Home – Another Stain to the Catholic Claim to Morality

Ireland has long been a fortress of Catholicism and it is only fitting that some of the Catholic church’s greatest daemons reside here.

TW – Death, Child Abuse

Maybe there are worse atrocities that have yet to come to light, but in Ireland we see a combination of the effect of the power of Catholicism, the secularisation of said society and the media and trappings of a first world nation which means that we are more willing to have reporters and the media listen to stories.

And the most recent one is with regards to a grim 1840’s workhouse in Tuam, Galway. It was taken over in 1925 by the Bon Secours Sisters who called it “The Home”. [Read more...]

New Blood

Spinoza, Hume, Voltaire, Paine, Jefferson (just to name a few) paved the way for Ingersoll, Twain, Darwin, Douglass, Nietzsche, Marx, Russell. The “New Atheists” of today haven’t said anything “New.” It just feels like the Atheist demographic has stayed the same throughout the course of history. I would even argue that in light of the Tea Party, The Religious Right, Fox News, & liberal religious apologists, our influence today is worse than it was a century ago. Just look at the grip the Republican party has on Congress & maybe soon the Senate. I can see a 22nd century dominated by theocratic rule as inequality grows and schools disintegrate. Why can’t we influence public opinion in the same way the believers do?

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I Get Mail – Rhino Den/Ranger Up and the fallacy of PTSD comparisons

I had a rather strange e-mail. I wrote a piece a while back about PTSD and Melody Hensley.

For those who don’t want to read that gigantic wall of text again? TL:DR I have PTSD from being a refugee in the 1st Gulf War aged 5. And I do not think that Melody’s experience of PTSD necessarily denigrates mine or anyone else’s by association. I see no point in declaring a hierarchy of PTSD. And since then I have gotten some charming hate mail including one waste of carbon who insisted on trying to post my triggers to me. Classy, but sadly thwarted by the reality of the Internet in India.

This was from Rhino Den on Ranger Up. And I knew nothing about the place except it has a biggish readership. 2200 Facebook Shares? Holy moly? I don’t get that many myself.

So I did a little digging. And Ranger Up seems weird to a Brit. [Read more...]

What do you think of Islam?

Islam is a religion torn by strife and its history. Like all civilisation, we see a cycle of Golden vs. Dark Ages.

In the west, our last dark age was WW II. And from that we learned a valuable lesson.

We learnt a fear of war that still pervades through much of Europe. And that fear hasn’t left us. Maybe in the USA because there are so few reminders of war there. You teach the glory of WW II.

We in Europe have to remember its horrors. I say to every warmonger in aspiration? Walk among the graves at Ypres. We wonder why people satiated Hitler to begin with? We forget they are the survivors of WW I so were desperate for peace. America lost soldiers but it didn’t see the war. Its boys returned heroes. In Europe? We saw our lads return to ruins. Our civilians saw war and we wanted none of it. That gave us our current Golden Age. We are desperate for peace because we remember war. And everytime we fight we remember it again and again. That is why I think we have stable society in the “West”. We took our plunder from our colonies and declared peace and strove to that. All our Wars have been elsewhere.

The USA learnt it’s lesson at Vietnam. We just learnt it a bit earlier. And even then there are still hawks who think war is good.

Islam’s dark age is a product of war too. And it starts with the 1800s. The first Wahabbi Movement took place and Wahabbists took over Mecca from their capital in Riyadh under the House of Saud. See the Wahabbists think that the physical monuments to Islam are an affront. So they destroyed the Prophet’s Grave… No Seriously? We know roughly where Mohammed is buried, we just don’t know where. But the first time in the 1800s the Wahabbists were a bit slap dash… They just trashed the cemetery and defaced the grave site. The joke I mention here? Muslims from the time period were buried alongside Jews. Yeah? Imagine how the dialogue of Israel would have changed if both sides knew this piece of history.

Okay so needless to say? Tonnes of Muslims across the planet were “pissed off”. So the Muslim superpower du jour intervened.

The Ottoman Empire invaded the Middle East and basically kerb stomped the Arab Wahabbi tribes. Camels/Horses versus trained soldiers armed with rifles, machine guns and cannon supplied by the trains from Egypt and through Syria.

The tribes resented their new Turk masters but the Ottomans were effective administrators. As long as the tribes left the railways and the cities alone they were free to do what they wanted. That all changed in the 1910s with WW II. We all know of Lawrence and his role in the downfall of the Ottoman Empire.

Then we come to Mohammed Ataturk, see Ataturk’s secularism made him wonder why they have this enormous flank which was indefensible and only valuable for cultural and religious purposes. In short? Why occupy Mecca and Medina? The Allies were rampaging towards Turkey. Ataturk’s defence of Turkey left Saudi Arabia back in Bedouin hands. The thing was the Ottoman administration was always through the Sharif of Mecca and a small Ottoman Garrison as a reminder of their power. When the Ottomans retreated the Sharif was defacto ruler of a loose confederacy of tribes.

The House of Al Saud fought another civil war from their Kuwait Stronghold returning in the early 1900s. First Riyadh fell under Al Saud’s Wahabbist army but this was part of the greater Arab Revolt. When the Sharif of Mecca tried to form a “Pan Arab” state his erstwhile allies (AKA Brits and French and indeed Americans) decided to cripple this power. They supported the Saud. By 1930 the dust had (hah) settled. Al-Mamlakah al-Arabiyah as-Saudiyah stood… The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Remember how the first time they destroyed relics and monuments to Islam? The Ottomans had restored them, this time they made sure. The mosque of the Prophet still stands. But the graveyard where he is buried? Is an empty lot. The marker stones were painted over, smashed and buried.

What proceeded was a desolation of Islamic History only mirrored by the Rape of Baghdad where the rivers ran black with ink and blood. And this was abhorrent to Muslims of the 1930s. Bear in mind this was the era of Hyderabad and Lucknow in India. Where Muslim art and culture was its zenith. But he who holds Mecca holds the heart and mind of Islam. Now this wouldn’t have meant anything really but the “Rich” and “Moderate” Muslim states fell. The Turks retreated to Turkey. The Kingdoms of India became India and the seeds of dissent were sown through the actions of M. A. Jinnah creating India and Pakistan and that cold war. Added to which we see the formation of Israel at the cost of Arabs.

What we see is a history of “backstabbing” by Western Powers. Ottomans, Pan-Arabia, Palestine which set the tone of discontent. This continued with support for Al-Saud and indeed the loss of moderate secular Muslim countries in the formation of India. And finally we see the power gained by Al-Saud through oil and the use of Wahabbi ideals. We can see those ideals in 2 places.

The adoption of Wahabbi ideals was PERFECT for the NWFP in Pakistan. The NWFP was part of Pakistan by sticking a flag in it and fucking off. No seriously? It was the absolute border of the Raj. It is a rugged and tough terrain much like the Arab Peninsula and the Bedouin Ideals stuck. The Burkha/Niqab? Bedouin/Berber outfits. That was where we imported that kind of teaching on purpose. To create an entity that was not swayed by luxuries that the Soviets were pushing. See we see the Wahabbists as incredible arseholes. People who kill and maim. That’s because the dialogue has changed. Back then they were traditionalists, honourable, brave fighting against an oppressive force. Today they are backwards, weirdoes and suicidal.

The thing is they were always fundies, we never really advertised that bit before. Again we see the export of Wahabbi ideals to Africa via Islamic Aid from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabian Mullahs dictate what the others think.

Now here is the thing. When your ideal Muslim is a fundamentalist as dictated by the KSA, everyone works to take that pedestal by being more “Muslim” than your neighbour. Fundamentalism is a creeping thing. Have you heard about those atheists? Yeah. Yeah they are different. Yeah they are not proper. Yeah they are not Muslim. Yeah they are not good. Yeah they are evil. Yeah they are evil and someone should tell them otherwise. Yeah they are evil and someone should do something about it. Yeah they are evil and I will do something about it. Fundies feed off each other.

So in effect? You are in a situation where the ideal Muslim is some unachievable standard created by some bedouin tribesman from a violent tribal society that has suddenly come across vast amounts of modern wealth who has not just destroyed the bulk of Islamic History and written it to glorify JUST Mohammed and his tribal and war like origins rather than the progress made.

So we live in a bizarre state where Muslims seldom read their own history so cannot learn from it while a streak of Wahabbist poison exists within their teachings that corrupts slowly.

Hence our current dilemma where we see even traditionally moderate Muslim societies like Indonesia and Malaysia (seriously) adopt Shariah rather than secular law systems and holds a tribal court system to be the ideal. Just because Saudi Arabia does it.

There is a mad irony to this. Ibn Sina, Harun Al-Rashid, Saladin, Khayyam, Kabir, Akbar and Rumi are all paid lip service by various Muslims who forget that many of these men would be considered bad Muslims today (Ibn Sina and Khayam drank, Al-Rashid and Saladin were multi-culturalists, Akbar married a Hindu and didn’t force her to convert and Rumi’s poetry speaks of love that would be alien to many Wahabbists.)

It’s like the Catholic Church being proud of Galileo or Ken Ham suddenly declaring Darwin to be “a swell guy”.

Islam has lost its brain, its heart and its soul is now a bunch of poisonous old men thinking poisonous old thoughts. So poisonous that Muslims still think of themselves as living the lives of their luminaries rather than the reality that they face a creeping fundamentalist streak. In the perception that they are under attack they ignore moderate voices and listen to the people who are completely irrational in their belief. Many Muslims don’t see attempts at being moderate as progress but kowtowing to “white people” and a loss of identity. To them the misogyny is vital because it is Muslim. To them the regressive principles are vital because that is what it means to be Muslim. And this goes back to the ideal Muslim being the war like Mohammed rather than his other historical portrayals. To them treating women as equals is not a fundamental because Islam ONCE treated women better and holding on to that they still assume nothing has changed.

That’s the joke. Most Ex-Muslims speak about how much freedom they have, and that’s because Islam’s progressive values (and they were progressive for the time) are now not anymore.

As of right now? The biggest victims of Islam are Muslims themselves.

What a Difference a Day Makes – Young/Old Earth Creationism

The recent bust up between Ken Ham and Pat Robertson is kind of amusing to watch. You know how many of us doubted Bill Nye’s possible effect in that creationism debate? See the thing with unmoderated debates is that the audience is biased. Arguing looks fun, but it is just intellectual gymnastics. You aren’t going to convince the truly faithful. What you do convince are the undecideds and the malcontents. The people who have doubts about creationism who see those doubts mirrored. [Read more...]