Gods Deconstructed

Beliefs and their objects, dismantled.

Archive for the category “Religious News”

On the requirement that Almighty God must be acknowledged by atheists in the State of Kentucky

According to Alter Net , Kentucky law states: “The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God as set forth in the public speeches and proclamations of American Presidents.”

And in an affront to the Glory of Lord God Almighty, according to the Digital Journal, American Atheists have submitted a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court in a bid to overturn a Kentucky homeland security law which can send atheists to jail for up to 12 months for refusing to acknowledge “Almighty God.”

A couple of questions immediately arose in my mind: 1) How can the Authorities of Kentucky know that God is offended by atheists who do not acknowledge him and 2) How can they know that God requires the offending atheists to be jailed?

It seems to me there is a way out of the impasse that is fair to all parties and will ensure that we all know what God wants.

Obviously, there is another consideration to be taken into account once we find out what God wants if the legal system is to be fair to God and that is to ensure that God is given an appropriate monetary award for the losses he incurs by being called to attend the courts by the Authorities of Kentucky. This, of course, must be paid in full by atheists once the case is proved. However, we must also be fair to the atheists accused of offending God in the unlikely possibility the case is not proven.

That said:

“Therefore it is required that the Authorities of Kentucky must instruct lawyers to issue a subpoena requiring that God attend the court in person to explain why He is offended when atheists do not worship and acknowledge Him. God must also declare any financial loss He suffers each time an atheist does not show due deference. God must also declare the substantial financial loss He suffers each time he is required to attend the court. Further to these requirements and demands, in the interests of fairness and love, each time God does not attend court substantial damages must be paid to the accused atheists and a fine levied against those who have claimed to speak for God for failing to ensure that He attended the court as required.”

Obviously, lawyers would need to ensure the wording meets all the requirements of law but I can see no reason why a fair and loving God would not agree to it.

Advertisements

Why I Think Jesus Didn’t Exist: A Historian Explains the Evidence That Changed His Mind

Dr. Richard Carrier describes how he examined the methodology af Jesus myth proponents, found it wanting and created an academic methodology that would stand up to peer review.

Benedict and the wrong date.

Did the observations of atheists influence Benedict XVI? For years, atheists, sceptics, humanists and historians have tried to tell Christians that if the date was correct, the Jesus story must collapse because Herod was already dead. Unfortunately for Benedict, placing Jesus’s birth earlier raises questions concerning later claims about the lives and deaths of the early saints. Historically, Christian history could be in a more perilous state now than it was before Benedict’s book was published. Interesting times ahead.

NewsFeed

Pope Benedict XVI has revealed in the third installment of his trilogy, dedicated to the life of Christ, that Jesus may have been born earlier than previously thought. The calendar we use today, which commences with the birth of Christ and was created by a Dionysius Exiguus, a 6th century monk, may be mistaken. According to the Telegraph, the Pope explains in his book that Exiguus, who is considered the inventor of the Christian calendar, “made a mistake in his calculations by several years. The actual date of Jesus’ birth was several years before.” The suggestion that Jesus wasn’t actually born on Dec. 25 has been tirelessly debated by theologians, historians and spiritual leaders, but what makes this case different is that now the leader of the Catholic Church is the one asking the questions.

Pope Benedict’s book, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, was published on Tuesday…

View original post 705 more words

Malala’s friend shows her bravery.

Incredible defiance of girl, 13, who was shot when Taliban opened fire on her friend Malala | Mail Online.

Here’s a question I’d love to know the answer to: Is Islam the problem or is it just that the religion attracts insane, homicidal maniacs? From reading the Koran, I’d say it is the religion but I can well understand it attracting nuts.

It would be the same, I guess, if Christians disregarded the Bible’s New Testament and only abided by The Old. Come to think of it, quite a few Christians seem to disregard the New Testament when it comes to gays. Those Christians hop and jump in rage while quoting Leviticus.

But if Christians can act as if they’re insane and about to riot over gay equality and a child can be shot by extremist Muslims because she asked for an education and, thinking back, Sikhs can riot because of a play, maybe the problem isn’t a particular religion. Maybe the problem is religion itself.

Anyway, good luck to Malala’s friends as they attempt to return to school. May their experiences lead them to question their beliefs and find the additional bravery and intelligence to reject religion altogether.

Women Bishops

So, the Church of England has voted against women bishops. The vote was lost by a few votes, not those of the bishops or clergy but of the laity. The laity is the untrained, unwashed riff-raff of the Church of England. Some members of the Laity are so incredibly stupid they still think the Bible is the inerrant word of their god. Yes, they really are THAT stupid.

The Church of England had one chance of surviving and that was to increase the numbers of women in the clergy. The all-male church is dying. Women have wanted to be members of the clergy for many, many years; in fact, they are so desperate to become clergy they ignore all rational arguments against religion. They have gained some measure of authority over the years but it is little more than a sop to their passion. To become proper authority figures within the Church they need the career progression within a diocese to the bishopric. It’s not as if it is something totally unknown to the Church of England; the churches in Australia and New Zealand have women bishops and it does not seem to have harmed them. Rather, it has staved off inexorable decline.

Isn’t the decline and extinction of the Church of England a good thing for an atheist to desire? In a word, no. In the United Kingdom the Church of England stood as a bastion, a buffer between two religions that hate each other with the same passion women have to become authority figures within the Church. One of those religions, let’s face it, is as similar to the Church of England as Scientology is to Buddhism. That religion is Catholicism – and its sibling in eastern climes, Christian Orthodoxy. Catholics believe in transmutation, the belief that when an adherent swallows the bread and wine at communion it turns into the real body and blood of their Christ. The other religion is Islam. At present, both Catholicism and Islam are minorities. Without the buffer of the Church of England they will grow and be at each other’s throats in no time.

The Koran states that Christianity is to be treated just like any other non-Muslim religion – and destroyed. When the Koran was dictated/written there were two Christian churches, the Church of Rome and the Orthodox Church. With the advent of the Church of England there was a less strident voice, a less ardently-messianic version of Christianity than either Catholicism or Orthodoxy. With the Church of England there was always the possibility of peaceful negotiation. Without the Church of England there is no reason why Islam should respect Christianity at any level.

Oh, there may not be a war between Christianity and Islam – but don’t bet on it. After all, history has a nasty habit of repeating itself. There will certainly be extreme competition between the two. Misogyny will erupt anew and women will suffer appalling indignities and violence. Secrecy will increase. Unintelligent creationism is likely to increase. Hatred for anything other than the extremes of Catholicism and Islam will grow. The traditionalists who destroyed the Church of England will rush to join Catholicism and it will grow. Unchecked, released by the demise of a constitutional religion, Islam will grow. The daft ideas of Charles III will further set Christianity and Islam against one another. And what starts in England is likely to be exported all over the world.

Of course these are extreme possibilities and nothing like them may happen. Life may go on regardless. Reason and scepticism may save the world from religious extremism. One thing, however, is certain – the one chance of staving off the destruction and ruination of the Church of England is that it will see the error of its decision and attempt to reverse it as quickly as possible.

Indian Police Probe Hizb ut-Tahrir Support for Terrorism | Shariah Finance Watch

Indian Police Probe Hizb ut-Tahrir Support for Terrorism | Shariah Finance Watch.

Those of us in the west often think of Islamic terrorism as being directed towards us. Yet it is a worldwide phenomenon. India was targeted in the Mumbai massacre and now the the authorities have identified an organisation raising funds for further attacks.

The aim of Hizb ut-Tahrir is to replace capitalism with an Islamic economic system and the group does not care how it is accomplished. If innocent people are killed, so be it.

it is a terrible reminder of how dedication to an unproven and unprovable idea can be devastatingly destructive.

Letter From A Dispairing Father

Last week an enraged crowd threatened to burn my daughter alive, and in 48 hours a judge will decide whether she goes free or stays in jail. Rimsha is a minor with mental disabilities and often isn’t in control of her actions. Yet local police here in Pakistan have charged her with desecrating the Koran, and we are afraid for her life.

Right now she is being held in a maximum-security jail, and in hours, she will face the court under Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws, which can carry the death sentence. We are a poor Christian family witnessing mob fury over my daughter’s case, and many other families have faced similar intimidation forcing them to either flee or live in fear. But the international attention on Rimsha’s case has emboldened Pakistani Muslim leaders to speak out against this injustice and forced President Zardari’s attention.

Please help me keep up the global outcry on my daughter’s case. I urge you to sign my petition to President Zardari to save Rimsha and demand protection for us and other vulnerable minority families. Avaaz will share this campaign with local and international media, watched carefully by all the politicians here:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/pakistan_save_my_daughter/?bGMqVbb&v=17458

MORE INFORMATION

Pakistan court postpones bail decision for girl accused of burning Quran (CNN)
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/30/world/asia/pakistan-girl-blasphemy

Father of Pakistani Christian ‘blasphemer’ girl appeals to President (Telegraph)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/9503532/Father-of-Pakistani-Christian-blasphemer-girl-appeals-to-President-Asif-Ali-Zardari.html

Pakistan blasphemy case Christian girl ‘is 14’ (BBC)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19397884

Pakistani Muslim leaders support Christian girl accused of blasphemy (Guardian)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/27/pakistani-muslim-christian-girl-blasphemy

Pakistani Christians, fearing backlash, flee community after girl is accused of blasphemy (Washington Post)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/pakistani-christians-fearing-backlash-flee-community-after-girl-accused-of-blasphemy/2012/08/20/d3b23c9a-eae3-11e1-866f-60a00f604425_story.html

Pakistani president wades into ‘Down’s Syndrome’ blasphemy case (Christian Science Monitor)
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2012/0820/Pakistani-president-wades-into-Down-s-Syndrome-blasphemy-case/


Avaaz.org is a 15-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 19 countries on 6 continents and operates in 14 languages. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Ruben Rosario: Where’s the Catholic Church I used to know? – TwinCities.com

A Catholic pleads for a return to sanity in America.

‘ At least that wacky North Carolina pastor, the one who endorses putting gays and lesbians into electrified pens to kill them off, put his mouth and his church tax-exempt status on the line when he publicly urged his congregation not to vote for Obama, whom he assailed as a “baby killer and homosexual lover.” ‘

 

Ruben Rosario: Where’s the Catholic Church I used to know? – TwinCities.com.

Death penalty for Muslims in Kuwait who curse God, Quran or Prophet

For those who know little about Islam the effect of the Bill referred to in this article can seem extreme and barbaric. But Islam has been mired in such extreme behaviour since its inception.

Read the Koran and Hadith (the stories of how Muhammad lived); neither should be read in isolation. They are full of examples where Muhammad ordered that Muslims should be killed for breaking Islamic law.

Not just Muslims, of course. In Hadith, Book 041, Number 6985: The last hour will not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him. And in the Koran, Sura 9, Aya 30: And the Jews say: Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!

There was a time, however, when some Muslims treated non-Muslims with more respect than Muslims themselves. The Mu’tazilah (8th-12th centuries) was a school within Islam that taught that God is spirit and can therefore have no influence on the material universe. It was during this period that science and mathematics in Islam flourished. The universe, the Mu’tazilah believed, should be studied and understood as it informed Muslims how God constructed the universe. The school learned from non-Muslims and incorporated much of what they learned into their version of Islam.

The Mu’tazilah were, though, extremely strict on the observance of Islam by Muslims. Punishment was severe for those who cursed God, the Koran or Muhammad. If you have already read the article, it may be seen that there are distinct similarities with what is happening in Kuwait today.

The Mu’tazilah were all but wiped out by the emergence of the more primitive form of Islam we have become accustomed to today. Interest in science and mathematics all but disappeared. In the 20th century, however, there occurred the beginnings of a resurgence in Mu’tazilah philosophy. It is possible that the Kuwaiti Bill is indicative of this resurgence. If so, it may not be so very bad for non-Muslims.

Perhaps the most pertinent question we must ask ourselves is: do we accept that Islam is so very different from Western philosophy that our secular understanding of human rights can never be universally applied. It is a question that may keep philosophers and human rights lawyers busy for decades.

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/05/03/211972.html

Obama’s rebellion deserves pulpit rebuttal

Obama’s rebellion deserves pulpit rebuttal (OneNewsNow.com).

What a brilliant example of the reasons I found belief in gods so destructive. Obama said nothing that could be construed as calling people to rebel against any sort of god or religious text. What he actually said was that he supports marriage between people of the same sex.

OK, so some characters in the Bible show their prejudice against what we now call gays and lesbians. We could argue that they didn’t know any better, especially Saul/Paul, but is that true? The Greeks were well traveled throughout what we laughingly call the Holy Land – and one thing the Greeks knew quite a lot about was nature. As a Roman, Saul/Paul was almost certain to have met Greek travelers and philosophers. Unlike the Greek masses, what Romans called ‘the mob’, many learned and wealthy Greek and Roman men are well-reported to have had a penchant for young males. And women were not to be left out, as the few texts that remain of Sappho’s work attest.

It was reported that Socrates was made to drink hemlock because he was leading young men astray. However, homosexuality was well-known among men of Socrates status so that was obviously a concocted charge. No, Socrates was put to death because of his ‘infernal’ questioning of Greek society and values. In fact, from all accounts Socrates was as open-minded and forgiving as Jesus was said to have been. So where did the prejudice arise?

Given the clues within the Bible, together with archaeological evidence and the translation of hieroglyps, we can tell that the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, if it actually happened, must have been during the reign of Ra-meses the Great. That places the Exodus at around 1350 bce, somewhat before Greek civilization became established and well-known, i think it is admissible for the Israelites to have developed their own prejudices against homosexuality for a couple of possible reasons. Could they have been a reaction to Egyptian beliefs, which are thought to have included the requirement that the Pharaoh masturbate a statue of Ra to ensure the sun returned each morning? Could they have been a reaction to the small number of Israelites who would have been around at the time of the exodus (unlike the implication in the Bible, the Israelites are now known to have been a small tribe of nomads who eventually settled in what is now known as Israel)? Such a small tribe would be likely to have insisted that homosexuality was frowned on because of the need to increase the population as quickly as possible. We are still unable to prove conclusively what caused the rise of homosexual prejudice, we probably never will, but we can make educated guesses.

What we can be sure of is that Saul/Paul is the writer who was most responsible for establishing the prejudice against gays and lesbians we see from Christians today.

So far I haven’t mentioned personal preference. It is often apparent that some men and women are violently opposed to homosexual behaviour because they just do not lkike it. Personally, I’m not bothered whether my friends are gay or straight; I have friends who are gay, friends who are straight – I am straight, by the way – and I feel at ease with either. I also know both gays and straights who I feel are total shits and I wouldn’t have them as friends if the end of the world was nigh. No, I have an equal opportunities attitude to my friends and enemies.

That wasn’t the way I was brought up, however. As a child I knew no-one who was gay; being homosexual was illegal. For reasons I will not go into here, I was encouraged to feel antipathy towards gays. And until I learned the difference between gays and paedophiles I knew no better.

The most important thing is that I learned to open my mind and reject, especially religious, authority and bigotry. I taught myself not to be afraid of gays and lesbians by being amongst them and learning that they are human beings just like myself, except with different sexual preferences. What I will no longer do is try to impose my own beliefs and prejudices on other people

To me, those who try to impose their own prejudices on homosexual men and women, especially by claiming their religion requires it, are more contemptible than I have words to describe. And to claim that Obama is against religion because he is more open-minded and less bigoted than extreme Christians is worse than contemptible. It is pathetic.

Post Navigation

Cancer Research UK - Science blog

The latest news, views and opinions from Cancer Research UK

WOW Petition Campaign

Site of the Resistance to the War on Welfare

The Hardest Hit

Fighting cuts to support for disabled people

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

No Country for Women

Humanism, Secularism, Feminism

Shit You Didn't Know About Biology

Unrepentantly celebratory insights into life on Earth's under-appreciated, under-acknowledged, and utterly amazing stories

Cell to Self

A Journey Through the Science of Life

Kathleen Van Looveren

- Social & Cultural Anthropologist

The Monster's Ink

Never Hide Your Light

suzzeq's Blog

A fine WordPress.com site

The Secular Society

Ireland's Youth-Led Secular Movement, respecting those of all faiths.

Gods Deconstructed

Beliefs and their objects, dismantled.

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

Modest Monist

Secular Snapshots

The Pink Agendist

by E.B. de Mas, reachable at: pink.agendist@yahoo.com