Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Robert McNeill: Spare the lash on those lactating sheep worshippers

Prisoners in England with pagan beliefs will get four days off a year to celebrate festivals, including one that celebrates lactating sheep. Baa humbug, you say.

But the pagans aren't any more loony than any other religion. Indeed, considered as nature-worshippers, I rather like them.

I've interviewed a few in my time and attended a midnight solstice festival in the line of duty. The festival was nuts, with semi-naked people in painted bodies gyrating on a hill and shouting the odds.

However, the folk I interviewed were perfectly normal cranks, who made more sense than ministers and priests.

As a hanger and flogger, I don't believe in prisoners' rights, but will make an exception in the case of lactating sheep-worship. Pagans have eight festivals in total, and prisoners may also celebrate the Sun God with "unabashed sexuality and promiscuity". However, if you can get that in prison, I believe things have gone too far.

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