Before I proceed, some breaking news. Pfc. Jeremy Hall, the atheist US soldier who suffered discrimination, harrassment and death threats at the hands of his loving Christian superiors and fellow soldiers, is dropping his lawsuit against U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Defense Department, and plans to leave the Army. (According to the American Freethought podcast, Hall was denied permission to attend the recent Atheist Alliance convention, where he was listed as a speaker.)
The week in fundie:
- For an example of how it is possible for Catholics to be as demented as the fundiest fundagelicals, look no further than Matt C. Abbott’s column on the RenewAmerica* website, “As the ‘Obama-nation’ nears, priests sound alarm“. There you’ll hear from Father James Farfaglia, who is unhappy with the recent US bishops’ statement, Faithful Citizenship, which counsels “the Church’s leaders [. . .] to avoid endorsing or opposing candidates or telling people how to vote.” Farfaglia wants the Church to tell people to vote against Obama and for McCain, because, among other reasons, “McCain will appoint a pro-life Supreme Court justice; Obama will appoint a pro-abortion one.” He also speaks highly of Catholic convert, long-time anti-abortion activist and theocrat Randall Terry, who in 1993 said: “I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good…. Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism.”You’ll also hear a goodly dose of Christian persecution mania from Father Richard Perozich. Jumping at the shadows of government spooks waiting around the corner to clap him in irons for being an ultraconservative Catholic (“we may not be in jail (at least at the moment)”), Perozich accuses the state of “encroaching on our religious beliefs, our freedom by passing laws which indoctrinate us, penalize us for non conformity, and take away our liberty.” The chief agents of this anti-Catholic persecution , in his view, are (self-hating?) Catholic politicians who, by not always voting in strict accordance with Catholic dogma, have become “slaves to people with evil ideas” . . . those ideas being “abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and homosexual activity.” TEH EVIL, you see, infects the souls of individuals who then force teh evil onto everyone else. How, you may ask? Perozich reaches under his cassock and pulls the following theory out of his wrinkled arse: “First evil forms people into groups to organize and express itself. [. . .] Evil then beings to take over in 4 ways: infiltration, indoctrination, intimidation, and imposition.” The examples he provides are just priceless:
When we know persons with same sex attractions who have not learned to master chastity, we feel sorry for them. We want them to feel better. They infiltrate by asking for tolerance. They reinvent themselves saying that this is who they are. They indoctrinate with false ideas that they are genetically created this way, that they cannot change, that their sex is just as good as, or even better than, normal people because they don’t create overpopulation. They intimidate, calling us bigots, hate-filled people, intolerant. Finally they impose laws forcing us to learn about their sinful lifestyle, to accept it, to take away our freedoms if we don’t accept it, to teach this as normal in schools, nursing programs, to celebrate it publicly in parades, schools, and the work place as ‘diversity’ when in fact it is perversity. [Emphasis added]
Read the full article to learn more about the INFLITRATE–>INDOCTRINATE–>INTIMIDATE–>IMPOSE strategy is deployed against unsuspecting hard-right Catholics by “unrepetant” woman abortionists and “famous people with diseases” calling for embryonic stem cell research funding.
- A cursory glance at the headlines reveals that over 26,500 children died around the world today. Climate change may be happening faster than predicted. The global financial crisis has sent stock markets plummeting from Europe to Japan. Meanwhile, the Pope has commenced a marathon Bible reading, in which 1200 people in Rome will take turns “take turns reading from the Bible until all 73 books of the Catholic edition are finished.” Religion: the quintessential filler. (Norwich Bulletin)
- Sherry Jones, author of the historical romance novel The Jewel of Medina, a first-person narrative of Mohammed’s favourite wife Aisha, has decided to postpone the UK release of her book and has cancelled a book tour there. Last weekend, the home and premises of the book’s UK publisher was the target of a firebomb. (CBC)
- In the Russian city of Tamboz, officials have banned two gay rights demonstrations, deeming them an “offence to the city’s traditions.” (TVNZ)
- Oklahoma State Congresswoman Sally Kern, proof that being a drool-cup fundamentalist is no barrier to high public office in the United States, has declared gay people the biggest threat to the nation. “‘While terrorism has killed more than 3,000 people in the continental United States in the last 15 years, homosexual behavior has killed more than 100,000,” the Republican representative said. “It’s a danger to life. It is a danger to health.’” (On Top Magazine)
- A C Grayling and Steve Fuller duke it out over the latter’s latest book, a defence of the teaching of ID creationism in the science classroom. (New Humanist)
- After an argument over Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, an adult education student poured what he called “holy water” over his teacher, holding a lighter close to her while chanting religious verses, because he thought she was a witch. (UPI)
- In Jaipur, India, a woman accused of witchcraft was severely bashed and then forced to pick up a silver coin from a vessel filled with boiling oil. According to one villager, there are ways of telling if a woman is a witch. “Women, whosoever, labelled as a ‘witch’ by the villagers has to pick a silver coin from a tank filled with boiling oil, with both her hands. If her hands are burnt, her witchhood is confirmed, otherwise she is declared innocent.” You think I’m joking, don’t you? (The Times of India)
*RenewAmerica a Christian Right organisation founded as a support group for former Republican Presidential Candidate Alan Keyes.