belief

Women: Know Your Limits!

I was inspired this week by a post from Xanthe Wyse on her God Confusion blog (you should definitely head over there and say “hi” – tell her I sent you, and don’t forget to come back! Hello? Oh … okay, fine, be like that). In “Good Christian Wife” Xanthe talked about a subject that’s been on my “To Rant About” list for some time; religion’s attitude toward women. If you happen to be a woman (it’s okay, I don’t mind, I hear it’s quite acceptable these days), then I’d like to ask a question of you for which I’ve never received a satisfactory answer. How could any woman, regardless of background, ethnicity, or education level, belong to any of the major faiths and still maintain a molecule of self-respect? Why would you ever refer to, or even think of, yourself as being a christian or muslim, for example, when it’s quite apparent from the research I’ve done that your religion HATES you? Read more “Women: Know Your Limits!”

Persecution, Christian-style

You’ve probably never heard of the West Memphis Three, but you should have. If, like me, you’ve often been made to feel like an outsider, or you grew up with the sense that you never quite fit in amongst those around you, then you need to hear their story. Perhaps you believe, as I do, that religion is an inherently divisive and destructive influence on the lives of ordinarily good and decent people; a virulent form of infection that has the capacity to poison everyone and everything it comes in to contact with (and has a proven track record for doing just that)? If so then you should learn all you can about the West Memphis Three because they, more than almost anyone else in the developed, supposedly civilised, world in recent memory can tell you exactly how it feels to be the victims of a religious witch-hunt. This is persecution, christian-style. Read more “Persecution, Christian-style”

When a plan comes together

So what have you been up to this weekend? A spot of gardening? Went clubbing? Visiting relatives, perhaps? If you’re anything like me you’ve probably tried to do as little as possible, maybe even going so far as to achieving absolutely nothing at all. Well, if that’s the case, and you happened to be in Houston, Texas yesterday, there was something that might well have appealed to you (assuming, of course, that you’re up for achieving fuck all in a really big and pointless way). Around 30,000 people gathered at Reliant Stadium for a massive prayer rally, the sole purpose of which seems to be to beg, en masse, their invisible sky-gnome to wave his cosmic beard and magic away the myriad problems that the state, and indeed the nation, are unable to solve by themselves. Or, to put it less euphemistically, the problems that they’re too lazy, cowardly, or just too plain fucking stupid, to do anything about. Read more “When a plan comes together”

Jesus S(l)aves

A few months ago, I made a list of ideas for subjects that I wanted to cover in future posts and, this week, an old playground song that had become inexplicably stuck in my head reminded me of one of them. The song (well, verse) consists of the following sung to the tune of “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic”:

Jesus is the goalie of our local football team
Jesus is the goalie of our local football team
Jesus is the goalie of our local football team
Jesus saves! Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

While the joke works much better if you imagine the last line is accompanied by hands being thrust in the air, to the left then right (as if catching an imaginary football), the point is that it put me in mind of one of the ideas on my list; specifically that Jesus, rather than saving people, in fact makes them prisoners. Read more “Jesus S(l)aves”

Praying away the straight

Given the crazy, topsy-turvy kind of world we seem to be living in these days it’s hardly surprising that it sometimes feels like it’s impossible to get through a whole month, often barely even a week, without hearing yet another story about how the rights of religious people are being trampled (usually by some politically-correct do-gooder with an agenda). From adoption agencies to bed and breakfasts, the religious in general, and christians in particular, are being persecuted for their beliefs; in some instances, they are even legally prevented from exercising some of the fundamental tenets of their faith. Oh, sorry, actually, what I meant to say was that pious, sanctimonious arseholes are bitching like little girls about being told that they need to quit being intolerant, homophobic pricks. Read more “Praying away the straight”

A Manifesto In A-Minor

About two weeks ago I found myself on the receiving end of a minor ticking off from my mum over having used the c-word in a Facebook status update. Ignoring the obvious fact that I’m 37 years old and, if I want to swear, then I bollocking well arsing will, I think I acquitted myself fairly well. I entirely agreed that it is a deeply offensive word to many people (to some, the most offensive) but, ultimately, it is still just a word and, as such, its ability to cause harm or offence rests entirely with how, and by whom, it is used … rather like the bar of soap my mum threatened to wash my mouth out with – it’s just a tool, and it can be used for good or evil. Read more “A Manifesto In A-Minor”

Not collecting stamps

Last Sunday, barely 10 minutes after I’d managed to drag myself out of bed, I got a phone call from my sister, Tam. Normally, this appalling crime warrants a stream of profanity-laden verbal abuse, but as she’d only called to let me know that Richard Dawkins was on BBC1’s “Big Questions” programme, and that the topic was whether the bible was still relevant, I was quite content to drop all charges. My abject lack of tolerance for religious nonsense, and my appreciation for the works of Richard Dawkins, are two things (among many) that I share with my sister, so I was grateful for the heads up. However, since I had still to fully peel open my eyelids and let in more than just a thin sliver of daylight, I promised I’d watch it later. Read more “Not collecting stamps”