Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Baroness Warsi - Minister without a Clue

The Conservative Party Co-Chairman and Minister without Portfolio (Clue - her titles hint at the real situation), Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, has tripped off to the Vatican to praise the well-known misogynist, Pope Benedict, and call for Europe to be more confident about Christianity. In a craven paean to The Holy Father, Britain's only Muslim Minister praises the Catholic Church for its apparent role in supporting human rights and laments the absence of any mention of Christianity in the European Union's constitution. Echoing her earlier comments that the British Government now does religion (a pointed rebuttal of officials' advice that we don't do God when Tony Blair wanted to end his declaration of war on Iraq with a Christian prayer), Warsi expresses the hope that the crucifix can be displayed in public buildings in Britain in the future.

Warsi lauds the Catholic Church as an exemplar of European culture - claiming its influence shines through our way of life and "for centuries, Christianity in Europe has been inspiring, motivating, strengthening and improving our societies."

Presumably these centuries of shining include the Catholic Church's inspiration and motivation behind
- the Crusaders' sacking Jerusalem and butchering of almost its entire population in 1099;
- the FIVE MILLION women burnt at the stake as witches by the Church, a Holocaust in itself;
- the hundreds of thousands of people exiled, tortured and killed for heresy by the Inquisition (an institution which has never been abolished by the Church);
- the Pope's ambivalence towards the Nazis in deporting Italy's Jews during the war and refusal to condemn antisemitic laws prior to the war;
- the Vatican's decades of involvement with countless bloodthirsty and corrupt Latin American military regimes through to the 1990s, as well as its cosying up to Spanish dictator Franco as he murdered thousands of socialists and communists, a tendency that continues today with Vatican approval of Belarussian dictator Lukashenko.
- the rank corruption of the Vatican Bank, including its laundering of millions of dollars of Nazi and Croat Ustashe money at the end of the war and its links to the murdered "God's banker", Roberto Calvi in 1982.
- its continuing cover up of the abuse of children in its care;
- its continuing persecution of gay and lesbian people;

Benedict himself created a storm a few years back when he deliberately misquoted a medieval Byzantine Emperor to declare the Islamic faith the Baroness professes as evil and inhuman. Presumably she won't forget to thank him for that little contribution to interfaith harmony and understanding too?

There are plenty of decent, peaceful Catholics and other Christians, but I don't want the Government of my country praising any institution with a pedigree like that headed by the Pope, especially when its leaders continue to be in total denial of much of their history and eschew their responsibilities towards their victims. Nor do I want Christianity - or any other religion - sponsored by the public buildings, officials or services that I pay taxes towards and which are meant to serve citizens of all faiths and none.

The latest census apparently shows a huge decline in the proportion of British people calling themselves Christian - and most of those who do are in fact not practising Christians as they don't attend church, read the bible or pray regularly. But, sounding like a would-be British Tea Party-goer, Warsi spits out her usual ragbag of ignorance with her customary shrill pomposity and uninformed would-be populist rhetoric.

Let's get this right - she wants to impose a religion on British citizens which she does not actually believe in or follow herself? How hypocritical, or just plain stupid, is that?

The Baroness and some episodes from the centuries of inspiration offered by the Catholic Church


  1. I agree.

    The Catholic Church has much to answer for.

    Have you heard The Pope Song by Tim Minchin?


    Very strong language, but en excellent song.

  2. “Five million women burnt at the stake by the church” surely there is enough mud to throw at the Church without regurgitating this dodgy stuff. At the very least, this cliché misrepresent both the body count and the gender of witch-hunt persecution: most scholars now cite more realistic estimates in the range of 50,000 killed, with men comprising twenty to twenty-five percent of the total. Moreover most of the executions were carried out by secular courts. Church courts tried many witches but they usually imposed non-lethal penalties. A witch might be excommunicated, given penance, or imprisoned, but she was rarely killed. The Inquisition almost invariably pardoned any witch who confessed and repented.

  3. I think Socialists have a lot to answer for, Mr K. Regimes claiming to be Socialist during the twentieth century have committed mass murder and genocide. An estimated death toll numbering between 85 and 100 million killed. Socialists had their own brand of witch-hunts, and collaborated with Nazis when it was expedient. There are plenty of decent, peaceful Socialists of course…

  4. A blog claiming to be opposed to "religious intolerance", spewing out bigoted sterotypes about Catholicism? Surprise, surprise. If somebody had portrayed all Mohammedans as rabid terrorist jihadists, you would be howling "fascist", "racist!"... typical hypocriticial left-wing scum.

  5. Much of what you have wrote is in any case political propaganda and misrepresentation. The "witch-craze" was a Northern European Protestant phenomenon and they certainly didn't kill 5 million people.

  6. Anonymous, you will find other entries in this blog expressing concern about the activities of Muslim fundamentalists in places like Libya - as well as praise for Christians in their activities for good. I favour nor revile any religion over another. I am not sure what you mean about bigoted stereotypes about Catholicism - in the text I refer to the many Catholics who are good and decent people; the examples I cite of episodes in Catholic history, which Sayeeda Warsi was praising as all to the good. They are all historically correct and in response to her glossing over of the past.

    As to the witch hunts, these began in the 14th century, a full 200 years before the Reformation, when the Catholic church was the sole church in western Europe - so to portray it as a Northern European Protestant phenomenon is simply not correct - granted that it reached a peak during the 17th century, but Catholics were as involved as Protestants at that time. In terms of numbers killed, there are various estimates ranging from somewhere under 100,000 at one end to over 9 million at the other. Personally, one such death is one too many.