Archdeacon Narelle Jarrett: Patron Saint of Facepalm

Holy shit

No, really. Holy shit

At least, that's how I read Narelle Jarrett's post dated 13th January 2009.

But wait! Before I wade in, let's just set some context. For one thing, What the fuck is an Archdeacon anyway? Teh Wikipedia delivers.

So, an archdeacon is supposedly one step below a bishop. So Narelle, while having mastered sophistry, strawmen and non-sequiteurs, hasn't quite got the hang of moving diagonally.

Unfortunately, neither has she mastered the art of the hyperlink, so throughout this post I'll be making some assumptions over Narelle's sources, and linking accordingly.

Right, so let's get to the point, it's late and I have songs to write, and I'm mightily pissed off about G#m.

Narelle is all up ons the the existence of god, and is mightily peeved at the London atheist bus campaign. And I quote:

While advertisements on London buses say: ‘There’s probably no God.  Now stop worrying and enjoy your life,’ the atheists’ atheist Woody Alan, in a recent interview said,

‘I am an atheist. I’ve never found any comfort for the misery of life, or the terror of death’. 

OK, everyone! Stop! I have some low hanging fruit. I remind you, this is Narelle's first paragraph. Please note, I always save my biggest mistakes for the third or even fourth paragraph. Narelle is not subject to any such concern.

First, Narelle seems to be undecided over the correct spelling of Woody Allen's name.

Secondly, I had some issues finding a web citation for that there quote. My first attempt, with a direct copy/paste of the whole quote, got me Sean The Blogonaut's blog post reacting to Narelle's post, and nothing else... NOTHING. Quite literally, I had a Googlewhack on my hands.

My second attempt turned up an ABC 7:30 Report link, in addition to Sean's blog post. So it seems this is, more or less, something that Woody Allen said.

Still, Narelle, in addition to having probems with moving diagonally, consistency in nomenclature and the humble hyperlink, fails at actually copying and pasting quotations.

Holy shit, I'm still on the first paragraph, and I'm still not really addressing the subject matter. This is the problem with theist screeds; They're like injecting a live virus into a healthy host: the noise just amplifies and it's impossible to get to the wood for the fucking trees.

Anyway, let's move on

A worry free, enjoyable life?  Woody Allen has a good awareness of what life on earth without God is like. Without God there is no logic to pain, frustration, suffering, acts of mindless cruelty, nor of why death is written into our DNA and into that of the cosmos – death remains for all, a terrifying prospect. Nor is there for the atheist, any explanation for the existence of ‘good’!

Unless God reveals his existence and provides the answer to these questions, we are all left in Woody Allen’s situation. The more optimistic will try to take Eric Idle’s advice to heart:

‘You come from nothing; you are going back to nothing.  What have you lost? Nothing!’

Wait. Hang on. Let me just go check something here....



Oh, hai! You're still here. Yeah, I went and checked. Narelle's two quotations from the Atheist side are comedians.

Err... wait, excuse me....


Is this idiot really the best the Sydney Anglicans can do for the post of not-quite-diagonal?

One of the quotes isn't even from Eric Idle himself, but from a character he was playing in the landmark comedy Life Of Brian. That's like saying Jack Nicholson actually wants to bash Wendy's fucking brains in. Which is more believable, too.

Also: no explanation for the existence of "good"? Look, I'm just a humble blogger but even I know about concepts of reciprocity, primate altruism and social contracts. In this ridiculous statement, Narelle is going for the old canard: Without god, we cannot be good. All atheists are murderers and rapists. Well done and fuck you.

And still, I'm seriously only a couple of paragraphs into Narelle's utter fail.

These optimists will live denying the terror of death.

I'm assuming here that Narelle means 'atheists' when she says 'these optimists'. Since she fails horribly at Web 0.1 beta (hyperlinks), I can't be 100% sure, but I'll run with it. She thinks atheists live denying the terror of death.

I'm sure some do

I'm also absolutely sure some others don't

I'm also pretty sure I have no fucking idea where she's going with this, so let's continue quoting

By contrast Christians have hope in the face of death and the down side of life. That hope and comfort is drawn from words such as:

‘In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth’.




Oh, yeah. Errr... sorry for the interruption. I was just picking up the detritus left behind when my logic valve exploded.

First up, the passages Narelle quotes have nothing to do with death, and the link Narelle posits between the existence of god or gods and life after death is false. Your god might be there, but life after death does not follow post hoc.

So, logic out of the way, on to the heavy stuff:

The atheists I know and love do not live devoid of hope, and do not live in denial of death, and do not believe that the existence of death makes life meaningless.

Death, as a transitional point between be alive and being not alive, is actually quite affirming. It affirms that we as humans have to get on with it. We have to do what we need to do NOW,  because we only have one life and it could, subject to probability, end at any time. It makes us remember that all we have is life, that we should live life honestly, that we should tell the people we love that we love them. We should help people who need help, that we should go all out to make the world a better place while we're still here. To do anything else is to waste the only thing we have.

By the way, Narelle, you've now come up against someone who's been dealing, within the last week or so, with the genuine possibility that his (also atheist) girlfriend/partner might just fall off the wobbly log we call life at any time. Death is on my mind, bitch.

So, trump card played, let's just wind down for a moment. Narelle's hypothesis, after a BAAAAW moment about bus advertising, seems to be that belief in god is good because it helps believers deal with the reality of death by pretending that it's not really death, or at least this is how I read the last part of her highly illogical blog post



Let's just finish up here.

The rest of Narelle's post seems to be taken up by the usual "I used to be an atheist, and it was a real effort for me to become xtian", and some further weak strawman argument about how atheists live their lives devoid of hope and meaning. I have no idea how we got there after the heavy stuff. It's like bloggus interruptus. Narelle pulled out just when it was getting steamy. The post is meandering bullshit, and is making me meander, and I resent that.

So, to summarise, just for you Narelle:

Narelle. Honey. Is this all you've got?

You're almost diagonal and all you have is Genesis 1, John 1, some fluff from Philippians and a passing reference to Saul?

Let me just repeat: you're telling me my life is devoid of hope and meaning, and you're backing it up with a bunch of utterly irrelevant quotations, some strawman arguments and some epic logical fallacy? Let me just go ad-hominem, just so it's all clear

You're a failure

You don't deserve the title of Archdeacon.

And you don't deserve the attention I've already lavished on you.

Get fucked.



More coverage:

Dave The Happy Singer's take on Narelle Jarret
Sean The Blogonaut's take on Narelle Jarret
Tynan Bryant's take on Narelle Jarret at

posted @ Wednesday, January 14, 2009 1:14 AM


Comments on this entry:

# re: Archdeacon Narelle Jarrett: Patron Saint of Facepalm

Left by Nathan Dunn at 1/14/2009 10:04 PM
Jason, you rock!

Narelle, you fail.

Jesus... nah fuckit, imaginary sky faeries don't read blogs anyway

# re: Archdeacon Narelle Jarrett: Patron Saint of Facepalm

Left by Dave The Happy Singer at 1/14/2009 11:28 PM
Oh, Darwin's Beard.

You just won the game, Sir.

Yes, I spotted her ignorance. Yes, I noticed her inconsistency. Yes, I called her on her idiocy.

But not-quite-moving-diagonally?

I'm going to put BOTH my hats on, so I can doff them both.

# re: Archdeacon Narelle Jarrett: Patron Saint of Facepalm

Left by Sean the Blogonaut at 1/14/2009 11:40 PM
Okay it was close, what with Dave's Spray of footbullets but I concede. You win :)

# re: Archdeacon Narelle Jarrett: Patron Saint of Facepalm

Left by Tiffany Day at 1/15/2009 12:30 AM

Win win win.

# re: Archdeacon Narelle Jarrett: Patron Saint of Facepalm

Left by http://www.promozioni-virtuali.c at 5/22/2010 4:51 PM
Yes, I noticed her inconsistency.
I'm going to put BOTH my hats on
Keep it up............
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