I’ve just watched a short film entitled
This what it’s about…
He was called the King of the Jews, believed to be a Messiah. Just before Passover, the Romans beheaded him and crucified many of his followers outside Jerusalem.
But his name was not Jesus… it was Simon, a self-proclaimed Messiah who died four years before Christ was born.
Now, new analysis of a three-foot-tall stone tablet from the first century B.C., being hailed by scholars as a “Dead Sea Scroll on stone,” speaks of an early Messiah and his resurrection.
Was Simon of Peraea real? Did his life serve as the prototype of a Messiah for Jesus and his followers? And could this tablet shake up the basic premise of Christianity?
Watching this film reminded me of the real Dead Sea Scrolls.
The initial discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, by Bedouin shepherd Muhammed edh-Dhib, his cousins Jum’a Muhammed and Khalil Musa, took place between November 1946 and February 1947.
Eventually a total of a collection of 972 scrolls were recovered, consisting of texts from what is now known as the Hebrew Bible, or the Old Testament, and extra-biblical documents found on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name.
They were specifically located at Khirbet or Qumran in what was then British Mandate Palestine, and since 1947, what has been known as the West Bank.
The texts, and coins found with them, have been dated to the centuries immediately before and after when Jesus was supposed to have lived.
When these discoveries were first made, the Catholic Church thought there may well be evidence of Jesus and his teachings but that wasn’t the case. Some have argued that the church immediately set about suppressing this knowledge.
According to the texts, the men of Qumran fervently believed in a doctrine of last things. They fled to the desert and were readying themselves for the imminent judgment, when their enemies would be vanquished and they, God’s elect, would be given final victory in accordance with the predictions of the prophets.
However, the evidence shows that they actually believed in three messiahs— a prophet, a priest and a king.
Dr. Will Varner – Professor of Old Testament at The Master’s College and Director of IBEX, the college’s campus in Israel.
Yet no mention whatsoever is made of Jesus or John the Baptist in all these texts.
Doesn’t this seem unlikely if Jesus was the person Christianity claims?
The only reference to Jesus at all can be found in the writings of the Roman historian Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100), and that was written some decades after the period.
And there’s no evidence in Roman archives, yet the Romans were known for their administration.
Coming to a church near you soon…
This is a short trailer I made about my novel to get the idea across. The soundtrack starts after a bit 🙂
Pastors – they’re only in it for the money, drugs, property, sex and power…
In US election year, Peter sardonically examines American democracy and shows how the capitalist system controls our thoughts and actions so there are no real choices. He shows how puppet politicians are bankrolled by corporations and asks why we need these leaders at all. This is the same point I make in Womanifesto and we agree that modern leaders play the same role as kings, emperors and dictators did formerly.
For democracy to work, all citizens must be educated to understand the issues, yet critical thinking and logic are ignored and learning by rote is taught to millions. Joseph argues the US two party political system is a con – there is no real choice and all good change derives from pressure from below – not the Republican and Democratic parties.
He also shows how the big parties came together to set up and control the Presidential debates so killing intelligent discussion and stopping smaller parties getting airtime. This is exactly the same as in the UK and most other so-called democracies. Noam Chomsky has been saying this for years.
Even now as more and more species become extinct, the climate changes to who knows what and humanity teeters on the brink of disaster, most folk are more interested in inane celebrities, fashion and consumerism.
Peter also shows how religion creates an unthinking populace who do as they are told rather than questioning everything.
So if you care about the future, the ecosystem and your own minds – watch and engage with this film – what could be more important?
If this doesn’t upset you…
Treating women like dirt is hardly a new tactic for the fashion industry, with its long history of objectifying the female body, idealizing physically impossible beauty types and glamorizing violence against women. Bulgaria-based 12 magazine, however, has hit a new low with an inexplicable photo spread in its latest issue titled, “Victim of Beauty” [TRIGGER WARNING].
The six images are all close-up portraits of young, attractive white models sporting various gruesome injuries: one boasts a black eye, another a slit throat and a third sports a split lip and a bruised neck. Scrolling through this montage of burns, bruises and gashes, it’s easy to forget you’re looking at a “fashion” photo shoot; the images more closely resemble police files of horrendous domestic violence.
Were the magazine spread a deliberate attempt to raise awareness and generate conversation about our society’s failure to prevent…
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This is a short trailer I made about my novel to get the idea across. The soundtrack starts after a bit 🙂
DOG Sharon: The Future is Female!
A thrilling story of love, courage and humour with a crucial
message of hope and change for the entire planet.
Last year, an unprecedented number of laws have been passed across the US, all aimed at restricting abortion or reproductive rights.
But the fight goes far beyond the medical procedure, with Republican politicians even attacking the Obama administration for making contraception more readily available.
The US has seen more anti-abortion violence than any other country in the world. Since 1993, at least eight abortion providers, including four doctors have been killed. And there have been over 200 arsons and bombings against reproductive healthcare clinics since 1977.
Watch an ALJAZEERA film on this issue here
Important info from Dear Kitty showing that when it comes to Creationist nonsense the Fundamentalist Christians don’t have all the bullshit – Islam, Hinduism and Judaism want a piece of the action as well…
This video from the USA says about itself:
25 June 2011.
On a world scale, the most important opposition to evolution biological science comes from Christian creationists; who are influential especially in the economically and militarily most powerful country of the world, the USA. They claim to draw the only correct conclusions from the comparatively long and detailed creation narrative in the Bible book Genesis.
Less importantly, there is opposition to evolution science from within other religions. In Hinduism, eg, the Hare Krishna organization attacks the “materialistic” theories of Charles Darwin and later biologists. This is not that surprising, as the Hare Krishna organization is rather extreme within Hinduism. The organization developed at first not in India, but in the USA, with influences from US American fundamentalist…
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We just watched a nice little film entitled: “Why I am no longer a Creationist” it’s the second film in the series. the first was: “Why I am no longer a Christian”
This is what the author has to say: I’m no longer a creationist or a Christian… these videos are some of the reasons why. I don’t really have anyone to talk to about this stuff because my family and friends are all fundamental Christians like I was… so I thought this may be a good way to start discussions and be able to finally get it all out there.
There are many well-meaning creationists who have just been misinformed. It takes a good deal of time to come to a thorough understanding of a major scientific theory; and many just don’t have the luxury of investing enough. They often become the unwitting victims of a few charlatans, and of their own confirmation bias.
It is the evangelical creationist leaders who are the main targets of my criticism. These men and women either should know better; or they are deliberately lying.
In a rare moment of sense, the Department for Education has revised its model funding agreement, allowing the education secretary to withdraw cash from schools that fail to meet strict criteria relating to what they teach.
Under the new agreement, funding will be withdrawn for any free school that teaches what it claims are “evidence-based views or theories” that run “contrary to established scientific and/or historical evidence and explanations”.
The British Humanist Association (BHA), which has led a campaign against creationism – the movement that denies Darwinian evolution and claims that the Earth and all its life was created by God – described the move as “highly significant” and predicted that it would have implications for other British Humanist Association looking to run schools.
Don’t you just love it when Christians get on their high horse and proclaim,
“But I’m not that kind of Christian…”
Those of us who don’t believe your story don’t give a feather or a fig about your doctrinal ravings. We’re not interested in the silly details that distinguish you from the next sect or cult. Those things only matter to you.
And, if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and holds the Key to Everlasting Life, then why not get his name right for once?
Jesus is the Roman version – remember the folks you claim nailed him up? The actual Jewish name is Yeheshua or something – imagine that – Christians claim life, the universe and everything is about this one bloke then get his name wrong.
In the face of intense pressure from not only the Catholic church but also Muslim organisations and evangelical and presbyterian churches, the Scottish government has continued with its plan to legalise marriage for same sex couples. A draft bill is to be published later this year.
Opinion polls have shown that about two-thirds of Scots are in favour of the changes.
Below – The Catholic Church puts its foot down…
The Bullshit Bible is back in showbiz. Darren Aronofsky has a bearded Russell Crowe for Noah. The documentary Bible Quiz is in post-production. Will Smith’s directorial debut will be Cain and Abel (reportedly with a vampire twist). Paul Verhoeven’s Jesus of Nazareth has its finance in place. Justin Theroux is rewriting Swear to God – a comedy about a hedge-fund manager who has seen the Almighty. Ridley Scott, Warner Bros – with a rumour of Spielberg directing – and the Chernin Entertainment Company all have Moses movies. Mary Mother of Christ, a film about the life of Jesus up to age 12, is currently prepping, as is Langston Hughes’s Black Nativity, with a cast of Samuel L Jackson, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson. And earlier this week, a Pontius Pilate movie was greenlit.
What was it that H L Mencken said?
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people…
What will you do to celebrate Saint Chimp’s Day?
Daily Complaint. Aug 23:
GOP: Hurricane Isaac A Message From God
As journalists nationwide are connecting the dots of dumbness regarding Todd Akin’s connection to Lyin’ Paul Ryan and Mike Huckabee, something important, something directly from God Almighty to the Republican Party, is on its way: Hurricane Isaac.
Yes, just as a mighty preacher named Pat Robertson proclaimed that Hurricane Katrina was a message from God Almighty that America was going down because of gays and Liberals, I am here to proclaim that, because the Republican Party has conducted a war against women, God Almighty has sent Hurricane Isaac to disrupt their all-but-holy convention in a city ironically named Tampa.
And Mike Huckabee, champion of Christian bigotry, is slated to open, well, let’s just call it “the blow-out in Tampa”.
Huckabee has been right out in front regarding Todd Akin’s stunningly idiotic remarks about so-called legitimate rape and its…
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I owe a great intellectual debt to my partner Sooz. She correctly identified REPRODUCTION as the key battleground in this crucial stage of human affairs.
When we look at the issues facing us at present, several interconnected problems loom large; Overpopulation, Anthropogenic Climate Change, War and Crazy Religions all threaten all life on this amazing planet.
And all these factors are related to human reproduction.
When women have full control of their own fertility, overpopulation will become a thing of the past. All evidence shows that birthrates drop when women are empowered.
Climate change is due to the unfettered growth in human numbers, industry and transport. When there are less people there will be less CO2 released into the atmosphere due to a reduction in the rearing of livestock for food and agriculture, less manufacturing of useless articles for profit for the few, less transport leading to more area for forests and wildlife.
War is almost always caused by men, usually for power and control of resources. The factors mentioned above are likely to lead to more and deadlier conflict. When there are less people there will be reduced pressure on the environment and more space.
Clearly we need to get men out of positions of power so they can’t start wars.
Nation states are also responsible for wars so the sooner we move on from this outmoded system of organisation the better.
The ‘Us and Them’ mentality is part and parcel of this medieval mindset and must be left behind if we want a future.
Finally, Crazy Religions provide the justification for all of the above. All the major religions are made by men for men. They are all misogynist and have led to the infantile mental states suffered by many of our fellow humans. They lay a death wish on humanity while they pretend to offer eternal life.
Even now, as the ecosystem struggles to cope with the pollution and poisons emitted by our insane industrial production, as the oceans are dying and we are witnessing the largest extinction event ever – at this very moment – male (and some female) nutters try to restrict abortion and deny women reproductive rights.
If I believed in a supernatural world I would say religions are the Devil incarnate. But happily I know there is no God or Devil therefore our problems are wholly caused by us.
So this means we humans can turn around this terrible state of affairs. We have the power – we can do it.
But we have to let women manage human affairs before it’s too late. As my American sisters and brothers might say, “We’re drinking in the Last Chance Saloon”
That is why we’re calling for a paradigm shift in human thinking and saying the Future must be Female.
Otherwise there will be no future for us all.
Religions must die so humanaity can live.
Let’s take the fight to the religions – let’s win the war for the future.
Jennifer Mason, crazy person and communications director for Personhood USA, said: “Personhood USA does not endorse political candidates, but we had hoped that Congressman Ryan would be a good influence on Governor Romney, considering Romney’s liberal abortion record.”
Mason added: “Reading today that babies conceived in rape should suffer the death penalty (my emphasis) under a Romney-Ryan administration is extremely concerning, and indicates that congressman Ryan’s pro-woman and pro-baby positions would have little influence if he wins the office of vice president of the US.”
Do these people campaign against the real death penalty? Of course not; their ideas are dangerous and ignorant – they have no morals but act holier-than-everybody-else.
Personhood is a ridiculous concept, but then that’s what defines “People of Faith” – they believe nonsense every day. they thrive on it – they love nonsense. Here’s a few examples; Virgin Birth, 3-in-1 God, Heaven, Hell, GOP, Armageddon, Transubstantiation, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Scientology, Mormonism, LDS,
What we need are more abortions, more contraception of all kinds and an awareness that human overpopulation will destroy the ecosystem for all life.
And to achieve this we need to work together to make religions a thing of the past like cannibalism, incest and forced marriages.
So decent folks everywhere – please argue for contraception – support women’s rights to abortion when they want it and oppose religion at every turn.
Educate your friends that religion and children do not mix.
Agitate to Keep Religion Out of Schools
It’s humanity’s only hope
Gender, religion and culture are foundational social constructs but are not of the same level. Culture is a macroscopic concept and therefore subsumes religion. As Raday argues, religion derives from culture and gender derives from both religion and culture. (2005: 665) The word “culture” has been described as “one of the two or three most complicated in the English language” (Williams 1988: 87). Kuper described it as “a way of talking about collective identities” (cited in Raday: 666) and can be seen as falling into two categories, ideological – what is thought, valued and believed and social culture – how people are organised. Culture is not always homogenous and does not necessarily map one-to-one with the constitutional realm, but can have three levels. There can be ethnic and religious differences, dominant and minority subcultures, a diversity of institutional cultures and an international culture of human rights all overlapping within the same national boundaries (Raday 2005: 667). Raday distinguishes between dynamic and static forms of culture, arguing traditional and patriarchal forms tend to resist change and moves towards gender equality (2005: 667)
Religion is an aspect of culture, although it is not easy to define the concept. Most arguments regarding the clash of gender equality and religion have been made against the three main monotheistic religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism (Raday 2005: 668). Monotheistic religions are characterised by canonical texts, authoritative interpretations of doctrine and a formal structure to preserve the organisational ideology and ethical rules regulating the lives of individuals and communities. But these fundamental texts are in conflict with the basis of human rights legislation and doctrine which is humancentric and focuses on the responsibility and autonomy of the individual (Raday 2005: 669). Human rights doctrine works from the premise that the state has ultimate authority but must be prevented from abusing individuals. The opposite is true with monotheistic religions which are based on individual subjection to the will of the Supreme Being and transcendental morality.
Although culture and religion are often treated as different concepts, Raday argues that they have a lot in common when contrasted with human rights (2005: 670). But it is the leading global religions as opposed to cultures which codify custom and practice into texts which are then claimed to be outside history and culture. Raday cites the examples of the Vatican and the Organisation of Islamic Conferences as religious groups with a great deal of temporal power (2005: 669). Gender has been described as denoting the historical, cultural and social distinctions between women and men (Curthoys 2005: 140) Gender identity develops from normalised behaviour imposed on women and men by religion and culture. The history of gender in religion and traditional culture is of subordination of women to men and women’s exclusion from the public sphere (Raday 2005: 669). Although cultural and religious practices can be separated academically, in practice they usually interact. Patriarchal relations exist within culture and religion and there is a correlation between some cultural practices and the religious situations in which they are found (Raday 2005: 676). Raday gives the example of the cultural police in the Islamic Republic of Iran, who in an attempt to develop a culture of chastity, forced women to wear the veil in public places even though there is no clear religious command to do so. 676 The clash is between international human rights law and norms of culture and religion which promote and reinforce patriarchal values and fall back on the claim of religious freedom or cultural tradition. Giving it into any of these claims could result in an “infringement of woman’s right to a quality” (Raday 2005: 676).
So-called cultural practices which preserve patriarchy and discriminate against women include; female genital mutilation, the sale and forced marriage of daughters, the dowry system, preference for male children, female infanticide, polygamy, the power of husbands to discipline wives, marital rape, honour killings, witch-hunting, gendered division of food and restrictive dress codes (Raday 2005: 667). Examples of cultural issues found in signatories to CEDAW which conflict with human rights doctrine gender equality include: the elimination of polygamy in Algeria, polygamy, forced marriage and female genital mutilation in Cameroon, food issues for rural women in the Democratic Republic of Congo, domestic violence and discriminatory religious and cultural practices in Uganda, dowry, sati and devadsi practices in India, illegal sex selective abortions and family planning in China and laws discriminating against women in family and marriage matters in Indonesia.
Some feminists have argued that religion is a major source of female oppression and inequality and that most if not all religions are gendered and oppress women. In Christianity, the Supreme Deity is considered to be male. Several of the early church fathers such as Tertullian, Jerome, Ambrose and Augustine made misogynist writings which served to reinforce stereotypical gender roles (Skeptics Annotated Bible 2011). The story of the Virgin Birth promotes the idea that a woman’s body is a dirty and sinful thing and is not a proper origin for a spiritual being. The Roman Catholic Church does not ordain women and excommunicates those who attempt to become priests. It opposes family planning and birth control and does not believe in a woman’s rights to decide on abortion (Skeptics Annotated Bible 2011). Many protestant churches do not ordain women either and many believe in the wife’s submitting to the husband. In addition, many protestant churches teach that women should dress modestly but do not impose the same values on men. Other Christian denominations such as The Church of the Latter Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormons, formally allowed polygamy and still have not had condemned the practice. The Mormons do not ordain women and teach that a husband is master in the home (Skeptics Annotated Bible 2011).
In the Hindu religion, the Supreme Being is also considered to be male. In cultural practices dating back many thousands of years, widows are shunned as bringing bad luck and forced to live on the edge of society, alone (Skeptics Annotated Bible 2011). Widows were also supposed to shave their heads and never remarry. In the religious practice of Sati, windows were burnt alive on the funeral pyres of their husbands (Bowker 1997: 430). In Devadsi, girls are dedicated to a deity or temple and forced to become religious prostitutes for Upper caste members.
In Islam, menstruation is considered to make women unclean (similar conditions pertain to Christianity). Muslim women are expected in many societies to wear a veil due to the command in Sura 24 of the Koran for women to dress modestly (Skeptics Annotated Bible 2011). Honour killings are also traditionally carried out by adherents of this faith, where women are murdered after being raped or assaulted because they are considered to bring dishonour on the family. Also the practice of female genital mutilation is associated with Islamic culture although it is not mentioned in the Koran. Under Shari’a law, a man can divorce his wife by repeating the phrase “I divorce you” three times, although this cannot happen the other way round (Skeptics Annotated Bible 2011). As a woman’s testimony is worth only half that of a man’s (Koran Sura 2) allegations of rape can only be proved if four male eye witnesses testified the assault occurred. The Prophet Mohammed, according to the Hadith (sayings and traditions of the prophet) married Aisha bint Abu Bakr – a prepubescent girl of nine years according to some accounts. This is considered important as 25% of all the Yemeni females marry under the age of 15 and several other Arab countries have not signed CEDAW (Skeptics Annotated Bible 2011). Finally, polygamy is legal in many Muslim countries and not condemned in the Koran.
Menstruation is similarly described as unclean in Judaism. In a male orthodox prayer, Jews say, “Blessed is He that did not make me a woman” (Skeptics Annotated Bible 2011). Orthodox Jews, like their Islamic counterparts in Iran, have set up modesty police who assault young women and men if they are showing too much of their bodies on the streets. In Jewish religious law, a woman cannot be divorced from her husband unless she receives a certificate from him. If this does not take place, she cannot get divorced (Skeptics Annotated Bible 2011). Men are allowed to pray at holy sites where women are not and orthodox Jews do not allow women to recite prayers in the synagogue.
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Anderson, B., and Zinsser, J., (1988b) A History of Their Own: Women in Europe from Prehistory to the Present. Volume II London: Penguin
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People are not their religions.
Terms like “Christian” and “Muslim” often obscure the contradictions we all know we have. (Thanks to my mate Harsh Mellow for pointing this out)
Most folk only believe bits of the dogma and orthodoxies pushed by religious leaders and leave out the rest. That explains why there are so many different variants of the major faiths.
People are born into families and cultures where certain religions are dominant and rarely choose their own faith – that’s why the so-called leaders are desperate to continue to circumcise etc – they need to put their marks on the young.
The same goes for teaching children myth as history. This is why I’m arguing to Keep Religion Out of Schools (KROS). Religion is more dangerous than sex and we have an age of consent for that.
We have nearly identical DNA to chimps yet we are fooled into thinking we’re different from folk who wear a slightly different symbol round their necks.
I blame the political and religious leaders for this state of affairs. That’s why I say “Don’t follow leaders – they fuck you up!”
Here’s a quote from my satirical novel:
“We’re not saying it’s the new religion. The time of leaders has passed, and the age of governments is ending. We’re not looking to the past but to the future. We don’t need gods and goddesses for we are women – we gave birth to humanity and we’ll solve our own problems.”
This is the best anti-religion film I’ve ever seen. Please, please, please watch and copy and spread the word.
As Bill said, “Religions must die so mankind can live…”
Grow up or die…
Religulous is an American comic documentary film written by and starring comedian Bill Maher and directed byLarry Charles. The title of the film is a portmanteau derived from the words “religion” and “ridiculous“. The documentary examines and mocks organized religion and religious belief.
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