Behold the whore

I couldn’t watch more than a couple of minutes of the video of Na’ama Margolese without getting too angry to keep watching. It’s so disgusting that grown men consider it their “religious duty” or some such fucking nonsense to bully and threaten a little girl, call her a slut, and spit on her.

…she was featured in a news  broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 about the ongoing Haredi harassment of the girls who attend the Orot Banot School, and about the problem of extreme Haredi control in Beit Shemesh in general.

Naama spoke on camera of her fears while walking the short distance from her home to her school, after numerous occasions when she was cursed at and even once spit on by the Haredi demonstrators. Israeli viewers watched as her mother,  Hadassah, holding her hand, tried to convince her to make the short walk as she cried, whined and protested; it’s a ritual they go through every school day. [Read more...]

Pope says: be stupid

The pope said more in his homily than “look behind the pretty sparkly glitter.” He said the door to a church in Bethlehem is only a meter and a half high, which means people can’t enter the church while riding a horse. He thinks that’s way deep.

Anyone wishing to enter the place of Jesus’ birth has to bend down. It seems to me that a deeper truth is revealed here, which should touch our hearts on this holy night: if we want to find the God who appeared as a child, then we must dismount from the high horse of our “enlightened” reason.

And there’s the voice of the cleric for you, telling you that reason is a nasty kind of snobbish upper class superiority which has to be abandoned along with our infatuated notions of reason being enlightened, so that we can “find” the god-baby. There’s the voice of the cleric telling you to ditch the best thing about you so that you can be stupid and ignorant so that he can go on wearing expensive robes.

We must set aside our false certainties, our intellectual pride, which prevents us from recognizing God’s closeness. We must follow the interior path of Saint Francis the path leading to that ultimate outward and inward simplicity which enables the heart to see. We must bend down, spiritually we must as it were go on foot, in order to pass through the portal of faith and encounter the God who is so different from our prejudices and opinions the God who conceals himself in the humility of a newborn baby.

No we must not, you evil bastard. We must set aside our blind mindless unthinking “faith” so that we can make use of our reason and realize that there is no “God” and so no “God’s closeness.” We must pay attention to the world around us and realize that if protection rackets like yours are telling us to be stupid and ignorant, it means you’re trying to fool us. You bend down if you want to, but I’m going to go on doing my best to see things as they are, and encouraging other people to do likewise. Keep your saint and your baby and your portal of faith. I want to go with the grownups.

People can be so ineffable

I’d pretty much forgotten about Hugo Schwyzer, but I still (just) recognized the name, so I was motivated to read Comrade Physioprof’s post on him the other day, and startled by what it told me.

Now I find out for the first time (also see the comments) (although this is not newly public information, just new to me) that over a decade ago the motherfucker sexually preyed on his students and attempted to murder his ex-girlfriend, as described graphically on his blogge: [Read more...]

Holy misogyny

More festive jollity, this time in Jerusalem Israel.

Residents of an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Beit Shemesh called Israel police officers “Nazis” on Sunday, after they removed a sign ordering the separation of men and women in a street in that neighborhood.

In response to the removal of the sign by police officers and city inspectors from Beit Shemesh, a crowd of local ultra-Orthodox residents gathered around them, shouting and cursing at them. One man hurled rocks at the police officers, but managed to flee the scene. No one was hurt and no arrests were made.

Several hours after the police removed the sign, residents of the neighborhood reinstated it.

Earlier on Sunday, a Channel 2 news team was attacked and beaten by 200 ultra-Orthodox men at the same location on the street where the sign that was removed had been hanging.

Nice guys.

Update: forgot to thank Stewart for the link.

Humility

The pope really makes it too easy. Candy from a baby is arduous in comparison.

In his homily [at Christmas eve mass the pope] said: “Let us ask the Lord to help us see through the superficial glitter of this season and to discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem.”

Oh yes? See through the superficial glitter is it?

 

Well merry xmas to you too

Says Boko Haram, setting off bombs in churches and elsewhere that kill 32 people and injure many more. God is love, Allah is merciful, compassion is at the heart of every great religion, boom boom boom. Screams, agony, blood, death, sorrow, loss. What a nice present.

Businessman Munir Nasidi was in a hotel opposite the church when the blast occurred.

He told the BBC: “When I came out of the hotel, people were running around. Everyone was crying. They were bringing out casualties. Nobody was getting near the building as there was a fire.”

Bomb blast victim is in Suleja, Nigeria, 25 Dec

Peace, love, good will.

In a spirit of rational inquiry

A question is posed:

Reasonable people can disagree in good faith about the wisdom of writing a book, employing a particular rhetorical style, or articulating a particular speech act. They can do a proper moral calculus, and come to a different conclusion. They can be attentive to the same evidence, worry about the same moral issues, and come to a different determination.

If one accepts this point, how should one react if somebody else suggests that perhaps one ought not to write a book, or that one ought to tone down some rhetoric, or go easy with some criticism? [Read more...]

Jesus or death

The Telegraph blurbs Dr Tim Stanley:

Dr Tim Stanley is a historian of the United States. He is working on a biography of Pat Buchanan.

Well, if you say so, but reading his post, I find it hard to believe he’s a Real Historian™.

Anti-social displays of bad taste are becoming common in the United States of America. The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue reports the following outrages: “In a South Carolina cancer center, a 67-year-old volunteer Santa was evicted because of the “different cultures and beliefs of the patients we care for” … In an elementary school in Stockton, California, poinsettias were banned but somehow snowmen were permitted; they justified their censorship by saying there was a Sikh temple in the city … A skeleton St. Nick was found hanging from a cross on the grounds of the Loudoun County Courthouse in Leesburg, Virginia.” [Read more...]

You did ask

I was asked what I think of the quotes from the NO God Blog and Al Stefanelli quoted in Chris Stedman’s most recent Letter to the Atheists. Ok; what I think.

The first one is from a post titled “A Point was missed” on what appears to be a blog on the website of American Atheists. It’s not signed. It’s short. It’s dated April 29, 2010. It seems about as random, as an “example” of anything, as one could get. The bit quoted is very badly and stupidly worded; no disagreement there; but so what? I don’t even know who wrote it. I certainly don’t take it as representative of anything. It’s nearly two years old. What on earth is the point of dredging up an old obscure anonymous blog post as part of what is called a “sampling of comments from prominent atheists about Islam and Muslims”? Yes of course you can find people of any point of view or faction or party or any other category, saying stupid things, but what of it? [Read more...]