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Who is your Person of the Year for 2007?

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William Crawley | 22:21 UK time, Sunday, 23 December 2007

dawkins.jpgLast year, this blog named the scientist and culture warrior Richard Dawkins as its Person of the Year. Who should be the choice this year?

Which man, woman or child has most inspired us, challenged us, impressed, infuriated, or simply pre-occupied us in the past twelve months? The person, in short, who will be forever associated with this year. Who gets your nomination? Will it be a politician, a scientist, a religious leader, an entertainer, a military leader, a human rights campaigner, or an idea whose time has come? I'm accepting nominations for my blog's Person of the Year 2007 award. I'll announce the winner on December 31st.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 10:35 PM on 04 Dec 2007,
  • Hermione wrote:

I nominate Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness as the joint person of the year. They have surprised everyone.

  • 2.
  • At 10:40 PM on 04 Dec 2007,
  • Marcy,LONDON wrote:

AL GORE, elected president(!), for services to climate change.

  • 3.
  • At 11:14 PM on 04 Dec 2007,
  • Darwinius wrote:

My person of the year is TONY BLAIR. Bring him back!

  • 4.
  • At 11:29 PM on 04 Dec 2007,
  • Alan wrote:

It is tempting to nominate Lisburn City Council or Minister Edwin Poots ...

but I think I'll settle on nominating the plastic bag - as this might be the last year we can celebrate it being widely and freely available!

  • 5.
  • At 12:32 AM on 05 Dec 2007,
  • Janice Longley wrote:

I nominate the UN panel on claimate change. They shared the nobel prize with Gore but have been leading the conversation for years.

  • 6.
  • At 12:38 AM on 05 Dec 2007,
  • Nononymous wrote:

Why don't you give the prize to PB, since he's the star fundamentalist of Northern Ireland??

  • 7.
  • At 02:43 AM on 05 Dec 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

I was going to nominate PB but I was beat out so I nominate Gordon Brown. He did the impossible, in just a few short weeks he made all of Britain wish Tony Blair was back as PM. :-)

  • 8.
  • At 06:01 AM on 05 Dec 2007,
  • am wrote:

I second the "Chuckle Brothers".

  • 9.
  • At 08:55 AM on 05 Dec 2007,
  • dp wrote:

I nominate Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for her bravery in the face of muslim extremsim. https://www.samharris.org/site/security_trust/ayaan_hirsi_ali

Or Gillian Gibbons for being reasonable and sensitive when she returned home from Sudan after the teddy bear incident.

But Ayaan Hirsi Ali would be my first choice.

  • 10.
  • At 09:58 AM on 05 Dec 2007,
  • D Smyth wrote:

I nominate Seymore Sweeney.

  • 11.
  • At 01:20 PM on 05 Dec 2007,
  • pb wrote:


wow, thanks guys

;-)

Either Pope Benedict XVI for a great book, two great encyclicals, an important Motu Proprio on the Mass, restoring the red hat to Armagh and putting it to Muslim and rationalist fundamentalist.

Or failing him, Muhammud the Bear

  • 13.
  • At 02:27 PM on 05 Dec 2007,
  • Rick Hill wrote:
  • 14.
  • At 03:12 PM on 05 Dec 2007,
  • Fionab wrote:

I vote for Tony Blair for his 10 years as PM

  • 15.
  • At 06:40 PM on 05 Dec 2007,
  • Hillbillery wrote:

Hillary Clinton - even if she doesnt get elected!

  • 16.
  • At 08:03 PM on 05 Dec 2007,
  • Wayne Hamilton wrote:

The award should go to the people of Northern Ireland as a whole, who have embraced the new politics in a grown-up way.

The flag of Northern Ireland should be updated, the red hand of Ulster replaced with two hands shaking (or six interlocked in a ring, akin to the 1973 50p coin).

If everything is new, there can be no going back.

  • 17.
  • At 08:25 PM on 05 Dec 2007,
  • Sara1978 wrote:

thats lovely of u to say wayne thanks.

  • 18.
  • At 10:11 PM on 05 Dec 2007,
  • Billy wrote:

I nominate the “NIPSAclassroom assistants.

They have had the courage to stand up for their employment rights, standing against a government department led by a so called Marxist education minister who has been blinded by her political power and has forgotten that she once campaigned for the Columbia three who absconded from 17 years of Columbian justice, :::HAND THEM OVER:::, I would ask her what is the difference between the three fugitives that she campaigned for and the classroom assistants who fight for a righteous and just cause, some workers are owed pay dating back 12 years how would she like to be without part of her pay for 12 years.

WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE

  • 19.
  • At 04:45 PM on 06 Dec 2007,
  • Les Reid wrote:

I second the nomination of Al Gore. He has brought the threat of climate change to the attention of millions of people. The threat is enormous. If we destabilise the weather systems of planet Earth, there will be droughts, hurricanes, floods and mass migrations of people across the globe. The disasters of recent years have given us a sample of what lies in store if we do nothing to save the planet - which is the only planet we have.

Al Gore has done a great job in spreading the news. Governments, even in the USA, are beginning to acknowledge the scale of the problem. He gets my vote.

  • 20.
  • At 04:51 PM on 06 Dec 2007,
  • Les Reid wrote:

I second the nomination of Al Gore. He has brought the threat of climate change to the attention of millions of people. The threat is enormous. If we destabilise the weather systems of planet Earth, there will be droughts, hurricanes, floods and mass migrations of people across the globe. The disasters of recent years have given us a sample of what lies in store if we do nothing to save the planet - which is the only planet we have.

Al Gore has done a great job in alerting us to what is happening. Governments, even in the USA, are beginning to acknowledge the scale of the problem. He gets my vote.

  • 21.
  • At 05:29 PM on 06 Dec 2007,
  • Gavin J (Lisburn) wrote:

I nominate the Buddhist monks of Burma for their stand against oppression. The Saffron Revolution!

Nononymous, thanks for nominating my sweet pb, although I don't think he deserves Person of the Year title. He does deserve some credit for promoting atheism of course, by showing what religion can do to the human mind.

I'll combine the earlier votes for the UN committee and Al Gore. They shared the Noble prize, why not the one on the blog here too. Raising awareness about what needs to be done to make this place last longer is hugely important imo.

Finally, last years the election was for the area of religion, ethics and ideas, not person of the year in general. If it was still religion, ethics and ideas then I think the Flying Spaghetti Monster should easily deserve to be being of the year. Even my pb has been touched by His noodly appendages. RAmen to Him.

  • 23.
  • At 09:22 PM on 11 Dec 2007,
  • Dylan_Dog wrote:

Bless his noodly appendages!

I for one can vouch for the positive, life changing effect that the FSM(BHNA!) can have!

RAmen

  • 24.
  • At 09:37 AM on 12 Dec 2007,
  • Abigail Hurley wrote:

I vote for the FSM as well.
He has much better nutritious credentials than other deities.

  • 25.
  • At 05:26 PM on 12 Dec 2007,
  • Dylan_Dog wrote:

Hello Booty!

Good to see you here trying to spread the word about the FSM!-bless his noodly appendages!

Hx

  • 26.
  • At 07:39 PM on 12 Dec 2007,
  • Black Hearted Jake wrote:

It's got to be His Noodlyness, The Flying Spaghetti Monster (may you be touched by his noodly appendage)

www.venganza.org for further elucidation

  • 27.
  • At 07:44 PM on 12 Dec 2007,
  • Red wrote:

Difficult one. There are several serious people I could vote for, but for sheer fun I'll follow the previous few voters: the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the best idea I've ever seen! (And yes, the tastiest one too ;) )

  • 28.
  • At 10:01 PM on 12 Dec 2007,
  • Jean Bart wrote:

Not sure a deity counts as a person, but if it does, the Flying Spaghetti Monster has my vote.
RAmen!

  • 29.
  • At 11:53 PM on 12 Dec 2007,
  • Kasper wrote:

I would have been dead if it wasn't for him. AND THATS NOT A JOKE

I could not have been saved by any other religion cuz they don't make any sens to me.

The FSM gave my life a purpos

So blessed be his noodly apendages
Love to all Pastafarians cuz without you there would not have been a ME for much longer.

MY VOTE GOES TO MY SAVIOR The FSM

  • 30.
  • At 09:46 AM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • Pastafarian #5 wrote:

Ya! His Noodlyness has had a great unifying effect on masses of rational people from all over the globe. The FSM has my vote too.
RAmen
If nominating a deity is unacceptable, then I second Gavin J's nomination for
Buddhist monks of Burma for their stand against oppression.

  • 31.
  • At 10:33 AM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • Marcel Casserole wrote:

When rational thinking and religion finally get together, you'll find the Flying Spaghetti Monster is behind it all. He gets my vote, voilà!

  • 32.
  • At 11:05 AM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • Ivan Grigorov wrote:

Ahrg! I cast me vote for the FSM as well. May you all be blessed by his noodly apendage.
First mate of the Bulgarian Church of the FSM

  • 33.
  • At 12:49 PM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • PacificPam wrote:

I will nominate Bobby Henderson, the prophet of Pastafarianism, for he has enlightened us in a battle against sutupidity.
May the FSM touch you with his noodly appendage.

Merry ChriFSMas to all

  • 34.
  • At 03:53 PM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • ChriFSMas! wrote:

Yargh! I'll cast me vote fau ter FSM as well. Merry ChriFSMas to ye all!

  • 35.
  • At 04:05 PM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • winus wrote:

I vote For FSM!
He changed my live.

May you be touched by His Noodly Appandage!
RAmen

My vote is for the FSM.
If you don't want to count the FSM as a "man" then I shall prove that He counts as a man. Christians believe that Jesus is God. They also refer to Jesus as a man. Therefore, Gods (like the FSM) are also men (unless they are Goddesses, in which case they are women).
RAmen!

  • 37.
  • At 04:49 PM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • dertranger wrote:

Blessed be the pasta-makers, FSM for life!

  • 38.
  • At 05:44 PM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • Mike Meier wrote:

I'd also like to nominate Bobby Henderson of FSM fame. The delightful and clever little parody he created has become a healthy and effective weapon in the culture wars against the new crop of Christian extremists who are in all practical respects are identical to the current crop of Islamic extremists.

  • 39.
  • At 06:16 PM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

I vote for the flying Spaghetti Monster for fighting in the face of school boards who are trying to ensure kids are fed a load of crap at school to keep the tired religious wheels turning

  • 40.
  • At 07:43 PM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • Scott wrote:

I vote for the FSM!

  • 41.
  • At 07:51 PM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • LakePirate wrote:

I must vote For the FSM as well. He/she is young, hip, and tastes great with a nice marinara sauce and a good bottle of chianti...
RAmen aarrrrggggggggg

  • 42.
  • At 08:43 PM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • El Cid wrote:

¡Viva el Monstruo Espagueti Volante!
My vote for the FSM as well: coolest deity/being/person ever. ¡Ole! I mean RAmen!

  • 43.
  • At 08:53 PM on 13 Dec 2007,
  • Karen Kimball wrote:

I nominate His Noodliness, The FSM (Peace, Blessings, and Marinara be upon Him). But if you must have a human nominee, then I nominate His prophet, Bobby Henderson. Praise to Bobby for spreading the Gospel of the FSM!

And may you be touched by His noodly appendages.

  • 44.
  • At 12:11 AM on 14 Dec 2007,
  • SaucyWench wrote:

All hail His Noodliness! My vote is for the Almighty FSM.

  • 45.
  • At 12:13 AM on 14 Dec 2007,
  • lordpunkmonk wrote:

I vote for FSM and if it needs to be a human being bobby henderson FSM for life
RAmen!!

  • 46.
  • At 02:58 AM on 14 Dec 2007,
  • lilwench wrote:

I also nominate the Spaghedeity Himself, the Flying Spaghetti Monster (Parmesan be Upon Him). Or if the poll requires a flesh and blood being, then our Prophet, Bobby Henderson. The FSM is touching us with His Noodly Appendages, and revealed himself through the Prophet, so that current and future generations of American students may be receive a proper scientific education. What noble and delicious work.

  • 47.
  • At 04:48 AM on 14 Dec 2007,
  • Cynthia wrote:

My vote goes to the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin. I have learned many valuable things from their literature and I've only been getting it for two months.

  • 48.
  • At 05:11 AM on 14 Dec 2007,
  • Joe's Wench wrote:

I agree that either the FSM or Bobby Henderson should win because they promote intelligence & independent thought in the face of religious extremists.His noodliness be praised!

  • 49.
  • At 08:53 AM on 14 Dec 2007,
  • Von Haus wrote:

I agree with the wenches, vote FSM and be touched by his noodly appendage. He created you all so be thankful.
RAmen

  • 50.
  • At 09:32 AM on 14 Dec 2007,
  • Jobst Meyer wrote:

I also vote for the FSM (sauce be upon him!) for being the most powerful force in the world, guiding all of us with his tasty Noodly Appendages! - You may consider to present the certificate, if there is any, to our Prophet, Bobby Henderson.

  • 51.
  • At 03:20 PM on 14 Dec 2007,
  • FunkyRutabaga wrote:

My vote goes to the FSM! (Or, if you insist upon a human candidate, Bobby Henderson.)
R'Amen

  • 52.
  • At 05:59 PM on 14 Dec 2007,
  • Felipe wrote:

For services provided to the thinking part of mankind, I nominate / vote for the FSM. Or, if deities don't count, (which would be a pity: some of them are cool!) for its prophet, Bobby Henderson.

  • 53.
  • At 07:36 PM on 14 Dec 2007,
  • Fusilier wrote:

I wonder why my last vote wasn't registered? there was nothing offensive in it! Anyway, try again. I nominate our great Prophet Bobby Henderson for spreading the word of FSM and exposing the attempted hijacking of the school science curriculum (?) by right wing fundamentalist Christians. May you all be touched by His noodly appendage (FSM's that is, not Bobby's)

  • 54.
  • At 08:19 PM on 14 Dec 2007,
  • Bottlecap wrote:

I vote for his noodilyness, the FSM. Carbohydrates for all!
RAmen

  • 55.
  • At 10:38 PM on 15 Dec 2007,
  • Jen Erik wrote:

J.K.Rowling. If not this year, when?

And while, of course, many more important things have happened this year, that's the public moment that will stay with me. Being in a long, longer, longest, queue of children and teenagers all fizzing with anticipation at the thought of a book release - it was, excuse the pun, magical. Even the bit where the youthful drunks barged through the line, happy to believe the very pretty teenage girl who told them it was a street party. (They were later marginally disgruntled when it turned out to be merely a large collection of oddities queueing for a book.)

That's my this year's special moment, so I nominate Rowling as Person of 2007.

I second Gavin J's nomination of the Buddhist monks of Burma for their stand against oppression.
In a world filled with religious sectarianism and squabbling, they demonstrated true and fearless leadership, knowing fully that the retribution of the military government would be ruthless.
That they have been unsuccessful for now does not diminish their courage nor detract from the fact that their cause is just, their approach is nonviolent and their eventual success is inevitable.
People of the Year 2007.

Although I can see some point in nominating the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I doubt if William will go with it. There is considerable merit in Gavin's and Patrick's suggestion. One of my most enduring images of the last 40 years is of Thich Quang Duc, the Buddhist monk who burned himself to death in Saigon in 1963 in protest against the Diem dictatorship.

By choosing the Buddhist monks, William would be challenging the absurd notion that there is only 'One Person of the Year, a 'celebrity' approach to human affairs in which progress and betterment is reduced to a panel or parlour game  – “Spot the personality who made the biggest impact or difference”  – when the truth is that millions do it every day, usually by the sweat of their brow.

Certainly, the Buddhist cause is just and their non-violent approach is commendable. By giving them the vote, William would be signalling his support for a 'Christian' policy in action. Perhaps we might even say that as a Christian (presumably) he would be displaying his Christian ecumenism.

But whether success for the monks is inevitable is dubious, at least in the short-run. The 'west' has not so far applied proper UN sanctions against the regime and thousands of monks have disappeared since the crackdown.

  • 58.
  • At 12:30 AM on 21 Dec 2007,
  • Gavin J (Lisburn) wrote:

Brian, read the post! The person of the year includes even abstract concepts, so there's no need to point out that a the monks would be a challenge to the idea!

  • 59.
  • At 12:53 AM on 21 Dec 2007,
  • Jane Grey wrote:

Will could select the FSM. Why wouldn't he? He selected Dawkins last year, so it's clear that Crawley likes humanists, even if humanists like Brian McClinton don't like him.

Gavin and Jane,

Hey, Gavin, there's lots of these 'persons of the year'. As well as the BBC, the New Statesman runs one, for example, I wasn't criticising William's in particular but there is a proliferation of the idea (it is overdone).

I do like William, Jane, and I know that many other humanists do as well.

Merry Yule to both of you

Gavin and Jane,

Hey, Gavin, there's lots of these 'persons of the year'. As well as the BBC, the New Statesman runs one, for example, I wasn't criticising William's in particular but there is a proliferation of the idea (it is overdone).

I do like William, Jane, and I know that many other humanists do as well.

Merry Yule to both of you

Hello Jane Grey,

"Will could select the FSM. Why wouldn't he? He selected Dawkins last year, so it's clear that Crawley likes humanists, even if humanists like Brian McClinton don't like him."

Well, I'm not sure if Will was too happy about Dawkins being elected person of the year. Those who cast votes for him mostly cast them for reasons of rational thinking, speaking out against illogic, etc. All rather positive, constructive stuff. When Will listed the reasons of why people had voted so overwhelmingly for him, these did get a mention, but there were also various bits of negativity that none of the voters had mentioned, stuff that Will brought in. Some had the impression Will was not entirely happy about it. As one commentor wrote with a degree of sarcasm

"And I do love magnanimous believers!"

So if Will does select the FSM being of the year then what will it be for? I voted for the FSM for what I think are very positive reasons. In creating Pastafarianism, Bobby Henderson has struck what is now a high-profile blow against the dishonesty of creationists. And he has done it in a very amusing way. The online church of the FSM is (in small) part about serious things related to creationism encroaching into science classes. It's also become a channel for mobilising people to voice their opposition to board members, senators, etc. who try sneaking in creationism. Sometimes when another nutter wants to dedicate government money to it, there is a small emailing campaign. Applauding those pushing for creationism for their open-mindedness to alernative theories, but pointing out that there is another alternative theory to lifes origins that should get attention too if creationsim is given time. It's hard to have a serious debate with creationists, so sometimes ridicule is the only option left open. And it can be every bit as much or more effective then trying to argue with a lot that is not the least bit interested in honest discussion to start with.

Apart from the specific issue of creationism in science classes, the church of the FSM has become a very nice social cyber-spot for non-believers. One thing that churches have nailed down very well is giving members a sense of belonging to a community. And the church of the FSM does this for skeptics. Most of my internet friends I got to know through Pastafarianism. As one poster put it: 'Bobby has helped a lot of atheists come out of their non-believing closet'. Bobby is not even anti-religious outright, just critical of the lunacy that flows from religion. And the internet sensation that Pastafarianism has turned into (getting attention in the papers, the CNN news, etc too) means that now there is a religion for non-believers. The FSM is not vain, so He is very ok with it if you don't believe in Him. So Pastafarian belief and atheism are perfectly compatible. That's a pretty unique thing, isn't it, a religion hat atheists can wholeheartedly believe in.

greets,
Peter

  • 63.
  • At 04:02 PM on 23 Dec 2007,
  • john wrote:

I would like to nominate Eckhart Tolle for person of the year.Firstly because of his work with the transformation of human consciousness.Secondly for his work on the unveiling of the sacred feminine which has been repressed in the collective unconscious and thirdly for his relative invisibility.

I would like to put on record that I am not the 'john' of comment #64. Thank you.

  • 65.
  • At 03:17 PM on 25 Dec 2007,
  • Chocolate Man wrote:

On this Noodly day I'd like to give my vote to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and may it inspire its prophet (he needs it sometimes)!

  • 66.
  • At 10:13 PM on 26 Dec 2007,
  • dumbdumb wrote:

Will there are a lot of humanists obviously organising a campaign to vote for the FSM on your site. I still think you should select Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness as the Person of the Year. They have proven everyone wrong and demonstrated that a new future is possible for everyone in NI. The FSM is a pointless humanist cartoon by comparison.

Dumbdumb wrote

"Will there are a lot of humanists obviously organising a campaign to vote for the FSM on your site. I still think you should select Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness as the Person of the Year. They have proven everyone wrong and demonstrated that a new future is possible for everyone in NI. The FSM is a pointless humanist cartoon by comparison."

That is deeply insulting. I find it shocking that someone would say such things about peoples deeply held beliefs. Dumbdumb, I would like to politely yet firmly point out to you that it is good manners to show peoples religious faith some respect, even if you don't hold these beliefs yourself. Can you imagine what the world would look like if all people just bluntly go about kicking down the faiths that are quite obviously fairy tales?! I'm sorry, but the very idea of naming a religious spade a spade is just too far out to contemplate. That's just not done in our society. Faith is to be revered, not to be subjected to rational thinking, let alone critical questioning or rude remarks.

Respectfully,
Peter

  • 68.
  • At 12:34 AM on 27 Dec 2007,
  • Ron wrote:

How about Anas el-Banna - the 11 year boy who lobbied for the release of his dad from Guantanamo?

Or... Liviu Librescu the 76 year old Holocaust survivor who helped save his students before dying during a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech.

Or... Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan's opposition leader who returned from exile in October 2007, survived an assassination attempt, and is campaigning for re-election on 8 Jan.

  • 69.
  • At 10:58 PM on 27 Dec 2007,
  • helenanne smith wrote:

PETER, I can't take religious fundamentalists seriously. I can't take humanist fundamentalists seriously either. You have one thing in common - you both need a lot of counselling.

Will, Paisley and McGuinness get my vote. They have done soemthing truly historic.

Hi Helenanne,
You are against religious and humanist ‘fundamentalism’ but seem to be very much for awarding the Person of the Year to two of Ulster’s most rabid fundamentalists: one who has spent his whole life evangelising against ‘Romanism’ and for the literal truth of the Bible (has he changed in these respects at all?), and the other who spent 30 years organising a gang of vicious murderers in a sectarian cause. There is nothing more fundamentalist here than either of them. Their parties have recently joined forces in the Assembly to vote against any plan to extend abortion to Northern Ireland - again a pretty fundamentalist position. Indeed, the more I think of it, the more curious your position seems to be.

I agree with Joe (#7). Giving the Person of the Year to Paisley and McGuinness would be an insult to all the decent people of Northern Ireland who have had to suffer the bigotry, hatred and murder to which these two man have contributed over 30 years. As for their ‘conversion’ to chuckle brotherhood, only time will tell whether or not it is a publicity stunt with no real substance.

Humanism, incidentally, is a pretty broad church. I know many humanists who are far from being ‘fundamentalist’ on anything, even to the extent of pandering to religious people more often than they support some other humanists!

Hi Helenanne,
You are against religious and humanist ‘fundamentalism’ but seem to be very much for awarding the Person of the Year to two of Ulster’s most rabid fundamentalists: one who has spent his whole life evangelising against ‘Romanism’ and for the literal truth of the Bible (has he changed in these respects at all?), and the other who spent 30 years organising a gang of vicious murderers in a sectarian cause. There is nothing more fundamentalist here than either of them. Their parties have recently joined forces in the Assembly to vote against any plan to extend abortion to Northern Ireland - again a pretty fundamentalist position. Indeed, the more I think of it, the more curious your position seems to be.

I agree with Joe (#7). Giving the Person of the Year to Paisley and McGuinness would be an insult to all the decent people of Northern Ireland who have had to suffer the bigotry, hatred and murder to which these two man have contributed over 30 years. As for their ‘conversion’ to chuckle brotherhood, only time will tell whether or not it is a publicity stunt with no real substance.

Humanism, incidentally, is a pretty broad church. I know many humanists who are far from being ‘fundamentalist’ on anything, even to the extent of pandering to religious people more often than they support some other humanists!

  • 72.
  • At 10:10 AM on 30 Dec 2007,
  • Catherine Anne wrote:

Nuala O'Loane

A word to those of you who rubbished William’s choice for last year and also Dawkin’s book. I see that in today’s Observer, Richard Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford, finds much agreement with Dawkins’s treatment of morality in The God Delusion. He says that Dawkins’s views are interesting and significant and agrees that morality belongs to us as human beings without needing a religious justification. Ah, these C of E Bishops: aren’t they all closet atheists? (Jenkins, Cupitt, Robinson etc). No wonder Tony Blair became a Catholic  – he sought the truth (for a change) in all its pristine purity.

Also in today’s Observer there is an article by its education correspondent on how the Catholic Church is imposing a rigid sexual morality in Catholic schools in north-west England. This is the Church that the former PM, who supported civil marriages, extended abortion and stem cell research, has just joined. But then I suppose the war-mongering Blair has always suffered from large doses of ethical confusion.

I suggest again that William chooses the Buddhist monks of Burma. If they receive enough attention in the media, maybe Blair will convert to Buddhism. Now that would be real news.

I nominate Dr Patrick Walsh for putting up, with such magnaminity, with the bile that was spewed out about him on this very blog earlier this year.

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