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December 5, 2011

Neopagan site destroyed in suspected hate attack

Wales: A stone circle built by neopagan students as a temple has been destroyed in what police believe to be a religiously-motivated hate crime. The circle has regularly been vandalised, but this time it is not the work of casual hooligans.

The steps giving access to the site, in the grounds of the town's Trinity Saint David University campus, were also torn apart.

Police believe that weapons, such as crow bars and pick axes, may have been used to deliberately cause as much damage to the area as possible.

Lampeter Pc Richard Marshall told town councillors at a meeting last week that the site had been maliciously taken apart and is now unsafe to use.

He also noted that the attack would have received considerably more coverage had it been a church.

While the Telegraph noted the presence of a strong Theology department at Lampeter, the town is only about 25 miles/40km from Christian extremist Steve "Birdshit" Green's stamping ground of Carmarthen. The estimated fuel costs for the journey say it all, really.

Pagan stone circle may have been destroyed in religious hate attackThe Daily Telegraph, 5th December 2011.

August 14, 2011

"God" is great, but people can starve

Somalia & Kenya:

Al-Shabaab has only survived because it has run (these) extortion schemes, often under the guise of collecting Muslim "zakat" payments intended under Islam to be used to help society's destitute. Instead, the group has bankrupted and now forced into famine the majority of people living in the areas it controls.


To the 18,000 people who have fled here from deep in rural Somalia, plagued by a spreading famine and the rapacious extortions of murderous fundamentalist fighters, this truly is a sanctuary. Here, there is water. There are increasing food deliveries from aid workers cautiously crossing the border from Kenya for the first time. There is a hospital, over the border, to treat children who would otherwise starve to death.

"God" is guiding these bandits to steal, and rape and pillage, and the peole in their "care" can starve.
What's more most foreign aid is rejected, and aid-workers have been murdered ....

Somali Islamists thrive as children die in the dustDaily Telegraph, 14th August 2011.

February 15, 2011

Baptist "Voices" for murder

England

At about 3 o’clock in the morning Lesley sat up and it was as if she had a premonition. She said: 'This is going to be over soon, I’m going to go to heaven’,” he told the court.

And I heard a voice, if I could put it like that, and I said 'I can help you’, and I suddenly had this revelation of the plan finally being acted out.

Wonderful!
Devout religious nut-job hears convenient "voices" telling him to kill his wife.
Oh yeah.

Devout Baptist killed wife and lover's husband after hearing voiceDaily Telegraph, 15th February 2011.

February 5, 2011

Pratlets for 5th February 2011

October 27, 2010

Fundies inspire old woman to set up pest control classes

Neopaganism as stupid as all other religions: official

Way back when I was young, naïve and Pagan, the pub where we held our local moot used to go out of its way to have appropriately themed beers available when we were in. This was particularly easy in the run up to Hallowe'en, but at other times, Pendle Witches' Brew made regular appearances. And we loved them for it. No doubt if Lost Abbey Witch's Wit had been available then, we'd have made a beeline for it.

But is seems that these days, there are some Pagans out there who seem to think that they need to behave like other religions to get respect, including whingeing and kvetching about the tiniest perceived slight. One practitioner of Delicate Flower Wicca is Vicki Noble, allegedly expert in astrology readings and shamanic healing but not, it seems history. She's objecting to the label featuring a witch being burned at the stake.

Those against the label condemn the image as offensive to practising pagans, and women in general, and argue that it is inappropriate to use a violent historical reference to sell beer.

The problem here is that the past was an incredibly violent place and, in parts of Europe, people accused of witchcraft were tortured and killed by burning them alive. None of them were Wiccan, but that doesn't matter. In a time of increasing religious lunacy, it's always a good idea to draw attention to the atrocities committed in the name of religion, and this is something the brewer understands far better than the fluffy bunnies:

I encourage you to look at all of Lost Abbey's beers and consider them in context. Each of the Lost Abbey beers features a label which depicts a theme of Catholic excess -- good and bad -- on the front, and tells a moral story on the back. (Our founder is a recovering Catholic.)

In the case of Witch's Wit, the back label is a story of the bad consequences of religious intolerance and oppression. The woman on the front is referred to as a healer on the label and accuses the Church of being narrow-minded and violent, threatening the same fate to anyone who would help the woman. The label ends with a note that this beer -- a light, sweet and golden ale -- is brewed in honor of that woman (and all those who died for their convictions).

I'm also intrigued as to why one of the articles cited below keeps mentioning the Helen Duncan case in 1944. Contrary to popular belief, the 1735 Witchcraft Act abolished the crime of Witchcraft on the grounds that it didn't exist. It replaced it with an offence of claiming to have magical powers, which was obviously fraud. It wasn't the law used to execute people in England, where hanging was the method used anyway.

I wonder if my local specialist beer shop has any?

Lost Abbey Witch’s Wit Ale may Change Label Due to Wiccan ProtestsRightJuris, 25th October 2010; Lost Abbey Burning Witch Beer Label Riles WiccansWashington City Paper Blogs, 26th October 2010.

May 26, 2010

Fundies: let's misrepresent research then kill people over it

United States: Scientists have complained that anti-gay religious groups are pretending to be legitimate scientific organisations, and presenting deliberately distorted versions of their research as fact. This is nothing new—the Prattle dissected one example back in 1998. The most recent case involves Dr. Gary Remafedi of the University of Minnesota, whose work on adolescent sexuality has been appropriated and misrepresented by a bogus paediatrics organisation, the American College of Pediatricians, trying to deny any support whatsoever to LGBT kids in school.

The letter, and the Facts About Youth website it pointed school officials to, was dense with footnotes citing scientific studies. Remafedi's research was at the top of the list.

The ACP argues that schools shouldn't support gay teens because they're probably just confused. Most adolescents who experience same-sex attraction...no longer experience such attractions at age 25, the letter says, citing a 1992 study by Remafedi.

Except that's not what Remafedi's research suggested at all. His work showed that kids who are confused about their sexuality eventually sort it out—meaning many of them accept being gay.

That's not the only example of this organisation lying about Remafedi's research. They took his finding that people who come out earlier are more likely to experience stigma and isolation, leading to an increased suicide risk, and twisted it to claim that identifying as gay itself was the problem. As Remafedi noted, It's obvious that they didn't even read my research. I mean, they spelled my name wrong every time they cited it.

Alvin McEwan has summarised the problem in a posting at the Huffington Post, and also links to Respect My Research—a Truth Won Out site dedicated to highlighting such abuses.

Evangelists treat the distorted research as the truth when they need to justify hate speech against LGBT people. Bradlee Dean looks like a 1980s hair rocker, a particularly naff one. His You Can Run But You Cannot Hide ministry uses allegedly punk music (with hair that long?!) to corrupt young minds with his imaginary friend. He has recently praised Islam for its murderous intolerance of homosexuality, and urged Christians to kill LGBT people. And he uses falsified scientific research to justify his violence.

On average, they molest 117 people before they’re found out. How many kids have been destroyed, how many adults have been destroyed because of crimes against nature?

As The Freethinker points out, this claim is bollocks, based on misrepresentation of research. Perhaps he was confused and thinking about the child abuse scandals involving Christian clergy (of several denominations) which have recently come to light?

University of Minnesota professor's research hijackedCity Pages, 26th May 2010; 'Let's threaten gays with death as the Muslims do', says Christian wingnutThe Freethinker, 26th May 2010.

April 22, 2010

Public Service Announcement

United Kingdom: Special diets foods retailer Goodness Direct is a front for the coercive cult, the Jesus Army.

I am privileged to have a reasonable (for the UK) whole foods shop close to where I live, but for more unusual animal-free products, I have good personal experience of shopping with Vegan Store, which appears to be a small, independent, vegan-owned company. Comments about alternative suppliers of gluten-free products in the UK would be welcomed by some of my friends.

January 6, 2010

Oh noes! We're doomed! SF is eeeeevil!

Science fiction is apparently evil and to be avoided, but not because most of it is crap. No, it's because it's about science and written by atheists.

With it being a product of an evolutionary worldview that denies the Almighty Creator, you'd think the Way of Life Literature's Fundamental Baptist Information Service would have no trouble coming up with more than the six dead men they did. They completely forgot about Douglas Adams, Iain Banks, Ben Bova, Angela Carter, Thomas M. Disch, Greg Egan, Harlan Ellison, Harry Harrison, Stanislaw Lem, H.P. Lovecraft, China Miéville, Terry Pratchett, Rober J. Sawyer, Bruce Sterling and Charles Stross.

They also chose to ignore this list and linked pages at adherents.com, which shows a wide variety of superstitious belief, or lack thereof, among SF writers. And clearly are unaware of that noted name William Charles Deich IV (via Pharyngula.)

Meanwhile, here is a useful summary of all knowledge.

August 1, 2009

God is incompetent

Scotland: A few days ago, a tornado hit Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. Ten days or so before that, the first Sunday ferry sailed to Stornoway, and eight days (the Record got it wrong) after the first civil partnership took place on the island. It took less than 24 hours for a superstitious bampot to make a connection between these events and his imaginary friend.

The Reverend James Tallach, of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, told the Record: I'm not in a position to say this was the will of God. I don't have that information here.

"But I am prepared to say that it's certain no good will come out of defying God's law.

"That is what a Civil Partnership does. What happened on Monday was in defiance of God.

"We have also seen a clear breach of the Fourth Commandment, which regards keeping the Sabbath holy. Sunday sailings were also against the law of God.

You can see why we keep these people on a small island a long way from civilisation. Anyway, we can draw one major conclusion from this: God has a really shit aim. He managed to miss the fuel depot for the ferries, for example. Furthermore, the Prattle has a contact on Lewis, a man who was on that first Sunday ferry and who wore a T-shirt designed to wind up the protesters. Obviously the sort of character God would want to smite, and indeed He got within about 20 metres. The exact quote was something like Well it hit number 34, but I live at number 32! Really, you can't get the deities these days.

Discussion in the pub also brought forth an interesting hypothesis: if we take the time between an event said to incur the wrath of God, and an incident which is said to be caused by the aforementioned wrath, then we can work out how far away God must be. Of course, this assumes a deity is bound by the speed of light.

Stornoway tornado was 'wrath of God', says ministerDaily Record, 30th July 2009.

July 29, 2008

Is this inciting terrorism?

Cheryl has noticed an interesting OpEd piece in the Mormon Times, in which science fiction writer Orson Scott Card calls for terrorism against any government which allows same-sex marriage.

I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.

As Cheryl comments, [p]resumably the Department of Homeland Security will be taking note, but it brings two questions to mind. Firstly, how is ensuring his children can marry regardless of the sex of their beloved stopping them from doing so? And doesn't Mormonism historically have a definition of marriage which is ever so slightly different from the one which inspires Card's violent thoughts?

A Call for RevolutionCheryl's Mewsings, 29th July 2008, citing State job is not to redefine marriageMormon Times, 24th July 2008.

July 2, 2008

What a homosexual day

United States: The American Family Association operates a 'news' outlet which, it has been recently discovered, alters stories to suit its agenda. The tinkering was noticed when they reported on the success of an American athlete:

Tyson Homosexual was a blur in blue, sprinting 100 meters faster than anyone ever has.

His time of 9.68 seconds at the U.S. Olympic trials Sunday doesn't count as a world record, because it was run with the help of a too-strong tailwind. Here's what does matter: Homosexual qualified for his first Summer Games team and served notice he's certainly someone to watch in Beijing.

It means a lot to me, the 25-year-old Homosexual said. I'm glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me.

The athlete's name is really Tyson Gay.

Christian Site's Ban on 'G' Word Sends Homosexual to OlympicsWashington Post Blogs, 1st July 2008.

March 26, 2008

Bargain of the Day: Good stuff, for a change.

Englandshire: Dr. Who fans could find themselves a bargain as the memorabilia collection of Simon White goes on sale after he swapped science fiction for fantasy.

The collection, which Mr White estimates is worth nearly £7,000, was built up over a number of years but is to be cast aside because of his religious beliefs.

Dr Who and his materialistic obsession with it represents the greatest lie that Satan ever told according to Mr White...

He said: God delivered me from the evil that is Dr Who.

Don't offer too much now. We wouldn't want to reward him for his sinfulness now, would we?

Dr Who Tardis on sale on eBayWiltshire Times and Chippenham News, 21st March 2008.

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