While thanking correspondents for their kindness and useful links, it's a function of senility to return to the old days, and so the pond has decided to turn teacher, and impose a difficult test on the class, thanks to the inspiration offered by one Kevin Donnelly in the reptilian, antediluvian Oz.
While there are multiple choices, there is only one correct answer, and anyone who deviates will be severely punished. The pond has a stock of cilices in the text book room, and will apply them freely, along with a good whipping and scouring and scourging, in the approved Xian manner.
21:21 Notwithstanding, if they continue a day or two, she shall not be punished: for they are her money. (Get your annotations here).
Now on with the test:
1. Discuss the role of useless mathematicians, idle philosophers, and the wretched jibber jabber about democracy in ancient Greece, up against the insights provided by sundry camel herders.
2. Measure the contribution of Roman law and Roman empire building and Roman civilisation and decent volcanic ash concrete, up against the enormous contribution of sundry goat herders. (Anyone who resorts to Monty Python skits asking 'what have the Romans done for us?' shall be deemed to have failed).
3. Discuss the role of the Inquisition and the Protestant-Catholic wars in producing a liberal humanist tradition. Those who fail to discount the Renaissance shall be automatically deemed to have failed.
4. Provide arguments in favour of entrenched wealth and privilege, with particular examples derived from those given privileged positions by the Australian federal government.
Only examples from the given gobbet will be acceptable:
Sorry class, the pond detects a lack of rigour and balance. Please remember there is only one answer to the liberal-humanist tradition. Go Team Christian!
And so to the next gobbet.
1. Explain in detail how you can know that god is dead, without ever understanding that god was alive.
2. Detail at length the way that Christianity furthered the career of Galileo, joyfully embraced Darwin and was fully behind science in all its adventures. Pay particular attention to explaining how the earth began in 4004 BC, thanks be unto Ussher, and please note that anyone refusing to mock climate science as a global UN conspiracy will be marked down.
3. Refute the notion of megalomania when Christians are accused of taking a little too much credit boasting how Christianity gave the world the university system, charitable work, international law, the sciences, important legal principles, and please don't forget the inclusionary wording, "and much else besides".
4. Re-write history to exclude any reference to evil religiously-inspired regimes and instead concentrate only on wicked secular atheist regimes, filthy scumbags and deviants that they are. Remember to mock secularists and their ersatz claims to the liberal humanist tradition.
Did you answer correctly? Go Team Christian?
Good, and if so, give yourself an elephant stamp, and let us move on to the final gobbet.
1. Explain how the angry Sydney Anglicans are correct in handing out submissive complimentary women - one free at every service - for nervous men wanting an Eve to match up to their Adam outlook on life (a free dinosaur-slaughtering club comes with each woman, and will prove handy when attending the next Jurassic screening).
2. Write in detail how Christianity has resolutely refused to demonise women, Jews and gays, and has been in the vanguard of support for gay marriage.
3. Refute at great length the many ways that Christian fundamentalism matches in attitude and position the fundamentalism on view in other religions. Examples from (2) may be used to buttress the argument that Christianity loved witches, dykes, faggots and poofters and indeed might have even sponsored a documentary by that name.
4. Argue for the benefits of bombing the shit out of Iraq as a way of producing a god-fearing democracy in that country. Explain in detail the concept of a just war, and the benefits of crusading and territorial conquest, remembering to justify all the imperial and colonial looting that western powers indulged in for a couple of centuries while engaging in a couple of world wars over same. Helpful hints for slow learners: remember to attribute any wrong acts to secularists and atheists.
5. Remind the world how Christians have been at the heart of the march towards Western states which have separated state and religion, and have enthusiastically supported liberalism, and the concomitant notion of secularism.
6. Confirm that you failed to watch Sixty Minutes because it was on the Nine network and so didn't see anything of Cardinal Pell being given a hard time by an upstart. Remember all talk of the peculiar attitude of Christianity to sex and sexuality is a thought crime and might be punished by a burning at the stake, if the pond is feeling in a liberal mood that day and has decided to forsake standard Xian approved tortures.
7. Write with particular enthusiasm about the Christian treatment of indigenous populations. Examples may be chosen from North and South America or Australia, but note, no reference to the anti-Christ Adam Goodes will be tolerated.
So there you and and it's Go Team Christian, and if we have to bung on more adventures and forays into other countries to bomb them to their senses and a sensible civilised Xian way of life, so be it.
So how do you think you went? Why if you answered correctly, you might get to hire Barry Spurr to help you out on important questions of poetry.
And now for your reward. You too can joy in the dance of bigots, thanks to Rowe, and more Rowe here.