Friday, 30 November 2007

What movie scene...? Possummomma's Meme

My Mom tagged me with Possummomma's 'Which movie scene do you think of when talking of religion?' meme.

So here's my movie scene:

Loki talking to a Catholic Nun, using the Carpenter and Walrus story from ALice In Wonderland to de-convert her. Absolutely brilliant.

I tag whomever wants to do it :)

An ongoing conversation - continued


I don't mind, but you have to watch taking passages from religious texts and using them as an excuse to explain the behavior or misogynistic cultures. Like it or not, every organized 'thing' has discriminated against women at one time or another [some countries didn't allow them to vote; shit, my country still 'grousing' over reproductive rights!] and religious is often misused by patriarchal cultures. [BTW - you'll find the same sort of passages in the Christian bible, about the secondary status of women and how women and children will come between 'man' and G*d] -it's down to how the culture interprets these passages that says a great deal.

I tend to get knee-jerky when you start quoting incidents of 'cultural' violence, and blame the religion as the reason. The Islamic religion is vast and diverse, just like Christianity [Catholics do no espouse the same rules as Protestants, and yet--it's all Christianity, isn't it?] And on Western Christianity, well, it can be just as stupid--some sects don't allow women to wear 'trousers or make up', they say working outside the home is unsound, and worst of all...keep having children even though you can't afford it. And this isn't obscure Christianity, this is modern Christianity. At the heart of it all, a flawed culture is just that, a flawed culture--ask yourself, if Islam disappeared tomorrow, do you still think there would be violence against women in those very same cultures? Of course there would. Turkish Muslims are nothing like Iranian Muslims, anymore than Mormons are anything like thing they all have in common is, there culture is the blue print for how their religion operates--

Like it or not, man existed before G*d [no matter what the man-made bible says] and women were subjugated culturally before there was an conceived Allah or Christ. :/


All of which I basically agree with - I grew up in Germany and the various countries of the UK, so I know all about the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam and Christianity) I can find similar quotes in all three 'holy' books.

But what you are missing is that these are the same religions as in the East, exactly the same, yet in this day and age, the West have abolished such barbaric practices and the East appears to revel in them. Despite the growing education of the world, the growing diversity, there are still those who prefer to live in the past and justify their actions using precisely the quoted passages.

You're also making the mistake of asuming that religion is shaped by culture. It's far more complex than that, it goes both ways - religion is shaped by culture, but culture is also shaped religion.

Back in the pre-modern era, it was indeed mostly a culture shaping religion toss, but now it's flipped and religion is shaping culture, so much so that what may have started off as nice and simple rules for keeping your people in place and happy, have turned into laws that are unconsionable in more advanced cultures.

It's the main reason the West strives so hard to keep fundamentalists watched and (metaphorically) beaten down - Muslim as well as Christian fundamentalists all want the world we live in now to go back to the days described in their 'holy' books.

Far more recently the Muslims have gone at it again, this time in Sudan, this time with absolutely no way anyone can say it's not because of their religion:

A teddy bear named Mohammad.

Different country, same schtick.

The problem is that the West is secular, with a distinct seperation of Politics and Religion - while the East has no such distinction. (Though unfortunately I have noticed that the US is beginning to blur the lines.) Precisely because Muslim countries lack this distinction, they still have barbaric laws that allow raped women to be punished for the grvious wrong of 'being with a strange man' and teachers to be punished for allowing children to name teddy bears 'Muhammad' (despite the fact that there is actually no provable evidence that it was the PROPHET Mohammed and not just a simple name).

If there wasn't this much needed distinction, those laws would never have been formed and they would not exist today. I find it shameful that the East, once so far more advanced than the West, is now living once again in the Dark Ages, so scared of what will happen to their religion in the future, that they are reacting in such barbaric ways to even the imagined threat.

So yes, I am incredibly wary of any and all religions, because when you get right down to the crux of the issue, our world has no place for them, certainly not in the fundamentalist versions - even the moderates aren't helping matters, because they pave the way for the fundies to step in and be heard.

Gillian Gibbons, 54

Is anyone else as sickened and angered as I am by the treatment of this teacher?

A teddy bear named Mohammad.

I mean, WTH? She wasn't even the one to name the damn thing, her SEVEN YEAR OLD STUDENTS did. She's been arrested, imprisoned for fourteen days and is then going to be deported back to the UK, all because some parent got a stick up their arse about the name of a fucking teddy bear.

And it gets worse - now she's being threatened with six months and forty lashes!

I mean, JESUS, what the hell are they going to do next? Whip the kids? It was THEM who named the bloody toy.

Just another reason to hate the Theist Majority countries.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Random funnies

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

I have now been awake for 26 hours!

*dies of insomnia related illnesses*

Monday, 26 November 2007

An ongoing conversation...

Me: Regarding internets: Yes. I know what you mean. However, I have been amusing myself with many an athiest blog, pointing out the stupidity of various religious nuts. If you are at all interested, I can send you some links ^^

Her: Organized religions, and those who oppose them, scare me as much as anti-shota fans. I've never understood why, if you don't believe in G*d, would you care if anyone else does?


Me: ugh i could give you an essay to answer that one o0

The long and the short of it is that however much good religion has ever done, it's currently doing far too much bad.

Here's a link to iilustrate some athiest points: why athiests are angry

I mean, at this precise moment in time, there is a young woman in Saudi Arabia facing 200 lashes and six months in prison, for 'being in a strange mans car' - let alone the fact that she was gang-raped 14 times by 7 men IN THAT CAR - all because the predominant religion of their society says women can't be alone with a man unless she's married to or related to him.

Because of said religion, women in that country aren't even second-class citizens, they are thought of as property - which is why the ruling of 200 lashes and 6 months in prison for something she couldn't help, however much she screamed, has been allowed, even endorsed and praised.

*blink* sorry - ranting slightly - but when it comes to the mistreatment of women, combined with idiot religionistas, I just can't contain it.

Her: I think you're confusing the Islamic religion, with Saudi culture? First, you need to separate the religion from the cultural norms and style of the society.

According to Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood,

The Koran is addressed to all Muslims, and for the most part it does not differentiate between male and female. Man and woman, it says, "were created of a single soul," and are moral equals in the sight of God. Women have the right to divorce, to inherit property, to conduct business and to have access to knowledge.

For example, female circumsion is required in certain parts of Africa and Egypt--but it's considered barbaric and criminal by most Muslims. Forced marriages are the norm in some Indian and Pakistani cultures--but this practiced is shunned by Muslim women from other cultures.

You have to be careful when you paint organized religion as the bad guy---it's only as bad as the nitwits who distort it to match their culture preferences. Look at Christianity---before the Romans were converted, there was no monstrosity known as Catholcism. See what I mean?

Me: The problem with culture and religion, in most of the middle-eastern countries, is that they are so intertwined as to be indistiguishable from one another. Yes, there are a fair few moderates who try to paint a prettier picture, but the majority are more inclined to fundamentalism, and they actually Believe in every word of their holy book.

Whether people like to admit it or not, religion has a much harder impact on society than people assume. Without passages like the following, there would be no '200 lashes for being in a strange mans car'.

2:282 “…and call two witness from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not at hand, then a man and two women…

A woman is worth half that of a man

4:34 “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them.

Men are in charge of women, because Allah made men to be better than women. Women must obey men, and if they refuse they must be punished. Refuse to have sex with them and beat them into submission.

4:176 “…unto the male is the equivalent of the share of two females…

I think that one is rather self evident.

64:14 “O ye who believe! Lo! among your wives and your children there are enemies for you, therefor beware of them…

Your wives and children are your enemies. They are to you only a temptation.

These ideas permeated the very thoughts of all the believers, and when drawing up laws, these of course are where inspiration were found. The same goes for laws in the UK and USA (however much non-thiests hate to admit) luckily, the prevalent religion in the West is Christianity (in it's various forms) which, though still far from espousing equality for both genders, at least didn't inspire such stupid segregation laws.

However, I do agree that it is rarely the religion itself, but the people who profess to follow it. Which is where the problem lies, for the most part. But you have to keep in mind, that if there weren't such passages in the holy books, the people who follow them, would have a much harder time justifying their actions to themselves or the world at large.

(Argh - I don't want to swamp your jurnal - if you'd like to continue the discussion, just PM me)

I'll keep you posted on how it goes, if she decided to keep the conversation going.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Child Services are at it again

Yes yes, I'm sure they do a stellar job when they actually try, but this is just another sickening story pinpointing the fact that when they're left to their own devices they fuck things up royally.

Fran Lyon moves to Europe to stop CPA from taking her baby

All the medical evidence supports the fact that this young woman is psychologically healthy and poses no risk to either her unborn child or herself.

But instead of taking this evidence into consideration and backing off, they are using evidence from a man who confesses he has never met her, and simply suggested that if it is proven that she may harm her child, then watch her 24-7.

I honestly think the Child Services should open their damn doors and stop working in the secrecy that is supposedly to 'protect children' - when it is obvious that it protects no-one but themselves.

When agencies are allowed to work in secret, accountable to no-one like this for years, they get complacent, egotistical - they accept criticism from no-one. If there is dissension amongst the ranks, that person or group simply gets kicked out and legally barred from speaking out.

It should be stopped now, before further problems are created, more children are needlessly taken from their homes and parents (like the family wrongly accused of abusing their son, had all three children adopted out and then had to flee to Ireland when they had a fourth) and mother's needlesly accused of infanticide.

The money currently used to needlessly convict 'suspect' parents, could then be better used on fixing the fostering system.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Westborough Baptist SUED

How the hell did I miss this?

These guys have been horrifying me for a number of years. I watched a documentary about them (Loui Therough..Therew..Therou?) a while back and they seriously are the scariest Christian Sect I have ever heard of - even trumping the damn Mormons and JWs.

Ever since the war in Iraq, the Father of the church (which mostly consists of his children, gandchildren and other relatives) has been ordering his followers to protest at soldiers funerals.

In his eyes, every soldier that dies in the war is dead because god hates homosexuals and this is apparently His way of showing that hatred.

However - it backfired in 2006, when a family was so offended they brought him to court. The church/family has now been ordered to pay $10.9 million to the family!

My only problem with it all is that this is only one family, out of the hundreds these sick fucks have been 'protesting' - it also misses the fact that this church has been protesting against gay men and women for years, including at THIER funerals.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Christian Best Friend

Does anyone else have this problem? You probably do.

My best friend, of roughly 12 years, is Christian, was brought up in a stiflingly Christian household and attends a Baptist Church whenever she goes home (to her parents). She has two younger sisters, both very dedicated to their religion. Her father is a Deacon and her mother helps to run all sorts of Church things.

I was brought up in an agnostic household, where my parents allowed my younger brother and myself to make our own decisions - this has lead to us both turning first to Paganism, and then to Atheism. Now that we are both open about being atheists, our mom has allowed herself to be free with her own atheism. Honestly don't know about my dad, he was brought up CofE and I think he's Agnostic.

Occasionally my best friend and I butt heads.

We used to talk about religion and belief systems quite openly - but that was back when I was agnostic and still unsure. Now that I've gone full over and declared myself completely Atheist, the talks never go anywhere. They last about five seconds, before she gets 'frustrated', declares there's no point in talking about it 'because she can't describe her points properly' and says I should talk to her father instead.

I honestly feel a little disappointed. I miss the arguments we used to have about Adam and Eve (at one point I got her to admit that it could, at the very least, be an allegorical story of how the human race began, rather than literal truth.)

Now a comment like 'Oh! It says here, you have to be circumcised to get into Heaven!' (referring to Genesis 17:10-14) is rebutted with 'The Old Testament doesn't really apply these days' and it's left at that.

Where's her conviction? Any hint of my own conviction that pickers-and-choosers should just make their damn minds up, gets frowned at.

(I mean, if she doesn't think the bit about circumcision applies, why does she think that her god creating the Earth/Universe in seven days does? And I know she does think that, she's told me often enough - she honestly still doesn't believe in evolution, despite the fact that we both went to the same school...)

I'm beginning to think that the real problem is not her apparent belief that she couldn't form a decent argument to get her own points across, but that she's beginning to have doubts. And every time I point out some fallacy or other with her great book, she gets flustered and feels guilty with herself.

I don't know - does anyone else have this problem?

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Joined the Athiest Blogroll


I've joined the Athiest Blogroll.

The Atheist Blogroll is a service provide to the Atheist and Agnostic blogging community. The blogroll currently maintains over 350 blogs. Membership is limited to Atheist and Agnostic bloggers.

It's that long list of Blogs to the right ---->

If you have an open mind, an interest in what us athiests, agnostics and skeptics get up to, or even if you're an athiest, agnostic or skeptic yourself, this is the perfect place for you. Lots of different blogs to peruse at your leisure.

Enjoy. And please leave your Trolls at home.

NFP cartoon, for your amusement

Computer Says No

I drew this after watching a program about various ways of bringing up baby. One of the families was an NFP family (Natural Family Planning - wherein the husband keeps track of the wifes cycle, by asking questions about her body)

My other half commented 'Computer says No!' in the David Walliam's voice, which lead to this image. If you have no idea what NFP entails and haven't seen Little Britain, this'll probably be completely lost on you.

Some thoughts...

I'm re-reading The God Delusion again. It started me thinking (as it tends to) and I had to note down the thoughts.

Is God(/Yahweh/Odin/Zeus) omnipotent and omnicient?

Omnipotent: Having unlimited or universal power, authority, or force; all-powerful.

Omnicient: Having total knowledge; knowing everything.

Most religionists would say yes.

But if you think about it logically, they would be about as wrong as it is possible to get.

If this god is omnicient, then he knows what he is going to do in the future. He knows what is going to happen when, how and where. He knows what he is going to do about it.

This negates the omnipotence attributed to him, because if he knows what the future holds in store for the universe, then he can't change his mind about it, he can't do everything - because then he wouldn't know the future. Would he?

So then - what is the point in this god?

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

There is no point. God doesn't exist.

Just my thoughts this morning.


Also - hark at the sheer stupidity of this:

"Nepal Airlines, which was having technical trouble with one of its two Boeing 757s in August, announced that it had fixed the problem by sacrificing two goats to appease the Hindu sky god Akash Bhairab."

As an Athiest and a woman...

...this has seriously offended me.

I'm probably seriously behind the times on this one, but I just found it on the Butterflies and Wheels website.

As an Athiest, I find it abhorrant that religion can dictate to the law in such a way - as a woman, I find it abhorrant that a victim of rape has been punished. For anything. Let alone 'being in a strange mans car'.

It just adds more credence to the 'Religion should be abolished' agenda of most athiests, like myself.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Reading The Bible

(Moved over from my LJ post September 28th - now that I have some spare time again, I'm going to continue this farage into the Bible)

I bought a copy of the King James Bible off've Ebay about a week ago. It turned up this morning. I've been reading it on and off all day.

I'm STILL reading Genesis. This things English is attrocious, narrative is almost non-existant and plot is ridiculous. I mean REALLY. Have you ever read this thing?

In the first two chapters ALONE, it manages to contradict itself quite hienously.

Genesis 1 through 31 describes the seven days and what god does on each of those seven days.

1:27 - So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

(Talk about a tautological statement!)

Then in chapter 2 he DOES IT ALL AGAIN, but with some changes.

2:18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

('make him an help meet'???)

2:22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Which of these am I suppsoed to be believing here? That man and woman were made on the same day, both in god's image, or that Adam was made first, god decided he needed a companion and then took one of Adam's ribs and made Eve?

Matt said something about, perhaps chapter 2 is just clarifying chapter 1. It IS NOT. I've read both chapters repeatedly now, and they are completely seperate bloody stories.

Oh - and then chapter 3 blithely goes on to paint Eve as the goddess of all evil. Lovely. Eve get's cursed with birthing pains, while Adam - as far as I can tell from reading the scripture - got cursed to eat bread.

3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, til thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

What? How is that fair? Adam was apparantly the worlds first Dobber-Inner, and he got cursed to eat bread?

Personally, I quite like bread. Could we swap?

Oh - and god apparently dislikes vegetarians.

4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

4:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.

So Cain kills Abel, and god kicks him out. Cain goes to Nod.

Pardon - where? Where was this Nod again? Has this place been mentioned before?

*re-reads previous chapters*

No - no it hasn't been mentioned before - but apparently it has plenty of humans in it, because Cain bags himself a wife!

Aaaand the next two chapters are a loooooong list of male heirs. You see how this can get boring.

Enter Noah and his sons. He's given a week to build a boat and collect two of each animal (or was that seven?)

6:19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee: they shall be male and female.

7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

Quite aside from the genetic degredation of this sort of thing - quite how did Noah and his sons manage to get two (or seven) of every animal species into the ark in only a week?

7:10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon them.

Fun. So - because he's a bit pissed off with his own creation, he kills EVERYTHING.

I wont get into the geological mystifications of this particular biblical story (I could, and at length, but I wont.)

Once that's all over and done with, Noah gets drunk, passes out naked and has to be rescued by his sons. The youngest of whom he then curses into slavery, because he saw his naked genetalia.

Um. This may be a silly question, but what particular moral is he espousing there?

'See your fathers genetals, forever be slave to your brothers!'


Anyway - then we have lots MORE male hiers. So much fun!

And that takes up the next three chapters.

Now - I don't know about you guys, but the story of Abram and his wife, to me, is just really silly.

Basically, because his wife is so pretty, he makes her pretend to be his sister - so HE isn't killed so other men can have her. (Doesn't it make it easier for them to take her, if she's his sister? Perhaps he's not thinking of HER at all, just himself...)

Because of this, the Egyptian Pharoh takes her in as his mistress, while heaping many pleasures and riches upon Abram.

Unsurprisingly, god get's antsy.

Surprisingly, instead of punishing Abram for his dishonesty and deciet, he punishes the unknowing Pharoh!

All Abram get's is a slap on the wrist and an escort from the country.

And that's as far as I've got so far. It makes tedious reading. It really does. I KNOW it's been translated a hundred thousand times, from arabic to latin to english and all over the place, but BLOODY HELL. Babelfish is far more amusing.

Christians are constantly telling me and fellow atheists to read the bible and let the words speak to us and so on so forth.

Well, I am.

And so far?

I've found it badly worded, badly written, badly emphasised, to contain bad or no morals, bad science, ridiculous history, crap geology and really REALLY anti women.

And that's just the first book!

What exactly do christians hope to achieve by forcing this down my throat? Or am I simply to read only the bits they TELL me to read?

I have little to no respect for the 'pick-and-choose' religionistas (either believe the whole thing was inspired by god, or don't - don't pick and choose which verses you like, that negates the whole POINT.)

Either way, I'm going to keep reading.

Lets see what else my old Vicar was hiding from us in the pews.