Nowadays, from November until the “big day” itself there will be a steady trickle of stupid non-stories about councils banning Christmas, or having to say “Happy Holidays” or some such nonsense. Scratch the surface of this drivel and you usually find that the truth is far more prosaic than the headline promises.
Early off the blocks this year is Paul Vivian, an evangelical preacher from Grimsby. (I will resist the temptation to get all regionalist and say that they need some light and enlightenment up there … but ever since the great Austin Mitchell retired from Parliament they’ve been somewhat lacking!) Mr Vivian has got his little proselytising knickers in a twist over a billboard which has been doing the rounds and which wishes the public a “Mary Christmas” and invites them to the town’s “Supercalifragilistic Light Switch On”.
He was so shocked about it that he wrote to Grimsby Live (the local rag). He was full of “disgust and outrage”. He says “The people responsible for inciting this offence are not in line with the law of this country or laws governing Human Rights, and I, as an ordained Minister of the Gospel request an immediate apology, and removal of this billboard!” In his argument Mr Vivian cites Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which obliges countries to adopt legislative measures against “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence”.
Now, call me old fashioned, but I would have said that inciting religious hatred would be something like advocating gassing Christians, or throwing Muslims off tall buildings – not equating the alleged birth of a person not proven to exist with the activities of the truly invented. (I’ll leave you to figure out which is which!)
Mr Vivian claims that “We need to lawfully and wholeheartedly respect all religions and their festivals, without preference or prejudice.”
Err, like fuck we do! If that were truly the case we would not be having Christmas at all. There is no Biblical evidence that Jesus was born in December and no physical evidence for him at all. Given genuine respect for other cultures, we should be getting ready for the Winter Solstice – a celebration that 4th century Christians nicked.
Minor argument with a Jehovah’s Witness this morning. They get in the damned way when you’re trying to get to work.
Anyway, it made me read up some stuff on what they believe. Best bloody laugh I’ve had in months! It’s even more whacky than all the talking snakes stuff.
I sometimes find it hard to believe man’s ability to be inhuman, but then another senseless act of violence brings it back into very sharp focus.
I could file the events of yesterday in Orlando in the already overflowing drawer labelled “Predictable Consequences of letting any old basket-case have a gun”. We are all too familiar with the seemingly endless stream of carnage and mass murder from around the world, but this one’s rather personal.
The gunman’s father apparently told NBC News that his son was enraged after recently seeing a same-sex couple kissing in front of his family, “an event that could have set him off”.
THAT’S a reason to murder 50 people and ruin the lives of countless others? I see people doing things that offend me almost every day. Does that give me carte blanche to go crazy and kill anyone of whom I don’t approve? No! No! NO!!
What is emerging is a picture of an unstable racist, misogynist and homophobe who, regrettably, had easy access to weapons. The attack must have been homophobic, else why choose a gay nightclub.
Even more gross and disgusting is the absolute glee with which the attack has been seized upon by christian nutjobs claiming it as “god’s punishment”. Just Google “Pat Robertson” or “Westboro Baptist” if you don’t believe me! They are in paroxysms of righteous joy. Filth!
Well, there’s news for you and any other religious extremist who thinks they’re doing “god’s work” by spewing hate or violence towards gay people. Homosexuality occurs naturally. There is reliable evidence to show that we were around long before your religions even got started. And we will be here long after they have crumbled into dust.
We will NOT go quietly into the night.
We’re Here, We’re Queer – now grow up and deal with it!
On a roll today!
This one is about Christina Wilkinson, headteacher of St Andrew’s Church of England school in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire. She, it was, who penned this little doozey –
“Evolution is not a fact. That’s why it’s called a theory! There’s more evidence that the Bible is true.”
I find it rather worrying that someone educated to degree level and entrusted with educating children should fail so miserably to understand basic English.
A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not “guesses” but reliable accounts of the real world.
The “Theory” of Evolution, like the “Theory” of Gravity, is as close to unquestionable as it’s possible to get. The Bible, on the other hand, contains nothing more complex than notions written down by people who didn’t understand where the sun went every night. It is evidence only of its own existence – nothing more.
Besides which – we all KNOW that the universe was sneezed out by the Great Green Arkleseizure. It says so in the book …
Asher’s Bakery in Belfast has been back in the Courts this week, seeking to appeal against the five hundred quid fine they received for refusing to bake a cake supporting gay marriage. They say that it conflicts with their deeply held religious beliefs.
Ah, yes, that would be Leviticus 18:22, then? (“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” For the Google impaired among you.)
Now, for the benefit of the casual reader I state again that I don’t give a rat’s arse what anyone else believes. But if you’re going to use Bronze age writings to justify your moral high ground it is reasonable for the rest of us to expect you to adhere to the whole lot and not let you get off with practicing just the bits you agree with.
I would like to suggest to the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Declan Morgan, that he asks the man from Ashers why he was seen wearing a cotton shirt, with a polyester raincoat and a silk tie (Leviticus 19:19) before requiring him to get his family jewels out in Court to ensure that he is a genuine follower of the Lord (Deuteronomy 23:1).
Nauseating scenes today of christian nutjob Kim Davis being released form jail and wanting to “give god the glory”!
For what, love? You lost – resoundingly. You haven’t stopped the issuing of marriage licences and, indeed, you are prohibited from preventing it on pain of being sent back to prison.
However, what is more disturbing about this is that at least two of the men seeking to be President of the USA condone her unlawful behaviour in the name of religious freedom. What a horrible and dangerous precedent these right wing loonies would set.
While we’ve been away on holiday I’ve been watching, with slowly dropping jaw, the escalation in the Kim Davies case. She is the Rowan County Clerk in Kentucky who has been refusing to issue marriage licences to gay couples.
(The christian right in the USA have been bleating that marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life, so I will mention only in passing Ms Davies’s monstrous hypocrisy, as she herself has been married four times, twice to the same man!)
The crunch came last Thursday when Kim was jailed for her persistent refusal to comply with the US Supreme Court’s ruling on equal marriage. This response to her stance is being portrayed as religious persecution, along with some very tasteless and completely unjustified comparisons with the Holocaust.
Let’s get the matter straight. This is NOT victimisation and it is NOT persecution. It is purely and simply a punishment imposed on a public official for a contempt of Court as a direct result of a wilful refusal to do her job.
I have spent a fair amount of my working life in public service. I currently work for a large government department where I am required to administer law. In all those years there have been occasions – thankfully quite few – when I have been required to do things with which I personally disagreed. I’m sure that many of my colleagues will admit the same. If I were ever to refuse to do those things I would be disciplined, if needs be to the point of dismissal. If I refused to comply with an Order from a Court I could be jailed.
This is a fact of life for public officials – part of the deal! You take the job knowing that you might have to do things you don’t agree with, and if the struggle between public duty and private conscience becomes too great you find another job. You CANNOT just pick and choose which parts of the law you will apply. THAT’S NOT HOW THIS WORKS!
When Civil Partnerships were introduced in the UK there were similar arguments put up by a few christian registrars, but these were all rejected by the Courts. In most cases they were quietly transferred to other duties, but one or two just had to go – and so will Kim Davies unless she does the job she was elected to do.
She has been told that she will remain in jail until she complies or resigns. I say Let Her Rot!
Just had this little gem drawn to my attention:
“Saudi Arabia has called on the international community to ban all criticism of religion.
At a July 25 symposium on media coverage of religious symbols in international law, Abdulmajeed Al-Omari, director for external relations at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, said:
“We have made it clear that freedom of expression without limits or restrictions would lead to violation and abuse of religious and ideological rights. This requires everyone to intensify efforts to criminalize insulting heavenly religions, prophets, holy books, religious symbols and places of worship.”
He argued these steps must be taken to prevent intolerance.”
What a prize plonker! Call me old fashioned, but that’s quite the most intolerant argument against intolerance I’ve seen in many a long year!
Dreadful news this evening from Paris. I was going to write about it, but my friend John Edun beat me to it in a succinct and forceful way. I know that he won’t mind my repeating his words here.
“I’ve only just seen the news regarding the sickening, barbaric and cowardly attacks at the “Charlie Hebdo” offices in Paris.
This appalling attack on the right to satirise, to exercise free-speech and to hold a “different” view is abhorrent, vile and disgusting.
To those who committed this heinous act, you are nothing but murdering filth and lower than excrement.
Whatever you say or think, you do not represent any religion, ideal or cause – instead you symbolise that which is despicable and detestable in life.
You represent fascism, oppression and all that is foul and putrid.
You will never triumph in your twisted and evil plans.
To the good, decent, people of Paris and indeed France I send my love, support and sympathy…
Liberté Fraternité Égalité – Vive La France! xxx”
Well said, that man.
I’m sitting here on Christmas Eve, Classic FM churning out carols, desperately trying to think of something original or thought-provoking to write – and failing miserably!
I could, of course, excoriate the numpty who currently calls himself Prime Minister for the nauseating slush he came out with today, but that’s a post on its own and I want to relish it! (Besides, next year is election year, and if you think I’m going to ignore a target THAT big … … …)
I could look back at Christmas posts past, but only two years ago I was writing about children being massacred in their school by a crazed gunman. Two years on and there’s the Peshawar attack, the only differences being in scale and that the killers were trying to make a political point.
I could recount some of the anti-social crap encountered over the last few days in the High Street as the country wallows in an orgy of short term consumerism. (Apart, that is, from the estimated 4,000,000 UK people who will spend Christmas Day alone!)
I could do any of those, but, to be totally honest, I really can’t be arsed.
Whatever you do tomorrow, have a great day!