Taunted in Taunton; exorcised in Rome

Taunted in Taunton; exorcised in Rome February 10, 2012

TWO Christian crazies are in the news today: a street preacher in Taunton called Michael Overd, 47, and the Vatican’s “Chief Exorcist” Father Gabriele Amorth, 87.
The former is on trial before Taunton magistrates for threatening a gay couple with hell, and the latter has just written a book – The Last Exorcist – My Fight Against Satan – in which he claims that Pope Ratzinger “inadvertently” exorcised two men who were possessed by Old Nick.
Overd, 47, from Creech St Michael, is accused of verbally abusing Craig Manning and Craig Nicholl last July in the town’s high street. He denies two charges of using threatening words or behaviour, and his defence lawyer – fellow Christian zealot Paul Diamond of the Christian Legal Centre – claims that:
Overd was exercising his right to free speech, and was “merely” reciting a passage from the Bible, 1 Corinthians, which reads:

Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

The court heard it was the second time the pair had been targeted by Overd, who spied them holding hands in October 2010.
The court heard that the lunatic had deliberately singled out the pair in public. Said Nicholl:

He looked at us and pointed … His voice was quite loud and very clear. I felt angry, embarrassed and ashamed. It was a really busy day and I felt that everyone was looking at us when he was saying these things to us.

Overd, who came to court wearing a comical yellow “The Lord is my Shepherd”  tie, denied this, saying:

I was not trying to draw to the public the fact that they were homosexuals, I was drawing the public to the fact that they were sinners.

Prosecutor Gordon Richings asked him:

You believe that sinners who die and are not redeemed are going to end up in hell?

Mr Overd replied:

If God says it (in the Bible) that is good enough for me.

The trial continues today.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph reveals that ancient old loon Father Amorth is claiming in his new book that:

It is no mystery that the Pope’s acts and words can enrage Satan … that simply the presence of the Pope can sooth and in some way help the possessed in their fight against the one who possesses them.

And he tells the story of how he and two assistants brought a pair of “possessed” Italian men – Marco and Giovanni  – to one of the Pope’s weekly audiences in St Peter’s Square in May 2009. As the Pope approached them, the men began to act strangely: they trembled and their teeth chattered.
When one of the assistants asked Giovanni to control himself, he said “I am not Giovanni” in a voice that was not his own, Father Amorth claimed.
As soon as the Pope stepped down from his “Popemobile” the two men flung themselves to the floor.

They banged their heads on the ground. The Swiss Guards watched them but did nothing. Giovanni and Marco started to wail at the same time, they were lying on the floor, howling.  They were trembling, slobbering, working themselves into a frenzy.

He continued:

The Pope watched from a distance. He raised an arm and blessed the four of them. For the possessed it was like a furious jolt – a blow to their whole bodies – to the extent that they were thrown three metres backwards. They stopped howling but they cried uncontrollably.

Note: at this point I began howling uncontrollable, so loudly that I woke up my partner who peered bleary-eyed into my office to check if I was OK. When he saw tears of mirth rolling down my cheeks, he grumpily snorted, “Bit early in the day to be having fun” and went back to bed.
Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s spokesman, disputed Amorth’s account, saying Benedict was not aware of the men’s afflictions and had not intended to carry out an exorcism.
Amorth is a controversial figure whose outspoken views have embarrassed the Vatican in the past.

In November he branded yoga as “evil”, claiming that it leads to a worship of Hinduism and other Eastern religions based on “a false belief in reincarnation”.
He has also railed against Harry Potter, saying the children’s books seem innocuous but in fact encourage children to believe in black magic and wizardry.
Hat tip: Marcus Robinson (Overd report) and Canada Dave

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  • john.c

    “the last excorcist”…the world should be so lucky.The old buldog faced fraud is looking to get his book noticed, hence spout something even more stupid than normal, the headline should read “pope and cronies stand by, do nothing as audience members suffer siesure.”

  • barriejohn

    OT, I’m afraid, but if you missed these programmes I think you would enjoy them:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01by4w1
    The argument put forward by the religiots that the fact that we share up to 98% of our DNA with “primitive animals” is meaningless is pure nonsense. How can it be? I have said for years, from what little I know and have observed, that much more human behaviour is instinctive than we sometimes care to think, and a lot more animal behaviour than we realize is intelligent!

  • AgentCormac

    Sorry, I now this is OT, but just spotted some excellent news.
    It seems the NSS has won its court battle to have council prayers ruled unlawful.

  • barriejohn

    Michael Overd: Reviled, macho

  • barriejohn

    Wow – things are really going to go downhill in this country now if God is no longer guiding our councils!

  • The Woggler

    “It seems the NSS has won its court battle to have council prayers ruled unlawful.”
    The Christian Institute has also lost yet another case http://www.christian.org.uk/news/christians-lose-appeal-in-bb-case/
    Do they wonder if their god has abandoned them?

  • AgentCormac

    As we all know, Pope John Paul II is being fast-tracked to saintlydom for his miraculous powers to cure all kinds of people of all kinds of terrible afflictions (even after he had shuffled off to the really big Vatican in the sky).
    Not so, says Amorth in the same book mentioned in the article above. According to this extract old JP “…could not cure a drooling, trembling woman during a Vatican exorcism”.
    Not to worry though. Although ‘…ten people had to hold her down’, Amorth took over where JP had utterly failed and, despite the fact that the young woman apparently ‘got up from her chair and proceeded to walk up the wall behind him as if it was the most natural thing in the world. She walked against every law of gravity’, good old Amorth finally cleansed her of all those naughty demons.
    And these people wonder why we mock them!

  • DC78

    @Woggler & Agent,
    The Muslims don’t need to feel left out today either. Sentencing on the gay hate leaflets due today. I think I might buy a bottle of Cava tonight!
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/02/10/gay-hate-leaflet-men-to-be-sentenced-today/

  • barriejohn

    “Father” Amorth said that “the Devil resides in the Vatican and you can see the consequences”.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/vaticancityandholysee/7416458/Chief-exorcist-says-Devil-is-in-Vatican.html
    Well, at least he got SOMETHING right!

  • stargraves

    @agentcormac – Walking up walls? I think some of these clowns have watched The Exorcist a few too many times. Crackpots!

  • AngieRS

    Oh, it gets better in the Telegraph where they spit splinters of glass and iron. FFS! As for the manic street screecher, it seems that care in the community just isn’t working.

  • Pete H

    Overd, who came to court wearing a comical yellow “The Lord is my Shepherd” tie, denied this, saying:
    I was not trying to draw to the public the fact that they were homosexuals, I was drawing the public to the fact that they were sinners.
    Prosecutor Gordon Richings asked him:
    You believe that sinners who die and are not redeemed are going to end up in hell?
    Mr Overd replied:
    If God says it (in the Bible) that is good enough for me.

    Not really helping his case here, is he? 😀

  • Pete H

    Off topic, but we have a rather thick troll back in the Indiana story from a few days ago.
    *shouldn’t feed him, but he is wonderfully barmy*

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    Good news about the NSS case about prayers.
    Exorcism in the vaticant, it’s obviously not working, there are still lots of devils walking around dressed up in funny clothing with silly hats.
    As for Mr Overd, I still have reservations about banning people from saying what they believe, however stupid what they believe may be. As long as they aren’t advocating that anyone actually takes violent physical action against another then I don’t want them stopped from preaching on grounds of free speech.
    This could lead to the jesus&mo controversy being settled in favour of those who claim they felt threatened by them. Yes, I know it sounds silly and I’m probably over reacting but free speech is important to me, even when it offends me. If I agree to deny another their freedom of speech then why should I be allowed my freedom of speech.
    I don’t know enough about this case, about what was actually said, what actions were taken etc. to be able to give a reasoned response to it, but I do believe that it is something we should be careful with.

  • Angela_K
  • Graham Martin-Royle

    Angela_K
    February 10th, 2012 at 1:04 pm
    The christians are having a bad day :http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl…..gay-guests

    More good news. This is turning out to be a good day.

  • petursey

    It’s a good day today. The Christian Institute will be doing pointless stuff like praying and wondering why their christofacist agenda keeps getting overturned each and every time. Hopefully some nasty bigoted Muslims will be going to jail and the pathetic owners of a very downmarket B&B will skulk off back to Cornwall and hopefully close down their nasty little bigoted establishment once they’ve paid the 3.5K compensation they owe to the gay couple they refused a room at the inn to 🙂
    I think I may have to celebrate tonight

  • remigius

    So Ratty raised his arms and two fully grown men suddenly flew backwards several metres. Mmmm. I wonder if that really happened?
    And yes ’tis a very good day indeed. And tomorrow will be even better. I’m off to see Dawkins, Grayling and the rest of the mob at the rally in Westminster.

  • Broga

    So we now have 26 unelected bishops in the House of Lords adamantly oppposed to the law of the land regarding council prayers. Time for them to go.

  • barriejohn

    More news from Taunton:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-16856090
    He has been given 15 years.

  • Normand

    As a gay man, I better repent because if gays are damned as are thieves, swindlers, the greedy, etc. then hell is going to be full of T.V. evangelists and I want to be somewhere else. Purgatory, maybe. Oh darn, that ceased to exist years ago. lol

  • AgentCormac

    Is it christmas, or something? Here’s another little gift to us all. Three of the five followers of the religion of peace who were on trial for giving out leaflets calling for homosexual people to be executed have just been jailed. The other two got suspended sentences.
    What a rather wonderful day it’s turning out to be!

  • Bubblecar

    >The court heard it was the second time the pair had been targeted by Overd<
    Can't helping thinking that in a non-Nanny State, this stuff wouldn't be going to court. Because the couple in question would simply have strolled up to this freak and punched his stupid lights out. What these street preachers need is not an ASBO but a damn good beating. A couple of black eyes and a boot up the arse would do them the world of good.

  • Sabbag
  • Graham Martin-Royle

    @Sabbag
    Strange how they’ve divided the against vote into 3, it looks like they’re trying to skew the result. Cynical, moi?

  • barriejohn

    Before you all crack open the champagne: Overd has been found not guilty, and Stephen Green (reporting on himself in the third person, in a somewhat unsettling manner) is crowing about it!
    http://www.christianvoice.org.uk/?p=2720
    By the end of the evidence, the Court was left in no doubt as to who would not inherit the kingdom of God. In the King James Version: 1Cor 6:9 ‘Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.’

  • Pete H

    Strange how they’ve divided the against vote into 3, it looks like they’re trying to skew the result. Cynical, moi?
    I just voted for all three.

  • AgentCormac

    @ Sabbag & GM-R
    I’ve voted in the poll and also sent a link to PZ Myers over at Pharyngula. If he decides to run with it I’m sure we will see a rather swift turn-around! And as you rightly point out, it’s a sneaky little ploy splitting the vote as they have done.

  • barriejohn

    G. Martin-Royle: That poll is the most ridiculous thing that I have seen for a long time! The Mail are incandescent about this verdict, and claim that Cameron and co think that this means the end of our “right to worship”. What have they got in place of brains?
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2099300/Councils-BANNED-saying-prayers-meetings-sparking-fury-Government-church-leaders.html

  • Pete H

    barriiejohn:
    The answer to your question is “shit”.

  • Har Davids

    Michael Overd, village idiot by choice, should have been left alone, together with his invisible friend and fairy tales. Who cares what kind of afterlife the likes of him envisage, if you’re not religious. What happened to the art of heckling, one of the best of Britain’s gifts to mankind? And if he’s right, most of us will end up in that Hell of his. The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers: that covers a big percentage of the Western world.
    As for the Exorcist: just like Michael, but a couple of sizer bigger.

  • remigius

    ‘And if he’s right, most of us will end up in that Hell of his. The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers…’
    It’s gonna be one hell of a party. I’m really looking forward to it.

  • Sabbag

    Daily Wail: Councils are BANNED from saying prayers before meetings sparking fury of ministers – and does it mean assemblies and Parliament are next on atheists’ hit list?
    Sane person in street: Yes please.

  • Harry

    As I put it elsewhere, the ruling doesn’t say you can’t pray before council meetings, it says we don’t have to pay for it. Pray before, not during.

  • RevJimbob

    Is it wrong to observe that Overd seems a bit, well… gay?

  • Daz

    Overd’s a bloody nutter. He once got really annoyed at me and a mate for busking near where he wanted to rant, so we broke into a slightly risqué version of I Saw The Light. It got us a good laugh. Happy days…

  • I have felt for a long time that too many street preachers blur the boundary between freedom of speech and disturbing the peace, having several times witnessed loons in West London YELLING their fire and brimstone babble in public places. Perhaps a gay rights group could exercise their freedom of speech by holding a high-decibel conference about religion and bigotry outside Mr Diamond’s house.

  • Thoreau

    I really enjoy seeing our local relgious maniacs trying to drum up business.
    We have the completely bonkers old man who plays instruments he doesn’t know how to play. He sings various songs but all of them have the same ‘tune’. I use the term loosely. He is so glassy eyed it has to be seen to be believed. No sane person would want to be associated with these levels of ga-ga.
    We also have the local muslim nutters who set up a card table and try to look solemn. People walk by chuckling at their nice frocks and childish posturing, little little boys who can’t get their way.
    Perhaps best of all are the christians who form a singing group. What a rag-tag bunch of losers and misfits. The strain of trying to convince themselves makes the air crackle. Normal people walk past ignoring them and they get more and more manic. They haven’t a clue the rest of us know fine well who it is that they need to convince just so badly.
    There is tragedy in there, behind the comedy. Empty lives, broken dreams, infertile women, rejected men.
    None of them can hold a tune but they do make you feel good about not being them. The Big Issue guy always perks up too.

  • barriejohn

    The Daily Mail has gone ballistic today (naturally). Front page news is that a judge has “banned prayers at council meetings”. Have they no shame? Rentaquote Carey’s wading in as well. He must be their replacement for the now thoroughly discredited Stephen “Gobshite” Green.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2099544/As-judge-bans-prayers-council-meetings-Archbishop-Canterbury-warns-faith-siege.html

  • barriejohn

    Comment:
    Dr Carey seemed “Wet” when he was Archbishop of Canterbury. But now he is emerging as a great man.
    Blood pressure pills please – and be quick about it!

  • barriejohn
  • Stuart H.

    That Mail comment on Carey being a ‘wet’ when Archbishop nicely illustrates how poorly informed Mail readers are, even when talking about ‘their’ history using ‘their’ language.
    Anyone who bothers to follow these things will remember that Carey was the only senior Anglican Archbishop (or even bishop) in history to be chosen by No 10, not the church. The procedure is the church formally offers two names, with a big hint as to the one they want, Downing Street ‘approves’ and ‘recommends’ it to Queenie. Thatch was having kittens over ‘wet’ bishops supporting striking miners and suchlike, and pushed for Carey over the church candidate (some say both candidates and that Carey wasn’t even on the original list). It caused such an uproar that no PM since has done it, and no future one is ever likely to.
    Incidentally, Carey’s ‘dissident’ ultra-orthodox chum Nazir-Ali could bear witness to this. He was the ‘other name’ submitted when the church chose Rowan Williams. No wonder he hates his fellow Anglicans so much that, like Carey, he’s doing all he can to break up a church community that, however deluded about other things, still recognises a full blown frothing at the mouth basket case when it sees one.

  • Gill

    I would tremble if the bar of soap approached me. But not for the same reason ‘tho

  • jay

    I’ve got to come down on the side of free speech here. Quoting lines from a mythological book does NOT constitute a threat if there is no evidence that this guy was going to try to help it along (which appears to be the case). Like has been pointed out here and elsewhere in the atheist world, one does not have ‘the right not to be offended’.
    These clowns DO have the right to offend us, and we have the right to offend in turn. The LAST thing we need is the government deciding to criminalize criticisms because someone’s feelings might get hurt. You can only guess where that precedent would go.

  • Zaki Aminu

    This trial is ridiculous! People should be free to express an opinion as to whether someone is destined for Hell or not! What has that to do with the law of the land? And why are atheists offended about being told they’re headed for Hell anyway? I thought they didn’t believe it existed.

  • Zaki Aminu

    “I have felt for a long time that too many street preachers blur the boundary between freedom of speech and disturbing the peace, having several times witnessed loons in West London YELLING….”
    How many street preachers per square mile do you think it is ok to have? And how would you decide that? Why do you atheists ALWAYS incline towards totalitarianism?

  • Zaki Aminu

    “Before you all crack open the champagne: Overd has been found not guilty,…”
    Good to see there’s still a bit of commonsense in the courts.

  • Zaki Aminu

    “As a gay man, I better repent because if gays are damned as are thieves, swindlers, the greedy, etc. then hell is going to be full of T.V. evangelists and I want to be somewhere else. Purgatory, maybe. Oh darn, that ceased to exist years ago. lol”
    Why do you lot like shoving shit uphill though?

  • AngieRS

    Trippety trip, trippety trip, fuck off back under your bridge, Aminu.

  • “Trippety trip, trippety trip, fuck off back under your bridge, Aminu.”
    You don’t want to say then, eh? Don’t you find it nasty shoving your member into another man’s back passage – and almost certainly coming out smeared with a more or less shiny coat of crap? Hahahahahahahahahah!

  • AngieRS

    Deary deary me, that’s really quite sad. My own fault, shouldn’t feed the troll.

  • “Deary deary me, that’s really quite sad. My own fault, shouldn’t feed the troll.”
    I take it you’re the little billy goat gruff then, eh? Hahahahahahahahah! Watch out the troll doesn’t eat you up! Hahahahahahahahaha!
    But seriously, what could a NORMAL man possibly find interesting – let alone pleasurable – about the back passage of another man – or even a woman, come to it? The very idea is so disgusting that ONLY perverts could EVER conceive of engaging in such an ABOMINATION. Is this not so?

  • Anonymous

    @Zaki: The existence and, shall we say, ‘practices’ of homosexuals are not contingent on the feelings of narcissists like you, so get over yourself, twat.