Church and State: December 2003 Archives

December 30, 2003

Ruffled Feathers

United States: The gathering of stern men in brightly coloured frocks and funny hats that make up the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has demanded the removal of a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals billboard showing the Virgin Mary cradling a lifeless chicken in her arms.

December 24, 2003

The Ultimate Captive Audience

United States: Always on the outlook for a new captive audience, the evangelical driven InnerChange Freedom Initiative has found the ultimate pool of people to harrass by moving into the business of faith-based prisons.

December 15, 2003

Wasting police time

Switzerland: Authorities have decided to do nothing after investigating complaints brought by a fundie group against Marilyn Manson.

The Zurich district prosecutor's office said on Monday it had found no evidence to back allegations that the artist had incited violence and breached Swiss law protecting religion during a concert in the city in February 2001.

Fundies also failed in their attempt to get the group banned from performing in Zurich. They had claimed that the majority would find the act offensive. Manson off the hook, News24, 15th December 2003.

December 11, 2003

Teacher Sues for Right to Teach

United States: Gary Cole, a seventh grade social studies teacher in Maine, has sued the School Administrative District 1 claiming it violated his First Amendment right of free expression.

It seems the moral moronity of loony fundies have managed to bully the school system into developing a history curriculum that forbids discussion of any non-Christian civilisations or any religions other than Christianity.

December 10, 2003

Beyond Gomorrah: America's Culture

United States: Anthony LoBaido is an evangelical fundamentalist with access to a computer and a complete lack of understanding that America and culture are mutually exclusive. He has recently taken a respite from his self imposed exile from the television to enlighten the god botherers on the filth currently being peddled on the box.

December 9, 2003

Religious freedom in Kyrgystan

Kyrgyzstan: Authorities are painting all non-traditional Islamic and non-Orthodox Christian groups as totalitarian sects...using deceptions, silent methods and obtrusive propaganda in order to attract new members, and have a blacklist which includes peaceful religions such as Seventh-Day Adventism and the Ba'hai faith.

Official and casual opponents accuse the churches of using deceitful methods to attract young people through the so-called "incentive system". Representatives of the Muslim clergy claim the Protestant communities pay $50 each month to those who attend their religious gatherings. Protestant leaders deny such accusations. But in deference to them, many church leaders require children to bring parental consent when they attend mass. For adults as well as children, the dangers of attending church can be powerfully discouraging. My mother-in-law is trying to attract my wife to attend [mass], says Vyacheslav Salimov of Osh. I am very concerned about it. I am Muslim and my wife is Orthodox Christian and we don稚 have any problems in our relations on the basis of religion. However, I am against her visiting these religious masses of the new sect.
In a rare recorded case of religious persecution, more than 100 people reportedly laid siege to the house of two Protestant brothers in Suzak village on December 31, 2000. The crowd demanded that the brothers and their families give up the new religion. In the meantime, the crowd was ready to burn their house with gasoline, which was kept in small containers by people in the crowd. Police were able to defuse the situation peacefully, and produce an official report.


Shocking Pots Claim Turner Prize

England: Grayson Perry, accepted the £20,000 Turner Prize at a dinner at Tate Britain last night dressed in a little-girl frock with his blond hair brushed up as his female alter ego, Claire.

His vases typically depict controversial topics such as sex and child abuse. Vases depicting sex scenes and child abuse are, however, quite bland for the Turner Prize. Previous winners have included a soiled bed, a pickled cow and a painting adorned with elephant dung. Last year's winner, Keith Tyson, presented lead casts of every item on a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant's menu.

Transvestite's shocking pots claim victory in Turner PrizeThe Telegraph, 8th December 2003 (via The Green Man).

December 8, 2003

Holier Than Thou Politics

United States: As the media circus that is the run up to elections in the US mobilises, the Democratic candidates are playing the holy roller card that has served the Republicans so well.

Democrats Try to Regain Ground on Moral Issues - The New York Times (registration required), 6th December 2003.

December 6, 2003

Battle of the Fish Stickers

Egypt: The stylised fish, long a symbol of Christianity amongst Egypt's Coptic minority, has started a local war of bumper stickers in Cairo. The Copts imported their tacky fish stickers from the United States, while some of the wags in the Muslim community counteracted by selling shark stickers.

If you're after the car emblems, which are the metal car badges rather than the dodgy holographic stickers, Evolve Fish sell a wide range, including the legendary Darwin Fish.

Christian Fish, Muslims Shark Swimming Through Cairo Traffic in War of Stickers -, 28th November 2003.

December 4, 2003

Go Directly to Court, Do Not Pass Church, Do Not Collect Scholarship

United States: When Joshua Davey graduated from high school in 1999, he won a Washington State scholarship to help pay for his college tuition. But when he declared he wanted to major in theology and become a minister, the state retracted its aid offer.

Not taking this affront to his choice of a future career lying down, Davey did the all American thing and sued. And with every fundie with a grievance over the separation of church and state trying to stick their nose into the case, the only real winners will be the lawyers.

A Case of Faith and College Aid - The Christian Science Monitor, 2nd December 2003.

Not Without Your Male Guardian

Saudi Arabia: Debate is raging over a popular Saudi Arabian television program.

December 2, 2003

Marilyn Manson Used to Promote Fundie Propaganda

Switzerland: No doubt looking to drum up some free press, the Swiss-based fundie group Christians for Truth, displaying a typical lack of understanding between fantasy and reality, have attacked Marilyn Manson.

...the artist [Marilyn Manson] was under investigation for allegedly breaching Swiss law protecting religion as well as making incitements to violence during a concert in the city in February 2001.

I find it more interesting that this particular group of loons, while claiming to be based in Switzerland, are in reality based in South Africa. It's also worth noting that they are happily spouting the Vatican party line on condoms causing AIDS.

Marilyn Manson Faces Swiss Criminal Probe - ABC News, 2nd December 2003.

I Will Never Use the Word Gay in School Again

United States: It's no big shock that the fundies run roughshod over education in the US, there are still a bunch of them trying to force their creationist fairy tale on schools. I'm sure it will come as no surprise that a 7 year old was punished for telling a classmate that his mother was a lesbian.

A teacher who heard the remark scolded Marcus, telling him gay was a bad word and sending him to the principal's office. The following week, Marcus had to come to school early and repeatedly write: I will never use the word 'gay' in school again.

Louisiana school punishes 7-year-old for talking about lesbian mother, ACLU alleges -, 1st December 2003.

December 1, 2003

Spot the real Christians

UK charity Christian Aid has urged the Blair government to influence the Bush administration to go beyond its unrealistic abstinence-only approach to AIDS prevention.

Although the US has made a welcome commitment of $US 15 billion to be spent over five years in the fight against HIV/AIDS, fully a third of this money is allocated to programmes promoting 'abstinence-until-marriage'. These programmes do not include sex education and the use of condoms. While abstinence is clearly the most reliable method of avoiding HIV infection, the reality is that most people, especially young people, do not choose abstinence.
In a report published by Christian Aid in October 2003, research showed that good quality sex education reduces the levels of unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and HIV.
In addition, Dying to Learn, exposes the myth that access to condoms increases promiscuity among young people. On the contrary, condom use does not increase the number of sexual partners. More importantly, when used correctly and consistently, condoms are effective in preventing HIV infection among young people who are sexually active.

Bush's preference for fœtuses over adults means the US refuses to fund any organisation which supports abortion in any way, even though the money will not be used for this kind of service.

In Ghana, 697,000 clients of Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana will lose, not only family planning services, but also access to HIV voluntary counselling and testing, and HIV prevention education. This will have severe repercussions in a country with low HIV infections rates and which is working hard to maintain these low levels.

Condoms are crucial in HIV prevention, says Christian Aid - Christian Aid press release, 19th November 2003.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Church and State category from December 2003.

Church and State: November 2003 is the previous archive.

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