September 2005 Archives

September 30, 2005

Bargain of the Day: a charming, tasteful fountain

It's kind of surprising what you find sharing a domain with something more interesting, but I suppose you have to pay the rent somehow and why not do so by exploiting the gullible? And so we find this delightful Cross and Serenity Prayer Fountain at Edifying Spectacle:

A soothing and spiritual desk fountain, offering a stone-look plaque with a carved cross on one side, and the Serenity Prayer on the other. River stones included. Uses 2 AA batteries, not included. Alabaster. 7 1/4" diameter x 9" high.

Let us hope the potential customers for this, or any other item from the vast range of religious tat, have the brains to check out what you get if you remove all the stuff after the domain name!

September 27, 2005

Religion is bad for us all

Fresh research has demonstrated that, contrary to the claims of religious organisations and individuals, religion has a negative effect on society.

Many liberal Christians and believers of other faiths hold that religious belief is socially beneficial, believing that it helps to lower rates of violent crime, murder, suicide, sexual promiscuity and abortion. The benefits of religious belief to a society have been described as its spiritual capital. But the study claims that the devotion of many in the US may actually contribute to its ills.

Gregory Paul's research has been published in Journal of Religion and Society, and draws from data collected by Gallup, the International Social Survey Programme and other sources. He compared the rates of murder, abortion and sexually-transmitted infections in several prosperous democracies.

The study concluded that the US was the world's only prosperous democracy where murder rates were still high, and that the least devout nations were the least dysfunctional. Mr Paul said that rates of gonorrhoea in adolescents in the US were up to 300 times higher than in less devout democratic countries. The US also suffered from uniquely high adolescent and adult syphilis infection rates, and adolescent abortion rates, the study suggested...

...[Paul said} The non-religious, proevolution democracies contradict the dictum that a society cannot enjoy good conditions unless most citizens ardently believe in a moral creator.

The widely held fear that a Godless citizenry must experience societal disaster is therefore refuted.

Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'The Times, 27th September 2005.

September 26, 2005

Kiddie-Fiddling Priest Loses Appeal

Australia: Probably the best thing about writing for the Prattle is the joy of coming up with titles worthy of the Weekly World News. If only I could wangle aliens or Elvis in there, I'd probably be seeing a lawsuit for treading on their toes.

This particular tale is about James Fletcher, a former Catholic priest in the Hunter Valley parish. He liked to get quite familiar with his altar boys. Fortunately, some of those kids has the guts to face up to the kind of scum in the upper echelon of the Catholic church, who coddled the paedophiles in their midst and bad-mouthed or paid-off their victims, and the good Father found himself sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in stir.

September 25, 2005

Spam du jour: Please give me your time for this branch of Prophecy - your answer is valued

Today's missive caught in the spam filter is not the usual plea from Nigeria. Indeed, T. Manaa seeks to rip people off through completely different means:

Peace Upon you Messrs,
I would like to collect openions that will help me and you about a great branch of real prophecy.
I'm a real dream interpreter that will lauch this barried science of the Islamic Scientist "Ben Siren" online soon and would appreciate if you could email me your answers according to the following questions:
1. Do you believe in dreams interpretations?(Y/N) if not no need to answer the rest.
2. How much is it reasonable to you to pay for each dream interpretation that will tell you or warn you from a real coming event to you or to any person that you could know? (by US dollars)

You may be chosen randomly for one year of free dreams interpretation in the upcoming website.

reply to t_manaa@yahoo.com

best regards

September 24, 2005

Spam du jour

Nigeria (metaphorically, at least): Today the spam trap caught the following religiously inspired missive:

Subject: "MY GOOD WILL"
From: LINDAMOHAMED@terra.es
Reply-To: LINDAMOHAMED@terra.es
Date: 23/9/05 15:15

"MY GOOD WILL"

Good day and God bless,

Greetings to you in the name of God Almighty. I am former Mrs. Memunat Mohamed Galal, now I am Mrs. Linda Mohamed Galal a widow to Late Dr. Mohamed Galal.

I am an old woman; suffering from cancer. From all indications, my condition is really deteriorating and is quite obvious that I may not live long, because the cancer stage has gotten to a very severe stage. My late husband died in an air crash on the 31st October 1999 in an Egyptian airline Boeing 990 with other passengers on board. You can confirm this fact from the website which was aired by the BBC WORLD NEWS:(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/502503.stm) and my only daughter died in BOMB ATTACK LONDON.

My late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his business and wealth. My personal physician told me that I may not live for so long and I am so scared about this. So, I now decided to divide part of this wealth, by contributing to the well being of less privileged people and handicapped in the society of world America, Canada, Africa, Europe and Asian Countries.

This mission, who will no doubt be tasking had made me to recently relocate to Africa where I live presently. I selected you for this Purpose and prayed over it, I am willing to donate the sum of $7,300,000.00 Million US Dollars to you for the development of the well being of handicapped in the society and also as aids for the less privileged around your country, and i have map out $1,700.000.00 for your own personal use to help me for this work.

Please note that, this fund is lying in a Security Bank. Therefore immediate application for the transfer of the money in your name or your home. Please, do not reply me if you have the intention of using this fund for personal use, than enhancement of the comfort of the Handicapped.

Lastly, I want you/your home to be praying for me as regards my entire life and my health because I have come to find out since my spiritual birth lately that wealth acquisition without God one's life is vanity upon vanity.

I await your reply.
MRS LINDA MOHAMED



Enter text here





Prueba el Nuevo Correo Terra; Seguro, Rápido, Fiable.

September 19, 2005

The space aliens did it

India Daily's technology section is a remarkable source of interesting information on UFOs, free energy, weather manipulation and other unusual topics so, naturally, I was drawn to it to see if they had any insights relevant to The Great Hurricane Katrina Conspiracy List. Strangely, they haven't, but I did learn of exciting evidence supporting a 'theory' that the earth, and the life upon it, were designed by space aliens. It seems that this planet is a perfect dynamo and that If Earth's dynamo fails, all life forms will die except some primitive ones. The dynamo was designed to support intelligent life forms in which life can recycle. Obviously, this situation could not arise by chance.

But what is amazing according to some scientists is that the dynamo of the earth is just perfect — a total marvel of engineering in terrestrial standard. That is the kind of technology perfection you can expect from a type III or type IV alien civilization.

Evidence for deliberate design arises from the delicacy of the dynamo's power output and long-term stability. If Earth's dynamo were just a little weaker, the magnetic field it generates would be inadequate to shield life. If it were much stronger, it would cause deadly magnetic storms...

...The dynamo of the earth is so perfect that it is a real engineering and technological marvel. It seems the dynamo is custom tailored to support intelligent life on the earth while rest of the solar system and perhaps the nearest vicinities in the universe are total wacky places for intelligent life to prosper.

It is perhaps designed, built, monitored and maintained by a type III or type IV civilization to recycle ZPEs or Zero Point Energies — the life forms from the Hyperspace.

With this level of proof, and in the interests of 'teaching this controversy', surely this must be given equal time in US science curricula, alongside Intelligent Design and Flying Spaghetti Monsterism?

The perfect dynamo of the earth provides further confirmation that it is made to support intelligent life or ZPEs by advanced extraterrestrial alien civilizationIndia Daily, 31st August 2005.

September 17, 2005

Biggot's is fick, number three million and something.

United States: 'Residual Tern' spotted a defaced sign in Honolulu, and felt the urge to take a picture. He then posted it on flickr, so that the entire world could witness the genius of the artist responsible. The sign is in a park, and lists all the things you are not allowed to do, thus:

THE FOLLOWING ARE PROHIBITED:

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
ANIMALS
CAMPING
VEHICLES ON GRASS
GOLFING
LITTERING
OPEN FIRES

To this, our wit had added the word FAGOTT'S.

just so dumbflickr, 14th July 2005.

September 16, 2005

Agreement reached in case of Druids stopped by fundie officer

United States: Agreement has been reached in the case of a Druid couple who were stopped by a reserve officer (equivalent to a special constable) to preach at them. The couple were charged with several violations, even though the stop had been illegal.

Neil Caesar says the most serious traffic charge against his clients will be dismissed. Three remaining charges will be reduced to minimum levels.

Greer officials have written letters of apology and has shut down its reserve officer program.

This last part presumably means that the officer in question no longer has his witnessing opportunity.

Druid couple reaches agreement with city after traffic stopWIStv, 16th September 2005. See also It's a fundie thingPagan Prattle, 27th June 2005.

September 15, 2005

We're number 1!

At the moment, if you Google for "hurricane katrina conspiracy", guess what you get?

Mayor apologises for listening to fundies

United States: The mayor of a town near Colorado Springs has apologised to a local Neopagan group after she attempted to ban a fundraiser they'd organised. The attempted ban followed a complaint from a local fundie preacher, and the apology after the mayor received a dressing down from a colleague.

The Secret Garden Coven booked the American Legion Hall in Ramah for a Hallowe'en themed fundraiser for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital on October 29th. Rev. Tim Tucker, of Ramah Baptist Fellowship, asked the town board to block the event, and a meeting was convened last August specifically to discuss the event. At last Tuesday's meeting, board member Nicole Allen, told the mayor exactly what she tought of the council getting involved, and the Mayor issued her apology.

Herrara's apology followed a scolding Tuesday from fellow trustee Nicole Allen, who said she was embarrassed by the board's behavior at the work session, saying it was an attempt to violate the group's civil liberties.

All I can say is we do as a board apologize, Herrara told members of the Secret Garden Coven at Tuesday's meeting. This has never come up before and never will again...

...I believe in the separation of church and state, [Allen] said. I do not believe the town of Ramah had a legal interest and should not have been involved.

I find it sad council members were willing to protest and condemn what they did not understand. This is the first time I've been embarrassed and ashamed of the actions of my fellow board members.

The fundies have vowed to continue their persecution by trying to persuade the American Legion to discriminate against Pagans specifically.

Ramah mayor apologizes to pagans - The Gazette, 15th September 2005.

September 12, 2005

They're only Jews, so why bother?

United Kingdom: A committee set up to advise Tony Blair on Islamist extremism has turned out to consists of extremists. They have called upon the Prime Minister to abolish Holocaust Day because they claim it is offensive to Muslims. No doubt they will not demand any kind of reminder of the dangers of intolerance if, in the current climate of Islamophobia, some group decides to do the same to them.

Holocaust Day must be scrapped, say Muslim leaders - The Daily Telegraph, 12th September 2005 (via Religion News Blog

September 6, 2005

The Great Hurricane Katrina Conspiracy List

United States: Okay, I give up. The conspiracy theorists are busy refusing to believe in natural disasters again. This time, it's Hurricane Katrina (and Hurricane Rita) which is the work of evil governments, psychopathic deities and all the usual suspects. No doubt when San Francisco is hit by a huge earthquake, they'll insist that it was totally unexpected, and really the work of their preferred evil. So, here is the traditional Great Conspiracy List to which we'll add as more conspiracies emerge.

September 3, 2005

Really useful aid

United States: There might be no fresh water or sewerage in New Orleans, but refugees will have no shortage of bog roll thanks to a generous donation from the Gideons:

The Gideons International are sending 40,000 Personal Witnessing Testaments (New Testament, Psalms, Proverbs) to be distributed at the Astrodome and other relief centers in Houston...

...The scriptures are on a truck due to arrive Sunday by 10 a.m. and we are planning shifts to provide patoral care 24/7.

God is at work, and we are called by Him to Serve His Will. There was a purpose for Katrina, let us not fail to fulfill our duties.

Gideons sending 40,000 New Testaments to Astrodome - Free Republic, 2nd September 2005 (via Grim Meathook Deluge Bible Class, Courtesy Of Some Fucking Scum - Warren Ellis, 2nd September 2005).

LFL standings

United States: The Loony Fundie League table is currently as follows:

Christians   2
Muslims      1
Jews         1

The Christian team has leapt into the lead after a particularly amusing statement from Rev. Bill Shanks, pastor of New Covenant Fellowship of New Orleans, who not only blames God, but thinks it was a good thing and an example of divine mercy (see, I said God was a psychopath).

New Orleans now is abortion free. New Orleans now is Mardi Gras free. New Orleans now is free of Southern Decadence and the sodomites, the witchcraft workers, false religion -- it's free of all of those things now, Shanks says. God simply, I believe, in His mercy purged all of that stuff out of there -- and now we're going to start over again.

New Orleans is, of course, just as free of loony fundie preachers of hate right now.

New Orleans Residents: God's Mercy Evident in Katrina's Wake - Agape Press, 2nd Spetember 2005.

Sorting the wheat from the chaff

If you want to give money to the world's richest country, then it might help to know which charities are genuine, and which are simply excuses to get at vulnerable people and evangelise. With that in mind, Sunfell has produced an edited version of a list originally posted by Dogemperor to the dark_christian LiveJournal community.

It rather sucks in a way this has to be done...

...but anyways, here's some notes on whom to donate to and whom not to donate to in regards to NOLA relief and dominionist groups. (Very sadly, dominionist groups will run charity groups taking advantage of people who may genuinely want to help. Most of the time, help from these groups occurs with substantial strings.)

I am posting this list for folks to not only know of good groups to donate to in regards to NOLA relief, but also so that you can notify workplaces of both the good guys and groups to avoid (due to dominionist links). (There are far worthier charities than dominionist groups, and I'd MUCH rather my money go to them than to support stealth evangelism and the like)

Charities to donate to, charities to avoid - Sunfell's Earth Walk, 1st September 2005.

September 1, 2005

Psychopathic deity on the loose

United States: We were running a sweep here at Prattle Towers, to guess how long it would be before some superstitious idiot blamed their imaginary psychopath in the sky for Hurricane Katrina. Well, whoever put the shortest time won the pot.

An organisation of Christian fundamentalists claims the destruction brought on by Hurricane Katrina is God's judgment against New Orleans for holding festivals like the annual gay Southern Decadence party.

Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city, said Repent America director Michael Marcavage on the organisation's Web site...

...Repent America's Web site noted New Orleans' past three mayors issued official proclamations welcoming visitors to Southern Decadence. The Web site also noted the New Orleans City Council made other proclamations recognising the annual homosexual celebration.

May this act of God cause us all to think about what we tolerate in our city limits, and bring us trembling before the throne of Almighty God, Marcavage concluded, adding a biblical citation from Matthew 5:45: [God] sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

As is traditional, that particular Biblical quotation has a considerably different meaning when you read it in context. Other Christian groups have been quick to condemn Repent America's abuse of scripture, and are instead busying themselves with the relief efforts.

Religious groups: Hurricane punishment for gay event—Gay.com News, 1st September 2005.

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