Tags: religion

The Pope: Fight the UK Equality Bill with "missionary zeal"

So the Pope is at it again. By being at it I of course refer only to spreading the word of his god.

The Pope has faced a backlash after urging Catholic bishops in England and Wales to fight the UK's Equality Bill with "missionary zeal".

Pope Benedict XVI said the legislation "violates natural law".

What has the Pope so worked up in the new Equalities Bill? Well in short one of the key aims is to extend discrimination protection into private clubs and associations.

Basically the Roman Catholic Church in the UK would be no longer able to discriminate against gays.

So that's not terribly surprising in my opinion. Religious people have always been anti-gay. What is surprising is how surprised people are over his statements, have they never flicked through his holy texts and seen what they say?

"You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." - Leviticus 18:22

"If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them." - Leviticus 20:13

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God." - 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

And that's after 2 minutes of searching. Labour MEP Stephen Hughes comments:

Religious leaders should be trying to eradicate inequality, not perpetuate it.

Religious leaders don't give a damn about inequality, which has always been the domain of secularists. Religious leaders' only concerns are with the preservation of their Bronze Age mythology and getting their fingers into society with as much extent as possible to influence it according to their ancient books. The Pope's job is to lead the Roman Catholic Church, to think he'll become a champion for something that opposes the beliefs of his church is na´ve. You can't just attack the figure head, the entire religion is founded upon this sort of nonsense.

A Muslim Prime Minister? So what?

Over on Labourhome one poster attacks Labour MP Shahid Malik for "handing the BNP a massive propaganda victory".  What's the reported mishap?  At a conference back in 2008, Shahid Malik is reported to have said:

"I am confident, as Britain's first Muslim minister, that, in the next thirty years or so, we'll see a prime minister who happens to share my faith."

What's the big deal?  We have a Church of Scotland Prime Minister right now, we've had Church of England Prime Ministers in the past and even in-the-closet Roman Catholics.

The real issue everyone seems to be missing isn't about which supernatural intergalactic dictator somebody subscribes to, but the fact they subscribe to any supernatural intergalactic dictator.  I'd like to think that in 30 years time we would have made some progress and that we wouldn't have people in such important positions believing in such childish fairy tales.

The original poster goes on to ask:

So my question is this - how should Labour respond to Mr. Malik's remarks?

Respond to what?  He's entitled to his opinions, why should the Labour Party do anything about that? 

I do believe he's wrong and that the Christian elite are too well entrenched in this country for us to see a Muslim PM in that sort of time frame, at least not without a serious shift towards a secular state.  I'd like to think the increasing fundamentalism between Christianity, Judaism and Islam will help bolster the secular movement and drive the sensible majority in this country against religion - or irrationality in general, if its the Prince of Wales' bogus detox snake oil or supernatural intergalactic dictators at the end of the day its all the same thing - bullshit, and we should strive against it.

Religious fundamentalists and anti-homosexuality nonsense

So the religious lunatics are at it again. The rise of fundamentalism in the United States is a real problem and needs to be stamped out.

This time Reverend Ken Hutcherson and his (to quote the Telegraph) "evangelical megachurch has vowed to take over Microsoft by packing it with new shareholders who will vote against the company's policy of championing gay rights."

Microsoft is fairly well known in the United States for supporting a solid policy of employee diversity. There's a group within Microsoft called the Gay and Lesbian Employees At Microsoft (GLEAM). A lot of technology companies are typically quite liberal (well apart from Apple and Adobe, who unlike most others give more money to the Republican Party) when it comes to matters such as this, and I'm surprised haven't yet been the target of more religious nonsense.

This guy is asking millions of evangelical Christians, Jews and the like to buy up Microsoft stock so they can vote against these policies within the company.

Here's a few of the things this guy has had to say:

"I consider myself a warrior for Christ. Microsoft don't scare me. I got God with me."

"I told them that you need to work with me or we will put a firestorm on you like you have never seen in you life because I am your worst nightmare. I am a black man with a righteous cause with a whole host of powerful white people behind me."

"Microsoft stepped out of their four walls into my world so that gives me the right to step out of my world into their world."

"They tried to turn their policy into state policy, making their policy something I had to submit to. And my playbook tells me you don't submit to sin."

Now I know most people in the UK would dismiss the guy as a nutcase, and rightfully so, but increasingly in the United States these people are becoming ever more powerful and they influence millions of people.

Never in the UK have I met somebody who told me that being gay is a life choice, yet on my forums, the majority of members of which are American it is a frequent area of argument. Of course there is zero evidence to support these claims, but when you're dealing with people who place faith above hard scientific facts nine times out of ten you're wasting your time discussing it. If their pastor or priest has told them it is a life choice and a sin, it is probably too late. That method of thought - or lack of thought must be stopped.

This is why faith must be attacked by reason, the scientific method is the most powerful invention we have ever made and we should use it to investigate everything. Religion has been getting a free ride for far too long, and people in the United States must openly challenge it and reverse the damage that has already been done. A secular country where God is mentioned in the pledge of allegiance and mentioned in the country's motto has something seriously wrong with it.

In the UK too fundamentalism is on the rise, creationism is being actively taught in some schools, children can be divided up into faith based schools, some Jewish communities and of course Northern Ireland spring to mind which creates segregation which can well follow them throughout their lives.

Imagine a world without religion

It is time people make a stand against religion, although the majority of religious people are perfectly decent, by their support of putting faith above reason they allow generations of people to be indoctrinated into something that simply has no basis in the real world.

All too often we see fundamentalists causing the spread of HIV by telling people that condoms are evil, we see deadly diseases break out because parents refuse to vaccinate their children, this has cropped up many times throughout Africa killing thousands of people, all because some church said the vaccines gave people aids. Then we have people blowing themselves up because they have been indoctrinated into believing there is an afterlife.

It needs to be stamped out, I believe religion should be a strictly private matter, the intervention of religious ideology in society should be stopped, it is dangerous and regressive. Things look far too similar to the spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire, where science was suppressed the Great Library burned and civilisation in Europe collapsed into a thousand years of religious darkness. Never again.

I feel more religious book burnings coming on

Dumbledore, the old guy in Harry Potter is gay. From the BBC:

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has revealed that one of her characters, Hogwarts school headmaster Albus Dumbledore, is gay.

You know it was bad enough with religious fundamentalists in the United States trying to get the Harry Potter books banned (here, here etc), for evil witchcraft and the like, now they'll be at it in full force again.

I can see the headlines now...

"Gay witchcraft - the new threat to Bible-believing Americans".

I give it a week until some fundamentalist nuts call for a ban, or a public burning (Reverend Lovejoy style), or some other crazy thing.

Blinded by faith (literally)

Jesus is well known for "curing" the blind, in this case the irony is overwhelming when a christian goes blind while searching for the Virgin Mary in the Sun.

Amal Nassif believed 17-year-old Francesca Zackey when she said the Virgin Mary would appear if Nassif gazed into the sun.

Now 37-year-old Nassif, a devout Catholic, may be blind for life.

She went to Zackey - the Benoni girl who claims to have repeatedly seen the mother of Jesus - to receive a blessing.

Now she says at least four other people also damaged their eyes after being told "the lady" would spin the sun and confirm her presence to her believers.

[...]

Meanwhile, at her home, Zackey performed several "spiritual healings" and insisted thousands of people around the world had looked into the sun to confirm Mary's presence.

Her mother Bridgette said she looked into the sun each and every day.

The teenager has started a prayer group and is launching a youth group - a demand she says that Mary made on one of her appearances.

Apparently the Virgin Mary failed to tell Zackey that looking at the Sun can cause blindness in any of her visions. I'd like to see criminal charges brought against Zackey.

Full article here.