Your mother probably told you—mine told me—that you should never talk about religion or politics in polite company.
Fortunately most of the company I keep is not very polite.
But I happen to like it when people speak their mind. I believe this world would be a far safer place if we all said exactly what we thought and were not cowed by consequences, silenced by the strong arm of the law or the madness of the mob on twitter.
There are a few exceptions.
If you are given a platform by your job, have the decency to stick to your specialist subject.
If your specialist subject is Gun Control, I don’t want to know your opinion on a women’s right to abortion. My body is not your business.
If you are Chief Executive of a big gas company, I want you to explain why gas prices have fallen but my bills have gone up.
And frankly, if you are the Pope, I’d prefer you stick to Popey things – like….kissing babies and the feet of prisoners who haven’t had a wash for a week.
Or maybe performing a couple of miracles in order to snag a Sainthood. Now the miracle bar has been lowered from three to two I think this is perfectly achievable.
Try getting my mother-in-law to be civil for two days over Christmas. That’s one in the bag right there. (She’s dead so it’s actually trickier than you might think)
I have no time for any religion. Wherever there is conflict and death, there is religion justifying its lunacy. As ISIS chops the head off a fifteen year old for playing a bit of Beyoncé in his dad’s store, I find evidence for Muslim madness everywhere I look.
Watching tears stream down my husband’s face at the end of the movie ‘Spotlight’, as the staggering number of pedophile priests in Boston rolled across the screen, I see how strongly some people feel about the God in whom they believe.
The Catholic Church has built walls around these snivelling excuses for men. Cardinal Pell and his bottom-dwelling kind, with their fancy outfits hiding the fact they are not true men of the cloth have built their own walls. Walls of silence.
But this does not mean I am disrespectful of believers.
Who can blame them if it brings hope or purpose? Maybe Saint Peter does exist and won’t let me in, like Paul McCartney at Tyga’s Grammy party.
Come to think of it, I have been out with five Mark’s in my life and not one Peter. My father even started addressing them as such. ‘Evening Mark Three.’
But if you are a believer, then you may be seething His Royal Popey-ness has entered the presidential debate, saying Donald Trump is not a Christian because he wants to build a big wall to keep Mexican immigrants out of the US.
‘A person who thinks only about building walls… and not of building bridges, is not Christian.’
OK, Pope. I wouldn’t normally, but you cast the first stone, so I’m chucking in a few hand grenades of my own.
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