Posts Tagged ‘God’

The Archbishop of Glasgow is an arrogant fucker isn’t he?

Tartaglia said (fast forward to 1:03:29 for the comments):

If what I have heard is true about the relationship between the physical and mental health of gay men, if it is true, then society is being very quiet about it.

Recently in Scotland, there was a gay Catholic MP who died at the age of 44 or so, and nobody said anything, and why should his body just shut down at that age?

Obviously he could have had a disease that would have killed anybody.

But you seem to hear so many stories about anger at ‘hurtful and ignorant’ comments, this kind of thing, but society won’t address it.

They won’t address it for the same reason Jan Moir was lambasted when she blamed Stephen Gately’s death on his homosexuality: it’s bigoted bullshit. What else is there to say? David Cairns died of pancreatitis, and Gately of an undiagnosed heart defect. Dermot Kehoe was Cairns’ partner of nearly 15 years, who’s said:

“This is genuinely very upsetting and painful for David’s family and friends. I can’t believe that someone who claims to be a man of God and is seeking to give moral leadership should speak from such a position of ignorance.

“I don’t care what his views on gay marriage are, but to bring in my dead partner to justify those views is wrong.”

So much for the Church having anything of any value to add about morality. AGAIN. Unlike Kehoe I don’t find Tartaglia’s remarks at all surprising. Religious bigotry is back on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic, and must be confronted.

Theists are at it again. Now Christian teachers are withholding a cervical cancer jab from girls on dogmatic grounds:

Schoolgirls are being denied a potentially life-saving cervical cancer jab at their schools on religious grounds.

Some schools in England have opted out of the HPV vaccination programme because their pupils follow strict Christian principles and do not have sex outside marriage. The jab guards against two strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus – 16 and 18 – which cause 70% of cases of cervical cancer. It is offered routinely to girls aged 12 to 13.

But an investigation by GP magazine found 24 schools in 83 of England’s 152 primary care trust (PCT) areas were opting out of the vaccination programme, many of them on religious grounds.

The magazine found the majority of schools opting out did not tell their local GPs, where the girls could be offered the vaccine.

Just two of the 15 PCTs where schools are denying the vaccination course told GPs of their decision.

Only five of the 15 PCTs said they informed pupils or guardians how to obtain the vaccine elsewhere, the figures show.

The reasons schools gave for not giving the jab included “not in keeping with the school ethos”, “pupils follow strict Christian principles, marry within their own community and do not practise sex outside marriage” and “the school does not want parents/students to feel pressured by peers or the school setting”.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) said GPs needed to be informed about which pupils were being denied vaccines at school to help cut cervical cancer deaths.

Every year, 1,000 women in the UK die from cervical cancer.

‘Right to life’ eh? What a crock.

  1. As usual I’ve spent some of the day challenging people on Twitter who’ve promoted that they’ve signed the infamous Coalition for Marriage petition. The campaign and its signatories (however many there really are) want to stop the Tory government’s plans to equalise marriage in the UK. Here’s a case study, who’s stuck with it long enough to become worthy of picking apart. They normally prefer to block me much earlier, in defence of their magical thinking.
  2. Okhan_2010
    Coalition For Marriage: Vote NO and save the sanctity of marriage, Between a Man & a Woman.http://shar.es/2FkAE via @sharethis

    Tue, May 15 2012 07:24:34
  3. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 Bet you can’t explain how marriage equality affects heterosexual marriages in any way.
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:28:06
  4. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer it cheapens marriage which is a divine gift between man & woman. There’s a reason homosexuals can’t naturally have children
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:34:57
  5. ‘Cheapens marriage’ ‘divine gift’ = magical thinking already. And yet another theist who doesn’t realise gay people have children all the time, just not created directly with their immediate partner. But it’s the first instance of an outright dodge from answering the simple question of how banning gay people from marrying ‘saves’ anything.
  6. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 How does a same-sex marriage affect *you*? I want to hear an an actual, demonstrable effect, not opinion.
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:37:02
  7. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer it upsets me that people can be perverted to such a degree. Makes me feel sorry for such lost people.
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:40:13
  8. He refuses to answer the question, and takes the risk of using the word ‘perverted’, but then acknowledges he can’t get away with bigotry denial if he goes down that route, and resumes magical thinking instead.
  9. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer ultimately it’s about whether it upsets God or not. Which it definitely does without a doubt
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:40:45
  10. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 Ah so you’re a rampaging bigot then?
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:40:53
  11. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer bigot? I don’t think so. One who complies to human nature? Yes that’s me.
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:43:13
  12. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 You just exhibited your bigotry in one tweet. You are qualified to define human nature how exactly?!
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:44:28
  13. There’s the predictable denial of bigotry (amazing how they like redefining that word), but he goes further, not just

    refusing directly again to provide a demonstrable effect of how me getting married to my partner can affect anyone else, but redefining science to suit his beliefs too. Strangely enough that’s bigotry you see there.

  14. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 Nope. This is about civil marriage, not about religious doctrine. Your wacky beliefs are irrelevant.
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:41:35
  15. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer this country is a Christian country mate. Has a lot to do with it.Not my ‘wacky’ beliefs but what the majority of ppl think
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:44:10
  16. Quickly defending his supernatural knowledge of science, he pretends he’s not alone in his prejudices. But the majority of people don’t agree with him:
  17. 51 percent of Britons think the government should go ahead with its plans to allow gay and straight couples equal access to civil marriage.The figure is according to a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times.

    Only 35 percent of those polled thought the government should drop the proposals to allow gay couples to marry in civil ceremonies, 14 percent said they did not know.

    Tue, May 15 2012 08:02:01
  18. But why should that matter when he’s got magical thinking, which seems to trump civil rights, laws and marriages by his own words?
  19. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 So you comply with human nature by being a Christian zealot? Are all Christians homophobes?
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:46:30
  20. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer it’s not my definition, it is that of the creator of humans. Who is alone qualified to do so. Who gives you the right ?
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:46:39
  21. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 Given human ‘nature’ is understood fully by science, which debunks your wacky nonsense, I’m even more qualified!
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:48:11
  22. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 So you now speak for an imaginary being? Even more wacky! I have the right to comment on civil law I assure you.
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:47:31
  23. Apparently ‘human nature’ is only heterosexual, yet when pressed he dodges again, to resume talking magically.
  24. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer I’m not a Christian nor a homophobe. But against Gay marriage. Ppl have free will, everything we do comes at a price.
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:47:28
  25. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer homosexuality is against the fundamental teachings of abrahamic faith (Judaism, christianity & Islam)
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:48:04
  26. Not a homophobe, but all religions licence homophobia according to him, legitimised by more magical thinking: things come with a ‘price’ apparently.
  27. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 I don’t care. Most people accept homosexuality as the normal sexual orientation that it is. You a fact denier?
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:48:51
  28. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer no concrete proof whatsoever to say its the normal sexual orientation. No reproduction with it being the norm for starters
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:50:38
  29. So now, after complaining earlier about gay people trying to redefine marriage, he freely engages in redefining the meaning of sexual orientation. You couldn’t make it up. But it’s also disturbing the speed to which he retreats to Bronze Age morality – it’s as if social change never occurred, that the ignorance of the time is somehow more desirable than the knowledge and wisdom which is available to us all now!
  30. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 And yet it is a norm despite your wacky ideas, and always has been. Throughout the animal kingdom. Evidence. See?
    Tue, May 15 2012 07:52:13
  31. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer I don’t base my morality on animals. Black widow spiders eat their male mates, sha we do that too
    Tue, May 15 2012 08:10:36
  32. And when confronted, we shift again from sexual orientation through to cannibalism. I’ve seen this argument used before – it must be a talking point passed between theist extremists.
  33. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 Strangely that’s not what we’re talking about. That’s cannibalism which is *harmful*. See the point I’m making?
    Tue, May 15 2012 08:11:33
  34. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer using the analogy your using. Homosexuality is also harmful. Especially spiritually speaking
    Tue, May 15 2012 08:12:46
  35. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 PLEASE explain the harm in homosexuality which sane people strangely can’t detect LOL
    Tue, May 15 2012 08:13:53
  36. Okhan_2010
    @Lewishamdreamer unfortunately I’m at college right now lol I’m struggling to reply as it is whilst in a lesson. Later on I will do so
    Tue, May 15 2012 08:14:42
  37. Again no understanding of cause/effect, nor any willingness to engage in rational language, just one final dodge. Back again straight away to ‘spiritually’ – magical thinking. Pitiable really. I suspect my final comment needs no further explanation.
  38. Lewishamdreamer
    @Okhan_2010 If it’s clear to you it should only take a moment or so. In a lesson eh? A great learner, clearly. You’re proving my point.
    Tue, May 15 2012 08:15:56
  39. You may say I play with these people far too much, and it’s true that I do it often for my own personal enjoyment. But here’s the reason – this is what magical thinking actually leads to when it becomes the social norm:
  40. Four men are waiting for execution for having gay sex after their statement has been confirmed by high court judges in Kohkilouye and Boir Ahmad State in Iran.
    According to reports from Human Rights Activist News Agency in Iran four men called “Saadat Arefi”, “Vahid Akbari”, “Javid Akbari” and “Houshmand Akbari” will be executed soon after their statement has been confirmed by high court judges recently.According to their statement these four men will be hanging for having same-sex sexual intercourse (Lavat).

    Sun, May 13 2012 21:40:19

Hugo Rifkind makes a strong case in The Spectator:

I hail from a religion which rarely seeks to convert, and which looks in, rather than out, and is generally happy leaving everybody else alone. Doctrine aside, I struggle to grasp the justification for any religion behaving in any other way. Last month, Sayeeda Warsi wrote of her fears that religion was being ‘sidelined, marginalised and downgraded in the public sphere’. It sounds bad, that, but only until you think about what religion is. It does not saturate most lives. It does not occupy most waking thoughts, as most go to work, work, and come home again. It simply doesn’t. When the Archbishop of Canterbury complains that the government treats those with faith as ‘oddities, foreigners and minorities’ he’s ignoring the great truth that stares him in the face — which is that this is exactly what people with faith are.

He’s hitting on a great truth here. The majority of people in this country do not consider themselves as practising theists. About half of us self-identify as ‘Christian’, but it’s only a tiny minority of even them who bother to go to church. Right now religions in this country are doing their utmost to stop gay people from marrying, inflated by a huge sense of self-importance (after all they have Bishops in the House of Lords, with the Head of State leading at least the Anglicans), when most people simply don’t get why two consenting adults who love each other. Most people don’t understand why it’s important to pray during a local government council session. Most people find it absurd that members of an established church say they’re persecuted when there’s not a single case of persecution having been brought to courts and tribunals. Religion doesn’t belong in the political sphere at all, and why would it, after all? Faith and delusion share the identical characteristics – belief without (and most importantly) against evidence and reason. The time is long gone when that mentality had any place in mainstream civil society.

From the inimitable Cristina Odone in the Telegraph:

Same-Sex Marriage Rally

Same-Sex Marriage Rally (Photo credit: City of West Hollywood)

Marriage may be a force for the good, but for some gay people, it has become a fortress they must storm. They argue that, in its present state, marriage discriminates and excludes. The ancient and much-loved edifice must be broken into – or simply broken.

I’m sorry, theists and bigots, but this is batshit crazy. It’s just plan bonkers. ‘Broken into’? ‘Broken’? There isn’t a single way in which marriage equality damages a single aspect of society – not a single one. My relationship with my male partner is in every way the equal of your marriage, and if equating mine with yours under the law causes antiquated laws you bought into to evolve to cope with it then I’m utterly fine with that. In its present state the institution does discriminate and exclude, and the only reasons I’ve been informed about to justify such run as follows:

  • Gay people have never been able to marry therefore gay people can’t get married now. This unfortunately line essentially victimises the victim of homophobia yet further, and for no reason. Being openly gay has been legal (and indeed socially acceptable) only for the blink of an eye – of course the question of same-sex marriage hasn’t been on the table before – it couldn’t have been!
  • The definition of marriage simply is male/female. This line too ignores the reality that all social constructs evolve alongside social norms – marriage has always done this and indeed always will. The Biblical line of marriage is adhered to only by a very small minority in the West, and indeed it would be a strange thing to compare a Saudi marriage with an average British one. Homophobia is now not a mainstream social norm in the West, and most (by no means all) people don’t comprehend how any two consenting adults who love each other can’t get married.
  • Changing the definition of marriage carries with it all sorts of dangers: what to say to the kids about gay relationships, relationship roles in official documents needing to become gender neutral, the possibility of national leaders and Heads of State being out and gay. As far as I’m concerned these are non-issues, the latter in particular not causing any problems at all in Iceland and Belgium.

Odone however keeps adding ‘reasons’:

The Government claims that its plans to legalise gay marriage will not affect religious institutions, only civil ones. But given that the gay marriage lobby seeks equality in this area, how long would it accept the ban on gays marrying in church or synagogue? It is bound to argue that exclusion from a religious ceremony amounts to discrimination, and will almost certainly campaign to force priests and vicars to celebrate gay marriages even if that goes against their heartfelt beliefs. Freedom of conscience will be sacrificed at the altar of a “right” that the Civil Partnership Act was supposed to have conferred years ago.

We live in a society governed by civil, not religious law. I see no reason why there should be a ban on gay people marrying in churches, synagogues or mosques. Why should a single institution in the country be exempt from equalities legislation? Why shouldn’t gay Muslims be able to marry, gay Jews, gay Christians, in the temples of their choosing? She ends by arguing that theists should have unrestricted ‘freedom of conscience’, but since when did that involve being able to discriminate against gay people for any reason, in a society with laws to protect from such? I don’t believe a majority of Britons feel that equality is culturally dangerous – in presenting such an absurd argument Odone edits out everyone whose views, lives and needs don’t chime with her own, and at the end of the day me marrying my partner would have no impact on anyone else’s life (or marriage, the most ludicrous ‘anti’ reason I’ve yet come across). The Christian (and most recently Muslim) zealot brigade need to reflect on what ‘values’ are fuelling their opposition.

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Colby Hess nails it in one:

The ongoing circus act that is the Republican primaries are an excellent case study in personification, for the ringmaster of the moment is the very embodiment of all that atheists despise about religion. Rick Santorum is so ignorant, so bigoted and hypocritical, so authoritarian, theocratic, shortsighted, and so out of touch with facts and with reality in general, that if he did not happen to exist already, it would almost be necessary to invent him in order to serve as the poster child for everything that’s wrong with religion – especially when it gets mixed up with politics.

Rick Santorum hates nearly every societal advance that has been achieved since the Dark Ages – in short, everything that we refer to as “progress.” He hates the growing secularization of society and the implementing of laws based on things like equality, fairness, justice, and reason instead of blind deference to imaginary authority. He hates the empowerment of women and their having control over their own bodies instead of being merely meek and obedient baby-making machines. He even hates the Earth itself, which he looks at as some kind of vassal state to be plundered at will.

It’s such an awesome article I can’t recommend it highly enough. Santorum legitimises religious fundamentalism, with all of the abuses inherent in that, and must be decisively confronted. Having clearly watched history, he picks the usual religious/nationalist talking points which engage those most affected by economic crashes, and in galvanising huge swathes of the south, is proving how little people change. Fortunately however in running on a blatantly bigoted platform, he is also proving the fundamental dangers inherent in religion through example. Day by day, ever more atheists…

Enhanced by Zemanta