Saturday, 3 January 2009

Beaker Secularists' New Year Message

In the interests of tolerance for all beliefs, even rather sad ones, I am delighted to post the New Year message and annual review of the previous year from the Beaker Secularists. I assume that it was the Secularists' leader who gave me the article. However to be honest one bloke with a weedy moustache and an anorak always looks much like another to me, so it could have been any one of the others.

It is with great pleasure that we of the Beaker Secularists look back over another year of fighting against the powers of religion and superstition, and a number of cracking social events.

January saw our Annual General Meeting, held at the Little Chef, Hockliffe. We spent a while protesting that the Little Chef image is clearly religious, representing some kind of tutelary deity of bacon and eggs, and demanding it be taken down. We have respect for other people's right to belief, but don't see why Big Business, in collusion with this Chef cult, should quite literally push their beliefs down our throats. The manager took our complaints quite seriously, then threw us out into the car park. Still hungry, we went across to the McDonalds across the A5. And don't even get me started on Ronald McDonald...

February and I am pleased to announce I had a letter printed in the St Albans Telegraph. Why, in this day and age, when as few as four people in the entire country ever go to church in the average year, should we continue to name a town in Hertfordshire after a so-called "saint" who, if he existed at all, was a threat to an orderly civil society in hiding another subversive Christian from the lawfully-appointed powers? We requested that the town be renamed after a suitably well-known secularist - possibly Jeremy Bentham, Bertrand Russell, Stalin or Mr Wainwright, the librarian from early series of Last of the Summer Wine. Needless to say, due to a conspiracy between the Established Church and the powers-that-be, our request was ignored.

March, and sadly we had a 25% fall in membership. This occurred after I was compelled to dismiss Bernard from membership of the Beaker Secularists, after we caught him trying to hide the evidence that he had been eating an Easter Egg. I need say no more.

April, and we moved our regular meetings from the Husborne Crawley Reading Room to a table in Wetherspoon's in Milton Keynes. After a meeting in Husborne Crawley, we would often walk out into a starlight night, look up and consider the beauty of the heavens, the wonders of gravity, the sheer immensity of the Universe - and then the utter futility of it all. Frankly it was getting us down. In Central MK, we can't see the stars due to the street lighting, and we're a lot happier with our position in the universe now.

In May we wrote a number of complaining letters to the Government pointing out that, in a shameless example of religious bodies trying to retain their place in this modern world, all the days of the week are named after gods. Needless to say, the Government rejected our suggestion that we instead name them after twelve dignitaries from Mid-Beds and Milton Keynes Councils.

June, and in that pleasantly anachronistic (but in no way religiously-motivated) way of things, we held our May Ball. I'm glad to report that we had a 100% turn out for the event. It was on the - amusingly ironic - theme of "vicars and tarts". Wearing a dog-collar for the occasion, I felt, was a great way of showing the sham that is clerical power - whereby a small piece of plastic raises your social status. The downside was that, as Rodwell was taking the part of the band (through judicious use of comb, paper and spoons), Stanley had to turn up as the "tart". I hope I never again anyone with a goatee wearing a flapper outfit again. Worse was to occur, as of course I had to dance with him.

July, and we commenced our campaign to remove charitable status from the Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley. We kicked these campaign into touch after the Arch-druid reminded us that she knows where we live.

August, and we attended the British Beer Festival. We had been boycotting for many years, as it was held at the religiously-inspired "Olympia" - clear proof that Camra had been infiltrated by worshippers of the Greco-Roman Pantheon. However for the last three years the festival has been moved to Earl's Court. Unfortunately Rodwell went mad and had a couple of pints, and we still await his release from custody.

September, and inspired by Camra's rather exciting advertising, we thought it was time for a publicity campaign of our own. However none of the slogans seemed particularly effective. I thought that "Beaker Secularists - you don't necessarily have to work for the council and live with your parents" had a particularly good ring.

In October, we went out in Husborne Crawley with the intention of persuading children from desisting from the supernaturalist and irrational celebration of Hallowe'en. However meeting what appeared to be Russell Brand and Jonathon Ross walking up Crow Lane, we panicked and ran down to the White Horse. There we were beaten up by a group of small boys armed with pumpkins. The Beaker Secularists are dedicated to peaceful co-existence, and this year we have certainly been reminded of why.

November's letter-writing campaign surrounded our demands that Ian St John remove the "Saint" from his name. A clear attempt to cash in on the modern interest with professional football, to encourage anti-rational behaviour. Once again, the established church exerted its power, preventing the Premier League from getting Mr "St" John to change his name.

In the run-up to the Winter Solstice celebration (we prefer this designation to the unscientific terms "Christmas" and "Yule") we went on our anti-bling campaign. This consisted of knocking on the doors of those who had erected lighting displays, to explain to them the non-existence of any kind of deity, the historical dubiousness of the so-called "Nativity" and how the event is a the result of pressure by the commercial/retail industrial cartel and the Church of England to encourage the worship of the so-called "Santa Claus", a Norse god of fertility and flying reindeers. Sadly some of the householders - well, all of them - refused to listen to our points of view and we were forced to remove ourselves from several premises extemely rapidly.

And so to my message for the new year. To the British Public I say, don't be fooled any longer by the Established Church, a massively powerful body which in fact has only approximately seven members according to our latest survey (which Stanley took at the door of the White Horse one closing time). Instead look forward to a life of civic dullness, wearing anoraks, pointless vendettas, endless letter-writing and - eventually - an inevitable death which renders the whole of your life (including joining the Beaker Secularlists) meaningless. Imagine the freedom of a life where tea-lights, instead of being invested with immense spiritual meaning, are just a means of lighting your bedroom while you try to find your copy of the Lamp-post Identifier's Weekly.

And to my mum - don't worry, I will find a girl one day.

Gilbert Le'Strange.


  1. Thank you Gilbert... one thing though, would a power cut in MK cause outright panic amongst the newly settled community?

  2. Last time there was a power cut in MK the entire population thought they'd gone blind.


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