Acceptable sex for priests

This must have catholic priests sniggering in their vestries.

Swedish priests are allowed to be married. Swedish women are also allowed to be ordained as priests. Therefore it is not strange for two priests to be in bed together and know each other in the biblical sense (ooh, that’s a bad pun). Apparently there are unacceptable sexual acts among priests.

The whole thing started when a priestly couple. To be clear: a husband and wife both priests. Anyway the priestly couple had a threesome together with a male acquaintance (not for the first time). The husband priest took pictures of the act with his mobile telephone. Reports are a bit hazy but the wife later attempted to delete the photographs and the husband lost it and started beating his wife. Naturally all this ended up with the police and the tabloids had a small snigger at the whole affair. Even for swedes this raised a few eyebrows. What can I say: Sex sells.

What makes the whole thing much more interesting is the response of a Swedish bishop (also a woman) who stated that the priests may be dismissed. What is queerer is that even the wife priest may face the same end or at least be given a warning. The dismissals are not only due to the wife beating but also are due to the threesome.

It appears that the the couples sex acts “exceed the boundaries for what may be accepted within marital relations” (my translation) The Swedish church does not have general rules for what priests may or may not do but they may not act in a way “that harms the reputation a priest should have. Also having something like group sex breaks the vow of sexual fidelity in marriage” (again my translation). Maybe they should write a manual of acceptable sexual acts.

I’m sure that the catholics are clucking sanctimoniously but let’s not forget the many, many, many sexual scandals they have caused. Isn’t it incredible? It does not matter which priests or which religion they are all really mad. Religion is not only a total waste of space it is also a harmful activity.

the fart of god

If you need a minute of comic relief check out this video on YouTube where Richard Dawkins reads some of the more amusing (and tragic) hate mail.

I really liked: “Your famed intelligence is nothing more than the fart of god…” If you do believe in a supreme being, do you really believe that he/she/it farts?

Praying for petrol

If you are religious it may seem like a natural act to ask an almighty being to lower the price of petrol. You might think that such a being would have other things to do than to ensure that people can drive big cars at an affordable rate…

From SFGate:

Twyman – a community organizer, church choir director and public relations consultant from the Washington, D.C., suburbs – staged a pray-in at a San Francisco Chevron station on Friday, asking God for cheaper gas. He did the same thing in the nation’s Capitol on Wednesday, with volunteers from a soup kitchen joining in. Today he will lead members of an Oakland church in prayer.

I guess asking for world peace was too much of a hassle? It is not amazing to me that people believe (they are wrong but that’s another issue) but it is amazing to think that they would ask their god for things like this.

Breaking a mirror

Yesterday I managed to break a medium sized mirror that is meant to hang in my hallway – no I am not superstitious. What is really annoying about this is that I need to go and buy a replacement mirror, it’s not difficult but it does entail a trip to Ikea.

The idea that breaking mirrors means bad luck comes from the Romans, who were among the first to make mirrors. They believed that somehow when looking in the mirror you saw a part of yourself, part of your soul – not only a reflection.This also explains why vampires don’t have reflections in mirrors since they have no souls.

And if you broke the mirror then parts of you would be trapped in the shards. The reason it was seven years of bad luck lies in the belief that the soul regenerates every seven years.

photo: Antiques by Jean Ruaud (CC by-nc-nd)

Well I am not superstitious but I still need to get a ride to Ikea.

What comes after atheism?

Just finished reading Richard Dawkins‘ “The God Delusion” – what an excellent book! My main reason for waiting before reading it was that I doubted that it would be different from other atheist literature. I was wrong! Dawkins makes a brilliant argument for independent thought and the need to question everything – including atheism itself.

So in the spirit of the book and spending some time on a beach I obviously needed to ask myself about my beliefs – what else should you do between tanning and swimming?

Formally I was a Lutheran but I grew up in a catholic country attending a Roman Catholic all boys school. Since I was a protestant I did not need to take religion – interesting that the name of the subject was religion since it had nothing to do with anything other than Roman Catholic beliefs.

The mix of relaxed, disinterested Lutheranism and strict Catholic schooling gave me an aversion to my own Christianity. So I searched haphazardly among theoretical approaches to Buddhism, Islam & Hinduism. They were all interesting as historical and cultural topics but not as faiths. Even the laid back philosophical Buddhism was too much. Why label yourself a Buddhist? Why not include, Vegetarian, Existentialist, Marxist, Neo Capitalist when labels only constrain ideas.

So for a long time I decided that I was an agnostic. I thought that the problem was that there was not enough proof. Then I realized when I formally left the Swedish church, which I was automatically enrolled into by the state that it was not a question of proof. I was, I realized, an atheist.

The problem is that after reading Dawkins book not that I don’t agree with him – I really like most of his arguments (well almost all). The problem is that even if proof could be found that proves the existence of a God beyond a shadow of a doubt – I still would not believe.

I would believe the proof. That he/she/it exists as much as my laptop, myself and my blog exists (albeit in different ways) but I would not “believe” in the sense of faith (would it still be called faith if we had proof?). It was not religion I was struggling against. It is not that I do not believe today, I have no need for faith and would not have any even if there were a God.

What comes after atheism?