Mind you, there’s a lot of stuff out there which is enough to turn anyone into an atheist. And that’s the rub: there’s so much indefensible, hypocritical and downright outrageous ‘religious’ practice that it makes you want to go and hide in a wardrobe and not come out till you’ve stopped believing in Narnia. It feels weak and frankly pathetic to be defending religion after so many suicide bombs, after so many attacks on women for ‘not dressing modestly’ (when clearly it’s the men who need to go around with a paper bag on their head) – and especially after the film I watched last night. ‘Magdalene’ made me want to line up all the priests, all the nuns and all the religious bigots in the world, and shoot them. Oh, no – wait: I’m against that. OK so instead I’ll give them a good old mouthful about what the Bible actually says! The Magdalene laundries in Ireland were effectively prison workhouses where women were sent, often by their own families (!) after being raped or getting pregnant outside marriage – or sometimes even just for being attractive and slightly flirtatious. It’s an utterly compelling film, and I have to say if that was your only experience of religion, I wouldn’t blame anyone for being the most rabid out-and-out atheist. We don’t need Richard Dawkins when the Catholic Church is doing his work so effectively for him. I know there are good individuals within the institution – and, yes, I do have friends who are Catholics – but the Catholic Church sucks.
These laundries were only finally closed in 1996 and were responsible for stealing children from their mothers, for ruining the lives of women and in some cases engendering insanity. What the hell does this have to do with accounts of Jesus and Mary Magdalene in the Bible?
I’ll say it again: the Catholic Church sucks. I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone but it has to be said.
Now, where did I put my copy of The God Delusion?
PS I shall be performing tonight at World Food Night in aid of Refugee Action, so come along and support. It’s a donation of £10 for a great dinner and some excellent music and poetry!