Monday, October 18, 2010

The insufferable Melanie Phillips

Thanks, through gritted teeth, to The 21st Floor via Daily Mail Watch for introducing me to the latest rant from the desk of Melanie Phillips.

For a start, the headline. Not the work of Phillips herself, but cribbed from her copy. 'Druids as an official religion?' it begins, in that toe-curling rhetorical question style so beloved of the Mail titles. 'Stones Of Praise here we come,' it concludes. Ha! LOLZ. Stones Of Praise, geddit? Cos Christians have SONGS Of Praise, and Druids love STONES, and STONES begins with the same letter as SONGS!!!!!! 

It doesn't get any better after you've negotiated the headline. Phillips is not happy. Not happy at all. Because:
[Druids] according to the Charity Commission, are to be recognised as a religion and, as a result, afforded charitable status, with the tax exemptions and other advantages that follow.
Ah, tax exemptions. Nothing is important unless it affects people financially. Welcome to PhillipsWorld. But other than the piffling cost to the taxpayer of extending tax exemptions to a faith practised by a tiny, tiny minority, surely it doesn't matter? Au con-fucking-traire:
Well, it actually matters rather a lot. Elevating them to the same status as Christianity is but the latest example of how the bedrock creed of this country is being undermined. More than that, it is an attack upon the very concept of religion itself.
The sneering tone of this article is truly distasteful. Phillips' incredulity that Druids should be 'elevated' to the same status as Christians is revealing - some supernatural beliefs are simply better than others, she is saying, and the powers that be should recognise this. 
If the Druids qualify as a religion, can other cults such as the Scientologists be far behind? Can it be long, indeed, before the wise and learned theologians of the Charity Commission similarly grant charitable status to sorcery, witchcraft or even the Jedi.
Yeah, and then after the Jedi, who'll be next? The paedo terrorist wheelie bin brigade, that's who - then the PC liberal left mission will be complete. And it gets worse - public sector workers are getting in on the act as well. Not content with growing fat off the sweat of the wealth-creating private sector, before relaxing in their dotage with their gold-plated pensions, now they've been...
... given the right to take days off to perform rituals, such as leaving food out for the dead, dressing up as ghosts and casting spells, or celebrating the sun god with ‘unabashed sexuality and promiscuity’. 
You could break down any religious rituals and make them sound ridiculous. What will those wacky Pagans come up with next - eating crackers and sipping wine and pretending it's the body and blood of a man born to  a virgin who was executed and then rose from the dead because he was the son of their deity? And this business of 'days off to perform rituals' - traditionally, the whole country has Sunday off for precisely this reason.

She goes on to link Paganism with communism and fascism and to say that without Judeo-Christian religions 'there would be no human rights'. She even uses the phrase 'political correctness gone mad' in a non-ironic way, which I didn't think anybody did any more. In fact, I'm almost calling Poe on this article, were it not for the fact that she comes out with this shit all the time.

Maybe the Mail's sub-editors agree. The words they've chosen to pick out as crossheads seem to sum up Melanie Phillips perfectly - CULT, EXTRAORDINARY and BARKING. Shame about the typo in the first one, though...

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