6 thoughts on “Tina Beattie, Professor of being Catholic

  1. The consider the lilies sermon is filled with some very silly assertions. The contention is that the flowers and the birds of the air don’t do any work but God takes care of them anyway. In fact plants and birds work just as hard as anyone and spend their whole existence while at risk of being eaten by something. The conclusion to be drawn from this false premise is that God will take care of you as well, which again, one look at the world around you will show this claim is demonstrably untrue. False assertions combined with a non sequitur, not a good Bible quote to choose unless you are trying to refute Christianity rather than promote it.


  2. Yes, Stonyground, the IMF is even worse at looking after other animals than us.
    I live close to where Beattie walks (& picks up litter – thanks for doing so).
    I could erected a ‘shrine’ there which looked a bit Catholic-y – I wonder if it would take long for her to pray to it.
    Might she recognise it as a fraud? – if so, how would she know?


  3. As well as being based on false premises, not to mention a failure to notice or understand how the natural world works, the ‘lilies of the field’ trope also illustrates the churches’ tendency, shared with other authoritarian organisations, to demand quiet subservience among its members.

    ‘Take no thought for the morrow’ often really means ‘stop asking questions’.


  4. Flowers evolved long before humans were around to admire them. Ergo flowers are not there for the aesthetic thrill of people. It is either a crass mistake (or a specious lie) by Beattie to claim otherwise. She grovels in the lowest level of ignorance (or dishonesty) with the fatuous assertion that god made pretty flowers to cheer people up. Those that simply appreciate the visual and redolent beauty of flowers are operating on a much more honest level than she. Feynman went further when he observed that flowers actually look very different when viewed in frequencies of light invisible to humans but which are in the spectral range of insects such as bees. Flowers are in reality the present state of the evolutionary arms race to secure superior attraction to pollinating insects. And thats why flowers have scent too. So that insects can detect them even when the flowers are hidden out of sight or out of visual range.

    Which is a more appealing narrative. That god made pretty flowers … Duhh. Or Flowers and insects have followed a symbiotic evolutionary path for hundreds of millions of years.

    And she is happy to wallow in her simplistic credulity and happy to beggar others into the same lazy ignorance. That is why hyms like All Things Bright and Beautiful should be banned from schools.


    1. “Ergo flowers are not there for the aesthetic thrill of people. It is either a crass mistake (or a specious lie) by Beattie to claim otherwise.”

      In fairness to Tina Beattie, I think I should own up and admit that it was me who said “consider the lilies of the field that I created for you”. She merely repeated Jesus’ remark about how pretty they were.


  5. I always thought the ‘consider the lilies…’ piece to be the ultimate exemplar of hypocrisy — a classic “by us I mean you…”

    It smacks of ‘they toil not, nor spin’ implication that “we in the privileged priesthood don’t dirty our hands with actual productive work – we’re doing the praying instead” is not only acceptable but actively sanctioned and approved.

    Yet on the other hand there’s the demands that “you ordinary folk better get working hard to pay tithes and support our lifestyle” — still existing today in tax exemptions for religions (though that’s better than the past where religious organisations encouraged and supported slavery — though it could be argued that’s still happening today).

    Now I know this is simplistic and there are ministers of many faiths who perform a social worker type role and actually help people (sometimes without huge self publicity and humble-bragging).

    Their religiosity is not a necessary precondition; there are many, many atheists doing valuable care work as well.

    However, it is hard to reconcile this with the drain on the economy and sapping of the resources of the poorest part of the population to support already wealthy institutions.


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