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Those all important first impressions…

As one of the new contributors that Jason mentioned a few days ago, I feel as though it’s important that I start off my input to this blog with the kind of entry that gives the reader a feel for who I am and what’s important to me, while tying into the interests of a humanist in the mid-western area.

The following is largely plagarised from my personal blog, an entry called ‘Saints and Shitters’.

Just over a year ago, I became aware of a uniquely grass roots approach to religious proselytizing, one that can be found in a growing number of toilet cubicles up and down the country, and I’m still incredibly curious as to where they come from. Here’s the first example I found in a restaurant called ‘Mother Hubbard’s’ in Oranmore, facing the user as he sits upon the throne.

The Bible is the Word of God - A priest

"The Bible is the word of God - A priest"

I’m sure you’ve seen one of these before, such is their diffusion throughout the country, but how is this getting around so much? Are the priests of Ireland issued with a permanent marker upon graduation from their seminary? Do they believe that man is at his most philosophical whilst exercising his sphincter? Do they believe that  the thick olfactory fog of human fecal matter acts as a catalyst for profound metaphysical thought?

Initially I feared that I may have been missing the point somewhat – it’s very possible that such messages are the richly ironic fruit of graffiti-happy religion spoofers, and any comment on it is but an exposure of my ignorance on such matters. That said, with the passage of time, and the accumulation of evidence, I’m beginning to think this thing is bigger than I had first realised.

Believe it or not, a week after my stop in Oranmore, I was in a Subway (restaurant) on O’Connell St., Limerick, and I found the following in their bathroom:

The Bible is the word of God - A priest

"The Bible is the word of God - A priest"

The first thing that entered my mind was to blog about it and joke about ‘having the lab compare the hand-writing samples’, when I realised that they were a damn-sight similar. But don’t take my word for it – see for yourself (I won’t even make you scroll up!):

Spot the difference

Spot the difference

Just try and convince me that these two don’t look incredibly similar. Look at the penmanship! Look at the way the sentence is formatted! I will be so bold as to say that these were definitely done by the same person.

I will be the first to admit that is is a staggering coincidence that I happened across two of these in the space of as many days, but I guarantee you that I am not responsible for either of them, in case you’re thinking I’m trying to slander the good name of the Jesus-pimping parishioners in our society.

The sightings on that fateful week weren’t the last, dear reader, as (parts 2 and 3 of this epic saga attest), and I’d wager there’s a great deal more instances of religiously motivated vandalism on this emerald isle to uncover, but I am just one man…

One man who recently got access to the readerbase of the Mid-West Humanists blog!

I’m hereby declare that this will be an official project of ours – if you spot a sample that matches the above, document it, report it, and it’ll be added to the list!


3 Responses

  1. Re: the hanging around toilets… Look, we were all young and broke at some stage…

  2. I have to say I’ve never seen one of these. Maybe I don’t spend as much time hanging around in public toilets as you do…

    It does evoke a slightly romantic image though, one mans struggle against an increasingly skeptical world. A sort of Johnny Appleseed, but of toilet graffiti.

  3. When I was a kid my dad used to take me to rugby matches up and down the country. Of course, there were minibus rides and stops on the way for loo breaks and I always remember something along the lines of ‘Prayer works, prayer gives answers’ in nearly every public or pub toilet I we ever stopped at. Even as an adult, when I was foot loose and fancy free the same thing seemed to be written in toilets all over the place. I wonder if its the same guy….

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