philosoraptor42: (Default)

(video link)

This time Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the representative of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland decides to come out with the same BS that we've seen in the past. He says that Christians are being persecuted for wearing crosses in public.

0:31 Beginning of relevant report.
2:24 Interview with Andrew Copson on the issue.

Andrew Copson from the British Humanist Association strikes again. Once again he explains very clearly and diplomatically why the latest "Christians are being marginalised" story is BS. (His phrasing: "their claims have very little basis in fact" rather than "they are making s**t up".)

Also liking the new beard. :)

Cardinal O'Brien has previously claimed that when the New Labour government were in power there was "a systematic and unrelenting attack on family values". Why's this? The introduction of civil partnerships, allowing adoption by same-sex couples, allowing embryo research and not passing a law to lower the legal time limit in which an abortion may be carried out. He also referred to the Equality Bill as "legislation which would completely and permanently undermine religious freedom". And now he has the audacity to push the lie that Christians' rights to wear crosses are under attack. Ugh!

(cross posted to [ profile] atheism )
philosoraptor42: (Default)

Leff: Dr. Raabe, new drugs "specialist" appointed to the ACMD.
Right: Evan Harris, Lib-Dem Politician, Secular Humanist
and generally awesome guy.

Evan Harris has a rather awesome article about the decision to appoint Dr. Raabe to the "Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs". This is the council from which Dr. Nutt was rejected because he noted that scientific research was at odds with government policy. At the point where Dr. Nutt was removed from his position, we still had a Labour government. Seemingly not to be out-played the Coalition government (Tory majority) have chosen a candidate with little in the way of expertise on this topic, but with plenty of juicy homophobic Christian fundamentalism. It seems likely that the main reason he has been chosen is because he thinks marijuana is just bad bad bad and why factor something as trivial as objectivity when appointing "specialists" for an advisory board, eh?

Evan Harris' article is as follows:
Dr Raabe's two-doctor Manchester surgery does not advertise any specialist drug clinics on its website. Other than a single article in German in 1994 on "Dietary intervention in hyperlipidemia. Experience in general practice" he does not appear to have published any peer reviewed research, let alone into drug addiction or treatment.

Given that the expert membership of the ACMD is known by the Home Office to be a sensitive issue as I have written before, it might appear that the Home Office was simply not able to recruit attract any specialist GPs and thus appointed an ordinary inner city GP.

But Dr Raabe is not just a GP. He is a leading member of the Maranatha Community – a Manchester-based fundamentalist (in the literal, non-pejorative sense) evangelical Christian group.

Read the full article here....
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

The video announces that the green party have awful policies such as:
- Oppposing discriminatory hiring policies in schools!
- Favouring more effective counselling services in schools which will cater to people from multiple faiths and cultures!
- Promoting effective abortion provision for women who wish to terminate their pregnancy!
- Encouraging setting up effective euthanasia provision for people who wish to end their lives prematurely!
(In the case of the last two, the video even says "provide effectively".)
- Arranging state recognition of gay marriage!
- Opposing unfair discrimination in the adoption system, ensuring that children are not unfairly prevented from entering a loving family!


Researching further I found this comment. I'm not sure if they were being serious:
If we get an Atheist PM, does that mean we will lose holidays like Easter and Christmas?

(Video via ONTD_P)

(Cross-posted to atheism)
philosoraptor42: (Default)
Hey, they're just trying to be Christ-like and how can they do that without at least giving the impression of being persecuted?

Yes, it seems that the American Christian Anti-Defamation Commission have decided to make an annual 'victim list' of all the things they think are done specifically to undermine Christianity in America. In 2008 apparently Obama was bashing Christians by simply being one. Here's the list for 2009. (They work backwards and so will I.):

Read more... )
philosoraptor42: (Default)
The Archbishop of Canterbury has been oddly silent about the recent moves to pass a new law in Uganda which will punish homosexuality with the death penalty . Meanwhile other members of the Anglican Church have been rather more vocal on the matter:
The Catholic Information further reveals that Christian Organizations are alarmed over the Bill. For example, among others, the Executive Council of the Anglican Church in Canada voted unanimously to oppose the Bill, that it is a “fundamental violation of human rights”. That 17th November was dedicated as international day for prayer on the issue. They are challenging their sympathizer, Archbishop (of Canterbury) Rowan to give his comment and stop it.

It is indeed appalling to read of all these and the agitation there in. It is indeed deplorable that humanity has or is nearing extinction just like the time of Noah and the flood in the Book of Genesis chapters 6 and 7. Yes the Lord Jesus prophesied of the last days that people will be lovers of self. Truly, humans have natural evil bent. They are bent to evil by nature. Laws, rules, commandments are in place geared towards saving man from own direction and destruction.
Those are the words of Bishop Joseph Abura of Karamoja Diocese (Province of the Anglican Church of Uganda).

More disgusting quotes from Bishop Joseph Abura under the cut... )
So far this probably sounds a bit mean of me. We all know that Rowan Williams' normal reaction to extreme views in the Anglican Church is to ignore it. His main aim has always been to bend over backwards for the sake of unity, hasn't it?

Well actually there was a recent issue for which he felt it was important to rush out a press release. The election of a new assistant bishop:
The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has elected a lesbian as assistant bishop, the second openly gay bishop in the global Anglican fellowship, which is already deeply fractured over the first.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, said Sunday that the choice raised "very serious questions" for the divided church and urged restraint.
Actually, Rowan Williams exact words in his swift press release regarding this assistant bishops' election was as follows:
The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold.
So what do we gauge from this? Well it seems that outright bigotry and prejudicial laws in Africa are happily ignored, while the election of an assistant bishop in America might lead to a loss of affection from the Archbishop. I doubt I'm the only person reading this shit who thinks Rowan Williams has a very odd set of priorities.

I felt that this message (left) was probably the best response to both Rowan Williams (right) and Bishop Joseph Abura.

(Via Andrew Brown's Blog)

Side-note on my original source... )

Cross-posted to atheism
philosoraptor42: (Default)

It's an odd contrast with Bill Donohue loudly proclaiming his nonsense, while Pat Robertson quietly gurgles his agreement:
Pat Robertson: Well he's nothing if it isn't a fighter and it's a pleasure to have Dr. William Donohue with us from the Catholic League. And he's written this very very interesting book called 'Secular Sabotage'. Bill, it's nice to have you here. Tell us what got you going on this book.
("Well Pat, I say this sort of crap all over the media and people actually seem to listen to me. So I figured that if I stir up even half the amount of interest I worked up for that Da Vinci Code movie, I might rake some real money out of it.")
Bill Donohue: Well thank you very much and thank you for all the good work you've done over the years in fighting to keep our Judeo-Christian heritage. What got me going is 16 years of doing this job here. [The job of promoting movies, books and television shows by complaining about them.] Looking at the whole culture and how it attacks Christianity. I decided to put it together. [In other words, conspiracy theories sell well.] And what I've done, I've got over 600 different end-notes, citations. This is not an essay, I've got the evidence here.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that Pat Robertson and Bill Donohue are both slapping each other on the back for each other's good work. While Pat Robertson probably doesn't have an awful lot of support for the Roman Catholic Church, being an evangelical protestant himself, I can see how he'd forget all that for the purpose of supporting a fellow gay-basher. I'm more surprised by Donohue though. For all the horrible things he's said in the past, I never thought he'd sink so low as to congratulate Pat Robertson for all his good work.

Still, let's get back to what we've all come to expect from Bill. During the interview, the question of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church came up when Robertson asked if "all these scandals in the Catholic Church [were] part of this secular agenda to undermine to undermine the moral fabric of the church." Donohue replied that indeed they were [the section begins around the 3:45 mark in the video above]:
There's no question that within the Catholic Church you have a you a left element ... I regard them as termites sitting within, trying to eat away the fabric of the Catholic Church. So they lie about it in the Catholic Church, they say "oh, we had a pedophilia problem." It's been a homosexual problem all along. It's not my opinion, it's the actual data from the John Jay Criminal Justice System College [sic] here in New York City which looked at the data. I'm not saying homosexuality causes predatory behavior; I'm saying that most of the priests who have been predators have been homosexuals.
Yet strangely, the very same data that Bill references seems to point towards the complete opposite conclusion:
A preliminary report commissioned by the nation's Roman Catholic bishops to investigate the clergy sex abuse scandal has found no evidence that gay priests are more likely than heterosexual clergy to molest children, the lead authors of the study said Tuesday.

The full report by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice won't be completed until the end of next year. But the authors said their evidence to date found no data indicating that homosexuality was a predictor of abuse.

"What we are suggesting is that the idea of sexual identity be separated from the problem of sexual abuse," said Margaret Smith of John Jay College, in a speech to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "At this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and the increased likelihood of subsequent abuse from the data that we have right now."

Hmmm, must have been missed out of his many citations....

(Via RightWIngWatch)

Cross posted to Atheism
philosoraptor42: (Default)
Oh dear. (from RightWingWatch)

About 100 activists at the How to Take Back America conference attended the workshop on “How to Counter the Homosexual Extremist Movement.”

When these 'homosexual extremists' get organised - there's no telling what they might do!

Workshop speakers Matt Barber and Brian Camenker urged people to be loud rabble-rousers when opposing the teaching of tolerance or sex ed in public schools.  They said not to worry about being nice or polite or liked, but to push God’s anti-gay agenda forcefully.

“Christ wasn’t about being nice,” said Barber.

Nobody fucks with the Jesus

He also strung together the most adjectives I’ve yet heard applied all at once to President Obama, declaring that “this president is a secular humanist, a radical socialist moral relativist.”

philosoraptor42: (Default)
Okay, yeah on another thread there's this guy who opposes gay marriage. He's written an entry on [ profile] talk_religion about how he's really upset that his friends keep on going ballistic about it. In the end it turns out that his only real issue, it seems, is with the term 'marriage'. I don't agree with him on that AT ALL, but I figure it might help him to know that distinguishing himself from people who don't want gay marriage whatever it's called might help. He indicates quite clearly (but not anything like as clearly as he ought to) that he would totally approve civil partnerships which convey all the same rights and priveledges provided for heterosexual married couples (such as we have in the UK). - Of course the issue that comes up then is why he can't say "well they aren't really marriages" instead of cancelling the existing marriages and expecting married gay couples to have their ceremony over again with this rather worryingly symbolic less important title.

But yeah, that's just the context. Along comes someone who is, it seems, a little more hardcore. Here are some neat little quotes which made me laugh:

By the way, in this community someone who thinks homosexuality is unnatural is just as welcome as a flaming gay guy who is militant about homosexuality.

- I've had the debate in the past about militant atheism and I feel the best response on that comes from a video by Albert10110. However, the idea of a flaming militant homosexual just cracks me up. I can't help but imagine someone in a Navy uniform.

First article of human rights is irrelevant in this community as it's not in the rules, nor do I expect others to abide by it.

- (By the way this is in response to me saying: "I think people need to take account of the feelings of minorities regardless of whether they agree or disagree with me regarding anything else. If you have a problem with the first article of the universal declaration of human rights, that's your choice of course.") I love how human rights become unimportant when they aren't in the internet community's list of rules, lol! 'Human rights are not on the agenda!'

I'm afraid that's your lot. He's not that funny.

I've made a bit of a u-turn in my opinion of fanha, the guy who started the thread. Here's some recent contributions from him:

"God laid down marriage the moment He made male and female and told them "Be fruitful and multiply"."

A Genesis literalist. How cute!

The human race could not have begun with one man and one woman. That would have been a population bottleneck too narrow for survival. We might as well say that re-marrying when you have children is bad because of the example of Snow White's evil stepmother.

A "right to marriage" no more implies a right to "marry" a member of the same sex than it would imply a right to "marry" a dolphin.

Because a consensual, mutual expression of love between a man and a dolphin is so likely....

Your examples are silly, because "freedom of religion" was never instituted or understood in such a way. "Religion" in that phrase never was equitable with "Muslim".

Islamophobic too?

Homosexuals are free to marry (enter into a legally recognized relationship with a member of the opposite sex) if they so please.

Yuck! The Orson Scott Card defence....
philosoraptor42: (Default)
I saw this several years ago and am unsurprised to see it on youtube. It's a recruitment video for Nottingham University Christian Union. What is remarkable though is that after searching for other CU vids, this appears to be the only one in the UK which puts so much effort in and yet remains unashamedly condescending:

On the one hand there's appalling music in the background. Then there's the claim that everyone in the university is going to hell (and the implication that barely any of them are actually Christian already).

When they get onto what Christianity is all about, surprise surprise, it's about evangelism. Yep that's right, joining Christian groups is all about making new Christians. That's what the big exciting mission is all about: Getting people to go out and tell more people what they should believe because 'the Bible says so'. Oh how thrilling.

The first example is set in a lecture. Someone asks whether they agree with the post-modernist idea that there's no truth. The Christian responds by showing that they (like many other students) have not done their reading and have quite possibly been asleep for the whole lecture, by completely missing the point. Their response? There is truth because Jesus is the truth. If I heard that I'd strongly encourage them to avoid the post-modernism question on the exam.

The second example is set in a house. Rather unrealistically, the housemate asks a Christian housemate what they think about Christianity and then leave the Christian to freely spout some rather mundane theology. So it seems that boring your friends to sleep is another skill Christians should brush up on.

The third example is pretty much trolling on the internet. Someone asks "is there really evidence for the resurrection" and the Christian Union member lies and says there are loads of eyewitness accounts.

One awful thing I was able to find on youtube was a typical example of a CU talk. While the clip isn't taking place in Nottingham, these speakers tend to make the rounds between the various CU groups in the UK. The CU offers free sandwiches and crisps, watches the students line up, then proceeds to spout condescending twaddle at them for half and hour.

philosoraptor42: (Default)
I recently read an LJ blog rightly criticising an article on a religiously conservative website called: worldnetdaily

While looking at the article, I saw a book being promoted entitled "Backfired: A nation born for religious tolerance no longer tolerates religion". While it would actually be pretty reasonable to presume that this was talking about Christian intolerance against other religions such as the protest against a Hindu giving a prayer in the senate and the promises of hellfire by the Westboro Baptist Church, the book is actually suggesting that Christianity is being discriminated against. I say 'Christianity', but the word used is simply 'religion'. The list of examples of this discrimination, however, shows a very definite emphasis on Christianity.

Every item on the list is quite clearly NOT discrimination.



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