Judo Olympic bigotry
Extremism

Judo Olympic bigotry: Egyptian Muslim refuses to shakes hand with Israeli Jew

 

In judo it is customary to bow to one’s opponent before a bout, and to shake hands afterwards. The first is a Japanese sign of respect and mandatory; the second is established etiquette and courteous.

Islam El Shahaby is an Egyptian Muslim judoka. He clearly had no problems competing against Or Sasson, an Israeli Jewish judoka, in the Rio de Janeiro Olympiad. But the Egyptian Muslim refused to shakes hands with the Israeli Jew after the bout. Perhaps he’s still sore about the Six-Day War, even though he wasn’t born. Much of the media focuses on the fact that El Shahaby lost to Sasson, and put the handshake refusal down to pique. The fact that, after a moment of prayer, he was reluctant to bow at the outset, and had to be urged to do so by the judge, rather suggests that the problem was expressing any manner of respect to the Israeli Jew at all.

But El Shahaby did compete: the Egyptian Muslim was prepared to be defiled by touching the Israeli Jew in combat, but not in a sign of fraternal respect. Some say we should laud the fact that the Arab world is willing to compete against Israelis at all. This is, they consider, enormous progress. It is reported that El Shahaby came under considerable pressure to pull out before the bout: “You dishonor Islam if you lose to Israel,” he was told. “How can you cooperate with a killer?” The Islamist mindset is polluted universally: in Egypt it is fused with nationalism. The extremist poison is bound to seep into sport, especially where Israeli Jews are concerned.

There really ought to be a penalty for bad Olympian sportsmanship which derives from unsporting prejudice like racism. If not personal – the downgrading of a judoka’s dan, or reducing rank from black belt to brown, for example – it ought to be some sort of action against the national team, to remind them of the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.

The curious thing is how remarkably little fuss has been made of this Olympic bigotry, as though we should be grateful that the rest of the world deigns to compete with ‘Zionists’ at all. Imagine if this had been a Jew refusing to shake the hand of a Muslim. Imagine, even worse, if this had been an Israeli disrespecting an Egyptian. And imagine, worst of all, the global outcry and political condemnation if anyone of any religion or ethnicity had refused to shake the hand of a gay athlete. Stephen Fry would have been right onto it, as he was over the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

‘When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. Allah takes careful account of all things’ (Qur’an 4:86). Reasonable Muslims the world over, devout or not, would heed such common courtesy. There is simply no place in sport for an attitude of ‘touch not the unclean thing‘, especially if you’re prepared to touch it in combat.

  • Inspector General

    Cranmer, how could you!

    It just isn’t on, you know, expecting the lesser achieving peoples of the world to be endowed with polite conduct that we ourselves are blessed with as part of our civilised package, without them being prodded with a stick, that is.

    You are putting a tremendous burden on these types to, well, stand up on two legs and awkwardly balance and pretend they are comfortable aping their betters, so to speak.

    Just look at the wretch. His parents cruelly named him ‘Islam’. It wasn’t going to turn out happy for him, was it.

    Look, old fellow, we’ll say no more of it, but think in future. Just think about what you ask for…

    • Dominic Stockford

      Maybe we can get him to become an Anglican, and then he can take a nice confirmation name like ‘Inspector’ and get that rid of that abominable name ‘Islam’.

      • Inspector General

        What! Get him to leave his herd! You really don’t like him…

      • IrishNeanderthal

        get him to become an Anglican

        Are you thinking of “The Towers of Trebizond”, by Rose Macaulay?

        • Dominic Stockford

          Never read it, should I?

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Here is the Wikipedia summary: The Towers of Trebizond?strong> which contains the sentence or clause, to be more precise):

            Aunt Dot proposes to emancipate the women of Turkey by converting them to Anglicanism and popularising the bathing hat,

            good reads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/192954.The_Towers_of_Trebizond has a lot of reviews.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I hope it’s the (tongue-in-cheek) laugh a minute that the summary hints at. But the theme seems spot on!

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Aunt Dot is a good friend of mine. Her tales of foreign parts are always a delight.

  • Orwell Ian

    Can’t say I’m in favour of sanctions for bad manners. Freedom of speech, freedom of association and all that. The tentacles of hate speech law already run deep and if penalising impolite gestures and the “cold shoulder” were to be normalised we would be heading beyond thoughtcrime into the realms of facecrime.

    • Inspector General

      Good man! Could the Inspector though make a passing complaint about your post. How much better it would have been had you prefixed it with “Excuse me, but can I say”…

  • Uncle Brian

    If Islam El Shahaby had done this at the London Olympics four years ago, he would have been guilty of a hate crime under British law, wouldn’t he? Just a few days ago Your Grace wrote in a different context:

    A ‘hate crime’ is defined as: “any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic”. And hostility is defined as including: “ill-will, ill-feeling, spite, contempt, prejudice, unfriendliness, antagonism, resentment and dislike”.

    http://archbishopcranmer.com/theres-one-surefire-way-of-silencing-objectors-to-women-bishops-without-changing-the-liturgy/

    • The Explorer

      Very interesting point. Would the British have dared to enforce it? (No problem had it been the other way round.)

    • Bernard from Bucks

      A ‘hate crime’ is defined as: “any criminal offence….
      Hate is not in itself an offence.
      However the CPS states: ‘The prosecution does not… need to prove hatred as the motivating factor behind an offence.’ The CPS says any crime that involves ‘ill-will, ill-feeling, spite, contempt, prejudice, unfriendliness, antagonism, resentment, or dislike’ on the basis of a ‘personal characteristic’ could be a hate crime. So unfriendliness can now be criminal perhaps?
      Again it says ‘any crime that involves….
      These are just factors that make the ‘crime’ more serious.

      • Inspector General

        Bernard, one is reminded of ‘The Laughing Policeman’ with the fat and jolly red faced subject of the song arresting people and not being sure what for. He’d have an easy pick from the stinking anti British mess which is that law, what!

        • Inspector General

          ♪ Well, once he did arrest a man, and laughed until he cried

          He jolly face it wrinkled and then he shut his eyes
          He opened his great mouth, it was a wondrous size
          He said I must arrest you, but he didn’t know what for
          And then he started laughing until he cracked his jaw

          So if you chance to meet him, when walking round the town
          Just shake him by his fat old hand and give him half a crown
          His eyes will beam and sparkle, he’ll gurgle wth delight
          And he’ll start in laughing with all his blessed might.
          ——————————————————————–

  • Ivan M

    It’s not as easy as that for a Muslim to shake hands with a Jew in a public venue. This has little to do with what any particular Muslim feels about it. As noted there are repercussions back home. I recall that an Iranian wrestler got into trouble back in Iran after shaking hands with an Israeli wrestler in the previous Olympics. It is a foolhardy man who would want all this on his head.

  • Jon Sorensen

    Shows how bad religion is to this world….

    • The Explorer

      Mind you, Hitler wasn’t happy about shaking hands with Jesse Owens, and that wasn’t motivated by religion.

      • Ivan M

        That seems to be an anti-Nazi legend. Given the state of race relations in the US at that time, Jesse Owens could hardly be surprised even if it true.

        • The Explorer

          The legend says Hitler refused to shake Owens’ hand. Other sources say Hitler did; he just wasn’t happy about doing so.

          • Ivan M

            I read that Hitler left early due to pressing engagements.

          • Inspector General

            Yes. The Inspector heard that to. It wasn’t for a meeting with you, was it?

          • Ivan M

            I wasn’t born then but I have to say that I have no problem shaking either man’s hand.

          • Inspector General

            {SPLUTTER!}

          • The Explorer

            Too many varying accounts (with too many accompanying agendas) to know the truth of it. But two things seem reasonably clear.

            1. Hitler had extolled the prowess of German athletes the day before the event, and was not pleased by the Owens result.

            2. Religion was not the reason for Hitler’s reaction.

          • Ivan M

            Sorry to have sidetracked your main point.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Religion might not be the only problem we have, but it surely is a big one…

        • Martin

          Jon

          Sin is the real problem.

          • Jon Sorensen

            The religious indoctrination of believing in sin i.e. blaming the victim shows how twisted the apologists minds are….

          • Martin

            Jon

            How stupid you are, the sinner isn’t the victim but the perpetrator, the one who justly deserves condemnation. I imagine you think that ISIS is composed of victims.

          • Jon Sorensen

            hmm… there is no sin my friend

          • Martin

            Jon

            AS you know God exists, so you know sin exists. You just hide from what scares you.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Yet another Christian “truth” with false premise and logical somersault that failed. Just because God “exists” it does not mean sin “exists”…

          • Martin

            Jon

            You misunderstand me, in the same way you know that God exists you also know sin exists. Sin is the failure of the created to obey its creator, who you know to be God.

          • Jon Sorensen

            So twisted is your worldview… but you got
            “in the same way you know that God exists you also know sin exists”
            right… only by unfounded faith.

          • Martin

            Jon

            Trouble is, you know I am right.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You are still projecting…

            And I don’t know what religion/denomination you belong to so there is know way for me to know if you could be right. Funny…

          • Martin

            Jon

            Still into this pop psychology? You have my posts above, prove me wrong.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Have you ever hear about “Burden of proof”?
            Google it and you might get suprised

          • Martin

            Jon

            Since you know God exists my burden is very light, but yours is rather heavy.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Circular imaginary delusional logic is circular

          • Martin

            Jon

            Indeed, all your delusions rely on that one critical one, the pretence that there is no God.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You are stuck in your circularity and still projecting

          • Martin

            Jon

            Back to pop psychology is it?

          • Anton

            Murdering someone is not wrong?

          • Jon Sorensen

            I never claimed that. Please re-read what I said so you don’t need to build strawmen…

          • Anton

            I have read further back in the thread, but I don’t find it clear what you are saying. Do you believe that there is no such thing as sin?

          • Jon Sorensen

            There is no sin. It’s just made up concept.

          • Anton

            Committing a sin is identical to doing wrong. Murder is an example, and you seem to agree that that is wrong.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Not identical. Bible has it own rules what is sin. We all disagree if all of those “sins” are wrong. And there is a divine commandment problem of right and wrong..

          • Anton

            Discussing what is right and wrong is identical to discussing what is sinful and what is not. The categories are the same even if people disagree about the examples.

          • Jon Sorensen

            If God tells you to kill you child is that sin, or is killing your child a sin? Or is that relative to something?

            Was God ordained slavery sin 3000 years ago and is slavery still sin today? Or is that relative to time and place?

            You can replace “sin” with “right/wrong” in your answers

          • Anton

            Who did God tell to kill his or her own child and insist that the order be followed through?

            God did not ordain slavery. It was already in existence in the Ancient Near East, In the laws he gave to ancient Israel he placed strict limits on how Israelites could treat slaves they took in battle (rather than kill/rape them all), and he licensed battle only to take and defend one specific area of land.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Nicely avoided the questions. You’ll be a great apologist one day…

    • Inspector General

      Actually, it says more about tribal allegiances than religion. But you couldn’t possibly accept that, could you. Not when religion is to hand…It’s the lazy thinker’s choice every time…

      • Jon Sorensen

        I can’t remember reading a tribal allegiances holy book. It is the religious holy book that draws the battle lines. Blaming tribal allegiances is the delusional apologist thinker’s choice.

        • Inspector General

          There is no adherence to religion unless you are first accepted by your tribe. If you are not, then religion will be the least of your worries…

          • Jon Sorensen

            LOL no. Anyone like while people born in England can join Islam without pick any tribe.

          • Inspector General

            You need to see it from a man of colour’s point of view. Expulsion would be everything to him. He wouldn’t even be allowed to marry…

          • Jon Sorensen

            That does not address the issues that white London born man can join Islam without picking a tribe or losing a tribe, He could still marry anyone and actually his marrying chance would probably increase.

          • Inspector General

            Yes it does. White London man is a very privileged individual indeed. It is not for him to be brought down by the way man conducts himself in these troubled tribal places. Anyway, he pays the price in being loathed for what he is. By black London politicians especially and audibly at that…

          • Jon Sorensen

            You comment makes little sense. Not every white man in London is privileged. Some are loathed, some are not, and by some but not all. My point still stands

          • Inspector General

            Here’s some advice for you. Don’t stake everything you have on one of your ‘points’…

          • Jon Sorensen

            Thanks for your advice. Here’s some advice for you. Try to address the point others make, not a point they did not make.

    • Martin

      Jon

      And your religion is probably the worst of the lot.

      • Jon Sorensen

        And what is my “religion”?

        • Martin

          Jon

          Your religion is self-worship, the religion of all Atheists.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Strong cognitive bias you have. Convincing yourself with a falsehood seems to be a religious trademark.

          • CliveM

            Peddling half understood bullshit seems to be a Sorensen trademark.

          • Martin

            Jon

            Only of false religions, like yours. True religion enables you to see more clearly.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I think you are just projecting

          • Martin

            Jon

            It always amuses me how Atheists resort to pop psychology in order to explain away the holes in their understanding.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Yet another angry Christian generalises atheists when busted for mischaracterizing his opponents. Is this the best Christianity has to offer?

          • Martin

            Jon

            Seems I have you to a T

  • Dominic Stockford

    Thomas Bach, of the Olympic movement, is taking this action seriously and I hope he will act.

    As for “The Islamist mindset is polluted universally” – absolutely so.

  • There’s no escaping the fact that Islam sees non-Muslims as trash, and it has a particular dislike of Jews. From further on in chapter 4…

    [4:160] Because of their iniquity, We forbade the Jews good things which were formerly allowed them; because time after time they have debarred others from the path of Allah; [4:161] because they practise usury—although they were forbidden it—and cheat others of their possessions.

    …and from chapter 1, repeated at every prayer time:

    [1:6] Guide us to the straight path, [1:7] the path of those whom You have favoured, not of those [the Jews] who have incurred Your wrath, nor of those [the Christians] who have gone astray.

    Where we see bigotry, Muslims see devotion to Allah Almighty. Are they to be criticized for being devout? To be fair to Islam, the Talmud doesn’t think much of the out-group either:

    This is the reason why the Talmud states that there is an halachic difference in attitude about the bodies of non-Jews [as opposed to the bodies of Jews]: ‘their bodies are in vain’…An even greater difference exists in regard to the soul. Two contrary types of soul exist, a non-Jewish soul comes from three satanic spheres, while the Jewish soul stems from holiness.—Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, chapter 4

    • The Explorer

      Yes, the refusal could arise from fear of reprisal, or from an independent conviction reached from reading the Qur’an, or a mixture of both.

      • @ The Explorer—Verse 5:51 makes clear the severity of the reprisal: ‘Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number’, a terrifying prospect to a believing Muslim.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Which is a concept simply not grasped by Western governments, or Western liberals. As is Taqiyya not (*you* may think they’re your friends, but *they* know they’re just pretending).

          • The Explorer

            Western liberals think that inside every non-Western non-liberal there’s a Western liberal trying to get out.

  • Uncle Brian

    The missing Egyptian handshake wasn’t the first incident of the kind in the Rio Olympics.
    Lebanese Olympics team stops Israelis from boarding shared bus

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4838006,00.html

  • sarky
    • The Explorer

      He should show his disapproval of England by refusing to play for an English club. But the world is full of such paradoxes. ISIS hates the West, yet uses western electronic inventions in order to communicate that hatred.

      • sarky

        Principles don’t seem to apply when money is involved!

        • carl jacobs

          Curious that he chose to stage his protest on neutral ground in America.

  • carl jacobs

    First if all, we aren’t supposed to use the title “Six Day War”. That title tends to emphasize the fact that the war ended in six days, and makes the Arab states look weak, pathetic, and Incompetent. As in “It took six whole days to defeat the combined might of the Arab world”. Even the French did better than that.

    Second, Egypt has already proclaimed that it had achieved a great victory in 1973. Arab honor was redeemed by seizing the East bank of the Suez Canal and not being forced to retreat. It was a diplomatic master stroke to get Kissinger to stop the Israelis before they could reach Cairo, and roll up the entire panic-stricken Egyptian Army.

    Third, it should always be remembered that public controversy around public sleights is driven by the surrogate status of the offended party. Does he represent an officially protected group? Does his offense become my offense, as it were? The Israelis are no longer an officially protected group, you see. They are now the oppressors. But don’t worry. Should the Jews in Israel ever get slaughtered, proper opinion will once again assign proper victim status to the Jews.

    Proper opinion is very fond of dead Jews. One can make quite a display of righteous grief over their bodies.

  • Methusalem

    ‘When a (courteous) greeting is offered you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. Allah takes careful account of all things’ (Qur’an 4:86). This applies to other Muslims, not to Kuffars.

  • I only hope El Shahaby is not harmed, once he returns home, after losing to an Israeli.

    • Uncle Brian

      Islam El Shahaby can console himself with the reflection that he’s not alone in his misfortune. Losing to Israelis is something Egyptians do from time to time. The crossing of the Red Sea … the Six Day War … the Yom Kippur War …

    • Inspector General

      And what if he is? What’s it to us what these types get up to in their homeland. Perhaps if the West had kept their noses out in the first place and news agencies like the BBC hadn’t cooed about an Arab Spring there for the making, we wouldn’t be blowing ISIS to bits in their desert…ISIS would have been strangled at birth, by the same malevolence that may punish El Shahaby, who is also, paradoxically, very much a part of that malevolence….

  • Inspector General

    A snub of Olympic proportions is nothing compared to what happened to this hapless bugger yesterday. And did the crowds, albeit in fear of their masters, rush to his aid to carry him away and hide him in the small chance he survived the fall? That will be a no. They finished him off with a good stoning. Such is the Arab way…

    http://aranews.net/2016/07/radical-isis-group-executes-iraqi-man-for-being-gay/

    • The Explorer

      The narrative says “allegedly gay men”. One wonders what methods were used to acquire proof.

      One can also see that, as with the witchcraft trials of old, the system has potential for abuse. Want to get rid of an enemy: accuse her of being a witch. Want to get rid of an enemy: accuse him of being gay.

      • Inspector General

        Listening to Elton John’s music on their smart tablets? Oh yes, an uncomfortable interest in the life and work of Princess Diana…

    • dannybhoy

      Coming to a town hall near you….

      Poor, poor chap.

      • Inspector General

        Should Islam triumph in the West, and should they keep the Olympics, which would be highly unlikely as they hate anything which Mohamed didn’t say they had to do, we might have a new sport of throwing some unfortunate off a roof…

        • The Explorer

          Participating in the Olympics would have a whole new meaning.

  • carl jacobs

    Breaking News from the Olympics.

    Exclusive interview of US Goalie Hope Solo after the heavily-favored USNWT was eliminated from Olympic competition by Sweden.

    • Martin

      Carl

      Great example of original sin.

  • chefofsinners

    The Olympic spirit is defined by the fact that the warring Greek states suspended their wars for the games, however bitterly they fought before and after. In one of the noblest expressions of civilization, sport stood apart. Anyone who cannot go to the Olympics in this spirit should not go.

  • chefofsinners

    Breaking news…
    Sport to be re-named Muslimdo.

    • Dreadnaught

      Or even ‘I Slam’.

      • Matt A

        Funniest comment on here since Brexit.

    • dannybhoy

      Jewdo?

  • PessimisticPurple

    Perhaps “remarkably little fuss has been made” because most of the world would consider this incident to be indicative of that old saw about pots maligning kettles. What IS remarkable is that nothing, apparently, will convince Christian Zionists that actual Zionists have no more respect for them than Lenin had for his useful idiots. At least Muslims don’t pretend to care about the west.

    • carl jacobs

      Did the Israeli athlete refuse to bow to his opponent? Did the Israeli athlete refuse to shake his opponent’s hand? Didn’t think so.

      I don’t know what you think a Christian Zionist is, but I can guess. I assure you that I am not one. The current state of Israel has no more eschatological significance than Sri Lanka. And I don’t know what in this story is supposed to convince me that “Zionists” are playing Lenin’s double game. Perhaps then I should just attribute this post to a healthy dislike of “Zionists”? Would that be a fair assessment?

      Sure, there will be an accounting one day. Someone has to answer for salted herring and Coors Light. I also know that Jews are not my co-religionists. They need to hear the Gospel like all unbelievers. But there is a long distance between “I don’t believe what you believe” and “I think you are a useful idiot.” If you want to assert the latter, then you might should try to prove it.

      • Salted herring…with Coors Light? Whoever heard of such combo?

        • carl jacobs

          [cough]

    • Anton

      Christian Zionists love Israel unconditionally. Where do you think we get that attitude from?

    • Miles Clifford

      No fancy discourse here, just a statement of the obvious: You are a dope. Maybe you are” Purple” from the lack of oxygen to your brain.

  • len

    El Shahaby seems to be motivated by either fear or hate.Fear of repercussions from his fellow Muslims or hate which is instilled into Muslims from birth towards all who do not belong to their religion or a particular sect within their religion.
    Fear and hate are the motivation behind much of what is happening in the world today sad to see it in the Olympics but not for the first time though.

    • David

      Yes you are spot on. Your analysis has saved me commenting, as it says it all. It is either fear or hate, or a mixture of the two, that are motivating him.

    • CliveM

      I also think there is a healthy dose of jealousy. The one bright spot in the ME is Israel. Not Muslim. For all its claims to world domination, Islam seems to come out second best, however you compare it.

      • carl jacobs

        You are right about this. Islam is almost coterminous with the Third World. The problem is that Islam has no metaphysical tools to enable understanding of Islam’s humble position. If Islam is true, then Islamic theology says that Islam should be dominant. This leads to conspiracy theories that externalize blame. When you combine this with a “shame culture” you get an explosive mix.

      • Merchantman

        A desert in a desert you might say.

  • dannybhoy

    In my opinion the world of sport is slowly being destroyed by drugs, business, betting, and now religious prejudice and bigotry.
    The Egyptian competitor was beaten by a better competitor, who happened to be an Israeli. If El Shahaby was truly motivated by the Olympian ideal, he would have bowed or shaken hands.
    But he couldn’t, because he is a Muslim and had he acknowledged the Israeli. he would have have been signing his own death warrant..

    • Inspector General

      Shame the British mandate on administering Egypt came to an end. Still, one day, it might be back…

      • Merchantman

        Magnificent stuff IG. Surely that’s what I call positive thinking; just like a Disraeli.

        • Inspector General

          Hope springs eternal, what!

    • bluedog

      It is not beyond the realms of possibility that the Olympic Games will once again cease to be held.

      • The Explorer

        Still, we’re some way away at the moment from a repeat of the 1972 Munich Olympics.

        • bluedog

          There would be some risk of that if the Games were to be held in one of the world’s great Islamic cities, of which Istanbul springs to mind as a possibility. All kuffar participants would be at risk. A Jerusalem Games would be an interest test in a general sense.

      • IanCad

        Or at least, keep them permanently in Athens. After all, they are a Greek institution.

        • bluedog

          Probably the best idea.

          • Martin

            With the original form, as in nude I believe? Would it actually make much difference seeing how little the female competitors seem to wear?

      • Anton

        Certainly they need scaling down. Too much non-athletics, too many team sports, too expensive for most countries to put on. And opening and losing ceremonies that are deeply idolatrous.

        • dannybhoy

          The best suggestion I have ever heard is that the games stay in their place of origin, and countries subscribe to the cost of staging them there.
          Scale them down, do away with obsessing over record breaking and just celebrate the guy or girl who comes first on the day..

          • bluedog

            Sounds more Corinthian.

          • Anton

            This place?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Much_Wenlock

            Records are great.

          • dannybhoy

            I know Much Wedlock; pretty little place, but not the right venue for the Olympics.
            Old Elis, or nearby would be best.

        • Uncle Brian

          Athletics isn’t what draws the crowds. Sebastian Coe said in an interview the other day that the average age of spectators at athletics events nowadays is 55. It seems to have turned into an oldies thing.

          • len

            ‘Oldies rule’ Uncle Brian.

          • IanCad

            Oh Dear! That sounds odd – very odd. Dirty old men and women ogling the young-uns.
            I have always suspected there is something seriously wrong with sports fans.

  • len

    A bit off thread(but perhaps not?) The establishment are continuing Orwell’s nightmare world (as revealed in ‘1984) as a blueprint for their’ new society’ with the setting up of a new unit believed to be called the ‘Thought Police’ who will patrol the ether to make sure that’ Political Correct procedures’ are being carried out.at all times . (This obviously will not apply to members of ‘The religion of Peace’.)

    IF I have transgressed the PC rules in any way I am definitely not hiding in the shed at the end of my garden…..

    • Inspector General

      ♪ Well, once he did arrest a man, and laughed until he cried

      He jolly face it wrinkled and then he shut his eyes
      He opened his great mouth, it was a wondrous size
      He said I must arrest you, but he didn’t know what for
      And then he started laughing until he cracked his jaw

      So if you chance to meet him, when walking round the town
      Just shake him by his fat old hand and give him half a crown
      His eyes will beam and sparkle, he’ll gurgle wth delight
      And he’ll start in laughing with all his blessed might.
      ——————————————————————–

      • dannybhoy

        That is the most hysterical madness inducing song ever…

    • Orwell Ian

      We were warned about this and not just by Orwell.

      “No Socialist Government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp, or violently-worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance. And this would nip opinion in the bud; it would stop criticism as it reared its head, and it would gather all the power to the supreme party and the party leaders, rising like stately pinnacles above their vast bureaucracies of Civil servants, no longer servants and no longer civil. And where would the ordinary simple folk – the common people – where would they be, once this mighty organism had got them in its grip?” – W. S. Churchill

      And so a fledgling Thought Police unit “humanely directed” by a detective inspector, a detective sergeant and three detective constables is going to have to rely on an unseen, unaccountable army of volunteers. The troll patrol. They wouldn’t have a denunciation agenda of their own now would they. Perish the thought. Let us not end up in a land where you can hold an opinion as long as you never express it.

      • preacher

        Sounds to me very like the inquisition !.

    • IanCad

      Would you kindly provide evidence for such an outrage please Len. Sure, Orwell was right on the money in many ways – but not thought police in England, this England.

      • len
        • IanCad

          Oh Dear! Then is it an army of good German volunteers, supervised by overpaid desk jockeys? I wonder if they have at their disposal a rainbow police car with a siren in the shape of a burqa?
          So, if I aver that bulldykery and bumbanditry should not be encouraged in our schools; enquire as to how our foreign natured London Mayor could be removed from office, will I be at hazard from a knock on the door?

          • len

            Quite probably…

          • Uncle Brian

            Yes, Ian, you will, but only at certain specified times of day, between 2 and 4 a.m.

    • David

      Yes I just read about this Orwellian development.
      Who are the Police to act as moral arbiters for our society ?
      But I guess it is easier for them to sit in warm, safe offices as they “patrol” the web than get out there and keep us all safe by rooting out the real-life dangerous people.
      Politicians are to blame by creating this victim culture and the passing into Law the highly illiberal Acts such as the laughingly named The Equalities Act, which creates inequalities, and the Human Rights Act which prioritises the rights of criminals over those of the public. We are losing our freedoms to PC and multiculturalism. For politicians who support freedom Vote Ukip, who gave us the referendum.

      • The Explorer

        Knock, knock, knock.

    • Ivan M

      Just say “I believe in the Holocaust and David Irving is an antisemite”, three times a day and they will leave you alone.

  • preacher

    This is a childish example of bigotry & discourtesy. If anything it casts a slur on the hard line Muslims.
    One competes to win a medal ( Avarice ) but sulks after losing. It seems that after close physical contact, this action was a childish response. A simple bow to the victor would have been appropriate & honourable.
    Has Islam slipped over the centuries ? I seem to remember Saladin held King Richard in high esteem, even though they were bitter opponents, & even sent his own physician to tend Richard when he was sick.

    If such petty childish behaviour continues perhaps the Olympic organisers should introduce a public ‘ Naughty ‘ step with the stipulation that all competitors & their countries must agree to it’s use in situations akin to this or face being barred from the next Olympiad.

    • Dreadnaught

      You think ‘Hard-line’ Muslims are going to be crying in their hankies over this?

      • preacher

        Nope, but it may make some non Hard line supporters who just want to live their lives in peace without being tainted with the problem of hatred & bigotry being levelled at them !.

        • Dreadnaught

          If they want that then they have to be seen to be pro-active in condemning and ‘excommunicating’ their own co-religionists – like they have always done in …. erm … er… -You know, I don’t recall the public throngs ever marching on Regent’s Part Mosque or indeed around the Ka’Ba at the violence being perpetrated by Muslims all over the world.

  • Dreadnaught

    The OG has been a sham of ‘sportsmanship’ for decades. It no longer matters who won, placed or drawn; what matters is pure and simple national hubris. From Bradley Wiggins sticking out his tongue during the national anthem and al-Shabby’s un-sportsman like but not to be unexpected display to the absence of the Russians for fiddling the dope testing the latest games has really plumbed new depths.
    The Rio Games however must take the Gold for the grottiest and grubbiest Games in recent memory delivered to us as it is, in glorious mind-numbing,and meaningless wall to wall colour 25hr TV, fronted by dumber than dumbed-down presenters. The only saving grace being that we can watch the pool water changing colour in real time.
    Millionaire promoters and corrupt government opportunists lord it in empty stadiums then whoop it up at parties while the vast majority of local Brazilians look on from on high in festering violent drug-gang run Favelas.
    Millionaire tennis players and golfers compete to ‘medal’ while fat birds in burqas try to compete with whipped stripped opponents and no one dares state the bleedin’ obvious, lest we fail to be seen to celebrate the diversity of ‘religious’ inclusion.
    If we have to have The Games, take them back to the scale of Much Wenlock or even Athens and restricted to amateurs only: after all its just a glorified Sports Day.

    • len

      And what exactly was in that diving pool?

      • Uncle Brian

        They are now saying that the mistake was to add 20 gallons of hydrogen peroxide, which somehow neutralised the chlorine. On Saturday afternoon they announced they were going to change the water overnight, which they hadn’t had time to do before because it takes a long time – there’s over 800,000 gallons of it – and there was no other time that they could squeeze it into the busy timetable. However, I haven’t seen any news so far this morning confirming that they have now in fact changed the water.

        • Dreadnaught

          Maybe they got a dodgy batch of chlorine from Asaad.

          • Ivan M

            Your savvy Secondary 4 student who knows about electrolysis can make chlorine from salt water. I understand Assad is a boogie man but there are far more affective poison gases out there.

          • Ivan M

            …effective poison gases…

  • Eustace

    Typical British hypocrisy. It doesn’t matter who you hate, as long as you shake his hand and observe the rules of hollow politeness.

    An Egyptian must never refuse to shake the hand of an Israeli even if he considers (wrongly in my view, but we’re all entitled to our opinion) that Israel is responsible for the oppression of a fellow Arab people. The smooth surface of politeness must never be disturbed no matter what hatreds and disagreements boil beneath it.

    If I were that Israeli sportsman, I’d much rather know where I stood with my opponent rather than be lulled into a false sense of security by a fake smile and an insincere handshake.

    As a gay man who often has to deal with conservative Christians due to various obligations of an associative nature, one learns that the most vicious and dishonourable among them are those who smile broadly, shake hands vigorously and make endless polite conversation. Behind one’s back they’re doing their best to defame and discredit one. But to one’s face, butter wouldn’t melt.

    Give me a homophobic scowl and a refusal to shake my hand any day. At least then one knows with whom one is dealing. A man honest enough to stand by his convictions is easy to deal with. It’s never pleasant being snubbed. But I’d rather a snub than an obsequious smile, a fake handshake and then a sharp blade in the back.

    • Ivan M

      I’ll shake you hand Linus even though I believe that you are an arse.

    • The Explorer

      In ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ Holden Caulfield shakes hands with Commander Blop (or whatever: since Holden doesn’t really catch the name) and says how glad he is to have met him, and reflects how often he says he’s glad to have met people he’s not at all glad to have met. “You have to say that kind of stuff if you want to stay alive, though.” So even the Americans have the problem.

      Presumably those at fault here are those who drew up the Olympic etiquette, or Judo etiquette, or both, that says you must shake hands with an opponent.

      I take you to be saying that the British are at fault for being offended at someone’s honesty? On the other hand, Holden C. does have a point: fake politeness does smooth the processes of social interaction. If we all said what we really think at all times, there’d be constant war.

      • Eustace

        A typical British reaction: hypocrisy makes the world go round.

        Your world, not mine. Not any more. What a relief! It’s a grim business having to rack your brains to think of compliments that ally honesty with flattery when you have the 80-90 kilos of a short, fat, plain and utterly insipid “English rose” squeezed into couture meant for a woman half her weight and teetering on six-inch heels in front of you. Generally with a vat of alcohol in one hand and a plate in the other groaning under the weight of enough finger food to sate a rugby team.

        There she wobbles, furiously fishing for compliments. And there am I, absolutely unable to comply without perjuring myself in a manner I can only judge to be absolutely unacceptable. Assiduously talking about the weather until she stomps (and I do mean “stomps” – elephants could take lessons) off in a huff is generally the best plan. I did try the truth once or twice, but “My dear, what an utter fright you look! Please consider converting to Islam. The burqa is such a forgiving garment” was not met with much enthusiasm.

        In France the woman who does not possess at least one feature worthy of a compliment does not exist. If she’s breathtakingly ugly and dressed like a fright, she’ll have a great figure, so “quelle ligne ma chère, comment faites-vous de rester si mince !” will do the trick. Or if she’s overweight, she’ll be immaculately and appropriately turned out, so a word or two about her sense of style will have her purring in delight. No dishonesty or insincerity are necessary because the compliment is always deserved.

        It’s only in England that you meet women with no saving grace. Believe me, trying to remain on cordial enough terms with their husbands to do business is a real struggle.

        No, I’m far better off back home in France. I don’t have to lie here in order to make a living.

        • The Explorer

          “In France the woman who does not possess at least one feature worthy of a compliment does not exist.” Oh yes she does. I lived in France for a few years myself.

          • Eustace

            You lived in France and, like almost all British ex-pats, didn’t bother to learn a word of the language, and then wondered why nobody went out of their way to speak yours.

            You turned in a vicious, back-biting circle made up exclusively of other ex-pats all chasing a Peter Mayle-inspired dream of sunshine, haute cuisine and charming but quirky French peasants all bowing down to your superior Englishness and desperate to be your best friend.

            I know exactly what the Brits who move to France are like. Processions of them marched through my childhood as they latched on to my unfortunate mother thinking she’d be a useful springboard in their attempt to launch themselves into French society.

            They could be divided into two categories: hopeless romantics searching for a French pastoral idyll that only ever existed in the fevered imagination of a doomed Austrian archduchess, or shameless climbers whose vulgarity and self-interest had excluded them from all good society in the land of their birth, and who were now trying to worm their way into a way of life they were even less well-equipped to understand.

            Take the example of those appalling Beckhams. Treated as little better than trade in London, they thought that shelling out for a bling palace on the Côte d’Azur would get them invited to all the best parties and be their back door into high society. It wasn’t. Why should it be when neither of them can speak a word of French, and even in their own language have nothing interesting to say? Wodges of cash and the manners of a Russian oligarch and his moll get you no further in Cap d’Antibes than they would in Kensington.

            So which kind of embittered ex-ex-pat are you? The naive fantasist whose dream was dashed, or the ambitious climber in whose face every door slammed shut? If asked to guess, I’d go for the former. There just isn’t the self-assurance of money in what you write. I’d hazard a guess that we’re looking at the shipwreck of modest retirement dreams in France on the twin rocks of arrogance and ignorance, followed by an ignominious return to Blighty in reduced circumstances accompanied by little more than debt and a severe case of sour grapes.

          • The Explorer

            All about as accurate as your Brexit predictions.

    • Inspector General

      Must be rather horrible being you…

      • Dreadnaught

        Come come Inspector there are people here who talk about him when he’s not been on for a day or two. Providing you don’t pay him the attention he craves it will greatly piss him off.
        He does write well though and sometimes he makes a fair point.

        • Inspector General

          Well, he’s certainly getting enough attention from his latest mawkish bleat, Dredders. The damn nuisance is an accomplished expert at pathos…

          • Dreadnaught

            Obviously – it’s an art-form and that’s why they can be such drama queens.

          • Inspector General

            Indeed. the fellow needs to man up.

          • Dreadnaught

            I reckon he’s had a few men up already.

          • dannybhoy

            Yeeuk.

          • Inspector General

            HOMOPHOBE!!!

          • dannybhoy

            Seriously. I accept that men may be attracted to men, and women to women. I suspect that there are often (but not always), developmental/relationship issues involved in this attraction. But really, the physical practices are truly gross.

          • Inspector General

            This is it, Danny. By going against Cameron’s recent law enshrining anus sex as a British value, all a prosecution barrister has to do is point his finger at you in the dock and shout that word. The rest of the court’s time is taken up by the defence arguing mitigating circumstances, such as natural disgust. Unlikely to find sympathy from a PC jury…

            It really is French Revolution fare…

            By the way, you are bound over to keep the anal peace for ten years and fined a hundred pounds, and a night in the box. Take him down!

          • Eustace

            For once the Inspector gets it right. Homophobe indeed. And insular and ignorant with it. Thinking that his culture (such as it is) is universal and that judoka must of course shake hands at the end of a contest because that’s what he would do shows a kind of myopic ignorance into which homophobic abuse fits perfectly.

          • Anton

            But which culture is that? You are assuming it is Japanese in which the bow is the norm, but this tournament, albeit in a Japanese sport, is is under the umbrella of the Olympic Games, which is part of Western culture, which does the handshake…

          • Eustace

            The Olympic Games are international and must therefore take account of all cultures, not just those of the Western world.

            Women are allowed to compete in events wearing Muslim dress. And handshakes are optional.

            Don’t like those facts? Then by all means jump up and down in outrage and foam at the mouth. Nobody will take any notice of you, but if it relieves your feelings, by all means go right ahead. What difference does one more noisy bigot who wants everyone to conform to his moral code, but has absolutely no power to make them do so, make in the wider scheme of things?

            Go ahead and spit all the venom you like at a Muslim athlete who refuses to be bound by Western conventions. You won’t change his mind. And you won’t change anything about the way the Olympic Games are run. All you’ll do is contribute to the charged atmosphere of religious conflict that is starting to define our times.

            But of course that’s exactly what you want. Your aim is to see all religions but your own vanquished, defeated and even banned. Quite how you plan to achieve this goal when your only offensive weapon is barbed and acidic comment completely defies both logic and common sense, of course. Bitching your way to world domination may take rather longer than you anticipate.

            But perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps once a certain level of bitter complaint and vituperation is reached, Christ will materialise on a big white cloud to convert the nations and proclaim his Thousand Year Reich. Could that be the explanation behind the Christian bitch-a-thon the world is currently experiencing? Now there’s an interesting idea…

          • Anton

            Venomous writing and guesswork I’ll leave to you. The point is that plenty of things are not required by legislation yet are an accepted social custom. That is a fact in countries you like and countries you dislike; among social groups you like and others you dislike. And that has been the status of the handshake at Olympic judo tournaments for many years. As a matter of fact I believe that the most likely reason for his refusal to shake hands was so that he would not be pilloried for it once he returned home. I have sympathy for him; it’s an aspect of his culture that I deplore. With your lifestyle you presumably deplore some of them too.

            “Your aim is to see all religions but your own vanquished, defeated and even banned.”

            I have frequently stated here that I actively support freedom of belief. Certain human actions must be circumscribed, but we all believe that; it’s called the law. Would you care to establish that I wish to see all non-Christian religions banned, based on anything I have written on this blog? If not, would you care to retract that statement?

            “Perhaps once a certain level of bitter complaint and vituperation is reached, Christ will materialise on a big white cloud to convert the nations and proclaim his Thousand Year Reich.”

            Once a certain level of indiscriminate bloodshed and persecution of Jews and Christians, actually. Wouldn’t you like to see non-corrupt government worldwide?

          • Eustace

            Non-corrupt world government? I’ll never see it. Humans aren’t perfect and even if we eventually evolve into something less imperfect, self-interest and competition for resources will still exist, so whatever form of government we have will still favour some groups over others.

          • The Explorer

            “Christ will materialise on a big white cloud to convert the nations and proclaim his Thousand Year Reich.”
            Actually, that’s only one interpretation of the Millennium. If you’re an amillennialist, as I am, the thousand years is just the way of expressing the period between the First Coming and the Second. Christ’s return will bring history to a close, followed by the Last Judgement, at which the dead receive their resurrection bodies, and then comes the New Heaven and the New Earth.

          • Eustace

            And of course your interpretation must be the right one, musn’t it?

            Where’s your proof? If you have none, all you’re offering is a personal opinion cut to measure in order to make your God conform to your idea of what a God should be and do. As such it’s of limited interest to anyone else.

          • The Explorer

            There are four main ways of interpreting the Millennium. Amillennialism was developed by Augustine. Having looked at all four interpretations, I have concluded that amillennialism best suits the data that we have been given.
            Proving any event, sacred or secular, that is still in the future presents obvious difficulties. The only proof, I suppose, is when it happens.

          • The Explorer

            Is it religious conflict that is defining our times? For religious conflict you need two religions. What we have is Islam versus the West, and the West is not religious.

            Cardinal Ratzinger predicted it long ago: the future of Europe will be fought out between Islam and secular humanism.

    • len

      I begin to see why you are such a depressing person Linus..And with all that anger and resentment festering away what other outcome could there be?

    • chefofsinners

      HOMOPHOBIC SCOWL.
      There. Feel better?
      (Actually it was a homodisagreeonreligiousgrounds scowl, but now that we’re such good friends I’ll let that go.)

      • Eustace

        No, friends we are most assuredly not. I have no Christian friends. Their wish to see me burn for all eternity unless I sacrifice my life to their moral code precludes that possibility. You can’t be friends with those who wish you an eternity of agony for daring to disagree with their moral certainties.

        • dannybhoy

          “I have no Christian friends. Their wish to see me burn for all eternity unless I sacrifice my life to their moral code precludes that possibility.”
          No Christian would wish that or any other harm upon you Useless, and most Christians would probably want to get to know you as a person; your sexuality being but a part of what defines you surely.

          • Eustace

            The only reason why a Christian would to get to know me would be as an evangelisation project. The idea would be to “rescue” me from my “lifestyle”.

            I’ve had enough contact with Christians to know exactly how little they care about anyone except themselves and anything except their own salvation. All these much-vaunted “good works” are mere exercises in Brownie points-scoring. You don’t give a monkey’s about me. I’m just a scalp you want to collect as part-payment of the price of salvation. Your contemptuous and disdainful transformation of my screen name proves the real nature of the sentiments that drive you and love clearly isn’t one of them. But if you have not love, you are but a clanging cymbal.

            Clang away, by all means. The louder you clang, the more evident your insincerity and self-interest become. You’re the epitome of the modern conservative Christian. It’s all about you and what you can get out of the religion. “Save ME and those who bow down to ME God, and the Devil take the rest.” If there is a God, let’s see how far you get with an attitude like that, shall we? If I’m going to hell then a major part of my punishment will clearly be the sharing of eternal torment with selfish hypocrites like you.

          • dannybhoy

            “The only reason why a Christian would to get to know me would be as an evangelisation project. The idea would be to “rescue” me from my “lifestyle”.
            Again you are making assumptions that are not necessarily true. The reality is that as individuals we cannot help but be drawn to some characters more than others. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you extend (agape) love to all professing Christians.
            But when we interact with people we are drawn to some more than others. I have no doubt that there will be some Christians here who would enjoy your company and find shared interests which may have nothing to do with faith or sexual orientation.
            It’s because you keep bringing up the subject of sex that stops people getting to know you as a person rather than a homosexual.

          • Eustace

            I have news for you. Gays are people too. If you get to know me, you’ll be getting to know a gay person.

            It isn’t going to happen though. I neither know nor care who you want to get to know, and whoever the “lucky” people may be, rest assured I will not be one of their number. If you know one Christian homophobe, you know them all. And you also know they’re not worth knowing.

          • dannybhoy

            :0)

        • What Christians are we talking about here then Eustace?

        • chefofsinners

          If I wished you harm then I wouldn’t bother to explain the gospel to you.
          The only life that needs to be sacrificed is the one that already has been.

          • Eustace

            Of course you mean me harm. That’s the basic message of the gospel you preach.

            According to you I must sacrifice my marriage on the altar of your expectations and then live the rest of my life in mandatory celibacy as a fit punishment for being gay.

            If we lived in a world where you could impose your beliefs on me, how do you think being forcibly divorced and deprived of the most important relationship in my life would make me feel? Would I thank you for tearing my life apart and forcing me to live in miserable solitude? Do you honestly think I would experience your interference in my life as anything except the desire of a sadist to harm me to the utmost of his ability?

            And how do you think I would feel about the religion that was encouraging zealots like you to harm me?

            Be careful what you wish for. If in some nightmare future the Church ever regains the kind of power you would like it to have, those of us who would become its victims would not go down without a fight.

          • chefofsinners

            You said we wished you an eternity of agony. Now you are talking about this life. Since you have changed the subject…
            I have no desire to force you to live your life in any particular way. If you don’t choose to be a Christian then you aren’t a Christian.
            And you misrepresent what God asks of homosexuals. It is celibacy, not isolation. The same is asked of those who are unmarried, widowed, divorced, young, or married to people who are unwell. The elderly often have little choice either. Not to mention those with a range of other more ‘exotic’ sexual attractions.
            In the end, anyone who becomes a Christian chooses to give up a whole range of pleasurable experiences and relationships. You are no different. You have evidently counted the cost and decided it is too great, which is your decision to make. It doesn’t mean I hate you.

          • Eustace

            You do wish me an eternity of agony as punishment for refusing to obey you. This isn’t about God. It can’t be when he doesn’t exist. It’s about you and your desire to control and dictate to others how they must behave in order to appease you. God is just you in a mask trying to scare everyone else into submission.

            The problem you have is that few are cowed by your puppet show of a religion any more. So your leverage has all but dissipated. You used to be able to frighten us into obeying you by threatening us with your divine bogeyman. But now we realise it’s nothing more than a hoax, so you can’t frighten us any more. Which makes you indescribably angry, as all ex-dictators are when faced with the loss of their former power.

            If I’m not frightened by the prospect of the eternal agony you threaten me with as a punishment for failure to obey you, there’s no reason for me to submit to the more tangible harm you want to inflict on me in this life.

            Let’s be very clear about this: the entire point of your threats of damnation is to subjugate me to your will in the here and now. Yes, you wish eternal damnation upon me as a “just” punishment for refusing to obey you, but deep down you know it’s an empty threat. Your primary aim is to make me suffer in the here and now. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, after all.

            Imposing your morality on me so that I live my life as you (rather than I) see fit is the main thrust of your campaign of evangelisation. By obeying you I validate your power and superiority, as well as providing you with the spectacle of pain and suffering that you enjoy so much. Those who don’t want what you want must suffer for their arrogance and presumption, musn’t they? If we’re not exactly like you then of course we must be unhappy and unfulfilled. And if we’re not, it’s your job to make damn well sure we end up that way.

            Unfortunately for you, that’s not easy to achieve nowadays. Nobody listens to you any more, so the scare tactics that used to frighten millions into submission have lost their teeth. We just roll our eyes and ignore your ever-more-hysterical threats and imprecations because we see them for what they are: a bald-faced attempt at control and domination. This causes most of you to throw an almighty tantrum and then go off and sulk in a corner (witness the Manifs Pour Tous in France and the state of offended high dudgeon in which outraged but entirely impotent Catholics who didn’t get their way and can’t bear it now live).

            Eventually however, tempers will cool and hurt feelings will subside and a new strategy for world domination will be laid. Where force fails, you can always try manipulation. So the current tactic seems to be to minimise the effect of conformance to Christian morals by saying “we’re not asking that much of you and you won’t be any worse off than a widow or a divorced person, and anyway celibacy isn’t that bad, so you should try it because it’s actually great fun living alone and really you’ll be better off than married couples, who all hate each other and are miserable together and wish they could be single again…” The aim is to inveigle us into what you can’t force us into.

            Of course it’s completely laughable and your own desperation to get married and live happily ever shows just how dishonest and manipulative you are in your attitude towards us.

            Your entire culture is built around the ideal of the married couple, so trying to persuade us that marriage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and that we don’t need it (although apparently you do) just isn’t going to work.

            Yes, marriage can be difficult, but overall it’s an “honourable estate” and much the best way of formalising the pair bond that forms our basic social unit. What you’re trying to tell us is that we shouldn’t pair bond and will be much happier staying single, but most of us know that’s not true. We’ve been single, and we’ve formed pair bonds, and we know which state of affairs we prefer. And as for the ludicrous idea that we should be content with sexless friendship as a substitute for pair bonding, we all know that friendship and a pair bond are two different things and that without sexual intimacy, no pair bond can last.

            At the end of the day you can advance no good reason why we shouldn’t marry beyond “I don’t want you to”. Telling us that it makes God angry is useless because we don’t believe in God. Telling us that it will cause society to break down and unleash civil war and/or conquest by Islamist fanatics is just plain scaremongering made all the more laughable by the desperation it reveals. And telling us that it’s the beginning of a slippery slope and by this time next year we’ll see polygamy and incest and people marrying goats is just plain crazy.

            We’re here, we’re married, we don’t believe in your fictitious God or your divine right to rule the world for your own advantage, and somehow the Earth is still turning on its axis and the sun still rises and sets every day. You can threaten us with Armageddon and divine retribution all you like. We know your threats are just the empty and impotent last gasp of a dying religion that may cling on in Third World societies for a while before it finally disappears altogether, but which has ceased to have any relevance or meaning in the world we live in. You might as well try to convert me to the worship of Zeus or Osiris. The Christian God will soon be joining them in the pantheon of forgotten philosophies and ideas that have had their day. Meanwhile I’ll still be happily married and you’ll still be ranting away like a madman calling divine ire and retribution down on my head. Go right ahead. There’s a notable lack of ire and retribution in my household and we get along just fine. So your black magic isn’t working!

          • chefofsinners

            Has your ‘husband’ ever uttered the phrase ‘Calm down, dear’?

    • carl jacobs

      As a gay man…

      Oh, so we’ve come full-circle then. Are you now going to stick with that identification, or will you change it again?

    • The Explorer

      I suppose there’d be an issue if you mistook false friendliness for genuine friendliness, but since you don’t there isn’t a problem.

      What’s sad is the assumption that only hostile reactions are genuine and all others must be fake. But there might be those who disagree with your lifestyle and would none the less wish to shake your hand because of the respect due to a fellow human being.

      • Eustace

        Some friendly reactions are genuine, but not when they come from a Christian. Christians wish me harm, i.e. a life of enforced celibacy and damnation if I refuse to comply. If they pretend to be friendly, it’s only in the hope of pushing that agenda on me and encouraging me to change. They don’t want to be friendly with me, but rather with their idea of what I should be.

        Someone whose attitude to homosexuality is neutral to positive may well shake my hand with genuinely cordial feelings. Christians do not. They shake my hand while thinking “filthy unnatural sinner, he must change or burn and ew! pass me a hand-wipe”. That’s not respect or love. It’s pure hatred and contempt. And he who hides hatred and contempt behind a friendly smile and a handshake is a snake and a hypocrite of the worst kind.

        • Inspector General

          Super to see you back!

        • Anton

          But we think all persons are sinners, including ourselves, and that we are saved from the just consequences of our sin by Another, not by our own merit. With that attitude it is futile to single out one sin.

          • CliveM

            Anton

            We are being sucked into a conversation which is entirely focused on Linus’s big obsession, himself.

            This is a more interesting post than that.

          • dannybhoy

            It is an interesting post Clive m’bhoy, but the fact that Linus/Eustace keeps coming back to comment is also important. He is unhappy, he hates Christians whom he accuses of hating him, and he does have interesting points to make.

          • CliveM

            Sorry DB, I just don’t find someone whining interesting.

        • Malcolm Smith

          It seems to me that you are the one who is doing the hating. Your basic complain seems to be that we disapprove of your lifestyle, and so you assume we must have horrible attitudes and horrible motives.
          No-one wants you damned. On the contrary, if any Christian encourages you to change your lifestyle, it is to help you avoid that fate.
          A life of enforced celibacy is not harm. Trust me, I’ve been there. But there is plenty of evidence that the homosexual lifestyle is harmful, bearing in mind the high incidence of venereal disease in the community. As for its soul-destroying psychological effects, I need only refer you to one of your own here: http://thoughtcatalog.com/luis-pabon/2014/11/why-i-no-longer-want-to-be-gay/

          • David

            Nicely and honestly put.

          • dannybhoy

            Loneliness and the desire to belong is part of the human condition. It has multiple causes, and the loneliness of homosexuality is but one of them. Poor self image is another; also with multiple causes.
            Only God can fill the emptiness in our lives, but we have first to make our peace with Him, lay down our baggage and take up the Cross to join Him in discipleship.

        • dannybhoy

          “They shake my hand while thinking “filthy unnatural sinner, he must change or burn and ew! pass me a hand-wipe”.
          You may assume that is what they think, but it might not be so. It might instead be that you are so preoccupied by your sexuality and people’s reaction to it, that you are indeed oversensitive.

    • Dreadnaught

      Its the convention of Japanese martial arts nothing to do with Britishness.

      • Eustace

        The convention of Japanese martial arts is to bow. Handshakes are a Western invention and therefore not a part of the discipline. Had he failed to bow, he would have been disqualified. The handshake was optional and he chose not to exercise that option.

        • Dreadnaught

          Having seen other bouts that combined the bow and the handshake at the end I drew the conclusion that it was an accepted norm, Fair point you make.

        • Anton

          By optional you mean “not compulsory” but it is expected at a tournament, including the Olympic Games, and if you are not prepared to offer it then perhaps it is better not to take part.

          Why don’t you mention the outstandingly obvious reason why he didn’t, which is that he’d have been pilloried for it upon returning home?

    • Royinsouthwest

      As a gay man you are obviously delighted that you do not live in Islam El Shahaby’s country or in any other predominantly Muslim country but there is no need to tell us that.

      • Inspector General

        ♪ “He is, what he is, what he is” Roy. That means EVERYONE needs to know, or so he thinks…

    • “As a gay man … “
      “Married” or single?

    • IanCad

      Who you should really watch out for Eustace are the so called liberals. You know who – the rainbow chasers, the convicted SJW’s, the elite, the smart, with it types. They will change as the wind. Those self same supporters you believe are your friends will be the first to abandon you were the zeitgeist to change as history teaches us.
      No, that Christian Conservative is not being sneaky, he is being courteous. and, if he is both, he knows that Caesar has dominion over the laws of the land and will conform himself to that fact. He will not condone your lifestyle, but he will support your right to live it as a sovereign citizen.

      • David

        Quite !

  • Royinsouthwest

    “How can you cooperate with a killer?” Well there is no evidence at all that I am aware of that the Jewish competitor was a killer. Perhaps the Egyptian meant that he did not want to shake hands with a man from a country whose government is responsible for killing innocent people. In that case how many Arab countries are there, including his own, whose nationals he would refuse to shake hands with?

    I suspect that he would gladly shake hands with any Muslim opponent no matter how barbaric the country he came from and therefore, like most of the boycott Israel crowd, is nothing but a hypocrite.

  • len

    Well that’s all cleared up then.It was the Israels fault all along by offering to shake the hand of his opponent thereby causing this incident.
    Linus has created a platform for himself….again …… ( ‘sigh’) to air his grievances especially against Christians who are the real enemy of mankind.
    Good has become’bad and bad has become’ good,’ Truth has become’ lies’ and lies have become’ truth’ just as Orwell predicted.
    But Gods Word IS Truth and will always remains so because truth cannot be changed.

    • Eustace

      It’s got nothing to do with the snubbed Israeli, who seemed to take the snub like an adult rather than whining about it like a sniveling child.

      No, we had to wait for the British press for offence to be taken. And then for those who read the British press to start bitching about it online.

      And there you have the real enemy. Not Muslims or Jews or even Christians. But rather the tabloid press and the partially educated oafs who read it. They’re spoiling for a fight like the football hooligans they are. Any excuse will do. Even a foreign athlete being snubbed by another foreign athlete.

      • David

        And you assume, presumably, that those who read the non-tabloid press are educated ? Educated in what I ask ? There is always the lively debate as what constitutes education. Is it about being taught how to think or what to think ? Before they stopped comments I saw plenty of knee jerk “thoughts” from the good readership of The Telegraph. Or if you prefer left wing newspapers like The Guardian or The Independent then the degree of unawareness grows exponentially. Your faith in education, of the so called higher variety, is touching.

      • len

        Don`t seem to think much of your fellow man Eustace, thought that was a Christian thing?.
        IF all the problems in the world were down to ‘the tabloid press’ life would be so simple?No tabloid press no probs…but its not like that in the real world.The problem with man is his fallen nature which is evidenced through thousands of years of chaos turmoil and unbelievable cruelty.
        God has the only remedy for this but we have said this before….

        • sarky

          Convenient that he has the poison and the remedy.

          • len

            God only provides the remedy..We chose to fall and we choose to remain fallen…or not?.

          • sarky

            No its not.
            We didn’t choose to fall, we were tricked into it by one of your gods created beings.
            You talk about darkness, but it was your god that created it and then holds us to ransom with the light.
            Take a step back……..your god isn’t that nice.

          • Anton

            Would you define “nice” please, sarky? I’m not asking facetiously.

          • sarky

            Loving unconditionally, whilst asking nothing in return.

          • Anton

            You will find that love in Christ, who is God. The question is how to reconcile love and justice. It is as tricky a question for God as for any parent.

          • sarky

            Yes god loves me so much that I’ll go to heaven with no caveats…..ummm, maybe not!!!

          • Anton

            Nobody is fit to go to heaven as they stand. You would find the glory of God withering.

          • sarky

            Boring!!!!

          • Eustace

            So why doesn’t God simply create a space for us where we won’t come into direct contact with him? He doesn’t have any qualms about hiding from us now. So why would he have to inflict himself on us in the afterlife?

          • len

            He has…But not many people seem to want to go there?

          • Eustace

            I agree. If there is a God, he can’t be a very nice deity.

            Some say that the universe was created as a mere distraction from the boredom of eternal bliss. Problem with that idea is that as God is omniscient, distraction isn’t possible because he already knows how everything will turn out.

            It’s also unlikely that he created us as a means of procuring worship and bliss from our saved souls in heaven. He already had plenty of that from the angels. Why could having more possibly achieve?

            The universe as created by God involves some being saved and others being damned. That was built in from the beginning because of course had it not been, damnation would be impossible. This being the case – and asking oneself the question of what was God lacking before we came along? – the only answer possible is the experience of watching the unsaved writhe in eternal agony. He couldn’t get this from the fallen angels because of course they can appear to be fair and holy as part of their strategy to ensnare us. The damned can’t. They suffer eternally.

            So there you have it. Tthe Lake of Fire was created specifically to provide God with the spectacle of us burning in it. We were created to fall, not to be saved. Saved souls add nothing to God’s experience, but he has to allow for salvation in order to increase the agony of the damned by making them understand that they could have been saved had they tried a bit harder.

            Our purpose must therefore be to help God to while away the boredom of eternity by providing him with the spectacle of sensations he hitherto lacked: horror, pain, anguish, despair … all the negative stuff that apparently doesn’t exist in heaven.

            No wonder Christians grovel on their knees before him trying to worm their way through the loophole. I wonder how they’re viewed in heaven though? As intruders and spoilsports, perhaps? And how does the spectacle of watching their loved ones burn in hell affect them? If the narcissistic attitudes of most who post here are anything to go by, probably not a great deal.

          • Anton

            Perhaps God, being three persons with one personality, enjoyed company so much that he decided to create some more. Now, you will be familiar with the maxim “If you love something, set it free.” So God gave us free choice between good and evil. Automatons are not good company, after all. But, once evil is chosen, the chooser is not the same person any more, for he or she gains an appetite for evil. Hence the world today, which cannot be said to be a happy place. Human history is writ largely in blood.

          • IanCad

            I must apologise to you Eustace in behalf of those Christians who – through ignorance or superstition – have perpetuated the devilish myth of an eternal hell where the damned writhe for eternity.
            Such is not God’s way. That there will be a judgment is sure. Life or death – Yes! Everlasting Hell – No!
            The slander upon the character of God; The perversion of the Word; The corruption of the church, are all the result of the Pagan belief that man cannot die.
            Many churches no longer preach the vile and profitable invention. The CofE in 1995 – the Adventists forever – other denominations are slowly shedding their affinity with the wickedest invention of Satan.

          • len

            What scriptures back up your theory?

          • IanCad

            Genesis 3:4 (As spoken by Satan)
            “You shall not surely die.”
            Ezekiel 18:4
            “–the soul that sinneth it shall die.”

          • The Explorer

            Satan’s not reliable.
            As to Ezekiel, isn’t the Lake of Fire called the Second Death? (Rev 20:14)

          • IanCad

            You’d better believe he’s not reliable when he claims sin will not result in death.
            Yes! The Second Death of the wicked; which occurs after the Millenium.

          • len

            Then the King will say to those on His left, “Depart from me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.” . . . These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (Matthew 25:41, 46)

          • IanCad

            Len,
            Eternal, Everlasting, Forever, are better understood if the suffix “Until” is applied. They apply to the results not the experience.

          • len

            I see where you are going with this Ian.an Eternal flame which extinguishes spirits instantly forever?

          • IanCad

            Pretty much Len, but the Lake of Fire precedes the Earth made new and would of course then cease to exist.

          • Anton

            Is Matt 25:46 not clear that the experience of suffering for those who go to hell lasts as long as the experience of bliss for those who go to heaven?

          • Eustace

            That’s right, those who go to heaven will be eternally blissful. But only because they’re psychotic madmen. The thought of the agonies being suffered by their loved ones in hell won’t trouble them at all.

            No parent will weep for their damned child. No child will wail for their damned parent. They’ll just keep on partying without any thought for those they claim to have loved.

            Why? Because they clearly never loved them in the first place. Only truly psychotic indifference can shrug its shoulders at suffering and say “oh well, they deserve it.”

            Reminds me of something in the Bible. “And if I have not love, I am but a clanging cymbal…”

            So there you go. There’s no love in heaven. Just the eternal equivalent of the rich kids of Instagram partying their way through paradise without giving a damn about anyone except themselves.

          • len

            We make choices God doesn`t send anyone anywhere, we send ourselves.
            This implies responsibility, accountability and perfect justice.Also total honesty about our condition…

          • dannybhoy

            “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death”[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
            Revelation 21>
            The fact is that we will not remember the former things..
            But it is a mistake that we become Christians to attain Heaven or escape Hell. Most Christians become convicted of their own sinfulness, rebellion and emptiness, and Halleluia, the Bible says,

            19 “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
            Revelation 3>

          • Eustace

            Ah, I see. So when you get to heaven your memory is wiped, is it? Which means you no longer exist as an individual. You have no identity. So saved or damned, annihilation is what awaits you.

          • dannybhoy

            No one knows how it works, Eustace, and frankly it doesn’t matter. We will all find out eventually. I trust the One who gave us salvation and newness of life, and said,
            ” “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;[a] believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”[c]” John 14.
            I wish you well Eustace.

          • Eustace

            I see. When backed into a logical corner, you leave behind all pretence of rationality and instead turn to incantations and spells to ward off evil, do you?

            I assume that chanting passages from scripture makes you feel better and calms your nerves. That’s often the way in obsessive/compulsive disorders. Do you have to rub your belly three times clockwise and your head four times anti-clockwise while you’re saying it otherwise your children will die? If so, I suggest you seek professional help.

          • dannybhoy

            It’s not a question of being backed into a corner. It’s a sharing of beliefs, opinions and speculations. That’s what we do here. As I said before, no one hates you or wishes you harm, so your outbursts of faux outrage are wasted here, Eustace. Much as it may annoy you, there is no hatred of your sexual orientation, we don’t think we are in any way better than you.

          • IanCad

            I see within the parable scope to accept that there are degrees of punishment. Not though everlasting. The result is permanent. Everlasting punishing would be a contradiction of the clear teaching that the penalty for sin is death.

          • Anton

            But death has more than one meaning, and you have not engaged with the wording of Matt 25:46, “they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life”. It is very clear that the two eternals mean the same, appearing as they do in this way.

          • IanCad

            I have to disagree Anton. “The wages of sin is death.” Were the sinner receiving punishment forever he would have to remain alive.

          • Anton

            But death has more than one meaning in the Bible; what is common to them is the notion of a separation. Don’t you think that the phrase “they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matt 25:46) implies equivalence of the two eternals?

          • IanCad

            Eternal has to be understood within the context of the verse. Equivalence would seem to be implied but to claim thus would be to render of no effect the clear teaching that death is the lot of those who transgress God’s law.
            Jonah is a good example. He was in the deep “Forever.” Although it was three days only.

          • Anton

            I understand that context may alter the meaning of words, but the context of the two “eternals” is the same as they appear in the same verse, so the words have identical meaning. “Death” has more than one meaning.

          • Pubcrawler

            Here I don’t quibble. The best Attic writers would express it a bit more elegantly, but even so the Greek is quite clear: antithesis and parallel construction indicate that the two ‘eternal’s are to be taken as identical in meaning.

          • IanCad

            At the risk of making this thread Eternal, Everlasting, Forever, I must respectfully disagree with, what I consider on your part, to be an over dependence on strict literalism.
            I cannot reconcile “The Second Death” with a perpetual state of suffering, for, were it so the wicked would live forever.
            Rather than literalism, weight of evidence seems to me the better interpreter of difficult Bible passages.
            Certainly the Pentateuch offers no support for the doctrine of an Eternal Hell. It is primarily a creation of post-apostolic writers well-versed in the writings of Hellenistic Paganism, and once the profitability of the doctrine was realized, it was off to the races!
            I’m sure this will not change your mind, but, as always Anton, a pleasure to dispute with you.

          • Anton

            And also with you!

            What of Pubcrawler’s comment below that in ancient Greek it is the case that “antithesis and parallel construction indicate that the two ‘eternal’s are to be taken as identical in meaning”?

          • IanCad

            Not a problem as I see it. Both uses of the adjective are to be understood in the same sense. It is in what is being described that difficulties arise.
            Chap gets hung; it’s eternal. Can’t burn forever and yet stay alive.
            Only two options, life or death.

          • Anton

            I don’t understand your words. You say that both uses of “eternal” are to be used in the same sense and then appear to contradict it. When you say “Chap gets hung; it’s eternal”, to what does your “it” refer?

          • dannybhoy

            Ian we may have problems with the teachings of Scriptures, but we can’t ignore them.. For my money I am content to believe that God does not force anyone into Hell -whatever form that takes. Those who hate consciously hate or mock God and reject His Son will answer to the Almighty. If their choice has always been to reject God, then (I think) He will give them what they want -separation from Him eternally.
            Because God is light they will crave darkness because as it says,
            ” 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
            John 3>
            I think God is deadly serious about the value He places on us as His children, and deadly serious about the consequences of refusing His salvation through Christ Jesus..
            “24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is for ever praised. Amen.

            26 “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
            Romans 1>

          • IanCad

            Nothing there for me to disagree with Danny.

          • The Explorer

            A couple of points of qualification.

            “the experience of watching the unsaved writhe in eternal agony. He couldn’t get this from the fallen angels.” Christ tells the goats to go to the fire “prepared for the devil and his angels”. (Matt. 25:41). That doesn’t support what you say.

            “The Lake of Fire was created specifically to provide God with the spectacle of us burning in it.” According to ‘Revelation’, first into the Lake of Fire are the beast and the false prophet. Then the devil. Then death and Hades. (One allows for a certain amount of symbolism.) Last in are those humans whose names are not found in the roll of the living.

          • Eustace

            Your last point is certainly one that we can all agree on. But however bad it is for me, it will be even worse for him. The pain of disappointed hope stings like no other.

            In any case, if the Lake of Fire is Satan’s ultimate destination, he isn’t there yet. He wanders about the earth at will and is even received into heaven for a chinwag with God every now and then (Job 1). He isn’t writhing in agony in hell. Only humans are doing that. So it’s our pain and agony that God gets off on, not his.

            Perhaps when the Second Coming has zapped Satan and his minions into hell alongside us, then their anguish will be added to ours and God will be beside himself with delight. But at the moment only we get to provide him with spectacle of damnation that relieves the boredom of eternal paradise. Aren’t we lucky?

          • The Explorer

            The biblical explanation is that Satan’s powers are restricted since the Incarnation, but he and other devils have some freedom to roam. At some point, current restraints will be lifted, bringing about the end of the world. (Like the result of removing the Inspector from a strait jacket.)

            According to the New Testament data, the Lake of Fire becomes operational after the Last Judgment and the assignment of resurrection bodies.. Before that, there is a temporary Heaven, and a temporary Hell for unredeemed humans without devils. As you say, devils and humans will be alike consigned to the Lake of Fire. Those in the temporary Heaven (Paradise) will inhabit the remade world when Heaven comes down to Earth.

          • Eustace

            The release of the Inspector from his straitjacket would not bring about the end the world, but rather the end of the Inspector. His current custodial sentence in Mrs Miggins’ Regency Asylum For The Criminally Insane is all that stands between him and certain death.

            She’s not a bad egg, old Mrs Miggins, and although she turns a profit off public exhibitions of her charges’ entertaining antics, she does at least let the Inspector have access to a keyboard with a child’s toy arrow suction-cupped to his forehead. That way he can vent the worst of his bile on the Internet and is correspondingly easier to handle when they unbuckle his straitjacket once a week to hose him down.

            Let him loose on an unsuspecting public and who knows what might happen? One wouldn’t want to be anywhere near Pink News headquarters on that fateful day.

            But on to more interesting topics … so your road plan for damnation is all clearly described in the Bible, is it?

            Odd then that so many of your fellow Christians disagree with you. Some say there is a hell, some say there isn’t, others say it’s a temporary thing designed to consume souls rather like a furnace … but who’s right? You can’t all be. And why should I believe your interpretation over any other?

            As it so happens, I don’t believe any of you. Just as your religion is a fairy story designed to frighten naughty children into obeying your every command, so the bogeyman Devil and his fiery abode are conventional literary devices designed to elicit faith via fear.

            If they’re real, please provide peer-reviewed and validated material proof. Your opinion is not enough to convince me of anything. Why should it be?

          • The Explorer

            I wasn’t, of course, suggesting that you should believe any of it. I was pointing out what the Bible actually says. There are those who think otherwise because:
            1. They haven’t read the material carefully enough.
            2. They deny divine revelation and say the Bible is the product of its time. Burning people may have been all very well in the past, but we’re beyond that now. (ISIS immersing people in boiling tar, or burning them alive in cages might prompt a re-think about where we’re at)
            3. They accept the Bible, but say it must be supplemented (or amended, or corrected) by inspired tradition.
            4. Universalists who say everyone will be saved. God must be subject to equality legislation.
            5. Annhilationists who say the unredeemed will be terminated. With this view, I have much sympathy.

          • Eustace

            And everyone’s wrong except you and those who think like you, are they?

            Narcissism thy name is Christian. Always right, never wrong…

          • The Explorer

            I thought narcissism was a fixation with one’s personal appearance. That is the focus, at least, of the original story.

          • Eustace

            Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or the egotistical admiration of one’s own attributes, which are not limited to appearance.

            A narcissist can admire his own appearance, or voice, or intelligence, or morality, or talent, or any other attribute that he believes makes him better than anyone else.

            I’ll give you the fact that there are probably very few Christian narcissists who can be termed so because they admire the way they look though. Have you seen the average Christian? Not even the most deluded could think he’s good-looking…

          • The Explorer

            I thought it didn’t apply. One examines a range of options, and follows the one which seems to best fit the data. The alternative is to choose an option one believes to be wrong.

          • Eustace

            Data? Don’t try to dignify your beliefs by claiming they’re underpinned by rational thought processes.

            There IS no data pointing to the existence of God. Just airy suppositions built around an absolute conviction of your own centrality.

            Of course there must be an afterlife otherwise YOU will cease to exist and how could anything possibly exist without YOU? What would the point of existence be if YOU were not there to grace it with your presence?

            Religion comes with narcissism built in. It’s all about YOU, isn’t it? To the point where the universe has to have a supreme being, who has to be just like YOU, or at least the idealised image of yourself that’s the real object of all your worship.

            If I’m wrong, show me some of this concrete and verifiable “data” that proves the existence of your anthropomorphised, nay “Exploromorphised” god.

          • Anton

            Here are five arguments for you to ponder:

            • We all find the world beautiful – the sea, sky, stars, mountains… but why is it beautiful? The Bible says it is because it was made good – beautiful – by a God who is into beauty; and that we perceive that beauty because he made us enough like him (in his ‘image’) to recognise it. Do you believe instead that it is because seeing beauty has survival value? Survival is aided by spotting lions, but beauty?

            • You have a conscience, a sense of right and wrong. The Bible says this is because God made you with some things in common with him, and this is one of them. Can you give a better explanation?

            • Why should there be anything at all? Scientists have deduced that there was a start (the ‘Big Bang’), but it cannot answer this more basic question. Eastern religions say that patterns of life run in cycles, and suggest that the universe was always there: they have no answer (and they contradict science). We believe that God created the universe. Can you find a better answer?

            • If the speed of light, the mass and charge of the electron, and a few other physical constants were only fractionally different, but the laws of physics as we understand them were the same, then we have worked out enough of their consequences to know that the universe could never have grown from the Big Bang into a form which would allow carbon-based life (ourselves) to exist. Carbon is, in turn, the only element with a rich enough chemistry to generate life. This does not prove a personal God, but doesn’t it point to a designer? And if so, is not the most important issue for any human being his or her relationship to that designer?

            • Every people to be expelled from their land have lost their cultural identity in a few generations, through genocide or intermarriage – except the Jews. They kept their identity in an 1800-year exile, from expulsion by the Romans to their return to the Holy Land in the modern era. The Bible said they would eventually go back, for which they would have to stay distinct; coincidence?

            Now, before you respond “Is that the best you can do?”, please deal with these.

          • Eustace

            Survival is aided by recognizing landscapes that are good habitats. Our definition of beauty is based on this: snow-capped mountains produce a supply of clean and potable water; beautiful sunsets evoke the energy of the sun without which no life could exist on earth; lush forests evoke sources of food and shelter … even arid deserts evoke the ephemerality of life and the need to conserve and husband resources to maximize the chances of survival. An appreciation of beauty has nothing to do with a God who likes beauty and everything to do with how we interact with the environment that sustains us.

            The conscience is an evolutionary response to living in society. Solitary cats have no concept of a conscience. Chimps and other primates do.

            Who knows why there should be anything at all? Just because we can ask the question doesn’t mean that God is the answer. He’s merely a placeholder we use to plug the hole left by our essential ignorance. We don’t know why existence exists. Perhaps one day we’ll find a meaning, and perhaps we won’t. But if we pluck a meaning out of thin air and call it God, all we’re doing is making things up as we go along.

            Some theories say that all possible universes with all possible settings for light, mass and the charge of the electron do exist. We happen to inhabit the one in which all the settings coincide to allow for intelligent life. The fact that we can talk about it doesn’t mean there was a designer. It just means we inhabit a universe where consciousness is possible. Similarly we French inhabit the only country in the world where the Périgord truffle grows, which doesn’t mean that God gave France the truffle as some kind of show of divine favour. It just means that blind chance and a concatenation of evolutionary circumstances allowed for the development of that particular species in this particular place.

            What about the Roma? The Jews aren’t as unique as they and you like to think.

          • Anton

            Beauty is in itself, whereas you are suggesting that we have to think in order to perceive it. And what of the night sky?

            Chimps have a conscience? Can you prove that?

            “Some theories say that all possible universes with all possible settings for light, mass and the charge of the electron do exist. We happen to inhabit the one in which all the settings coincide to allow for intelligent life.”

            That is right at the research frontier and hugely conjectural. It was proposed specifically to get out of the jam I presented you with; this resolution of the jam did not emerge naturally from deeper science.

            No predictions exist that the Roma would go back to their land after more than a millennium.

          • Eustace

            The night sky provides a certain amount of light in an otherwise dark and dangerous environment.

            Yes, study after study has shown that chimps have a rudimentary conscience. Both chimps and humans are social animals. We to get along with others. We also have to make sure our own biological needs for food, sex, etc. are being met. The conscience is our way of navigating this tension.

            The multiverse theory certainly is conjectural, in that as far as I’m aware, little or no evidence exists to back it up. But little or no evidence exists to back up Christianity, so it too must be hugely conjectural.

            And as for predictions that the Jews would return to their land of origin, what better example of a self-fulfilling prophecy could there be? Its very existence ensured that it would be fulfilled one day, although it took the seismic shock of the Holocaust to unite the Jewish people and cause them to make the prophecy “come true”. Desperate people take desperate measures. They also seize upon prophecies and ancient traditions as a means of uniting around a common cause.

            And in any case, has the Temple been rebuilt? Not so as you’d notice. So the prophecy hasn’t been completely fulfilled. There’s no sign of Israel bulldozing that mosque and proceeding to rebuild the Temple. So how excited can you get over a half-fulfilled prophecy?

            You can clearly get very excited. I am less impressed. Anyone can make a prophecy or part of a prophecy come true merely by deciding to act on it. The Israelis could make the rest of the prophecy come true by rebuilding the Temple. But if they do, they’ll unleash forces that could well see them annihilated. Are they that stupid? Not so far, at least.

          • Anton

            The night sky provides a little light at night but so does a street light and I don’t find that beautiful. In any case, beauty is in itself, whereas you are suggesting that we have to think in order to perceive it.

            Chimps are often murderous within their own species.

            “as for predictions that the Jews would return to their land of origin, what better example of a self-fulfilling prophecy could there be? Its very existence ensured that it would be fulfilled one day”

            It required the Jews to retain their cultural identity for many centuries without a homeland. Only one other people has managed that (as you reminded me) and they have no prophecy.

            “Its very existence ensured that it would be fulfilled one day, although it took the seismic shock of the Holocaust to unite the Jewish people and cause them to make the prophecy “come true”.”

            They didn’t reconquer it, did they? “Cause them to make it come true”? They wanted to go back, certainly, but it would have been impossible without the Balfour Declaration and many other contingencies of history.

            I don’t support the rebuilding of the Temple, as no animal sacrifices are needed since the Crucifixion. But I expect it to happen someday. You can impress me only by finding an unfulfilled prophecy in the Bible that CANNOT come true, not one that hasn’t to date.

          • The Explorer

            Data, as I understand it, is a body of information. It does not have to be true. For instance, we have data about balrogs. That does not mean balrogs actually exist. You have given us data about yourself, in your various incarnations. It may, or may not, be true.

            Establishing what the data is, and deciding whether it’s true or not, are two separate issues.

          • len

            As I has said above its a matter of free will.Anticipating your answer your ‘free will’ has already been taken by a superior spirit being so you have no free will.You are a prisoner but cannot see the bars of your cell because you assume yourself to be ‘free’.
            The Lake of Fire(as you probably know) was not created for humans but for fallen angels.Humans who rebelled are bound by the powers of attraction to these fallen spirit beings and go to the same destination by default.
            IF you want to truly see God and how He responds to fallen man look at Jesus Christ , beaten until almost dead , humiliated, beard torn out, spat upon stripped naked and hung upon a Cross to die not for His sin but for ours.The cruelty is all ours.

          • sarky

            Yes Len, but I would go through that if I knew I’d be back in 3 days.
            Real sacrifice is dying and knowing there is no way back.

          • CliveM

            “Yes Len, but I would go through that if I knew I’d be back in 3 days.”

            Really! All of it. I suggest you know not of which you speak.

          • sarky

            Plenty have been through worse. How about the three lowered into boiling tar by isis, all without the pay off of a resurrection.

          • CliveM

            Did they choose it? Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t, even with the promise of resurrection afterwards. Tbh your comment reads of one that hasn’t been thought through.

            But to repeat my question, which you didn’t answer. You believe you could voluntarily go through the scourging and crucifixion, all that pain, provided you had the promise of resurrection afterwards?

          • sarky

            Yes.

          • CliveM

            I think you flatter yourself.

          • sarky

            Wouldn’t you???

          • CliveM

            Sarky

            We’re not talking an inoculation here. Or a tattoo. We are talking shit inducing agony. I certainly wouldn’t embrace it.

          • sarky

            Even if you knew you would come back the best version of you possible?? No pain no gain.

          • len

            I had an operation a while ago for ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’ and I had nerve pain through the radial nerve for a few seconds.The pain was unbearable and so glad it went as soon as it started.
            I cannot imagine how Christ suffered this agony for hours as He hung on the cross with nails piercing the radial nerves in both wrists for hours….

          • sarky

            Like I said, the Romans crucified thousands, but none of them got to come back.

          • len

            Eternal Life is IN Christ Jesus .How could they be in Christ Jesus prior to His Ressurection?

          • sarky

            You’re still not thinking. I was pointing out that thousands had already being through crucifixion. The difference is they didn’t have the comfort of knowing it was only temporary, their suffering was therfore greater.

          • len

            No way!…The perfect son of God dying a criminals death, every sin of this world put upon Him. Every sin nothing omitted. Its you sarky who have no idea of the implications.
            The effect of having every sin ever commited by anybody transferred to an innocent man must have been beyond comprehension.

          • Eustace

            Why did the “fact” that every sin of this world was “put upon him” increase Christ’s suffering? Crucifixion is crucifixion. It hurts whether you’re guilty of a crime or not.

            I doubt any anyone crucified for a crime he actually committed would shrug his shoulders and think “oh well, I deserve it, and because I do, I clearly won’t feel any pain…” He would die in agony, just as Christ (supposedly) died in agony.

            The only difference would be that as Christ (supposedly) knew that his death was temporary and that he’d be back in a few days, he’d have something to look forward to through the agony.

            On a smaller scale we’ve all experienced it in the dentist’s chair. When your tooth is being drilled into and imperfect anesthesia leaves you writhing in pain, the only thing that keeps you in that seat is the knowledge that it will soon all be over and you’ll feel much better for it.

            So if Christ really were fully man as well as fully god, one can only assume that he’d be very impatient to assume the perfect new body of his resurrection once the mortal one with all the aches and pains of mortality had been rendered inert. Worth a bit of suffering to know that you’ll come out all perfect and pain-free on the other side, don’t you think?

            We humans on the other hand have no such knowledge. We can believe in the promise of Christianity, but there are no cast-iron guarantees. Anyone crucified must therefore suffer agonies far worse than Christ. Asking oneself if it’s all worth it. Am I actually right? Is there a god and will I be resurrected? Or have I just thrown my life away for nothing and am now suffering needlessly because of my own stubborn and egotistical decision to know better than everyone else?

            The only way Christ could have suffered like any other crucifixion victim would suffer is if he wasn’t fully man and fully god, but merely a man who had no assurance of resurrection. The doubt would then assail him.

            Hold on a sec … “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” Hmmmm, now what does that say about his divinity? Was it the shock of a deluded prophet finally realizing that he was as mortal as anyone else? Who can know?

          • dannybhoy

            “I doubt any anyone crucified for a crime he actually committed would shrug his shoulders and think “oh well, I deserve it, and because I do, I clearly won’t feel any pain…” He would die in agony, just as Christ (supposedly) died in agony.”

            “We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. 21 God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
            2nd Corinthians 5>

          • len

            I am talking of the torment a perfect being is suffering when loaded down with all the sin of humanity.Probably difficult for us humans immersed in sin to comprehend that?

            When Jesus was fully immersed in the sin of the World God did reject Jesus why shouldn`t He?
            But God accepted Christs atonement at the point of death.(The soul that sins will die)
            And then the glorious Resurrection in which our hope (our only hope ) is revealed.

          • sarky

            God accepted his own atonement.
            That’s good of him.

          • len

            Perfect Justice, Perfect Love.

          • Eustace

            Perfect Nonsense, you mean…

          • len

            The Cross is’ foolishness’ to some who have not grasped its reality …

          • Eustace

            Keep the platitudes coming. I’ve heard them all before. I wonder, do you ever have anything original to say, or are you limited to regurgitating what they teach you in church?

          • Anton

            But we too have come across many with your attitude, unhappily.

          • sarky

            Perfect hogwash.

          • len

            The Cross is ‘foolishness’ to those who are ‘wise in their own eyes.”.Wise’ in the worldly wisdom the ‘wisdom of fallen men’.
            It was the search for ‘wisdom’ apart from God(the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) that led to the fall of man.
            God reverses the fall through the Cross.(Which is the Wisdom of God)

          • sarky

            Rubbish. For reasons I’ve already explained.

          • Eustace

            You don’t know any perfect beings so you have no way of knowing what they might suffer if unjustly crucified. Of course I don’t know either, but I rather suspect it wouldn’t be quite the ordeal you seem to think it would be.

            A perfect being must have full control over his central nervous system and could therefore just switch off all nerve impulses and hang there in perfect comfort right up until the moment of death. If he wanted us to believe he was suffering for the purposes of eliciting the guilt response upon which his religion would be founded, he could play-act pain and suffering quite easily, I should think. Perspiration, the appearance of skin bruising, even the effusion or stanching of blood would be completely under his control. Otherwise he wouldn’t be perfect, would he?

            You believe that Christ suffered more than anyone has ever suffered, but quite frankly if he was what he said he was, then he needn’t have suffered at all. All he needed to do was to appear to suffer.

            If you were an omnipotent God who could out-act Olivier, what would you do?

            Something tells me that if he really exists, he must be sitting up there in heaven thinking “there’s one born every minute … ham it up and reel ’em in!”

          • len

            Jesus was either Lord, Liar or Lunatic?
            All the evidence points to’ Lord’.
            But one can disregard all the evidence and remain in the darkness if one so desires that is choice….

          • Eustace

            The “lord, liar or lunatic” argument only holds true if somebody called Jesus actually existed. We don’t have any firm proof that he did.

            Personally I suspect there may have been a local deranged prophet or religious fanatic whose life forms the base of the legend, but what’s written in the Bible is probably an amalgam of various legends, deities and philosophical themes developed over a couple of hundred years and then seized upon by a wily Roman emperor as a great way to subjugate his populace and keep them passive.

            Jesus as a literary construct probably has very little to do with the historical Jesus, if indeed such a person really did exist. And all the supernatural events in the Bible are just embroidered onto a basic story along the lines of “religious cult leader is arrested for disturbing the peace and put to death by Roman authorities.”

          • Anton

            The disciples were martyred for their belief that Jesus came back to life. At the point of martyrdom you don’t carry on to death to maintain what you believe is a hoax.

          • Eustace

            Who said the apostles were anything but brainwashed?

            And who said they were martyred?

            Where’s the historical evidence of such deaths?

            The only mention I know of them is, surprise, surprise, in the Bible!

            Of course it’s entirely possible that various troublesome religious fanatics were disposed of by local authorities according to the legal practices of the time, which by our standards seem rather unjust. But we have no independent confirmation of that fact.

            Personally I suspect the apostles are pretty much as apocryphal as their dead messiah. Again, they may be based on real people, but their stories have been heavily embroidered and dramatized over time.

            Of course they were all martyrs. That’s what the early Church needed them to be, so that’s how they were written.

          • Anton

            It’s not in the Bible that they are martyred. But if you dismiss all Christian sources then you are showing only your own prejudice. I ask no more than that Christian sources be treated in the same way as others. Nevertheless, you will find contemporary references to the early Christian movement in at least these secular writers: Thallus and Phlegon; Josephus; Pliny the younger; Tacitus; Hadrian; Suetonius; Lucian of Samosata; Mara bar-Serapion. And the (hostile) rabbis.

            Isn’t it you who needs these accounts to be false?

          • Eustace

            NONE of the accounts you cite are contemporaneous to the events they claim to describe.

            Some of them MAY be based on a core of fact, however there is no way of knowing what if any parts of these stories describe real people and real events and what parts are mere hagiographical exaggeration or even outright embroidery.

            You believe these stories to be true because you want them to be true. I believe them to be unsubstantiated because that’s what they are. Parts of them MAY be true. But I have no corroborating evidence to convince me they are.

            Your faith is based on wishful thinking, nothing more. You want these stories to be true, so you say they are, as if your opinion can somehow make them true, because how could anyone doubt YOU?

            It always comes back to narcissism with Christians in the end, doesn’t it?

            My position of doubt is based on the fact that my opinion cannot establish either the truth or the falseness of these stories.

            Considering the far-fetched events they describe, like people coming back from the dead and virgin births, events that have never before or since been verified to have taken place, and also the propensity of humans to lie, exaggerate, invent and embroider, especially when it gives them exactly what they want, the likelihood of these stories being anything more than fictional fairy tales is quite low.

            Of course I can’t absolutely exclude the possibility of them being true. But then I also can’t exlude the possibility of any other religion’s mythos being true either. As I have no reason in the form of verifiable physical data for supposing ANY of it to be true, it remains an unverified – and unlikely – fairy story.

            This analysis is not based on how I would like things to be, but rather on an objective examination of the available data. A desire to make an inflated version of myself responsible for all creation does not skew my interpretation of the few available facts. I therefore come to no definitive conclusion except to acknowledge that when no definitive conclusion is possible, skepticism, especially of the fantastical and supernatural elements of the tale, is the only viable position.

            If you want me to change my mind, show me facts rather than bombarding me with dubious “witness accounts” written by people who weren’t there to witness anything and whose tall stories are supported by no physical data at all.

            If you have no facts to show me, accept that no definitive conclusions can be drawn and that your faith is not based on reasonable analysis but rather the kind of emotional wishful thinking that places you and your ideas at the centre of “creation” because you must be right, because you’re YOU.

            And then I’ll call you Narcissus and leave you in peace to gaze forever at your own perfect reflection.

          • Anton

            On the contrary, you believe these stories to be untrue because you want them to be untrue.

          • Eustace

            Au contraire, you believe the stories to be true because you want them to be true.

            My lack of belief is based on a lack of supporting evidence. I don’t exclude changing my mind if evidence becomes available. I just think it’s rather unlikely.

            You on the other hand believe in these stories despite the lack of evidence. Your belief is supported by nothing except your desire to believe.

            My disbelief is supported by the balance of probability, which is all I have to go on. If there has never been a recorded and verified case of true resurrection in human history, stories about resurrection are unlikely to be true.

            My beliefs have some independent support beneath them holding them up. Yours are suspended in mid-air solely by an act of your own will.

            If you really are a scientist, how do you live with the cognitive dissonance? Do you apply the same logic to your work? Can’t wait to see your next groundbreaking paper entitled “Gravitons really do exist because I say so and that’s all the proof you need.” It should scoop you at least a Nobel prize, don’t you think?

          • Anton

            Quantum gravity is rather difficult, being an unsolved problem today, but we have long known that quantising the gravitational field is necessary for consistency when coupling it to matter that is described (as experimental results demand) by quantum theory. Just as the photon is the elementary excitation corresponding to the electromagnetic field, the graviton is the elementary excitation corresponding to the gravitational field. The photon famously has both wave and particle properties, although it never shows both at the same time (a peculiarity of quantum theory). That is why the photon is best referred to as an “elementary excitation”. “Graviton” is the name applied to the analogous elementary excitation that results upon quantising the gravitational field. We don’t know much about it, because Einstein’s theory of gravity (General Relativity) does not yield to quantisation easily – that’s the quantum gravity problem – but any graviton must be spin-2 if gravity is to be always attractive. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time within the last 12 months and the event made the front pages, as you perhaps saw. Those waves can be regarded as gravitons, and the people who built that detector (aLIGO) deserve – and will get – Nobel prizes. Experiment is ahead of theory at this moment, and gravitons do exist. Anybody who works out a decent quantum theory of the gravitational field will scoop another prize. That is the research frontier and I have my views about which approaches are likely to be fruitful and which not, but this blog is scarcely the place.

            Regarding the Bible, we each think that the other is reasoning poorly as to whether it is true, according to its contents and other information. Let it be so.

          • Eustace

            So if you can provide verified data and sources to back up your belief in gravitons, why can’t you do the same for your belief in God? Or rather, why is the standard of evidence you require to justify a belief in God so much lower than the standard of evidence you require to believe in a scientific theory?

            Based on what you accept in matters of religion, you should be able to say that Einstein’s theory of relativity is indisputably true because Einstein said so. Why bother assessing any of the physical evidence if all that matters is somebody’s assertion?

          • Anton

            This is a false analogy. The methodology of history is not the same as the methodology of physical science. I am confident that the same criteria used in studies of history of events other than events in ancient Israel will, when applied to events inside ancient Israel, indicate the truth of the Judaeo-Christian revelation. You disagree. Each think the other to be letting bias in. Let it be so, although I’ll add that both secular and Orthodox Jewish persons – one a journalist, one a lawyer – who decided to look into it to debunk Christianity for once and all – ended up believing, and writing books about it.

          • Eustace

            And I can provide examples of Christian pastors who decided to look into Atheism and debunk it once and for all, and who are now Atheists.

            Christianity does not pass the test of historicity. The Gospels do not stand independently of each other, nor can any one of them stand on its own. Matthew and Luke draw heavily on Mark, and Mark is clearly a compilation or reconciliation of varying earlier sources. John also draws on synoptic gospel sources, but overall reads differently to the others and appears as more of a theological discourse rather than an attempt to provide an eye-witness account of Jesus’s life. Crucially these texts were owned, edited, and heavily massaged by a Church looking for holy book to base its power on. They are supported by no physical evidence at all and can therefore not be considered as historical documents.

            Historicity is determined by the existence of multiple corroborating items of evidence. It’s often said there’s more evidence for Jesus than there is for Julius Caesar, however this is quite false.

            Caesar is mentioned by a contemporaneous author who witnessed the events of his reign and recorded them, so we have an indisputable eyewitness account, which we do not for Jesus. Sallust’s account is backed up by the physical evidence of the Roman coinage, on which Caesar appears from 49 BCE until his death, an event that was also commemorated by a coin issued in 44 BCE. Dozens of these coins survive, as do many others, as well as contemporaneous busts and carvings, mentions of Caesar’s name in tablet inscriptions and various other items of physical evidence, all of which corroborate his existence.

            Where’s the physical evidence for Jesus? All we have are a series of dubious writings compiled at least a generation, possibly more, after he lived. There is no physical evidence to back them up. No coins bearing Jesus’s name. No busts, no carvings, no inscriptions… Indeed there is nothing at all until we hear vague rumours about a certain “Christos” from Roman sources a good few generations later.

            Julius Caesar is a convincing historical character because real, physical evidence exists to corroborate his existence. Not a shred of physical evidence exists to confirm Jesus’s existence. He’s nothing more than a literary character created by the Church as the basis of its power.

          • Anton

            He has spoken to me. Julius Caesar has not.

            I’m impressed that you have solved much of the synoptic problem, ie which gospel was written first. I’ll take Luke, not Mark, based on Robert Lindsay’s argument comparing the three sets of minor agreements (Mark-Luke only; Matthew-Luke only; Mark-Matthew only) and the major agreements (all three have a substantially similar account of an incident). You really need to read that before deciding. John of course reads differently, as the church has long acknowledged;many people think that he wrote later as the last surviving eyewitness so as to head off certain misunderstandings that were beginning to propagate as a result of issues not addressed fully in the earlier gospels. Your statement that “these texts were owned, edited, and heavily massaged by a Church looking for holy book to base its power on” is quite untrue as the church had no (earthly) power at the time the gospels were written; witness sufficient fragments to reconstruct them from before Constantine’s time.

          • Eustace

            Jesus has spoken to you?

            You’re not the first Christian to hear voices.

            The way I see it however, voices in the head are far more likely to be hallucinations than God. And if you’re hallucinating, it’s probably not a good idea to continue with this conversation. Who knows what kind of breakdown it might provoke?

            My advice would be to seek psychiatric help. And my advice to anyone in your immediate vicinity would be to watch out and make sure you always know where the nearest emergency exit is located. When it goes pop, religious mania can have tragic consequences, as we saw this week in England.

          • Anton

            I cannot describe the occasion I have in mind as auditory, but it did involve specific words (and I did not “see” them). They proved true as well. God communicates in many ways and specific words have not been a common experience for me. That particular message was for me; on the other occasion that involved specific words it was less for others. If you wish to discontinue this conversation I won’t be offended in the slightest. Two such occasions in a quarter of a century and you call it religious mania? You must think that the whole of mankind has suffered religious mania for thousands of years except your own singular culture in its very recent past. Who’s out of step?

          • Anton

            I think you could too, Sarky. But not with the weight of the world’s sin on your shoulders.

          • dannybhoy

            The Gospels are all about Jesus Christ who is God in human form. John 3:16 “God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten son..”
            Jesus loved people, healed them and fed them and deliberately layed down His life on the Cross so that we may be reconciled to God..

          • len

            You are still being tricked by the powers of darkness sarky.
            God could have created a race of beings who loved and obeyed God without question…But God created humans with free will and this gives humans the chance to to choose whether they will respond to God or rebel against God.
            There was one spirit being who initiated rebellion against God all who rebel against God come under the authority of this extremely intelligent and devious spirit being who holds all the world ( except those born from the spirit of God) ) under his power.
            You can only love someone if you have free will, anything else is bondage.Imagine if your children only loved you because you had compelled them to do so?.Without free will we are merely robots.
            So we are under the powers of darkness by choice now as we have the option of Christ setting us free.

          • sarky

            We were set up to fail. It’s blindingly obvious if you actually read your bible. If the tree of knowledge was so dangerous, why not hide it??? (Like you would hide something dangerous from a child)
            The only way we could fall is if god planned it and allowed it, if he didn’t, then he’s not the god you say he is. Open your eyes Len, it is you who has been deceived.

          • len

            Its a matter of free will.
            God gave us free will, the ability to choose.No choice no free will.
            I agree free will is a dangerous thing, wrong choices can be made.But we can learn from our mistakes and not keep repeating them…

          • sarky

            Sorry Len but where’s the choice??
            You put a perfect innocent being against an arch manipulator, then there is only ever going to be one outcome. That’s not freewill, just an illusion of it.
            All the suffering in the world isn’t down to freewill, it’s down to your god. Just think about it.

          • len

            Adam knew exactly what He was doing.Eve was deceived by an age old deception still active in the world today.

            ‘For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from ‘the world.’
            (1John 2:16)

            Eve ‘saw’ the apple was good, she ‘wanted it’, and the knowledge obtained by doing so would make her’ like God.’

            Exactly the same desires that made Lucifer become Satan.To be ‘as God’ or to become ‘gods’.All rebellion against God has the same aim…

            This is ‘the Choice.
            To acknowledge God as the Creator or become’ little gods.’

          • sarky

            You really don’t THINK these things through do you?
            The desires and lust didn’t exist did they? The age old deception didn’t exist either did it??? Or are you saying the earth was imperfect before the fall? The fact that Satan existed in it meant it can’t of been perfect., which goes against the bible anyway. Len, please just think about what you believe.

          • The Explorer

            “are you saying the earth was imperfect before the fall?” An interesting question. I’m not suggesting that you will believe any of what follows; I am just trying to give the picture that I think the Bible paints with broad brush strokes.

            1. God tells humanity to subdue the Earth . Whether or not the Earth is subject to evil at this stage, it’s incomplete. What seems envisaged is a joint development programme undertaken by God and humanity.

            2. The fall of Satan would have preceded the Fall of Man, with resultant spiritual warfare in the Universe. How far fallen angels with unfallen responsibility for aspects of Nature would have corrupted things before the human Fall is unclear..

            3, Combining ‘Genesis’ with the New Testament, one gets hints that the Fall of Man has somehow given Satan power over Earth. Whatever corruption of Nature existed before the Fall was intensified as a result of it.

            4. Satan’s power is currently restricted. One day that restriction will be lifted. The resultant chaos will bring the world to an end and precipitate the Second Coming of Christ.

          • sarky

            Don’t buy it. Why would god say ‘very good’ after completing creation if it was already flawed?

          • len

            Man was created ‘good’ but had the ability to be evil after eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
            God knows evil to be something that exists outside of Himself, man after eating would know evil by direct experience.Man has the ability to do ‘good’ but also the ability to do great evil.History bears this out.Both are ‘sides of the same coin’.

          • sarky

            So if evil exists outside of god, did god create evil or not? Because if not then god can’t be god can he?

          • len

            Did God create evil?…..NO….Darkness is the absence of Light. Evil is the absence of God.God could control the entire Universe and every human being if He so desires …but He gave us free will and its our rebellion against God that creates evil…
            This will not continue indefinitely….

          • sarky

            So evil can exist without god?

            God isn’t god then.

          • len

            ‘The book of Job’ is quite illuminating to see people questioning God.

          • Anton

            Yes, it’s a bad idea. When God finally replies to Job it is in words of terrifying majesty (chs. 38-41). Job wished to confront God about his predicament, but when God consented to speak to him Job soon wished he hadn’t. Job’s experience shows why we should not deal with our Creator without Jesus between.

            Job in his desperation had in effect put a lawsuit on God, since in law you can cross-examine your opponent, who loses if he stays silent. This was Eliphaz’s bad idea (5:8), but Job believes (rightly) that a man cannot win against God (9:2-3), and he (wrongly) does not trust God enough to hear him out (9:14-17), saying that God would find him guilty whatever (9:20). Contrary to Bildad’s assertion (8:3), Job does not believe that God, acting as one party and also as judge, would be impartial (9:30-31). Only in a neutral court could Job state himself without fear (9:35-10:1), but no court is above God, so Job does not wish to resort to law (9:28) even though his thinking is legalistic. He is goaded into it by his friends’ insistence that some sin of his must be the cause, which God should explain. Chapter 13 consists of legal formalities of the old Middle East. Later, with God still silent, Job swears his innocence (chs. 29-31). He rests his case at 31:35. Now it is up to God to respond or, in theory, lose the case. [Legal insights by Edward L. Greenstein.]

            Job, whatever his reasons, was wise to be scared to sue God (wiser than some folk in US courts today!) It is unwise for the clay to talk back to the potter (Isaiah 29:16, 45:9). “Who are you to talk back to God?” (Romans 9:20); “Do not put Yahuweh your god to the test” (Deut 6:16). God does respond but, instead of answering Job’s question, cross-examines him – not even about Job’s sin, which he was expecting to hear about, but about his ignorance and presumption. Specifically, God shows up Job’s ignorance about His creation: the material world and the animal kingdom. Nature as a backdrop to Job’s suffering repeatedly enters the book.

            At first sight this passage makes no sense. Job asks “Why are you persecuting me?” and God replies by talking about storms and stars, lions and other great wild beasts. What is God’s aim in this exchange? In Genesis the great word BARA, meaning ‘create,’ is used three times: when God created matter, when God created life, and when God created man (Gen 1:1,21,27). Matter, life, man – each is set above the previous, and God above them all. God first shows Job that he knows nothing of the material world (38:1-38), then that he knows nothing of the biological world (38:39 – 41:34). God knows all about them, for He made them. God is teaching Job that he knows little of even simple aspects of the world, let alone its moral mysteries. Jesus said that a lily of the field exceeded all of King Solomon’s finery (Matt 6:28-30). The way to navigate life is to give up self-justification and legalism and trust God. Suing God is perhaps the most futile thing a man can attempt. Job, one of the two finest men in history to his day, takes the point. For this repentance (‘in dust and ashes,’ 42:6), God restores Job, spiritually and materially. And Satan has lost the bet he made with God at the start of the Book.

          • Eustace

            Clay pots can’t talk back to the potter. They’re inert and possess no consciousness, so they can neither be aware of their situation, nor can they complain about it to their maker.

            Humans on the other hand are conscious. We are aware of our situation. And we can ask questions.

            Why then should we remain silent? If God created us as thinking creatures, isn’t it incumbent on him to deal with us as such rather than arrogantly – and inaccurately – telling us we should keep quiet like inert pottery?

            If he didn’t want questions, he should have created us without the capacity to ask them. Why doesn’t he want to deal with the consequences of his own creation? We can’t be fobbed off with “humans should be seen and not heard”.

          • Anton

            If you check the verses about clay you will see a rhetorical question exhibiting exactly the point you make. It’s a rhetorical question!

          • Eustace

            It’s an attempt to shut a valid argument down by drawing an invalid parallel between humans and inanimate objects. As such it’s typical of biblical obscurantism.

            God is sovereign and can do what he likes, eh? That’s what Louis XVI believed. Didn’t do him much good, did it?

          • Anton

            Not in this life.

          • Anton

            God says he created evil in Isaiah 45:7. It could not be otherwise, for everything that is not God was created by him, and he is not evil. The Hebrew word for evil here is the same as that in Genesis 2:9.

          • Pubcrawler

            And it is a word which has many different nuances, as Strong’s concordance shows:

            http://biblehub.com/hebrew/7451.htm

            Interpretation/translation, especially of abstracts, is a subtle art, not a simple matter of one-to-one equivalence.

          • Anton

            Indeed, but I can’t tell if you are agreeing or disagreeing with me!

          • Pubcrawler

            I’m agreeing that it is the same lexeme, but suggesting that it might not have exactly the same semantic value in both places, in which case a different word might be required to translate it.

          • Anton

            OK; may I have your interpretive translation in the two places?

          • Pubcrawler

            I am no Hebrew scholar, so I am not qualified to give an interpretation or translation. (I am only slightly less reluctant to do so when it come to the Greek of the New Testament;)

            However, in Isaiah, the passage as a whole suggests that it could imply instances of catastrophe and misfortune; that God causes these from time to time is well attested throughout the Old Testament. In Genesis the reference is more metaphysical; and the notion that God is the author of moral evil ought to be monstrous.

          • Anton

            Author? He does not authorise it. But he creates it, otherwise it is something that exists that is not him and not something he created, contrary to John 1.

          • Pubcrawler

            I suppose it depends on whether you regard evil as a thing which has independent existence (which to me smacks of dualism and I shy away from it) or, with St Basil, a condition of the soul which results from using the gift of free will against God’s purpose.

          • Anton

            I think that just about anything for which a noun is used in the Bible exists; according to that definition of St Basil good is presumably a condition of the soul, and actions arising from that, which results from using the gift of free will according to God’s purpose. So evil is as real or not as good.

          • Pubcrawler

            Exists as concept perhaps, but not necessarily exist in the real world. If that’s not getting too ‘Greek philosopher’… I don’t think Basil sees it in terms of such a dichotomy — see my comments to Clive above.

            Anyway, I just popped back in to say I’ve checked my LXX and find that those translators used different words in the two places cited; poneros (a singular) in Gen. and kaka (a plural) in Is.

          • Anton

            I take the Hebrew to be primary. I know that the Septuagint is based on older Hebrew sources than we have today, but the earliest Septuagint we have today is some way from the LXX translators in time too. I’d prefer the Septuagint over the Hebrew only where they clearly differ over messianic verses, where the Masoretes had an anti-Christian agenda. Also we have an Isaiah scroll from the first century (Qumran) and I very much doubt that anybody has ever changed the Hebrew of Genesis. (I haven’t checked that Dead Sea Scroll, I admit.)

            “Exists as concept perhaps, but not necessarily exist in the real world.”

            Do you mean the physical real world, or the spiritual real world? We are skirting the problem of universals here…

          • Pubcrawler

            I’m not disputing the primacy or relative textual stability of the Hebrew; but translators far closer in time, thought and fluency than we can ever be used different words to represent what is a single word in Hebrew, which reinforces my caveat that what a word might be translated as in one context does not determine what it must be translated as in another. Polysemy and all that.

            I mean not just the world in which centaurs may be said to exist. To nick Plato’s phrase for the sake of precision, we believe that there is such a thing as auto to kalon (‘Goodness per se’), which we might regard as synonymous with God. But does that necessarily entail the existence of auto to kakon?

          • Anton

            We both accept that (a) the Hebrew is primary; (b) the same Hebrew word is used in Isaiah and Genesis; and (c) different appearances of the same word *may* be translated differently in different contexts. So: should* it be translated differently in Genesis and Isaiah? I’m open to persuasion, but I don’t find the authority of the 70 to be a particularly strong argument, because they are millennia from Genesis and several centuries from Isaiah (I think the church may have used this point against the rabbis on occasion), and I echo your question about auto to kakon; it’s not clear!

          • Pubcrawler

            In brief (for it is pub o’clock) I would say it should, for the reasons I sketched above. vv. 8 and 9 I see as an expansion of that antithesis given in v. 7.

          • CliveM

            Of cou he did, when you create good, the potential for evil must exist, how else can good exist?

          • Pubcrawler

            Good exists in God without the potential for evil, wouldn’t you say?

          • CliveM

            I was going to say I agree, but then what about Satans temptation of Christ? Without the potential for ‘sin’, there would be no temptation.

            Good and evil as God created it, we’re a single act, not separate.

          • Pubcrawler

            The potential for the temptation to sin to succeed arises from free will. Evil arises when that temptation is successful. Good exists prior to that.

          • CliveM

            But without the potential, can free will exist? Because God is perfect he only does good, but the potential for evil is no more a flaw in God, then it was a flaw in creation.

          • Pubcrawler

            The potential is not itself evil, or a flaw. Evil is what arises when that potential is realised — it is a deviation from a good that already exists. Had God not introduced that potential by granting rational beings free will, good would still exist.

          • CliveM

            But for the.beings, not the ability to be/do good.
            Apologies for late response, but busy!

          • Pubcrawler

            Not sure what you mean. They wouldn’t have an ability to choose to do/be good, it would be automatic.

            And now I am exercising my ability to choose to go to the pub. 🙂

          • CliveM

            Apologies PC, I shouldn’t do things in a rush.

            Firstly I agree with your first sentence, potential is not in itself evil. Nor a flaw. Also yes evil arises from abusing the potential.

            Yes good would still exist even without free will. But although a being would still be able to do things that are good, they themselves wouldn’t be doing good. If that makes sense?

          • len

            God created free will and that can lead to evil…
            God created humans who can be incredibly evil

          • The Explorer

            The Gnostics said the world was made by the devil. Given people killed by immersion in tar, that’s a very powerful explanation. The world – whether it was made that way, or has become that way – is a very terrible place.
            The Christian explanation is that something originally good has been corrupted. To be corrupted, it had to be initially good.

          • sarky

            Or its just human nature. Always been this way, always will be.

          • The Explorer

            Yes. Human nature is certainly an issue. I was thinking of the other sort of Nature. When a baby is born without eyes, and people die of the ebola virus, did God want it that way, or has something gone wrong? Why did Christ heal people, rather than just saying, “That’s the way God planned it. Live with it.” Are Christian hospitals misguided to try and heal the sick?

          • sarky

            Hmm always struck me that christian hospitals weren’t entirely convinced of gods healing powers.

          • len

            Nothing wrong with the power of God but it is being transmitted through imperfect receptors.

          • sarky

            Always an excuse!!!!

          • len

            Well not many perfect people down here. Christ was a perfect being and Gods Power flowed through him without restraint…People only touched Christ to be healed..

          • The Explorer

            Depends if they’re cessationist or not. Cessationists think that miracles ended, by and large, with the end of the Apostolic era. Christ’s miracles established the pattern for healing that is to be continued now by human means.
            Non-cessationists think miracles still happen. Healing can be by either human or divine means.

          • Rhoda

            The motto of Kiwoko Hospital in the Luwero district of Uganda (founded by Dr Ian Clarke in 1988) is;
            “We treat, Jesus heals”.

          • sarky

            I wonder how they would get on without the ‘we treat’ bit?

          • Anton

            He doesn’t do miracles to order, you know.

          • Eustace

            Healing “miracles” are among the least convincing. They mainly seem to be based on self-reporting. Cases are rarely well-documented and even those that are offer no more than the possibility of divine intervention.

            States of health can suddenly ameliorate for many reasons. The placebo effect plays a role. A suppressed immune system can suddenly kick in thanks to an improved diet or removal of the patient from a contaminated environment. And other less well-understood or even unknown natural phenomena may also come into play.

            Our medical knowledge is far from complete but it continues to grow, so the mechanisms behind mysterious sudden cures will be discovered sooner or later. It’s just a matter of time.

          • Anton

            And those that aren’t you will dismiss as hoaxes. If a miracle DID happen, would you believe reports of it?

          • Eustace

            It all comes down to the evidence. If there is incontrovertible evidence that something inexplicable has happened, then the event clearly merits closer examination.

            If no explanation can be found, then a miracle becomes a possibility, but no more so than the more mundane and infinitely more likely scenario that some as-yet-unknown physical process is responsible for the sudden cure.

            Most of the time however, close examination of all the facts of a case reveal that no good evidence for a miracle exists at all. Anecdotal and unverified claims motivated by psychological illness or a religious agenda are often advanced in place of real symptoms. People lie. Doctors will tell you they do little else. Yes, even Christians…

          • Anton

            Actually I agree with you that most reports of miracles evaporate on decent scrutiny. But I am concerned that you would not believe a genuine one on principle.

          • Eustace

            Show me a genuine miracle then.

            To do so, you’ll have to prove that a) it really happened, and b) no physical process – not even one that we haven’t discovered yet – can possibly explain it.

            The best you can do is to conclude that a miracle MAY have happened, but that at any point in the future, it may be debunked by the discovery of a physical process that was actually responsible for the cure.

            By their very nature, miracles are prone to being debunked. Medical knowledge advances quickly and what looked like it might have been a miracle a few decades ago may look very mundane and ordinary now.

          • Anton

            Show you a genuine miracle? Sorry, I’m not Jesus and I can’t do them when I please.

          • Eustace

            And there you have it.

            “Miracles are real!” shouts the Christian.

            “Show me one then,” asks the skeptic.

            “I can’t. You’ll just have to take my word for it,” replies the Christian.

            “What? You can’t produce a miracle, nor can you point to any solid evidence for one, yet you know they’re real?” says the skeptic. “Not very convincing, are you?”

            “Miracles are real!” shouts the Christian…

          • Anton

            You can’t expect them under test conditions (“Do not put God to the test”), so reports will be anecdotal, and sceptics will disbelieve such reports even if true. The rational conclusion is that miracles are not the definitive test of religion that atheists suppose. This point was understood by David Hume who was fairly sceptical himself.

          • sarky

            He doesn’t seem to do them full stop. None that can be verified anyway.

          • Anton

            You can’t expect them under test conditions (“Do not put God to the test”), so reports will be anecdotal, and sceptics will disbelieve such reports even if true. The conclusion is that miracles are not the definitive test of religion that atheists suppose.

          • len

            God created Lucifer who fell and became Satan.God did not create Satan

            …You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you (Ezek. 28:12b-15).God created Lucifer(the Light bearer)

          • sarky

            You’re first paragraph is utter nonsense.

          • len

            Truth is not always easy to be accepted .Easier to rubbish it and remain in your deception?

          • sarky

            I’m not rubbishing it, it’s just nonsense. Doesn’t matter what the name is, god created evil.

          • len

            Why would God want evil, when Jesus suffered on a Cross to defeat evil.. You reasoning makes no sense?

          • sarky

            Exactly. If god didn’t want evil why the fall??? No fall, no need for Jesus’s suffering.

          • len

            I think we’ve gone full circle here…The desire to be ‘like god’ appealed to Eve , and rebellion against God by Adam who knew the truth but chose to unite with Eve against God.Satan had taken them both hostage in his rebellion against God as he does with all who rebel against the Creator.
            Humans can choose(which can lead to all sorts of problems and errors). but the only other alternative is to totally control them…

          • sarky

            A perfect human being who could be tempted, can’t of being perfect in the first place could they??

            Listen Len, do you actually believe what you say or do you just regurgitate what you’ve been told?

          • len

            Adam And Eve were created perfect but had the ability to be filled with the Spirit of God or to rebel and follow ‘other spirits’ namely those who had followed Satan into his rebellion…

            Jesus said to the Pharisees”You are of your father the devil”

          • sarky

            So Satan is more powerful than god then??

          • len

            Satan has authority over all that rebel against God…Satan is able to use those under his authority, empowered by his spirit to do his bidding

          • sarky

            And god can do nothing about it?

          • len

            Yes .The Cross gives us victory over Satan…

            Satan has been defeated at the Cross, but not captured yet. We have power over Satan through through Christ.

          • sarky

            You have no power. Evil can happen to you just as much as the rest of us. Just ask that priest in France.

          • len

            The Power over Sin is the victory of the Cross. Many Christians tragically are being killed worldwide.

          • sarky

            And where is your god while all this is happening?

          • Anton

            Right there suffering with them. Not indefinitely, though.

          • sarky

            Or conspicuous by his absence.

          • Pubcrawler

            Here is a neat summary of the Christian position, since your critique seems to be based on something of your own imagining:

            Evil is not a primeval essence that is coeternal and equal to God; it is a falling away from good, it is a revolt against good. In this sense it would be wrong to call evil a ‘substance’, as it does not exist in its own right. As darkness or shadow are not independent beings but are simply the absence or lack of light, so evil is merely the absence of good. ‘Evil’, writes St Basil the Great, ‘is not a living and animated substance, but a condition of the soul which is opposed to virtue and which springs up in the slothful because of their falling away from Good. Do not, therefore, contemplate evil from without; and do not imagine some original nature of wickedness, but let each one recognize himself as the first author of the vice that is in him’.

            God did not create anything evil: both angels and humans, as well as the material world, are good and beautiful by nature. However, rational creatures, possessing free will, can direct their freedom against God and thereby engender evil. This is precisely what happened: the light-bearing morning star (Lucifer), originally created good, abused his freedom, defaced his own virtuous nature and fell away from the Source of goodness.

            From:
            http://www.sourozh.org/orthodox-faith-texts/the-origin-of-evil.html

          • sarky

            How????

          • Anton

            You are right. God says he created it in Isaiah 45:7. It could not be otherwise, for everything that is not God was created by him, and he is not evil. The Hebrew word for evil here is the same as that in Genesis 2:9.

      • Anton

        Do you consider that you are spoiling for a fight in the way of which you speak?

  • sarky

    News just in. The Egyptian has been sent home by his team in disgrace!!

    • len

      Feel quite sorry for him. Hope there are no ‘repercussions’.

      • dannybhoy

        I don’t. He would know Israel would be present, and who he might face in his bouts. He could have withdrawn and been regarded as a hero by all Muslims dedicated to the destruction of Israeli men women and children…

        • len

          Also looked afraid to fight?

          • dannybhoy

            No, he could have explained why he wouldn’t fight the Israeli, and made it a moral/political issue which would have won him great adulation from the Muslim world..

            https://www.facebook.com/StandWithUs/

    • Anton

      My best guess is that he’s been hung out to dry.

      • dannybhoy

        He’ll probably be hung out….. from a pole.

    • Uncle Brian

      The usual practice at Olympics, I believe, is for all team members to be packed off home as soon as their events are over and done with. This case looks like a merely symbolic or token “punishment”, just so that the Egyptian delegation can claim they didn’t let him off scot free.

    • Pubcrawler

      From Times of Israel:

      The International Olympic Committee said Islam El Shehaby received a “severe reprimand” for his behavior following his first-round heavyweight bout loss to Or Sasson on Friday.

      When Sasson extended his hand, Shehaby backed away, shaking his head. The referee called the 34-year-old Shehaby back to the mat and obliged to him to bow; he gave a quick nod and was loudly booed as he exited.

      The IOC said the Egyptian’s conduct “was contrary to the rules of fair play and against the spirit of friendship embodied in the Olympic values.”

      The Egyptian Olympic Committee also “strongly condemned” Shehaby’s actions “and has sent him home,” according to the IOC.

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/egyptian-judoka-who-snubbed-israeli-opponent-reprimanded-sent-home

      So, the crowd wasn’t impressed, the referee wasn’t impressed, the Egyptian OC wasn’t impressed and the IOC certainly wasn’t impressed.

    • dannybhoy

      So he should be, but on LBC this afternoon the Egyptian has received lots of support from other Muslims, who insist in bringing politics into it. This is one of the things which I believe will destroy the Olympic Games.

    • Dreadnaught

      For not shaking hands or for being beaten by a Jew?

  • Anton

    Your Grace,

    Regarding your title, does El Shahaby refuse to shakes hand with Sasson, or refuse to shake hands?

  • “Shake with your right hand but hold a rock with your left.”

    (Frank Underwood)

    • Anton

      You might say that, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

    • chefofsinners

      … In his seminal work ‘How to Piss Against a Cliff Face’

  • dannybhoy

    This is amazing..