A plague on the House of Sword

As the world now knows, journalist Jamal Kashoggi was tortured, murdered and dismembered inside the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month. He was there to obtain a marriage license. It reminded me of a letter I wrote to Saudi Arabia almost three years ago to the day in connection with another incident perpetrated by this charming nation.

 

Dear Saudi Arabia,

Congratulations on your decision to kill the Shiite boy who goes by the name Ali Mohammed al-Nimr. Teenagers are dreadful at the best of times, what with their sighing and eye-rolling and endless demands for human rights and justice. If I had my way they would all be put to death.

I suppose I shouldn’t call him a boy. He is, after all, 20 years old. However, he was still a teenager when he committed the dastardly crimes for which he must die. Apparently he participated in the Arab Spring protests in 2012. Is that right? My kid once participated in a school play and by the end of it I wanted to slaughter the entire cast and most of the audience, so I know how you feel.

I gather you are breaking with tradition and not beheading the lad. Well done. Beheading is too good for some people. Crucifixion is the only language this generation understands. Well, that and textese and SMSish. Hang on. I’m getting conflicting information here. Some reports say you’re going to behead him and then crucify him. I don’t want to sound like a liberal, but isn’t that quite literally overkill? I apologise. You obviously know what you’re doing.

I’m a bit worried, though. Crucifixion can lead to new religions forming and nobody, least of all you, wants that happening. Yes, I’m talking about a certain Mr J Christ of Bethlehem. If the Romans had let him off with a light whipping and a warning, Christianity would probably not exist today. And even if it did, their symbol certainly wouldn’t be a cross. I’m just saying be careful, that’s all.

Your own media, which never gets anything wrong under pain of death – in my country that’s just an expression – said you wanted to string up the body after the beheading as a warning to others. I may be out of line here, but would the average Saudi be shocked at the sight of just one body? From what I’ve heard, one can barely move in Riyadh for the corpses of people executed for jaywalking or littering. That’s just the men. Apparently the countryside is littered with the bodies of female radicals who were caught driving, watching television or talking to men who weren’t their brothers.

Wouldn’t it be more effective to round up everyone who participated in the Arab Spring and crucify the lot of them? You could do a thousand a day for three months. If the United Nations starts gnashing its gums, tell them it’s none of their damn business what you do. Tell them it’s population control. If they threaten to pass a resolution, threaten to fire nuclear missiles into New York. You do have nukes, right? You’d better have, or even Israel could whip your ass.

I hear France has also asked you to call off the execution. France! That’s a laugh. After the terrible things they did in the Congo. No, wait. That was the Belgians. Same thing. If they want a united Europe, then all of Europe must take collective responsibility for all the horror.

At least you don’t have to worry about Britain putting the boot in. Their prime minister is too busy doing damage control after it emerged that he stuck his honourable member into a dead pig when he was younger. Also, they really want to land that £6m contract to provide prison expertise to your country. To be honest, I’m surprised you still bother with prisons. Decapitation is so much more cost-effective in the long run. I hope you’re not going soft on us.

By the way, congratulations on being chosen to head up the UN human rights council. This couldn’t have come at a better time for you. It doesn’t matter how much the limp-wristed dolphin-kissers wave their yoga mats and rattle their daisy chains, the fact remains that the US State Department has welcomed it, as do all right-wing, I beg your pardon, right-thinking members of the global community.

By the way, you might want to get the plasterers in. I hear there are some nasty cracks developing in the House of Saud. The last thing you want to do is let the light in.

If Anyone Can, The Anglican

Dear Archbishop of Canterbury,

My friend Ted and I spent last weekend praying that the Church of England would not allow women to be ordained as bishops. We already live with women who tell us that if we don’t do what they say, we can go to hell. Must we have it in church, too?

So you can imagine our joy when we heard on Monday that the General Synod had taken the Catholic option and pulled out moments before reaching the point of no return.

When I say Ted and I were praying, I mean drinking beer. When I was very young, a wise man told me prayer can take many forms. I decided there and then that I would praise God in the form of beer. And let me tell you, I have given a tremendous amount of praise over the years. In fact, between you and me, I am almost praised-out. But this is okay because the older I get the less I have to be thankful for.

Besides, it’s not as if God is doing such a fantastic job these days, is it? His earlier work was impressive but he seems to have lost interest.

Anyway. After three or four hours of hard praising, Ted and I came to the conclusion that women wanted to become bishops because of the funky hats and dresses you guys wear.

And who can blame them?

Purple is a passionate colour and women are passionate creatures. Christianity is a passionate religion. And who among us can forget Mel Gibson’s tour de force, The Passion of the Christ? Well, apart from Mel, of course. This crapulous son of Catholicism gave the Judas kiss to his own movie after discovering, too late, that Jesus was Jewish.

You were quoted in the heathen media as saying you hoped that postponing the decision would “lower the temperature” of the debate.

This is beyond a debate, my friend. This is 1534 all over again, except this time you’re not splitting from the Roman Catholic Church, but splitting from yourselves. A bit like ecclesiastical amoebas.

There are those who will shriek and fall about and insist that women should be allowed to become bishops because we are all God’s children. What nonsense. God is not Jacob Zuma. God had only one child – a boy, if I recall.

I blame the insufferable suffragettes, those professional naggers who went on and on and on until the British government went mad and agreed to give women the vote.

Anything to shut them up.

Once they had the vote, they demanded all sorts of things and today there are men sitting at home with no supper because their wives are out flying helicopters in Afghanistan. A shameful state of affairs all round.

As for the outrageous notion of bishops with breasts, your General Synod voted 288 in favour of postponing a decision, 144 voted against and 15 abstained.

I bet the darkies abstained. They still can’t believe their luck at being allowed to become bishops ahead of women and they certainly aren’t going to stick their heads above the parapet just yet.

This is not a time to be fannying about with votes. You don’t see the pope bothering with the niceties of democracy, do you? The faithful need to be ruled with an iron fist.

Drive across England in an armoured archbishopmobile and tell people in no uncertain terms how to behave and what to think. Get a posse of defrocked priests to round up the dissenters and have them shot.

You warned last week the church was “looking into the abyss” over the issue. I think you need to use stronger language. As long as Christianity has eternal damnation at its disposal, the idea of a piffling abyss is not going to frighten anyone. In fact, I have seen some stunning abysses. All you are really doing is threatening people with a view of the Fish River Canyon.

You allowed women to enter the priesthood twenty years ago, then turned the other cheek and hoped they would be happy with that. There’s the problem. You people just don’t understand women.

Give a girl a dog collar and sooner or later she will want a cassock. Any idiot off the street could have told you that.

You’re on a slippery slope, comrade. Look what’s happening with your morally flexible cousins, the Episcopalians. Not only have they decided to bless gay relationships, but while you were playing for time on the babes-for-bishops business, they were voting to give transgender people the right to become ministers. Transgender clergy!

Now you don’t know who you might be taking home after a particularly arousing sermon. It’s worse than Thailand.

The Episcopal Church is a hotbed of tolerance and equity. No good can come of it. Please don’t go down that road. Prejudice is an essential tool in helping us to judge others. Without it, religion would cease to exist.

And what kind of terrible world would that be?