An image of the bible for beliefs

Comments, Motes and Beams

I wrote a rather long comment today. I had thought that I had no need to add to the comment that GotN left on that comment until the commentor commented on a post that GotN made.

Confusing isn’t it?

I will sum up.

I wrote a post that contained an image of Molly naked in a church. I had a commentor that was unhappy. She felt we had shown disrespect and queried whether we would do the same in a mosque.  Then GotN wrote a post about dealing with trolls and the same person appeared believing that the post was about them. She is mistaken.

It is no big secret that I am an Atheist, and while I fully respect peoples right to be religious that doesn’t mean I have to follow their rules. Want to avoid pork, cool, more bacon for me. But did you notice how you avoiding pork doesn’t mean I need to stop eating pork? I had a run in with a vegan group on twitter who wasn’t willing to concede that my point of view might be valid. They were full of missionary zeal and when faced with someone who didn’t share their values told me that they looked forward to my coming cancer.

I am completely down with respecting people, no matter how divergent their points of view are from mine. But I do not need to follow their rules, that frankly is absurd. I expect no one else to follow my rules or beliefs. We only follow the rules that we all have agreed upon, that is why we have democracies.

I guess my point is really about zealots. I can’t abide that absolutism that comes with the conviction of being utterly convinced of how right they are, and yet I am not a fan of the opposite, that we must cater to others deeply held beliefs, no matter how ridiculous they are. I don’t care if what you are completely sure about, be it D/s, or religion or politics being that sure of anything makes you blind to your own errors, and since I am in a bible quoting mood today I will end this post with a few words from that rather famous work of many hands.

  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

I don’t get a pass on this rule either, which is why I have you dear reader, to keep me on course.



7 thoughts on “Comments, Motes and Beams

  1. You’ve got my pet hate shackles right up with this one, maybe it’s because I’m in that post holiday exhausted phase that I’m uber grumpy tonight. But more and more I struggle with people telling each other their opinion is wrong just because it differs to their own. What happened to debates and discussions, why does it seem to now have to end in threats…grrr!

  2. I’m a Humanist Pagan and have had to deal with the same kinds of issues with people, all of religions, beliefs and lifestyles.. including an ongoing argument with a Vegan who insists I need to stop eating meat. I keep asking her how my diet habits have any affect on her life. Never get an answer.

    Same with religion. How does what I believe help anyone with their beliefs? If they need me to agree with them, then it seems to me, their faith is pretty weak.

    As far as nudity in a church, this is fairly modern interpretation, the force of modesty on others, especially women, because after all the poor men can’t be expected to control their desires after seeing a naked woman and not act on them.
    If I was a man, this attitude would royally piss me off.

    Besides, wasn’t Adam and Eve naked in the Garden in Eden (if you actually believe that story to be true), which essentially by “Christian” standards was the original church.

    People who get all holy about churches and the bible forget two important facts. They are a building and a book. They are only sacred if people see them as such. To demand that everyone do so just because one person does, it egotistical and selfish. It’s called a “personal” belief for a reason.

  3. I agree that you do not need to follow other people’s rules. Except for when they are statutory. Unless you want to run the risk of prison or fines etc.
    I think we are misunderstanding each other. The point I have been attempting to raise – to use your bacon analogy – is not about the nuisance of beamed-eyed people insisting that you do not have the right to enjoy a bacon sandwich. Of course you do Michael. Virtually everywhere you choose to take yourself you can eat your bacon. My argument is – if you choose to eat bacon, why is it that you think it is fair to insist on exercising your right to eat said bacon in the home of a person that abhors bacon, who may find it upsetting and disrespectful due to their personal/cultural/religious beliefs?
    This type of bacon eating – at any venue, despite venue’s ownership by a person whose culture precludes bacon and the implications for others for whom the venue also has non bacon significance, IMO, constitutes a lack of empathy and respect on the part of the bacon eater who wants to eat bacon EVERYWHERE…….
    In this vein, your original photo with Molly ‘mooning’ at the altar of a Christian church demonstrated for me an oblivion in this instance to other people’s feelings who have a spiritual investment in that venue.
    For the vicar and his congregation that church will be the place they meet with God. God’s House. Consecrated so they believe and holy with the altar representing Christ himself. I get your reasoning that as an atheist yourself these days, the lighting for the naked butt shot was better in that direction. Nevertheless, justifying your case with a plea of artistic licence is akin to my insisting that because I have the right to wear shoes if I choose to, I should also have the right to enter a Buddhist Temple or a Mosque with my shoes on – and I will rationalise my decision because my feet are cold.
    Of course it’s all a matter of perception as to what each of us finds disrespectful……..The other week you posted that one evening – thanks to modern technology you were able to write the following day’s article on your mobile phone whilst having dinner with the in-laws. From my frame of reference – (as a social worker dealing with vulnerable adults) in general the elderly can be a pretty lonely and overlooked bunch, therefore your comment elicited a feeling of sadness in me. However, that is MY point of reference –as my job brings me into contact often with the loneliness and neglect that can be our lot in old age.
    However I do realise we are all of us different with diverse values and normative behaviours and for all I know perhaps in your family you happily eat dinner together typing on mobile phones or other electronic gadgets. Or maybe your in-laws are lucky and you see them that often for meals out that it really doesn’t matter if you are typing your copy and not fully engaged with them on this one occasion – or perhaps they are aware of your blog and you were sharing your thoughts as you wrote. I don’t know how the situation went down your end.
    What I do know is that my perception of the elderly and their place in society as well as my perception of the use of mobile phones when out to dinner is more than likely different to yours. And that’s fine because just as you have every right when out to dinner in company to exercise your entitlement to write an article on your mobile phone – I have just as much entitlement to choose not to go out to dinner with someone that wants to write an article on their mobile during the main course. Or the starter. Or even dessert for that matter.
    With regard to the informative links you sent me – I agree it’s perfectly acceptable for people to worship in their particular environments in the way that they want to – naked –is fine by me if that’s their bag – as long as there aren’t any vulnerable adults or kids involved who can’t really give their consent. Also providing they slap their clothes back on before they leave the church and frighten any small children.
    Your links didn’t make me feel any more kindly disposed towards your arse/alter shot though, as the church that Molly posed in is not one where, as in the USA church the pastor demands that his congregation worships in the buff. As such I’m pretty sure that if a celebrant turned up at its family service on a Sunday, sans apparel and couldn’t be persuaded to more appropriate behaviour the authorities might be swiftly called upon to rescue the situation.
    Finally, I think it’s worth mentioning that a church isn’t owned by us, the public – but by the incumbent in residence as ‘church property.’ Therefore, surely the vicar/owner’s views on respectful behaviour whilst on the premises (even though they may not coincide with yours or mine) take precedence over what you or I think constitutes appropriate behaviour on someone else’s property? Surely it would then follow, that you and I who may have different personal boundaries than the property owner can either choose to stay away, or modify our behaviour to take into account the owners wishes. Out of respect. Rather than cause offence?
    Of course there is a third way and many of us inherent rule breakers – and I am one too, might think it okay to sneak in and do as they please anyway. For me, religious buildings of any kind would be a hard limit so you lose me there but I do agree with the argument that GOTN put forward as to does it actually matter if no one knows? However in your case you chose to publish your experience on the net, negating what is a valid point.
    Finally to highlight the argument I’ve been trying to make about disrespectful behaviour to others, I offer evidence as to which way a vicar & his congregation would probably swing on the mooning at the alter issue; the case of ‘Gemma’ from Margate and her naked photoshoot inside St Barthlolmew’s Church, Kent (2013) Presumably the lighting was good that day as shots were taken from all angles. Afterwards when she posted her photos online and it was brought to the attention of the local clergy, comments were as follows;
    ‘I think it’s not on really and it’s something I deplore’
    ‘The pictures show the loss of the sense of sacred we have in society in general’
    ‘God made the body beautiful, but there is a time and a place’
    ’ There are those who will be repulsed by the sacrilegious side of it’.
    In summation – a spokesman for the owner’s the Churches Conservation Trust confirmed that they were ‘very sorry to hear pictures of this nature having been taken at our church without our permission. Our churches are open to all as heritage attractions and places of peace and calm, we expect visitors to treat the buildings with the respect they deserve, as well as being respectful of the local community and their use of these buildings’.

    1. A quick reply to your very long comment. It seems that you find me very offensive, since I was ignoring the in-laws while writing my post. Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. You don’t know me or my relationships.
      I will stand by my point that I would happily take these pictures in any place I can. In a church or a mosque or the White House or anywhere else. The difference that we have is that you think seem to think you can offend an empty building by taking naked pictures and I don’t. We do no harm to the building, unlike religious or political loons who destroy historical structures because they are offended by them, so to extend the analogy already used, yes I would eat my bacon sandwich in a mosque, if it was empty, I would wear shoes in a buddhist temple, if it was empty. I would ask if you can see the difference, but I don’t think you can. So in conclusion, you are most welcome to your opinion and I shall keep mine. Btw if you don’t like what we do there is a tiny x at the top right corner of your screen that can shut me right up.

      I hope to have many happy years offending people. Je suis Charlie

    2. Just a couple of things.
      1. We did no harm to that building. We have not marked it in some way, it is not less of a church for having seen my arse. No one has ever, or will ever, walk into that building to worship and think, hmmm, I think someone flashed their arse in here. We left that building exactly as we found it, apart from the couple of quid we popped into the collection box to pay toward the new roof.

      2. Yes we took with us a picture, and yes we have posted it online but tell me my dear, which church is this? Because we have never named it, never said which church it is, never even said which type of Christian church it is. So yes, it is a Christian church but it could be one of 1000’s in the UK and so no, GOTN point is not invalid. I am sure there will be the odd member of the God Squad upset at the thought of it but I also suspect most of them have got better things to do then worry about my bottom. Like selling their naked calendar’s that they have made to pay for said upkeep of the church. Or hosting an art exhibition in the church, including nude photos, to raise money for the upkeep of the church, or like the Vicar in Cornwall be interviewed on the BBC naked in his church to publicize the one of the many aforementioned nude church calender’s.


      1. It seems like people are more upset and offended by “ideas” rather than actual events.

        Molly and Michael, what you are doing is fine… there is nothing wrong with it in any way, shape or form. People who choose to be offended do so on their own. If they never read your blog, they wouldn’t even know it occurred. But since they did, of their own free choice, they have decided they have the right to dictate to you on how to live your life (I’m dealing with that tight now too), and yet, these same people would be livid and up in arms if you did the same thing to them.

        The idea of double standards is getting worse in society. I had hoped that by now we all would be a little more enlightened, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    3. Got bored reading the same old same old from this particular commentator.

      Michael and Molly I personally have no issue with the beautiful image created. I see no disrespect to the building within which it was created, nor to the faith celebrated within the said building.

      Velvet x

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