Posts filed under 'Politics'

Bye-bye Blasphemy Law

Finally, several hundred years late, the Law Lords have finally abolished the UK’s Blasphemy law, finally making it legal for me to say:

“Jesus regularly enjoyed being gang-buggered by leprous hermaphrodite sheep molesters”

However, it would probably be wrong of me to say:

“Mohammed liked fucking 9 year old girls, even after marrying them

So I won’t. Even though the second statement is true. Isn’t religion queer?

Expected response:

180px-Pro_Islam_Slogan

 

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March 8th, 2008

Those crazy Sudanese Muslims

So, after allowing the children in her class to name their teddy bear ‘Mohammed’, teacher Gillian Gibbons is to be jailed for 15 days for insulting religion. The school’s director, one Robert Boulos told the AP news agency this classic piece of arse-covering verbiage:

“It’s a very fair verdict, she could have had six months and lashes and a fine, and she only got 15 days and deportation.”

Oh, that’s alright then!

Naturally, the irony is that by sentencing a hard-working committed teacher over such a trivial matter, they have done far more to insult Islam, and once more cemented the idea that Muslims are, on the whole, well, really touchy.

However, now you too can own your very own Mo-Bear as listed on Ebay, so get bidding!

Just remember, this bear isn’t named after the Prophet Mohammed, the illiterate camel salesman with a penchant for pre-pubescent girls and killing men, women and children. No, not the Mohammed who heard voices from invisible pixies, murdered indiscriminately and some of whose followers also have a fondness for blowing shit up, usually themselves and anyone around them.

No, not that Mohammed.

That would be an insult to teddy bears!

 

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1 comment November 30th, 2007

Bigots demand the right, in law, to remain bigoted

This is an interesting one, on many fronts. The Catholic Church is demanding exemption from anti-discrimination laws so their adoption agencies aren’t forced to allow homosexual couples to adopt. They say it is against their beliefs to adopt children with homosexuals, and since the Bible is pretty consistent with its disdain for gays, I can’t argue with them on that one.

However, there is quite a telling phrase from the Archbishop of Canterbury (Anglican, not Catholic) “rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation, however well-meaning.”

Hang on a minute, rights of conscience are always being legislated against, and in many cases it’s the religious community demanding the laws in the first place.

For example, there are laws against discriminating against women, different races, the handicapped and so on, yet I have met people who sincerely think black people are inferior and should be removed from the country, or that women should be barefoot and pregnant in the house looking after the kids, not working, or that the handicapped should be euthanised for the greater good. These people hold these views as a matter of conscience, yet they are prevented (as far as possible) from acting on those views by law.

There are also laws that discriminate against other groups in society, smokers, drinkers, drug users, criminals etc.

So what’s the difference? Why can you discriminate against one group of people and not others? It’s simple – women, the handicapped, homosexuals and different races have no choice in what they are! You don’t choose to be a woman, or black, or gay; you choose to take drugs, or smoke, or steal cars. Discrimination against people over that which they have no control of, and in no way effects what they’re trying to do is wrong.

But, some may argue, colour-blind people aren’t allowed to become pilots, and they have no choice over that, but they are stopped from being pilots because they couldn’t do their job; similarly gay couples should be disqualified from being adoptive parents because, by their definition, gay people can’t be good parents.

The trouble with that argument is there really isn’t any good evidence to show that gay couples are inherently bad parents, whereas a colour-blind pilot is a danger to themselves and others. There are plenty of single-parent families who are doing fine, and probably an equal number of couples in dysfunctional relationships causing far more harm, even though they meet the church-approved criteria.

So I propose this: anyone who is going to indoctrinate children in any religion should be prevented from become adoptive parents.

Religion is not something you’re born into, you choose your religion, or, in the overwhelming majority of cases, you are brainwashed into a religion based upon the beliefs of your parents. I view the latter as a form of child abuse, as does Richard Dawkins and espouses this view in his excellent book The God Delusion. Indoctrinatin children into believing that an invisible man in the sky is looking over their every action, and that other people who believe in different invisible men in the sky are evil (or at best, deeply misguided) and actively discourages critical thinking in later life. It’s that kind of power over children that the Jesuits used to lust after (“Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.“), and, in another context, allows people to willingly blow themselves and others up in the name of some non-existent god.

Frankly, I view that as being much more damaging to a child’s future than what their adopted parents do in the bedroom.

January 25th, 2007

No, I don’t recycle, thank you

It’s true, I really don’t recycle. It isn’t because I want the Earth to be turned into a wasteland for future generations, it is simply because it’s not economically viable.

Think about it for a second, it if really made economic sense to recycle, people would be paid to do so and big industry would be falling over themselves to do it without being forced to by governments.

This is already true for aluminium, which is significantly cheaper to recycle than digging out bauxite and producing from ore, it’s twenty times more efficient in fact. Which is why there has been an aluminium recycling system for decades.

Paper, on the other hand, is certainly less efficient. The waste paper has to be pulped, treated with chemicals to remove the ink (producing waste), not to mention being transported to the recycling plant in the first place. So what about saving trees? The majority of paper is produced from trees grown specifically for paper production, in sustainable forests, and the demand for paper increases the amount of trees planted in the first place. So by recycling paper you’re actually discouraging forests.

Add to this the requirements for more man-power to collect and sift through the waste (you don’t really think that they believe what people put in the specific recycling bins do you? Of course not, it all ends up being largely sorted by hand) plus the additional collections and it soon starts to look less and less compelling as a means to save the Earth.

Naturally, if I was a gardener I’d be composting organic waste for the garden, but again, the benefits of this have been widely known for decades so it’s hardly a new thing.

I view the current recycling fad being forced onto people by governments as a means of making people feel good about ‘helping the environment’, while in actuality it’s the large subsidies being offered for recycling schemes that’s pushing it. Ultimately, we’re all paying for this, either directly through our taxes or indirectly by giving our time to go through the efforts to put waste into the designated containers in the first place.

The green lobby will no-doubt excoriate me for my opinion, but, frankly, they should be concentrating their energies on areas that make more sense economically, as they will, in the long term, improve our lot much more.

 

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December 9th, 2006

US were "arrogant and stupid" over Iraq, or not

In an admission that will greatly surprise the seven people in Arkansas that think the war in Iraq is going well, Alberto Fernandez, a member of the US State Department has admitted:

I think there is great room for strong criticism, because without doubt, there was arrogance and stupidity by the United States in Iraq

He also said that the US is willing to “talk to any insurgent group, except Al Queda” in an effort to reduce the bloodshed. This in no way constitutes a change from the stance of “no negotiating with terrorists”, since they’re not terrorists, they’re ‘insurgents’.

Mission accomplished, eh?

One day later, under no pressure from his bosses at all, he retracted his statement.

In further news, the war isn’t being won and the US will not be able to stay for the long term.

So, with certain estimates putting the number of dead in Iraq attributable to the war as over 650,000 (warning, PDF link), civil war being almost inevitable and the most likely outcome would result in the country splitting into three ethnically divided regions, each probably trying to blow up the other two.

But, on the other hand, Iraq has some lovely oil reserves!

I’m not saying that Saddam Hussain was a lovely man who hugged puppies and enjoyed long romantic walks in the rain, but do people really think that post-Saddam Iraq is a better place? More importantly, do you think you’re safer from terrorism now than you were before the invasion?

I don’t.

Still, there is all that lovely oil…

October 23rd, 2006

Religious freedom – the good, the bad and the ugly

There are a number of stories in the news at the moment pertaining to religious freedoms, and how far they should be allowed to intersect with someone’s job.

Firstly, we have the story of Aishah Azmi, a 23 year old teaching assistant in West Yorkshire, who was asked to remove the veil she wears when doing her job. She’s a Muslim and believes that the Koran instructs women to ‘be modest’ in mixed company, so she dons the veil when there is the possibility of men being around. She also wears it when she’s teaching in class, which is where the problem arose, her employers had asked her to remove it when she is teaching English as it’s hardly the most effective educational technique to only show your eyes to your pupils. She refused, and kicked up a fuss about it.

However, when asked, she revealed that when then she was interviewed for the job, she was unveiled, even though there were, *shock*, men present!

The second case hitting the headlines is the case of a BAA worker who is on unpaid leave for not hiding her crucifix necklace while working, as it contravenes the company uniform policy. They specify that all religious paraphernalia should be hidden beneath the uniform, except Sikh turbans or Muslim hijabs since they plainly can’t be. There are plenty of people complaining of religious intolerance towards Christians while not enforcing such stringent rules for other faiths.

Interestingly, I think BAA are being a bit ridiculous, and the school are acting reasonably.

As much as I find the whole ‘invisible man in the sky’ idea utterly stupid, I don’t see a problem with some people showing off small representations of the gallows their founder didn’t die on (as I don’t believe Jesus as portrayed in the Bible actually ever existed); I may think it’s silly, but it’s not going to effect their job.

However the woman in the silk mask is directly interfering with her ability to do her job by hiding her face in case some man sees her and becomes inflamed by lust, or whatever other reason is used to subjugate women in the Koran.

It’s a matter of application – when dealing with people a crucifix or a turban or a hijab or a yarmulke doesn’t impact on their ability to do their job, but a veil?

So, BAA wrong, school right.

I should get a Darwin Fish pendant and wear it proud!

October 15th, 2006

Bush assassination ‘documentary’ – Mediawatch are morons

Channel 4 here in the UK have made a mock documentary about the assassination of President Bush, to much anger from the Republican Party.

I don’t have anything to say about that – as much as I dislike Bush, I certainly don’t want him assassinated, but it’s only a TV show.

What did interest me was a comment from Media Watch UK, the organisation formerly known as the Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association, founded by that grade-one hypocrite, Mary Whitehouse. These censorious muppets don’t want it shown, because, and I quote:

John Beyer of TV watchdog mediawatch-uk said the drama was irresponsible and could even spark a real-life assassination attempt.  He added: "There's a lot of feeling against President Bush and this may well put ideas into people's heads.”  And Mr Beyer issued a stark warning to Channel 4 bosses, saying: "If something happens as a consequence of this film, then blood is on their hands. Film-makers must understand how much power the media has. For that reason, the film should not be screened."

What an amazing insight! People who want to kill someone but were short of an idea could view a TV show and re-enact it! It’s just a blueprint for assassination!

The depths of stupidity these people plumb never cease to amaze.

If, as these self-appointed moral guardians maintain, viewing sex and violence on TV corrupts the mind, they should stop watching immediately, as they must be depraved and corrupted beyond redemption.

Naturally, they are above such corruption, as they are somehow ‘better’ than the proles who are exposed to this material and are likely to act out what they see. It’s the typical faux-superiority of those who want to protect us from ourselves, callow fools that we are. Frankly, everything that comes spewing forth from these people is far more offensive than anything they’re trying to ‘protect’ us from.

Assassinate mediawatch!

September 1st, 2006

Blair bitch-slapped by Carter – The world is ending!

Former president Jimmy Carter has said that our beloathed (sorry, beloved) leader Tony Blair is basically GW Bush’s puppet.

As American Presidents go, Carter wasn't what you’d call a sabre-rattler, but I absolutely agree with what he says about Phoney Tony. Bush has certainly done enough to ensure that the USA is about as popular as a McRib in a mosque, and Blair in his toady role made sure he could do everything he could to help.

Hard to believe that Blair used to campaign for unilateral nuclear disarmament…

August 28th, 2006

More End Times Wackiness

Over the years I’ve known a few fundamentalist Christians, those who take the vast majority of the bible as being literally true. I’ve debated them a few times and they always have one trump card – they know they’re right, always. There is no point of logic that you can make them concede that will change their view. Of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, since they have ‘faith’, that logic-sapping state of mind that lets them believe 10 impossible things before breakfast. You can argue around the edges all you like, show them discrepancies in the bible, even outright contradictions, but they ‘know’ it’s the divine words of their god so logic plays no part of the equation. The bible is right, therefore anyone who shows them that it’s not is obviously wrong. Simple. Cut and dried.

It’s that kind of thinking that makes people blow themselves up in crowded bars.

However, I digress. Via Harpers, ultimately from the Rapture Ready Bulletin Board, quotes from various fundies who believe that the current conflict in the Middle East are the final, definitive, not-to-be-mistaken signs of the end times.

A few choice quotes:

A question just popped in my head. Do you think children of around say 7 or 8 (but before the age of accountability) that have been indoctrinated up until that time by their parents religious beliefs will be raptured? . . . For example, would a 7 year old muslim be raptured? I know G-d will do right but I was just wondering everyone's thoughts. I hate to think of kids being left here.

I too am soooo excited!! I get goose bumps, literally, when I watch what's going on in the M.E.!! And Watcherboy, you were so right when saying it was quite a day yesterday, in the world news, and I add in local news here in the Boston area!! Tunnel ceiling collapsed on a car and killed a woman of faith, and we had the most terrifying storms I have ever seen here!! But, yes, oh happy day, like in your screen name , it is most indeed a time to be happy and excited, right there with ya!!

I am excited beyond words that the struggle of this life may be over soon and I can finally be FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

Revelling in death and suffering, presumably in a means to an end, the end being the physical transportation of a select few thousand into heaven, aka the Rapture, followed by decades of suffering on earth for the rest of us sinners before the final battle between god and satan.

Yes, it does sound like a bad Steven King novel, it doesn’t stop millions of fundies believing it.

Naturally, there is little in the way of verifiable facts involved here – after all, everything from the Catholic church, the European Union, Stalin and Arthur Scargill have been candidates for the anti-christ, so they’re following a long tradition of making shit up to fit their desire to get up into heaven with all the other pixies.

Ok, Arthur Scargill isn’t really on their list of anti-christs, I made that one up in the 1980’s when I heard one fundy explain how the beast would come from a city on seven hills. He assumed it was Rome, but I knew that Sheffield is also built on seven hills, and at the time that was where the NUM were based, so my logic was just as inescapable as his.

The one major difference between then and now is that we currently have an American president who actually believes all this rot (Ronald Reagan also did, but his antichrist was the USSR, and that, somewhat inconveniently for the rapture groupies, disappeared). The USA’s (and, naturally, lap dog Blair’s) failure to demand that Israel stop blowing up unrelated bits of the Lebanon to stop Hezbollah launching rockets only gives the fundies more joy. It’s akin to Spain blowing up bits of the Basque region to stop ETA, or the UK blowing up bits of Ireland to stop the IRA, or indeed the UK blowing up bits of Palestine to stop the pro-Israeli terrorists trying to form the state of Israel in the 1940’s (oh how people forget that Israel was formed by, what can only be described as, terrorists).

Of course, no rapture will occur, it’s a silly fiction beloved by simple-minded biblical literalists who want to smirk at the rest of us when they go up to heaven and we’re left in a living hell. It’s a kind of holier-than-thou attitude based upon enjoying the suffering of others. It’s inevitable really, when their religion revolves around holding sacred the image of a gallows, going so far as to decorate their houses with it, or wearing it as an item of jewellery.

Thank god I’m an atheist…

[edited for some typos]

July 27th, 2006

Religious fundamentalist campaigned for Bush in 2004

Though, I bet you weren’t thinking that it was Osama bin-Laden. According to Robert Parry, the CIA thought that ol’ beardy was trying hard to get Bush re-elected in 2004, as it would serve to add to al-Qaeda’s numbers:

That way bin-Laden helped ensure that George W. Bush would stay in power, would continue his clumsy “war on terror” – and would drive thousands of new recruits into al-Qaeda’s welcoming arms.’

Upon reflection, I think he was right – after all, Iraq is a shining beacon of democracy and stability now, isn't it?

July 6th, 2006

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