The pathetic bleating and barefaced cheek of Cristina Odone

January 15, 2014 at 6:37 pm (Beyond parody, Christianity, Civil liberties, conspiracy theories, Free Speech, Guardian, Jim D, New Statesman, religion, religious right)

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Above: Odone

The present issue of the New Statesman carries a quite extraordinary example of special pleading and exaggerated claims of victimhood from the Catholic journalist and apologist Cristina Odone.

The starting-point for her long-winded whinge is the fact that a Christian organisation had difficulty finding a venue in London willing to accept a booking for a conference entitled “One Man. One Woman. Making the Case for Marriage for the Good of Society.” Both the Law Society and the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre cited their respective diversity policies as the reason for their refusals. Annoying for the organisers, undoubtedly. Excessive?  Perhaps. But evidence of persecution (Odone doesn’t use that word, by the way, but it’s quite clearly what she means)? Don’t make me laugh.

If you can’t be arsed to follow the link above, here’s a representative taste of Odone’s pathetic bleating:

“Only 50 years ago, liberals supported “alternative culture”; they manned the barricades in protest against the establishment position on war, race and feminism. Today, liberals abhor any alternative to their credo. No one should offer an opinion that runs against the grain on issues that liberals consider “set in stone”, such as sexuality or the sanctity of life.

“Intolerance is no longer the prerogative of overt racists and other bigots – it is state-sanctioned. It is no longer the case that the authorities are impartial on matters of belief, and will intervene to protect the interests and heritage of the weak. When it comes to crushing the rights of those who dissent from the new orthodoxy, politicians and bureaucrats alike are in the forefront of the attacks, not the defence.

“I believe that religious liberty is mean­ingless if religious subcultures do not have the right to practise and preach according to their beliefs. These views – for example, on abortion, adoption, divorce, marriage, promiscuity and euthanasia – may be unfashionable. They certainly will strike many liberal-minded outsiders as harsh, impractical, outmoded, and irrelevant.

“But that is not the point. Adherents of these beliefs should not face life-ruining disadvantages. They should not have to close their businesses, as happened to the Christian couple who said only married heterosexual couples could stay at their bed and breakfast. They should not lose their jobs, which was the case of the registrar who refused to marry gays. When Britain was fighting for its life in the Second World War, it never forced pacifists to bear arms. So why force the closure of a Catholic adoption agency that for almost 150 years has placed some of society’s most vulnerable children with loving parents?”

You’d never guess, would you, that religious belief is given special protection under UK law (Section 10 of the Equality Act 2010, and the Employment Equality [Religion and Belief] Regulations 2003) in a way that, for instance, atheism is not. In fact, Zoe Williams, writing in today’s Graun, makes the point that atheists in Britain (and elsewhere) tend to lack the status and advantages taken for granted by the religious. She suggests an explanation that might help explain Odone’s shrill and self-righteous exercise in self-pity: “This systematic civil exclusion, I think, has rather shallow roots – not in a prejudice against the faithless, but in the loam of human politeness, where groups are accorded attention, respect and sensitivity in proportion to how much they will complain if they don’t get it. Something to think about heathens: maybe we are simply not complaining enough.”

Of course, there are many places in the world where religious people do suffer persecution - often by adherents of other religions. But nothing remotely like that happens in the UK, and anyone who suggests it does is either living in a paranoid fantasy world, or conducting a cynical exercise in bare-faced cheek. I’m not sure which category applies to Odone, but I’m damn sure one or the other does. Or maybe both.

13 Comments

  1. The pathetic bleating and barefaced cheek of Cristina Odone | OzHouse said,

    […] Jan 15 2014 by admin […]

  2. Mike Killingworth said,

    Remind me again why a Christian organisation doesn’t want to hold its conference in a venue owned by a Christian church.

  3. Babs said,

    Yes Liberals are against preaching superstitious bullshit (I wish it was state sanctioned). Those who preach tend to believe in the literal meaning of the Bible such as the Earth being roughly 6000 years old.

    • Babs said,

      One of the NS comments nailed it. Cristina is really complaining about the lack of PRIMACY.

  4. Babs said,

    Just notice a link to Fox News. Does that mean Shiraz admin won’t roll their eyes if anyone links to RT News or Press TV provided the news is factually correct? 😜

  5. Andrew Coates said,

    One group that did not defend alternative culture was the Festival of Light circa 1971.

    “The movement had two expressed aims: to protest against “sexploitation” in the media and the arts, and to offer the teaching of Christ as the key to recovering moral stability in the nation. Some supporters naturally emphasized the first, and others the second. Plans were made for major public events, including the lighting of beacons on hilltops throughout the United Kingdom, and culminating in a massed march to a public rally in Trafalgar Square and an open-air concert of Christian music in Hyde Park.”

    There was a counter-demo, organised by supporters of OZ magazine.

    At a very young age I was on it.

    Blimey those Salvation Army types could really kick hard!

    For another extraordinary example of how odd religious people are (note particularly the comments from right-wing Evangelical) see this

    http://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/tommy-robinson-to-speak-at-jimas-suffolk-college-holocaust-memorial-day/#comment-10854

  6. The New Intolerance: Will We Regret Pushing Christians out of Public Life? | pundit from another planet said,

    […] The pathetic bleating and barefaced cheek of Cristina Odone (shirazsocialist.wordpress.com) […]

  7. finbar. said,

    I like the madness of religion,its fervour and death felt ridicule.See Egypt,is having a third run at its democratic constitution,a enathma to a culture who!s religious abuse is blood red.Like all those, we support freedom of identity,we march in the streets,we collect funds for you,and we believe in your religion.What religious beliefs,or more so in Egypt,do you hang your funds on,they all seem to be out for themselves,and misery for those who get in their way.

  8. finbar. said,

    How many cared souls have wrote books about Egypt,made bulk profit and not hung around,bulk.Get a bad name for this,how does “our care” battle as we fight and shout abuse on the tereses at our own people, who!s team is not from our place.What right of care and justice gives us the right to go elsewhere and dominate our control,saying to our people, look at these people, their religion their culture is divided look at them,their neigbour!s are their enemy.

  9. Babs said,

  10. jimmy glesga said,

    Maybe she could use Westminster Cathedral. Plenty of room in there since priests and nuns have been exposed for their buggery and thuggery.

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