Oh Noes! Won’t Somebody Think of the Priests!

The priests of the UK have written a letter in opposition of Gay Marriage,

So far it has 1000 signatures and says that allowing gays to get married will lead to persecution against Catholics.

Repeat after me. No one is going to force priests to get married to each other. No one is going to force you to officiate at the wedding of two gay people. Why would gays want to get married by a religious official who hates them. It’s like me demanding that my hypothetical future wedding be officiated by a neo-nazi.

The Outrage! Quick Geoffrey! Fetch the fainting couch!

Hello Whine Whine Whine? I need a Whaaambulance.


Investigations of Child Abuse Halted In Germany

Well if you haven’t heard already, the current investigation into the abuse of children perpetrated by the Catholic Church in Germany has come to a halt.

The reason? Well the lead researcher complained about the level of control the Church wanted over the investigation.

According to the Church? According to them it was due to a “mutual” shattering of trust. That the methods Pfeiffer used to communicate had made further cooperation impossible. I assume Pfeiffer was using some sort of affront to god (Well they are Catholic Priests so it’s probably a woman made out of condoms) to deliver his messages rather than email things to people.

According to Prof. Christian Pfeiffer who was the lead researcher from the Lower Saxony Criminology Research Institute?

He reported initial compliance but later found that his researchers were being asked to adhere to controls by the Munich Archdiocese. A group representing German dioceses then called for the researchers’ work to be submitted for approval before publication.

In other words? The Church attempted to censor an independent investigation into a shocking crime.

It’s not an independent investigation if you get to place controls and censor the investigator’s work.

Bullying Isn’t So Bad

Our Internet world is filled with tales of tragic teens who die by their own hand. Cruelly tormented daily, these teens feel sufficiently alone and alienated from society that they don’t think that things will get better. They cannot see past their daily torment and feel the need to end it all. One of the main reasons for this is the religious and cultural bullying of any child outside the norm.

You are a target if you are outside the groups that form our society in schools.

In particular this is aimed at those kids who are homosexual or queer because society excuses bullying them. It provides a variety of reasons to bully them and most of it is grounded in religion.

So while most people are about halting and stopping bullying, Herman Goodden takes a different tack. A catholic tack…

Bullying is taking up an awful lot of space in our public and private conversations, making an old duffer wonder if some sort of qualitative change really has taken place regarding this age-old . . . phenomenon. I almost called it a “problem” but that would be to buy into the current thinking about bullying, which is unrealistic, not very helpful and dishonestly coercive.

Is it? Is it really? Bullying takes up space in our conversations but does it take up more space in our conversation than celebrities who consume raw animal testicles for fame? Does it take up more space in our conversation about millionaires with intelligent feet kicking balls at a giant net? Tell me what should we consider as adequate discussion of bullying rather than an excessive one?

Certainly it’s no fun to be on the receiving end of bullying. And in extreme outbreaks there can indeed be cause to enlist the help of school and even police authorities. But in the general run of things, I don’t believe we’re ever going to eradicate bullying and, furthermore, shining a spotlight on behaviour that will usually burn itself out in a few days can do more harm than good both to perpetrators and victims by commemorating that which might more beneficially be forgotten.

Extreme outbreaks? Again what do you consider as excessive bullying? While bullying may be hard to stamp out, you can reduce it and you can stop the worst effects of it.

Some bullying does die down, some carries on. The ones that die down generally die down spontaneously and never come to light. But the one that continues is the ones we are trying to stop because it’s the ones we CAN stop.

It might be pleasant (if a little boring) to believe that children could find a way to grow up without ever coming into conflict with one another, but they never shall. In the furiously churning, soul-shaping cauldron of adolescence, young people look for models of behaviour they might want to emulate and they also look inside as certain characteristics emerge, some of which they discover cannot be jettisoned, even if it might be “cooler” to do so.

I understand the world is a terrifying place and that bullying can help “toughen” kids up. Despite what we think the world is pretty horrid and sometimes we have to teach our kids that they aren’t special or unique. It’s a fantasy we tell our kids and it’s a fantasy that many of them take to their adult life where they are stunned into reality. Perhaps a little bit of the lash is needed. Bullies exist in adult life too, dealing with bullies made me better at my job. But that’s me. I don’t expect other people to grow out of bullying as I did.

You can teach kids these lessons without feeding them to the lions of social combat. Not everyone is up to it and not everyone comes to the fight equally armed. Some people blossom into tough savvy adults at different paces. And while I think teaching our kids that they are all super special and reducing competition can sometimes look foolish I understand the need to keep kids interested without some kids running away with all the prizes. There has to be a balance between universality and rewarding excellence. And between coddling and throwing children to the wolves.

During this process young people can be mercilessly judgmental of everyone, including their peers, some of whom (for today at least) they’ll decide they like and some of whom they’ll dislike. If someone watches the wrong TV shows or listens to the wrong bands or wears the wrong shoes — these are not some blameless and inexplicable whimsy of taste as most of us regard them later in life when we are comparatively sane. No, these are social, indictable offences that must be commented upon, put down and even punished.

Or you know… If they like people of the same gender. I know where this is going…

Most instances of bullying soon blow over with no input necessary from the authorities. Sometimes the perpetrators themselves come to realize that their actions are over the top and modify their behaviour. Often, the victims discourage its continuance by standing up to their bullies — verbally or physically — or else they remove the sting of bullying by sloughing it off and not rising to such cheap and inflammatory bait.

Yes, but I solved my bully problem with cutting sarcasm and by “being a bully myself”. It is not an ideal solution to this issue. And it’s hard to solve your bully problem if what you have done is universally regarded as “Pariah Status Worthy”. Like you know…if you are gay.

It’s very hard to live with the consistent and constant bullying and feeling of an outcast if you are in that situation because you are universally despised. You cannot say that it gets better because in many cases gay people have to put up with this kind of bullying all their lives. That’s the main group who are protected when we put anti-bully laws in place.

Either of these approaches is infinitely superior to letting elders get involved, mostly because young people deal with things more directly and honestly. Once you get the authorities involved, everybody has to start playing nice and affirming one another’s okayness. Smothering in officially sanctioned indifference probably doesn’t seem to matter much if the underlying disagreement is about Justin Bieber or high-topped running shoes. But there’s a danger that the lesson being learned is that it’s wrong to ever voice disagreement or disapproval and one should always strive to please everyone else.

It’s also wrong to respond to “I fucked your mum” with “I fucked your dad and he liked it” but it didn’t really stop me from saying it aged 14. And it was also wrong for me aged 15 to solve a bully problem through a fist fight. That’s one of the direct and honest ways of solving problems after all…

It is not about Okayness. We know it’s a casual implication that Catholics aren’t given free reign to tell people what they think of their lifestyles.

And no we don’t strive to please everyone. We strive to get along.

When busybody authorities start refereeing disputes, Catholic youth are particularly at risk of being bullied (in the blandest possible way, of course) into soft pedalling important tenets of their faith. Being cowed in this way in their developing years is bad training for standing up to the bullies we all inevitably encounter as adults — whether its bosses, unions, a hectoring media with a virulently secular agenda to promote or the atheists and over-sensitive multicultural types who emerge from the woodwork at about this time of year to throw a blanket over public expression of Christmas celebrations.

Catholic Youth Are More Prone to be Bullied… I have a message…

“Away and Boil Your Head you Sanctimonious Bastard. I fucking remember being a right twat at school because I was a bully and I was fucking excellent at it because I was a relatively small bespectacled INDIAN KID in a place full of huge white guys who had never ever seen one before. I had weird food, weird hair, didn’t burn in the sun and studied a lot. And back then that was fair game. I either beat them at their game or I got beaten so I got good.”

I know the elements “Catholic Kids” wish to Hard Sell. The kind of bullshit that tore apart cities in Ireland and poisoned Scotland’s football, the kind of bullshit that allows Catholics to tell other people they are going to hell if they don’t believe in Catholic Jesus or hate on gays. And primarily it is to hate on gays and perhaps shame a few of those teenage sluts. After all if you cannot flog guilt then what sort of Catholic are you!

It is not bullying to curtail the freedom of speech of someone who is using that freedom to flog hate. If your beliefs as a religious person are unacceptable in polite society then you are not allowed to voice them. For the same reason that kids aren’t allowed to follow Catholic kids around and tell them that false worship of Mary will doom them to hell.

A near-constant element in the modern concern about bullying is the magnifying impact of the Internet and social networking gadgets which, we are told, makes it seem like the victims can never escape their tormentors. They could, though, if they’d just summon the will to unplug the darned things. Last summer my wife and I were dining at an outdoor patio and saw six young people sitting together at a table across the way, each one of them ignoring their flesh and blood friends so they could noodle away on their nefarious handheld thingies.

Yes. Allow people to be bullied off an universal forum. You hear that Ophelia!

If only you UNPLUGGED your devices, the fake profiles would stop! Take advice from this man! He knows bullying!

Seriously? Internet Harassment may not be as bad as physical harassment but it is bad. It is detrimental and it does hurt people’s feelings. It is bullying and it isn’t funny. To harass people off a common forum and a massive social tool that binds our kids together is to not get what it means to our kids.

Our kids, thankfully, made it through school just before the use of such devices became so pathetically ubiquitous. And significantly all three of them have at various times recognized that their dependence on that virtual world was becoming disproportionate and unhealthy and have made a point of going off-line for a season or two until they got their equilibrium back.

What is pathetic is the excusing of bullies, not the usage of technology. We may be nerds, but it is we who make your world work.

And my grandfather never went to school. In fact my grandmother was the one who taught him to write… English… My Burmese grandmother taught him to write and count. What was common place once isn’t any more. Now the majority of us can read and write.

And therefore we can now read! Yes! Read! Instead of talking to each other! (My great grandfather has apparently said this…)

And the internet is a tool much like a screwdriver. It can do a lot of things but it is up to the parent to MONITOR it. The effect of bullying can be reduced by actually sitting down and having a good rapport with your kids. But to say “hide from something everyone uses”?

I play Video Games a lot. Do I have to hide from people who call me Paki? Do women have to hide from all the insults (Slut, Bitch, Whore,) that gets bandied around on video games? Black people hide from their racists? No? We try and fight our bullies here, then why the fuck should we tolerate bullies in the virtual world outside this?

Young people have a way of figuring these things out. The same would apply to bullying.

Well Suicide is Painless. That’s an answer that a lot of people have “figured out” too.

Bullying is wrong, we may not be able to stop the mild stuff but we should at least stop the big stuff and teach our kids to get along so as to curtail the mild stuff. To excuse bullying in this fashion as a method for toughing up children and then implying that “Catholic Kids” are prone to being bullied for flogging their beliefs is rather tasteless. Words hurt a lot.

Christmas Message – Hate and the Meaning of Christmas

Dear Catholics and The Roman Catholic Church…

I understand many Catholics do not agree with the RCC on a lot of stances but a fair few do and it is to them who this message is aimed.

So what does Christmas mean to you?

The Children’s wing of the BBC ran a little quotes page for young kids and teenagers to tell us what they thought about Christmas. Click on it, and yes while a lot of kids mention the dreaded J word (ARGH! IT BURNS US! MY FINGERS BLEED FROM TYPING JUST THE J IN JESUS!) you quickly realise that it’s not the most important thing about the holiday season. Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are pretty important festivals for a lot of people, but for a lot of people the religious nature of these festivals isn’t as important as the cultural meaning or a specific tradition unique to a family.

The most important thing about Christmas isn’t presents or Christianity, it’s about family. It is a single day that in western society has had an almost mythical ability to spread peace and love.

What boggles me is that there are Catholics who support the Roman Catholic Church and it’s Christmas Message. I would have written about it on Christmas day but frankly there were more important things taking place where I lived.

There are three messages of note we should address here…

“”Bernheim has shown in a very detailed and profoundly moving study that the attack we are currently experiencing on the true structure of the family, made up of father, mother, and child, goes much deeper,”

For those who are unaware, Rabbi Bernheim is the leader of the anti-gay marriage movement in France.

Of all the messages the Pope chose to spread it was a message of hate. It was a message based on lies and a complete blindness to society. The only way I could have come up with a message more against the spirit of Christmas was if I took advice from the Grinch and the Daleks.

The Pope chose to bash gay marriage plans across the world. Because “traditional” (i.e Catholic) marriage is the only marriage that is acceptable in the eyes of their god. Oh don’t worry, he also said “The question of the family … is the question of what it means to be a man, and what it is necessary to do to be true men,”.

I don’t know what a “true man” is but I know what a decent human being is. And the pope simply isn’t one. You don’t need a Bible to realise that the man is a bigoted homophobe.

“the love of husband and wife, which is creative of new human life, is a marvellously personal sharing in the creative love of God who brings into being the eternal soul that comes to every human being with the gift of human life”.

“Sometimes sexual expression can be without the public bond of the faithfulness of marriage and its ordering to new life. Even governments mistakenly promote such patterns of sexual intimacy as objectively to be approved and even encouraged among the young.”

“From a democratic point-of-view, it’s a shambles. George Orwell would be proud of that manoeuvre, I think the process is shambolic”

This one’s from Archbishop Nichols who is the highest ranked Catholic in the UK (He has a Black Belt in Catholicism).

In it he is suggesting two things. That the government’s stance on actual sex education rather than “catholic” sex education (Which is a muttered warning about Father Fred) apparently promotes sex out of marriage. This is clearly a real fear in the Catholic Church. That the only purpose of having sex is babies and that any fun and pleasure gained out of sex is evil and sinful. That somehow a little ceremony in a church and a baby makes the fun of sex more acceptable.

At it’s core it is an anti-gay marriage argument. Because the UK is planning to vote on the legalisation of Gay Marriage and this is considered Orwellian. Oh don’t worry, Nichols wasn’t alone. The Bishop of Shrewsbury took the time to make the claim that the people who are trying to legalise Gay Marriage are like Nazis and Communists demonstrating not just a lack of political acumen, but of a historical one too while simultaneously godwinning the argument.

The Bishop of Shrewsbury gave us the reason why the Church fights this issue so harshly. Because we are undermining religion and prohibiting their hate. Which is why I must say that the Bishop will be safe. After all, name one gay person who wants to be married by a bigot.

that everyone who believes that the right to life is fundamental will make their voice heard in a reasonable, but forthright way to their representatives, reminding them that the right to life is conferred on human beings not by the powerful ones of this world but by the Creator”.

This one’s from Sean Brady who is the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

And yes, it’s a statement trying to get pro-lifers to defend Ireland’s abortion laws. The same abortion laws that killed Savita Halappanavar in October.

Catholics? Do you listen to these men? These hate mongers and fools? For fuck’s sake the Pope thinks that Gay Marriage is one of the biggest problems that we face in the world while 8 million children a year die from preventable issues. These are people who would rather spread hate on a day synonymous with peace rather than say something nice.

Stop listening to these bigots. If there is one piece of advice you take and live with it’s stop listening to your priests. They know even less than you do because at least you live in the real world and not the bubble of Catholic Priesthood.

Sex? Homosexuality? Masturbation? Y’all Need Jesus

I am going to let you in on a little secret.

Sex is Awesome.

Okay it’s less of a secret than I thought but you would be surprised how many religious people have hang ups over something as natural as sex. It is either shameful or sinful (because anything that fun must be bad) or they don’t want women to enjoy it.

Abrahamic faith is obsessed with sex. I will admit this, I have been celibate for a very very long time, but even I know that the catholic obsession with sex is frankly unhealthy. It is analysed and psychoanalysed and scripture is quoted, it’s got more rules than the Kama Sutra and infinitely more men men in robes. It is the fascination of those who aren’t allowed to have sex with those who are allowed to have sex. Asking catholic priests for sex advice is like asking a completely blind man about the colour coordination of your outfit. It’s silly to ask them in the first place. And it’s even more sillier to take any advice they may give.  [Read more…]

Kids these Days

With their gangs and their baggy pants and their hophip music and their atheism.

So what’s the pope so mad about today? Is it the millions of people doomed to die in Africa if they don’t use condoms? Is it the treatment of homosexuals in Uganda where they are planning to execute gay people? Is it the death of Savitha and how the church needs to modernise? Nope! It’s about a group he hates more than atheists.

The practical atheism of those who say they are Christian but live as if God does not exist is a greater threat than actual atheism, Pope Benedict XVI said as he presented three ways for people to more fully discover God. While actual atheists often think deeply about God before rejecting belief, practical atheism “is even more destructive … because it leads to indifference towards faith and the question of God,” the Pope stated.

This basically means “the Roman Catholics who refuse to play nice” and who don’t listen to the pope. The catholics who basically don’t follow the stupidity and who actively criticise the way the RC church is run. AKA “the critics”.

It’s not the indifference he dislikes. It’s the fact that they are eroding at his power. That people realise that he is not the First Amongst Catholics but an old man flogging superstition.

Christian witness is always hard, he said, because people are prone to “being dazzled by the glitter of worldliness,” but in the Western world sharing the faith is even harder today. As he described it, the Christian faith was the everyday reality for most people in what used to be called Christendom. The burden was on non-believers to justify their disbelief.

Really Pope? Is that the best you can do?

You are finding it harder to “witness” (AKA prosletyse and convert) because people are more educated and don’t think they need to follow a 2000 year old book to be perceived as good. Especially when that 2000 year old book actually insists on a moral code that is a step backwards from our current morality.

And the pope doesn’t seem to understand (amongst other things such as fashion, sex, morality and women) how proof works. You cannot disprove unicorns, doesn’t mean unicorns exist. The person making the grandiose claim must provide proof. During “christendom” people didn’t fucking know any better. They either accepted the existence of god or they fucking died. The church was also the sole proprietor of all knowledge to the point that western society lost the ability to build domes and arches. Stuff we could build before the bible such as the Colosseum could not be built after Christendom was established. The sum total of knowledge regressed because western society believed that men who believe in imaginary things should control knowledge. And such men do not see the value of bridges and domes. When we discuss architecture, remember “Gothic” was an insult (It is the art of barbarians. Of primitive building techniques. The death of knowledge left us with that system. To the average Dark Age architect the stuff the Romans built would have seemed like freaking magic. Imagine being from a society that couldn’t build wide open spaces suddenly being confronted with a massive dome such as the one on the Hagia Sofia or the US capitol building? That would blow your mind. You have effectively using science made rocks FLY and to the man with no grasp of this style of architecture built things by defying gravity. This is second nature to us but it would be like walking on one of those glass floors if you didn’t know about domes and arches.

If you don’t care for these things then you haven’t grasped the value of reality.

It took centuries to regain the knowledge and only because of Islamic scholars who preserved it and expanded upon it. The enlightenment created western society. We all know that. The pope still thinks that lack of evidence is support for something existing because there is no evidence to suggest against it.

But today the tables have turned, following a long slide into atheism, skepticism and a secular worldview that was ushered in by the Enlightenment.

Only an idiot would consider the Enlightenment as a bad thing. This is a man who yearns for the days of papal decree, excommunications and inquisitions and good olde tithes and burning protestants.

This, in turn, has paved the way for moral and spiritual disaster in the Western world. People have become confused about ethics once commonly held, making room for relativism and fostering “an ambiguous conception of freedom, which instead of being liberating ends up binding man to idols,” the Pope said.

Like slavery, racism and sexism. And currently? Bashing  and killing gays and letting women have access to basic medicine. Letting people have sex without interfering in it? Worries about a penis macintosh? Such a disaster…

It is better to have an ambiguous concept of freedom than to be a definite slave. I need to have that on a t-shirt.

In response to the ensuing moral and spiritual chaos, Pope Benedict called on all people to discover God by following three paths.

Crime is at an all time low. We have (barring a certain country with a fascination for stars and horizontal stripes and a disrespect for tea) as a planet had a period of the greatest stability, peace and progress. We have taken our first tentative steps to functioning as a species rather than as a nation or a caste. Yes we have a long way to go but Rome wasn’t built in a day. But it certainly can burn in one. It’s why defending secularism and keeping religion from politics and education and from influencing public life is vital.

The first path involves contemplating creation. “The world is not a shapeless magma, but the more we know, the more we discover the amazing mechanisms; the more we see a pattern, we see that there is a creative intelligence,” the Holy Father remarked.

Really? I thought the more you learnt about how the world worked the more you realise that religion doesn’t know anything and that the pope is actually a scientifically illiterate man in a robe and silly hat rather than the chosen representative of mankind to a god.

The second way of finding God is through inner contemplation. Benedict quoted St. Augustine’s famous saying, “Do not go outside yourself, come back into yourself: Truth dwells in the heart of man.” He also observed that the modern world is full of distractions that make it hard “to stop and take a deep look within ourselves and read that thirst for the infinite that we carry within, pushing us to go further and towards that Someone who can satisfy it.”

If the pope thinks the world is full of distractions, then perhaps he can sell the Vatican. This is proper “Opiates of the Masses stuff”. You are distracted by jealousy of the rich, go pray and you will be richer than the man who has real fruit, healthcare and the obscene amount of money. Richer in spirit!

The third path, faith, is a dimly lit path for many people who view it as a limited aspect of life, if not a form of “illusion, escapism … or sentimentality. Faith … is an encounter with God, who speaks and acts in history and which converts our daily life, transforming our mentality, system of values, choices and actions,” he said. Faith is “not illusion, escapism, a comfortable shelter, sentimentality, but involvement in every aspect of life and proclamation of the Gospel, the Good News which can liberate all of man.”

I prefer the word delusion. Medically, a delusion is defined as a belief that is demonstrably wrong but is still held despite being repeatedly proven wrong. Any proof is twisted and turned to support the delusion. So if I believe that my socks are being stolen by the Sock Goblin and you tell me that it’s the dryer, then either you will be part of the Sock Goblin Propaganda Machine or the Dryer will become the nebulous gateway to the Sock Goblin home world of Umbro. Hence atheist conspiracies and such ridiculous notions that the entire natural mechanism of the function of the planet is proof of a specific personal deity.

Yet many people consider Christianity as a mere system of beliefs and morals instead of God’s self-revelation in history so that he could have a loving relationship with his creatures. “Christianity, before being a moral or ethical value, is the experience of love, of welcoming the person of Jesus,” Pope Benedict stated, calling on all Christians to learn better the faith they profess and purify their lives in conformity with Christ.

Unlike those Hindus and Muslims whose faiths are a mere system of beliefs and morals rather than God’s self revelation in history. Also? My god is sexier than yours? Yours is a bearded old man who cannot fight iron chariots. One of my old ones was a sexy youth who brains old men with chariot wheels. Clearly “impromptu weapon” murder and “sexy” is a better skill set than “Carpenter” and “Impromptu Caterer”.

Krishna Intervenes

Goddamnit Krishna! Put a shirt on before you kill the old man. The ladies will swoon! SWOON!!!!  (Mahabaratha)

Mrs. Vieland rejoiced in the unity of Catholicism on display in the hall, with so many people from around the world professing their common faith: “I believe that if more people came to Rome to see the unity of the Church, they’d become closer to Our Lord.”

I think most of us have seen what belief in Catholicism can do. In order to believe that you would have the rape and child abuse that was endemic to the catholic church. The church was so united that no one spoke out against paedophiles. Instead the offenders were moved around or in some cases took part of massive and horrendously systemic abuses such as the Christian Brothers who are estimated to have sexually and physically abused thousands of Irish Children. Papal Unity only grudgingly accepted that condoms helped save lives. After 20 years of fighting against it by actively spreading lies. Papal Unity still causes events like Savitha.

Papal unity can go fuck itself as far as I am concerned (Link is NSFW or Children. Contains Abortion and Recreations of Illicit Abortion). You cannot be a moral human being and be united behind the Roman Catholic Church. You can be a roman catholic and be moral but in order to do so you would have to be one of those “Catholics Who Are Practical Atheists”. You cannot side with an organisation responsible for millions of deaths across Africa, the restriction of women’s rights and access to basic contraception and which actually thinks the biggest issue of the day is “Lapsed Catholics” rather than “The fact that bullshit flogged by Catholicism has killed someone. We need to redress our beliefs”.

A New Cardinal Sin – Congratulations on Being A Bigot

It’s official! British GLBT charity Stonewall has declared the highest ranking member of the Catholic Church in the UK as this year’s bigot. Needless to say the Catholic Church is not pleased. Why would they be? It’s negative propaganda and the Catholic Church are hurting in Europe. Already widely pilloried for the systemic abuse the Catholic Church is not in the best shape in the UK.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien is a bigot. His statements on gay marriage being legalised in Scotland prompted me to write the Church a letter, but to be recognised as a bigot publically helps. Yes, Christians who complained about this are MAD. Not because it’s a lie but because it’s the truth. Because it makes them look bad. The bigot category of the awards given out included people who actively denied the rights to gay people. These aren’t people who “disagree”, these are people who would be happy to stop gay people being treated as human beings.

What I am disappointed in is Barclays and Coutts who sponsor Stonewall. They have spoken out against the “bigot” award and their stance has been championed by groups such as Christian Concern. I bank with Barclays… I am deeply disappointed. I understand why a multinational bank doesn’t want to sponsor an award that pisses off the world’s biggest christian sect and thus lose money through strongarm tactics but I get the feeling that a lot of Barclays employees and customers would agree with Stonewall.

Do not confuse politeness for submissiveness. There are bigots and fools across the planet and if we don’t specifically define them for what they are then we validate their arguments. Cardinal Keith is not “my respected opponent”, he is a bigot. A homophobe. He is a wanker and should be treated as such because he shouldn’t be given the respect he recieves based on his imaginary friend and his imaginary taste in fashion.

Everytime I hear about “Gay marriage” all that goes through my head is “WHY! WHY! WHY SHOULD I EVEN CARE?”. Because this is not even something we should debate. Legalising gay marriage won’t change anything for me. It won’t change anything for the 92 to 94% of us who are straight. It changes things for just 6 to 8% of us. Most of us will go through our lives never being invited for a gay marriage. We won’t have to do anything except go “Hm? Oh? Your other half is Steve? Goodness! How daft of me!”. Legalising gay marriage doesn’t mean that you are going to get a post about me going “That’s it! Legalised Gay Marriage made me Gay. I am now marrying Ricki Martin in a shock twist that even the Papparazi didn’t see coming! FIERCE and other stereotypically gay things I learnt from watching a lot of Will and Grace.

But then again… It does explain why I really like Glee.

So I (and I am sure all of FTB) would like to congratulate Cardinal Keith O’Brien for winning The Bigot of the Year Award (Category Homophobe). I would take the time to write him and the church another letter but I figured I should fight homophobia through something very nerdy, very gay and very very welsh…

Oh yes… It’s Torchwood Time. Damn you Barrowman. You magnificent bastard…

Death of a God

I ran across Sacerdotus‘s article after someone asked me about “the atheism/god gene” that he refers to and I figure I could field the entire article to provide some context rather than quote mine just that section of the apparent interesect of genetics and theology.
God is Dead” these are the well known words of German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”

This is the full quotation from The Gay Science by Nietzsche. The idea is that science has killed god. That it has provided answers that religion claimed to have. That science undermined the established idea that all society was ordered by an all powerful all knowing sky wizard of your choice (Allah, Jehovah, Vishnu.). That we have to stand up and take responsibility and STOP following religious ideology and create a code of conduct based solely on humanity. To replace the rules and structure of religion with a construct t
hat is man made to provide purpose.

Some today believe this to be true.  With the advances in technology and science, man does seem to have become god and therefore has no use for this entity.  Moreover, Atheism seems to be gaining ground in regions of the world that at one point promoted Christianity.  God seems to be a thing of the past – an archaic explanation for the processes of nature and its existence.     

We have not become a god, we have become sufficiently powerful in our technology to realise that any unexplainable phenomenon we find probably has an explanation and that attributing such a phenomenon to pseudoscience or magic is a stupid idea. It is better to stand up and say “I don’t know” because that is intellectually honest than say that “x occurs due to magic generated through a deity”. When you realise that, God starts looking more and more like a literal deus ex machina. A being lowered to explain away difficult questions without providing a real answer. A being that tries to make difficult questions easy by giving a throw away answer. God is the Wizard of Oz, a mythical entity and a fake created by men who hide behind curtains and use the entrenched expectations of mankind to create the notion that they are closer to a divine being that probably does not exist.

It’s an imaginary friend for adults. A dangerous one whose “advice” often allows good men to do evil with a smile on their face knowing that the evil they perpetrate is excused and sanctioned by an authority beyond the ken of puny mortals.

Rosa Rubicondor on her blog “No Requiem For Dead Gods” cites the late Agnostic, Christopher Hitchens’ book,The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever.  In his book, Hitchens presents his usual hyperbolic rhetoric.   He resorts to Appeal to Authority, False cause and Appeal to Ignorance.  This is nothing knew.  Those who claim to be Atheists (who are really Agnostics) always resort to fallacious argumentation to support their ideas. 

Not really, there is no appeal to authority in that book. Mostly it’s an appeal of reality from various authors writing about their experience with faith. Sacerdotus labours under the fallacy that his particular god is more real and legitimate than other gods. The one true god. He is an atheist in every case except for one.

Atheism is based of a simple notion. There is no empirical evidence, no circumstantial and no implied evidence for a god. In the absence of fantastic evidence for a fantastic claim one has to assume that the claim is invalid. If I claimed to have the cure for AIDS but refuse to demonstrate it, making the claim that I have the cure for AIDS is dishonest. If you claim to know that a god exists but refuse to provide evidence then you don’t know a god.

In reality, Atheism is a premise that can never be proven.  It must be taken on Faith, so to speak.  There exists no Atheist who can show that there is no God.  One must take his/her arguments an
d make a conclusion based on them.  In the end, they are just arguments, not empirical evidence that are falsifiable.

I don’t think Sacerdotus understands what evidence of a negative is. You can NEVER prove a negative conclusively. There is no evidence for unicorns existing, it doesn’t mean that unicorns NEVER existed, they theoretically could have existed. Science and by extension atheists who value science cannot conclusively state that there is no “god” because that’s not how it works. A lack of proof doesn’t mean a lack of existence.

HOWEVER, there is no empirical proof that god exists. Of any faith. There is no faith in atheism, it’s simply “There is no evidence for any gods, so I am going to live my life as if there were no gods”. I can categorically disprove the judeochristian god assuming the bible is 100% accurate since it means that we are a species that suffered two MASSIVE genetic bottleneck events in the last 7000 years and one extinction level event. The genetics disprove this and human like creatures have existed on the planet for close to 3 million years. Not 7000. Christian history is categorically wrong as is their creation mythos and if that is indeed the word of god, then reality doesn’t function ANYTHING like the way the bible says it does. If the theology is that faulty then it’s probably not divinely inspired because when I inspire people to do things, they tend to take down notes a lot more accurately.

There arguments that Christians use to support Jehovah also supports the existence of Shiva. Yet Christians don’t believe in the Destroyer of Worlds. 

Rubicondior writes: 

“Just as with those old, quaint gods of recent history, today’s gods will one day join that long, un-illustrious pantheon of old dead, once immortal and indestructible, now powerless gods that no one mourns, to whom no one sings songs of praise, in whom no one now has any faith, whose grave no one can find and on which no one would bother to put any flowers.”

  • Are these words true?  
  • Will the “gods” of today “join that long, un-illustrious pantheon of old dead?”   

Yes and yes. There are gods that have stood longer than christianity that have died out. It’s high arrogance to think that your god is anything special. And eventually all things must end. The belief in all gods will die eventually. 

Well first Rubicondior must expand on what “today’s gods” actually means. In today’s world, monotheism pretty much is the dominant religious force. That being said, there are no ‘gods,’ just a God. The world’s largest religions, Christianity and Islam both believe in One God. It is safe to say that this One God is the same since Islam borrowed heavily from both Judaism and Christianity. Similarly, Christianity is the child of Judaism.

It amazes me how Islam believes in the same god yet is a completely different religion. Okay, let’s assume that Islam follows the same god as Christians and is effectively the same faith… 

  • The question remains, will this God or the
    gods of other polytheistic religions die off?

Eventually? Yes. Even this dominant force will die out. It’s dying out as we speak. There are 250 MILLION atheists across the world. You think that’s bad? There are a further 900 MILLION non religious people across the world. 1.1 Billion people (AKA 1 in 6) don’t believe in a god or if they do don’t really follow a religion. It’s the two largest growing demographies. Faith is dying. Reason is striking a death blow against superstition while the hypocrisy of faith is exposed time and time again.

While I do not presume to speak for Islam, Judaism or the latter, I will speak on behalf of Christianity – particularly Catholicism. The answer to this question is NO.  

And why not? Here comes the misappropriation of science.

God or gods will never “die off.”  Hitchens and Rubicondior are obviously aloof to the science regarding the VMAT2 gene.  Hitchens was alive when the discovery of this gene was made public, yet to my knowledge he never addressed it.  Moreover, Rubicondior on her blog claims to be a “biologist,” so she should be aware of this study, yet she seems ignorant of it.  A search on her blog will produce no results as shown here on Sept. 22, 2012 at 4:50 PM Eastern Time.

There is a reason why religion stays away from science. Because science crushes superstition.

Study? VMAT2 stands for Vesicular Monoamine Transporter 2. It codes for a protein that is integral to membranes particularly in the brain where neuroreceptor monoamines such as serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine and histamine from cellular cytosol to synaptic vesicles prior to release.

The idea that VMAT2 is related to “faith” is a contentious one mainly because there is absolutely no research into that. The idea of that is from a book by Dean Hamer which is pop-science and not a peer reviewed book. It is however an essential gene to survive. We can breed mice which are VMAT2 knock-outs and they tend to die a few days after birth. The lack of neurotransmitter is deadly. It’s a necessary gene for high order thought which INCLUDES being religious but also includes solving crossword puzzles, socialising and aiming a head shot from across a Team Fortress 2 map. Even Hamer (the goddamn author) disagrees with the notion that VMAT2 is a “god gene” pointing out it’s one of the factors of all faith including faith in sports teams and your girlfriend.

And EVEN if a god gene existed, it would not support the presence of ANY god. In fact it would indicate that faith is purely a delusion brought on by genetics. It’s not because we know what VMAT2 does and that lacking it will cause us to die because it is vital to normal brain function.

Menchen who died in 1956 was obviously unaware of this science and therefore I cannot label him as ignorant.  Had he lived today, his writing would have had to be updated to reflect the knowledge we possess regarding the VMAT2.

What Knowledge. We know what it does, it’s not a “god gene” any more than the gene for haemoglobin makes you believe in Dracula. 

The VMAT2 gene predisposes all human beings to belief in God and the supernatural. Contrary to the idea “we are born atheists,” this gene empirically shows that we are all indirect theists at conception, if you will.


The VMAT2 gene packs neurotransmitters into vesicles in the presynaptic cleft. And belief in something doesn’t matter. If everyone believes in something non-existent then everyone is superstitious, not the non-existent thing.

In light of this, God or gods can never be dead.  “God” is hardwired into our genome.  To “kill God” is to kill us, or what makes us genetically human.

In light of this amazing discovery we have found out that there is a protein gate that packs neurotransmitters into vesicles. And belief due to this is purely pathological. It’s not indicative of reality.

No. It’s you scrambling around desperately trying to match something to your faith no matter how silly it to provide an ounce of validity.

Moreover, the comparison of the gods of ancient peoples cannot be applied to the One God. These gods were attempts by man to put into language and practice what the VMAT2 instructions give to the human being.

Clearly Sacerdotus hasn’t read any genetics or he would know what VMAT is and wouldn’t say things that are clearly wrong. This argument is one of fantastic racism. Clearly those gods were products of the VMAT2 gene (despite the VMAT 2 not doing that), while ours is real! What makes him think his god is not a figment of his imagination produced by the VMAT2 .

The Catholic Church does not devalue these attempts to define God. 

On the contrary, it’s system of missionary work and history of conversions often at the point of death while systematically destroying local culture has proven otherwise. In addition Sacerdotus implied that his god is real while everyone else’s is a product of biological chicanery and an organic mental disorder brought about by a fault in genetics.

Allow me to quote from the Catechism which explains why other religions and their “gods” are “valid” to a certain extent:
843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.”332″

Here’s my points

1. If he is unknown yet near then you how do you know he is unknown and near.
2. Again, if he is unknown then how do you know what he wants?
3. This is basically an admission that you don’t have ANY evidence for a god yet you INSIST that he does X, Y and Z
4. And it is pretty damn insulting to other faiths because it lives under the assumption that God’s name is Jehovah not Brahman.

The One God revealed Himself to man, first to the Hebrews and now to the rest of the world through Jesus Christ.  The difference between this God and the other gods is that this God is actually alive.  This God actually works in the world.  Those who believe do so not because of fancy theological arguments or dogmas but because they experience one way or another this God.

Really? Through Jesus? Surely an all powerful magical being would reveal himself across the globe saving countless individuals through empirical proof rather than the hearsay and gossip of a bunch of shepherds.

Oh you mean the difference between Jesus and Mazda and the Greek Gods and the Hindu Gods are that Jesus is alive and works in the real world unlike the bringer of fire, the various greek heroes such as Hercules and Hindu gods such as the Avatars of Vishnu. So the Hindu euphoria of faith is false while Catholicism is true? Prove it.

And you can feel the same kind of feeling standing on a terrace of a football match. It doesn’t mean that Manchester City is the holy land, it just means that you feel group euphoria.

 Whether Atheists like it or not, we are all wired to believe in God and to seek the supernatural.  Perhaps this is why Atheists are so fixated on Theism.   Anyone who does not care to entertain religious beliefs will not dedicate so much time and thought on them.

Actually most of us have real jobs that we do. Atheism is just something we are that we call upon to reduce religious intereference in normal life. 

  • Rubicondior labels herself a ‘humanist,’ yet why is her blog solely focused on God and religion? 

Don’t know. Don’t care. Maybe because it’s her blog?

  • Where are the blogs promoting clothing and food drives?  

Do not send food or clothing to India. I swear to Mancini! Send money. Money lets us buy food and clothing. And clothing? Give new clothes. You want to help, show poor people some respect. Don’t send them your cast offs. It’s insulting.

  • Where are the blogs promoting blood drives and bone marrow donations?

Atheists? Quite a few of us donate blood (I am a regular donor) and marrow. 

  • Where are the blogs promoting efforts that help humanity with its basic needs?

Mine does. Atheist blog encouraging charity.

Vmat2 is obviously instructing Rubicondior to ask questions – to seek God and the supernatural – otherwise she wo
uld not take so much time blogging on the topic.

VMAT2 also wants me to smack my head against the desk because of all the genetics being mutilated.

God is not dead.  God is alive and working in everyone, even Rubicondior.  God died already and came back, this is why Christianity is the largest and most  influential  religion ever to exist.  We killed God 2,000 years ago and He came back.  Even today, Philosophies have tried to kill God, but He comes back.  Atheists try to kill God, but He comes back.

Christianity is the largest and most influential religion on the planet because it’s filled with arseholes who destroyed culture and forced religion on others at the point of a sword or the end of a gun. It did so by destroying culture and society and pillaging nations to fund it’s growth. To attribute it’s spread to divinity is to understand that your god is a monster of rape, racism and pillage which is the foundation of the spread of christianity in the third world at the hands of armies and the parasites of priesthood.

God cannot be killed  in the same way that Harry Potter or Han Solo cannot be killed. Plot Armour and Fictitious beings do not die. 

God will not die.  What will die are speculative Philosophies based on hyperbolic rhetoric.  Atheism, which already has the lowest retention rate will be mourned by God and those of Faith. 

Yes, you are right. There will always be people who would rather believe in superstition than in reality. There are countless people on the planet who would rather believe that they are part of a special little club which has all the answers to everything rather than the reality.

We don’t know a lot of things. It’s no shame to admit your ignorance. Science doesn’t know everything. If it did, then it would stop. No. The people who claim to have ultimate knowledge are religions and religion has proven time and time again that it doesn’t have anything but the 2000 year old superstitions of people who would consider us gods. A god dies when no one is left to believe in him and he is forgotten and becomes a relic of history. In time that will occur to Jehovah. Who knows, in the future we may all think Tom Cruise is the one true messiah to save us from Xenu in the same way that 2 billion odd people believe in Jesus but it doesn’t change the fact that Tom Cruise is not a god and neither is Jesus. At best he was a real man at worst he was a fictional character.

And the highest retention rate of faith is in Hindus, maybe hinduism is more true than Catholicism. That’s the Sacerdotus logic for you…

We Are The Worst Thing On Earth

Sometimes you have people who simply don’t get it. In this case it is Chaz Muth of the Catholic News Service who launches an attack on the Reason Rally and the values of secularism in the USA. And what he doesn’t get mirrors the official party line of the pope.
It’s a movement that concerns Catholic leaders worldwide, including Pope Benedict XVI.

Actually it is a movement that doesn’t concern catholic leaders. It’s not their problem and it’s not a problem. The Pope doesn’t actually have any power over people who don’t believe in his divine ability. He is just an old dude who doesn’t have sex who is in charge of a bunch of men dressed in black who go around people’s houses telling them what to do.

“Radical secularism” threatens the core values of American culture, the pope warned a group of U.S. bishops visiting the Vatican in January. He called on the church in the U.S., as well as politicians and other laypeople, to render “public moral witness” on crucial social issues.

One of the core american values is a separation of Church and State. It’s in the constitution. By law the church has and should NEVER have any say on what crucial social issues is. Because this is an organisation that thinks gynaecology is a bigger evil than child molestation. They have ceased to be a moral example. The pope’s picture is better suited to an article on hypocrisy rather than morality.

“The larger concern with secularism is that it damages people, and that it actually keeps people from being reasonable with one another,” said Chad C. Pecknold, assistant professor of systematic theology in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington.

I think Chad C. Pecknold needs to look up the spelling of Sectarianism.

“It creates a great level of intolerance for people of faith. I think secularism for Pope Benedict is a feature of this growing bifurcation between faith and reason,” he told Catholic News Service.

Yes. Yes it does. Catholics clearly had no qualms about not tolerating beliefs in the various parts of the world when they sent missionaries to convert people. It’s also good to see that people realise that Faith has nothing to do with Reason. Yes, secularism causes a bifurcation between faith and reason because non secular societies do not allow reason. In a faith based world it is acceptable to fuck children and get away with it if you are sufficiently sorry. In a faith based world it is acceptable to fly planes into buildings, burn women, rape, pillage and loot. It is a world without reason because reasonable people are not allowed to speak out against a world where belief in magic is more important than reality.

Why should we be tolerant of a group of people who explicitly believe in a myth? Why should we be tolerant of a group of people who explicitly do things that are clearly stupid? Why should we be tolerant of a group of people who believe in things that are clearly harmful? Why should our beliefs as atheists be disrespected but Catholic belief accepted as sacred? Oh right! Because of that whole hypocrite thing the Pope has going for him.

Pecknold, who also is the author of the 2010 book “Christianity and Politics: A Brief Guide to the History,” said secularism is a greater threat to humanity than to the Catholic Church because it could lead to great social unrest and fragmentation.

The forces of secularism in Africa are trying to educate people and stem the spread of a deadly disease. The forces of Catholics run around encouraging the kind of behaviour that spreads the deadly disease. There are 24 million HIV positive people in the world.

20 Million are in Africa. The Catholic Church is part of the problem. These 20 million people will die of their disease (At the moment. We may come up with a cure but I am sure the catholics will claim that we are fighting god’s will or something equally idiotic in the hope that they can spread more desperate misery). Something tells me that catholics also think that secularism fragments the world because it prevents catholics from behaving like the good old days when it was completely acceptable to torture someone till they turned Catholic. After all, if everyone was catholic they wouldn’t be fragmented anymore.

Vilification of Muslims in the United States following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania can be viewed as an example of secularists’ intolerance.

The majority of attacks on Muslims in the US following 9/11 were carried out by CHRISTIANS. Ann Coulter? Christian? Fox? Christian? Republican Party? Christian.

Oh and my intolerance of muslims boils down to it being a world view that cannot take criticism without wanting to kill someone. It’s a faith that oppresses women. It’s a faith that encourages ignorance. It’s a faith that encourages terrorism. These are not intolerant statements. These are facts. I accept that there are muslims who do not fit into this mould, but I understand that there are a lot who are part of the problem either by participation, being complicit or by clouding the water by not admitting that the faith has a problem and that it requires mordernisation.

In short? I understand what VALID criticism is. There is a difference between saying “I think the culture of Burkha and the mistreatment of women is bullshit” and “Muslims are sneaking Sharia Law into our schools! Heave a brick at them!”. Valid Criticism is obviously something the church cannot grasp because it is a theocratic institution. No criticism in those is ever valid.

Richard Dawkins, vice president of the British Humanist Association and author of the 2006 book “The God Delusion,” was quoted as saying religion is dangerous “because it gives people unshakeable confidence in their own righteousness. Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill themselves, which automatically removes normal barriers to killing others.”

It does. I know plenty of Christians who don’t care about what happens to their children. I know plenty who pray rather than seek medical help.

And one has to realise that Dawkins is pointing out that there are people “of faith” like the murderer of Dr. Tiller whose “crusader mentality” allowed him to commit an act of considerable evil. Or the same mentality encouraged in jihadi terrorists.

“These are all examples of an attempt to cause civil unrest, which I don’t think are sustainable,” he said. “It could actually lead to greater and greater social unrest, and could potentially give so much power to culture wars that we become an increasingly fragmented society.”

No. They are examples of a society where freedom of speech is protected. Remember this man is part of an organisation which fights against the right of two people who love each other to be married. This is a billion dollar multi-national organisation that demands the right to bully children until they kill themselves. The only reason he fears a culture war is because he is losing because superstition cannot match reason. Because we live in a world where reason is rising and superstition is not.

Naturally the society he wants should be run on catholic values. If we stated that we are solving this problem of “fragmentation” by adopt
ing Sharia Law he would throw a hissy fit and demand the secularisation of the nation too. When catholics discuss the evils of secularisation they clearly mean the evils that affect them and prevent them from creating a catholic society. They have no qualms about other faiths being oppressed.

The poll numbers revealing growing atheist numbers and events like the “Reason Rally” have theology scholars focusing on what they believe is driving the secularism movement.

I think theology scholar is an oxymoron. I know people who are Shakespeare scholars but I don’t see them claiming the veracity of Bottom the Donkey.

“The cultural conditions have become more conducive to atheism. We can see that in economic ways in that we are encouraged to think of ourselves as economic individuals,” Pecknold said.

Oh heaven forbid human beings are economically independant and are allowed to make their own choices! If humans didn’t depend on the church then we cannot make them think that the effort of humans is really the achievement of a mythological being.   

“We see that in the Tea Party, a libertarian approach to economic good in which economics is something that is merely representing my own self-interests,” he said. “That kind of radical individualism in economic terms or philosophical terms is itself kind of a practical atheism, in which you detach yourself from any sort of transcendent notion of the good, any sort of sense of a common good that you would participate in.

The tea party are idiots who would probably send their own children to work in the mines on a Sunday if they found out that child labour laws and weekend holidays were ideas brought about by communists. The Tea Party is a movement mainly driven by Christian libertarians who want zero government interference because they have no goddamn idea how the world works and assume that removing all rules makes society function smoothly rather than have one that implodes into Somalia. It’s a group driven by greed. Atheism is NOTHING like that.

The idea in atheism is that there is no god because there is no evidence of one. Just as Chaz Muth and Pecknold don’t believe in Krishna, the atheists doesn’t believe in Jehovah and Jesus. The inability to grasp this simple notion is astounding.

“A kind of view in which I can participate in something bigger than myself is kind of eroded from our economic practice as human beings.”

No. Atheists well and truly understand working something bigger than them. By definition a rally is an assembly of people who are working for something bigger than themselves. It’s typical catholic party line drivel. Atheism is evil because it actively stops catholic theological nonsense from being applied to everyone. The idea of secularism is completely lost on a group of people who don’t grasp that secularism means the ability to practice whatever religion (unless it actively harms people) free of interference. It means that muslims cannot declare that all catholics have to pay extra taxes. Or protestants declare that catholics should all convert or catholics declare that protestants all convert. It’s also a place where religious belief doesn’t get enshrined in law.

And that is what Catholic Party Liners hate so much about secularism. Because it prevents them from forcing other people to follow their rules.

As for me? I spent my day single handedly being as horrible as possible!

I spent my day being as evil as possible and providing healthcare in a rural environment. Instead of letting these people pray, I in my incredibly secular way encouraged them to come and seek medical aid instead of prayer.

So very evil! Bwahaha! First healthcare! Then their souls!