January 2005 Archives

January 29, 2005

Tory tries Political Correctness, gets religions mixed up.

England: A prospective parliamentary candidate for the Conservative Party claims that a proposed design for a Labour poster is anti-semitic. The poster shows the faces of leading Tories Michael Howard and Oliver Letwin, coincidentally both of Jewish descent, superimposed on winged pigs, with the slogan The day the Tory sums add up. Apparently, while we were not looking, Judaism secretly turned into Islam, if the claims of Andrew Mennear, that there was nothing more distasteful for a Jewish person than to be associated with a pig, are true.

In reality, Jewish law only forbids eating the flesh of a pig,--a Jew may use a hogshair brush, for example. Perhaps Mennear needs to study a bit more--maybe he could start by finding out which old cliché the proposed poster refers to.

Labour pig poster 'anti-Semitic' - BBC News, 28th January 2005.

Movie Mix Up

United Kingdom: It wouldn't be the first time a movie mix up has made it into the Prattle, this time the heroes of our tale are Alan and Anne Leigh-Browne, from Wellington, Somerset.

A devout Baptist couple who bought a Doris Day DVD from a supermarket were shocked to find a sex film instead.

January 28, 2005

Odd coin baffles experts

Numismatists are baffled by an unusual French coin which appears to show a flying saucer. Experts have spent decades looking at the 17th century coin, but still have no idea what it is.

[An unusual coin, apparently showing a UFO]It was made in the 1680s in France and the design on one side certainly looks like it could be a flying saucer in the clouds over the countryside, said Kenneth E. Bressett of Colorado Springs, Colorado, a former President of the 32,000-member American Numismatic Association and owner of the curious coin.

Is it supposed to be a UFO of some sort, or a symbolic representation of the Biblical Ezekiel's wheel? After 50 years of searching, I've heard of only one other example of it, and nothing to explain the unusual design.

Bressett said the mysterious piece is not really a coin, but a "jeton," a coin-like educational tool that was commonly used to help people count money, or sometimes used as a money substitute for playing games. It is about the size of a U.S. quarter-dollar and similar to thousands of other jetons with different religious and educational designs that were produced and used in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries.

The design on this particular piece could be interpreted as showing either a UFO or Ezekiel's wheel, but little else. Some people think the Old Testament reference to Ezekiel's wheel may actually be a description of a long-ago UFO, he explained.

The legend written in Latin around the rim is also mystifying. 'OPPORTUNUS ADEST' translates as 'It is here at an opportune time.' Is the object in the sky symbolic of needed rainfall, or a Biblical reference or visitors from beyond? We probably will never know for certain, said Bressett.

Centuries' Old UFO Coin Remains Mystery - PR Web, 28th January 2005.

Phallic symbol erect again

The People's Republic of Yorkshire: The Barwick-in-Elmet maypole will be back this year, because villagers have worked out how to erect it in accordance with recent bureaucratic health and safety regulations.

Residents at Barwick-in-Elmet had traditionally lowered and then raised the 86ft wooden pole with ropes, ladders and plenty of human effort.

It was last done this way in 1999 since when health and safety regulations have been made tougher.

These caused problems for villagers in 2002 -- when the triennial festival was last held -- and so they held the celebrations without the maypole ceremony.

But now they say they can meet the regulations and will first take down and then raise up the pole again, using a tractor and crane and manual labour.

Nigel Trotter, a qualified engineer, was confident the village could meet regulations and called a public meeting to galvanise support. Now chairman of the maypole committee, he said: Although the lifting techniques will be new to the ceremony, they are a logical development of the traditional techniques used over the past 50 years.

The maypole is traditionally lowered to ground at Easter and then raised again at Spring Bank Holiday (formerly Whitsuntide) which this year falls on Monday, May 30.

The festival will include all the usual traditional amusements, including a procession, maypole dancing and the crowning of a May Queen.

We're back in pole position... - Yorkshire Evening Post, 28th January 2005.

January 27, 2005

Messy farmer blames witchcraft for death

Vanuatu: A plantation owner who found his dead cow's stomach was full of leaves, bits of cloth and plastic is convinced that the cause of death is not the cow eating rubbish, but witchcraft!

It was my first time to see such things as people tell me of how black magic is used to kill people in similar way, that is removing intestine and replacing them with dirt, Sara plantation owner Abel Stallon told the Daily Post.

I think a witchcraft practitioner must have tried out his magic on my cow to see if it worked, Mr Stallon said.

The Department of Livestock disagrees, noting that there have been a number of cases of plastic, from plastic bags, cloth and similar objects killing cattle.

Black magic causes death of a cow? - Vanuatu Daily Post, 27th January 2005.

January 25, 2005

UFO flap caused by airliner

Japan: A number of residents rang the Fukuoka District Meteorological Observatory to report a UFO in the sky. And what was it? an aircraft vapor trail that had been lit up by the late afternoon sun:

Observatory officials said vapor trails can suddenly be cut off due to the amount of moisture in the air, creating the appearance of a comet tail.

Fukuoka residents mistake vapor trail for UFO - Mainichi Shimbun, 24th January 2005.

January 23, 2005

Why you should donate directly to a secular charity

India: A beautiful example of self-styled Christians completely ignoring the reported words of Jesus has come out of a tiny village in Tamil Nadu which was bady affected by the recent tsunami:

Jubilant at seeing the relief trucks loaded with food, clothes and the much-needed medicines the villagers, many of who have not had a square meal in days, were shocked when the nuns asked them to convert before distributing biscuits and water.

Heated arguments broke out as the locals forcibly tried to stop the relief trucks from leaving. The missionaries, who rushed into their cars on seeing television reporters and the cameras refusing to comment on the incident and managed to leave the village.

Note that if you donate to the Tsunami fund run by the Disasters Emergency Committee in the UK, your money is divided up between the participating charities, including a number of Christian ones who, while probably not engaging in this kind of behaviour, are definitely hypocrites who ignore the reported words of Jesus in Matthew 6:1-4.

Villagers furious with Christian Missionaries - Yahoo News (via Pharyngula), 16th January 2004.

It has a puropose after all

Canada: Inmates at a Winnipeg prison have found a use for the Bible - it makes excellent rolling papers.

The provincial jails are supposed to be tobacco-free, but enterprising inmates have come up with their own smokes - a combination of leaves from tea bags and Nicorette gum that is boiled, dried and rolled in the thin pages of the New or Old Testament.

And the Gideons have promised to provide more Bibles to burn when the prisoners run out.

Holy smokes! Prisoners using Bibles to make cigarettes - AZ Central, 21st January 2005.

God prefers dildos to religious books

United States: A Christian book store in Putney, Kentucky is likely to close due to poor sales. Mike Braithwaite, the owner, turned his sex shop into a Christian store when he found God, but it seems God did not approve of the move, and the business is now for sale.

Braithwaite had a conversion in 2002 after he was booked on charges of distributing obscene materials at his Love World store. He decided to burn all the leather gear, rubber playthings and other naughty merchandise and convert his business into a Bible bookstore named Mike's Place. The obscenity charges were dropped.

Despite admitting burning rubber, he appears not to have been charged under any environmental protection laws.

Porn Shop Turned Christian Bookstore For Sale - Wave 3 TV, 20th January 2005.

Bargain of the Day: all kinds of everything

A Miss Poppy Dixon recently left a comment on an earlier Bargain, so imagine my delight when I discover she is an online retailer of religious tat, and contemporary kitsch with religious themes. Among the genuine tat, my favourites include this Glow-in-the-Dark Christian Switch Plate:

Plastic, gothic-shaped luminescent switch plate with gilt relief text, Bless this house Oh Lord we pray. Make it safe by night and day. Bas relief face of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the top with additional text, I will bless every home where a picture of my heart shall be exposed and honored. Really pretty. 6 1/2"x 2 3/4"

Miss Dixon can also supply you with vintage Christian tracts, in themed packs. I'm tempted by the False Faiths Series which could include such delights as The Black Art of Witchcraft, 4 Things God Wants the Jew to Know or The Priest Who Found Christ. The End Times Series also includes a number of items of interest here at Prattle Towers, such as Beware 666 and The Mark of the Beast.

Among the selection of contemporary kitsch, all I can say is send me the entire Hell-o Satan range now!.

January 20, 2005

Zeus Saves

The Thrice Great Moly gives us a Chick tract with a difference! (Thanks, Arthur D. Hlavaty)

Something you couldn't convincingly put in fiction

Israel: While certain elements of the Israeli government have been screaming about the evils of anti-Semitism in Europe, and urging French, British and German Jews to move to Israel, they seem to have failed to notice a new hotbed of anti-semitic sentiment - Israel. As Haaretz observes, the first Israeli Neo-Nazi web site opened nearly two years ago.

The site is well organized. It has text and pictures showing the activists of the organization, The White Israeli Union, some of them in Israel Defense Forces uniforms on the background of army camps and saluting with a raised arm. The expanded text is divided into sub-sections. There is one on Who we are, where the managers of the site introduce themselves as Ilya from Haifa and Andrei from Arad, and it is related there that the members of the organization are people who have pride in themselves and are sick of living among the dirty bastards. There is a section on Who our enemies are, where all the enemies are extensively documented: the Jews, the Arabs, the immigrants from all Moslem republics of the former Soviet Union, the Moroccans, the foreign workers - in short, the black-asses. In the material about the Arabs there is even a practical suggestion to enlist in the IDF in a combat unit, in order to get weapons and begin to shoot at them in every possible circumstance.

The bampots behind the site are apparently Russians who have taken advantage of a loophole in the 'Law of Return':

...the law under which Jews from the former Soviet Union can immigrate to Germany is close to the restricted definition of Jewish under Jewish law. The Israeli Law of Return, however, is in fact based on the Nuremberg Laws, in which the [Third Reich-era] Germans expanded the definition of who is Jewish in accordance with their own needs.

Anti-Semitism, right here at home - Haaretz, 23rd May 2003 (via Ken Macleod).

LavenderBob LeatherPants

United States: Fundie pressure group Focus on the Family have unearth another example of the Evil Homosexualist Conspiracy trying to influence our kids into their perverted ways. It seems that several children's TV characters have recorded a single as part of a campaign to promote tolerance and diversity, including Spongebob Squarepants, Bob the Builder and various Muppets. The song chosen is We Are Family, a massive hit for Sister Sledge in the 70s, and still ever so slightly popular in gay venues (but not as popular as Kylie).

This isn't what has upset the fundies though. They are in a tizz because they are convinced that Spongebob SquarePants is a gay icon:

SpongeBob - who appears on the children's cable channel Nickelodeon - is seen as an icon for adult gay men in the US, apparently because he regularly holds hands with his sidekick Patrick.

Nile Rodgers, who wrote the song, is the founder of the We Are Family Foundation, which tries to teach children about co-operation and unity. Mark Barondeso, a WAFF representative, told a newspaper that anyone who thought the video to promote homosexuality needs to visit their doctor and get their medication increased.

US right attacks SpongeBob video - BBC News, 20th January 2005 (thank Tony!).

January 19, 2005

Bargain of the Day: Jesus tortilla

Religious simulacra continue to appear on eBay. The latest proclaims Jesus appeared on my Tortilla! The description merely assures us it is not joke, and leaves us to contemplate the photo in peace.

Love Me (Satan) Do

A bizarre posting on Indymedia Canarias makes some rather interesting allegations about The Beatles:

John Lennon's divorce followed, as well as his entering the world of black magic, as deeply as to buy the apartment where the Rosemary's baby had been filmed, previous property of Roman Polansky, and in that same apartment John Lennon had a room upholstered with black silk where he used to do his black magic operations.

At the same time, the devil acted through his other main puppets with Sympathy for the devil, that was when the pact of the Rolling Stones with Satan took the life of the founder of the group, guitarist Brian Jones (who refused to be a puppet of the devil), murdered by people sent by Mick Jagger, another assassin, who after wanted the world to believe that such a brilliant swimmer as Brian drowned in his own pool….

Antichrist John Lennon followed the Devil's strategy writing lyrics such as God is a concept by which we measure our pain...I don't believe in Jesus, etc., etc., (God) and and no religions too...(Imagine).

Obviously George Harrison is dead because God killed him to punish him for his Hindu beliefs, but our anonymous, multuple-personality correspondent forgets to stick to defaming the dead, and starts to project his own insecurities onto Paul McCartney

Paul admitted that he made Linda suffer a lot, but he didn't say that it was because he felt insecure as a man due to his womanish face and effeminate manners and also because with his age his sexual power was not the same, even though it has never been much. The early days were the days of competition between Paul and his wife and John and his wife and he knew he had to compete with ugly John for the leadership of the band in front of their wives and having Yoko Ono made him aware of his lack of virility and repressed homosexuality, he grew the beard that we see in the "Let it Be" film and started to show pictures of naked women on the same film, doing every effort he could to be seen as a man.... It is easy to note the uneasiness of McCartney when he sings: "I've got a feeling, a feeling I can't hide..." in front of Yoko in the film. (He already had the traumas that his previous girlfriend Jane Asher had caused him when she made him conscious of his little manliness and effeminate manners).

Paul has such a big inferiority complex as a man, due to his effeminate face, body and personality and due to his repressed homosexuality that he found himself a handicapped woman with only one leg, so that he could stand out, being very conscious that a full woman would make him feel the superiority of virile men again, as Jane and Linda did. This is something that his ego trip of lucky bad musician could not face anymore….He is very conscious that money and fame cannot buy virility and manliness.

Ringo Starr is not mentioned before we reach the inevitable barking-mad fundie conclusion:

After the Devil began his devastating job from the ghostly Devil's Island through his nine main puppets (Beatles-Rolling Stones), he possessed an endless amount of other schizophrenic bad musicians in the afore mentioned Island and weakening their conscience with drugs, he made them proclaimers of homosexuality, aversion to religion, destruction of family values, dissipation, mental illness, antisocial tendencies, etc., etc.,

The fact that bad apprentice musicians such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones achieved such a giant fame that not even the real quality musicians could achieve, was because the forces of Satan were behind everything, supporting the process.

This mentally ill humanity, destroyed families, twisted moral values, manifest or repressed homosexuality in human beings, anti natural feminism rebellion, drug addiction, corrupt social outlines, mad youths without direction, non respect to hierarchies, convulsed nations, misanthropy, misogyny, paedophilia, irrational and feeble lasciviousness and all other type of existent aberrations, are due to the vast manoeuvre that Satan executed through his main marionettes the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, from the Devil's Island.

If you wonder why there is misery and curse in your house, it is because you own some L.P, CD or another article related to the CURSED BY GOD Beatles and Rolling Stones. We recommend you to take that curse out of your house throwing away everything related to the Devil's main nine puppets....

Note: I'm not going to make any sarcastic comments about 'Christian English' here as the writer is clearly not a native English speaker. If you read Spanish and find a Spanish-language version which shows the traditional illiteracy, do let us know.

The Beatles caused the disintegration of mankind - Indymedia Canarias, 18th January 2005.

January 16, 2005

Fresh on the blogroll

Every so often, I add something truly worthwhile to the blogroll. Ed, the author of Dispatches from the Culture Wars describes his blog rather simply as Thoughts From the Interface of Science, Religion, Law and Culture. What we have is a site which looks at fundie activities in the US and demolishes their arguments, with references and links to the relevant data. Two recent articles will demonstrate exactly what I mean. WorldNutDaily Stupidity on Teen Pregnancy analysies a piece in WorldNetDaily, a news site with a strong Christian bias, which made some shocking claims about teen pregnancy during the Clinton era--that teen pregnancy and abortion were at an all time high during that period, and that this was linked to improved sex education and increased condom use. So, Ed went and checked the stats:

January 15, 2005

Confused spirits roam Thailand

Thailand: Survivors of the recent tsunami have started to complain about an invasion of foreign ghosts:

Volunteer body searchers at the resorts of Phi Phi Island and Khao Lak have been reported as claiming they have heard laughing and singing on a devastated beach only to find darkness and empty sand.

Taxi drivers at Patong on Phuket island swear they picked up a foreign man and his Thai girlfriend going to the airport with all their baggage, only to then look in the rear-view mirror and find an empty seat.

Guards at a beachfront plaza in Patong said one of their men had quit after hearing a foreign woman cry help m all night long and similar stories abound of a foreign ghost walking along the shoreline at night calling for her child.

Traditional Thai beliefs have an explanation:

Wallop said the reason almost all ghost sightings appear to involve foreign tourists stems from a belief that spirits can only be put to rest by relatives at the scene, such as was done to many Thai victims.

Thai people believe that when people die, a relative has to cremate them or bless them. If this is not done or the body is not found, people believe the person will appear over and over again to show where they are, he said.

The ghosts themselves are believed to think they are still on holiday.

Tsunami sparks ghost sightings - news.com.au, 14th January 2005.

January 14, 2005

Creationists Violate State Constitution

United States: US District Judge Clarence Cooper has ordered the removal of the [in]famous theory, not a fact stickers from high school biology textbooks.

...the court hereby FINDS and CONCLUDES that the Sticker adopted by the Cobb County Board of Education violates the Establishment clause of the First Amendment and Article I, Section II Paragraph VII of the Constitution of the State of Georgia.

The full ruling [PDF] is available from the United States District Court of the Northern District of Georgia.

The People Who Owned the Bible

United States: Fantasy writer Will Shetterly has written a short story called The People Who Owned the Bible and blogged it under a Creative Commons license. Most amusing.

Then Jimmy Joe Jenkins's DNA proved he was the primary descendent of the translators of the King James Version of the Bible. At first, Jimmy was satisfied with ten percent of the price of every KJV sold and 10 percent of every collection plate passed by any church that used the KJV. But when some churches switched to newer translations, Jimmy sicced his lawyers on all translations based on the KJV. That got him a cut of every Bible and every Christian service in English. Some translators claimed their work was based on older versions and should therefore be exempt, but none of them could afford to fight Jimmy in court.

So the churches grumbled and paid Jimmy his tithe, except for the Mormons, Christian Scientists, Seventh Day Adventists, Quakers, and Unitarian Universalists. Jimmy said their teachings hurt the commercial value of his property and refused to let them use the Bible. All of those groups dissolved, except for the Unitarian Universalists, who didn't notice a change.

Go. Read. Enjoy.

The People Who Owned the Bible - a story - it's all one thing, 10th January 2005 (via Boing Boing).

Another prediction to remember

United States: A writer who boasts of his appearances on Pat Robertson's 700 Club, Thomas Horn, has penned a short piece suggesting the George W. Bush will start Armageddon in 2006, and that it is all predicted in a book of Middle Eastern myths and legends.

According to Michael Drosnin's best selling book, The Bible Code, the Bible contains a hidden text that was first discovered by an Israeli mathematician, Dr. Eliyahu Rips, who presented his findings in a major science journal. The code foretold the Kennedy assassinations, World War II, the Holocaust, the Hiroshima bomb, the Moon landing, and one more thing: That in 2006, BUSH would start an END DAYS war that would involve THE NATIONS UNDER ALL OF HEAVEN.

Does the Bible Predict President Bush Will Start WWIII in 2006?Raiders News Update (which is nothing to do with the NFL), not dated, 2004.

January 13, 2005

The Great Tsunami Conspiracy List

Red Wolf has been hard at work collecting tsunami conspiracies, and I've been working somewhat less diligently to add a few more. Here are the fruits of our labours:

A straw man argument?

Japan: A man has been arrested on suspicious of breaking anti-stalking laws after the Japenese equivalent of a voodoo doll was sent to a woman.

Investigators said the man from Hamakita, Shizuoka Prefecture, Akira Oshiro, 56, sent a straw doll with a nail driven though it to the woman in mid-July last year.

The doll, which was mailed to the woman's home in Shizuoka Prefecture, had the woman's name on it...

...Straw dolls which have nails driven into them are the Japanese equivalent of voodoo dolls.

Stalker arrested for sending voodoo-type doll to woman - Mainichi Shimbun, 13th January 2005.

January 12, 2005

Defence lawyer: goth-bashing not hate

United States: Christian thugs allegedly attacked a New York man with a metal pipe because of his Satanist beliefs. According to Daniel Romano, his attackers had been harassing him comstantly for over a month and been spreading malicious gossip about him.

Paul Rotondi and Frank Scarpinito, both 18, allegedly pounced on Romano, who wears black nail polish and an inverted crucifix symbolizing his rejection of Jesus, as he walked to meet his mother at a laundermat.

They spread rumors around the neighborhood that I eat babies and go down to the docks, pick up hookers and kill them, Romano told the Daily News. Ignorance often costs a lot of people their lives.

Romano claims to be a member of the Church of Satan, though the local head of that organisation says that is not true, cast doubt upon the whole story and suggested that Romano is nothing more than a spooky kid. Which contrasts interestingly with something Rotondi is claimed to have said to the police:

You are going to find my prints on there,he told cops at the 104th Precinct stationhouse, referring to the pipe. But then he insisted, I did not hit anyone with it, authorities said.

Meanwhile, Rotondi and Scarpinito have been charged under hate crimes legislation, which appears to apply to all religions without discrimination, whether or not they are members of a church, much to the distress of their lawyer.

This is an abuse of the hate crime law, he said. What's next - the nerds, the preppies ...? Where are you going to draw the line?

Qns. Satanist catches hell - New York Daily News, 12th January 2005.

A solstice story we missed

England: Even though the Satanic abuse myth was thoroughly discredited in the 1990s, London's Metropolitan Police has found itself having to defend a decision to send 30 officers on a course to learn how to spot it. Professor Jean La Fontaine, who led the 1994 research, is not amused.

She told BBC News I feel quite strongly that the pursuit of exotic cases which are categorised as Satanic is actually detracting from our search of abusers of children in less exotic ways.

Ten years on, and I would expect the information and conclusions to have been assimilated into everybody's approach to solving cases of this sort.

But it appears the lessons have not yet been learnt.

The Met has recently been trying to deal with institutional racism in the force. Perhaps a closer examination of this decision will help them understand how it got that way?

Met defends satanic abuse course - BBC News, 21st December 2004.

Bargain of the Day: a bottle of water

Fed up with Strathmore? Why not try this Shaman Blessed Holy Rain Water. With a starting bid of $30 (US) required, it might seem a tad expensive, but it's special, you see.

This water was gathered during the strongest lightning storms that occured last year. It was then blessed during every full moon-plus: a blue moon, every lightning storm all year long, a solar eclipse.

Bless your house, property, belongings, car/truck. babies-anything that comes to mind. A years worth of work and blessings.

You are bidding on one bottle of blessed and charged holy water.

Bringing the Dutch into disrepute

The Netherlands: Amsterdam football club Ajax has an image problem--for some reason, they are regarded as being a Jewish club. Not that this is a problem in itself. No, the problem is the anti-semitic abuse they get from opposing fans.

After supporters of opposing teams started calling Ajax fans Jews, the fans adopted the name themselves. Ajax fans wave the Israeli flag and have banners featuring the Star of David.

I am sure our supporters have no anti-Semitic feelings, Jaakke said. However, in a tense society such as we live in today, it can stir such feelings in others.

Former Ajax board member Uri Coronel, who is Jewish, told Het Parool newspaper that Ajax fans calling themselves Jews stirred anti-Semitic reactions from supporters of rival clubs.

Many anti-Ajax chants refer to the Holocaust. Rival fans chant Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas and make hissing sounds to imitate the sound of gas flowing.

Ajax seek image change to stop anti-Semitic chants - Sydney Morning Herald (via Religion News Blog), 12th January 2005; Ajax wil meer macht in ECV (last two paragraphs) - Het Parool, 10th January 2005.

January 11, 2005

Ignore those gods, it was aliens.

The Turkish press has a summary of conspiracy theories concerning the recent Tsumani. Take this one, recently published in India Daily (which seems to be going the Pravda route):

Recent alien contacts have been reported with the South Asian Governments especially India. UFO sightings have been rampant over the region affected, [Sudhir] Chadda wrote.

Some in Nicobar Island say that it was an experiment conducted by the alien extra-terrestrial entities to correct the wobbly rotation of the earth. And some of the Indian scientists are actually seeing that wobbly rotation of the earth has been corrected since the massive underwater earthquake and Tsunami.

And, according to an India Daily editorial, the aliens tried to warn people about this:

Was it a coincidence? Lots of people now from the Tsunami and earthquake hit areas are reporting about strange Unidentified Flying Objects they saw a few days before the mega quake and Tsunami. People in Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar Island as well as many in Indonesia were reporting for some time about strange flying objects in the sky

Conspiracy theorists see dark forces behind tsunami disaster - Turkish Press, 6th January 2005 (or 11th January 2005); An enormous number of UFO sightings before Tsunami and earthquake in South and Southeast Asia – were they trying to warn? - India Daily, 31st December 2004 (check out that site's 'technology' section for more tsumani conspiracies).

More on blasphemy

Roz Kaveney remembered to watch Jerry Springer - The Opera and made a few pertinant observations in her LiveJournal. First she notes the despicable behaviour of the alleged Christians protesting about the show:

My reaction to 'Jerry Springer the Musical' was what I thought instantly when very tired. However, I am now angry because of the death threats against television executives and the proposed blasphemy prosecution. One of the reasons for my anger is that the Evangelical Christians are lying again - they claimed 8000 swear words by counting every individual chorus members' every individual curse, for one thing. For another, they claimed that Jesus was represented as a coprophiliac baby fetishist, whereas the truth is that the same actor plays both parts, and the nappy for the one becomes the loin cloth for the other. There is no more identity between the characters claimed than there is when the actor who plays the bisexual multiple adulterer turns up as God the Father. This is known as bearing false witness against your neighbour - when it results in death threats after posting peoples' home addresses alongside lies, it becomes incitement.

The site should be prosecuted, but it won't be.

Then follows an intersting analysis of the show, and how it could be read as a positive religious statement:

There is a more interesting reading which shows us the dysfunctional people who go on the Springer show and suggests that the characters of Christian mythology are not as unlike them as all that. And it does not say so entirely in a ' there is something of God in all of us' idealistic way - it is saying that, viewed objectively, the power struggles of God and Satan, and the treatment of Adam and Eve, and even the decision of Jesus to leave his mother to her fate because of the overpowering demands of his mission, are as dysfunctional as adultery, fetishism and other pastimes.

She concludes with an interesting observation about idolatry.

One of the reasons why I am not a Christian is that it seems to me that to worship any sort of God human minds are capable of creating is to commit idolatry - we are not big enough or clever enough to know what sort of being inhabits the spiritual realm.

Jerry Springer 2 and other stuff - Roz Kaveney's Journal, 10th January 2005. See also 'Christians' show complete lack of faith in God - Pagan Prattle, 10th January 2005.

Second deity claims responsibiliy for disaster

The Middle East in general: MEMRI (usual caveats apply) has published English language translations of various Islamic versions of the Tsunami was God's punishment meme. Such as this from Sheikh Fawzan Al-Fawzan:

These great tragedies and collective punishments that are wiping out villages, towns, cities, and even entire countries, are Allah's punishments of the people of these countries, even if they are Muslims.

Some of our forefathers said that if there is usury and fornication in a certain village, Allah permits its destruction. We know that at these resorts, which unfortunately exist in Islamic and other countries in South Asia, and especially at Christmas, fornication and sexual perversion of all kinds are rampant. The fact that it happened at this particular time is a sign from Allah. It happened at Christmas, when fornicators and corrupt people from all over the world come to commit fornication and sexual perversion. That's when this tragedy took place, striking them all and destroyed everything. It turned the land into wasteland, where only the cries of the ravens are heard. I say this is a great sign and punishment on which Muslims should reflect.

Needless to say, it was also the Jews' fault, according to Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris:

The oppression and corruption caused by America and the Jews have increased. Have you heard of these beaches that are called 'tourists' paradise?' You have all probably heard of Bangkok. We read about it, and knew it as the center of corruption on the face of this earth. Over there, there are Zionist and American investments. Over there they bring Muslims and others to prostitution. Over there, there are beaches, which they dubbed 'tourists' paradise,' while only a few meters away, the locals live in hell on earth. They cannot make ends meet, while a few meters away there is a paradise, 'tourists' paradise.'

Conspiracy Theories Surrounding the Tsunami: It was a Punishment from Allah for Celebrating Christmas and Other Sins; It was Caused by the U.S., Israel, India - MEMRI Special Dispatch Series - No. 842, 7th January 2005. See also: A Warning From God - Pagan Prattle, January 2005; With a God like this, who needs Satan? - Pagan Prattle, 31st December 2004.

January 10, 2005

'Christians' show complete lack of faith in God

United Kingdom: A group of god-botherers with a history of wasting police time have threatened to bring a blasphemy case against the BBC for showing Jerry Springer: The Opera. The show parodies the well known American TV programme by featuring Biblical characters in the roles of the various losers who go on Jerry Springer—Mary is a single mother who feels that the father of her child has abandoned her, for example. But, this is too much for the extremists at Christian Voice, who seem to believe in a deity so pathetic that it cannot stand being a part of popular culture, and is too feeble to do anything about it.

Christian Voice national director Stephen Green said: If Jerry Springer - The Opera isn't blasphemous then nothing in Britain is sacred.

He said the show was much worse than he expected when he saw it and said it portrayed Jesus as a coprophiliac sexual deviant. A coprophiliac is someone sexually aroused by faeces.

[Jesus] proclaims he is a bit gay, he has this shouting match with the devil - it's just foul-mouthed tirades against the devil and against his blessed mother, Mr Green said.

The damage that must have done to impressionable young people is incalculable.

No mention was made of the amount of damage done to young people by sexually abusive Christian priests.

Before the show was broadcast, Christian Voice orchestrated a campaign to complain about it. They also published the private phone numbers of BBC employees on their website, resulting in threating calls, and held tiny demonstrations outside BBC buildings.

The organisation recently tried to bring a blasphemy charge against a production of Corpus Christi in St. Andrews, but Fife Constabulary decided not to waste their time with the case. Now, they plan to bring a private prosecution instead:

He said his group would meet lawyers this week to begin legal action, adding he did not ask the police to undertake a blasphemy investigation because we don't have a great deal of confidence in the ability of the police to take any action.

Maybe the National Secular Society should orchestate complaints every time the God Channel broadcasts Pat Robertson's hate speech.

Group to act over Springer operaBBC News, 10th January 2005; Jesus was a poof! Pthrrrrpppp!!!!!Pagan Prattle, 10th December 2004. There is a Jerry Springer - the Opera web site, but I'm not going to link to it because they have deliberately broken it. Use Google.

January 8, 2005

Bargain of the Day: Jesus in my saucepan

The over-active imaginations are hard at work on eBay still. How else would this cartoon of Zaphod Beeblebrox become MYSTERIOUS IMAGE OF JESUS CHRIST?

[The face of Jesus (on E) in a pita bread]THIS IS AN ORDINARY KITCHEN COOKING POT. ONE NIGHT AFTER MY BROTHER WASHED THE DISHES HE WENT FOR THE POT TO PUT IT AWAY AND AS THE POT BEGAN TO DRY AN UNUSUAL IMAGE OF JESUS CHRIST APPEARED. HE LEFT THE POT ON THE COUNTER GRABBED HIS CAMERA AND SENT SOME PICTURES TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND ASKED, "WHAT DO YOU SEE" WELL OF COURSE EVERYONE ELSE SAW THE SAME MYSTERIOUS IMAGE. HE DECIDED TO LEAVE THE POT AS IT AND LET IT CONTINUE TO DRY ON IT'S OWN ASSUMING ONCE COMPLETELY DRY THE IMAGE WOULD GO AWAY. IT'S BEEN ABOUT 3 MONTHS AND THE IMAGE REMAINS THE SAME. DON'T BELIEVE IT? ARE THE PICTURES NOT CONVINCING ENOUGH? BID AND SEE FOR YOURSELF. WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET. THE IMAGE IS REAL. AS REAL AS YOU'D LIKE IT TO BE. IT'S A MUST SEE TO BELIEVE. PLEASE EMAIL WITH ANY QUESTIONS BEFORE BIDDING. NO PHONY BIDDERS PLEASE, JESUS IS WATCHING.

Current Mood: sore

January 7, 2005

God disagrees with Phelps over Sweden

Fred Phelps will be really upset when he hears that a genetic resistance to HIV/AIDS is most prevalent among Swedes.

Genetic resistance to AIDS works in different ways and appears in different ethnic groups. The most powerful form of resistance, caused by a genetic defect, is limited to people with European or Central Asian heritage. An estimated 1 percent of people descended from Northern Europeans are virtually immune to AIDS infection, with Swedes the most likely to be protected. One theory suggests that the mutation developed in Scandinavia and moved southward with Viking raiders.

This is presumably as much God's doing as the Tsunami which Phelps was gloating over so much.

Genetic HIV Resistance DecipheredWired News, 7th January 2005.

January 5, 2005

Bargain of the Day: human remains

You too can have a bit of someone's dead body in your home! Well, the vendor doesn't describe it in those terms - they say it's a 1st CLASS RELIGIOUS RELIC ST.JOHN NEUMANN:

YOU ARE BIDDING ON A 1ST CLASS RELIGIOUS RELIC,ST JOHN NEUMANN WHO WAS BORN ON MARCH 28TH 1811 AND DIED JANUARY 5 1860.HIS BODY LIES IN A GLASS CASE IN PHILADELPHIA,PA.THIS RELIC HAS SOME OF HIS BONE INSIDE AND HAS A UNBROKEN THREAD AND WAX SEAL IN THE BACK.MY CAMERA DOES NOT TAKE GOOD PICTURES BUT THE RELIC IS AS DESCRIBED AND IN GOOD CONDITION.DURING ST.NEUMANNS LIFE HE PREFORMED MANY MIRACLES AND THERE IS ALOT ABOUT HIM THAT YOU CAN READ ON THE INTERNET.GOOD LUCK.

Which is a bit too ghoulish even for this old goth.

Evil or ignorant - you decide

United States: Tom Delay chose his reading from Christian scripture carefully for Tuesday's Congessional Prayer Service (how is that allowed under the Constitution anyhow?), and had an important message for those affected by the Asian tsumami - you are dead because you are not Christians:

"Matthew 7:21. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?
23. And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
28. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29. For he taught them as [one] having authority, and not as the scribes.

The emphasis was apparently DeLay's.

Choice Words - American Coprophagia, 4th January 2005 (via Cheryl Morgan)

January 4, 2005

Bargain of the Day: Jesus pita

It seems you can't keep a good joke down, even when it's reached the point where it's no longer funny. As evidence, I present to you this JESUS PITA BREAD SAD FACE COLLECTIBLE/COLLECTABLE:

[The face of Jesus (on E) in a pita bread] HERE IS A PHOTO OF A PITA BREAD FROM WHICH I WAS EATING LAST YEAR WHEN I SAW JESUS' SAD FACE STARING RIGHT BACK AT ME. I IMMEDIATELY WAS TAKEN BY IT AND HAD TO SAVE JESUS. I'VE HELD ONTO IT FOR SOME TIME BUT CANNOT CARE FOR IT AS I PROPERLY SHOULD. IT IS NOT MOLDY IN ANY SORT OF WAY AND IS NOW REALLY HARDENED BY THE WAY THE WORLD IS TODAY. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE CARE OF JESUS PITA, PLEASE BID ON IT RESPONSIBLY. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS.

January 3, 2005

Fags, the Scottish perspective

Scotland: God Hates Fags UK isn't owned by Fred Phelps, and offers a completely different perspective from that of Westboro Baptist Church:

Smoking tobacco is shite for your health, makes your clothes and breath stink and means that this particular queer will forthwith remove you from his shag list.

The particular queer in question just might have something to do with Pastor Best, OPI.

Bargain of the Day: spooky bottle

Today's bargain is one of those metal wine decanters, like the ones you can buy in any Spanish tourist trap. So why mention it here? Because its really Solid Brass Bottle with Spout (Possibly Haunted) which May Contain Genie / Ghost / Spirit !!. Note that the vendor makes no claim that this is the case, just that it might.

Spooky Spooky Spooky

On offer is one solid brass bottle. It has a handle, a spout and a lid on a hinge. The brass is slightly aged however it could easily be polished to look good as new*. There is also a small chip on the spout. It is of a middle eastern-esque style, however I am not sure of its origin as I will explain further on.

I am unsure of the age of this item as one day my friend found it at his house. No one in his family had any idea where it had come from. It was quite the mystery!

He decided to give it to me to list on ebay because we thought it could possibly be haunted and we didn't really want to have that sort of thing around.

(It's pretty spooky).

A lot of wierd stuff has been constantly happening to us since we found it. We can never go out with out some odd occurance. The Lights in my friends room shorted out and wont work and and no girls have been out with either myself or my friend since we found it (despite both being attractive) and a lot more unfortunate happenings. I'm not sure but I think it all has to do with the bottle.

But don't worry the item is not cursed, it is in fact lucky the spirit just doesn't like us due to previous disrespect of its home.

I can't guarantee that it is haunted but I believe it is.

In fact If you're not into haunted stuff then It would make a nice decorative feature for your house regardless.


If you any questions about the unusual nature of this item feel free to ask.

*Polishing may or may not release entity possibly haunting bottle

There are NO, I repeat NO refunds on this item.

The bidding currently stands at $30 (AUS).

January 2, 2005

King fails geography

Cambodia: A former king of Cambodia claims his country was saved from the tsunami thanks to his astrologer:

Former Cambodian king Norodom Sihanouk says an astrologer warned him that an ultra-catastrophic cataclysm would strike, but that his country would be spared if proper rituals were conducted.

My wife and I decided to spend several thousand dollars to organize these ceremonies so our country and our people could be spared such a catastrophe, Sihanouk, who abdicated last year, wrote on his Web site at www.sihanouknorodom.info.

A quick look at a map suggests that Camboidia was very unlikley to have been affected seeing as it is sheltered by Thailand (as demonstrated by the animation on this page.)

Cambodia saved from tsunami by astrologer, says Sihanouk - ABS CBN News, 2nd January 2005.

"Prattle" nihongo de nan desu ka

This is quite simply cool!

A Warning From God

Fred Phelps is a recognised foaming nutball who hates everybody, so stapling his hate-filled message from god to a disaster comes as no surprise to most. However, some of the more mainstream religious leaders have seen fit to jump on the good reverend's bandwagon.

Anglican Dean of Sydney, Phillip Jensen, said the will of God involved His creation of the world but it also involved His judgment on the sinfulness of humanity.

Disasters are part of His warning that judgment is coming, Dean Jensen said.

Australian Federation of Islamic Councils chief executive Amjad Mehboob said it could not have happened unless it was God's will.

You really have to wonder who would want to go to heaven if this is the kind of reception you'd meet. I'm embarrassed enough to have to share a city with the likes of the noxious Jensen.

It was a message from aboveThe Sunday Telegraph, 2nd January 2005.

January 1, 2005

Bargain of the Day: expensive photograph

Today's bargain is a picture of a church on fire, and you can buy it now for a mere $30,000.00 (US)! So what's so special about it? Well, if you are not blind and have any imagination whatsoever, some bits of the picture look like faces, and you know who that must be:

Home during the Holidays, I was looking through some old photos that my mom had and stumbled upon this jem. It was early on the morning of Jan 1st 1990, when this church (St. Joseph DuMoine ) caught on fire. It was 15 years ago to the start of this auction.

This photo was not developed right after the fire, in fact, my mother cannot remember when it was developed. After being developed the photo was aired in the local paper, showing the phenomenon.

I could put many names on the faces within the photo, but it is my full belief that it is the Lord himself that can be seen in the flames above the cross. There are another two faces that I can see in the photo, the second one is on the left hand side on the pavement, between the fire hose and the snow, and the third is in the flames of the church. The third face is located in the flames to the left of the piece of white wood on the right hand side of the front of the church. These are indicated on the second photo with black circles. The third face is much more distinguishable in the actual photo, but none the less is present in the scanned image.

I am not looking for publicity, which is why I am not putting it into the media, I hope that this photo brings the winning bidder luck and good fortune.

Well, no publicity other than that which is inevitable when you put something silly on eBay for a ridiculous price!

Annual End-of-the-world post 2005

Everywhere: 2005 looks as if it was going to be a quiet year, with To Infinity And Beyond! only listing two occasions on which the world will end this year:

Not content with ordinary asteroid obliteration, the Weekly World News folk have scared up one Mark Crealer, purported astronomer, who insists that our planet's Lunar pal has been getting far, far too friendly of late and that this sudden cuddliness is sure to come to no good end. Specifically, he referred to a degradation of its orbit and a most embarrassing and inconvenient collision to take place in a very short span of time...

An amused astronomer managed to mirror the Weekly World News web version of the article. The other end of the world is a more traditional Biblical climax:

2005 CE - Evangelist George Curle has this year marked on his calendar as the definite, absolute, gotta-be date for the Second Go-'round. One hopes he only marked it in pencil.

Curle died on 12th July 2002, and so presumably will not be making any more forecasts.

But, the tsunami has opened the floodgates of predictions from all quarters. In India, a group of astrologers has warned that the disaster is the start of the end as seen by Nostradamus:

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