Wherein I engage in an ad hominem spray at Fred Nile

30 12 2008

Fred Nile is one of those stereotypical Christian preachers whose arsehole is clenched so tight that he permanently shits diamonds. This, of course, necessitates the disposal of his normal bodily wastes at the other end of the digestive tract. In fact, he’s just had another bowel movement:

The Christian Democrats MLC, the Reverend Fred Nile, had earlier claimed he had the support of both Labor and Coalition MPs for a ban on topless sunbathing.Mr Nile believes people are offended by the practice.

“I think it’s just a matter of having community standards,” he said.

“If we observe those then we can all live together in in harmony.”

This is precisely the same admixture of authoritarianism and abnegation of personal responsibility that we see in the Federal Labor Government’s ISP plan: Society has an obligation to protect me from getting a woody. Fred just throws the Abrahamic faiths’ disgust at the (female) body into the mix. (And it comes as no surprise that the Opus Dei wing of the NSW Liberal Party is supporting him, though other Coalition members have chosen to remain on the sunnier side of the Enlightenment.)

Fred, do us all a favour—find the nearest toilet cubicle, lock the door, and have a good wank. Jesus won’t mind, and you don’t have to worry about anyone else knowing. It will be our little secret. You senile, sociopathic, neurotic, perverted Bible-bashing fuck.

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The Wonderful World of Magical Thinking XXXV

5 12 2007

The week in fundie . . .

  1. The Unintentional Irony award goes to the opponents of the International Baccalaureate curriculum at a high school in Upper St Clair, Pennsylvania, who appear to be of the view that it comes straight from Chairman Mao:

    “The IB program is anti-American. It does not teach the basic patriotic values of the United States,” said Judy Brown, 64, a retired merchandising and sales representative who has a daughter that attended Upper St. Clair schools. “It’s almost like brainwashing.”

    A hostile board member was heard to utter:

    “Faith is certain. It is more certain than all human knowledge because it is founded on the very word of God who cannot lie;” and, “Jesus Christ as the redeemer of man is the center and purpose of human history. That is why all authentically religious tradition must be allowed to manifest their own identity publicly, free from any pressure to hide or disguise it.”

    Got that? Not forcing Jeebus and flag-waving patriotism down the throats of students constitutes “brainwashing.” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

  2. A Catholic bishop in Chicago is seeking legal changes that would shield Church institutions from having to pay out “excessive damages” in sex abuse lawsuits, on the grounds that they “jeopardize the mission of the church” and hence “place an excessive burden on the free exercise of religion for American Catholics.” Oh, please. If the Catholic church wishes to minimise the damages resulting from sex abuse lawsuits, the answer is absurdly simple: it needs to stop engaging in or sheltering the perpetrators of sexual abuse. (Chicago Tribune, via the Atheist Experience)
  3. Sherri Shepherd, who is proving herself to be someone you want in your corner should you ever find yourself playing team Trivial Pursuit, opines: “I don’t think anything predated Christians.” The Greeks? The Romans? “Jesus came before them.” Shepherd is quite the polymath: not only is she full-bottle on world history, she’s also formidable on the earth sciences. (The Huffington Post, via Pharyngula)
  4. Florida’s Palm Beach Community College refuses to provide health benefits to same-sex partners of its employees. It is more than willing, however, “to offer workers insurance for their pets.” (365Gay.com, via Morons.org)
  5. A Saudi appeals court judge has threatened to sentence a rape victim to death if she appeals against her current sentence of 200 lashes and six months in prison for “illegal mingling” with an unrelated male. (via Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion)

Just to make it worth your while . . .

Pat Condell on Catholic morality

The videos of this year’s Beyond Belief conference are now available online.





The Wonderful World of Magical Thnking XXXIII

18 11 2007

The week in fundie . . .

  1. God hearts Howard’s policies: Howard. (Sydney Morning Herald)
  2. Nothing restores my faith in the intersection of faith and politics than another heartwarming story from Saudi Arabia. Last week an appeals court increased the punishment meted out to a gang-rape victim (perfectly understandable, of course: she was in a car with males who were not her relatives) to 200 lashes and six months in prison. (via Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion)
  3. And nothing restores my faith in the willingness of certain Christians to follow the example of the central figure of their religion than the openness and tolerance displayed by the North Carolina Baptist State Convention, which last week expelled a congregation for welcoming gays and lesbians. Fundies. If they’re not lying for Jesus, they’re hating for him. (via Morons.org)
  4. Meanwhile in Britain, women are queuing up for a kind of cosmetic surgery known as “virginity repair” to appease their future spouses and in-laws. All in the name of Islamic fundamentalism. All taxpayer-funded. (Daily India)
  5. The response to PBS’ Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial is worth the price of admission (so to speak). (via Pharyngula)

Secular Believers:





Christian marriage advice

10 11 2007

Wherein the fundie troll from this thread at Matt’s Notepad deliberates upon the True Christian (TM) idea of how to build a stronger relationship between husband and wife. Basically it involves bitches getting back into kitchens.

And for a family to live harmoniously, the wife must learn to submit herself to her husband. If you want to buy a refrigerator, consult your husband first. In the first place, he is the breadwinner. If he gives his consent, then, go ahead. You may buy one. If that is the case, do you think they will still quarrel? Not anymore, because he has given her his consent. The husband is the head in the household; he is the president. If the president has approved something, the vice president also approves it. Who is the president? Ephesians 5:23—

“For the husband is the head of the wife.”

The husband is the head of his wife. Therefore, if you are the husband, but you are just the vice president in the house, that means, you do not believe in God. In a marital relationship, the husband is the head, and his wife must be under his subjection. And if a wife submits herself under the subjection of her husband, there will never be any quarrel between the two of them. If you want to visit your parents, you seek for the permission of your husband. If he consents, even if you go home late, he will not be angry with you. Who knows, he might even fetch you there. Because he loves you and because you understand each other, he might even fetch you from your parents’ house.

Just get her a burka and be done with it, FFS!

I’m reminded of this scary group, truly a testament to Christianity’s sexual egalitarian bent if ever there was one. (To give you some idea of how batshit insane this outfit is, they describe secularism, humanism, liberalism and anti-Christian ideology as “the extreme left.”)





The Wonderful World of Magical Thinking XXX

27 10 2007

The week in fundie:

  1. There’s been plenty of chatter on Oz blogs regarding the Family First “I can’t believe it’s not a Christian political party” Christian political party:

    About time there was some scrutiny of “Family” First (Mr Lefty)
    Family First home movies (Grods)
    Family First stifles free speech (Grods)
    Absolutely no connection between Family First and the church at all (Grods)
    “Right-Wing” Christian Australia’s War on Liberal Democracy (Thinker’s Podium)

  2. Southern Baptist seminary course teaches women students to “graciously submit to their husbands’ leadership.” Students learn “how to set tables, sew buttons and sustain lively dinnertime conversation.” (via The Atheist Experience)

    More over the fold . . .

  3. Pope Benedict on faith-based schools: “It is incumbent upon governments to afford parents the opportunity to send their children to religious schools by facilitating the establishment and financing of such institutions.”(via Dogma Free America)
  4. In case you missed it, Tuesday October 23 was the Earth’s birthday. 6010 years young. “Why was she born so beautiful, why was she born at all? . . .” (via The Atheist Experience)
  5. From a creationist lesson plan:

    Evaluation: Students will be monitored by teacher observation during the classroom discussion, group work and answering the appropriate questions. Reflection paragraphs will be collected. The teacher will try to determine the students’ new courage and ability to defend their belief in the Creator.

    How’s that for academic freedom? (via Pharyngula)

  6. According to Pravda, Melbourne University biologists have discovered that dolphins descended from the human inhabitants of Atlantis. (via Pharyngula)
  7. Re-closeted gay fundie James Hartline’s explanation for the recent fires in California:

    They shook their fists at God and said, “We don’t care what the Bible says, We want the California school children indoctrinated into homosexuality!” And then Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law the heinous SB777 which bans the use of “mom” and “dad” in the text books and promotes homosexuality to all school children in California.

    And then the wildfires of Southern California engulfed the land like a raging judgment against the radicalized anti-christian California rebels.

    (via Pharyngula)

  8. Security Moms“: there is a new conservative group in the US (actually a front group for a conservative Washington think-tank) that agitprops in favour of the Bush Administration’s national security and foreign policies. Family Security Matters has advocated that Bush make himself President-for-Life (in the tinpot dictator sense), and ranks universities and colleges (all of them) #2 in its list of the “Ten Most Dangerous Organizations in America” (behind Media Matters). (via Kazim’s Korner)
  9. Banning Harry Potter: it’s not just for Protestant fundies anymore. (Boston Globe)
  10. Evangelical Christian UK Army Chief of Staff declares that “Christian leaders and chaplains in the Army [are] needed to equip soldiers for” life after death. (via Dogma Free America)





The Wonderful World of Magical Thinking XXV

23 09 2007

1. An atheist US soldier serving in Iraq organises the first ever meeting of that country’s chapter of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, having dotted all the necessary ‘i’s and crossed all the necessary ‘t’s. Of the four soldiers who attend this meeting, one turns out to be a Fundamentalist Christian army major, posing as a “freethinker.” Said fundie proceeds to verbally harangue the other attendees–after he has ordered them to stand to attention–for “plotting against Christians” and “being disrespectful to other soldiers,” and then shuts the meeting down. This actually happened.

Well, the organiser has since filed a lawsuit, and for his troubles has been threatened with fragging by good Christian soldiers (good purely by virtue of being Christian, of course) in his own unit. Fragging non-theists: it’s what Jesus would do. (Austin Cline/No God Blog)

2. A Muslim dentist in Britain has been accused of demanding that a female patient cover her head with a scarf in traditional Muslim fashion before he would treat her. (Austin Cline)

3. Police catch youths who spraypainted images of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on various buildings in a Canadian town. (Is this a hoax?)

4. In Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party is pushing for the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in schools. (Pharyngula)

From OneGoodMove, Bill Maher spells out The New Rules. You have been schooled, my friends.

UPDATE re: the atheist soldier in Iraq. I’ve been reading the discussion forum at the Military Religious Freedom Association website. A commenter writes:

I don’t know if there has been any coercion on the part of officers in the military. It may have occurred on occasion – I just don’t know. However, if only one soul were saved as a result of the activities in the military, wouldn’t it be worth it? All the wealth in the world isn’t worth the value of a single soul. My point to Mr. Weinstein was this: Is he actually doing what God wants Him to do? Maybe the persons involved in the military are doing what God has asked them to do.

Browbeating and threatening non-theists: it is what Jesus would do!





Pell and Hickey: cult leaders without a cult

6 06 2007

What does the Catholic Church in Australia have against secularism, liberal democracy and the Enlightenment? Quite a lot, it seems, because in the last 24 hours no less than two high-ranking clergy have warned Australian Catholic politicians that if they vote in favour of expanded stem-cell research, they risk being kicked out of Benedict’s gang. By now you would have heard about Sydney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell’s heavying of Catholic parliamentarians in NSW who are considering voting in support of a therapeutic cloning bill currently being debated in the Lower House:

Cardinal George Pell has warned Catholic politicians they face “consequences” in the life of the church should they vote for an “immoral” bill before the NSW Parliament to expand stem cell research.

[. . .]

“These possibilities are quite grotesque and I’d be very surprised if they had approval throughout the population,” he said.

“To create a human embryo for the express purpose of using it and destroying, that’s the way we treat lab rats. It’s totally inappropriate for human beings. It’s a perverse new direction in human experimentation.

“I don’t think Catholic politicians, Christian politicians or pro-life politicians who has properly informed their conscience should vote for these changes.”

“Cloning is not quite the same as abortion and the legislation for such a thing as cloning is different from actually performing cloning,” Dr Pell told reporters.

“But it is a serious moral matter and Catholic politicians who vote for this legislation must realise that their voting has consequences for their place in the life of the church.”

As Bruce points out, Pell seems to be taking his Escriva-esque contribution to political science, what he calls “normative democracy”–“simply a case of “norms” (coincidentally parallel to church doctrine) that the state was not allowed to breach (in other words if the Church dictates against it Australia doesn’t get a say)”–to a new level. But one wonders whether Pell’s acting entirely off his own bat, or in response to a memo from head office, given that this morning Perth Archbishop Barry Hickey issued his own fatwa against stemcell research. Hickey has form, of course: early last month, in response to a similar call from Pope Benedict, he declared that any doctor performing an abortion would be excluded from communion and would potentially face excommunication. Declaring that Catholics who vote for therapeutic cloning are acting against the Church’s teaching, Hickey said:

“I had to speak about conscience and I would call on Catholic politicians to examine their conscience before taking communion if they supported stemcell research.”

I don’t want politicians Catholic or otherwise to “examine their conscience” on this issue (or any other) if it means that they stay up nights worrying about whether their sky-daddy will cast them into a lake of unquenchable fire for eternity if they disobey the orders of the Archbishop. Because, let’s face it, that’s insane. I want them to use one of the few opportunities they get in party political life to actually use their brains–and in the process, to tell the likes of Pell and Hickey to go fuck themselves. Fortunately, that’s what they seem to be doing.

Courtesy of SMH. And too bloody right!

Let us hope, then, that Catholic school principals show as much backbone. As Mikey blogged a few days ago, earlier in the week Pell proclaimed that school principals in his archdiocese would have to take an “oath of fidelity” regarding Church teaching on homosexuality, birth control, and the ordination of women:

In a first for the Australian church, the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, is set to extend the oath of fidelity and profession of faith, a requirement of church law for bishops, priests and heads of seminaries, to all senior educational leaders.
The oath demands “religious submission of intellect and will” on questions of faith and morals – even if these are inferred but not defined by the pope and his bishops – and an acceptance that everything solemnly taught by church tradition is divinely inspired.
It suggests they would be bound not only to impart these teachings but to live by them. [Emphasis added]

Religious submission of intellect and will? Can I just suggest, to any principal who is seriously considering “submitting his or her intellect and will” to the sky-daddy’s representatives on Earth, that you don’t deserve to be at the helm of an educational institution in the 21st century? Perhaps management training at McDonalds is more your speed, because schools (real schools, that is) are supposed to develop in students the ability to think and to reason for themselves, not to transform them into mindless religious automatons.

Indeed, Pell seems to be taking cue from Jerry Falwell. Just look at what he has in store for those poor students whose parents are fool enough to believe that five to twelve in the Catholic education system will magically transform their little darlings into model citizens:

Among its other new measures are marriage preparation classes for senior secondary school students, twice-yearly reviews of its educational bodies, and forums so Catholic politicians can be updated on church teachings.
There will also be renewed efforts to teach youth about “sexuality and life issues” through formal courses and seminars, and measures to bring in to the fold young people inspired by next year’s World Youth Day.
Cardinal Pell has taken an intense interest in Catholic education, ordering the rewriting of the religious education curriculum, and aiming to turn around Catholic thinking that faith is caught, not taught.

Sorry: that’s not a school, it’s a madrassa. All this talk about getting values back into the classroom . . . when did education stop being a value?

In the end, though, you have to laugh at these gentlemen who have been so cloistered from reality that they appear to think this is the eleventh century, there’s still a Great Chain of Being and the secular powers still defer to religious authority unquestioningly. Unfortunately for them, most Australians, and indeed many Catholics, have voted with their feet on abortion, birth control, women’s rights, gay rights and stem cell research. Pell and Hickey and cult leaders without a cult.

See also Ninglun’s post