329617-julian-cope-at-the-edinburgh-international-book-festival-by-alan-mccredieArchdrude Julian H. Cope will be 50 next month – just 6 months my senior and raised in Tamworth, Staffordshire just a few miles from where I grew up. Sadly our paths never crossed but he has always been an inspirational figure. A great example of how to grow old disgracefully! I love his passion and righteous anger which is increasingly levelled at the montrous tunnel vision of organised religion. The question of whose made-up God is best inflames world conflicts and breeds intolerance.

On the back sleeve of Cope’s excellent new album (You Gotta Problem With Me) he includes an extended quote from Gore Vidal:

“The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric bronze age text known as the old testament, three anti-human religions have evolved – Judaism, Christianity, Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are literally, patriarchal – God is the omnipotent father, hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates…..I now favour an all-out war on the monotheists”.

The all-out war bit makes me uneasy – I worry about the danger of eye for eye reaction but I share the overriding sentiments of Vidal. If , as I suspect, it’s an intellectual and moral battle he’s advocating then sign me up.

Non believers and proud pagans can do more to change the world than sky-god worshippers. As the other JC (Cope) might enquire: You gotta problem with that?