Today, April 13th, is the first birthday of Christopher Hitchens after his death on the 15th of December last year. Today is Christopher Hitchens day.
Happy birthday Hitch.
Today, April 13th, is the first birthday of Christopher Hitchens after his death on the 15th of December last year. Today is Christopher Hitchens day.
Happy birthday Hitch.
I had a bit of a laugh today when my wife pointed out this status from a Facebook friend of ours. I find it terribly amusing and not just a little bit ironic.
I will never again in my life drink a Red Bull. It is one thing to have fun with ads, but completely unacceptable to depict the Jesus, whom a large number of us on this planet consider to be the Son of God in such a manner.
Seems a bit like a Muslim sentiment no? Isn’t that amusing.
The indignation comes from a Red Bull advert. It seems the poor guy had his sensibilities insulted when he read this article on South Africa’s News 24 site: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Jesus-ad-doesnt-fly-with-Catholics-20120313 and then watched the horrifyingly offensive video.
The Red Bull energy drink’s “Jesus walks on water” campaign should be cancelled, the SA Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) said on Tuesday.
“We question the timing of the release of the advert – which seems to be part of an international campaign,” spokesperson Cardinal Wilfred Napier said in a statement.
“While the Red Bull adverts are characterised by their cleverness, we believe that Red Bull South Africa have overstepped a mark.”
Napier said the SACBC welcomed the halting of the campaign, but asked Red Bull SA to cancel it completely.
And now… for the horror video. Are, you, ready, for… RED BULL JESUS!
Well torture my ass and condemn me to hell. The horror. Red Bull Jesus.
Haha that’s pretty funny – I love it! I think the advert is great. Of course, I may be biased. Red Bull is, after all, the greatest drink the world has ever beheld.
You see, here is the problem. I asked ANOTHER Christian what he thought of the advert. And THAT Christian loved it. Both Christians talk to Jesus. Christian B reckons Jesus doesn’t have a problem with the ad. Christian A is royally pissed off.
So my question is… which one of them is lying? I mean, before approving it or decrying it… surely they bothered to get the opinion of the
figment person deity on who’s behalf they are doing it right? Yea… right.
The religious will never cease to amuse me. Brain. Fail.
So, the Wanganui District Council has finally seen the light. And, like every other societal advance, the Christians fought it kicking and screaming right to the end. Thankfully Dr. Clive Solomon persevered and the council has eventually seen the light. Of reason. Finally.
Here’s the press release by the NZARH:
The New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists (NZARH) welcomes todays decision by the Wanganui District Council to remove prayer from the formal proceedings of all Council meetings. We believe that this is a victory for all the residents of Wanganui and for the wider New Zealand community representing, as it does, the first step towards a true separation between church and state. The signal that this sends to the entire community of Wanganui is that the Council is not prepared to tolerate discrimination on the grounds of their religious beliefs or lack thereof.
Following the decision Peter Harrison, spokesperson for the NZARH said “We are very pleased to hear that the Wanganui District Council has decided to conduct prayer outside official Council business. This approach is in accordance with the Bill of Rights, and recognises the importance of a tolerant multicultural society.”
Annette Main, Major of Wanganui commented on the decision, saying “I believe that the decisions we have made today are pragmatic and provide a reasonable compromise. It will allow those who wish to participate in a prayer or reflection to do so immediately before our Council meetings start. Those with an alternative view will also be provided for by removing the prayer from the meeting agenda.”
The NZARH recognises the instrumental work of Clive Solomon in standing up for religious equality in the face of sometimes emotional resistance. We also applaud the Councilors of Wanganui for coming to a resolution that is a credit to their city.
The NZARH sincerely hopes that the divisions caused by this issue will be quickly healed so that the Wanguanui District Council can continue it’s good work.
There is an article in Stuff about the result of Clive Solomon’s battle against bronze age magic and superstition:
The change of heart was prompted by a judgment from the High Court of Justice in Britain last month, which ruled that reciting prayers as part of a formal council meeting was not lawful under its Local Government Act.
However, the court did not believe reciting a prayer discriminated against councillors with no religious beliefs.
Councillor Clive Solomon, who first raised an objection to the prayer back in April, tabled the new information.
Dr Solomon indicated he would mount a legal challenge if his request to remove the prayer was defeated yesterday.
Well done Clive, your tenacity in fighting this idiocy is an inspiration to all of us.
The only down side to this debacle is that the Wanganui District Council wasted $24,000 of tax payer money on legal fees trying to keep their magic spell as part of a secular government organisation agenda. That’s a bit tragic but it’s also par for the course when it comes to the religious. Thankfully, they do seem to eventually see reason.
I think this quote by the most brilliant Mr. Robert G. Ingersoll is most apt:
“I know of no crime that has not been defended by the church, in one form or other. The church is not a pioneer; it accepts a new truth, last of all, and only when denial has become useless.”
- Robert G. Ingersoll
I have a question for… I’m not even sure what to call them. The question is for those people who consider themselves to be Christian but who don’t follow any of the traditional Christian denominations or denominational rules.
My question is this:
How did you come to the conclusion that it was OK for you to invent your own religion and how do you continue to justify it to yourself?
Let me explain.
From my point of view there are several types of Christian. By that, without getting into too much detail, to an average outsider it looks like there are Catholics, Methodists, Anglicans, Baptists and Pentecostals for example. Now I realise that’s not an exhaustive list and even in the few I’ve mentioned there are many sub divisions but I can’t very well list all 38,000 odd denominations. I think this few will serve the purpose.
There are the hard-core fundamentalist Christians and the Biblical literalists who take the religious thing very seriously. Then there are Christians that go to church every Sunday and follow the rules of whichever denomination they belong to and I feel like this is the majority of Christians - average Christians if you will.
Then you get another kind of Christian. I’ve noticed this new kind of Christian becoming more popular and more prevalent lately. I classify this new kind of Christian into 3 sub groups (as one does with Christian denominations…): Holiday Christians, Creative Christians and Christians-By-Default.
I know a couple in each group and they are the ones I have in mind. Holiday Christians are – and you often find these in the Orthodox denominations – those Christians who go to church for the big holidays like Easter and Christmas and possibly a wedding or the odd communion in between.
Creative Christians are an interesting bunch and they’ve really been popping up everywhere recently. I call them Creative Christians because they say things like “I hate religion but I love god” or “I am a passionate follower of Christ” or “I’m not religious, I follow Jesus”. These people – I really do hesitate to call them Christians since most of them avoid even calling themselves Christian – eschew the standard religious practices in favour of… well, something else. They might even join in when one pokes a bit of fun at their more traditional Christian compatriots and their traditional Christian views. Some Creative Christians even think that religion is a bad thing! I know a couple of people who fall into this category.
And then there are the Christians-By-Default. I know very many people who fall into this category and to be honest, their ‘beliefs’ seem a little bizarre to me. Where the Holiday Christians have re-invented Christianity to be easier to live with while still keeping up pretenses and the Creative Christians have invented an almost entirely new ‘spiritual religion’ loosely based on Christianity, the Christians-By-Default have not bothered to change or re-invent anything, instead watering down a fine, if a bit diverse, two thousand year tradition to a basic, effortless superstition. For example, I know a bunch of people who call themselves ‘Christian’ who have not once in their lives set foot in a church, do not own a Bible and have never read it, who do not normally pray, do pretty nasty things and are generally pretty indecent people. Yet, they firmly believe that they are Christian and will be going to heaven – based purely on the luck of being born into a moderately Christian environment I would imagine.
I have very little respect for any of the three categories. To be fair, I have a really hard time respecting any religious person – for obvious reasons – but I do respect the ones who take their religions seriously a bit more than the ones who don’t. Anybody who claims to believe that there is a God and that eternal happiness and eternal torture is in the balance and doesn’t take it seriously is in my opinion the worst kind of…. stupid? Hypocrite? Fool? I just can’t understand how it’s possible to ‘do religion’ in such a disgustingly half-arsed way. If you believe it’s true, and the consequences are pretty damn severe, it should matter a lot. It should matter much more than anything else in the world matters.
So why doesn’t it I wonder.
The Holiday Christians that I know are a little… perplexing. They love the big orthodox church ceremonies and superstitions. Some of them claim to be Christian but they don’t read the Bible and don’t go to church any other time outside of Christmas or Easter. Some of them claim they think the Bible is rubbish but that ‘there must be something’, ‘there has to be a God’ and ‘there can’t be nothing’. And they flat-out argue this point and insist that one day I too will know (presumably when something bad happens to me). This is confusing. You have to wonder how do they arrive at ‘there must be something’ without even having so much as a Bible to refer to? What evidence could bring them to this conclusion if they admit that the Bible is hogwash and every other religion is wrong? I find their attitude very curious. It seems to me that they’ve invented a fairy tale of their very own to believe in that is really easy to follow since it doesn’t take much to get up early (or stay up late) for church twice a year while still believing you’re going to see dead friends and family in paradise. Convenient; reassuring perhaps, but baseless.
The Christians-By-Default are pretty much useless, some of them even useless as people (at least the ones I have in mind). So intellectually lazy that they couldn’t be bothered to learn the first thing about the religion they claim to be a part of. So ignorant of basic Christian doctrine they’d be hard pressed to state the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. What’s there to say? They’ve warped a religious belief so much that the convenient superstition that now features briefly in their lives when things get a bit shitty is barely recognisable. And based on what? Nothing but what is the easiest most convenient outcome for them.
And Creative Christians? How did they come up with this new ‘spiritual Christian’ philosophy? How are they getting it right where a billion Catholics are not?
Which is how I got to my original question. How did they come to the conclusion that it would be just dandy to invent their own religion? I guess the answer lies in the 38,000 odd denominations of Christianity. It seems every second Christian invents his or her own flavour.
Do none of them find this strange? They all claim to speak to the same God. Since they all seem to be getting a different message, are they all right? Does God really enjoy this much variety? It seems a little unlikely to me since He picked only the Israelites to be his extra special people back in the beginning and showed the finger (and the ugly edge of genocide) to the rest. And that’s after granting the even more unlikely situation of this deity existing in the first place.
Before you can even begin to answer how it’s OK to invent your own religion, there are several fundamental hurdles a Christian must cross before being able to legitimately invent a new kind of Christianity.
Jesus Christ said point-blank that you have to obey all of the old laws, all 613 of them in the Old Testament. I guess if your new religion includes all the ’old laws’, no problem there; however, none of the Christianity 2.x religions I describe above do… A bunch of them want to do away with the Bible even (for good reason, it’s chock full of bullshit and contradictions).
Which sort of begs the question of how you know about Jesus Christ without the Bible. They can’t have it both ways: either the Bible is in or its out. If its out, you can’t be a Christian and you have no other way to know about Yahweh.
Unless… Jesus is speaking to them!
But he’s not. It’s simple to prove and any honest Christian could prove it to themselves pretty quickly. They just need to pray to Jesus to put a verifiable fact that they could not possibly know into their brain – preferably one that’s really good and useful like the cure for cancer or a way to end world hunger.
That’s two birds with one stone. Nothing will happen which proves that prayer doesn’t work and Jesus doesn’t talk to anybody.
What about self-labelled ‘passionate followers of Christ’? They might avoid the ‘Christian’ label but the Bible makes a couple of suggestions about ‘following Christ’. Have they sold all their possessions to follow their deity as he suggested? Do they take no thought for the morrow? Do they ever put their own family before their deity? Do they avoid getting rich so that it will be easier to get into heaven? Every single one of the examples I can think of do exactly none of those things. And why not? If they really believe and they sure claim to believe, why do they not do the things Jesus said they should do to increase their chances? Why do they not put everything they have into this belief that is supposed to be the difference between eternal happiness and eternal torture? Or have they also edited out the eternal torture part? I find it very strange that people who claim to believe only do barely enough to satisfy their own conscience or keep up appearances.
How did you come to the conclusion that it was OK for you to invent your own religion and how do you continue to justify it to yourself.
I have a hypothesis.
Holiday Christians are desperate and a little full of crap, Christians-By-Default are flat out lazy and Creative Christians have recognised that Christianity is bullshit but are emotionally invested in it for whatever reason and so are changing arse-backwards bronze age myths into something more palatable, something more ‘modern’, something they can and want to believe but which is no less ridiculous.
If you have a different hypothesis, I’d love to hear it.
Yesterday morning while I was having my morning shower I found myself wondering about the atheist and the skeptic movements. In particular, I was pondering why we tend to disagree so vehemently on so many subjects. In fact, there is very little we agree on. Fundamentally, atheism is a lack of belief in any god right? But us atheist don’t really even agree on that point. Some of us are quite convinced that there is no god, never was, never will be. Others insist that there probably is no god but you can’t really know. Others reckon you don’t have enough information to make up your mind either way. I think the closest we do come to agreeing on anything is the idea that it is much less likely that a god exists than the converse.
One of the things I find most trying about dealing with other atheists, especially in groups, is that you have to defend every single point you make since very few people ever agree with you completely. You very infrequently experience agreement purely for the sake of a feeling of community. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it forces you to avoid making statements for the sake of making statements and to seriously consider what it is you want to relay; your logic, thought process and conclusions will be questioned and best you be prepared to back everything up with some convincing evidence. This can sometimes makes informal conversation… exhausting.
“How much easier the religious have it”, I briefly thought with a pang of self-pity, “the Christians especially get to go to church and everybody just gets along and agrees…”.
Then I laughed. Hard.
I’m going to pick on Christians now because they’re in the news again. You see, at the core, Christians have something fundamental in common. They all read the same manual, the unchanging perfect words of the almighty creator of the universe; the super being who can do no wrong. You’d think, then, that they all agree and get along.
Christians do not agree and they do not get along and I find this hilarious to say the least.
There is a church in Auckland city that puts up some pretty risqué billboards; you can check out their site here: http://stmatthews.org.nz/. Now, I can appreciate this, at least they’re trying to get their Christians to think about what they’re doing a bit. The latest billboard was of the virgin Mary with a positive pregnancy test.
You might not think there’s much to that. Christians do, after all, believe a virgin, Mary, was impregnated by the almighty creator of the universe and bore its son whom they called Jesus Christ. Mary, virgin, pregnant. If you’re a Christian, that’s what you believe and that’s what the poster shows: Mary, surprised, pregnant.
Apparently not. One Mr. Arthur Skinner from the Catholic Action Group took great exception to this poster. “Blasphemy!” cried Mr. Arthur Skinner. He was, in fact, so pissed off with this blasphemous affront to his personal version of Christianity that he took to the poster and cut the positive pregnancy test right off. Clearly, the poster is now much less blasphemous since the removal of the proof of pregnancy… or something.
From the New Zealand Herald article at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10773887
Catholic Action’s Arthur Skinner, from Whangarei, said they were protesting because the image was blasphemous.
Strange, it was put up by Christians who obviously didn’t find it blasphemous… I guess Mr. Arthur Skinner must have a different line to the almighty that says something else. Which, too, is a little strange, no?
Yesterday, stunned passers-by watched as a scissors-wielding zealot slashed the billboard and tore off a large chunk.
Skinner later claimed responsibility for the incident. He was believed to have earlier phoned St Matthew’s vicar Glynn Cardy to say he would “roast slowly in hell” for erecting the billboard.
“He told me I would burn in the fires of hell, that would be my final destination,” Cardy said.
Let us consider this situation for a moment. Both Skinner and Cardy claim to worship Jesus Christ. Both of them claim to have Jesus as their personal lord and saviour, to have a personal relationship with him. Seems to me somebody should just ask Jesus if he has a problem with the poster or not. Get an answer and have the deity in question settle the dispute. Seems pretty damn straightforward to me. Pray, get Jesus to tell each of them at the same time if the poster is ok or not. Simple right?
“It doesn’t work like that”, I hear them say. No? Then how the fuck does it work if you both speak to the same freaking god? If your god can’t even settle this one little dispute between devout followers amicably, what, precisely, can he do?
You see, here’s the problem with religion, Christianity in particular. They all (mostly – the Mormons had to go write their own addition to the unchanging words of the almighty) read from the same (by ‘same’ I really mean ‘similar’ since some of them took liberties in the many translations…) unchanging perfect word of the almighty creator of the universe. They all have a direct line to Jesus Christ who personally saved them and with whom they have a relationship with. And yet there are over 38,000 Christian denominations.
I shit you not. Thirty eight thousand different denominations. Thirty eight thousand different interpretations of what, exactly, it is, that Jesus Christ and his dad want from the world.
Look, Christians, if you people can’t even agree on the basics, how the fuck do you expect to convince us unbelievers of The Truth (… as you currently see it anyway…). Tell me, which one of you has it right at the moment? Yea, of course…
Disagreement and discord, those are very human characteristics. It is normal for human beings to disagree, to see every little thing differently. The way you view the world is shaped by unimaginably complex processes. Things like physical brain structure, brain, body and environmental chemical levels, hormone levels, altitude, electrical signals, external stimuli, culture, family, surroundings, the food you eat, the stuff you drink, the gasses you breathe, the things you’ve read, heard, watched, the parasites you carry, the diseases you’ve had, the diseases you currently have and all of this over the span of your entire life.
How could we NOT disagree? We are so fundamentally different, we have to disagree. If there was no disagreement what so ever, that would go a long way towards proving the alleged divine origins of religion since it would take a massive miracle and an almighty super being to get humanity to agree completely on any given point unquestioningly. That there is disagreement among the faithful says everything that needs to be said about that ‘faith’.
You Christians do not have a personal relationship with the same deity. You, fucking, do, not. It’s clear as daylight to anybody who looks. Grow up, accept that. There is no god. You’re making that shit up.
We do not agree on anything and we never will. The ability to compromise and work together despite our disagreements, that is what sets us apart. That is what makes us special.
“The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it.” — Voltaire
Those of us who have the sacred, and apparently rare, ability of “clear thinking” laugh (or cry a little in frustration) at the pope every time we see him in public. The man in the dress. The personal representative of the almighty creator of the universe on earth. The man with a direct line to god… allegedly.
It’s freaking ridiculous that people still believe this crap.
Nothing says “I have faith” like several inches of bullet resistant glass and armed body guards. The man sitting behind the bullet proof glass is pragmatic; he stakes his life not on faith and his god but on science. The leader of the largest church of Jesus Christ who is allegedly the almighty god of the entire universe stakes his pathetic existence on science. In this case, the life preserving science of bullet resistant transparent materials.
Why science? Paraphrasing the immortal words of xkcd: “because it works, bitches.“
Prayer? What’s it good for? Making yourself feel a bit better. When it comes down to shit that will kill you, why, then science is obviously the way to go. Just about every religionut on this planet displays this tragic failure of logic… or faith, depending on which way you look at it.
Teh stoopid. It burns.
Oh, the picture is from the story posted here about a massive crowd of delusional children coming out to see the brave and fearless leader of the Catholic church himself. The article is titled “Father Raymond J. de Souza: Giving the young something to believe in”. The massive shame being that it’s not the truth that he’s giving them to believe in.
I say delusional, but it sounds like Spain’s having a bit of a hard time and the correlation between social security (or the lack thereof) and religiosity has been drawn many times, all the way back to Karl Marx’s critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right in 1843. Marx said:
Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
It makes perfect sense. When people worry too much about tomorrow, about what’s going on about them, when they don’t have stability and security they get desperate and clutch at straws. Unfortunately human nature seems to push us to clutch at the straws from the straw men of religion.
PZ Myers just wrote a post decrying the use of the label “interfaith” to describe the cooperation between the religious and atheists and he refuses to operate under such a label because of the ‘faith’ part of the word.
I’m with him 100%. Faith is a dirty word, it goes against everything that atheism is; it eschews empirical evidence. It is obedience without question. I am not willing to operate under that label even, or especially, when cooperating with the religious for the greater human good.
Dressing up anything with the word ‘faith’ attached to it is a bit like decorating something with Amorphophallus titanum – it may seem more interesting, perhaps prettier but in reality is smells like a decomposing corpse.
Perhaps “inter-ideological cooperation” is a better way to describe it. I would be more comfortable with it myself, if put that way.
Just a thought.
It disturbs me immensely to see democratically elected governments play religious favourites like the Australian government is doing with their school chaplains program. Why do they feel they’re allowed to discriminate against some (I’d say all for all the good it actually does) of their citizens by propping up bronze age superstitions? At least some of their citizens are taking this tragic misuse of political power seriously and are putting up a fight.
According to this article: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/row-over-creationists-class-lecture/story-fn59niix-1226114839237, Ron Williams is an Australian father from Toowoomba who’s mounted a High Court challenge on the constitutional validity of an Australian school chaplains program. This program has placed about 2500 chaplains in Australian public schools; presumably Christian chaplains.
These chaplains are allegedly not allowed to preach or convert students. Of course, it never works out the way it’s supposed to as liars for Jesus always seem to find a way to get their ‘finger’ into the metaphorical pie: a Queensland chaplain got John Mackay, a delusional creationists, to give a ‘scientific lecture’ to students. Mr. Mackay is so delusional he blames last month’s massacre in Norway on… Darwinism. Parents are rightly outraged and at least one, Ron Williams, has the balls to try to do something about this travesty in the Australian school system.
It’s appalling that a democratic country like Australia is run by a government who supports indoctrinating children by a religious organisation and it’s even more appalling that it only supports one religion. Why only support Christian chaplains? Why are they not sending in Hindu guru’s, Muslim imams, Jewish rabbi’s, Haitian witch doctors, pagan Druids and Wiccan witches to deal with children? These people of non-Christian religions also have children in public schools, also voted for the present government and pay tax like the entitled Christians. And I say ‘deal’ because I have a sneaking suspicion that few of these 2500 chaplains are qualified therapists and councillors.
Can somebody please point out the passages in the Bible that prepare a person to be a councillor? I can point out the passages that prepare a person to abuse children. I can point to the passages in the Bible that prepares you to ignore reality. And to be perfectly honest, the biggest Christian organisation in the world hardly has a sterling track record when it comes to the care of children. How many of these government sponsored chaplains are Catholic?
This insistence on favouritism, stupidity and entitlement by otherwise seemingly rational people aggravate me to no end and I wish Ron Williams well in his righteous battle for justice and reason. It’s a crying shame that in these modern times it has to happen but somebody has to fight this idiocy and get the Australian government back to doing what it was elected to do: serve ALL the Australian people and support reason over superstition.
I read an article on Stuff.co.nz about the furore over the saying of prayers in Wanganui District Council and it made me furious. It made me furious for a number of reasons, paramount being the ridiculous amount entitlement that a lot of Christians feel and the outright hypocrisy many of them display.
The drama began with a suggestion made by mayor Anette Main which was that the references to god should be removed from the prayer used to open each meeting . Apparently this sparked a furore about whether or not praying was an appropriate item of business for the council. The issue ended up as a complaint at the Human Rights Commission. It turns out that Councillor Clive Solomon laid the complaint with the commission to get a neutral voice to mediate the situation.
Apparently mediation failed and now the Office of Human Rights Proceedings has been asked to consider taking the issue to a tribunal. Dr Solomon indicated that should the office decline, he would take the case there himself. If the tribunal heard the case and ruled that discrimination took place the judgement would be akin to that of a district court.
You can read the full sorry story here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5438985/Prayer-row-heads-to-tribunal
To illustrate the level of entitlement the rest of us non Christians have to deal with, here is a quote from a Christian on this very blog:
You choose to believe what you want, how can you possibly be afraid that I am “enforcing” my opinion on you?
And one answer is, obviously, by doing things like trying to force people to pray as part of a governmental agenda. Christians feel so entitled to privilege that it seems they are physically unable to consider religion from another’s perspective. This is, I suppose unsurprising, since if they had to, briefly, consider the viewpoint of others and look at what they believe they probably wouldn’t be Christians for much longer after that. I know this to be true since that’s how most atheists become atheists after all.
The government has no place supporting one religion or indeed any religion over another or over no religion at all. It seems though, that Christians here in New Zealand and many other places feel that they have a right to espouse their ridiculous fairy tales and insist on the public uttering of their magical spells whenever and however they choose, even in the course of working for people who do not hold similar beliefs; those people’s opinion be damned.
I’m pretty sure the pious council members would take massive umbrage if they were instructed to take out their musallah, point it towards Mecca, get down on their hands and knees and open the council meeting by performing a nice decent and appropriately pious Salah. The way I see it is if somebody in a governmental capacity insists on including one religion in governmental business, they should include ALL religions in government business. Perhaps each meeting should be opened by praying to a different deity? Or perhaps we should just leave religion out of governmental business entirely.
Government and governmental bodies have no place in dictating to anybody what they should believe and has even less of a place supporting one belief system over another. Government should work for all people equally all the time.
Religion should be handled like a dirty family secret with the appropriate amount of embarrassment. It should only be talked about in hushed voices behind closed doors and should be kept as far away from the rest of us as possible.
This is the bit in the article that really annoy me:
Dr Solomon said his stance had come at a personal cost, with patients leaving his Whanganui surgery and his children being hassled at school.
I would like to remind these Christians who feel they can no longer support a man who is working for the greater good of everybody and who are hassling his children of what they allege to believe. I would like to quote their God Himself, Jesus Christ, from the New Testament (the bit without the horrors of slavery and genocide and child murder… hah, kidding, there’s still slavery) from the gospel of Matthew, chapter 22:
22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Hassling children? Nice one Christians, nice one. Hypocrisy much? Christian love? More like a petulant tantrum over their magic spells being taken away.
A great man once said these two things which sums everything up nicely:
“ Intolerance betrays want of faith in one’s cause.”
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
The first one I would like to point out to the Christians who are ‘retaliating’ against Dr. Solomon’s quest, by leaving his medical practise and hassling his children, to rid his council meetings of prayer. Think about that quote for a second.
The second one, I think, sums up the vast majority of Christians. What you say and what you do should match. If you say you follow Jesus, why then do you not do as you believe he did?
Unlike Jesus of course, Mahatma Gandhi actually existed; we have empirical evidence for his existence and we have a pretty clear record of the good he did.