The pulpit is no place for women

The pulpit is no place for women

The pulpit is no place for a woman minister, however elegant she may be in public speaking or proficient in her knowledge of Biblical theology. She may rise up and hold high office in a nation, just like Queen Elizabeth and as the late Mrs Margaret Thatcher did, but not the steps that lead up to any Church pulpit, whether in Inverness Ness Bank Church or St Peter’s Episcopal’s Church in Stornoway.

“FANNYBAWZ”, “dunderhead” and “baheid” are, according to the Glossary of Scottish Slang and Jargon, just three words that would come pretty close to describing the imbecile who penned the words above.

Dear readers, I give you Donald J Morrison, of 85  Old Edinburgh Road, Inverness, and a member of the Free Church of Scotland Continuing.

Donald J Morrison

Donald J Morrison

Morrison’s rant about women priests came last year:

There are around 196 women which are now ministers in the Church of Scotland. This is 196 too many.

But this month he moved from women to the weather:

Over the past few months, from John O’Groats to Land’s End and from Cape Wrath down to the White Cliffs of Dover, heavy rains, large waves and gale force winds have wreaked havoc, chaos and devastation across Britain. Severe flooding has brought many communities to a virtual standstill, with thousands of homes affected and countless properties destroyed.

With all their emergency forecasting alerts, the weathermen are predicting worse is to come. They only need to look into their Bibles to have their predictions confirmed. We are reaping, and will further reap, the consequences of our moral degradation as a society.

God will not be mocked: ‘He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision (confusion) than shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.’ (Psalm 2v4-5).

And what’s set grumpy old  God off this time? Why, Scotland’s 105 MSP’s in the Scottish Parliament:

Who do not know the difference between what is morally right and what is morally wrong. This was disturbingly witnessed on Tuesday 4th February when a sickly Bill to redefine marriage in Scotland was shamefully passed in a final vote at Holyrood.

Black Tuesday will be forever recorded as one of the saddest and darkest days in Scotland’s history when 105 morally sick politicians in Edinburgh formally applauded the abominable sin of sodomy and approved same-sex marriage. One can hardly believe that our grand little nation has sunk to this cesspit way of thinking, acting and legislating. How have the mighty fallen.

There’s more:

Let us set the record straight here. In passing this repulsive Bill politicians have steam-rolled a law through Parliament which is ungodly, unnatural, unscriptural, unhealthy and uncultural. It is also very unScotland. Yes, they have blatantly disregarded the views of ordinary citizens across Scotland. This they have done so by ignoring public opinion, snubbing the morally correct view of their own constituents whilst disregarding the findings of their very own consultation document, which showed 65% opposed to any redefinition of marriage.

In arrogantly and proudly thinking themselves wiser than God in applauding a union that is unquestionably evil, all these 105 politicians have earned – and shame on them – the sombre title of a fool: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…fools make a mock at sin.” (Romans 1v22& Proverbs 14v9). And it doesn’t end there …

No, it most certainly doesn’t.

Which may go a long way to explain why the Free Church of Scotland Continuing  is continuing to lose members, and is a shadow of its former self:

Today the Free Church of Scotland although much reduced in size maintains in continuity with the Church of 1843 the system of doctrine and the form of worship adopted by the Church of Scotland at the Reformation.

Note: Picture at the top was taken from The Holy Fool blog.

Hat tip: Alistair McBay

150 responses to “The pulpit is no place for women”

  1. barriejohn says:

    Yes, I realized at the time that exposing Doreen, so to speak, would probably mean that her life expectancy was very limited, but what a tragedy should her comments have disappeared from view without us having had a good laugh at them. Maybe Hutton himself is also a Poe – it seems feasible:

    I came to school today
    with my imaginary friend.
    When everyone said “hi” to him,
    I said, “He’s just pretend.”

    But no one seemed to notice,
    which I thought was pretty weird.
    It turns out he’d imagined me,
    and, poof, I disappeared.

    Kenn Nesbitt

    (I love nonsense verse!)

  2. Matt+Westwood says:

    “He lists his interests as Reading.

    Be careful!!!! as if he is always in Reading he’ll be down the M4 to you !”

    AAAAAAAARRRRRRrrrrrrgh …

  3. remigius says:

    I love nonsense verse.

    Then try the Qu’ran – Mad Mo’s Big Book of Bollocks.

    Edward Lear would read it and weep!

  4. barriejohn says:

    I have a copy of the Book of Mormon; you’d have a job to beat that for nonsense.

    PS “Poof, I disappeared” is a line worthy of the sainted Doreen herself!

  5. remigius says:

    barriejohn. Whilst we’re on the subject of children’s books written by people called Nesbitt –

  6. barriejohn says:

    Curiouser and curiouser. Doreen isn’t all that she seems then…

  7. Barry Duke says:

    Agent Cormac: Due to the fact that I had to leave my 31st floor eyrie in Spain last Thursday to attend a series of meetings in the UK (hence the break in postings on a few occasions, for which I apologise), I too caught up late with “Doreen Potts (Mrs)” account of the the Irish fudge packer on Hutton’s blog. And like others, I practically pissed myself laughing.

    I also posted a comment on his blog yesterday, basically saying that I know he does not intentionally “do humour”, but thanked him for giving us the such a good laugh. I also warned him to be very wary in future of fresh posts about “uphill gardeners” and “donut punchers” and the like finding salvation in Jesus.

    A special thanks to BarrieJohn for reposting in full the “Doreen Potts (Mrs)” missives on the Freethinker (sadly, they have since vanished from Hutton’s blog). I now have the material to write an hilarious account of the Potts fiasco for the Pink Humanist, and will post links all over the interweb, and sincerely hope you lot do so too.

    In this way, the names of Bob Hutton and “Doreen Potts (Mrs)” will be inextricably linked for eternity.

    The net is very unforgiving when it comes to stupidity. A while back a Christian fundie tried unsuccessfully to sue a gallery over a statue of Jesus with an erection. Now if anyone Googles the name Emily Mapfuwa, they will see dozens of images of The Jesus Erect.

    I share your regret, AC, that “Doreen Potts (Mrs)” cover had been blown because I think that the author was on a roll, and could have kept us giggling for weeks.

  8. AgentCormac says:

    @Barry Duke

    We already have Stephen ‘Birdshit’ Green – do we now also have Bob ‘Potty’ Hutton? (I feel a competition coming on.)

  9. barriejohn says:

    I agree that it is a pity that Doreen’s comments have disappeared, as I said above, but we couldn’t have all enjoyed them without blowing her cover. Meanwhile, Bob has the atheists stumped:

    Have you ever come across anyone more self-deluded?

  10. Barry Duke says:

    Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews asked:

    “Wasn’t Doreen Potts (Mrs) the nom-de-plume used by Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell for their similar letters to the local paper?

    “I think I have a collected edition of them, published in the 1980s. Not just a Poe, but a literary Poe.”

    It seems only Orton wrote those letters. He used several names but his best-known creation was Edna Welthorpe:

  11. remigius says:

    Barry, Doreen Potts is a character in a novel written by your mate Terry Sanderson!

    Do keep up, sunshine.

  12. Barry Duke says:

    Just read Bob “Potty” Hutton’s latest gobbling, and put him right with this earlier FT post:

    Bet it doesn’t see the light of day.

    Remigius, I knew that. But for the fact that I am so frazzled after four days of meetings in the UK to discuss a brand new Freethinker website due to be launched in the spring, I would have included that fact in my answer to Keith:

  13. Paul Cook says:

    I made the mistake of going to birds-hit site and reading the article on teaching inside schools (in the UK), that creation is or ought to be a science topic:

    ” evolution is not science, it is a quasi-religious belief system.”

    Nice to learn that. And ……

    “On the scientific front, much more evidence supports creation than evolution….”

    He makes no sense with the remainder of his drivel. But how would a sensible person conclude a survey of FOUR schools (I hope this is right) in Yorkshire was some kind of report to be held up as credible and would apply to the whole of the UK.

    Does any true Yorkshireman even know that there is a country outside of Yorkshire?

  14. barriejohn says:

    Paul Cook: I did read that, and see no point in engaging with the retard. He also posted the following recently, to which he links:

    He is hopelessly out of his depth, and throws around impressive-sounding scientific terminolgy with gay abandon (if I may use that phrase), as if to convince both his readers that he is a world authority on genetics. I particularly like the use of the pretentious “Christian Voice has discovered”, as if enquiring minds across the globe flock to his site to keep up to date with the latest scientific advances. If he can’t see that acceptance of “micro-evolution” means that his opposition to “macro-evolution” is a nonsense, then he is without hope!

  15. AgentCormac says:

    @ Barry Duke

    ‘…a brand new Freethinker website due to be launched in the spring…’

    Come on, now – do tell more!

  16. barriejohn says:

    He didn’t say which spring.

  17. Matt+Westwood says:

    Shame it didn’t say “… launched by the spring” or we could all have quipped: “Boing!”

  18. Barry Duke says:

    The launch is scheduled for the spring 2014; can’t say too much at this stage ‘cept that, rather than the blog format it is currently in, it will be a fully dedicated site with a great many more features, guest commentaries, archive material and much, much more.

  19. remigius says:

    it will be a fully dedicated site with a great many more features, guest commentaries…

    Guest commentaries!

    Does that mean I can spout bollocks to my hearts content? Bring it on!

  20. barriejohn says:

    Does that mean I can spout bollocks to my hearts content?

    There’s an answer to that, but I’m much too polite to enter it!

  21. Broga says:

    New site! I’m worried as a techno phobe. Will I be able to manoeuvre around it?

  22. barriejohn says:

    Hey Barry

    I’ve just put a review of this book on

    When people fall away from the Lord that is proof that the Bible is infallible; I say that because the Bible warns against falling away and predicts that this will happen (Matthew 24 v 12-13)



    Too funny for words!

  23. Barry Duke says:

    That, BarrieJohn, was a reply to a comment I left. I have just accused him of playing the slippery eel – again. He’s gonna be so unhappy when I blog his adventures with Doreen Potts (Mrs) in a about a week’s time.

  24. barriejohn says:

    Barry: I know. You posted the link above!

    PS I couldn’t locate his Amazon review.

  25. remigius says:

    barriejohn. That Barry chap sent me an email with a copy of the assassination of Bob Hutton for my perusal.

    T’is good. Bob, dear sweet Bob, it gonna get his pert arse kicked on’t interwebs.

    Oh joy. Sweet joy!

  26. remigius says:

    PS I couldn’t locate his Amazon review.

    That’s cos you went .com rather than!


    Feel free to add your own condemnation.

  27. barriejohn says:

    Bob clearly doesn’t understand what it means to “review” a book. I did think that he must be a fast reader!

  28. remigius says:

    barrirjohn. I left a comment on his Amazon review about not writing a review of a book you clearly haven’t read – and the gobshite has has had it removed.

    That, Bobby-boy, is an act of war. Be prepared.

  29. barriejohn says:

    Why didn’t Amazon remove this comment, and others like it:

    You are clearly heading for the flames of Hell. ALL those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour are heading for that dreadful place.

    What the fuck has that got to do with reviewing a book?

  30. Broga says:

    @remigius: I have so far kept clear of Bob Hutton as he seems emotionally unstable and unable to distinguish between reality and his fantasies. However, I have responded to your post and placed this on Amazon.

    “You have my sympathy Bob. Indeed pity as you seem to live in a fantasy world which does not exist. I suppose you would not dare to watch two recent BBC programmes on biblical truth? Unlike your fantasy wishful thinking their contributors, including prestigious professors of theology, explained that the bible is a cobbled together dog’s breakfast of contradictions, historical inaccuracies and arbitrary selections from ancient texts.

    Do try and develop some moral courage, Bob, and face up to what is obvious: the bible is unreliable, Jesus is not the son of God and your three in one God is a fantasy.”

  31. barriejohn says:

    Broga: It looks as if they might be about to repeat those programmes. I meant to link to the site when Episode Two was still available!

  32. barriejohn says:

    Here is Episode Two, about the myriad of Gospels, and they way that the New Testament was compiled from only those books that were deemed “politically correct”, for those who are able to view it:

  33. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: These programmes remind me of a discussion I had with a clergyman many years ago. Our work had thrown us together and he seemed a fair minded and reasonable man. I asked him if he really believed the biblical stories.

    “Of course not,” he said. “If we preached what we are taught in biblical college the congregation would rip us from the pulpit.” I now see what he meant. What is difficult to understand is their readiness to preach every week what they know to be nonsense.

  34. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Ever since the Honest to God debate/fiasco, I have been aware that what many of the clergy (apart from the evangelical wing and some conservatives) believe differs widely from what the person in the pew believes. They may appear to be speaking the same language, but they mean very different things. Most will not state their true beliefs publicly, noting the way that the press ridiculed David Jenkins for expressing similar views to Robinson’s (“heresy!”), so speak in an acceptable way, while secretly meaning something else. I think that most do believe in a transcendent god who is something more than the sum of human goodness, and that Jesus really existed and in some way gave an insight into the nature of this “all-loving God” so could in that respect be called “The Son of God”, but if they are not honest enough to lay their cards on the table it is impossibe to engage with them in any meaningful way.

  35. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: My wife had a friend from college whose boyfriend (is that the right phrase?) was a curate. This man was enthusiastic about Teilhard de Chardin, the Bishop of Woolwich, Paul Tillich, Martin Buber (I can’t remember the others) and talked about them endlessly. My wife said that what he was saying seemed to make sense until you tried to nail it down. However, the curate thought that he had laid to rest his doubts by reading these writers and others.

    From my own somewhat cursory reading of some of them I can see how, in the midst of vagaries, they offer a belief if you have a mind to accept it on their terms. Another of his enthusiasms I recall was Julian of Norwich. I vaguely recall she may have written The Cloud of Unknowing. I suppose mysticism allows beliefs through implication.

  36. Angela_K says:

    I’ve just reported Hutton’s rant as inappropriate and proselytising nonsense, hopefully it will be pulled.

  37. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Very interesting. I believe that they debate all this at college, and are then told to go out into their parishes and pretend that Jesus was born in a stable, laid in a manger, performed miracles, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven just as the Bible says. They have to cross their fingers and say under their breath: “It ain’t necessarily so”.

  38. Paul Cook says:


    thanks for the links. The two ‘progs were very good. With one caveat.
    What a shame as to their acceptance of this bloke called jesues as being real a real historical figure which lacks credible primary evidence. Even the secondary evidence is disturbingly inaccurate.

    When you approach history that this man lived and was real but the only evidence is self effacing it makes it even harder for us rational human beings to change the minds of all these other blind deluded people.

    There has not been found one contemporary record of this man – ever. Every thing is in the garbage they circulate as the word of god, which they all know is not the word of gad as it has been altered, re-written, changed and added to, and much destroyed and or banned.

    What a bunch of lying despicable thieves – taking peoples lives away like this, for 1000’s of years.

  39. barriejohn says:

    Paul Cook: I agree. I wonder whether it would be a step too far for them to say: “Hang on a minute; maybe it’s ALL mythical.”

  40. Broga says:

    @Paul Cook: Yup! The Victorians were shocked and stunned at any evidence that the entire bible (King James, of course) was not true in every respect. Rich men spent fortunes trying to prove that it was true. Any scintilla of historical evidence that supported any part of the bible delighted them.

    The old religious game was being played: we know the answer we want and you have to find it. The Christians lost the game although the destructive sham continues.

  41. Paul Cook says:

    Barriejohn and Borga.

    Yet when I grew up in Britain in the 60’s I was told god was a white bloke with a beard who sat in the clouds.

    This sort of nonsense has stooped, I hope, but other phrases such as god is love or god is everywhere and inside all of us/you etc has to be stooped too. As it’s just immature nonsense and meaningless as there is no rational logic to any of it. It is as facile as saying he’s a bloke in the clouds.

    As to repent your sins. What exactly have I done.

    What an effective& simple means of control – just tell lies.

    I recall my thoughts after I finished reading the book Who Wrote the Bible (well worth it) and these were these two things.
    1. the makers of christianity were abattoir owners who wanted to control trade and taxes in ‘proper’ slaughter of animals at only their establishments; and
    2. that it was as an excellent way to control masses of simple people too dumb to think for themselves. Some thing all religions are very good at.

  42. Broga says:

    @Paul Cook: Interesting comments. Thanks. I remember Bertrand Russell writing that when he was three years old he was taught a prayer along the lines that he was full of sin.

    When I was about the same age the prayer I was taught at bedtime was, “If I should die before I wake/ I pray the Lord my soul to take.” I had no idea what a soul was but then, as I later discovered, neither did anyone else. As in much else in religion everyone, while deeply ignorant of so many of these bizarre prayers, are assumed to know what they mean.

    I met a Christian in the USA who insisted that Jesus was a handsome white man and he knew that because he had seen all the paintings of him.

  43. Paul Cook says:

    sorry for the typing errors *stopped not stooped.
    The book was the one by Friedman.

  44. Broga says:

    @Paul Cook: Great reviews on the book. By chance I see that it is my Kindle free loan for this month. There must be a God after all. But in view of the subject matter of the book he must be on the side of atheists.

  45. Broga says:

    @Paul Cook: I want to thank you for telling me about “Who wrote the Bible.” I have just started the book but I am learning so much already. The dismantling of the view that Moses wrote the first five books of the bible – The Pentateuch – is brilliant. There were at least four, maybe five authors, and many of the events are described long after Moses was dead.

    The book addresses something that has long intrigued me. How much do clergy believe what they are preaching? I discover now that much of the cutting edge research is done by professors and biblical experts in the theological colleges. Their work used to be burned, and they were sacked. Now, ironically thanks to Pius X11 (give the devil his due even if he wants the work done in “the right spirit”) even RC researchers can investigate these issues.

    I assume these researchers inform their students. So what we seem to have are clergy preaching from a bible which they know is the product of different authors, producing different versions and writing about “facts” long after they are said to have written. The congregations are on the end of a massive scam as are the listeners to the religious nonsense delivered by the hour on the BBC.

    The earlier attempts to square the Pentateuch with Moses authorship are often funny i.e. the contradictions only seem to be contradictions, the writing about events long after he died (a list of kings!) was because he was a prophet.

    What I think makes this book, as far as I have read it, so powerful is the temperate and measured style of the author and his ability to delve deeply into academic research in such a readable way.

    Thanks. Sorry to go on. Glad I didn’t miss this one.

  46. Paul Cook says:

    @ Broga.

    Thank you!
    Thats good news. I am pleased to be able to share this book because of all that you have written. What you write is a very good review of the book!

    I think it is very helpful the way Friedman sets out the way the two genisis stories were so clearly cobbled together. He does a very good job. Isn’t it alarming ‘they’ still teach that nonsense as the word of god and the truth of this universe. It is an horrendous lie.

    I too enjoyed this book very much. It is a freethinker’s book for sure.

  47. Paul Cook says:


    On this bit of yours….

    “….even RC researchers can investigate these issues.”

    I think they have known the truth for centuries.

  48. lucy 1 says:

    this is a link to an article about the pressure on academic theologians. depressing reading.

  49. Broga says:

    @lucy 1: Depressing indeed. But perhaps there is a positive aspect. If these students are so worried about any challenge to their odd views then that seems to indicate doubt and anxiety. They are entering a world where they will be increasingly beset by challenges unless they cower in their bubbles of ignorance. Tough on the lecturer, of course.

  50. […] like a bolt from above, beneath this Freethinker piece, “BarrieJohn” drew readers attention to an interesting couple of comments posted on a […]