The bishop and the virgins

It's amusing how theology goes into contortions every time one of its cornerstones is removed by science, in a struggle to keep the edifice from crumbling, but some theists just don't know when they're beaten. Take the Bishop of Carlisle for instance, who refuses to accept that the recent floods in this country (and deaths caused by the floods) are explained by the science of meteorology, insisting instead that they are god's judgment on society's moral decadence, as pointed out by Dave Cantrell.

There is an interesting and worrying comparison between the Bishop of Carlisle's beliefs and those of the failed terrorists in London and Glasgow, in this column by Thomas Sutcliffe in the Independent. "They both believe in a vindictive God", he says, who "is prepared to kill innocent people in order to get his message across". I particularly liked his image of the effect of the 'wannabe martyr' at Glasgow airport having failed to achieve his heavenly reward: "his 72 expectant virgins currently tapping their fingers impatiently in Paradise".