Feòrag: September 2007 Archives

September 26, 2007

Scientists, theologians agree: Intelligent Design is dishonest bollocks

United Kingdom: The British government has issued the promised guidelines for teaching creationism in school, and they make it perfectly clear that the only place it has is in the science curriculum is to explain why it's not science.

After explaining the place of science and religious education in the British national curriculum, the guidance document unequivocally states: Creationism and intelligent design are sometimes claimed to be scientific theories. This is not the case as they have no underpinning scientific principles, or explanations, and are not accepted by the science community as a whole. Creationism and intelligent design therefore do not form part of the science National Curriculum programmes of study.

Apparently with Truth in Science's materials in mind, it recommends, Any resource should be checked carefully before it is used in the classroom. If resources which mention creationism or intelligent design are used, it must be made clear that neither constitutes a scientific theory.

The guidance document explains that although it is inappropriate to teach creationism, it is not necessarily inappropriate to teach about creationism as an ideological movement and philosophy.

It says: Any questions about creationism and intelligent design which arise in science lessons, for example as a result of media coverage, could provide the opportunity to explain or explore why they are not considered to be scientific theories and, in the right context, why evolution is considered to be a scientific theory. ... Science teachers can respond positively and educationally to questions and comments about creationism or intelligent design by questioning, using prompts such as 'What makes a theory scientific?', and by promoting knowledge and understanding of the scientific consensus around the theories of evolution and the Big Bang.

The guidance suggests that the proper place for religious ideas about the origins of life is in the Religious Education curriculum, but some Christians disagree—they think it's a load of bollocks in theological terms too:

[Simon Barrow, co-director of the UK Christian think-tank Ekklesia] commented: Creationism and Intelligent Design are not legitimate scientific theories. They are constructs based on discredited ideas about biblical texts, a misunderstanding of the idea of creation (which is an understanding of the world process as gift, not a theory of origins in competition with evolution) and a god-of-the-gaps approach rejected by serious theologians....

Pupils seeking to acquire an understanding of religious and other life stances need to understand how and why fundamentalist world views emerge, said Barrow. But they also need to know why they are rejected by mainstream theologians and scientists. Likewise, as the government rightly says, creationism and ID have no place in school science classrooms.

Government issues guidelines to teachers on creationism and IDEkklesia, 26th September 2007; Creationism teaching guidance—Teachernet.

September 25, 2007

Bargain of the Day: bits of cloth

Today's bargain is only a little bit overpriced, being free:

In a very modern take on the age-old circulation of saintly bones and torn clothing, thousands of devotees of Pope John Paul II are going online to apply for certified shreds of his white cassocks as the late pontiff heads swiftly towards sainthood.

Supplied without charge, the circular dots of cotton, measuring about 4mm in diameter, come pressed into a postcard bearing a photo of John Paul on one side and a prayer on the other. They are available by clicking a link on the website of the diocese of Rome and filling in the email application.

The tiny dots of cloth have been available on request since the pope's death in 2005, but when a religious wires service published details on September 13 of the online offer, 5,000 applications promptly poured in, said Don Marco Fibbi, spokesman for the diocese.

Now available online: Pope John Paul II's robesThe Guardian, 24th September 2007.

September 24, 2007

Hello Kitty worship

Hello Kitty shrine at Puroland, near TokyoJapan: This photograph shows a Shinto shrine to be found at Puroland, Sanrio's indoor theme park at Tama New Town, near Tokyo. It's the type of portable shrine that can be seen being paraded around towns during festivals. This one enshrines a very special goddess—Hello Kitty herself.

This shrine is not the only religious experience to be had at Puroland. The centrepiece of the establishment is the enormous Wisdom Tree. A path winds up the tree, alongside which are small shrines and altars to the various Sanrio characters. At the very top, you go inside the tree and encounter yet another shirine. This one is Hello Kitty's Bell of Happiness. There appears to be no source of water for ritual purification (maybe nothing is impure once it has entered Kitty's domain?) but, apart from that, the ritual is the same as at any other Shinto shrine. You approach the altar, and ring the bell, bow a couple of times, then clap your hands twice, then bow again. There is no collecting box in front of the altar but, as at many other Shinto shrines, you can buy an ema - a special card - on which you write your wish and hang up on a special frame located nearby.

September 22, 2007

A Blast from the Past

England: Anyone old enough to have been involved in neopaganism in the UK in the 1980s will remember the Rev. Kevin Logan (a.k.a.Kev. the Rev.). The Anglican vicar spent a lot of time and effort promoting the Satanic Abuse Myth, and propogating outrageous lies about neopaganism. He fell from grace after a seriously disturbed woman, Caroline Marchant, committed suicide while in his care. R.A. Gilbert summarised the story:

Caroline Marchant professed to be a victim of satanic abuse and to have been involved in child sacrifice.... Her story, however, was utterly untrue.... Many of the 'satanic' elements in her story seem to have been derived from the work of Doreen Irivine (who counselled Miss Marchant at the Zion Christian Temple at Yate, near Bristol). What she needed most was psychiatric help, whereas what she received was spiritual counselling by fundamentalists who saw demons rather than a disturbed mind. In February 1990, while in the care of the Reverend Kevin Logan, Caroline Marchant committed suicide. (Gilbert 1993, 154).

Well, he obviously thinks no-one can remember him after 17 years, and is back having a go at Harry Potter. Nor does he seem to have spent the time learning anything about neopaganism, as he strangely seems to think that Rowling's books have something to do with it.

The Rev Kevin Logan, of Christ Church with Cannon Street, Accrington, said that JK Rowling's teenage hero has many similarities with Jesus Christ - but the author's references to paganism could lead children into danger...

The Potter epic encourages kids to be curious in an area that God forbids, he said. It is also an encouragement to the vulnerable and under-age to learn more of paganism and the occult, which have a track record of emotional and spiritual damage.

Obviously failing to look after someone in your care, and contributing to intense religious pressure on her to lie, to the point where she kills herself, does not give the Rev. Logan himself a track record of emotional and spiritual damage.

But there is a reason for his sticking his head over the parapet. In 1988, he published a book which he entitled Paganism and the Occult: A manifesto for Christian Action, in which he expounded, well, a load of complete bollocks. Gilbert (a Christian) was more restrained when he reviewed the work:

The author's aim is to provide the basis for converting occultists to Christianity, but his lack of objectivity and of factual accuracy remove credibility from his attempt. (Gilbert 1993, 177)

So, why do we think Kev. the Rev. is back to his old media-whoring ways?

Christian comment on the issue is being sought as Mr Logan prepares to update his book 'Paganism and the Occult'.

I wonder if they'll send the Prattle a review copy?

Vicar calls for Harry Potter debateThe Blackburn Citizen, 19th September 2007; Gilbert, R.A., 1993, Casting the First Stone: the Hypocrisy of Religious Fundamentalism and its Threat to Society, Shaftesbury, Element Books.

September 12, 2007

Bampot or pisstake - you decide!

Sometimes its hard to tell the real barking mad fundie bampots from those who are taking the piss out of them, and Christians AGAINST Cartoons is one of those sites where I'm not sure which it is. I mean, look at this extract from the home page:

MTV2 has opened a new front in the assault against American Christian values last month with their new Sickomation stable of animated programming. In MTV’s attempt to mimic Cartoon Network’s homosexuality inducing Adult Swim, the music network has sunken to even more deplorable depths of depravity than the cartoon provider.

Although it would be easy to focus on the extreme violence of Sickomation's Celebrity Death Match, the show Where My Dogs At? is even more disturbing to the devout. Although the secular humanists who produce this show claim to be satirizing or parodying Hollywood hedonism (satire being the justification for all types of blasphemy), they are, in actually, embracing and propagating the worship of so many false idols with every revolting frame. Also, by having two stray dogs as the show's main characters, the show is, in fact, celebrating those who have strayed...FROM CHRIST!

Nope, still can't tell. Let's look at some more. I'm in Japan, so the section entitled Hello Kitty or Hello Anubis???? is obviously appropriate. It starts off as an agony aunt type letter, a woman whose neighbour has told her Hello Kitty is bad for her daughter's soul, and she is wondering why.

It is by no mere coincidence that Hello Kitty herself resembles the cat-headed Sekhmet, the Egyptian sun goddess of destruction! There are also strong resemblances between Hello Kitty and the Lower Nile love goddess Bast. Often cats and cat idols were entombed in the burial chambers of the Pharaohs for the cat had a deep mystical significance to these pagan slave drivers.

Permitting your child to lie in a bed covered in Hello Kitty dolls, you are allowing her to lie in a mock Egyptian burial chamber! This seemingly harmless fascination with these dolls can lead your child down the path of the occult. The so-called goth teens who paint their faces to resemble corpses and worship death are also often seen with Hello Kitty memorabilia and stickers incongruously affixed to their usually black attire. This is because these poor, misguided youngsters who have given their eternal souls over to the darkness, know the masked meaning of these cuddly idols. The Hello Kitty, the ChocoCat, The Badtz Maru are just sugar coated stand-ins for Sekhmet, the Anubis and Ra. These are the same gods that The Lord cast down into the sulfur pit of hell and made into demons! Their power, which allowed Ramses to turn his staff into a serpent, cannot be underestimated today.

There are enough inaccuracies here to push me gently towards the bampot side of the fence, what with Sekhmet being a lioness (not a cat, like Hello Kitty), Anubis being a jackal (a dog, not a cat, like Chococat) and Bad Badtz Maru being a penguin, which definitely doesn't fit into ancient Egyptian mythology! But maybe this is all part of the pisstake?

So, Christians AGAINST Cartoons - loony, fundie bampots or someone taking the piss out of loony fundie bampots? Can you tell?

For more on the occult evils of Hello Kitty, see Hello Kitty is the GoddessPrattle, 22nd July 2004.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by Feòrag in September 2007.

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