Straight to hell

And other assorted religious ramblings

by Rick Johansen

Some of my best friends believe in God. Indeed, some of the very best and nicest people I know do God and in trying to be more kind to most people, I am aware I must include the devout in that. But my God, so to speak, it’s hard at the moment. And very, very sad.

I can barely look at the news from Gaza. I appreciate that the tragic situation over there goes far deeper than God, but religion isn’t doing much to help. And when you get religion, it seems you inevitably find religious extremists, uncompromising, hardline and sometimes murderous. As a long time supporter of the existence of Israel and its right to defend itself, the country has gone well beyond what a layman like me might describe as reasonable. But at the same time, the islamist maniacs of Hamas, whose raison d’être is, quite simply, the destruction of Israel, “from the river to the sea”, as pro Palestine supporters chant when they are out and about give me no sense of optimism about the future.

Then, there’s frock wearing Jorge Mario Bergoglio who is better known by his stage name Pope Francis. The old boy is now 87 and is struggling to do anything, even sitting in a wheelchair to watch the Via Crucis at the Colosseum, which is a re-enactment of Jesus’ death by crucifixion. That sounds like a right bundle of laughs but sadly Frankie was too poorly to come along. Instead the weekend’s entertainment will proceed with him watching the whole thing on telly, rather like the rest of us.

Finally, we come to God’s vicar in Canterbury, fellow frock wearer Justin Welby, who has announced that he will not be doing anything else to stop Rishi Sunak’s plan to deport a handful of desperate refugees to Rwanda for electoral reasons. (If you think there is another reason, you are an idiot.) I am very much opposed to religious folk like Welby being able to sit, unelected, in parliament in the first place. The only other country which allows clerics into its parliament is Iran. Great. You see, the House of Lords has been opposing Sunak’s bill but Welby thinks he should stop blocking government legislation, no matter how disgusting it is. Which begs the question, what would Jesus do?

I am not of the view that Jesus ever existed, unless you are referring to the Arsenal striker of the same name, but from what I can gather if he had existed, he’d have been a decent chap who, I would suggest, and opposed the forced deportation of refugees. No. Let’s firm that up. He definitely would oppose it. Justin swears by the word of God and all that so why would he airily wave through a government bill is nothing more a cruel gimmick? Let’s be clear. If we are going to have clerics in parliament, wouldn’t it be a good idea if they had principles? Justin’s appear to be flexible, to say the least. Not only should he be opposing Sunak’s bill, he should lie down in front of the first aircraft to fly these poor people to Rwanda. Justin, baby: you’re no better than Sunak. And that’s me being kind.

As for Sunak, this is what he posted on X just yesterday:

On this Good Friday, as we remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, let us reflect on the values of compassion, charity and selflessness he embodied. These values are at the heart of British values, inspiring us to build a society based on respect, tolerance and dignity for all.’

Irony is fucking dead.  The near billionaire snake oil salesman Sunak shows none of the values he proclaims and few have done more to divide this country than him. He’s another religious nutcase, a keen supporter of Hinduism, which presumably stands for enriching yourself by allowing others to starve, running down the NHS and social care (because you’re so rich you don’t need to use the NHS) and driving millions of people into poverty. Oh and tipping record amounts of shit into the sea. If Moses popped down to see us and attempted to part the Thames, as he supposedly did the Red Sea, he’s have to avoid a consider amount of faecal matter in the process. I’ll bet he didn’t have to worry about that back in the old days. Thanks to the Romans for sorting out the sewers, I say.

Isn’t this all mad? I’m trying hard to be kind to Godwhackers, I really am, but you are making it very hard for me. And when God’s vicar in Canterbury can’t even find the cojones to stand up for some of the poorest, most desperate people on the planet, I’m afraid all I feel is contempt.

I really hope there isn’t a God because if somehow there was, I’d have an awful lot to talk to him about and within moments, I reckon he’d send me straight to hell. I’m with Mike Skinner who said this:

I wanna go to heaven for the weather
But hell for the company
I wanna to go to heaven for the weather
But hell seems like fun to me


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