The religious hatred bill is being voted on today, and thousands of people are expected to protest outside parliament. Rowan Atkinson gave a superb speech explaining why, from the comedians’ (and therefore cartoonists’) point of view it is a bad thing and that the government should back down. See also this ‘debate‘ with a Home Office minister. In fact, based on a brief wander around the internet just about everyone seems to be against the law, apart from some Muslim groups and the government.
Would the sort of humour I do be affected? Well, probably not, but it seems to me that in the bill’s present form one couldn’t be 100% sure. Cartoons do sometimes attract extreme criticism from religious groups. As Andii says:
No, it’s bad law and the assurances about intent are worthless since they are not actually in the legislation.
Update: Ruth Gledhill makes some further points:
Unless one of the Lords amendments is successful, and I doubt it will be, it will not be a defence to claim that there was no intention on my part to stir up religious hatred. All that will have to be proved, to send me to prison for up to seven years, will be that my words did incite hatred. Even if I didn’t mean them to.
She also mentions the ‘Is the Bible true?’ story, which, if you remember, inspired my cartoon.
Recently, I wrote a couple of stories that generated enormous vitriol against me in the blogosphere. One was about a research paper challenging the benevolent effects of religious belief on society, the other about a document of the Roman Catholic bishops of England and Wales that threw new light on biblical interpretation.
I was attacked without mercy in blogs, mainly in the US. Some of the attacks were astonishing in their vitriol and certainly defamatory. This was even though my reports were devoid of comment and simply summarising and reporting what other people had written and said. Yet I had clearly, inadvertently, simply by doing my job in a professional manner, incited hatred in these people, and it was clearly religious hatred. Their hatred was directed at me. Yet they would probably argue that I had incited hatred of their religious beliefs.
Posted by Dave at 12:55 pm on January 31, 2006 and filed under Cartooning, Current events.
How the CofE can learn from the Methodists
On the new ‘theConnexion.net‘ website the Methodist bloggers are asking each other how their national church website is doing. So, how is it doing?
Well, in one particular measure very well indeed. If you do a Google Search for ‘church’ you find The Methodist Church of Great Britain in the No 1 spot. Well, at least, I do. Your version of Google may not, depending upon where you live.
Other residents of the first page are the Episcopal church in the USA, the Church of Scotland, the Church in Wales and the United Reformed Church. But where is the Church of England? Not on page one. Nor page two. No, it’s on page three, just ahead of the Inflatable church, Charlotte Church and the Church of Fools. Oh, and the Vatican.
We obviously have a lot to learn from the Methodists.
Posted by Dave at 8:00 am on January 31, 2006 and filed under Church.
This is neither new nor a particularly worthwhile way to spend your time. But it keeps me amused for
hours a good 5 or 10 minutes.
The Bus Selecta.
There’s even more fun to be had with the Bug Selecta and one or two others.
Posted by Dave at 12:43 am on January 31, 2006 and filed under Slacking.
Stand by as I am about to announce the answer to my ‘Mystery blog‘ quiz. I know I said I was going to do it this morning but I didn’t owing to various troubles that were occurring.
Here is another quote just to get you in the mood:
4th quick, 5th quick; 4th quick, 5th quick; 4th quick, 5th quick;
6th slow, 7th slow; 6th slow, 7th slow; 6th slow, 7th slow;
7th quick, 6th quick; 7th quick, 6th quick; 7th quick, 6th quick;
5th slow, 4th slow; 5th slow, 4th slow; 5th slow, 4th slow;
and so go in quick.
I am pleased to announce that the blog in question is ‘a bellringer’s progress‘, by Simon Kershaw. It isn’t the world’s most regularly updated weblog and I must confess that I don’t understand very much of it, but I think bellringers are great people and so we should all be nice to them. I did also find it very interesting when I had the opportunity to go up the tower and see the Cookham bells in action. So go on, put a cheery note in the bellringer’s comments.
Posted by Dave at 11:54 pm on January 30, 2006 and filed under Links: bloggers, Quizzes and competitions.
As an internet cartoonist it is always quite nice to hear that people have passed on things you’ve drawn or written. Fortunately cartoons do tend to lend themselves to being passed on. As they say in the business “humor speeds viral spread“.
I have therefore placed a little link under each of my blog posts and cartoons allowing you to e-mail the post or cartoon to a friend. It just makes a new message using your own e-mail programme and puts a link in the e-mail to the post in question. Just type in the person’s address, add any sundry greetings, click ‘send’ and off it goes.
So now if you know anyone who would really appreciate ‘10 church trends for 2006‘ or the Itch cartoon (to pick two semi-random examples) it is easy to do so.
And if you were to do so I for one would be most appreciative.
Posted by Dave at 7:52 pm on January 29, 2006 and filed under CartoonChurch progress, Cartooning.
dodge 3-4 up
dodge 2-and-1 at the back
dodge 5-6 down
lead and dodge
dodge 3-4 up
5-6 places up
treble bob at the back
treble bob at the front
3-4 places up
dodge 5-6 up
dodge 5-6 down
This is a quote from a blog I follow. But which one, and what is its topic? Make your guesses in the comments. Perhaps it’s obvious, I don’t know. If you know because you hold inside information on the topic please just post a knowing wink [ ; followed by ) makes ] and we’ll see who can work it out.
I’ll post the answer in a day or two if no-one guesses.
Posted by Dave at 6:11 pm on January 28, 2006 and filed under Links: bloggers.
Non-liturgical churches will realise that they say the same things in their services each week anyway, so they might as well write it all down and be done with it. Excerpt:
Celebrant (Lively and smiling) : Hallelujah!!! Do I hear an amen??
Congregation (weakly – shuffling papers) : A… m… e… n…
2. Pew discomfort
These will become harder and more uncomfortable owing to the fact that the pieces of carpet laid upon them some time in the 1960s are beginning to wear dangerously thin.
3. Dreary new songs
These will become drearier, newer and less songlike. You’ll be asked to repeat the song until you know it. Really know it.
4. Coffee rota invitations
You’ll be asked to be on the coffee rota more regularly. Reasons for this shift include the fact that most of the good excuses for not being on it were used up in 2005.
5. Friday church office photocopying
Vicars will want more orders of services, youthworkers will want more pre-printed colouring pages and the music group will want more more-or-less legal copies of songs produced on a Friday in time for Sunday. If you want to loiter looking like you have nothing better to do the church office on a Friday won’t be the place to do it.
6. Sausage rolls
These will be on the rise at ‘bring and share’ lunches owing to the increased availability of pre-bought pastry items in our supermarkets. Incidents of quiche will remain largely static owing to various complex societal factors.
7. Church hall complaints
People who live near church halls will get grumpier about the noise. Take Ian’s Party Pooper Warning Light story as an example (Will open in new window as we’re only up to No 7 and I couldn’t bear it if you left the page).
Rising costs of ministry will mean that the thermostats will be turned down by an average 2 degrees. ‘Don’t be foolhardy – wear a cardy’ will take off as a slogan in certain circles.
9. Lovely websites
Churches will discover that having a lovely website is a good idea. There will be a dramatic rise in up to date service information available online, up from 0.2% of churches to 0.4% of churches.
10. Back seats
You’ll need to arrive 12 minutes before the service to guarantee a back seat. The typical equivalent arrival time in 2005 was 9 minutes 30 seconds.
(Partially inspired by Pews in the News – Newsweek, found via Andrew Careaga.)
Posted by Dave at 1:27 pm on January 27, 2006 and filed under Church.
My itch cartoon has been the cause of some debate in one or two places on the internet, including Sarah’s blog, Simon’s bus and the site of someone called Holy Phil. (I don’t know whether that is an ironic name or whether he is actually very holy. If I called this blog ‘holy Dave’s blog’ it would be ironic. But either way – fair dos to him.)
The cartoon was also discussed by the folks on the Norwich Youth for Christ discussion forum (who I had to tell off for minor breaches of the guidelines, but after much repentance, gnashing and wailing of teeth all was forgiven).
Was the cartoon autobigraphical? Well, maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. But I always like it when something I draw starts a debate, even if sometimes people don’t come up with the opposite meaning to the one I hadn’t intended. If you see what I mean.
By the way, I’ve no idea what that title means. I just liked the sound of it.
Posted by Dave at 10:59 pm on January 26, 2006 and filed under Church, Links: bloggers.
Flipbook (found via we make money not art)
Click the ‘make’ button to make your animation. You can watch it at any point by clicking the eye symbol and then click the eye symbol to continue making it again. I’m just telling you this in case, like me, you are a bit slow and it takes you a while to work things out.
Warning: you could waste time doing this. The Cartoon Blog does not recommend wasting time as being a good use of time.
Posted by Dave at 10:33 am on January 26, 2006 and filed under Art, Cartooning.
Sometimes reruns of old material are all you can manage. But that is ok, as long as you do not alert people to the fact too often.
Posted by Dave at 1:27 pm on January 25, 2006 and filed under Cartoons.
The Goth Eucharist is a bi-weekly service in Cambridge, one of many new forms of church service that can be found via the Fresh Expressions website.
This is an exciting fortnightly service which seeks to find new ways of making the life of the Church meaningful to people from alternative, and particularly Goth communities.
The service has recieved some media attention recently in such places as the Guardian and even the Cambridge Evening news. Then there is the reaction from those on the conservative side of things, (Warning: link may depress) who seem able to write things off without knowing anything about them. I don’t know where they get the energy.
Update: Media interest in the Goth Eucharist continues – see the Vicar’s blog. It’s not really news though – Goth Eucharists have been happening at Greenbelt for years.
Posted by Dave at 6:54 pm on January 24, 2006 and filed under Church.
Quiche is an offence to people called Lorraine.
I noticed, via the Ship of Fools internet discussion area, that a move is being made to ban quiche from Christian gatherings.
To the Pope/Archbishop of Canterbury: I, the undersigned, say quiche has no place in right-thinking Christian society. No longer can I stand back and see quiche appear at every Christian get together. I urge you to ban this foul dish from our church halls and events for all time. Thank you.
There are 13 signatories at the time of writing. Mine is not among them. Nothing wrong with a good eggy slimy cheesy pastry-y flan.
Posted by Dave at 3:09 pm on January 23, 2006 and filed under Church.