Thursday, April 26, 2007
The Rev David Smith (see picture) sexually abused boys over a period of nearly 30 years and, despite complaints to the church authorities in 1981 and again in 2001, no action was taken to stop him, Bristol crown court heard this week.
Smith, vicar of St John the Evangelist in Clevedon, Somerset, denies 14 charges allegedly committed against seven boys under 16. He denied 10 charges of indecent assault, two of indecency with a child, one sexual assault on a child under 13, and one of sexual activity with a child.
Brendon Moorhouse, prosecuting, told the jury that Mr Smith's abuse began when he was appointed assistant housemaster at a boarding school in Berkshire. During his year at the school in the mid-1970s, he abused three boys. After leaving the school, he abused another boy in 1981 while a curate in Gloucestershire, the court heard. He was entrusted to look after the boy when his parents went on holiday, but used the opportunity to indecently assault him, it was claimed. The victim's mother alerted the police and Mr Smith was moved to another parish.
In 1993 Smith arrived in Clevedon, where he allegedly abused three boys. Years later one of the alleged victims from the school saw Smith on television. Shocked to see his former teacher was now a vicar, he wrote to the church and was reassured the problem had "effectively been dealt with". But he abused another boy before the police were called in after a victim confided in a parishioner, the court was told.
Readers will be gratified to know that the diocese of Bath and Wells has merely suspended the Rev. Smith from duty pending the outcome of the case.
Nice to know that they care for their own, isn't it?
Fuck the little children entrusted to their care - or is that what Smith had been doing?
Nonetheless, you cannot blame Smith: these 7 young boys entrusted to his care and protection were obviously 'gagging for it', and he would have been less than a red-blooded male if he had been able to resist the opportunity of sexually abusing them. Apart from that, it's almost de rigueur for priests to be paedophiles, see for example the other notable case this week reported here.
Undoubtedly these 7 erstwhile innocent young boys are likely all mendacious perverts and atheists without any morality whatsoever who are now perjuring themselves just to bring a good and godly vicar down and to give the Church of England a bad name.
I believe that we sought to act in the best interests - not only of the Church, but of the family and of everybody concerned at that time.The Bishop's attitude is completely unacceptable, particularly when he and his colleagues in the Church of England are always telling the rest of us that without their god in our lives we cannot act in a moral fashion.
Bishop Wilcox's failure to act morally, legally, and decently means that either he does not believe in his god - in which case he is '...obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception...', to quote the Fraud Act, since he is being paid handsomely by the Church of England to fulfil the sinecure of a Bishopric - or else he is simply just another hypocrite and charlatan masquerading as a cleric in so-called 'holy orders'.
It is also interesting to compare Bishop Wilcox's spurious excuse for covering up for Halliday's repeated sexual abuse of children in his care with that of the Churches' own Child Protection Advisory Service, who said, according to the BBC, that the bishop's argument was a "red herring" and it was "well known even then" that such cases had to be reported to police.
Just a thought, but since Bishop Wilcox deliberately chose to ignore Halliday's vile sexual abuse of children, and the rules set in place by the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service , perhaps he too shares Halliday's penchant for abusing children entrusted to his care? After all, a man who deliberately lies to children that the Xtain god really exists, despite no credible evidence to support such a claim, may well be capable of anything. I'll bet he even tells credulous folks that 'Jesus' really existed, was born of a virgin, and was resurrected after death so that he could rejoin his father, who is actually himself, in a fairy-tale place called 'heaven' but which isn't half as nice if the stories of priests are to be believed.
But, if you find the the actions of Halliday and Wilcox worthy of your opprobrium, pause for a moment and consider those of the Judge, Ian Pearson, who amazingly saw fit to jail Halliday for only 2.5 years for the 10 specimen charges over some 5 years. Admittedly Judge Pearson added that Halliday should be banned from working with children and said he would be put on the Sex Offenders Register, both for life; additionally was ordered to pay his 3 victims £2,ooo each. Nevertheless, it seems an amazingly light sentence for a serial predatory paedophile, especially when such people are generally considered to be 'incurable' and ever likely to repeat their offences.
Anyone who suggests that Judge Pearson had an ulterior motive for his remarkably lenient sentence on Halliday may well be right, but I couldn't possibly comment.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
In the story, the narrator states a marvellous line that shines out of the dark context like a beacon and sheds much light on an aspect of various forms of insanity:
They say I am mad, but would a madman behave as I have done?Of course the reader is left in no doubt that the narrator is indeed mad, and the proof of that fact is his meticulous argumentation is support of his behaviour which, even though there is a definite thread of rationality in his actions, and each one of which can be analysed and seen to be reasonable within the context of that which preceded it, but, taken as a whole, drive one to the ineluctable conclusion that one is reading the ravings of a complete madman, yet he is completely unaware of his own psychopathology.
One is left with the same impression when one reads the precise and analytical argumentation of Fr. Brian W. Harrison, O.S., Associate Professor of Theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, in his paper entitled Could Limbo Be 'Abolished'? which was published on 7 December 2005, and which can be found here.
In this article, Fr Harrison analyses Ratzinger/Benedict’s intention to abolish limbo, and argues, in part…
…first: that it would clearly be impossible for the Pope to make an infallible (ex cathedra) definition contradicting the Church's bimillennial tradition that (at least after the proclamation of the Gospel, and apart from a rare 'baptism of blood' — being slain, like the Holy Innocents, out of hatred of Christ) such infants are eternally excluded from the beatific vision; and secondly, that in view of this impossibility of our reaching any certainty of their eternal salvation, any (non-infallible) magisterial document raising further hopes to that effect would be inopportune and irresponsible. For such a document would inevitably accentuate the already-existing tendency for Catholic parents to be lax and negligent about having their children baptized promptly after birth, and would therefore run the risk of being partially, but gravely, responsible for barring Heaven to countless souls, in the event that Limbo does turn out to exist after all. I am firmly persuaded that nothing more should be said about this matter than what is already said in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. While the Catechism says cautiously that Catholics are "allowed" (not obliged) to "hope" that there is a way of salvation for infants who die unbaptized (#1261), it also emphasizes that "the Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude" (#1257), (Harrison’s emphasis).Harrison continues at some length to argue that limbo cannot be abolished, and concludes…
It should be clear from the above survey of relevant Catholic magisterial statements that those who now talk about Limbo as only ever having been a mere "hypothesis", rather than a doctrine, are giving a very misleading impression of the state of the question. They are implying by this that the pre-Vatican II Church traditionally held, or at least implicitly admitted, that an alternate 'hypothesis' for unbaptized infants was their attainment of eternal salvation — Heaven. Nothing could be further from the truth. Limbo for unbaptized infants was indeed a theological "hypothesis"; but the only approved alternate hypothesis was not Heaven, but very mild hellfire as well as exclusion from the beatific vision! In short, while Limbo as distinct from very mild hellfire was a 'hypothetical' destiny for unbaptized infants, their eternal exclusion from Heaven (with or without any 'pain of sense') — at least after the proclamation of the Gospel, and apart from the 'baptism of blood' of infants slaughtered out of hatred for Christ — this was traditional Catholic doctrine, not a mere hypothesis. No, it was never dogmatically defined. But the only question is whether the doctrine was infallible by virtue of the universal and ordinary magisterium, or merely "authentic"(Harrison's emphasis).Unfortunately for Harrison, the Church's International Theological Commission didn’t agree with him, since they have just published a 41 page document entitled The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptised which said limbo reflected an "unduly restrictive view of salvation," according to the U.S.-based Catholic News Service. Furthermore, this thumbs-down verdict on limbo is seen as most likely to be final since limbo was never formally part of Church doctrine, and the theologians advising the Pope concluded that since God is merciful he "wants all human beings to be saved."
Admittedly I haven’t read the International Theological Commission’r report, The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptised, but I am willing to bet that were I to do so, I would arrive at the same conclusion that I was driven to about Fr. Harrison: it was written by madmen!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Whilst the debate is far too lengthy to do justice to here, some highlights are reproduced from ’Hansard’ and the full debate can be accessed here.
In introducing the debate, Lord Harrison said…
It is time to speak up, especially as a more strident note is now sounding. The Anglicanism of my youth, more sedative than stimulant, now gives way to the harsher tones of those like the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of York, who describes us as “illiberal atheists” and “aggressive secularists”. We learn that to combat this perceived intolerant public atheism, the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Roman Catholic Church and the Jewish leader will meet this summer in a holy alliance to plot the counterstrategy—a less than ecumenical approach.
Later, he gave some interesting information…
The Government fulfilled a 2001 manifesto promise to encourage co-operation between religious communities and themselves by publishing a paper entitled 'Working Together' but their compass on promoting togetherness is too unsteady. They signally fail to canvass the views of non-churchgoers about religious matters despite the fact that, as the 2001 Home Office Citizenship Survey asserts, four out of five of us find that religious belief is not central to our self-identity.
'Working Together' is lax in the way in which it elevates obscure religious groups such as the Jains and the Zoroastrians to a significance way beyond their numbers. It too eagerly equates religious belief with specific ethnic communities, thereby overlooking the authentic non-religious views and needs of, say, our Chinese and Caribbean communities. It is seduced by using religion as a key to revealing other problems and opportunities. It passes over the myriad other groups and subsets who make up the mosaic of Britain and deserve to have their substantial and unique voices heard. Most egregious, though, is the omission of those for whom religion is either perfunctory or defunct—we the silent majority. The report compounds its diagnostic errors by proposing therapies that are dubious. The use of public moneys and resources to seek out and harvest the views of small, unrepresentative religious groups is problematic. (emphasis mine)
But perhaps his Lordship’s most worrying remarks relate to the Government’s attitude towards non-believers (and, incidentally, this Government’s aggressive use of ‘spin’ to obfuscate their intentions and/or actions)…
However, I am particularly perturbed by the Government’s companion paper, entitled 'Building Civil Renewal', which apparently encourages civil servants to dilute the strength of the secular voice,Naturally, the apologists for the Government contradicted His Lordship, as did sundry representatives of the Church of England, who sit in the Lords as of right.
“by preparing to mount publicity and media-handling strategies to answer adverse criticism from the secular quarter”.
That is neither wise nor even-handed. Groups such as the National Secular Society and the British Humanist Association, of which I am a member, should be encouraged, not discouraged, from commenting on the development or the framing of relevant laws and policies. Had those groups been dispassionately asked and thoughtfully answered, some of the rough edges of legislation regarding religious hatred or religious schools might well have sat better with the very communities such laws are designed to serve.(emphasis mine)
Amongst some of the more quotable ‘bon mots’ were the following from those both in support and against Lord Harrison’s position; make for them what you will…
Baroness Carnegy of Lour:
Throughout history, and alas very much at this moment, religion has been and is at the root of terrible events and some of our most intractable problems…
It is therefore unsurprising that religion is often cast as a malign influence, as I think the noble Lord has cast it.
As I get older I simply get more convinced that there is no credible evidence for the existence of God and see no merit in believing the truth of something not supported by evidence.
The Archbishop of York:
…we are all essentially religious. The question is not whether we worship, but rather one of who or what do we worship. We give allegiance to something…
For me, religion is a narrative we all inhabit that makes sense to us of what would otherwise be nonsense.
Baroness Rendell of Babergh:
“I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars”.
Most of us would agree that it is this conflict between beneficence and omnipotence which makes belief impossible. There is no answer to it. We are obliged to own that something which was beautiful and once seemed an incontrovertible truth was acceptable only when magic was a reality and science a mystery.
Lord Carey of Clifton:
What is common to most religions is an acceptance of a creator who brought all things into existence and that this creator gives meaning, hope and life to everyone.
If those two opinions separate the believer from the unbeliever, we should not then assume that religion is necessarily the place of superstition, credulity and ignorance.
I find that some atheists seem to be unaware that their beliefs, too, are at best a faith.
I was rather offended by the comments of the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Carey, about the role that people without faith have played in doing good in the world. He is entirely and wholly wrong. We feel just as passionately as those who have faith about ensuring that society is just.
I am very uncomfortable with the 2003 Government policy of encouraging faith-based organisations to participate in public service provision.
Lord Wedderburn of Charlton:
This issue raises a question of human rights, because the European Convention on Human Rights, adopted in the Human Rights Act 1998, proclaimed in Articles 89 and 14 the freedom of religious belief and freedom, as interpreted by the Strasbourg court, of other beliefs—including, as it puts it, atheism or scepticism—to be human rights. This issue raises a question of human rights, because the European Convention on Human Rights, adopted in the Human Rights Act 1998, proclaimed in Articles 89 and 14 the freedom of religious belief and freedom, as interpreted by the Strasbourg court, of other beliefs—including, as it puts it, atheism or scepticism—to be human rights.
Humanism offers a coherent ethical structure which goes something like this. Life is finite and we must therefore make choices. We must take responsibility for these choices ourselves. Human thinking and human nature are so constituted that we want to justify our choices. We want them to be worth taking responsibility for and to be consistent, hence a system of ethics.
…humanists were at the forefront of some of our more recent progress. They were active in the founding of the United Nations and its agencies, that great leap forward in human rights…
I also want more space in this country for the non-religious universe. Faith is not the only basis for morality…
… when I introduced the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill in this House, the attitude and conduct of the faith groups and some of their members made me wonder whether their views and actions on some social issues deserve the respect that government and parts of society give them.
The church campaign [against the Bill] began with Archbishop Peter Smith, the Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff, announcing that it was the launch of the biggest political campaign by the church in its modern history. I was flattered that a small Bill that I had introduced should require such a campaign, given that modern history encompasses a number of wars, famine, poverty and a number of other very important issues. The campaign went on in an aggressive, emotional way. It was often misleading, it often relied on anecdote rather than careful research, and it was frequently plain scaremongering.
Time does not permit me to go into the details but typical was an article in The Catholic Times on2 April 2006, by a Father Francis Marsden, headed, “Legalising Euthanasia Turns Carers into Killers”. The reverend father thoughtfully attached to that article a photograph of 24 children who were murdered by the Nazis. Self-evidently, that had nothing to do with the Bill; it was, in my view, a disgrace and obscene.
The outcome was that a Bill supported by 80 per cent of the public was defeated by a campaign orchestrated by the churches.
The ultimate rejection of the Bill raised two questions. The first is: who do the church leaders represent on this issue? Research showed that 80 per cent of Catholics and 80 per cent of Protestants would have been in favour of the Bill. The second questions is whether it is right that church leaders should mount a campaign that was not even supported by their own laity, with the intention of imposing their beliefs on the majority of the population who do not share those beliefs.
No one would disagree with the belief of the noble Lord, Lord Harrison, that in a democratic state a person’s lack of religion should not lead to any kind of prejudice or deprivation. We agree that religious groups should be controlled in any misuse of their position.
Those who profess no religion have not yet evolved a common ritual and philosophy that appeals to the mass of the population.
The trouble is that humanism can seem too intellectual or remote.
For me, faith is not constructive or oppressive; it is liberating and empowering. I believe that the structures of religion are valuable to society today, even if the spiritual content is not embraced by all.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews):
… the Government have a responsibility to ensure that the minority of people who do not identify with a faith are not, and do not feel, excluded from the mainstream political debate or uncertain about their rights. The Government certainly have a responsibility to ensure that people who do not identify with a faith do not have fewer choices or are less able to live out their lives in the way in which they would choose, to contribute to the life of the nation, or to take opportunities wherever they arise.So there you have it, my dear anti-theist and misoclere friends. You have rights, providing you can convince those opposed to your views that you base your life “around a serious philosophical belief.”
Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights makes it quite clear that everyone has the right to think what they will and believe what they choose.
It is important to remember that Article 9 protects both non-religious and religious beliefs. It makes it clear that the right to express and to manifest one’s thoughts or beliefs is to be limited only when it is necessary to do so by law in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
As a Government, we have a good record of promoting those principles of equal treatment, most recently in the Equality Act 2006, which prohibits discrimination against persons because of their religion or belief. The Act specifically includes lack of religion or belief in the protected grounds. It offers protection on an equal footing to everyone, whether atheist, theist or humanist—to anyone who bases their life around a serious philosophical belief. Part 1 of the Act gives the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights as much scope to support people of no religious belief who believe that they have been discriminated against on that basis as much as any other person.
One is left wondering how the courts will interpret that!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
For example, a fellow Moderator at the website 'Gods4Suckers' recently removed two of my posts concerning an American Congressman without having first contacting me directly to indicate that their sensibilities had been offended by them, and then went on to rebuke me publicly in the relevant thread for posting pornography on the site. Apart from demonstrating that person's lack of courtesy towards a fellow Mod., not to mention their rather strange view of what constitutes 'pornography', their actions are indicative of either a remarkable double standard or evidence of a more underhand motive.
My reasons for arriving at that conclusion are simple: apparently it was OK for me to write hundreds of posts in a similar vein about George W Bush, all and sundry public religious figures, or to ridicule the various theists or fundamental Xtians who were brave enough to visit the site from time to time, but as soon as I mocked a cherished Democratic Congressmen my two posts had to be removed without so much as a 'by your leave', or without an reference to me apart from a rather snide public accusation from the other Mod., that I had somehow befouled the site with pornography.
However, since no one had so much as complained about any of my other hundreds of comments regarding persons other than the Democratic Congressman in question, far less actually having removed any of them without reference to me in the past, despite their similar content, it indicates rather strongly that something else was afoot - particularly as the other Mod., regularly maligned public figures either she did not like or who's policies she did not agree with.
Now it matters not one whit to me whether my two posts regarding the Democratic Congressman were removed, per se, and I can ignore the remarkable lack of courtesy to me by a fellow Mod., and quondam friend, but it was quite clear to me that if my comments regarding the Congressman were 'beyond the pale' then those I had made about everyone else were equally so, and therefore they also merited deletion.
Accordingly, I spent some time last night deleting hundreds of comments of mine that I had the power to do as a Mod., before resigning from 'Gods4Suckers', but that still left an even greater number that I was unable to delete personally, though I have formally requested that everything I ever posted on that site be removed. I have been assured by another Mod., that she will personally remove all of those posts of mine, but whether that happens remains to be seen.
In the meantime, I wish to make it clear to everyone that I completely dissociate myself from the 'Gods4Suckers' site, and that I am not responsible for any posts that remain there which bear the pseudonym 'The Old Git'.
Finally, there are a number of people at 'Gods4Suckers' to whom I wish 'all the best'; I hope you know who you are, for I certainly do.
It was fun whilst it lasted.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
“I want to be buggered for my 80th Birthday,” he was heard to exclaim as he elbowed his way to the front of the queue!
Makes a change from buggering others, eh?
Mind you, people like Dr Joaquin Navarro-Valls, head of the Vatican’s communications department, and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, are very much in need of such a book, as I mentioned in an earlier entry, 'Pope Suppresses Truth – Again'! Chapter XIV is all about inserting one’s proboscis deep into the rectum of the object of one’s sychophancy!
Saturday, April 14, 2007
(wait for it)
… writing books containing passages that are “either erroneous or dangerous and may cause harm to the faithful”! (my emphasis)
So much for the Roman Catholic Church being interested in such trivial pursuits as ‘social justice’ or even ‘truth’ itself!
Even before Sobrino’s ban, the Spanish newspaper ’El Mundo’ stated:
Father Jon Sobrino will be barred from teaching in Catholic schools and instructed not to publish written works, citing informed sources at the Vatican.
Father Sobrino’s work was cited as distorting the role of Jesus in the plan of salvation, the Vatican sources said. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reportedly found that his theological works placed an undue emphasis on the figure of Jesus as a human actor involved in social causes, neglecting his divinity and his unique role in Redemption.
But guess who ordered the silencing of Fr Sobrino?
Non other than Il Poo-Poo himself, Pope Benedict XVI, according to the British newspaper ’The Independent’
Mind you, such heavy-handedness by ‘The Rottweiler’ is not unusual, since when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, the Pope silenced Leonardo Boff, a former Franciscan who is the leading advocate of liberation theology. The Pope’s censure of Father Sobrino, Mr Boff says, shows that nothing has really changed.
Meanwhile, Monsignor Engelbert Siebler, auxiliary bishop of Munich — the Pope’s former archdiocese — said that although the Pope drinks only the occasional glass of wine he would give him 80 bottles of Pope Benedict beer, made in Bavaria, complete with the steins to drink it from for his Birthday on 16th April.
Let’s hope the mendacious old cunt chokes on them!
BTW: Dr Joaquin Navarro-Valls, a key member of the late pope’s stunningly successful papacy and the head of the Vatican’s communications department for 22 years, led the tributes yesterday to Benedict, describing him as a man of “elevated, perhaps even unreachable, composure: discreet, alert and Roman”.
Rome? He was born in Bavaria, for fuck’s sake - can’t you guys get ANYTHING right?
Navarro-Valls’ opinion was echoed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, who said the Pope had a “robustness and clarity in his teaching” that stemmed from “his noble language, and its efficiency of persuasion.” He added: “He has always defended simple faith over the ambiguous and erroneous doctrines from the so-called wise men of this world.”
It never ceases to amaze me how far up someone’s rectum these brown-nosers are prepared to insert their proboscis.
According to Reuters, it is a highly complex theological treatise on Christ as both God and man in which the Pope dissects and analyses scripture passages like the old university professor he once was.
Benedict says the reader should not consider the 450-page work, a study he began about two years before his election and finished last September, as an infallible part of official Church teaching, writing: “Anyone is free to contradict me.”
OK, you Nazi bastard, here goes: without so much as reading your work of fiction I can safely say that you provide no credible empiric evidence that (a) this ‘God’ to which you refer exists, (b) that someone called ‘Jesus’ actually lived, far less that he was the son of this ‘god’ to which you refer, and (c) that all the other claims you make are equally specious and without any foundation in the real world.
Undeterred, Il Papa writes:
Yes, it really happened. Jesus is not a myth. He is a man made of flesh and blood, a totally real presence in history … he died and rose from the dead.
And, in presenting the book to the media, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, said:
The innumerable fanciful images of Jesus as a revolutionary, as a timid social reformer, as the secret lover of Mary Magdalene, can be put to rest in the ossuary of history… [Il Papa’s book is based on] the solid, historical credibility of the Gospels.
The book, a first volume in a larger work, concentrates on the alleged “Christ’s” public ministry, and it starts with his baptism in the Jordan River when he was already an adult and ends with the Transfiguration.
But whilst the book is claimed to be a theological study, at times the Pope offers contemporary relevance to some Biblical accounts. For example, after analysing the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Pope says rich countries bent on power and profit has “plundered and sacked” Africa and other poor regions.
And he should know, for the Roman Catholic Church robbed them first, and continues to do so!
But the reason for this rape, allegedly, is the “cynicism of a world without God”.
And all this from a man who heads one of the most repressive, repulsive and downright backward organisations in the world, one which has cynically exploited human needs and weaknesses over the millennia to further its own self-aggrandisement and power, and one which, despite this worthless tome from an equally worthless theologian, cynically claims that there is a ‘god’, yet the only so-called ‘evidence’ he offers to substantiate his claims is the dubious, highly contentious, and thoroughly unreliable ‘Gospels’.
What a phoney; but then you all knew that, didn’t you?
Friday, April 13, 2007
The Vatican ambassador to Israel has sparked a public row after refusing to attend this Sunday’s annual Holocaust memorial service in Jerusalem in protest at a description of the wartime role of Pope Pius XII.
Monsignor Antonio Franco, who arrived in Jerusalem last year, has called on Israel’s official Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, to change a picture caption which criticises the pope for failing to condemn the deportation and mass killing of Jews under the Nazi regime. Earlier this month he wrote to turn down a formal invitation to Sunday’s torch-lighting remembrance ceremony.
The dispute revolves around a paragraph-long picture caption of Pius XII that was installed when the newly-designed Yad Vashem museum was opened in 2005. The previous Vatican ambassador sent a letter of complaint about the text a year ago and now Monsignor Franco has complained again.
The text notes that Pius XII’s reaction to the Holocaust is controversial and states: “When he was elected Pope in 1939, he shelved a letter against racism and anti-semitism that his predecessor had prepared. Even when reports about the murder of Jews reached the Vatican, the Pope did not protest either verbally or in writing.” The description also says Pius XII chose not to sign a December 1942 Allied declaration condemning the extermination of Jews and did not intervene when Jews were being deported from Rome to Auschwitz.
The whole sordid story can be found here, but what is so surprising is that anyone could think that for a single moment the church, or Christians for that matter, were so much as interested in such a trifling matter as truth.
In other words, Christians lie: Plus ça change!
Women might soon be able to produce sperm in a development that could allow lesbian couples to have their own biological daughters, according to a pioneering study published today.
But the real death knell for men could be this aspect of the research…
Creating sperm from women would mean they would only be able to produce daughters because the Y chromosome of male sperm would still be needed to produce sons. The latest research brings the prospect of female-only conception a step closer.
You guys have been warned.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Dr Rowan Williams shocked his congregation today with his frank confession before donning a funny hat and proceeding to tell the assemblage of sycophants silly stories about someone called Jewsuss of Nobody.
The assemblage fell about laughing at the risible tale of this third-rate carpenter being nailed to a plank of wood, dying horribly as he deserved, and then apparently being resurrected by his allegedly supernatural Daddy in the sky, when everyone knows that the whole story is a complete and utter fabrication from beginning to end.
Still, if it wasn't for this sort of ridiculous entertainment, a large section of the mentally dysfunctional would have nothing to occupy their vacuous little minds with, so we shouldn't be too harsh in our judgement of them.
But as the Archbish said after the gig, "That was a nice little earner; it'll keep me going in Chateau Mouton Rothschild for a week or two." But when he was asked about his surprising confession, he replied in his usually opaque style "Oh that. Well, everyone knows that religion is entirely humbug. But when I say 'everyone', you understand, I mean simply those who are capable of thinking critically for themselves. That is, so to say, those who are not persuaded by dogma or childhood indoctrination. But for the rest of them, well, I'm performing a sort of social service, you know, like some sort of psychiatric nurse ensuring that my patients keep taking their psychotropic medication. That analogy is quite apt, you see, because it is an acknowledged fact that so-called 'religious belief' is actually not what epistemologists call 'justified true belief', being nothing more than a misplaced faith in some supernatural nonsense, which, as everyone knows, is actually a symptom of delusional psychosis. Hence my reference to psychiatric nursing and appropriate medication. Apposite, what? Now then, must be off. The gig's over for another year, and I've got other fish to fry."
With that he winked, lifted up his skirts, and vanished into the cloisters.
Friday, April 06, 2007
A research report entitled ’Churchgoing in the UK’ has just been issued by ‘Tearfund’, which describes itself as, “…one of the UK’s leading relief and development agencies, working in partnership with Christian churches around the world to tackle the causes and effects of poverty.”
The Foreword to this report includes the following delightful news from the Revd. Dr. Steven Croft …
This report is essential reading for all concerned with the place and future of the Christian church in contemporary Britain.
The relationship between the Christian churches and the society around us is shifting rapidly. In order to understand these changes we need a range of different tools.
Membership and attendance figures collected by denominations give us part of the picture. For many years, Christian Research has also published regular and valuable Church Census information, taking a snapshot of the number of people who attend church on a particular Sunday.
This new research needs to be set alongside those figures. It offers a different perspective in that it surveys in detail those who don’t attend church as well as recording those who do. The results give us a detailed “map” of the population.
There is significant encouragement here for the churches. A very substantial part of the population in the United Kingdom still attend church regularly or occasionally during the year. Christians are not (as yet) the tiny minority that some would suggest. This statistic alone has major implications not only for the churches but for public debate and public policy.
However, there is other vital information in the survey. A third of the adult population now have no church background (in addition to those who belong to other faiths). They have never attended church apart from baptisms, weddings and funerals. This proportion is higher among younger people and is rising steadily over time. (emboldening mine)
Whilst the body of the report contains even better news…
Tearfund asked UK adults, “Do you regard yourself as belonging to any particular religion?” Just over half (53%) of UK adults belong to the Christian religion, which is equivalent to 26.2 million adults in the population. 6% or 3.2 million adults belong to other faiths, meaning that three out of five UK adults have a religious affiliation. The remaining two fifths (39%), 19 million adults, say they have no religion. (emboldening mine)
But compare the foregoing with this evidence from the same report…
An identical question has been asked on the Government’s British Social Attitudes Survey for many years. The latest results from 2004 were very similar, indicating 53% Christian, 3% other faiths, 43% no religion. However affiliation to Christianity is higher on the Census. On the 2001 Census, 72% of the UK population said they were Christian, 5% other religions,
16% no religion and 7% declined to answer. However the Census in England and Wales asked a softer question “What is your religion?”.
These comparisons suggest a difference between nominal affiliation on a Census form and being truly committed to a particular faith. In England and Wales around one in four of those adults who would describe themselves nominally as Christian on the Census form do not consider that they actually ‘belong’ to the Christian religion. Similarly around one in six of people classifying themselves as other religions on the Census do not consider they ‘belong’ to that religion. (emboldening mine)
Quite clearly the conclusions drawn by the Tearfund report are correct but the figure of 72% as given by the 2001 Census and which is quoted regularly by churchmen to defend their intrusion into secular affairs has been known to be false for years, yet the church and its duplicitous and mendacious lackeys deliberately use this figure knowing it to be false.
But even more delightful news follows…
* 4.9 million go to church at least weekly (10% of the UK adult population).
* 7.6 million attend church at least monthly (15%).
* 12.6 million attend church at least annually (26%).
* 28.8 million (59%) never or practically never go to church. (emboldening mine)
No wonder the churches are becoming even more histrionic in their attempts to preserve the unwarranted privileges that they have enjoyed, at our expense, for far too long. Let us hope that the decline in attendance accelerates, and that religions lose all their privileges whatsoever, making this a truly secular society once and for all.
Those who are interested can access the Tearfund report (it stretches to 50 pages) here.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
This is 63 year old Roman Catholic priest Father Gerry Nugent, formerly parish priest for St Patrick's Church, Anderston, Glasgow, who made a habit of shagging his female parishioners - well, the ones he fancied, anyway - and it has been suggested in court today that he even murdered one of them and disposed of her body beneath the church floor after he found out that she was also shagging the church handyman.
This edifying tale of priestly hypocrisy, dishonesty, and perhaps much worse, is unfolding during the trial of the handyman, who has been charged with the rape and murder of Father Gerry's 23 year old Polish shag and murder victim, Angelika Kluk, after this slimy priest fingered him for the dastardly deed.
Those who wish to keep abreast - now, now, Gerry, don't get excited at that prospect - can read all about the unfolding tale of woe here.
When Cardinal Lev Vershinski was asked what he thought of Father Gerry's abuses, he said, "Well, at least it wasn't altar boys he shagged. I couldn't cover-up for any more of that sort of thing!"