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26 September 2010

More Religious Nuttery

What is it with so-called religious leaders and their sexual deviancies? We've had plenty of evidence from the Catholic Church that thousands of children have been abused by priests.

Now I find myself reading in the New York Times today about Bishop Eddie L. Long (by the way - who made him a Bishop?) who has built a religious and financial empire from scratch, transforming a small, faltering church into a modern cathedral with one of the largest and most influential congregations in the country, down in Georgia.

Apparently four former members of his youth group have alleged that he coerced them into performing homosexual acts with him. Well, of course the word "alleged" at this stage has to be uppermost in our minds, but it was not just this that incensed me; it was the fact that this man thinks that God wants people to prosper, and Long certainly has: he favours Gucci sunglasses, gold necklaces, diamond bracelets and Rolex watches. He lives in a 5,000-square-foot house with five bedrooms, which he bought for $1.1 million in 2005.

I never fail to be astonished by how many so-called religious leaders actually know what God wants, and what God wants is - surprise, surprise - usually pretty much in line with their own fantasies and desires. Long apparently believes that Jesus was not a poor man. He also believes that women should submit to their husbands. (Where have I heard that before?!)

No wonder this man heads up such a rich and powerful Baptist Church with a huge congregation .. his message is get rich, show off your wealth, and subdue your women. It's what God wants.

06 September 2010

Corporate Madness

In the days when Britain's trains were run by the State controlled British Rail one came to expect visits to the strange and wonderful world of the bureaucratic mindset.

I had hoped that with the privatisation of the railways we might see some more sensible decisions by train company boardrooms, driven as they should be by the need for good customer relations.

It is sad to report, then, that Stagecoach (the company that operates South-West Trains) have seen fit to fine Emma Clark and Davyd Winter-Bates £114 for getting off their train two stops early!!!

The couple were travelling to Southampton from London with South West Trains when they decided to get off two stops early at Eastleigh.

When they handed over their tickets at the station, they were told they were each being fined £57 because they had not stayed on the train until their destination.

The fine was twice the standard fare of £28.50.

The company said the couple had been fined because they were using discounted tickets, which do not allow passengers to break their journeys.

In a statement, the train company said: “Leaving a train early is not allowed on heavily discounted tickets. The fine is double the standard single fare.”

Miss Clark said to the Sun Newspaper, “It is utter madness. I could understand being fined if I had stayed on the train two stops beyond my destination.”

Hear! Hear! I can only describe this as a signal failure of common sense leading to a PR image heading straight for the buffers!