Barracks, Kaduna, in October 2013. The former military chaplain allegedly promised to pay the lady N3,000 to have sex with her, but after having his way, he gave her N2,000, which led to an argument. The lady consequently complained to the military authorities, which put him on trial for conduct prejudicial to service discipline and dismissed him from service.

The basis of the soldier’s appeal is that he was tried by a Muslim and not a Christian.

Botox Leads To Beirut Blast

In Qatar, the popular sociologist, Abd Al-Aziz Al-Khazraj Al-Ansari, claims in his most recent video that the port explosion in Beirut is a sign of divine punishment.

“This is a message to our people of Lebanon,” he says in his video. “You all have attacked the laws decreed by Allah for the world. The number one reason for the disaster is blasphemy.”

“The second reason is that Lebanon is famous for changing Allah’s creation,” he continues. “You want to puff your lips? Augment your breasts? Change your face? Go to Lebanon.”

The sociologist also blames the explosions on homosexuality.

“In addition, Lebanon is famous for the prevalence of sodomy and the abundance of homosexuals in it,” he says. “In the Lebanese media, they bring people who tell sexual jokes. You all saw it and you know what I’m talking about. Can anything infuriate Allah more than this?”

Of course, Al-Ansari also blames women for the Beirut explosion.

“Eighty-five per cent of Lebanese girls are not married,” he claims. “What do you think they are doing? Making Origami models with the boys? Collecting stamps? Most of them are involved in forbidden relationships.”

Death Of A Legend

Music legend, actor and longtime desert resident Trini Lopez died Tuesday
at age eighty-three due to complications from COVID-19.

He was one of those musicians who were a lot more important in the history
of popular music than their moderate success would indicate.

May he rest in peace.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest (on the wearing of masks)

In England, it is now the law that we have to wear facemasks in shops, on public transport and in most other indoor public spaces. Some people, such as those with breathing difficulties, are exempt from having to do so.

The wearing of masks stops the passing on of the virus far more effectively than it stops the contracting of the virus. A person wearing a mask is still very likely to catch the virus from a person not wearing a mask.

Therefore, should people who cannot wear a mask for health reasons be banned from going into places where the wearing of a mask is compulsory for everyone else? Is the right to be protected from the virus greater than the right to go where you want to go?

As someone who, on the whole, relies on Utilitarian thinking to influence my ethical decisions, I favour the exclusion of all people not wearing a facemask from all indoor areas open to the public. The possible harm that can be caused by not wearing masks is greater than the inconvenience and psychological harm caused by excluding those unable to wear masks from indoor public spaces.

I am asthmatic.

Holy Communion For The Tenth Sunday After Pentecost

Welcome to Saint Laika’s Holy Communion podcast for the ninth of August 2020 (a.k.a. the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost or Trinity Eight).

This week’s worship is heavy-laden with great music that you would not normally hear in a church service as well as all the usual liturgical stuff. Everybody is invited to join in, there are no exceptions. If you wish to take communion you will need, of course, to provide your own bread and wine.

CLICK HERE for the order of service and details of the music played.

Passing Commonsense Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

Of course, opening pubs was a bad idea that has led to spikes in COVID-19. It was a bad idea for exactly the same reasons that reopening schools, going to church and making people go back to work indoors are bad ideas. If you are in an enclosed space with a person who is infected with the virus, no matter what precautions you take, the chances of you catching it are extremely high.

We have two logical alternatives. Either we lockdown all inside activities and damn the economic consequences or we lift the lockdown completely and damn the health consequences. Anything else is a fudge that will achieve nothing other than the prolonging of the pandemic and the total confusion of the populace.

Allusive Creature Stalks Corridors Of Power

There’s this thing called The Science that the Government is following everywhere which makes the Government do some incredibly stupid things like killing off thousands of the people it is supposed to represent. But what does a Science look like? Has anyone, other than the Government, ever seen one. The BBC newsreaders keep going on about it but they never show us an actual photograph of it. Does it even exist or is it one of those cryptozoological creatures like the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot or the Competent Tory Politician?

Pricks For Jesus

Pictures from a BBC documentary show how the deceased founder of a disgraced religious sect preached to followers about sexual “sins”. A 1993 edition of the Midlands Report showed a sermon given by Jesus Army founder Noel Stanton to a crowd, including young children, in which he said: “Surrender the middle part of you, especially the genitals. Give them to Jesus.”

A report leaked to the BBC concluded that allegations of abuse of women and children were covered-up by senior members of the now-defunct movement. The inquiry found that all five surviving leaders had colluded with sexual offenders through their handling of complaints.

From “The Trendy Church’s Book Of Modern Worship Songs” (Second Edition):

I’m giving my genitals to Jesus,
I hope he gets to use them more than me.
They have been underused for ages now as sadly
I only get them out to have a pee.

(copyright Graham Kindreck, 1976)

Does anybody out there remember the actions to this one?

Attend Church For Extra Blessings

In Nigeria, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has declared that online church is not an excuse for members of his church to miss physical church services.

In a video message released yesterday and titled, “From Lockdown to Leaping Up,” Adeboye argued that although some services will continue to be held online, congregants must be physically present in church as it attracts more blessings.

Well, yes. More blessings for the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God via the collection plate, for a start.

Boasting For People Who Know Boasting Is A Bad Thing

You know how it is. Somebody has just posted on Facebook that they have watched some film or another and you are suddenly filled with an overwhelming urge to tell the world how much better you are than a person who simply sits on their arse watching a screen for ninety minutes. But how do you do so without appearing a complete arse yourself? I will tell you.

Do not say, “I much preferred the book to the film.” This is blatant passive boasting and really gets on everybody’s tits. Instead, say something along the lines of, “I enjoyed the film. I thought the cinematography was particularly good. I also loved the book especially…”

Making the assertion of your intellectual superiority over mere moviegoers an afterthought considerably lessens the obviousness of the boast and doesn’t slap down your friend who made the mistake of admitting to liking a film adaptation in the first place. You come away from the encounter as a person who is definitely above the common herd but also a person who is prepared to show an interest in the things that ordinary people like doing. Well done! You are well on your way to becoming an Anglican priest if you are not one already.

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