Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stephen Fry and friends

Stephen Fry, Professor Richard Dawkins, Professor Susan Blackmore, Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, Ed Byrne, Baroness Blackstone, Ken Follett, Professor AC Grayling, Stewart Lee, Baroness Massey, Claire Rayner, Adele Anderson, John Austin MP, Lord Avebury, Sian Berry, Professor Simon Blackburn, Sir David Blatherwick, Sir Tom Blundell, Dr Helena Cronin, Dylan Evans, Hermione Eyre, Lord Foulkes, Professor Chris French, Natalie Haynes, Johann Hari, Jon Holmes, Lord Hughes, Robin Ince, Dr Michael Irwin, Professor Steve Jones, Sir Harold Kroto, Professor John Lee, Zoe Margolis, Jonathan Meades, Sir Jonathan Miller, Diane Munday, Maryam Namazie, David Nobbs, Professor Richard Norman, Lord O'Neill, Simon Price, Paul Rose, Martin Rowson, Michael Rubenstein, Joan Smith, Dr Harry Stopes-Roe, Professor Raymond Tallis, Lord Taverne, Peter Tatchell, Baroness Turner, Professor Lord Wedderburn of Charlton QC FBA, Ann Marie Waters, Professor Wolpert, Jane Wynne Willson
I am not sure who half of these people are, or what good they do in the world but they followed Stephen Fry and signed a letter in the Guardian today protesting against the leader of the organisation which offers medical and social care to the largest number of AIDS and HIV Positive people in Africa.

That's right the same organisation which offers literacy and a way out of poverty to a huge number of the world's poor children. It is the same organidsation which offers hope to over a billion of the world's population.

It is the same organisation which has opposed slavery for most of the last millenium. The same organisation which has inspired the greatest European art, whose members were at the cutting edge of science and philosophy.... Well, you continue ....


georgem said...

I have to say I've heard of/or read most of them and no surprises there.
But think of the number of people who haven't signed!

Ma Tucker said...

Shameful certainly but it is the gaurauradian. Let's face it hardly the bastion of intellectual integrity. Please God in a little while these poor misguided souls will find out the truth and rue the day they put their name to such pathetic lies.

umblepie said...

'Well said' Father, and thanks for so many of your truly Catholic posts.Tremendously encouraging for so many who love the Church.

Pilgrim said...


Tim said...

Extremely useful - we now have a convenient list of enemies to pray for. 55 of 'em - that's a bead each on my rosary (with a few to spare).

videomaker said...

Never heard of most of them. The others are the usual bores. I like the fact they called him "Pope Ratzinger"; surprised they didn't opt for "Mr Ratzinger".

As time passes, the New Atheists sound more and more like the old Wee Frees.

umblepie said...

As a matter of interest - all of the signatories of the Guardian letter, with the exception of six, are listed as 'Distinguished supporters' of the British Humanist Association.
Of the six, two are listed as members of the National Secularist Society,which leaves four -one of which is Peter Tatchell, another is a promoter of 'One Law for All', and I've no doubt the remaining two are of similar ilk. A somewhat prejudiced group perhaps! But who knows what great blessings the visit of the Holy Father will bring to our people and our Country? Oremus.

Unknown said...

In 50 years (probably a lot less) no one will recall their names, what they did and what they wrote or said.

However that will not be the position with Pope Benedict

Michael Petek said...

Their name is Legion, for they are many.

Stephen Fry, Johann Hari and Peter Tatchell are well-known Brokeback Mountaineers. The only good thing any of them has ever done is Stephen Fry's character of Lord Melchett in the Blackadder comedy series.

Professor Susan Blackmore is a Zen atheist.

Terry Pratchett is a novelist. He is also a trustee of the Orangutan Foundation UK and, it seems, qualifies as a beneficiary as well.

Ken Follett and Philip Pullman are also novelists. Mr Pullman's most recent book is 'The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ'. The second adjective in the title is well predicated of Mr Pullman. The first is not.

Ed Byrne is an Irish stand-up comedian and actor who featured in the Father Ted series. He studied horticulture at university, and would have served humanity better had he chosen it as his career.
Stewart Lee is also a comedian infamous for co-writing and directing the critically-acclaimed and controversial stage show 'Jerry Springer - The Opera'.

Lord Avebury, Lord O'Neill, Baroness Massey, Lord Taverne, Baroness Turner, Lord Wedderburn and Baroness Blackstone are members of the House of Lords. Baroness Blackstone is a politician whose brother Timothy Blackstone was a porn star in the 1970s. He was convicted of insider trading in 2003.

Professor AC Grayling is the fool that saith in his heart that there is no God. Professor Richard Dawkins is another.

Claire Rayner is an agonising agony aunt who ought to be locked up.
Adele Anderson is a singer and actress.

John Austin used to be an MP. He was implicated in the 2009 MP's expenses scandal having claimed a total of £133,000 in second home allowances since 2001, despite the fact the two London flats he lived in over the period were just over 10 miles away from his main residence in Kent.

Sian Berry is Principal Speaker of the Green Party.

Professor Simon Blackburn is an academic philosopher and current President of the Aristotelian Society. He therefore ought to know better than to be an atheist.

Sir David Blatherwick is a retired diplomat.

Sir Tom Blundell is a biochemist and science administrator. Professor Steve Jones is a professor of genetics.

Dylan Evans, Dr Helena Cronin and Professor Raymond Tallis are philosophers. Dr Cronin is a Darwinian philosopher. No wonder she is an atheist.

Hermione Eyre is a commentator at the Independent.

Lord Hughes and Lord Foulkes are a politicians. In 1993, Lord Foulkes was forced to resign as Shadow Defence Minister after being convicted of being drunk and disorderly during in incident in which he struck a police officer.

Professor Chris French is a namesake of my economic history lecturer at Kingston. Thank goodness they're not one and the same.

Robin Ince, Jon Holmes and Natalie Haynes are comedians. Miss Holmes read Classics at, of all places, Christ's College Cambridge, yet she is a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association. That's not funny.

Dr Michael Irwin is a retired GP and former medical director of the United Nations. He campaigns for voluntary euthanasia. He was arrested in 2003 following his confession that he had tried to assist a terminally ill friend to die. No charges followed, but in 2005 he was struck off the medical register after an inquiry by the General Medical Council He has also claimed to have helped at least 50 terminally ill patients to die.

frd said...

Michael Petek,
thank you for that informative exegesis of the list of shame.

Adele Anderson is also a well known (pretty unconvincing) trans-sexual who is a member of the British Humanist Association. S/he writes lots of the lyrics for the fabulous all-girl group "Fascinating Aida". What a shame she's got mixed up with the likes of Stephen Fry and Richard Dawkins.

Michael Petek said...


Sir Harold Kroto is an academic chemist. Although raised Jewish, he has stated that religion never made any sense to him. And he calls himself educated.

Professor John Lee is a pathologist. That makes him a pathological humanist.

Zoe Margolis is an ambassador for the Brooks sexual health charity for young people. She set up a blog, which she later published as a bookin which she wrote in detail about her life as a sexually active young woman in London. She wrote under the pen name Abby Lee, and when her cover was blown she went into hiding for a while. It's a shame she came out of it.

Jonathan Meades is a secular humanist and a food critic. One of these days he might get food poisoning and get a death's door conversion experience out of it.

Sir Jonathan Miller is a theatre and opera director, author and sculptor. He used to be a vice president of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, though he isn't one himself.

Diane Munday was a key member of the Abortion Law Reform Association when the Abortion Law was changed in Britain in 1968.

Maryam Namazie was born in Tehran and is a secular humanist, Communist and ex-Muslim. If she isn't careful she might end up creating a spiritual vacuum in public life which Islam will fill. So she'll get stoned to death for apostasy. She'll look a bit of a fool, then, won't she?

David Nobbs is a comedy writer.
Professor Richard Norman is Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Kent. A Norman devoid of wisdom.
Simon Price is a music journalist.
Paul Rose was a politician and barrister. A Canadian murderer is his namesake.

Martin Rowson and Joan Smith are novelists.

Dr Harry Stopes-Roe is the son of the Hitler-loving eugenicist Marie Stopes. She wrote as gushingly as a severed jugular vein to her Teutonic mentor: “Dear Herr Hitler, Love is the greatest thing in the world: so will you accept from me these (poems) that you may allow the young people of your nation to have them?”

sedevacantist priest said...

hell is hot. they always repent on the death bed.

P Standforth said...

I'm sure you realise Father, that the reason all these numpties are becoming so worked up about the Pope's visit is that he matters, and what he says makes a difference. They fear him, and the role of the Church. If this were not so, they'd dismiss him, but because it is true, and each of them is a mere will o the wisp in comparison, they clamour and wail; to no avail.

Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

A couple of years ago Sacred Heart High school in Hammersmith had a promise auction for charity ( which involves bidding for certain things, like having a cake made or having your garden tidied up)
I was intrigued to see that one of the 'items' on the bidding sheet was a meal in the company of Phillip Pullman.
I wondered who would be bidding for that, and also why he would be helping a catholic girls school to raise funds?
Given his open antipathy towards the church I found it rather creepy.

Ernie Skillen said...

I wonder what Stephen Fry, the poor man's Oscar Wilde, whose manners he affects when not locked in athiestic despair and depression makes of his hero's conversion to the One True Faith? Also, who are these ridiculous Barons/esses? Who elected them to speak? Probably enobled by the great warmonger T Blair Esq RCIA.

PaulineG said...

Just a little more to add to Michael's very revealing account:

Diane Munday is a long-standing pro-abortion campaigner.

Raymond Tallis campaigns for "assisted dying" i.e. killing the dying.

What a sad and sorry lot.

PaulineG said...

There are at least two Professor Wolperts. Curious, therefore, that no first name is provided.

Professor Lewis Wolpert is a defender of destructive embryo research.

Fr William said...

If you enjoy a good laugh, I do recommend Fry's BBC interview. Quite hilariously incoherent: apparently the Vatican isn't a real state because it doesn't have an Olympic team, and because its existence is due to an "accident of history" (as opposed to what, Stephen? Name me one non-island state which didn't come about as a result of chance historical circumstance.) Best of all are the bits where he just gives up trying to string an argument together and falls back on repeating "it isn't, it just plain isn't" or "I mean it's not right". Wonderful!

John said...

I am stunned by the vitriol and barely masked hatred that is contained in so many of these posts. How often are emotive and ill-expressed attacks met by comments of the same ilk! It seems to me that both sides should try harder to enter into an informed balanced debate rather than slagging each other off. If you take a step back there appears to be little or no humility here and it is not very edifying. For my part as a cradle Catholic I find it impossible to ignore the evil that has been done by both individual priests and by groups within the hierarchy itself. However I also recognise the goodness that resides within the church too and acknowledge how much Catholic organisations contribute to alleviating suffering across the world.

Anonymous said...


Don't be ridiculous.

It's quite clear you haven't got the foggiest idea as to what hatred is.

You need to either examine your conscience, for accusing people wrongfully of hatred, or re-examine the worth of your education.

+ Wolsey

Gladiatrix said...

These things, letters to the Guardian and so forth, happen because British orthodox Catholics won't use the rights they have under English/Scottish law. It is a criminal offence to incite religious hatred, it is a civil offence to disrespect someone's right to their religious belief.

Has even one Catholic complained to their local police force or to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission? No.

This bigotry will continue until British Catholics fight back and publicly make an example of someone through the courts.

A start could be made by reporting Stephen Fry to Equity for disrepute and asking for his expulsion from the union; this would make it very difficult for him to work in the UK as Equity membership is generally a requirement in the entertainment industry. Equally, Dawkins and Grayling could be reported to the Chancellors of their respective universities for the same thing, with a request that they be sacked, stripped of their fellowships and banned from the premises.

You are all of you far too polite.

John said...

Wolsey, Maybe there isn't any hatred here - I was merely making an observation based on the tone of many the contributions to the St Mary Magdalen's website. I am intrigued to know what the point of posts to this blogspot is. I wonder what good can come from it all when there's so much negativity expressed. When I was a student I attended a thriving Catholic chaplaincy founded on principles of inclusivity and acceptance of people as they are. This is what I look for in any community. It seems absent here but maybe I'm wrong about that too!

Anthony Miller said...

Expulsion from Equity ! Wow Mr Fry must be shivering with fear. I hate to break it to you but hardly any comedians are members and fewer and fewer actors come to that since the closed shop was kicked to death by Mrs Thatcher in the 1980s.

Jerry Springer the opera was a masterful piece of comic satire on the way in which TV is filling the void left by the consumer society's lack of time for organised religion. It explored issues such as the use of TV as a confessional while the private sacrament of confession goes ever into decline and attempted to draw social parallels between biblical teaching and the modern world.

As a result Stewart Lee was the subject of a vicious hard right hate campaign orchestrated by Stephen Green who's Christian Voice organisation has close links with the BNP.

The introduction of Religious hatred legislation was designed to close the legal loophole by which many people cloak their racism in other forms - it wasn't designed to kill theological and religious debate.

The Catholic Church is a political organisation which expouses political views and even goes so far as to tell MPs & MEPs how to vote. It is therefore not wrong for people to express opposing political views. If they dont express them how can anyone refute them?

Writing a letter to the Guardian is a much gentler form of protest than picketing arts centre productions of a show that's already been on TV and been seen by thousands of people in an attempt to make it uncommercial or sending so many death threats BBC producers are forced to leave the country...? And you wonder why people are picketing the Pope's gig? It's probably got something to do with the church not effectively separating its self from the violent opinions of people like Stephen Green who are trying to leach away its authority.

Some of the attacks on the Church are mean spirited but the Church could do its bit for understanding by speaking out against exagerated hyperbole and vexatious blasphemy prosecutions that are laughed out of court - otherwise it will be associated with them.

Imnie said...

You might be interested to know that Dr Dylan Evans was convicted of sexual harassment for "showing a colleague a scientific paper" and that many of the other names in the list are a happy band of supporters who signed a petition supporting the right to go on sexually harassing in the name of freedom.

The court judgement is reported here: and I refuse to add a link to the petition of support for Dr Evans and this particular "freedom".

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...