Sue Cox

Sue Cox

Monday, 27 February 2012

Richard Swinbourne at Think Week

   Having been present at the debate last Tuesday with  Richard Swinbourne et al. during  "Think Week" in Oxford .I have a couple of comments.
Firstly that it was very fair and democratic of the rest of the panel , and the chair, to allow his long winded diatribe. Truly "freedom of expression" in action!
But PLEASE ! What a load of professorial hogwash. Bad enough that  we were subjected to his pomposity and meanderings, but the suggestion that everything "evil" that happens to people is god's way of making them strong is beyond belief. Offensive and ill informed, he alluded to the holocaust as a way of making Jewish people strong, and when questioned , with remarkable tolerance ,I thought, he replied that if anyone has a "bad" experience it  strengthens them ,thanks to "god's" interventions? Lucky them! A complete distortion of what most thinking people understand, that "whatever doesn't kill you makes you strong" Tell my fellow survivors of catholic clergy abuse how thankful they should be.                                                            

 It is called SURVIVAL professor! And most of us  had no choice!
What part of my experiences at the hands of a catholic priest  should I be grateful for exactly? That I wasn't raped more often? that at least I was ten and not three? That I didn't die? That although my teens and twenties and early thirties were destroyed, I  managed to survive and now I appear "o.k"? How much of the suffering of my disabled  friends from Verona should they be grateful for? That they only had to perform oral sex on priests every other day rather than every day? That for one man there were only sixteen priests who raped him  when he was a child and not sixty?
Thank you so much Professor for pointing out our extreme good fortune. I am sure the women in Rwanda should  be grateful, and the AIDS orphans, what about the starving people in the rest of World, how lucky are they!
Perhaps  if we all are so strengthened by your "god's " desire for us to have a bloody awful time, we should do everyone else a favour and go out and beat the living shit out of  grannies and maybe rob  a few blind people, maybe run over a few cyclists and set fire to traffic wardens. perhaps we are being utterly selfish by trying not to harm any living creature? shame on us, we are not allowing anyone else to experience our good luck! I am sure they would be grateful for the strength we could help them acquire!
 It was NATURE  herself who gave us the skills we needed to survive, despite our ordeals, not because of them. And some of us have been able to transform that pain by helping others like us, turning the crap that was thrown at us into manure to grow something more  beautiful .Of all the people that DO survive these atrocities, I suspect there are far more who do not.
So please Professor if you cannot think of any other reason to demonstrate  your god's goodness, perhaps you should try keeping your mouth shut.

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