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Absolutely spot on


Got home from work this evening to find yet another mailshot through the letterbox, this one being from what looks like a particularly bigoted and homophobic organisation, going by the name of coalition for marriage. The leaflet purports to explain ten reasons to oppose same-sex marriage. Or, as the leaflet put it, reasons why the government is wrong to re-define marriage. Reading it through it seems like the sort of complete bollocks that the Daily Fail would come out with.

The ten reasons they give are complete and utter crap, the usual reasons that have been trotted out time and time again. All the reasons have been thoroughly debunked. In fact more than ten reasons have been put forward and still they’ve been debunked, recently for example the New Humanist’s 31 reasons against gay marriage and why they’re all wrong. So I won’t contribute anything more other than to reiterate what a bunch of despicable homophobic scum coalition for marriage are.

Last Sunday, once again listening to the god-slot early morning Radio 4. The programme “Something Understood” discusses inner contradictions and it has an interview with my godfather, Richard Holloway, formerly Bishop of Edinburgh and Primus of Scotland. Well, I say godfather as that’s what he was when I was being brought up, and these days I still find that’s just the easiest label by which to refer to him.

I do keep an ear open for news of Richard as I was always fond of him, and listened with fascination to his spats with organised religion, including widely reported incident when post-Lambeth he threw his mitre in the Thames in disgust over the ongoing rejection of – I can’t remember whether it was the church’s opposition to women bishops or gay marriage. The more I hear of his activities, the more I think that his spats with organised religion have gone beyond just an opposition to the organisations associated with religion, and that his spat is with faith and belief.

In this programme he’s discussing the turmoil he has experienced through his life in the Scottish episcopal church, including describing himself as sometimes atheist and sometimes theist. He describes the theist view that the existence of god gives a purpose and a meaning to his life. He finds this countered by an atheist realisation that the universe has no ultimate meaning, and his sense of futility that life by extension has no purpose and is without meaning.

I too came to a realisation many years ago that the universe has no ultimate purpose, that there is no meaning to anything. Though the lack of an overall plan for the world, does not mean that we have our own purpose in life. I work in the health service, and – contrary to what you may read in the Daily Fail – am part of a workforce that is dedicated to providing optimum healthcare to patients. Helping others is my purpose in life, that is what gives my life meaning. My further purpose is always to become better at what I do. I’m probably pretty average in my profession, and I can always improve in the care I offer. I constantly study so that I am finding new ways to improve the service I provide. To become better at helping others is always my purpose in life.

There may not be any god-given, spiritual or other supernaturally-drive purpose to life, but that is not to say our lives are without purpose. We make our own purpose by cooperating as a species, by being the social animal we are. For humanity in general, I would describe “purpose” as “enjoy yourself, don’t stamp on others as you go through life, and see if you can help others”. Or, “do unto others etc, and have some fun along the way”.

Richard also has a piece in the New Statesman this week. He acknowledges that if there is no god then all “revelation theology” comes only from human imagination, the use of story-telling as a means of describing the human condition and origins. He then says atheists are wrong to dismiss the bible / quran as myths and fairy tales, but instead that we should ask if they still speak for the human condition.

So, godfather, I must disagree with you. The pentateuch / old testament / new testament / quran are just fairy tales made up by fallible humans. They are filled with misogyny, genocide, violence and hatred. Perhaps that describes the human condition, but if it does then it describes what we must turn away from, not what we must emulate. The bible does not describe the triumph of good over evil; it describes the evil in our nature.

Richard also dismisses our dismissal of the circular reasoning inherent in all religious argument. Perhaps he dismisses this as there is no way to defend the argument. How do they know that the bible is the word of god? because it says so in the bible. A ridiculous argument that if presented without supporting evidence can simply be dismissed without supporting evidence.

So how did a staunch atheist like me come to have the former head of the anglican church in Scotland as a godfather? My late father was a priest in the episcopal church, and was the incumbent of a church in Glasgow. At the time that I was born he had Richard as a deacon for the parish, and so Richard was asked to be my godfather.

I always forget to switch off the alarm at weekends, so instead of the Today Programme I wake to the farming news on Saturdays and the god-botherers news on Sundays. This morning there was a piece about Justin Welby, and his plans to go down the traditionalist path, in particular in his opposition to Marriage Equality. He has trotted out the tired old excuse of “always been between one man and one woman”. Tell that to the Athenians.

We don’t live in a Theocracy. The church does not rule the land. The church leaders are welcome to set rules and regulations for their own followers. If the followers and congregations choose of their own free will (such that we have free will…) then the accept the rules and regulations of that organisation. But as to the rest of us, they do not get to order us around, nor to tell us how we are to live our lives. The membership of the Anglican and Catholic churches is falling. Many more people in the UK are identifying themselves as religiously-unaffiliated. I do not believe in all their fairy tales and do not follow any of religion. Welby does not get to tell me that I have to live my life according to his doctrines.

In his opposition to Marriage Equality Welby shows himself to be just another bigot.

Back in Borough Market yesterday. A mob of local christians was doing some sort of presentation of their mumbo-jumbo, which involved a procession around the market. Now Borough Market is usually a very busy place and it can be a bit of a struggle making your way through – especially between Northfield Farm and Turnips. Yet this mob pshed their way through with no consideration for others around them. I was physically pushed out of the way by some priest. Nice example of christian behaviour there.

Food. More of the same. Got some more beef from the Wallace’s Hill Farm, and a couple of loaves from Oliver’s Bakery. At the Chegworth Valley stall I found some Pink Fir Apples which are one of my favourite of potatoes. They also had some Shetland Black, which has good flavour but a much more floury texture than I prefer.

Shock! Horror! Thought for the Day presenter inadvertently tells the truth! And somewhat paradoxically he was talking about the truth. Though his definition of truth differs somewhat from the rest of reality. Some Theomancer – The Rev Dr Dr Prof David Wilkinson – says he would prefer to remain ignorant, that he doesn’t want to know if there’s horsemeat in his beefburger, or if an asteroid is going to make a close approach tonight. He’d rather stick with his unfounded and irrational belief system rather than understand the world around him.

That’s religion in a nutshell. It’s all about the ignorance, it’s about making up stuff and calling it “truth”, even though it’s just so much fictional bullshit. Religion relies on people remaining ignorant. Only through ignorance will people be willing to swallow the “GodDidIt” argument. Once people start to understand and study the universe in a scientific method then there is no longer any need for a “god of the gaps”. There will always be gaps in our knowledge, and priests and theologians will continue in their attempts to shoehorn their particular god into these gaps, but the gaps will eventually be filled in.

Sure we are currently ignorant about how life first arose, but a hundred years ago we were ignorant of Quantum Mechanics. A hundred and fifty years ago we were ignorant of Einsteinian Relativity. A hundred and seventy years ago, no laws of electro-magnetism. Two hundred years we knew nothing of Evolution.

Science proceeds gradually, building upon the work of earlier giants. It’s hard work. There’s no Invisible Magic Friend suddenly revealing all scientific knowledge to us. Only in theology is there sudden revelation. For the rest of us we can’t go around making up stuff, so there’s just hard work. Science gets there in the end, whilst religion goes on making up nonsense.

That apart, I’ve never heard such incomprehensible gobbledegook on Thought for the Day.

Just listened to Thought for the Day on Radio 4, given by the bigoted gobshite, Cormac Murphy O’Brien. Talking about yesterday.

How can someone of such supposedly high intelligence spout such mind-numbing bullshit. And the discussion that followed was even worse, pure mind-rot.

Toadying, sychophantic, arse-licking bullshit

[It’s over 40 years since I last did studied Latin, so that heading is probably complete nonsense]

So, Ratzi the Nazi is to stand down as the Invisible Sky Fairy’s earthbound representative. Nice if we could see him prosecuted for complicity or perverting the course of justice, for his cover-up of the child abuse scandals in the catholic church. Still, nice to see him go. Just a shame that they’ll elect a replacement.

Bets already being taken for his successor – the necessary gravitas being added by the presence in the list (at odds of 1000:1) of Father Dougal Maguire

Oh, and Richard Dawkins is in at 666:1

Completely unsurprised to see that my MP, Cheryl Gillan, joined the bigots in the “Nay” Lobby to vote against Marriage Equality. Unsurprised but still saddened. You’d think that in this day and age people – MPs especially – would understand the concept of equal rights for all.

No doubt those who went through the Nay Lobby would trot out the usual and stale argument – we can’t redefine marriage.


The church of England’s entire reason for being is to redefine marriage. The catholics defined marriage as a lifelong commitment. Henry VIII had a problem with that. He managed to get his first marriage annulled, but the pope wouldn’t do the same thing a second time. Hence the foundation of this new church specifically to redefine marriage as something that could be dissolved.

Marriage is not something specific to religions. All civilisations have had some means of making commitments between life-partners. And in the past (despite what the churches would have us believe) some of those partners have been same-sex couples. Gay marriage is nothing new. Just read your Greek and Roman History

Churches want to set the rules across the board. I’m sure they won’t be happy unless they have a theocracy. But whilst we have a democracy they should realise that they don’t set the rules for the whole population. Sure if someone agrees to be a member of a particular religious group then they should abide by the rules of that group. And sure, the priests can set the rules by which they expect their followers to live.

But they don’t get to order the rest of us around. They don’t get to make non-believers live by their rules.

I don’t believe in all that superstitious rubbish. I’m not going to follow your rules. You don’t get to order me around. You find some sort of hard evidence that I should follow a particular course of action and I’ll wilfully submit. But as long as you’re just trying to enforce some superstitious crap then you can piss off.

If religious types don’t like having gay marriage then they don’t have to marry someone of the same sex. I support equality for all so I want to see same sex marriage allowed. If two people of the same sex want to get married then I want them to be able to do so.

It’s about not tolerating the religious trying to rule the lives of the non-religious

It’s about equality.

Rather pleased to see the result of the court case in the European Court of Human Rights, brought by a gaggle of christians who were a tad miffed by what they saw as religious discrimination. Names of the various idiots are in the tags, but I’m not going to waste time trying to associate names with stories…

The first was a nurse who thought that her right to display the symbolic torture symbol that defines their death cult outweighed the rights of patients to avoid picking up infections carried on said symbol. It’s difficult enough to control infection in an environment when everyone is ill and many are carrying infection. We have rigorous Infection Control measures in place. Then some idiot christian comes along thinking that her superstition gives her the right to ignore these measures. Her claim was thrown out

Next two were a pair that thought that their beliefs gave them the right to not do the job they were being paid to do. One was a registrar who felt that he shouldn’t be made to carry out Civil Partnership Ceremonies, the other a marriage guidance counsellor who thought that he shouldn’t be required to provide relationship counselling to gays, both trying to avoid doing their jobs because they were nasty little bigots. If, because of their ridiculous superstition, they can’t do the job they’re paid to do then they should consider whether they’ve made the right career choice. If they consider that their nutty beliefs allow them to ignore the human rights of others then they are a poor excuse for human beings. Both claims were thrown out.

The fourth complaint related to an air stewardess who had complained that her employers were breaching her human rights by preventing her wearing a cross on her uniform. Now in contrast to the nurse in the infection control situation, I didn’t think that the employers were right in this case. They only wanted her to remove the torture symbol for reasons of corporate identity. There was no other reason for her to remove the symbol. She won her case, and I am rather pleased that she did. It’s good that some people do display these symbols, as we can immediately see who are the hypocrites amongst us. The silly christians own book of magic fairy tales tells them that this behaviour is wrong. They are told (by their mythical man-god) that they should save their piety for when they’re in the privacy of their own homes. When they’re out in public they are told to STFU and if they do make public displays of piety then they are a bunch of hypocrites. \cite{Matthew 6:5-6}

So thank you to all you cross-displaying christidiots, for making your hypocrisy so overt. It does make it so much easier to dismiss you as beneath contempt.

Edit: Link to Original BBC Story which I forgot to include

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