Baadaasss popes

3 12 2008

From Something Awful, the 6 Most Awful Popes. Pedophiles, purse-cutters and pimp daddies. One pope even had a corpse dug up and put on trial. Catholicism for the win!

Via commenter Luke at Pharyngula.

Things they’d have difficulty believing in Salt Lake City XXV

20 08 2008

The week in fundie . . .

  1. In a “family values” forum in Mexico City, a Catholic priest justified rape thusly: “When we show our body without prudence, without modesty, we are prostituting ourselves.” (Chicago Tribune)
  2. Bill Donahue, professional whiner and president for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, fresh from trying to get a university student disciplined and a university professor fired for insulting his precious little disc of unleavened bread, has launched a campaign to have gay bloggers barred from the Democratic National Convention. (Edge Boston)
  3. Following in the footsteps of Random House in the United States, the Serbian publisher of Sherry Jones’ The Jewel of Medina has pulled the book from the shelves after members of the local Islamic community complained that the novel, depicting the life of Muhammad’s child bride Aisha, “offended their feelings.” (Reuters) Read the rest of this entry »

Walking on communion wafers

28 07 2008

When you attack the belief, do you harm the believer?

I would have thought the answer to this question was a sound and straightforward “no” . . . that there is, in fact, a difference between, on the one hand, abusive ad hominem rhetoric; and on the other, the critique, or even ridicule of beliefs, propositions, ideas and practices. We all misspeak, we all commit errors and brainfarts, we are all guilty of idiocy from time to time; but that does not necessarily mean that we are all idiots, anymore than the rhetorical tapdancing (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that”) engaged in by George Costanza and Jerry Seinfeld in the Seinfeld episode “The Outing” means that it is fair to describe these characters as Phelpsian homophobes. I would have thought it a given of the ethics of civil debate and dialogue that (i) while no belief should be immune from scrutiny, (ii) an attack on the belief does not constitute an attack on the individual who holds the belief. Disagreement over the issues (even for the sake of devil’s advocacy) is the stuff of reasoned debate. Abusive rhetoric, while entertaining in certain contexts, is just noise: both because it is irrelevant to the issues under discussion and because it tends to generate emotional heat. Abuse, then, is intended to be taken personally—that’s the point of abuse—whereas disagreement about ideas, even if it takes the form of mockery or satire, is not. Read the rest of this entry »

The Bill Muehlenberg Trophy: Why does the Archbishop of Westminster hate democracy?

8 05 2008

He’s demanding unopposed time for Christians to proselytise on the BBC. From the National Secular Society:

The BBC should not apply its impartiality rules when it comes to religion, and the Corporation should be biased in favour of Christianity, said Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor last week. [. . .] Murphy O’Connor also said that Christianity should have unopposed time to deliver its message on the BBC. “Sometimes the adversarial aspect — if you’ve got one view you’ve got to have the opposite view — supplants what we need.”

Murphy O’Connor is a representative of the whiny conservative wing of Catholicism, which unfortunately occupies many of the key positions in the Church and keeps the hierarchy of that particular denomination firmly entrenched in the Middle Ages. In 2001 he was wailing about the decline of Christianity in the UK, advancing the claim (with zero justification) that in the absence of his preferred dogma “Society had been demoralised, with people seeking transient happiness in alcohol, drugs and pornography.” In 2006 he sacked his press aide for being homosexual, and then declared that “the Church has consistently spoken out against any discrimination against gay persons.” He has also complained about taxpayer-funded “faith schools” being “threatened with having to take a quota of non-believers” (never mind the fact that their parents pay the taxes that fund those faith schools), and has not been reluctant to play the poor-persecuted-Christian card, accusing secularists of being “Christophobic:”

They wish to close off every voice and contribution other than their own. Their inability to see the Christian seed in what is noble and good in Western culture chills the possibility of a true pluralism.

They wish to close off every voice and contribution other than their own. Do not adjust your monitor. The man who wants Christianity to have unopposed time to deliver its message on the British national broadcaster, in a country with significant non-Christian religious communities, and in which only 38% of the total population (and I assume, taxpayers) believes in a deity, actually said that.

Via Dogma Free America.

What is the point of “sin?”

11 03 2008

From the SMH:

As the seven ancient wonders of the world were matched by seven modern wonders, the seven deadly sins have been given a modern version for a globalised world, announced by a Vatican official yesterday.Polluting, genetic engineering, obscene riches, taking drugs, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice join the original seven deadly sins defined by Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century: pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, wrath and sloth.

Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, responsible for absolving Catholics from their sins, named the new mortal sins in an interview with the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, yesterday.

He did not spell out details but said the original seven deadly sins had an individualistic dimension, while the new seven had a social resonance and showed worshippers that their vices affected other people. Read the rest of this entry »

Things they’d have difficulty believing in Salt Lake City II

21 12 2007

The week in fundie . . .

  1. How to deal with criticism the Catholic way: censor it. (Via The Frame Problem)
  2. Blow Up Jeff: suicide-bomber recruiting video aimed at children (Via Pharyngula)
  3. Fred Nile demonstrates the good Christian values upon which this country was founded by organising a hate rally against a Muslim school (Sydney Morning Herald)
  4. Jesus wants you to hate yourself (if you’re gay): Alternet looks at the phenomenon of “sexual reorientation therapy.”
  5. Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee on AIDS, c. 1992: victims should be quarantined. Huckabee on women, c. 1998: a “wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband.” Mike Huckabee, c. 1998, on what’s ailing American society: “It is now difficult to keep track of the vast array of publicly endorsed and institutionally supported aberrations—from homosexuality and pedophilia to sadomasochism and necrophilia.” Mike Huckabee on non-believers, c. 1998: they’re evildoers. (Via Fundies Say the Darndest Things)

On a lighter note: the Top Ten Most Embarrassing Ways to Die in the Holy Bible.