The Madness of Melanie Phillips

So, Dr Andrew Wakefield is now just plain old Andrew Wakefield after being struck off for – in the words of the Telegraph’s Tom Chivers:

[being] one of the principal authors of perhaps the stupidest and most unnecessary health scare of recent Western history… [and] for being “dishonest”, “misleading” and “irresponsible” in his research into the MMR vaccine and its purported links to autism.

If you want a wonderful comic-book account of the whole affair then go here and read this wonderful summary – pay close attention to the role that the media played in hyping up the non-existent link and making measles commonplace once again.

If you’re aware of this story then you’ll be aware of just how completely discredited both Wakefield and his ‘research’ is. You’d also probably expect an author of a book titled ‘The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power’ which is supposedly about our irrationality:

In what we tell ourselves is an age of reason, we are behaving increasingly irrationally. An astonishing number of people subscribe to celebrity endorsed cults, Mayan armageddon prophecies, scientism, and other varieties of new age, anti-enlightenment philosophies. Millions more advance popular conspiracy theories: AIDS was created in a CIA laboratory, Princess Diana was assassinated, and the 9/11 attacks were an inside job.

To be glad that rationality has won the day and Andrew Wakefield has been struck off. However, you then realise that the author of the above book is Melanie Phillips, and she is – for want of a better phrase – absolutely batshit insane. For starters, her book seeks to blame irrationality on:

the slow but steady marginalization of religion. We tell ourselves that faith and reason are incompatible, but the opposite is the case. It was Christianity and the Hebrew Bible, Phillips asserts, that gave us our concepts of reason, progress, and an orderly world on which science and modernity are based.

And that:

Without its religious traditions, the West has drifted into mass derangement where truth and lies, right and wrong, victim and aggressor are all turned upside down. Scientists skeptical of global warming are hounded from their posts, Israel is demonized, and the US is vilified over the war on terror—all on the basis of blatant falsehoods and obscene propaganda.

One imagines that Melanie Phillip’s arguments are undermined somewhat for her track record of drawing vastly different conclusions from the witnessing of any event. Her verdict on Andrew Wakefield being struck off is this short statement utterly bereft of any relationship to reality:

Following the risible kangaroo court set up by the General Medical Council Andrew Wakefield, the doctor at the heart of the MMR controversy, has now been struck off the medical register while his colleagues have yet to learn their own fate. This is a tragedy and a travesty. I believe a monstrous injustice has been done here, which has crucified the one doctor who tried to alleviate and prevent the suffering of a particular group of children and which has also betrayed their parents. The full story of how this sinister travesty was accomplished and the full range of people who were complicit in it — along with what it means for both medicine and public safety — has yet to be revealed. Over time, I hope this will eventually be achieved.

I’d suggest after reading the above statement we could all be justifiably skeptical that Melanie Phillips has anything rational to add to the topics of global warming, Israel and the war on terror. The worst thing is that this isn’t out of character for Melanie at all, she has a proud record of arguing ridiculous points.

Like, for example, claiming that the BBC’s decision to sack Carol Thatcher for her racist remark was:

a chilling insight into the totalitarian universe of the closed BBC mind… If the BBC had intended to convince the public that it had departed altogether from reality and common sense and resided instead in some alternative Stalinist universe, it could hardly have done a better job

Or, for example, claiming that a 13 year old father (who turned out in the end not to even be the father):

vividly reveals how our children are being abandoned and betrayed… And we all know why this is. A sexual free-for-all legitimated by the mantra of ‘lifestyle choice’, promoted from the top by narcissistic liberals and funded at the bottom by welfare benefits, has caused a catastrophic rate of family breakdown and fragmentation which is now repeating itself in an endless generational cycle

Or, for example, claiming that the increased deposits in sharia banking in the UK means that those banks accepting deposits are:

effectively endors[ing] the extremist ideology behind it of conquering the west for Islam

Or, for example, claiming that recent teenage pregnancy figures are evidence (even though with one odd exception teenage pregnancy rates are falling year-on-year) that:

Labour is doing nothing less than trying to reshape the sexual and moral behaviour of an entire society

Or, for example, equating a nurse being suspended for praying at work and a ‘private remark’ (what, it never left the confines of her head?) made by Carol Thatcher being reported with the UK:

sliding inexorably into a culture of control which would have been very familiar to the Stasi or the KGB

Or, for example, how turning away a slightly batty Dutch MP was a sign that Britain is:

sleepwalking towards cultural suicide… If anyone had doubted the extent to which Britain has capitulated to Islamic terror, the banning of Geert Wilders should surely open their eyes

If, after all this, you still think Melanie Phillips has anything sane or rational to add to any debate, then I’d politely suggest that you’re a bit mad as well.

Melanie Phillips Defends Anti-gay preacher

Melanie Phillips has for a few years now been writing in defence of ever more untenable positions, largely as far as I can tell because she seems to have no connection whatsoever to reality. Today’s article is no different, in that where see shes outrage and Orwellian dystopia, I imagine the majority of people see decency and modernity.

Her article – titled: ‘The Orwellian logic that’s turning the faith Britain was built on into a crime‘ – is attempting to be a defence of Christianity, but in reality it is a defence of intolerance and hatred, the very things that Melanie argues are causing the destruction of Christianity in Britain. It is a favourite theme of Melanie’s and today’s example is particularly unpleasant:

Terrifying as this may seem, the attempt to stamp out Christianity in Britain appears to be gathering pace.

Dale McAlpine was preaching to shoppers in Workington, Cumbria, that homosexuality is a sin when he found himself carted off by the police, locked up in a cell for seven hours and charged with using abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

It appears that two police community support officers – at least one of whom was gay – claimed he had caused distress to themselves and members of the public.

Under our anti-discrimination laws, such distress is not to be permitted.

I find it pretty incredible that anyone would want to openly defend a preacher raving about the evils of homosexuality in public. I really cannot understand how anyone could think that this is a good thing. Yet Melanie wants to defend the right of this preacher to shout out his beliefs based on a constantly evolving book of dubious origins and irrelevant messages. But she does, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Melanie was still keen on burning people who suggest that the world is round and revolves around the sun. She really is that backward.

She drivels on about ‘intolerance’ in an attempt to allow this christian preacher to preach intolerance, yet she doesn’t seem to realise what the real intolerance is. However, if my previous post highlighted the dumbest kind of person that posts comments on the Daily Mail website, then let me redress the balance by posting something really quite wonderful that I read underneath Melanie’s article:

a_fine_point

I really cannot add anything further to that, accept to say that is something that the utterly insane Melanie Phillips will never understand and that this comment received over 100 negative ratings.

The PC Brigade & Dr Taj Hargey

The PC Brigade, is there nothing this band of bandits will not ban? I had thought from reading newspapers that Christian nurse Shirley Chaplin had been told to remove her crucifix necklace for Health and Safety reasons, that the NHS Trust she worked for had a blanket ban on all jewelry. But I was wrong, turns out it was the PC Brigade, at least according to Dr Taj Hargey, who the Daily Mail is keen to point out IS A MUSLIM NO LESS!

Surely he must be absolutely right then, because why else would a Muslim stick up for Christianity? Maybe, just maybe he is just your typical religious nut who thinks that they deserve special treatment because they have ‘faith’ in a system of pointlessly repressive beliefs. ‘What has Britain come to when it takes a Muslim like me to defend Christianity?‘ wails Dr Hargey, before identifying the real culprit:

As a Muslim, I am filled with despair at the attitude of our politically correct officials towards Christianity.

For me, all true religious faith, if practised with benevolence and humility, can only strengthen our society. To undermine religion is to undermine society itself.

It is no coincidence that as Christianity is repeatedly attacked, so the social fabric of Britain becomes increasingly frayed.

As we lose our strong moral compass, family breakdown and violent crime are at record levels, while our once famous sense of community spirit is evaporating.

In the face of this kind of aggressive secularism, Christians and Muslims should be natural allies…

Equally despicable, however, is that these politically correct busy-bodies don’ t even have the courage to be open about their fanatical loathing of Christianity.

Instead, they often cravenly cite ‘health and safety’, that catch-all term so often clutched at by bureaucrats when they want to shut down something they disapprove of.

Well, what a way to roll out cliched and brainless arguments: society is lost without religion: prove it. Seems to me that we’ve had religion since ancient times and beyond and throughout history it has been one long list of wars, repression and genocide. This isn’t even mentioning the large amount of wars that have purely been about religion, about whose sky fairy is the best.

Consider which society you think best:

Society A: Young girl has sex and gets pregnant, family are utterly ashamed and send girl away to have child secretly and never mention it again, girl is damned in eyes of family. Scenario Two, girl so scared of consequences she is forced to insert a knitting needle into herself to terminate baby.

Society B: Young girl has sex and gets pregnant, she is able to see Doctor in confidence and get all the support, advice and help she needs from a range of sources. She can keep the baby and not be as outwardly shamed as Society A, or she can have an abortion and relevant counselling if needed.

Which seems most civilised, the one in which natural bodily functions, urges and above all youthful mistakes are punished by shame, damnation and rejection; or the one in which humanity steps in and lends some support to a fellow human being?

I know which society I prefer, and it isn’t the one that allows religion to determine what is and isn’t moral. Morality is not determined by religion, petty values, lack of freedom and sincerely held prejudices are determined by religion. As is the right to exemption from criticism. For example, if you are the head of an international paedophile ring you can expect to be vilified by the press, hunted by the world’s police and arrested. Unless, of course, your organisation is a religion, in which case you might be asked to ‘repent’ but you’re otherwise left alone to continue your systematic abuse of children.

The rest of Dr Taj Hargey’s article is the sort of drivel that you’d expect to be published in the Daily Mail: everyone’s attacking religion, especially the poor Christians, no one respects religion and on and on. But, what does he really expect? Perhaps if organised religion hadn’t spent the last few thousand years acting like a bunch of utterly immoral shits then we might have a fonder view of it. Perhaps if Christianity turned the other cheek and actually attempted to live by its tenets then we’d have respect for it.

Or perhaps, we do generally respect Christianity and other forms of religion in Britain, but sometimes a religious person is completely unreasonable in not removing an article of faith that has no place in an hospital ward, just as no piece of jewelry has no place in an hospital ward. This then leads to intolerance from idiots like you, who cry discrimination, when really, if you look at it from a neutral point of view: discrimination is written into your holy books, not NHS Trust health and safety guidelines.

All I know is that every time I read a pointless article like this written by some trumped-up religious bell-end It certainly makes me less tolerant towards the mindless ‘faithful’.