Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Mad monks and a flat earth

'Can you imagine Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music staying with the Captain if the romance went out of their marriage? Would she not divorce him and grab his children to be her toys? All the elements of pornography are there...'

'The Sound of Music is an immoral film because it puts friendliness and fun in the place of authority'.

I report these sayings of Bishop Richard Williamson because he has recently hit the news by claiming that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious anti-Semitic forgery that enjoys widespread currency in neo-Nazi circles, is authentic.

The dateline in The Catholic Herald is April 1st, so make of it what you will, but according to reports Richard Williamson who was an Anglican who defected to Archbishop Lefevre's Society of St Pius X where he was ordained a bishop in defiance of the Pope is currently ministering in Argentina to extreme right wing groups. He is widely regarded as the "Borat" of the Catholic Church.

I came across the Protocols of the Elders of Zion again yesterday while I was reading Serendipidies by Umberto Eco. Eco's books are erudite but hard to read. His most famous book is The Name of the Rose, a tribute to Sherlock Holmes set in the Middle Ages, but the other volumes of his that I have on my shelves have remained half read.

Serendipities is a series of essays, the first of which discusses among other things the idea that the Christian Church once believed that the earth was flat. It was a charge leveled at the church in the Darwin versus religion debate of the nineteenth century. It is claimed that Columbus was opposed by the clergy because they thought he would sail over the edge of the world as in Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Just like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the flat earth theory is a nonsense. That the world was spherical was known to the Ancient Greeks like Pythagoras and Euclid and certainly to the Church Fathers like Origen and Augustine,. Thomas Aquinas is very clear about it. There was a monk in the 4th century who believed the world was shaped like the Tabernacle of the Pentateuch, but no-one took any notice of him until he was translated into English by the Darwinists for a debating point.

As Richard Williamson demonstrates, you can always find a mad clergyman.


Anonymous said...

I note that, sadly, Mr. Pratchett has early-onset Alzheimer's disease, and has donated to help find a cure, no doubt after it is too late to help himself.

I've never read any of his stories, but I have heard of 'Discworld'. How odd that fictitious place is flat.

Antisemitism has never gone away and has rich, powerful 'friends' in the oil-rich Moslem community. I fear Israel will indeed be 'wiped off the map' by the Iranians if not someone else.

Terry Hamblin said...

I'm not sure that it is Alzheimer's. It may be multiple mini-stroke dementia. Pratchett has been called the modern PG Wodehouse. His books are very funny and are pointed views of present day foibles.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is multiple-stroke dementia. He is quoted as saying he has donated 500,000 pounds for Alzheimer's research.

Here's one copy of the story which probably came from the news services, since I've seen the same story multiple places.

Terry Pratchett Fights Own Disease
MaryEllen Fillo

March 17, 2008

British novelist Terry Pratchett said Thursday he will donate $1 million to fund research into Alzheimer's disease, the incurable illness he was diagnosed with last year.

The best-selling fantasy writer ("Discworld") revealed in December that he has early-onset Alzheimer's, a rare form of the disease that strikes before age 65.

Pratchett, 59, said the donation would go to the Alzheimer's Research Trust, a British charity.

"There's nearly as many of us as there are cancer sufferers, and it looks as if the number of people with the disease will double within a generation," the writer told the charity's annual conference.

The only 'world' series I've gotten into was 'Ringworld' by Larry Niven, I think. Of course, there are other 'world' stories, mainly fantasy (LOTR, a host of others), but the two with the title of 'world' in them were Discworld and Ringworld.

Niven has the reputation of writing 'hard' science fiction, much like Arthur C. Clarke, who recently passed away.