(Yes, I know it’s still only September, but we need to avoid last minute panic!)
Contrary to what you may have heard, atheists are just as likely to enjoy Christmas as Christians. It’s a midwinter festival that predates Christianity, so why shouldn’t we join in?
Of course we don’t believe in that religious stuff, but Christmas spirit can be enjoyed with or without soda.
One thing that often troubles atheists is what kind of cards to send. There are overtly religious ones,Santa ones, and there are generic snow scenes, but there aren’t many straight out atheist cards. None, in fact, the last time I looked in a card shop. That’s why I make my own, and I’ve decided to collate them on another blog.
If you’d like to use any of my Mythmas pictures in your own cards (printed out or e-cards), feel free to do so. You can find them, and some of my other pictures, at my other blog by clicking on the link below.
This link is also on the right hand side below the blogroll.
The morning after Panorama‘s second visit to the subject of Scientology seems an opportune time to revisit a story from a couple of years ago.
The words in the title were written on a sign held up by a 15 year old boy at a protest in London on May 10th 2008. For refusing to take down the sign, he was arrested and the sign was confiscated. This was despite Scientology being called a “corrupt, sinister and dangerous cult” by Mr. Justice Latey. That was in 1985, so the City of London police had plenty of time to read up about it before the demonstration that they knew was to take place. The trouble was Scientologists had already been “grooming” high-ranking police officers with expensive gifts. It is telling that nowhere else in the world was anyone arrested during the co-ordinated protests against Scientology, even in the neighbouring Metropolitan Police area.
The case never got to court.
It’s sometimes very difficult to defend the concept of free speech, especially when one hears news like this (click here.)
David Irving, the revisionist “historian” who has already served time in Austria for holocaust denial, is conducting tours of Nazi death camps, charging in the region of £1500 per head.
He has described Auschwitz as a “Disney- style tourist attraction” so his tours won’t be very instructive, unless of course you simply want to learn new ways to belittle entire groups of people you’ve never met by lying through your teeth.
I still believe in free speech, and there can’t be any exceptions, but sometimes I can’t help wishing there could be.
Many people, even atheists, think that religion is harmless and that it doesn’t affect them. In the UK it is often considered impolite to criticise religion, even though laws are made and social changes are begun that affect everybody, based on the superstitions of some. Even a famed peacenik like Gandhi wasn’t immune to making stupid remarks that, if taken seriously by too many people, could have spelled disaster for millions. If enough people had heeded his call to sit around spinning their own cloth, most of India would have starved. In more technologically advanced times and places, laws are enacted that limit the scope and ability of scientists to make medical advances that could save and enhance life for millions of people. They do so on the basis of spurious morality, taken from made-up stories, such as “a human life begins at conception so abortion is murder”, and seek to curtail stem cell research. It is a pity such “pro-lifers” show much less concern for the suffering of those who have actually been born.
Much as I despise the contents of the “holy” books of all the Abrahamic religions, I do not advocate burning them. Such practices conjure up pictures of horrific fascist regimes who are quite willing to progress to destroying people.The idiots in this video seem to be of that ilk, belonging as they do to the odious “English Defence League“, a far right group concentrating, for the moment, on stirring up hatred for Muslims.
Presumably, the racist nature of this group is the reason for their arrest “on suspicion of inciting racial hatred”.
However, aside from the fact that religion is not a race, I think this is a mistake. They could have been arrested on far less contentious charges, to do with playing with petrol in a public place. Behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace is the minimum offence that could have been applied to this case, but instead there are going to be endless arguments about freedom of expression.
Burning of books is a loathsome practice, but rather than arresting people for destroying their own property, we should simply hold them up to ridicule. Laws can make a positive impact on what is acceptable behaviour, but not if they are used as sledgehammers to crack what are, in the case of the EDL, very tiny nuts.
Click here for more on this story.
Oh dear! Poor Ratty!
No sooner than he gets home from a visit to a “third world country” that doesn’t appreciate him than he gets a knock on the door from the local rozzers, wanting to know more about his ill-gotten gains than he’d like to tell.
It’s odd though, that he claims to be the leader of a sovereign state (which is how he came to be on a “state visit” just a few days ago) yet the police who are investigating his affairs are from the “neighbouring state” of Italy!
If even Catholic Italy aren’t showing the undeserved respect that the Vatican has become accustomed to, there’s hope for us all.
Click here for more on this story.
When you see the big letter A it means the bearer is neither frightened nor ashamed to be identified as an atheist. Of course, for some of us, myself included, it’s no big deal. If somebody threatens me with violence because I don’t believe in a god, they will be arrested. In some places the police would assist the assailant!
The badge is really to encourage those who are under that kind of threat. I wouldn’t ask someone to display it if by doing so they risked their, or their family’s, safety or livelihood.
If, on the other hand, you can display it, that letter A will show other atheists that they are not alone, whatever the more strident religious people might say.
For more information click here.
Well, Joe Ratzinger has departed our shores and returned to the comfort of home. I wonder what will be his impression of the British people. Will he have received the full impact of the disgust and anger he has engendered in many of us, or was he so coddled by the “great and the good” that he didn’t even notice?
Our Prime Minister, like most of the politicians who met with Joe, fawned over him and assured him that “faith is part of the fabric of our country. It always has been and it always will be”.
What gives Cameron the right to presume that? More and more people are deserting the churches, and even religion, so his words are not only presumptuous, but inaccurate too.
But then politicians, like religious leaders, prefer the common folk not to think for themselves, but merely to follow their leaders, so maybe it’s just wishful thinking on his part.
“They haven’t disputed the order of Creation, set down thousands of years ago in Genesis, these very clever scientists. We got it right!”!
Those were the words of arch celibate and Roman Catholic Ann Widdecombe today in an interview on Sky News.
Is she really that dense? The order of creation is disputed in the bible itself! There are two different accounts in the book of Genesis, and they don’t agree. So much for the bible being the word of a perfect god!
Both those scriptural accounts are, of course, utterly wrong, as any real scientist will tell you. The Earth wasn’t around before there was light. It’s just a childish story, told, and believed, by the ignorant. At least the people who came up with the fairy tale had an excuse. They hadn’t benefited from the Enlightenment. What’s Ann’s excuse?
Perhaps she should concentrate on her forthcoming television appearance on Strictly Come Dancing.
One of the pope’s astronomers, Guy Consolmagno, would really love there to be intelligent life on other planets. So far so rational. However he goes on to insist, without any evidence at all, that such beings would have souls and that he would be prepared to baptise them. He would only do this with their consent though, which is a welcome change, given the Catholic church’s record in such cases as that of Edgardo Mortara, who, in 1858, was baptised without his parents’ knowledge, then forcibly removed from them.