Devrions-nous être Charlie? Tuesday, Jan 20 2015 


George Galloway has described Charlie Hebdo as “a racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag.  Typical of Gorgeous George he ignores everything that he can’t get angry about, that doesn’t prove or argue with what he believes.  He ignores the magazine’s continued and long standing criticism of the Catholic Church, for instance.  Like the Pope he blames the victim.

To stand with Charlie Hebdo isn’t flowers on a celebrity’s grave, an act of condolence of a stranger.  It is to make a stand against those who say “You may not say anything about my religion, because I will be offended.”  That attitude would be unacceptable with any other notion: caricatures of politicians aren’t stopped because those who believe in their policies profoundly are upset.    Criticising someone’s home town may be downright rude, but isn’t something that can never be said.  Yet religeon demands this pass – despite not only the followers of Abraham splinting into three sects that not only disagree vehemently with each other, they can’t even agree among themselves what they believe, yet attack anyone who questions their world view as intolerant.  Einstein may not have liked Niels Bohr’s sub-atomic theories, but he did admit their correctness when proof was shown.  He didn’t feel the need to set off a bomb.

This is the response I put on HuffPo UK

(more…)

Advertisements

Gay Marriage, Atheist Marriage and the Church. Sunday, Mar 4 2012 


Once again a celebate man in a dress tries to tell the world we have to believe his mythology

From the BBC today

The government’s plans for gay marriage have been criticised by the most senior Roman Catholic cleric in Britain.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, said the plans were a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”.

He said the idea of redefining marriage, which David Cameron has said he supports, would “shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world”.

Full article here

Dr John Sentamu, Arch-Bishop of York said similar on the 1st Feb.  They are, of course, both wrong.

Oddly they both say they agree with Civil Partnerships for the gay community.  Do they know the legal difference between a Civil Marriage and a Civil Partnership? It is Absolutely Nothing (apart from the second word).  Both partners have EXACTLY the same rights as people in a marriage. Legally they can’t be called ‘marriages’, but everyone does – ‘civil partnershipped’ is such an awkward phrase.

At this point I’d like to give a belated ‘Congratulations’ to Suzie, a friend of mine, who proposed to her girlfriend on Christmas day- two years to go and I’m already looking for a new suit!  Here’s the thing.  They haven’t been going to civil partnership fairs, they haven’t been looking at civil partnership dresses, nor trying to find an affordable civil partnership photographer.  Guess which word is used instead?  It turns out they are the same events as straight people go to.

I asked the LGBT rep at work how the gay community felt about the legality of the word ‘Marriage’.  She said while they would prefer the word ‘Marriage’, it is the only difference, and the Gay community have better things to try spend their time on.

So what the clergy are arguing about is a word.  They want it to keep it associated with religeon.  Orwell pointed out in ‘1984’ if you control language you control the way people think.  They seem to want to redefine the history of marriage.

Modern marriage in the UK is a reletively recent phenomenon – the law was tightened up in 1753, mainly to stop disputes about who was actually married to who. Before then it wasn’t uncommon for a couple to just live as married, often after a short informal ceremony along the lines of ‘Oh well, if you really must’, though with no legal rights, and every one in the village knew they were ‘married’. (Today’s fact, many of these informal marriages were ‘solemnised ‘ by the couple jumping over a broom, hence the phrase ‘living over the broom’ for an unmarried couple living together.)  Sometimes a ‘wandering priest’ would give a blessing, though this still had no legal validity. Basically the law of 1753 said “You have to tell everyone in advance what you are going to do, where you intend to do it (in case of objection) and sign a legal document to say you have done it.”  It was less about religion, and more about record keeping.  Every village had a church, so the bureaucracy was already in place.

Which brings me on to Civil Marriage.  In the UK a civil marriage ceremony may make NO reference to religeon (one couple were told they couldn’t have ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams playing at the ceremony).  If two atheists who can’t have children get married it is still ‘a marriage’, not a ‘civil partnership’.  The Church knows that the boat sailed long ago on that one, and don’t object.

So exactly what ‘values’ is calling it Civil Marriage, rather than a Civil Partnership undermining?  It can’t be religeon – there is no religeous test for marriage.  It can’t be parenthood, there is no requirement married couples have children.

So, Cardinal, how is gay marriage a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”.  Exactly how are you being subverted?  If it is a “universally accepted human right”, then how is denying it to gays making it a “universally accepted human right”?

Or is the clue in the word “grotesque”?  Could it be that O’Brien (who was against civil partnerships) and Sentamu find the whole ‘gay thing’ just a bit icky?

Dear Ireland Monday, Jul 13 2009 


From Ireland’s new ‘blasphemy law’

Section 36

(1) A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000. [Amended to €25,000]

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if (a) he or she publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion, and (b) he or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.

As Les notes at StupidEvilBastard.com, this part of the bill makes it illegal to criticize any religion either verbally or in writing.

SO. Here goes.

There is no evidence of any god, Abrahmic or otherwise.

There is no evidence that anything in Genesis is true.

There is no evidence, indeed no reference outside of the Bible, of Jesus Son of god.  There may have well been a wandering rabbi/heretic called Jesus, but the Romans never mention him.  Don’t quote Pliny and Josephus, they talk about ChristIANS- it’s like says seeing Tom Cruise in a movie proves Scientology is correct.

You may be interested to know I have seen it argued that ‘Jesus’ was a name of a number of Jews, and had no special connotation- this is why Pilate is so careful with asking the crowd who to release, maybe Barabbas’ name was also Jesus (Bar Abbas=son of Abbas).

Whatever the truth of 2000 years ago, that cracker and wine certainly doesn’t turn into his flesh and blood.

Denying contraception on the basis of religious texts from thousands of years ago is evil,  using them isn’t.

Ditto “Teh gays”.

While I’m about it.

There almost certainly is no god (see above re lack of evidence), not even Allah.  Ergo Muhammed was not his prophet. (Cos there is no prophet Atheism; boom-boom. I’m here all week).

And Wiccans- No, you are not a Witch of any sort, black, white or spangly (A “Do what?” possibly, but not a witch). There is no Earth spirit.

MOST IMPORTANTLY.

It is wrong to hate someone because of a belief in something that isn’t your belief. 

Now as an atheist I don’t care what you do in the privacy of your own home or place of worship.  However

  1. Don’t expect me to fund it through taxation.
  2. Don’t expect me to agree with you, and if I spot a flaw in your religeous arguement dont expect me to gloss over it if you rely on that flaw.
  3. Don’t assume that you get extra rights because of your belief. (well ok- in Ireland you do, but don’t expect me to agree with that).
  4. Don’t expect me to be quiet if you want it taught as ‘Scientific Fact’ in schools.
  5. or indeed want your private beliefs to be considered more protected than my private beliefs

See, depite what you may think there is no such thing as a Militant Atheist- Not even Richard Dawkins.  We don’t go around pushing newspapers through doors asking “Have you heard the Good News about Science?”.  We don’t stand in town squares reading bits out of ‘Origin of Species’, or complaining when science shows that something we believe in isn’t true.

I’ll admit I was put out when Pluto was declared ‘not a planet’, but that is emotional attachment to a world view that proved to be wrong.  Einstein felt the same way when Nils Bohr showed some of Einstein’s theories to be wrong. But it is just that- emotional attachment to a childhood. I’m never going to go there, and classification is an artificial Human construct. I am certainly not going to support a crusade or jihad demanding it be re-instated as a planet.

Now Ireland; I’ll admit the fact the Irish Sea is between you and me has made me a bit braver in posting this: I’m assuming you won’t go for the whole extradited thing via the EU (though I must say that is actually worrying me a little).  But what are you going to do if the University of Dublin comes up with a bit of research that proves something that offends your Catholic mindset?  Declare Science blasphemous and demand your fine?

Catholic Church still rooted in… Oh, you know how it goes by now! Tuesday, Mar 17 2009 


Pope Benedict has said that the distribution of condoms is not the answer in the fight against Aids in Africa.

According to AOL

“You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem,” he told reporters on board a papal flight to Africa, where he is to tour Cameroon and Angola.

Or from the BBC

Speaking en route to Cameroon, he said distribution of condoms “increases the problem”.

Words can not express the jaw-dropping stupidity of these pronouncements.  But then if you are stupid enough to believe birth-control is evil you end up trying the most unbelievable arguments to defend it.

An Angry Man in Corduroy says it best. Tuesday, Mar 10 2009 


After Marcus Brigstocke, what more is there to say?

(Audio from the BBC’s ‘Now Show- Radio 4)

Catholic Church still Rooted in nonsense (redux) Sunday, Mar 8 2009 


A nine year old is repeatedly abused by her step-father, and becomes pregnant.  When it is discovered she is given an abortion.  I’ll say that again- NINE YEARS OLD.  What is the Vatican’s response? To excommunicate the mother and doctors.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7930380.stm

Oh fer fucks sake.  Personally I believe there may be a valid debate to happen around the latest date for a termination.  BUT this happened at 4 months (?18 weeks), inside the limit for many countries.  This is what happens when you wed your world view to a mythology, and one that considers a foetus a human at the point of conception.

There is no happy ending to this story, but the idea that a nine year old could give birth to twins with no ongoing negative effects beggars belief.  Her life is screwed up as it is.  Why is the Pope giving her a kicking?

Catholic Church still rooted in medieval nonsense Part 2 Tuesday, Dec 23 2008 


…Because this time it’s personal

The Pope says in his Christmas message that ‘Teh evul Gays’ (This may not be a direct quote) are as big a threat to the world as the destruction of the environment

When the Roman Catholic Church defends God’s Creation, “it does not only defend the earth, water and the air… but (it) also protects man from his own destruction,”

It is not “outmoded metaphysics” to urge respect for the “nature of the human being as man and woman,” he told scores of prelates gathered in the Vatican’s sumptuous Clementine Hall.

The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage. It teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are.

from this BBC article.  The problem of course it feels that we need protecting from loving someonewho happens to have the same plumbing as us.  Because if you are looking for understanding about Gay issues, sex and other such topics, then who wouldn’t go to an ex-Nazi who’s been celebate most his life?

Official- Catholic Church still rooted in Medieval Nonsense Friday, Oct 3 2008 


The Pope (Benedict XVI) today re-affirmed the Vatican’s opposition to artificial birth control.

Contraception “means negating the intimate truth of conjugal love, with which the divine gift (of life) is communicated”.  He went on to say he had no opposition to ‘natural” birth control- which either means abstenance, or hoping the woman’s period is regular enough that you can work out when she’s ‘safe’ (though this isn’t a given).  I’m not sure about the “John Wayne Method”- a fast draw before shooting (though how many men really have that much self control at orgasm?)

I’m not sure what he hopes to achieve.  It won’t stop casual sex – “Do me big boy, but no jonnies- his Holiness doesn’t like them used while I’m fornicating” – if you are shagging around the ‘no jonnies rule’ is really not a major worry.  The poor will have two choices- no sex in a marriage or risk another mouth to feed. All that he can hope is to drive more people in the developed world away from the Church.

Religeous leaders bemoan the fact that liberal countries are opposed to religeon.  Could it be that liberal countries also tend to be somewhat educated as well?