A religionist not doing himself any favours

October 8th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

I saw a tweet by Stephen Law and became curious as to the conversation. I clicked to see the rest and after what seemed like ages, the conversation below appeared. (Read about Stephen Laws’ Evil God challenge here)

it’s quite long so if you don’t want to read all of it, it starts getting interesting/amusing on page two, where I’ve commented.

“We currently know of 5,400 Greek copies … of the New Testament…”

September 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I’ve been reading.

Lost Christianities, by Bart D. Ehrman. The following extract shows, simply, that the New Testament, the book all Christians hold so dear, has been changed and altered at the whims of men. It is not devine in any way.

After the fourth or fifth century, copies of the New Testament became far more common. Indeed, if we count up all the New Testament manuscripts that have been discovered, it is an impressive number overall. We currently know of 5,400 Greek copies of all or part of the New Testament, ranging from tiny scraps of a verse or two that could sit in the pal of your hand to massive tomes containing all twenty-seven books bound together. These copies range in date from the second century down to, and beyond, the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century. As a result, the New Testament is preserved in far more manuscripts than any other book from antiquity.

What is interesting for those who want to know what the original text said is not the number of New Testament manuscripts but the dates of these manuscripts and the differences among them.

I should emphasize that it is not simply a matter of scholarly speculation to say the words of the New Testament were changed in the process of copying. We know that they were changed, because we can compare these 5,400 copies to one another. What is striking is that when we do so, we find that no two copies (except the smallest fragments) agree in all their wording. There can only be one reason for this. The scribes who copied the texts changed them. Nobody knows for certain how often they changed them, because no one has been able yet to count all the differences among the manuscripts. Some estimates put the number at around 200,000, others at 300,000 or more. Perhaps it is simplest to express the figure in comparative terms: There are more differences among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament.

Minister for Faith

September 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I just heard via @davorg that Baroness Warsi is to become minister for faith and communities.

My two initial thoughts

1. What the fuck? Minister for faith? Huh?

2. I can just about hear the far right screaming about the Islamification of Britain being well under way and we should’ve listened to them all along.

It doesn’t matter what religion the Minister for Faith is, there shouldn’t be one. religionists aren’t being persecuted out of existence, their unearned privilege in society is slowly being eroded. The creation of this office is a step backwards. Once again, believers of fairy stories have the ear of government with no natural justification.

Captive audience

July 12th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink


Bishop of Oxford urges Church of England to abuse it’s position as a state funded education provider.

via J&M

Bishop Dr John Sentamu talking shit about gay marriage. Again.

May 17th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

The Bishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, is showing what a dick he is. Again.

The Dr is trying to say what a travesty gay marriage will be but doesn’t quite make any decent arguement against it, as expected.

Dr Sentamu writes that homosexual couples should enjoy complete equality with heterosexuals but argues that this does not mean redefining marriage.

Not quite complete equality, then.

He explains: “Up to now, the only reason I have been given for a desire to redefine marriage to embrace same-sex relationships is that it meets an emotional need of some same-sex couples (only some, as I have forcefully been led to believe some reject the concept of marriage altogether).

And what is wrong with that? Marriage meets an emotional need in everybody Nobody needs to get married. Unmarried couples can do everything married couples can, it is only the state and the church that makes people want to get marrried by giving them certain rights. Why shouldn’t gay couples that want to be together for ever have those same rights?

Just because some gay people reject marriage should not be a reason to deny those rights to those that do want to get married. There are lots of heterosexual couple that reject marriage as well. By the bishops’ logic we should remove the rights and privileges of marriage from heterosexual marriage.

This little bit of bollox is trying to clear up his views from an interview he did for the Telegraph in January.

“Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman,” says Dr Sentamu. “I don’t think it is the role of the state to define what marriage is. It is set in tradition and history and you can’t just [change it] overnight, no matter how powerful you are.

So… If it’s not the role of the state to define marriage, then I wonder who’s job, the bishop, thinks it is? It wouldn’t be the church’s, would it? As for history and tradition, there’s plenty of evidence that the definition has been rather fluid. Here’s George Monbiot on it for starters.

“We’ve seen dictators do it in different contexts and I don’t want to redefine very clear social structures that have been in existence for a long time and then overnight the state believes it could go in a particular way.

This appeal to try and link homosexual rights to the whims of a dictator is just a load of wank. For a start, we don’t live in a dictatorship, and by no stretch of the imagination is it going to turn in one anytime some. It’s just bollox to scare people into thinking if we let the gays marry, the end of the world will soon follow.

Marriage is just a word. If homosexual couples have the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples then what is the fucking problem in calling both statuses ‘marriage’?

Once again, the church is in fear of it’s privileged position of power ond control, and it doesn’t like it.

Dead seeds don’t grow

March 27th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I’ve just come from Little Miss -O’s school easter play. It was all very nice and jolly and everything you’d expect from a school production.

Being a Catholic school and with it being easter, I think, the play was a  parable about a sunflower. The story of the Sunflower mirrored Jesus’s crucifiction and resurrection. The new seeds falling from the sunflower being the resurrection and the bringing of new life.

Everything being hunky dory until the following song…

Life is in the seed,
Life is in the seed,
But first the seed
Must fall and die
for new life to proceed.

Now, I know it’s a catholic school and I’ve got to accept some jumpsuit about miracles and zombies being fed to my lass. It’s nothing that can’t be detoxified, and to be honest she’s doing a good job of that herself.

Seriously though, dead seeds growing? Fortunately, Little Miss -O isn’t falling for that one.

militant secularism

February 16th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I wrote a post about how Nadine Dorries and Baroness Warsi are shitting themselves about a judge ruling that having prayers on a local council agenda contravenes the Local Governments Act 1972 (or something) and so prayers had to be moved off the agenda. Apparently this is persecuting the religious and if we keep going we’re going to end up in a mad, mad dictatorship with people being fired from a Trebuche foreven the slightest mention of a god of anykind.

My post got too ranty and incoherent. So here we are with this one. Trying again.

These fearmongers waffle on about militant secularism, about how no one is going to be able to practice their religion, or wear a cross or turban out in public. I presume they’re worried about about other religions not just christianity. No one seems to mention the others though.

The thing is, there is no such thing as ‘militant secularism’. Secularism is about separating religion from the state. There is no official national religion, prayers and other religious practises are performed during official duty or procedures, the state does not give favour towards one religion or another. Once that has been achieved you have a secular society. Secularism is secularism, there is no ‘militant’ about it.

Once you start removing religion from the personal and private lives of people you move beyond secularism and into the realm of a totalitarian state. Secularists do not want that. Secularists don’t give two shit what other people believe. they just do not want religion involved in running the country.

Take religion out of the legaslative process? That is A Good Thing. Laws shouldn’t be based on scripture. Your beliefs shouldn’t dictate how people that don’t believe what you do are treated.

Take the evangelical off the street corner? That is A Bad Thing. I might not like the bloke on the street corner shouting about how we’re all doomed unless we kneel before his imagination, it may even offend me to be cast as an evil sinner (it doesn’t, by the way), but that is his free to do that. He is not making me do anything. I can ask him to shut the fuck up. I can argue his points. I can ignore him, but he is not compelling me to behave or act in a certain way. The is man is, quite rightly using his freedom of expression, amongst others and no secularist would take that away.

So all this shrillness about about the collapse of society if a few people don’t say a couple of words to a diety in the morning is absolute bollocks. If a group of people need to have a moment to reflect on the business ahead, to thank or ask for guidance from a mythical entity then do it on your own time.

Either you give a give shit about religion having a say in running the country, and want to stop it, in which case you are a secularist or you don’t. These gits, with all their talk of DOOM if a prayer is missed seem to be confusing secularism with being a cunt.

What doesn’t help keep things in perspective is stuff like this, the poll in the Telegraph

“Are you worried by the threat of militant secularism in Britian?” is the question, and what a fucking question. Threat to what? The threat that the church of England will lose it’s priveliged place in the corridors of power? The threat that laws will be passed using reasoning and evidence rather than based on what someone wrote 1500, 2000, 4000 years ago?

Three of the four answers are just as stupid and don’t relate to the question.

Answer 1: “Marginalising religion is a form of intolerance seen in totalitarian regimes”

Religion isn’t being marginalised. It is just needs to be removed from the legaslative process. In totalitarian regimes, a ban on religion, or the ban on all but one, pervades in to the private lives of people. Secularism is not about that.

Answer 2: “People should worship in private and not display religious symbols in public”

Out in public, in public places, on their own vehicles, on their own bodies people, are free to do what they want as long as it doesn’t cause a breach of the peace and other public order laws. That’s not an answer about secularism, it’s an answer to a question about freedom of religion.

Answer 3: “People should feel proud to worship in public and display their faith”

Secularism isn’t about making people ashamed of their beliefs, just as much as it’s about the state not shoving religion down peoples’ throats.

Vicars, bishops, imams, rabbis, santos and all sort of religious people and people with religious beliefs have a great deal to contribute to society and the running of it. They should be allowed to contribute ideas born of religion so they can be debated as to whether they are good ideas. Those ideas shouldn’t be there just because they come from religion though.

Anyway, this post is long and rambling enough and I’m gonna start ranting again so it’s stopping here.

This post isn’t even worth giving a title

February 5th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I saw this in my feed reader from the Conservative Cornerstone Group…

That little teaser sounds like the post could’ve been a chuckle, but it’s been removed for some reason.

Maybe Edward Leigh realised he was talking bollox as usual.

An Early Day Motion? For *that*?

February 1st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink


An early day motion calling for the US government to slap the wrist of one of it’s talkshow hosts made a throw-away joke that featured the Sikh Golden Temple. BenSix reports

Johnny Carson’s unfunny protege made a joke about Mitt Romney’s wealth a few days ago, which involved suggesting that the Sikh Golden Temple was his “summer house”. No biggie. Damn, I forgot! We’re living in a world where things that should be no biggy are treated like biggies – hugies, in fact. Indians are furious; a bloke is suing Leno and in England an MP has proposed this motion…

That this House notes with concern the sketch on the NBC Jay Leno Show where the most sacred Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple, was disrespected by Jay Leno when it was referred to as GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s summer home; expresses concern and regret that this depiction of the Golden Temple as a home of the rich shows a complete misunderstanding of the Sikh faith and is derogatory to Sikhs across the world; believes that these comments are not acceptable to all those who believe in respect for all religions; calls on Jay Leno and NBC to apologise to all Sikhs for this disrespectful depiction of the Golden Temple; and further calls on the Government to make representations to the US government that while recognising principles of freedom of speech there should be more understanding and respect shown to the Sikh faith.

There’s so much to laugh at here. The claim that it was a “depiction of the Golden Temple as a home for the rich” misunderstands the joke – it’s not “isn’t it funny that rich people live there” but “wouldn’t it be funny if they did”. The idea that Leno was implying something about the nature of the Temple itself suggests that viewers of a prime-time American talk show would be aware of what it was. I’m not the only one who thinks that’s funny, no? Then there’s the cry that his jests were not acceptable to those “who believe in respect for all religions”. Well, deal with it. The sponsors of the motion might feel that offending religious sensitivities is beyond the pale but that’s no reason to insist that we follow their lead. They don’t seem to have grasped this, though, as evidenced by their breathtaking call for our government to lecture a nation because of a wisecrack that one of its comedians voiced. I’m no fan of the U.S. state but I have to admit that they’d be richly justified in sending back a note that reads, quite simply, “GTFOI”. Depressingly, this motion has gained the support of 6 MPs: Virendra Sharma; Jeremy Corbyn; John McDonnell; Kelvin Hopkins; Alan Meale and Peter Bottomley. May the Gurus frown on them.

Happy Christmas

December 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink


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