Dawkins replies

The pope lands in Scotland and makes some strange claims

The Pope also praised Britain’s fight against Hitler’s “atheist extremism”, saying that “Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live”.

Richard Dawkins promptly replies (via Humanistbloggen):

This statement by the pope, on his arrival in Edinburgh, is a despicable outrage. Even if Hitler had been an atheist, his political philosophy was not based upon atheism and had no connection with atheism. Hitler was arguably (and by his own account) a Roman Catholic. In any case he enjoyed the open support of many of the most senior catholic clergy in Germany and the less demonstrative support of Pope Pius XII. Even if Hitler had been an atheist (he certainly was not), the rank and file Germans who carried out the attempted extermination of the Jews were Christians, almost to a man: either Catholic or Lutheran, primed to their anti-Semitism by centuries of Catholic propaganda about ‘Christ-killers’ and by Martin Luther’s own seething hatred of the Jews. To mention Ratzinger’s membership of the Hitler Youth might be thought to be fighting dirty, but my feeling is that the gloves are off after this disgraceful paragraph by the pope.

I am incandescent with rage at the sycophantic BBC coverage, and the sight of British toadies bowing and scraping to this odious man. I thought he was bad before. This puts the lid on it.


Now the monks are doin' it!

SPAM just reached a new level. This just in from a Capuchin monk

I’m a Capuchin monk of the Holy House of Loreto in Marche in the centre of Italy.

Through the site www.santafamigliatv.it we are committed via Internet for the new evangelization.

To this  aim,  we ask you for one of your film footage. (any format DVD, VHS, minicassette) you have already realized, so as to include in our Schedules and our Archives.

The topic could be the presentation of your institute, your busisness vocation, your missions, ….
The movie will be offered for a year (once a week) and permanently in our archive always freely available.
In support of this activity religion we ask you for your contribution of 100€.

We invite you to know the meantime visitors to our site.

in SS Hearts of Jesus and Mary
P. Giovanni Maria Leonardi

Removing the bibles

In 2007 Scandic Hotels decided that it will no longer be carrying bibles in their guestrooms (via Hotelchatter & Sydsvenskan) but after “massive” protests the bibles were replaced. Now the hotel chain Ibis has decided to remove the bibles since they are offensive to others (Dagen).

I would rather have free wifi than a bible but I guess there will be “massive” protests. The problem with massive in this scenario is that the majority couldn’t give a damn while the minority is the loudest…

Seriously even if you are a believer, even if you are a believer in any form of the new testament – what does it matter if there is no bible in the hotelroom? Why are believers in a loving god so intolerant of the rest of us? If they are right then we go to hell – so what? we don’t believe in it…

If it is your favorite book then carry your own! Everyone else has to.

A (partial) list of my disbeliefs

All too often atheism is diminished into “not believing in god” but what believers tend to forget atheism is not believing in gods (plural).  Common Sense Atheism has a wonderful post listing some of the many many many gods atheists don’t believe in. The post includes a massive list of gods that have fallen out of favor with the believers for different reasons and a few which may still find pockets of favor around the world.

Christians are often baffled as to how atheists could deny the existence of their god, Yahweh. But they shouldn’t be. Christians deny thousands of the same gods that theists deny. Atheists just deny one more god than Christians do (or three, maybe).

Some of my favorites? Pratibhanapratisamvit, Buddhist goddess of context analysis. Or Acat, Mayan god of tattoo artists. Or Tsa’qamae, north american god of salmon migration.

Anyway, here’s a handy comparison between the gods Christians deny and the gods atheists deny. We’re not so different, after all. Let us celebrate our vast agreement on the non-existence of thousands of gods!

The list is very long but as one commenter complains:

This list in not complete at all. For one thing the majority of modern day christians refuse or do not acknowledge any god by the name of YAhweh. But rather worship Jesus Christ, who is the son of a no-named god simply called by a title “god” but also is the same exact being in some redneck, twisted sort of way.

Complete or not its a fascinating list of disbelief.

Why I am an atheist – reason 53

The pope claims that the Roman Catholic Church is in the forefront of the battle against AIDS. He recently said

“You can’t resolve it [Aids] with the distribution of condoms,” the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane headed to Yaounde. “On the contrary, it increases the problem.”

What a nutter…

Scientology Organised Fraud

The Church of Scientology will be tried in a French court for “organised fraud”. Scientology is not a recognised religion in France and there has been trouble before. The French see Scientology as a sect and therefore kept under observation. This is not uncommon in several other European states including Belgium, Germany and Greece. The sect has been in trouble in all these states for exploiting its members financially.

Scientology is a particularly nasty sect but it is interesting to see that some forms of delusion are permitted while others are not. Reminds me of the quote in Dawkins book “The God Delusion” which went something like this: One persons delusion is madness, a delusion shared by all is called religion.

While writing this I was happy to see that Operation Clambake was still online. Check out the wikipedia page about the site.

Update: I came across this on EFF apparently there has been a massive takedown of anti-Scientology videos on YouTube.

Over a period of twelve hours, between this Thursday night and Friday morning, American Rights Counsel LLC sent out over 4000 DMCA takedown notices to YouTube, all making copyright infringement claims against videos with content critical of the Church of Scientology. Clips included footage of Australian and German news reports about Scientology, A Message to Anonymous/Scientology , and footage from a Clearwater City Commission meeting. Many accounts were suspended by YouTube in response to multiple allegations of copyright infringement.

From EFF Blog

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.