Kill All Intelligent People

“when bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle”

-Edmund Burke

A Warmageddonist neo – Nazi commenting as Bluecloud in an online discussion, (according to Tony at Bishop Hill blog, Bluecloud is none other than Guardian contributor Gary Evans, a Greenpeace funded “Sustainability Consultant”, according to his Linked In profile) has called for the beheading of so-called “climate change deniers”, arguing the world would be a better place without them. The comments are merely the latest in a long history of warmists advocating the killing or imprisonment of people who question the authoritarian left’s quasi religious global warming dogma.

On January 21st, in it’s ‘Climate Consensus – the 97%’ section, the Guardian published an article entitled “Matt Ridley wants to gamble the Earth’s future because he won’t learn from the past”, which was illustrated with a fake, but nonetheless rather gruesome image of a severed head.

A not very guresome severed head from alarming products.com – guaranteed to break the ice at parties

The article drew hundreds of comments, including one from ‘Bluecloud’ on the day the article was posted, reading “Should that not be Ridley’s severed head in the photo?”

Further down he added “We would actually solve a great deal of the world’s problems by chopping off everyone’s heads.

Bluecloud’s comment war came a week after a Professor Emeritus of Physics at Princeton University called climate change activism a “jihad against atmospheric carbon” in a new paper for the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Yet again we see the Warmageddonists, unable to win the argument or even put together any coherent rhetorical or scientific case for their cause, resorting to the language of Holy War.

As I’ve often said, ‘science’ has become a religion for many, and as a religion it inspires greater and more bloodthirsty fanaticism than even the most extreme Christian or Muslim cults.

“Nobody expects the science inquisition.”

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A new report ffrom the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims Fossil fuel companies are benefiting from a global subsidy of £3.4 trillion a year. The figure dwarfs that of government handouts aimed at encouraging investors to put money into unprofitable renewable energy sources such as wind turbines. Total subsidies for renewables are stated to amount to £77 billion a year.

Science Guy To Debate With Creationist

from The Raw Story

The former children’s television host and outspoken critic of creationist teaching will discuss whether the Bible-based version of Earth’s origins is a viable model Feb. 4 at the museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.

The debate starts at 7 p.m., and tickets will cost $25.

Ham, the president and CEO of Answers in Genesis, said he was excited to face off against Nye.

“It’s quite rare these days for such a well-known evolutionist to publicly debate a creationist – so we do expect a lot of media interest,” Ham said on his Facebook page.

But not everyone is thrilled by the idea.

Matt Young, blogging at The Panda’s Thumb, urged Nye to reconsider his participation, saying that it legitimized creationism.

“There is nothing to debate, and a ‘debate’ with Mr. Nye will only give Mr. Ham credibility that he does not deserve and increase not only his visibility but also his ability to attract investors,” Young wrote.

The blogger noted the example of Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt, who has said she refuses to participate in events with Holocaust deniers.

“I sometimes bowdlerize that to ‘I do not debate liars,’ and it is a policy I recommend to anyone who is tempted to ‘debate’ a creationist,” Young wrote. “Whether you win or lose, you will convince no one and will only add to the prominence of your opponent, who can now say, ‘See, I debated a prominent scientist; I must be taken seriously now.’”

I have read through the comments on this thread and can’t see why this raises such debate. Looking at it from a social perspective it would appear that the story in Genesis of how it all came into existence is no different from that which science describes (God according to religious texts being unknowable could be described as a singularity). True the bible refers to days but that was a bit creative but served to keep bronze age, tent dwelling goat molesters happy about the whole thing. They would have found hundreds of millions of years for each stage too difficult to comprehend.

What I find difficult to understand is how people can be so closed to the propositions put forward from each side. Absolute proof would deny faith and as we know religion relies on faith. My only argument is how a god or super-architect would design something (us) that destroyed his supposed greatest creation (us). There are creatures and diseases that rob innocent children of life, and of the ability to enjoy and wonder at what surrounds them. So why would that happen, spite? Vindictiveness? Ineptitude?

I once asked my RI teacher at school to explain why God would allow the death and suffering of innocent children in the floods of the 60’s that wiped out so many in East Pakistan, I did not get an answer that made any sense. Since then I have asked the same or similar questions of those who profess to lead on religious matters, they could not provide an answer that could explain why such things should happen. Now if they can’t explain why such fundamental things happen and how they fit into the whole argument of religion and what a deity does then how are we to listen to them argue for creationism.

I believe that every individual has the right to believe in whatever they want to as long as it doesn’t interfere with the same rights of any other individual. Believe in what you want but don’t try and foist those beliefs on others. I for one believe that we should teach as many different perspectives on this subject as possible because knowledge is power, whereas indoctrination only fosters hate and bigotry

As a great man said at the end of his television show, “May your god go with you”

Here are some further comments:
anonymouslyme13
• 2 days ago

The winner of this debate is going to be purely a matter of individual perspective so it is an exercise in futility but I would bet it will be entertaining as hell. I never understood why creationism and evolution weren’t compatible for Christians. I mean do they know how their God allegedly created the earth? Do they know how long his days were? I would think, from my unfortunate experience with the religion, that for a Christian, the height of arrogance would be to assume you know exactly how it was done. I know there would be discrepencies but they seem to be able to “prove” anything they want with the Bible depending on what they feel like on any given day so I’m sure they could figure something out to account for those.

Roxee Jerusha
• 13 hours ago

The reason why evolution continues to be attacked is because the most fundamentalist of religious people, those who still read and believe what the bible actually says as opposed to the rest of the faithful who don’t read it and/or puck and chhose from it, realise that the truth of evolution renders the story of Adam and Eve as myth. Meaning there was no original sin, so no fall from grace, and ultimately no need for anyone to have their life sacrificed to secure forgiveness for humanity. Simplistically, Jesus’ resurection story is also rendered as myth by the truth of evolution and what that means for the foundational beliefs of christianity.

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Chris Powell Jerusha
• a day ago

Oh, please… Consider Euclid’s postulates from which a vast plane geometry is constructed. No God or god invoked anywhere. Using this geometry great buildings were built, bridges thrown up and ships launched – and who knows what else. Then Galileo rolling balls down slopes of different angles to form dynamic physics. No God or god invoked there either. And Maxwell with his awesome laws on electromagnetism which prompted Einstein’s special relativity. At no point was a God or god assumed. All that science without a supernatural being in sight!

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Why Secularists Will Not Admit Nobody Is Forced To Pray

When I posted a deliberately over the top rant about last wek’s court case in which a leftie judge who knows less about law than he does about agenda driven politics ruled it was illegal to say prayers before concil meetings I was prompted largely by the nauseatingly smug gloating from supporters of the National Secular Society who hailed this non event as a great victory in the war against “religion, superstition and magical thinking.”

If there is one thing more repellent than a bunch of smug religionists it is a bunch of smug, secularist twats who cannot see they are turning secularism into a religion.

Well I will get around to writing an existentialist rebuttal of the “Secuarism as religion” cult’s crackpot world view sometime (and if you think existentialism is a secular philosophy try reading Soren Kirkegadd or Ludwig Wittgenstein), but for now here’s a link to an excellent article on the topic by Jennifer Lipman who as the better informed among you might have guessed is Jewish, though by her own definition something of a part time Jew.

She bases her arguement on the fact that nobody is forced to pray and not all religion is fundamentalist.

It is easy to exercise one’s right not to pray. If I can’t make an excuse to be not present, family weddings, funerals and such like, I simply don’t join in.

When I was a young knobhead (all young men are knobheads) I used to make a great show of not joining in but maturity taught me there is nothing to be gained by embarrassing everybody else. Sometimes we have to put the feelings of others ahead of our own.

It is not just religion I try to be a non participant in. When I worked for the National Nuclear Corporation in the early 1980s and had been part of the team that designed and implemented high tech systems for a new office complex we were told we would be meeting Princess Anne at the official opening.

A few days ahead of the ceremony I managed to find a very urgent reason to be at a nuclear power station a couple of hundred miles away on the day.

It’s just pointless to make waves when there is nothing to be gained.

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Austria marches to the right. Don’t Panic!Is free speech to blame?

A bit of a hyperbolic headline there but that is how we must play the game now to get keywords into the title and links and thus earn brownie points from the Googlebot that indexes our blogs.

To business. In last week’s election in Austria the far right political party did well, far better than anybody expected a party broadly sympathetic to holocaust deniers to ever fare in a democratic nation.

Predictably and unfortunately this has led to calls for new international laws limiting free speech. In this article, The Limits of Free Speech it is hard to know what the writer’s point is exactly other than that he thinks neo-nazis are very nasty people and should not be allowed to argue their case or contest elections.

Little Nicky Machiavelli has said before, when commenting on calls to ban the BNP, the best way to raise the profile of far right politics and racist movements is to ban them. Such organisations are highly skilled at exploiting victimhood.

The best way to incite violence against Muslims is to support those extermists who demand that criticism of their religion by non-Muslims be declared an offence. The best way to strengthen the case of Fundamentalist Christians is to try to silence them. Look how they have profited in America from the myth of their being driven out of England by official persecution for trying to practice their own religion.

There is a sliver of truth in that but it grossly misrepresents the reality. Nobody stopped them worshipping as they wished, what got them in trouble was their trying to opt out of the Church of England which was then as much an agency of government as a Christian Church. In effect they were trying to opt out of paying the Church’s tithe and that was like refusing to pay income tax and national insurance.

So trying to gag the far right might turn out to be very counter productive. Better to let them enjoy their handful of victories in local elections. “Free speech” has always been a pipe dream, even in the USA where it is iconised there are plenty of laws available to deal with those who step over certain lines.

Religion vs Science (the new religion)

The launch of The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has really wound things up in blogs, science versus religion (chapter MMMCMMDLXXXVIII) with the usual boy scientists claiming that science is the one true religion (they don’t actually realise they are doing that because their education is too narrow) and asking anybody who challenges their view if they have submitted their ideas in an article to scientific journals for peer review. If not, apparently you are not allowed to have an opinion.

Most recently they have turned their righteous fury on Robert Winston, populariser of science and all round nice bloke because he has correctly pointed out that religious faith and commitment to science are not mutually exclusive.

Follow this link to read the article and comments. Robert Winston challenges “science delusion.”

Or read Little Nicky Machiavelli’s response here.

And finally a message for any young people passing. If you read the thread of the linked article just see how stupid the scientists are and take heed, choosing a career in science can turn you into an ignorant, narrow-minded billy-no-mates nerd with bad ance and personal odour issues.

Follow Little Nicky around the web at our blogindex where you will find links to everything he has commented on.

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Little Nicky’s Blog Round Up

TODAY WE COMMENTED ON:

Bishop Deserves To Be Bashed says Iain Dale of the Bishop of Stafford’s suggestion that climate change deniers are as vilified as men who boff their own daughters. But I know from encounters on American web sites there are plenty of Christian fundamentalists who are busy doing both.

Some of the questions BBC radio interviewers are asking politicians are getting rather bizarre

An Englishman’s Home Is His Castle – Unless He Is Straight The Earl of Devon has had the licence to hold weddings at his stately home revoked because he refuses to allow gay marriages. Again we ask why would gay couples want to get married. The institution is about nothing but male control of the female body, psternity and inheritance rights.

The Death Wish Democrats TheU.S. Democrats blunder on, driven by political correctness to impose on their voters the candidate who cannot possibly win. But already there are signs the American people are asking “are The Democrats competent to form an administration.

Honour Killing? Honour My Arse.

The most shocking news story this week has been that of the honour killing inquest. Though it is clear a young British girl (let’s not forget this is a British schoolgirl we are talking about) was murdered either by or at the command of members of her own family, probably because of a friendship with a boy not approved of by her father and brothers.

What the hearing has uncovered is that there are several such killings each year, that are known of. This excludes the British girls of Asian families who refuse an arranged marriage and are shipped off to the ancestral homeland and simply never seen by their British friends again.

It is easy to point the finger at one religion here, but religions tend to be tribal in their nature and most ancient mythologies, including European paganism, include a story in which the primary God asks a leader to sacrifice their own child to save the tribe from destruction. Myths are not meant to be read literally however, and the symbolism is clear, that sometimes we are going to have to choose between self interest and the good of the community. Personal honour does not enter into it.

Unfortunately the three Abrahamic religions do have this foolish tendency to read their “holy scriptures,” in all cases a hotch potch of myths culled from other cultures and silly fairy stories invented to make the God of these religions look good. In the more extreme forms of these religions, great emphasis is put on the necessity of “putting god first,” in other words placing more importance on kissing god’s arse than on doing the decent and human thing.

Now if we all carried on by killing our daughters because they dishonoured us and our families by having flings with totally inappropriate boys, believe me there would be very few women over twenty five in the world (and most of them mingers.) But most of us, be we Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist or Atheist do not carry on like that. We support our children, tolerate their follies and are always on hand with a big tube of Ego-stik to put them back together when they are in pieces. This is because most of us are not ruled by religion. As William Blake or someone of that era said, “Religion wages war on human nature.”

So if that young woman from Warrington is to be granted justice and we are to continue to call ourselves a civilised nation, we must now bring religions (including Scientology and other American crackpot cults) under the scrutiny of the law. Under British law nobody should be pressured to dress in a way they do not wish to, nobody should be pressured into marrying somebody they do not want to, nobody should be controlled or brainwashed by religious authority figures and we should never as a nation be willing to accept “you don’t understand our religion” as an excuse for lawbreaking.

Some of my friends have argued the case for religious freedom in the past. It’s a fine principle but the problem is once religionists are granted freedom, they immediately use it to restrict the freedom of their followers. In our zeal to protect the rights and freedoms of monority groups, it seems we often allow ourselves to be suckered into protecting the righs and freedoms of those who think they have a right to abuse others. Where is the honour in that?

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Blake’s Heaven (another message from beyond the grave)

Yesterday I looked at the thoughts of American writer John Steinbeck on the subject of individualism and human creativity. Yesterday was also the 250th anniversary of another visionary who still speaks to us relevantly and eloquently from beyond the grave.
William Blake, poet, artist, was probably the most extraordinary visionary Britain has produced since Shakespeare. Though not in the same league as a writer Blake, writing in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, foresaw many of the problems that would face society two hundred years later.
Most people know this writer for the hymn Jerusalem and so think of him as a religious poet. It is true there are many references to God and Jesus in the poems and essays but an unholy row has been simmering in he Anglican church for many years as to whether Jerusalem is actually a Christian hymn or poem. The answer to that (its a pagan poem actually) does not matter, what is interesting and is a theme running through Blake’s work is that his religious views represent heresy to standard Christian beliefs. Blake sees God as a symbol of the oppressive authoritarianism of state and church and Jesus as the unifying spirit of humanity. An authoritarian God and a liberal, humanist Jesus.
All our lives we are required to choose between God; conformity, unquestioning obedience, commitment to work and money and unthinking acceptance of the status quo, and Jesus; freedom of thought and speech, questioning of injustice and a love of art and expression all of which Blake believed would lead to the overthrow of tyranny and the creation of a Utopian world, Jerusalem:
I will not cease from mental strife
nor will my sword rest in my hand
‘til we have built Jerusalem
in England’s green and pleasant land.
So no promises that it will be easy then, but plenty of references to The Da Vinci code, well, to the enduring myth that Jesus actually visited Britain a few years after his alleged crucifixion. A full book would be needed to explore the possible truths of that so we will skip nit for now.
Most people have probably been told the lines in the poem Jerusalem that go:
And was Jerusalem builded here
among these dark, satanic mills?
are actually using the “dark, satanic mills” as a metaphor for the protestant churches that were preaching a very hardline version of Christianity. This is true but not entirely true, Blake is using a double meaning. Remember he was writing at a time when the Industrial Revolution was at its height in Britain and also there was a second wave of the protestant reformation going on. The mills and factories of the manufacturers were certainly dark, satanic places, the workers endured long hours in vile, dehumanising conditions, working for a pittance; they could be laid off or sacked without notice, punishments were regularly handed out for misdemeanours as trivial as talking to the person at the next machine, wages could be reduced on a whim and, under the law of the day, nobody could leave to obtain better employment without the permission of their master. Yes master, not employer. The relationship was of master and servant, and despite all the pious words of abolitionists who campaigned to stop the slave trade, the condition of workers in the industrial cities of Britain were no better than a kind of slavery. The workers could submit to the will of their bosses or they were free to starve.
The protestant chapels were just as dark and Satanic in a different way. It was in such places and through their warped teachings the idea of the “undeserving poor” took root, the notion that poverty was a judgement imposed by God and those who did not endure it with stoicism and grace were deserving of further punishment at the hands of pious human tormentors who considered themselves to have been granted wealth because God recognised they were better people.
What did it take to be part of the “undeserving poor”? Well, complaining about injustices, poor wages, squalid living conditions and the exorbitant prices charged in the “truck” shops. Oh yes, truck shops, nearly forgot those. So concerned were the pious and godly rich people for the souls of their workers, they did not pay wages in legal coin but in tokens only redeemable in shops owned by the employer. This was ostensibly to prevent the “undeserving poor” from spending their earnings on sinful frivolities such as drinking, singing and dancing in the alehouse. Obviously such practices did not sit well alongside Blake’s notion that all human beings must be free to make their own choices.
It was not only religion and the cause of the workers that aroused the poet’s passion. He was quite prepared to embrace radical political causes and supported both the American and French revolutions, writing in support of Washington and Lafayette and denouncing the Kings of England and France.
By profession Blake was an engraver and illustrator and his fine draughtsmanship brought him to the attention of radical publisher Joseph Johnson who championed the work of writers such as Thomas Paine, sometimes known as “the firebrand of the American Revolution” and Mary Wollstonecraft, proto-feminist and mother of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley. Through Johnson, Blake also met people such as scientific pioneer and religious rebel Joseph Priestly, Radical theologian Gilbert Wakefield who popularised the Unitarian faith in Britain and poet William Cowper, a stylistic influence.
As Blake developed as a writer, ideas formed from contact with these influential thinkers were given shape by his own individual vision. The form of Christianity expressed in his poems, though heretic in the view of the Biblical fundamentalism of the day, was in reality derived from the much older tradition of Celtic Christianity and owing a lot to the fashionable revival of interest in paganism, mysticism and naturalism. In the Everlasting Gospel, his last and unfortunately unfinished poem he goes right out on a limb and proposes that the true God could only possibly be a female, while in The Song of Los his implication is that the endless cycle of nature, of death and renewal, is the reality while the idea of “resurrection into a better life” common the Abrahamic religions is a fanciful notion that appeals to the weak minded. To the mainstrean Christian all virtue comes from God, to Blake all virtue is human and all evil from over-zealous and hypocritical love of the patriarchal and materialistic God of the Abrahamic religions.
In summary then, Blake was as much a political as a religious poet, and as such he now speaks to us from beyond the grave, showing us how we must fight to retain our rights and freedoms including the freedom to believe or not believe in some sort of God.
He also shows us in the words to Jerusalem that we must slow the insane rush for technology, not turning back the clock to a medieval lifestyle as Blake’s critics claimed he was suggesting and as my critics, the immature and irrational boy – scientists (who think they are really really original) will try to claim I am suggesting. There is no need to turn back the clock, only to make sure we control technology rather than letting it, and those who profit from it, control us.
Blake’s Heaven then was not a dream world where everybody sprouted wings and a distinct lack of wedding tackle and went around playing little harps, it was a world in which all could live with dignity and have the opportunity to fulfil their potential. That is a dream that technology should have put within our reach. Unfortunately, because we have been misled by those who worship money and power it seems to be slipping further away from us all the time.

Jehovah’s Kiddie Fiddler

Should the fact that a man is a prominent member of a religious group known for its oddball beliefs be enough to keep him out of prison when he is convicted of paedophile crimes?

Michael Porter, a 38 year-old member of the doomsday cult, admitted 24 cases of assault on children, including a baby less than two years old. A prominent member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses community in his area and used his position of trust to prey on children of church members. And yet the Judge, swayed by Porter’s pleas that he was a person of strong faith who had been tempted and been to weak to resist, and by a further plea that he had undergone therapy, decided he should not go to prison.

Porter also tried to claim his paedophile tendencies were a result of his childhood but his own sister exposed this as a lie.

It is unbelievable that we still fall for this grovelling to God act that so many Christians caught out in malfeasance try to pull. Rational people know there is no such thing as evil, there is no horned beast with cloven hooves constantly putting temptation in our way. We all know what actions are wrong and that some things are wronger than others. And abusing children, very young children who are not in a position to resist, is one of the very worst of all crimes. So forget shifting blame, Porter and those like him know what they are doing is wrong and unacceptable in any society and yet they choose to do it.

The very nature of the crime shows the perpetrators to be arrogant and manipulative by nature, they must believe they have a right to do what they do and they believe they can convince others that they are deserving of special consideration. In other words they are the most amoral of people.

When someone “of faith” commits such a crime then, would not a more harsh punishment be appropriate. Though hypocrisy in itself is not a crime, it can compound other offences.

Similarly it is not acceptable for a judge to show leniency because a criminal has “undergone therapy.” The evidence tat therapy actually helps towards rehabilitation is very shaky and too often psychologists are convinced of the success of their treatment simply because the patient is savvy enough to tell them what they want to hear. The therapy can be made part of the prison sentence but should not be an alternative to it.

In the case of both faith and therapy I am very suspicious of the rapid results achieved, especially when the criminal is a member of some fringe faith. If you remember Ted Haggard, the American fundamentalist preacher who was caught with his penis in a rent boy’s mouth; he was pronounced “totally heterosexual again” after a few weeks of prayer and “therapy.”

In the case of Haggard as with Porter, their respective churches “stood by” them. That’s fine, its up to the members of those congregations what they do. But the law must not be swayed by talk of miracle cures and the hand of God. And if people who commit crimes subsequently try to hide behind superstition and hocus pocus it shows those people are actually a long way from accepting what they have is wrong, let alone experiencing remorse. Put simply they are grabbing at anything that looks like a Get Out Of Jail card.

Ted Haggard had not committed a sexual crime but to preach homophobic sermons and ask for money to “further the church’s mission” while conducting himself in that was was certainly fraudulent.

If we are to maintain any credible claim to be a civilised society and not a superstitious rabble sliding backwards towards medieval ignorance then we must add a new commandment to our moral compass: SAME RULES APPLY regradless of race, faith, class, age or sexual preference.

God’s Shock Jock?

Those of you who read my articles might be surprised to learn that earlier today I was guesting on a Chistian Radio show for London’s Premier Radio station.

Even more strage, the producer Justin Brierley contacted me after following comment threads on some of my jousts with fundies at U.S. site Gather.

Well Justin’s show “Unbelieveable” is a British production with a more moderate tone than U.S. evangelical Christianity, so after some discussion I decided the programme would be fun to do and managed to get my friend Jenni Hutchinson (vieira) invited as my opponent, the Christian speaker. Did you know BTW that satan is the Aramaic (ancient assyrian language) word for opponent or adversary. Ha! Jenni is a little devil – she will love that.

Anyway we put together a really good programme, covering topics such as how the church may fulfil a role in modern society, the nature of faith, building bridges (we bridged the religious divide, the generation gap – Jenni is 24 I’m…not. OK, I’m yibblety-yibble. We bridged the geographical divide between north and south and the soccer supporters gap, Jenni follows Arsenal, my loyalties are to lowly Accrington Stanley (the team that came back from the dead – reluctantly apparently.)

All in all we proved there can be dialogue between Christians and non believers.

It will be difficult to get the show on the air in some areas but there is an internet feed. ?Here are the details:

The programme airs at 2pm this Saturday here are the ways to listen “Live”

1305, 1332, 1413 MW (Greater London)| Sky Digital 0123 | Virgin Media 968 | Freeview 725 | London DAB or online at http://www.premier.org.uk

From (Usually) Monday you can listen to the archive edition of the programme online http://www.premier.org.uk/engine.cfm?i=680

Not of great spiritual interest to many of my friends here maybe, as most share my attitude to organised religion, but a worthwhile demonstration of constructive dialogue between faith and non-faith, with some good points made on both sides.

OK, that’s just a cynical ploy to bost the show in search engine listings of course. But you will excuse me one shameless self promotion item I’m sure. I promise to get back to more humour and controversy next time.

Defender of the Faith

Novelist Christopher Brookmeyer has become the latest to leap onto the anti – God bandwagon, blaming not religion but faith for terrorism, suicide bombings and a host of other troubles from stinking drains to the impossibility of getting a decent pizza in Britain (cue lots of comments telling me where to get good pizzas, (Machiavelli is nothing if not cunning!)
Naturaly Brookmeyer has a new novel tp plug.

But he is way off target and his equating faith with belief in the irrational and ridiculous is not a supportable argument. So being the most irreligious person at blog.co.uk (probably) I am the ideal defender of Faith.

In the next few weeks millions of people will, in an enormoust act of faith, set off on a pilgrimage that will cost them a fortune in money, consume huge amounts of time, involve long periods of sustained physical discomfort and require them to endure personal abuse. Only their faith will sustain the certainty that this year their favoured team will sweep all before it to claim every available trophy / at least make a sustained challenge for one trophy / turn things round and spare loyal supporters the agony of another struggle against relegation. Such devotion requires a lot of faith.

Patients, religious or not, about to be wheeled into the operating theatre for major surgery must have faith in the skill of the surgeon and his support team. In fact this type of faith calls into doubt the whole premise of religion. If believers TRULY believed would they not be happy to leave things in God’s hands? Let’s see if we get any interesting answers on that point.

Every time most people get into a ‘plane to fly off to the sun it requires an enormous amount of faith in the aircraft designers and engineers. How many people truly understand the aircraft stays aloft because of the vacuum above the wings rather than the wind beneath them (cue music.) If passengers were told before the flight the only thing keeping tons of metal, plastic, flesh, blood, bone MP3 players and baggage from falling out of the sky was a hole in the rather thin (at 25000 feet) atmosphere, to how many would Bournemouth suddenly seem a really good option.

So Brookmeyer was wrong. Faith is not an indefensible belief in magic or primitive superstitions, everyday life is a series of acts of faith.

Burn The Witches (education)

A Primary School classroom assistant will learn in the next few days if she is to be reinstated to the job from which she was suspended after refusing to allow a pupil to read from a Harry Potter book. The woman, a Born – Again Christian claimed the books glorify witchcraft. The girl who wanted to read Harry Potter for one on one session is an advanced reader for her age group and complained to her parents that the alternatives she was offered were too simple.
After the case of the Muslim classroom assistant and the full veil last year we have to conclude it is not witchcraft and magic that causes problems in schools but the religious sensibilities of classroom assistants (although I’m sure most are diligent, open – minded and highly committed). Is it time the courts acted to remove religion from schools altogether, after all apart from glorifying magic and superstition more than all the children’s books in the world, if it stops people doing their job properly then they should not be in the job.
Since my children were at school I had had the impression that the decline in reading skills was largely due to the boring, politically correct, patronising literature that was on offer. I know both ignored school readers. Gabby preferred to read mine and Teri’s old Enid Blyton, Jennings and animal fiction and David gravitated towards my war and boy’s adventure books. There would horrify the political correctness police of course, yet both children turned out to be excellent readers.

Credit Where Its Due, Blair Has Blair Has A Brass Neck

You have to hand it to Blair sometimes. The bastard’s got more bottle than Thresher’s. Channel hopping today I caught footage of a speech he gave in which he was saying how unfair we were in putting his foreign policy decisions (all those decisions to do exactly what Bush told him) into a religious context.
It was, was it not, Blair himself who candidly revealed that the decision to go to war was taken not on advice from senior diplomats or military chiefs, nor even after full and frank consultation with the elected members of Parliament (you may recall the true contents of the UN report was withheld during and after the debate) but on the basis of advice the Prime Minister received during a one on one conversation with God.
And he says it is his critics who brought religion into it.
Either he is the most hard faced liar ever, or he is developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Is it wrong to ridicule Faith?

All week I have been hearing about the coming schism in the Anglican Church. Apparently the Bishops have papered over the cracks for now but the Evangelicals are refusing to share communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury over the British and American churches’ liberal attitudes on homosexuality. So it looks like the Anglican Church will soon split into the Anglican Peoples’ Church and the Peoples’ Church of Anglia. Very Life of Brian.
Now what has that to do with the headline? Not much actually but while the Anglicans who have been busy telling us they are the third largest Christian community in the world are totally obsessed with what members of sexual minorities get up to the the privacy of their homes, across the pond big time blogger Amanda Marcotte of Pandangon has been getting a lot of grief about some disparaging remarks she made concerning Roman Catholic attitudes to abortion and contraception. Let’s be realistic, its almost impossible to ridicule Roman Catholic attityudes on contraception.
In typical American style the argument soon came down to whether anybody has the right to criticise a faith they are not attached to. Christians do not apply this restriction to themselves of course – being adherents of “the one true God” they assign themselves the right to slag off all non Christian faiths without attempting to gain the least understanding of what those faiths are about.
Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians are very quick to say that criticism of their faith is hurtful and “blasphemous” yet they see nothing wrong in Evangelical Christians claiming that all non Christians are incapable of behaving morally as morality can only come from God, or that pagans are all Satanists and paedophiles. Faced with this kind of irrational criticism from adherents of religious faiths I’d say we have a duty to ridicule their beliefs.
When I keep coming across the hate fuelled idiocy of Fundamentalist Christians Amanda’s allegedly offensive remarks are the epitome of restraint and reason.
The real problems at Pandangon arise from the fact that Amanda told the truth and Christians (even the reasonable ones – sorry Jenni and Roz, ) just cannot and have never been able to handle the truth. Which is why they turn a blind eye to the facts that a quarter of the human beings in the world do not get adequate food, around a fifth do not have access to clean drinking water, the problems of overpopulation can only be solved by contraception and sex education, we need massive aid programs to put right the harmful effects of western exploitation of the third world, Africa needs medicines not missionaries to control the plagues of HIV and malaria and South America and Asia need socialism not sanctimony to give everybody the chance of a decent life.
In view of all that, yes it must be right to ridicule religious faith, if only to help believers keep some kind of grip on reality. God did not create the world in seven days, Moses did not part the Red Sea, Jesus’ Mum was not a virgin. To believe that stuff is delusional. Once we allow the whining of clergy and lay people to place an irrational and delusional belief system beyond criticism then we have lost civilisation.
Religionists forget there are many other ways of having faith, mostly equally misplaced; the guy who bets his wage of a fifty to one outsider in the two-thirty at Cheltenham has an insane faith, a pilot has faith in the technology that will fly him and his passengers safely to their destination – flight technology is well proven but the more you know about how a plane stays in the air the bigger act of faith it takes to get on board, the soldier has faith in his comrades that by working as a team they will maximise their chance of survival, I have faith that the sun will rise and life will go on tomorrow, otherwise I would not bother writing this blog.

The Belfast Bed and Breakfast Bible Society.

This is yesterday’s post really.
Sunday is a good day for posts relating to religion and spirituality. Its also a good day for having a day off sometimes, so here is a Sunday post a day late.
The main religious story of the week was of course the Northern Ireland B & B proprietor run by a member of the D.U.P. (Defend Ulster from Poufs) party. If you did not catch the story, a storm in a teacup has blown up over a lesbian couple being turned away from the B & B because the owner is a “Christian” and did not want that kin of thing going on in the house. (sorry, we’re in Northern Ireland, I mean “hoyse.” i.e. Oy do nort warnt thot koynd of thing goying orn in the hoyse.”)
My first reaction on hearing tyhe news item on radio was “oh well, that’s fair enough, people have a right to decide who they will or will not allow into their home.” But it goes a bit deeper than that.
There seems to be a double standard in operation among the Paisley pattern duvet covers. What are a gay or lesbian couple likely to get up to that a mixed gender couple could not be doing?
Now my understanding of this area may be a little vague so let’s work though it.
Say a man and woman turn up and ask for a room or roym. Now the proprietor can ask are you married?
And the couple can truthfully say “yes we are,” without actually mentioning that its no to each other. On the scale of Biblical abominations I think adultery scores just as highly as homosexuality, probably higher.
And then what could this married but not to each other couple get up to that might offend against Presbyterian principles? A bit of crack smoking, anal sex, erotic asphyxiation, S&M.
The next question must be is it fair to assume that if a same sex couple take a room “that sort of thing” is going on hammer and tongs for the duration of the stay? What if they just like to sit in hotel rooms and read Agatha Christie novels. And what is a same sex couple? What if two guys working on a contract want a twin room to keep expenses down?
I would not like to stay in a hotel where the owner takes a prurient interest in what is happening in my room, even if I was alone.
Is it smart for someone with such a rigid (oops, pardon!) attitude to open a B&B. People get up to all sorts in hotels in fact the classier the hotel the weirder the clientele. Staff are trained to be blind deaf and dumb where guests antics are concerned.
Perhaps if the proprietor involved in the incident indicated it was a Christian B&B it might be enough of a hint. But to advertise “no same sex couples” would be acceptable, as bad in fact as advertising (as B&Bs in London still did in the early sixties when I first went there alone) “No Blacks or Irish.”
Mixing business with pleasure is dangerous, mixing business with moral prejudice is a minefield.

In Support of Pope Benny

Was the DOPE (Dear Old Pater Ecclisiasticus) right to say what he did about Islam?
Resoundingly yes, bearing in mind it is only his opinion.
Quite recently we were involved in fighting off a “Religious Hatred” law which, had it been allowed to become law without amendment, would have made it a punishable offence to say anything about any religion which was deemed to be offensive by anybody who happened to hear it.
The Poe’s remarks were made to an audience of German academics, not broadcast through mass media. It is the news corporations that have broadcast the remarks.
In the last two weeks Little Nicky’s alter ego has faced down attempts to have him removed from an American website for criticising Christian fundamentalism. All religions would like to use the law to place themselves above criticism but if we allow them to you will see cilil liberty disappearing over the horizon with its arse on fire.
Nothing is above criticism – we should only draw the line at inciting people to commit violent acts against members of a religion, sect, ethnic group or any other minority.
But what group are most prone to offending against that particular ethic?
Preachers, that’s who.

SAME RULES APPLY. If you want free speech to criticise anybody you have to be prepared to accept criticism. Sorry if that offends your God but remember,
“I count religion but a childish toy,
and hold there is no sin but ignorance.”

A kerfuffle across the pond

Quiet couple of days from Little Nicky, this is due to my alter ego Ian getting himself embroiled in a kerfuffle about 9/11 at a site across the pond.

You haven’t time to go to all the “rabid right” hate sites that led up to it but you can read the article that dragged Ian into a lot of heavy discussions either here (Gather) or here (authorsden) The first link is the best although the management have responded to pressure from other members and started removing the more lurid threats and denunciations. The second link is just to boost my traffic really, Authorsden used to be good but now has become the official website for the Disneyfication of everything campaign and so people do not look at anything that is not coated in pink sugar.

Look out for exciting news of Nicky’s plans for the future.

So who’s anti semitic now.

Just over a week ago your pal Little Nicky was branded racist for suggesting the Israelis are a gang of murdering war junkies. I was not the only one of course, anybody who criticised the acts of the Israeli government was immediately dubbed anti semitic or anti – jewish.
As usual Little Nicky was proved right, double right in fact because not only have the Israeli government been escalationg the war but they have shown a p4enchant for attacking women and children, muslims and christians.
But Nicky Machiavelli is not one to blow his own trumpet. So what this post is about is nailing that anti – semitic jibe once and for all.
The people who use it do not know what a semite is. These idiots have been brainwashed by religious propaganda and in their ignorance they contradict themselves.
A semite, according to middle eastern legend is someone descended from Ham the son of Noah (you might think Shem and Semite would make more sense; so do I, but mythology does not have to make sense)and these tribes include Assyrians Phoenecians and Arabs in modern terms, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine (including Israel), Gaza and parts of Iraq, Iran and Turkey. So guess what. The LEBANESE are SEMITES as are many muslims and quite a few Christians.
When people say “time we told those Israeli bastards to eff off and leave Lebanon alone” they are actually being PRO-semitic as Lebanon contains a wider cross section of the semitic peoples than Israsel.
Same with Jews. If we criticise Israel are we anti Jewish? Well a Jewish person is someone from Judea, Jew is just modern usage covering many religious sects the chief of which are the Pharisee or what we would call orthodox jews. The Saducee or secular jews are more peaceful, inclusive and tolerant. Its rather like “Christian” being used as an umbrella for all sorts of beliefs from the extreme American pentecostalists to mainstream Anglican and Roman Catholic.
Religious tolerance is a fine thing but those who demand it of others are usually the same ones who, once tolerated, claim they are the ONLY sect who worship the true God and therefore they are entitled to kill everyone else. We must learn to tolerate everything except intolerance!
Never let trouble makers shelter under your umbrella for be sure, nothing is hidden from Little Nicky Machiavelli.

My Problem With God

Someone very very dear to me, after having a rough time these past few years has been exposed to a “Christian” mindbending cult and is having her head polluted with the most repugnant nonsense I have ever encountered.
As The Goddess loves my friend as much as I do, I have been given the task of pulling Escalibur from the stone and going to war. My friend lives in Texas so I just hope I can win the battle here in cyberspace, I don’t fancy storming a fortified compound in Waco alone.

Before we start, I only have a problem with one god, the god of the Bible Fundamentalists, let’s not dignify them with the word “Christian,” the God of the Anglicans, Wesleyans, Unitarians, most Catholics, Jah, Allah, Brahmin, Vishnu, Krishna, etc. etc. are all OK with me. It is the God of Hate thy Neighbour I am out to nail.

Some years ago, as most people who have read me will be aware, I spent almost a year hospitalised, much of it in a rehabilitation unit. I recovered from the after effects of a massive brain haemorrhage pretty well but occasionally get messages from people who have read my story and want to tell me how God was with me, and loved me and gave me the strength to get through my ordeal. And those messages really make me really angry.
I guess my responses have confused a few well meaning but misguided people; sorry about that, but you should not assume we all share your religiosity.
When that life illness changed my life I was forty – eight, had a very successful career behind me having got started on that career late following ten years of good times in the valley of hippiedom. Also I have promoted rock bands, owned race horses, worked in radio, had some success as a writer, travelled, had many lovers, brought up a family; in short I had already lived a life and a half when, prematurely, it almost ended.
Once out of intensive care and finding myself in a unit for the newly disabled, reality hit hard; though the therapy was good and the staff very helpful, this experience was more emotionally draining that the immediate aftermath of the haemorrhage.
There were young people in the unit who had terrible problems health problems with no hope of recovery. Worst were the people suffering from degenerative diseases that had been causing loss of body and brain function since childhood. There was one young girl, Susan, whose degenerative illness had started at adolescence. She would have probably developed into a very pretty woman with an engaging personality had things not gone wrong. By the time we met she could not speak, had no control of any muscles, was doubly incontinent ( a medical euphemism that glosses over the utter loss of dignity involved) and yet when I used to read aloud to her, because she could not hold a book, the gratitude in her eyes for that simple human contact often reduced me to tears. She still had a very human need for contact and companionship, so think of the humiliation she suffered every day, isolated in that dysfunctional shell of a body. Yet some people would insist the will of God in his wisdom was somehow involved in prolonging her life – but to look at it from my perspective the intervention of any supreme being was only condemning her to a slow, lingering death.
There was no getting better for Susan, she was in the unit because she could no longer be looked after at home and the unit was the only place that had the facilities to give the care needed until a place in a hospice became available.
In the end time did its grim work before she could be moved. Another thing I remember about her is the guilt of her parents who felt that in some way they were responsible for what had happened.
Around that time a hate – fuelled Pentecostalist preacher (I think it was Falwell) was expounding the notion that people who are disabled are being punished by God for the sins of their ancestors. There are many aspects of “Christian” doctrine I find absolutely repugnant but that is surely the worst, apart maybe from the people who would say that whatever had happened to Susan, God still loved her (if that is how God loves people I hope he hates me.) From what I know of the lifestyle and personality of Yesu bin Yussuf a.k.a. Jesus of Nazareth, (which is a whole lot more that most Christians know,) he would be pretty pissed off to hear people connecting his name with such despicable ideas.

Susan was not the only tragic case of course, diseases that cause damage to and degeneration of the brain are made worse by their unpredictability. There was a woman who would deliberately spill food onto the table and sit banging a spoon in it in order to get attention (regression to infant behaviour is quite common), a man who could only say “when,” a woman who would scream like wounded animal but could not tell anybody why she was screaming, a young mother who some days did not recognise her children, many others; most younger than me and none of whom had had my advantages in life. There were people who had lost all power of communication as familiar words would just not come on demand, people whose memories had been wiped out, people who just slumped in chairs twitching and dribbling.
And you know something, none of these were bad people, they were just unfortunate. Chance plays such a huge role in our lives it is constantly surprising that the religious cannot see as such most of what the ascribe to God. The proof that any superior being that might exist plays no part in our lives lies in the randomness of misfortune, so often the bad, the amoral and selfish seem to sail though everything totally unscathed while it is those who try to treat everybody fairly, who show tolerance, who “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” who get shafted by cruel chance. It is the sheer inconsistency with which good fortune is distributed that condemns the God of Abraham and Ezekiel as the creation of charlatans, confidence tricksters and control freaks. This explains why they are such liars, constantly concocting false evidence and claiming it proves the Bible is true, or naming a real person and passing it off as proof of the Bible’s veracity. Yes, there was an Emperor Tiberius and a Governor of Palestine called Pontias Pilate, there was also Kings Macbeth, Duncan and Malcolm but it does not makes Shakespeare’s play a documentary, the fact that there was a Scottish renegade called William Wallace who rebelled against King Robert the Bruce and led an army against King Edward the First of England does not make the film Braveheart factual. There was actually a King Midas. Did his touch turn his daughter to gold? Decide for yourselves, there is no evidence that it didn’t but it seems unlikely. See what I am getting at?

What did you think of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? Did you say “Hallelujah to that!” each time some preacher of the Pauline gospel of hatred and bigotry stood up and said that God had punished the city of New Orleans for the sins of its gays, prostitutes and drug users? Or did you think “hey, hold on, weren’t there a lot of evangelical Christians killed too, a lot of innocent children and many people who had just worked had and tried to live good lives, people who did not deserve to suffer (not that the gays, prostitutes and druggies deserved to suffer anyway. I am not aware of any preacher saying that the shyster lawyers, the crooked accountants and financiers or the corrupt officials, the people who do untold harm, deserved to suffer.) Yes the Hurricane and its attendant flood killed indiscriminately. Randomness again you see, we know why hurricanes and tsunamis happen but cannot stop them or control the damage they do. Could a natural disaster ever single out the Al Quaeda activists and spare the people who are Muslim simply because they were born in a Muslim country just as many of us are nominally Christian just because we were born in a Christian country.

Look at the third world. Now I accept that some of the arguments that the problems of Africa and Asia are self inflicted, certain traditions do not help in the fight against hunger and disease. African witch doctors who recommend having sex with a pre-pubescent virgin as a cure for Aids should be locked up as should Indian politicians who support forced marriage and “honour killings”. But they should be locked up with the Christian loonys who say that anyone who uses a condom will be cast down into hell. Such ignorant and Neanderthal attitudes are not exactly going to help solve the problem are they?
Malaria is Africa’s other great killer of course. It would be very simple to eradicate Malaria due to the fact that the mosquitoes known to carry the infection tend to get the munchies between one and two a.m. So if people are asleep under their mosquito nets at that time they are much safer. It costs less than $10 per home to provide netting impregnated with a slow release mosquito repellent. There will still be some infections of course but the numbers would be so reduced that the drugs needed to treat those cases could easily be funded. Yet what did one European aid worker find when she asked the congregation in a Ugandan Baptist church what they needed to fight Malaria? She reported that they replied with one voice, that of the pastor, “We need Bibles and Prayer Books and a new church.” It makes me want to swear. But you have to give them credit for consistency. If there are a thousand sensible solutions to a problem and one that is idiotic, they will go for the idiotic one every time.
If we did eradicate Malaria and Aids there would be a population explosion and ensuing famine. This is why we need to get reactionary Christian groups attached to the Catholic and Pentecostalist factions out of Africa. They do more harm than good.
Surely malaria has been around so long even the most idiotically insane religious maniac can understand that empty prayers thrown at an empty sky will never solve anything. Take God out of the equation and we have a chance of getting somewhere. If there is a God and he loves the people of those African and Asian states, truly loves them, he would get out of their lives and let the modernisers and project managers get on with the job of changing things.
The reality is that as time goes on torture is heaped on torture, misery is piled on misery until it seems this God creature created humankind simply so that he would have somebody to be mean to. Preachers of all the Abrahamic religions must accept that people will have sex, its what we are programmed to do. When the hormones call no holy book can make our ears deaf. The message of the three Abrahamic religions and of some forms of Hinduism though is a message that makes us loathe our humanity, as if it is flesh rather than the holy book that stands between us and our Holy Grail.

And God loves me does he. You may have guessed by now that the feeling is not mutual. I would like to know why the mean old bastard hated those other hopeless people that he tortured so randomly, the poor, the ignorant, the sick, the unfortunates who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, because most of them had not had the chance to sample the things I had enjoyed. Why did he not show a bit of compassion to the kid in the rehab unit whose nervous system was decaying, or to the little girl whose body was pictured floating face down in a New Orleans street. I refuse to abase myself before an imaginary being who is simply the vehicle for politicians who seek to rule through fear and preachers who seek to inflate their own importance by undermining the self – esteem of ordinary people. I refuse to give credibility to that imaginary being. Does anyone apart from me deserve credit for my recovery? Yes, my family and friends who never let me give up and never allowed me to lose my sense of humour, the doctors, nurses and therapists who responded brilliantly when I said “let’s forget the textbook, my vocabulary does not contain words like impossible. I am going to walk again, end of story.” I did walk again and built a decent quality of life but only through sustained effort, self – belief, pride and the encouragement of human beings. For the first time in their careers those health workers who cared for me had someone with real leadership qualities to respond to and they responded brilliantly. Its the human beings who do great things when something can motivate them to work together. and when human beings join together great things are bound to happen. Once God is involved because some self – serving preacher insists on giving God credit for what people have done, everything falls apart. God never does anything. Look at the history of the world over the last 2000 years if you do not believe me.

If anybody had said to me that God was punishing me for things in my life I could have accepted it although I would put it rather differently; living too fast for too long caught up with me, God had nothing to do with it because God only exists in the minds of those who believe. I know I am right because were I to give God any credit for my recovery it could only be on condition that he accepted responsibility for Susan and all the others, for the victims of earthquake, tsunami and hurricane for all the bad things. You can’t be omnipotent and have Teflon shoulders. Unless we all forget about God, and start working together regardless of creed, colour and nationality, things can only get worse. Pray as much as you like, God is never going to save our world.
Now those people who want me to accept that my recovery is all thanks to the intervention of God will be rushing to make excuses for him, the idea that an omnipotent, omnipresent super being who needs mortals to make excuses for him will not strike them as ridiculous, they will remind me that we are “not meant to understand the ways of God”, that “the will of God should not be questioned,” and that the Lord moves in mysterious ways his woodwork to perform, (or something like that.) I challenge you to stop protecting God. Let him be subjected to critical analysis. open your eyes and see. Believers will not agree of course, because once God is subjected to examination it becomes clear that the God of Ezekiel and Abraham is purely the invention of a politically motivated priesthood.
You have two options, (1) Gods is an incompetent clown (2)God does not exist.
but being a generous kind of guy I will give you a third, one that Jesus would not have a problem with; God, Jah, Brahmin, Allah, Manitou, Cronos, Awen, call him what you like is a being without consciousness, a unifying idea or energy that can only help us when we learn to help each other regardless of colour, creed, sexuality or language. You may believe what you like but you prove your beliefs false the moment you start to say that there is no other way of viewing the world but that decreed by your religion.

END

AND IF YOU ARE AFRAID IAN HAS LOST HIS SENSE OF HUMOUR CHECK OUT GOODBYE CHARLIE #2