The word ‘orthodoxy’ comes from two Greek root words, ‘ortho’ meaning straight and ‘doxa’ meaning opinion. The word ‘religion’ comes from a root word meaning to bind.
From this short etymological examination it’s obvious that religious leaders who promote and police orthodoxy don’t want their followers thinking for themselves – for that quickly leads to heresy – another word derived from a Greek word ‘hairesis’ meaning to take or make a choice. Where would we be without these brilliant Greeks?
This is hugely topical as protests against a film criticising the founder of Islam have taken place across much of the world where Muslims reside. I argued yesterday that this was orchestrated by so-called religious leaders for all-to-worldly ends, for these imams and ayatollahs, like the pastors, patriarchs and popes are political leaders really.
These people care nothing for spiritual values, they are all about power and control over their populations. It matters not which god they claim to serve, they’re all the same. And like successful political leaders the world over, they know how to make the most of an opportunity. Just as crazy evangelicals attack gay marriage and abortion, their Islamic shadows scream about blasphemy whenever anybody questions their ideologies.
Today it is the turn of Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, who has called for the adoption of an international law to criminalize all forms of attacks against Islam and other religions.
In a speech broadcast on closed-circuit television in Lebanon on Sunday, Nasrallah said with a straight face, “There should be resolutions adopted in top international institutions, which are binding on all states and governments in the world, to forbid the defamation of religions.”
“Those who write or draw or make such a film would know that they would be punished wherever they are and they would not feel protected,” the Hezbollah secretary general stated.
He then called on Muslims across the world to protest against the anti-Islam film, which he described as “the worst attack ever on Islam, worse than the Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, the burning of the Qur’an in Afghanistan, and the cartoons in the European media.”
Now I’ve read The Satanic Verses, and if this story really scares the religious faithful, you’d have to draw the conclusion that the leaders are not that confident in the whole edifice of Islam. I have also read an English translation of the Koran and it’s not that impressive either. It’s at about the same level as The Book of Mormon, and that’s not saying much.
Nasrallah continued, “The whole world needs to see the anger on your faces, in your fists and your shouts… The whole world should know that the Prophet has followers who will not be silent in the face of humiliation.” So that proves it – it’s not a real reaction from Muslims but a stage-managed show of strength.
As my partner said after watching some of these so-called demonstrations, “The protesters keep looking to the cameras and try to pull angry faces like bad actors…” This is exactly what is happening; they look at the camera like bad actors always do – just like the bad actors in the film “The Innocence of Muslims”. (I don’t include Oliver Hardy here BTW)
Anti-US demonstrations, which began on September 11 over the anti-Islam film, have been held across the Muslim world, with protesters storming US embassies and torching US flags. Has anybody ever wondered where these poor people get such expensive flags from? 🙂
Muslims in Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Morocco, Syria, Kuwait, Nigeria, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Australia, Britain, the United States, France, Belgium, and some other countries have held many demonstrations to condemn the movie. Similar protests were also held in Kashmir and the Gaza Strip.
In a move which can only be described as ‘comical’ Nasrallah called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to hold an extraordinary meeting on the issue. The Hezbollah chief also demanded an urgent Arab League session to discuss future moves against the sacrilegious film.
Now when things like this happen it makes me want to make a good film critical of Islam – to do what ‘Life of Brian’ did for Christianity. And the more these lying leaders threaten the more the desire burns in me to satirise their bullshit.
I’ve already written a satire of Christianity with a female Ms.siah and her middle-aged girlfriends as the disciples. It’s as iconoclastic and cutting as I could make it and takes the piss out of traditional male power structures. Yet the pastors, priests and patriarchs are much funnier than satire, as my mate at the MaddSuspicions blog said this morning, “Truth is indeed stranger than fiction!”
So please everyone, don’t let ranting rulers scare you – they’re the ones that are scared – terrified that the people in so-called Muslim communities will learn about history and the world and make up their own minds. That’s why they control their women so tightly, they know a little learning is a bad thing for bullshit religions, and they need to keep brainwashing the kids. Hence the protests about circumcision as well – they know if they don’t put their evil mark on the children when they’re young there won’t be another generation of the faithful.
So friends, oppose orthodoxy, ignore or scorn these so-called religions and make your own minds – it’s the only way to true wisdom.
The recent reactions to the film about Mohammed have to be taken with a pinch of salt. Are we really supposed to believe that all these protesters saw the clip? The fact that most of the demos happened after Friday prayers leads me to think it was an orchestrated campaign by religious leaders. Why should anyone be bullied into silence by these unrepresentative preachers? I’m certainly not scared by this show of force – if there was anything to Islam they wouldn’t be scared of a silly movie.
Remember that the Saudi Arabian monarchy is bankrolling the fundamentalist movement with petrodollars and support of the UK and US. They’re behind the Islamic terrorism and the oppression of women. There’s no democracy, gender equality or tolerance of gay people in Saudi Arabia – they rule by absolute power through their many offspring.
Guess how many royal princes there are in Saudi Arabia?
7000 – That’s a fucking lot of princes. We’ve only got a few in England and that’s far too many.
I’ve seen Facebook posts by Christians supporting Muslims in their anger – WTF is that all about? I’ll tell you – they’re all in the bullshit business together. Nobody with half a brain believes any of this religious nonsense.
Angels, the Holy Spirit, books dictated by Archangel Gabriel, gold plates and the lost tribe of Israel, scientology, burning bushes, the Garden of Eden and a talking snake, Lot’s wife, Adam’s rib, communion, Papal infallibility – it’s all shit.
Let’s stand up to these bullies!
STOP PRESS NEWS
This is not satire 😉
A senior Iranian official, Javad Mohammadi, says US President Barack Obama could face legal action in connection with the production of an anti-Islam movie by an American Jew.
“A complaint could be filed with US courts against Obama for his violation of articles 18 and 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) calling for respect of faiths,” the deputy head of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution (SCCR), said on Sunday.
“Article 18 and 27 of the ICCPR, adopted by the United Nation, stipulate that the religion and the rights of the minorities should be respected,”
The US government is a signatory to this covenant and has to respect it. Therefore, an individual or an NGO (non-governmental organization) can file a lawsuit against the president of the country for breach of the covenant,” he added.
Mohammadi heaped praise on the Muslims for their massive protests against the movie, noting “Protest against insults to religious sanctities should not be limited to time, place and customary reactions and we should undertake legal measures.”
“The world’s elite know pretty well that Islam is a divine religion and Muslims have always respected divine religions and messengers and would never remain silent vis-à-vis any desecration,” said Mohammadi.
PS I’ve just read the ICCPR and it doesn’t say that at all – what a prat!
Self-styled ‘Messiah’ and ‘Reverend’ Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church – whose followers became known as “Moonies” – died in South Korea on Sunday, aged 92. It is not reported whether he went straight to Heaven without passing GO.
Moon’s so-called Unification Church became a worldwide movement and claimed to have around 3 million members, including 100,000 in the United States.
My guess is that Moon was an intelligence asset of western intelligence agencies.
Moon founded the church in 1954 amid the ruins of South Korea and promoted a mixture of Christianity and his own conservative, family-oriented teachings. He preached new interpretations of lessons from the Bible, and fused elements of Christianity and Confucianism – outlining his principles in his book, Explanation of the Divine Principle, published in 1957.
Sun Myung Moon built a business empire that included the Washington Times newspaper, the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, Bridgeport University in Connecticut, a hotel and a car plant in North Korea. It also acquired a ski resort, a professional soccer team and other businesses in South Korea, and a seafood firm that supplies sushi to Japanese restaurants across the United States.
What is even more dodgy is that Moon had a close relationship with all the North Korean leaders and received expensive luxury presents on every birthday while North Koreans died in droves from starvation.
I had a chance to do some work for the UN at Geneva but pulled out when I found it would have been for the Unification Church – might as well be employed by the Mafia!
During the 70s and 80s there was much controversy about this so-called religious movement – similar issues that have dogged the nutty Scientologists – brainwashing and general cultish behaviour – breaking families apart and using people for its own ends. Once the Moonies had enough money they could bribe important opinion-formers and became mainstream.
As the UK Guardian notes, Moon developed good relationships with dodgy Republican leaders, including Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George Bush Senior. Not a bad result for someone found guilty of tax evasion in the US, where he lived for 30 years, and served 13 months of an 18 month sentence.
The Moonies were also famous for performing mass marriages – strange to us in the West, but more understandable to folk with scant resources to pay for ceremonies.
Sun Myung Moon is survived by his econd wife and 10 kids who – surprise, surprise – run the international business now. Without a trace of irony or crafty smile, his heir and youngest son told AP agency in a February 2010 interview that they do not see themselves as his successors. “Our role is not inheriting that messianic role,” he said. “Our role is more of the apostles, where we share … where we become the bridge … to understanding what kind of lives our two parents have lived.”
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…
View original post 457 more words
Excellent post from a top blogger
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.
Anderson, B., (2000) Joyous Greetings: The First International Women’s Movement 1813 – 1860.
New York: Oxford University Press
Anderson, B., and Zinsser, J., (1988a) A History of Their Own: Women in Europe from Prehistory to the Present. Volume 1 London: Penguin
Anderson, B., and Zinsser, J., (1988b) A History of Their Own: Women in Europe from Prehistory to the Present. Volume II London: Penguin
Bowker, J., ed. (2005) The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Oxford University Press: Oxford
Calef, S., (2009) ‘Charting New Territory: Religion and the Gender-Critical Turn.’ Women, Gender and Religion. eds. Calef. S., and Simkins, R., Journal of Religion and Society (Supplement Series 5)
Chowdhury, S., (2008) ‘ India’s Premier Pays Lip Service To Villagers.’ FT.com [online] available from http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4da491c8-b7e5-11dd-ac6d-000779fd18c.html#axzz1LHqkWYno>[04/05/2011]
Daneshkhu, S., (2006) ‘US Lags Behind in Gender Gap Studies.’ FT.com [online] available from <http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fcccb534-7991-11db-90a6-0000779e2340.html#axzz1LHqkWYno>[04/05/2011]
De Beauvoir, S., (1997) The Second Sex. Trans. ed. by Parsley, H., London: Vintage
Donnan, S., (2006) ‘Indonesia Brings Debate on Polygamy out of the Shadows.’ FT.com [online] available from <http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/054c77b4-def9-11da-acee-0000779e2340.html#axzz1LHqkWYno>[04/05/2011]
Financial Times (2008) ‘Rethinking the Message of Islam’ FT.com [online] available from http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5b77cb06-e56a-11dc-9334-0000779fd2ac.html#axzz1LHqkWYno>[04/05/2011]
Gardner, D., (2010) ‘Study Charts Values Across the Mediteranean.’ FT.com [online] available from
Greer, F., (1992) ‘Feminists: Rights Bill – Wrong for us.’ Jerusalem Post [online] available from <http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/access/99778595.html?dids=99778595:99778595&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Dec+27%2C+1992&author=Greer+Fay+Cashman&pub=Jerusalem+Post&desc=FEMINISTS%3A+RIGHTS+BILL+-+WRONG+FOR+US&pqatl=google>[04/05/2011]
Izenberg, D., (1990) ‘One Step Nearer Equality.’ Jerusalem Post [online] available from http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/access/99245697.html?dids=99245697:99245697&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Oct+26%2C+1990&author=Dan+Izenberg&pub=Jerusalem+Post&desc=ONE+STEP+NEARER+EQUALITY&pqatl=google>[04/05/2011]
Marin, R., and Morgan, M., (2004) ‘Constitutional Domestication of International Gender Norms.’
Gender And Human Rights. Ed. by Knop, K., London: Oxford
Mulholland, H., (2007) ‘Religion no Excuse for Gender Inequality, says Cherie Booth.’ Guardian Unlimited
online] available from <http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2007/oct/31/immigrationpolicy.gender>[04/05/2011]
Oakley, A., (2002) Gender on Planet Earth. Bristol: The Policy Press
Oakley, A., (2005) The Ann Oakley Reader: Gender, Women And Social Science. Bristol: The Policy Press
Raday, F., (2005) ‘Culture, religion and gender.’ Journal of Religion & Society. Supplement Series 5 The Kripke Center ISSN: 1941-8450 [online] available from <http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/ccpr.htm>[04/05/2011]
Skeptick’s Annotated Bible (2011) [online] available from <http://skepticksannotatedbible.com/>[04/05/2011]
UN (2006) ‘Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women.’ Fourteenth meeting New York, 23 June 2006 [online] available from <http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/ccpr.htm>[04/05/2011]
UN (2011a) ‘Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.’ United Nations division for the Advancement of Women, Department of Economic and Social Affairs [online] available from<http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/>[04/05/2011]
UN (2011b) ‘International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.’ Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) 16 December 1966 [online] available from <http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/ccpr.htm>[04/05/2011]
UN (2011c) ‘Short History of CEDAW Convention.’ United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. [online] available from <http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/ccpr.htm>[04/05/2011]
Williams, R., (1998) Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. London: Fontana
World Health Organization (2011) ‘Female genital mutilation’, Fact sheet No. 241 (2010) ‘Key Facts’ [online] available from <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/>[04/05/2011]
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.
View original post 154 more words
Click here to see a short film made to explain my novel.
The soundtrack doesn’t kick in until about 25 seconds.
I was 8 and a half. I wanted a bike and my mum said “No”.
I was in the back bedroom at home and thinking how to get a bike and the idea came to me – why not pray for one?
I considered this and realized that if folk could get things by praying, then everyone would have exactly what they wanted. But it was obvious that wasn’t the case. Therefore, I concluded, there could be no God.
God was just like Father Christmas – something made up by adults.
It was a powerful experience.
Soon after I was at school and a short, balding, fierce, Scottish Presbyterian teacher took over from my normal teacher who was ill. His name was Mr Kerr. His idea for the lesson was to ask kids for types of books and he would locate them in the Bible – his point being that everything was in the holy book. As might be expected from 9-year-olds, the calls from the class tended to be along predictable lines. So sports, history, adventure and suspense were all offered and the teacher fielded each one easily.
Eventually he asked me. “Science Fiction?” I suggested. The cleverer kids in the class laughed out loud, seeing the joke. The teacher scowled at me, tried to think of an answer, then quickly finished the lesson.
1-0 to the atheists!
Now I have my sights on the outrageous claims of miracle cures for cancer and the like made by the local Renewal Christian Centre. The pastor is the ultimate in slippery salesmen. He was a life assurance executive and then a soccer agent. It’s hard to think of a less spiritual background.
He’s now a governor of a local high school and former TV evangelist. I’ve written to the local paper (although they haven’t printed it yet – more details to follow if I find they’re in league with the self-styled church) explaining what his organisation is doing and blogged about his congregation repeating this nonsense to all and sundry.
I had a run-in with one of his acolytes yesterday at the local gym. Sadly these poor people don’t know their elbows from their arses – which no doubt suits the pastor down to the ground.
We have to fight against this evil because they will try to stop kids learning about science, history and social sciences because a little knowledge destroys their fairy stories. I’m also very concerned about the gender relations these idiots espouse and the awful hatred their “God of Love” engenders.
By the way, does anyone know if Christians mentioned “love” before the 1960’s? I think it’s a new thing. I don’t remember the Inquisition talking about love, although I know The Beatles did.
So readers, when did YOU stop believing in the lie of God?
I’ve noticed a worrying development recently in our area (Solihull, UK) – more door-knocking Christian missionaries (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and some other US group whose name escapes me) and more attempts by zealous folk of faith to convert me – 3 in the last few months.
It’s rather ironic that they should think me a prospect – if they listened to anything I said it would be obvious that I was the last person to approach. These people had a shocking lack of awareness and knowledge of their world – not really surprising I suppose or they wouldn’t believe in a literal reading of the bible.
I shouldn’t poke fun at those unfortunate enough to fall for the scam, but at least I’ll keep it anonymous. Last week a guy tried the old Christian come-on to me in a sauna. Suppressing a laugh. I asked, ‘How can I choose one religion when all faiths claim to be the only source of truth?’
‘We’re the only religion to have a virgin birth,’ he said smiling broadly. ‘None of the others have.’
When I told him it was fairly common in mythologies of the period, he thought for a few seconds and said, ‘But Jesus Christ sacrificed himself for us, was killed in a horrible way then vanished from the tomb and lives forever at God’s side.’
When I didn’t reply he added, ‘If we all lived by the 10 commandments, the world would be a better place.’
So I asked him what the commandments were, but he only knew the first and vague stuff about parents 🙂
I realized then that this sad man needed to bring folk into the church or he would feel the pastor’s displeasure. This kind of Christianity is a racket. Each member of the congregation is expected to give a tenth of their income and bring in new devotees. A bloke like this would always struggle to recruit as he’s not great with people. I didn’t have to be a mind-reader to feel his depression and sadness. But the church teaches God can’t be wrong so it must be the individual who doesn’t have enough faith. The Emperor’s New Clothes. I felt sorry for him even though I loathed his crude attempts to God-me-up.
When he told me that folk were being cured of incurable diseases I realized it was even more serious than I’d previously thought. Who knows how many people were being attracted in the faint hope of a miracle cure for some awful illness. He explained a former thug had seen the light while beating somebody up and now conducted the faith-healing services. Call me cynical, but this has all the makings of a great scam. Gullible folk who know little science are fleeced by ‘ex-criminals’ who claim miracle cures.
Everybody knows that there are no miracle cures, so those promoting them are either deluded or lying. Either way it has to be stopped and soon.
These self-styled churches are invading our communities and abusing our children’s minds with this dangerous nonsense. This is a cult.
So I’m calling for the banning of religion in schools. Teach kids about myths and faiths by all means but inside the framework of ethics, history and social sciences. We protect children from alcohol and tobacco so let’s extend that to mental harms. We rate films and video games as suitable only for certain ages and I’m suggesting the same for religions.
In the UK, when a person is sixteen they can lawfully have sex so I think we should treat religion in the same way. Until that age kids should be protected from adults who we all know cannot be trusted in such matters, especially parents. Likewise for circumcision; when somebody comes of age they can choose for themselves. Anything else is abuse.
Religion if practiced should be a private matter. Let’s give all children the chance to choose what feels right for them, rather than their parents, priests, popes and patriarchs.
So for my part I’m starting this campaign.
Keep Religion Out of Schools