[via Crooked Timber]

Gnomes have been expelled from graveyards in two Somerset parishes for being “unnatural.” I don’t know if the C of E is just aping American Christofascists to see if there’s a market for faith as an excuse for being an asshole, or if the gnomes were just getting out of hand. But I trust that the Worshipful Timothy Briden is a salty prayer-warrior who knows how to pick his battles, even if he’s not picking on those his own size.

The responses from the readers of the Telegraph, supposedly a conservative newspaper in the UK, are priceless:

Of course gnomes don’t exist, they were wiped out by Cherubs and Gargoyles.


So this guy is nailed to a cross, dies, is buried and three days later he’s alive again and rises to sit next to his father, an old man who floats on clouds.

So that’s natural, is it?
– Rob Neal

Don’t you oppress me.
– Gnomy

I am a gnome, and I am offering my services to anyone who has had a plaster gnome removed from their gravesite. I will sit on your loved one’s grave for up to eight hours a day and play the lute, or offer pithy sayings to passers by for a small fee.
– wibbles

I wouldn’t be surprised to find tiny, Gnome-sized graffitti painted along the outside walls of the church…
– Baughb

I suggest that the good, God-fearing people of Somerset skip the Gnome graffitti and move straight on to statuettes of Bes, the pre-Islamic fertility god of Turkey.
Sweet jahiliyyah, how I’ve missed you!