Dawkins & Hitchens Copy Me

Arrest The Pope, well Game On. While I said it on the 10th March better late than never eh fellas? However I would like for this considered attempt to not become a divisive Dawkos & Hitchites vs. Teh Religious, this is not simply religion that has enabled the paedophile mafia, it is Conservatism, the most potent and dangerous mix of ideologies has been the Right & God (whatever the flavour). That it found its ultimate expression in the abuse of the most defenceless children is entirely in keeping with that mix, it is predation, privilege & greed. The Vatican privileges its priests above the rights of the laity, using god as the cover for rigid hierarchies, since the inception of the church  figures within it warned about this and the abuse of those under the church’s power. This is not news or a surprise and when it is presented as such that indicates immediately the dishonesty and bad faith being engaged in by the leadership. This arrest idea might fall to just being a gimmick, the law is not applied to the elite, but it should be a serious change in the institutional position of religion, the god trump card should not be used to create an exceptional para legal world where rights are dependent on what some man (and it is usually a man) says god told him was right.

And if they do get the Pope, then let’s make Blair the next target, deal? Take it away Beau Bo D’or

A Sorry Apology

Colm O’Gorman:- On Saturday Pope Benedict XVI published his letter to the Irish Church on the issue of child abuse. What was necessary seemed clear. As Pope, acknowledge the cover up by Roman Catholic Church of the rape and abuse of children by priests, take responsibility for it, and show how you will ensure it never happens again.

But the letter failed to do any of this. There was no acceptance of responsibility for the now established cover up, no plan to ensure that across the global church those who rape and abuse will be reported to the civil authorities and children properly protected.

The letter is clearly an effort to restore the credibility of a church rocked by the publication of three state investigations into clerical crimes and church over ups in Ireland. The Pope has seen all three of these reports.

Published in May 2009, following an eleven year State investigation, the Ryan Report detailed the full extent of the horrific abuse endured by children abandoned to the ‘care’ of the church.

It reported ritualized, savage beatings, endemic rape and sexual assault and the exploitation of children forced to work to enrich the bloated religious congregations charged with their care.

Disgracefully, the Pope used his letter and this issue to attack one of his favourite targets, secularisation. We are asked to believe that the secularisation of Irish society led to abuse and cover up. In fact, it is the secularisation of society that finally led to the exposure of the crimes of the church.

The most horrific abuse was perpetrated, not in a secularised Ireland, but at a time when Irish society was dominated, socially and politically, by the Catholic Church.

That the Pope appears to have wilfully ignored this established fact is a blatant and disgraceful deceit.

Some have reported that the Pope issued a heartfelt apology to victims of abuse. In fact the word ‘sorry’ appeared just once in a letter running to almost four thousand seven hundred words.


Christianists & Empire

This passed me by at the time but his recent comments set me wondering and indeed, the current Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland Matt Baggott is a born again christian and chairman of the christian police officers association and vice president of the National Association of Police Chaplains, hmmm.

He has a fondness for the Old Testament and recently wrote an article for Britain’s Christian Police Association (CPA) urging officers to become followers of the Prophet Malachi so “our prayers, attitudes and actions will bring many to the reality and hope of the cross”.

He is president of the CPA, an evangelical Protestant group that believes “the Bible is the inspired Word of God without error and is the only complete authority on matters of faith and doctrine”. In public, however, he is more given to management speak than biblical quotations.

He was born in 1959 in an affluent Christian family and attended a public school in Croydon; Axcell thinks it was Trinity School, a Christian foundation with high academic standards.


Bernard Greaves, a gay-rights activist and member of Leicester Police Authority, is equally positive. “I have a good, effective relationship. He knows I am gay and there is never any problem,” he says. “The police have an excellent hate crimes unit which is very supportive of the lesbian, gay and bisexual community.”

Leicester is the most ethnically diverse city in the UK and is expected to have a non-white majority by 2011. Baggott and his force seem popular in all parts of the community. Hanif Aqbany, a Labour councillor, said: “We are delighted with the local police. They are approachable and accessible.”

He has been seen to be proactive in publicly apologising for racism, sexism & skiving when exposed by Dispatches. However-

He was staff officer to Sir Paul Condon, then the Met commissioner, for 18 months. As a chief superintendent, he was given the sensitive job of heading the team assisting the public inquiry into the force’s botched investigation of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the black teenager stabbed to death in 1993.

The evidence against the Met was damning; it was found guilty of “institutional racism” and corruptly covering up mistakes. Baggott made one of his few PR mistakes when he said the fact that the killers shouted racist abuse did not prove the killing was racially motivated.

Although the gang that murdered Stephen is not disputed to have called out ‘What, what, n*gger?’, police claimed at various points during the inquiry that the attack on Stephen was not racist. CS Matt Baggott (who heads the police team at the inquiry) stated, contradicting police guidelines, ‘Words are not sufficient evidence of racial motivation.’

His reported charm and professionalism seem to have served him well and his affluent and christian background have cemented his establishment credentials rather than created an iconoclast. And after the mess of the Lawrence case he has at least known enough to at appear more concerned with ‘canteen culture’. Still, is having another religious person (and predictably of prostestant extraction) in the mix the wisest idea?

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Fuck tha Pope

While Benny continues to attack people for…um, well having human rights and sexual abuse remains covered up from the Vatican on downwards, here is an example of the fine sort of priest Benny apparently still thinks should be in the Church- Christian von Wernich. Hell you remember him, he worked with the fascist dictatorship in Argentina to torture and murder people, well even though he was finally jailed for his activities he is still a priest and saying mass (note the veil of silence familiar from the Church’s approach to its child rapists), via Lillie Langtry @ Memory in Latin America

(IPS) – More than two years after he was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity committed during the 1976-1983 dictatorship in Argentina, former police chaplain Christian von Wernich has not been penalised by the Catholic Church.

IPS found out that the 71-year-old priest even celebrates mass in prison.

Von Wernich was sentenced on Oct. 9, 2007 by a court in the city of La Plata, 57 km southeast of Buenos Aires, as an accomplice in the murders of seven members of the Peronist guerrilla organisation Montoneros, which was active in the 1970s, 31 cases of torture, and 42 cases of deprivation of freedom during Argentina’s dirty war.

According to human rights groups, 30,000 people fell victim to forced disappearance during the military dictatorship.

The Cámara de Casación, Argentina’s highest criminal appeals court, upheld von Wernich’s sentence in 2009.

As chaplain for the notorious Buenos Aires provincial police, von Wernich held the rank of inspector and frequently visited the regime’s secret torture camps, encouraging political prisoners to provide information in order to avoid being tortured.

Catholic Church leaders have kept mum on the case of the first clergyman accused and convicted of genocide. One Church source who spoke to IPS on condition of anonymity said von Wernich holds mass in Marcos Paz prison, 50 km west of Buenos Aires.

“There will definitely be a penalty,” the source predicted, although he said what form it would take would depend on von Wernich’s superior, Bishop Martín Elizalde of the Nueve de Julio diocese.

Priests involved in progressive ecclesial base communities, which follow liberation theology, at the other end of the spectrum from von Wernich’s far-right views, preferred not to comment on the case.

Von Wernich’s parishioners in Marcos Paz are a unique lot. The priest shares the prison with dozens of former torturers, including high profile participants in the dirty war like ex-Navy Captain Alfredo Astiz, also known as the Blond Angel of Death, and former Navy Captain Jorge Acosta, alias “The Tiger”, who was head of intelligence at the Naval Mechanics School (ESMA), the regime’s most notorious torture centre.

Other fellow inmates are former police chiefs Luis Abelardo Patti and Miguel Ángel Etchecolatz.


And sign this-

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ask the Catholic Church to pay for the proposed visit of the Pope to the UK and relieve the taxpayer of the estimated £20 million cost. We accept the right of the Pope to visit his followers in Britain, but public money would be better spent on hard-pressed schools, hospitals and social services which are facing cuts.

Sign Here.

Happy Holydays

Do You Still Believe In...?

Catholic Child Abuse in Ireland Greywashed

(Reuters) – Priests beat and raped children during decades of abuse in Catholic-run institutions in Ireland, a report said Wednesday.

Orphanages and industrial schools in 20th century Ireland were places of fear, neglect and endemic sexual abuse, the report said.

The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, established by the government in 2000, blasted successive generations of priests, nuns and Brothers for beating, starving and, in some cases raping, children in Ireland’s network of industrial and reformatory schools between the 1930s and 1990s.

The religious orders investigated in Ireland include the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge who ran Dublin’s Magdalene Laundry — the subject of the 2002 film ‘The Magdalene Sisters’.

Also investigated were the Christian Brothers, who delayed proceedings through a successful court action defending their members’ right to anonymity.

The action led to the commission dropping its original intention to name the people against whom the allegations were made and only those who have already been convicted can be mentioned in the report.

The commission, originally set up for two years, was also delayed by what it described as the “adversarial and legalistic” approach of religious orders and by the resignation of its first chairwoman Justice Mary Laffoy a year later after a clash with the Department of Education.

(AFP)- “There is nothing by way of justice in any means significant in this report, nothing,” said John Kelly of the Survivors of Child Abuse (SOCA) group, adding that victims of abuse “will also feel that the scars are still left open.”

“The state doesn’t want the world to know… that it abdicated its responsibility,” he added, saying survivors felt “deceived and cheated.”

I went a Christian Brother school in the UK, but it wasn’t a boarding school (thankfully), I got hit but no rape. What has been pointed out in coverage of the report is the huge number of people who after being abused left Ireland, the suggestion is they no longer felt safe in a country that colluded with the Church in covering up and thus enabled the abuse to continue. This report is a faltering step forwards but clearly the religious orders are not approaching this with contrition and the government has not stood up to them. Trying to present this as a closing chapter in the history of the abuse and torture would be a dishonest attempt at continuing the cover up under the guise of recognising it was wrong and then making insulting recommendations such as

… a memorial should be erected to all the victims of abuse in institutions and recommended that national childcare policy be reviewed on a regular basis.

Er, no. There need to be prosecutions and the Church has to compensate victims while the government provides the healthcare to help them. I’m sure St. Peter’s would fetch a nice sum even in a depressed housing market.

Homo Sapiens

Closeted hypocritical homophobe Pope Benny does it again-

Pope Benedict XVI has said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

Incidentally is there not some easy neologism for the obviously gay yet publicly rabid homophobic person? So you could say,”Hey that Pope Benny he’s a _____” (lousy date?). And anyway this-

Men significantly outnumbered women in the “out-of-Africa” migration some 60,000 years ago that eventually populated the rest of the world, according to a new study.

C’mon, men outnumbering women? That means our ancestors were all about the drag and ass fucking!

Jesus Has a Hotrod

It’s sort of sad, fundies live in almost a symbiotic relationship with artists they complain about, the outrage actually makes it more fun to outrage them. After all is this really the best thing they could be doing with their time and money, hunger, disease, poverty, torture & war all solved are they? Of course if they prevail and art is censored then it gets less funny, but honestly if they do it will only make me dust off my Crucifixion porn movie script, you’ve been warned fundies! Watch the Lord get nailed on the cross like never before, eat your heart out Gibson.

A Christian group is taking an art centre to court, claiming it displayed an indecent statue of Jesus Christ. The statue was part of Baltic’s September 2007 to January 2008 exhibition by controversial Chinese-born artist Terence Koh, “Gone, Yet Still”.



PONCE DE LEON, Fla. – When a high school senior told her principal that students were taunting her for being a lesbian, he told her homosexuality is wrong, outed her to her parents, and ordered her to stay away from children.

He suspended some of her friends who expressed their outrage by wearing gay pride T-shirts and buttons at Ponce de Leon High School, according to court records. And he asked dozens of students whether they were gay or associated with gay students.

The American Civil Liberties Union successfully sued the district on behalf of a girl who protested against the principal, David Davis, and a federal judge reprimanded Davis for conducting a “witch hunt” against gays. Davis was demoted, and school employees must now go through sensitivity training.


Despite all that, many in this conservative panhandle community still wonder what, exactly, Davis did wrong. “We are a small, rural district in the Bible Belt with strong Christian beliefs and feel like homosexuality is wrong,” said Steve Griffin, Holmes County’s school superintendent, who keeps a Bible on his desk and framed Scriptures on his office walls.

So that’s the schools superintendent, so once the attention is off and the reluctantly attending sensitivity training is done, what do you think is going to happen? Peace love and rainbows? I’m really trying to be tolerant but…these retards ‘feeling’ something is ‘wrong’ is a lie, it is a statement which hides what they really mean. It’s fucking eugenics-lite by bible bashers who let’s face it, do you think evolution gets a lot of fans there? Dammit, I was trying to be tolerant, except really, why should we be? Their views necessitate people being oppressed and it’s not as if there is a long history of conservative religious figures getting it on hot and heavy in the closet, oh wait, yes there is.

It very much does tie to evolution in that these people live in denial of the laws of nature because, Shock Fucking Horror! The ‘God’ who inspired the writing of holy books for some odd reason only had knowledge commensurate with the state of human knowledge at that time, funny that init? I mean just to impress us the god geezer could of chucked in the odd mention of bacteria, or DNA or atoms or hell, even quarks and the iPhone maybe (at least dinosaurs, c’mon throw us a frickin’ bone god dude). How about even saying this is one planet (yes it’s a sphere!) that goes round a big star, and there are loads more in this really quite big universe. But no, God in his/her/its infinite wisdom kept schtum, which is unfortunate for the religion business as it rather looks like the holy books, while having some useful ethical parables, were sort of well…made up by blokes (probably doing ‘shrooms or at least grass).

Consequently since then we have discovered truths about the world that show that a bad case of the sniffles is not caused by demons, and while women were locked out of authorship back then, hey guess what? Half the worlds population ain’t going for the second class status anymore my conservative chums, game over. And all the GLBTQ people on earth back then, well they got shut out too by the authors and editors and distributors of these publications, sort of like Fox News was the only channel in the whole world for a few hundred of years, except they called themselves God News. Maybe Judas was Jesus’ husband, so they spun that and made him the bad guy and Jesus into a lifelong ‘bachelor’ -and hid Mary was a surrogate for the gay couple who wanted kids ‘The Fabulous DaVinci Code’- not to mention Judas having the only foreign sounding name out of all the western renamed disciples in our English translations, yes- dodgy foreigners will betray you! Who ran that translation gig, Murdoch? But nice chaps like Peter and Mathew should be invited to the country club for a nice round of golf (don’t worry WASP’s they aren’t Jews anymore, they’re Christians! The Club is safe, shit unless they’re Catholics!).

Throughout their lives the fundies will meet people and they can either treat them as they themselves would like to be treated (hmm rings a bell, wonder where I read that…) -accepted and respected- or they can hate them using one interpretation of ancient texts as cover. The problem of small communities does become that they can build a monoculture where they only ever run into other loonies fellow fundies and as in this story victimise, isolate and oppress those in their own community who confound their constructed worldview (and as well as opposable thumbs-down to evolution I reckon they don’t do ‘The Crucible’ for the school play much either). A worldview which they attempt to place beyond debate by claiming a divine source, allowing them the comfort of their prejudices and psychoses without challenge. That’s what ‘feel‘ means. And it should be noted that when these fudamentalists are 1/. not Christian and 2/. are foreign, killing them with huge effing bombs is totally cool with these saintly god botherers.

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Was Florence Nightingale Primarily a Religious Figure?

Because the company paid by the BBC to make this film are a religious media company-

A lot became suddenly clearer when I saw that Florence Nightingale, Norman Stone’s drama-documentary about the lady with the lamp, was a Faith & Values Media production. This is a company on a mission, rather literally. It actually states on its website that its mission is “to use the electronic media to enrich spiritual life and to build bridges of understanding among people of faith”. So the early-evening Sunday slot, the hagiographic narrative structure, that odd talky bit about religious doubts at the end, suddenly all made sense. This wasn’t a common-or-garden BBC biopic, it was an inspirational tract, and one that will, no doubt, eventually be catalogued alongside Faith & Values Media’s other recent productions, such as Patrick, a biopic of Saint Patrick, Joan of Arc: Child of War, Soldier of God, and Reluctant Saint: Francis of Assisi (oddly, although it describes itself as a multi-faith organisation, its current back list appears to be exclusively Christian in content).


Faith Group Members include:
African Methodist Episcopal Church –
American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. –
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) –
Christian Reformed Church –
Church of Christ, Scientist
Church of God of Prophecy –
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Church of the Brethren –
The Episcopal Church, USA –
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America –
Friends United Meeting (Quakers) –
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America –
Conservative Judaism: Jewish Theological Seminary –
Mennonite Church USA –
Moravian Church –
National Association of Congregational Christian Churches
New York Board of Rabbis
Orthodox Church in America
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) –
Reform Judaism: Union for Reform Judaism –
Reformed Church in America –
Roman Catholic Church –
The Salvation Army –
Seventh-day Adventist Church –
Unitarian Universalist Association –
United Church of Christ –
United Methodist Church –

Organization Members include:
Alliance for Christian Media
American Bible Society
Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters (AIB)
Auburn Media
Catholic Telecasters Group
Chicago Sunday Evening Club
The Christophers
Family Theater Productions
Hartford Seminary
Interfaith Youth Core
Inner-Attainment Television, Inc.
Maryknoll Productions
Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc.
Medical Mission Sisters
The National Conference for Community and Justice
National Council of Churches –
Oblate Media and Communication Corporation
Religion Newswriters Foundation
Religions for Peace – USA
Saving Grace Ministries
Tri-State Catholic Committee on Radio and Television (TRISCCORT)

So apparently an American religious media corporation was the BBC’s best choice for a film about Florence Nightingale, hmmm. I’m guessing they won’t be turning to them should they commission an Oscar Wilde biopic.

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Irony Still Dead

Religion must be rescued from extremism and irrelevance, the former prime minister Tony Blair said tonight when he made his first major speech in Britain since stepping down last year.

Yes, people who pray daily while lying a country into a bloody war of aggression really are a fucking menace.

Benny Sends A Message

The pope traditionally baptizes newborns on January 1 and adult converts to Catholicism on Easter eve. One of the seven adults he baptized on Saturday night was Magdi Allam, 55, an Egyptian-born journalist who, as deputy director of the leading newspaper Corriere della Sera, is one of Italy’s best-known intellectuals.

Allam, a fierce critic of Islamic extremism and a strong supporter of Israel, is protected by a police escort because of threats he has received. His conversion to Christianity was a well-kept secret, disclosed by the Vatican in a statement less than an hour before the Easter eve service started.

“For the Catholic Church, each person who asks to receive baptism after a deep personal search, a fully free choice and adequate preparation, has a right to receive it,” it said. Allam defended the pope in 2006 when the pontiff made a speech in Regensburg, Germany, that many Muslims perceived as depicting Islam as a violent faith.

The Vatican statement announcing Allam was joining Catholicism said all newcomers were “equally important before God’s love and welcome in the community of the Church.” Allam, who has been living in Italy for 35 years, has said he was never a very devout Muslim. Still, his conversion to Christianity came as a surprise.

“What amazes me is the high profile the Vatican has given this conversion,” Yaha Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, vice-president of the Italian Islamic Religious Community, told Reuters.

What a crusading pontiff…

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And Every Other Religion

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Friday! Fist Of Fun- Fake Messiah

Jesus is behind you!

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Why Am I Not Surprised?

Graham Dow, the Bishop of Carlisle, has come to public notice for suggesting that the recent floods were God’s judgement on a sinful nation, but not only is he not alone – perhaps just naive to speak so openly about it to a friendly journalist from the Sunday Telegraph – but they are not his weirdest views. An earlier book he wrote on demonic possession shows he believes devils enter up the anus (something Freudian here perhaps) and the signs of possession include wearing black, inappropriate laughter, inexplicable knowledge, Scottish ancestry or relatives who have been miners. You may laugh – inappropriately – but Dow used to be an Oxford college chaplain, indeed once prepared Tony Blair for confirmation, and has risen to be a diocesan bishop.

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