While the latest bout of intimidation is not one of the church’s more standard extortion rackets it underscores that point that Priest Tom Doherty of Ballina is a pig from the same holy litter that has produced many a clerical Neanderthal.
Tom the Troglodyte decided to berate a section of his congregation during two separate priestcraft ceremonies. Those who fell under his pious gaze were those who had voted Yes for equality in the recent same sex marriage referendum. He exhorted them to stand up and make themselves known, before proceeding to excoriate them and then instructing them to remain sitting for the creed because they no longer believed in the same hateful vindictive biblical tyrant that he did. Jesus wants you to stand: Jesus wants you to sit, all very much like a prison scene from Sons of Anarchy.
Whatever happened to the idea of a secret ballot precisely so that this type of pulpit bullying might be thwarted? Perhaps an alter boy - providing the clergy had no other plans in store for the unfortunate soul - could be on hand next time around to stand in the privacy of the polling booth to ensure that the polling booth is no longer private and that the only ballot slipped into the box would have the imprimatur of the bishop on it: which would just about amount to No to everything:
every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.
Many in the congregation were reportedly angry. A mass-goer who had been present on each occasion, Louise Heneghan, claimed:
people are still not happy about this, there’s a lot of anger with the locals still ... Nobody saw it coming. It was the condemnatory tone he used ... He accused those who voted Yes as putting two fingers up to the church .... He mentioned ‘barbarians at the gate’, and the immorality of Yes voters, but he gave no reason as to why he felt that way.
Rather than tell him to "go fuck" himself some of those at mass just walked out. Tom the Troglodyte however, decided to spoof and spin it out. His comments were “not meant to condemn”. No. Indeed, people like to be called barbarians, seeing it as a laudatory description.
At a time when people were feeling genuine joy because equality had been extended to their fellow human beings, much like it had been extended to women and black people before them, the men of a god who is driven insane with jealousy at the suggestion he might have an equal, could only feel grief, comparing the result to a bereavement. What they really grieve is the death of their power to lord it over people. Yeah, the men of god are very much made in his image.
But here's a suggestion. The next time Tom the barbarian slayer ascends into his bully pulpit he should go equipped with a Jesus slingshot. With an eye or two poked out, that will teach the gay bastards a Christian lesson.