Love Thy Neighbour: May 2004 Archives

May 31, 2004

Nothing wrong with black-clad kids - horror!

United States: Half of a grant given to a town to combat goth has had to be returned because, surprise surprise, there was no problem to begin with.

But $132,000 of the grant was returned because officials never found much of a problem with the Goth culture, which some students called a fad that most people eventually outgrow.

Slightly more than $118,000 of the money was earmarked for therapy, assessment and case management, and the plans also included a series of town meetings to discuss the issue.

It never happened because referring someone for looking, acting Goth is not a concept that ever got imbedded in people's heads, project manager Allyce Ford said of the therapy proposal.

No news as to whether the cash will now be used to provide therapy for the bigots who though it was a good idea to begin with. $132K of Grant to Combat Goth ReturnedAssociated Press (via Yahoo! News), 21st May 2004.

May 28, 2004

Inhumanity explained

United States: P.Z. Myers has found a stunning explanation for the atrocites committed at Abu Ghraib. According to creationists Answers in Genesis, it's because the majority don't take the conflicting creation accounts in Genesis literally.

We puzzle over how 'nice' people can so trivialize human life, sexuality and suffering in Abu Ghraib, yet we have let our culture tell these same people that they--and their captives--are just evolved animals, randomly reorganized pond scum.

Somehow I doubt Answers in Genesis are radical vegans, despite what it says at Genesis 1:29.

May 27, 2004

Spot the bigger tory

Former Conservative government minister Norman Tebbit has declared that an excellent form of aerobic exercise makes you fat. He was invited onto BBC Radio 4's Today programme to discuss the problem of obesity in the UK, and instead launched into a homphobic tirade.

The root cause of this problem, like a number of others, is the break down in family life, he said, arguing that families don't so often eat together and that wives are virtually pressurised into feeling they ought to go to work instead of looking after their children.
He said this decline in family life was due to the current government, which he accused of doing everything it can to promote buggery.

Fellow Tory, the slimline Boris Johnson, was quick to disagree: I don't think you can say gay marriage is the root cause of obesity.

Tebbit: buggery to blame for obesity crisis - News, 27th May 2004.

May 20, 2004

God neglects His work

Kenya: A 15-year-old boy has died after God ignored the prayers of his parents, who had allegedly locked him in a room for six weeks rather than seek medical attention.

The parents belong to the Kavonokia religious sect. Members of the sect do not subscribe to modern medicine but believe in prayers to heal the sick.

Police said his body bore signs of abuse, and the parents were due in court today to explain why action should not be taken against them. Neglected boy, 15, dies - East African Standard, 20th May 2004 (via

Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

United Sates: A Virginia woman has been sent to prison after God told her to pester the staff at a car dealership.

Cole testified earlier this year that she knew she had been ordered to stay away from the car dealership. But she insisted that God ordered her to go there. Cole said she was never rude to employees.

She said that God insisted they give her a free vehicle. Woman Who Claimed God Sent Her Gets Jail Time - ABC 7 News, 18th May 2004 (via Religion News Blog).

Virtual Devils Curse Internet Church

United Kingdom: The Web-based Church of Fools, an online role playing game that encourages members to part with donations for the collection plate (just like the real thing), is having trouble with some virtual parishioners.

The world's first Internet church has fallen victim to a plague of virtual demons, some of whom have been logging on as Satan and unleashing strings of expletives during sermons.

May 17, 2004

Let's be friends, and beat up the other guy.

Bahrain: In case you thought it was only Christian fundies who make up scare stories, the Gulf Daily News reports on the claims of Islamic Enlightenment Society president Shaikh Saeed Al Noori, who is worried that there might be more than 100 Satanists in the country:

This has allowed many to take advantage of our division and everyone knows that Satanism is on the rise with 140 members currently a part of the Bahrain group.

If not stopped soon more will join and the damage will hit the community as a whole.

The Muslim loons have had a few hundred fewer years to perfect their scaremongering, and so did not specify what the alleged Satanists got up to that was so terrifying. On a positive note, Shaikh Saeed's speech was a call for Sunni and Shi'ite to actually get on with one another, although only to gang up on an imaginary enemy.

Satanism 'on the rise' - Gulf Daily News, 17th May 2004.

May 14, 2004

Kiss and make up

Australia: After mediation, the Pagan Awareness Network has dropped its case against Mayor Rob Wilson, and according to the resulting statement, the newspapers have been exaggerating his statements somewhat.

Cr Wilson was incorrectly reported in the Cranbourne Leader on 11 June 2003 as saying that the Casey Pastor's Network should pray against the forces of evil. He did not say this. He asked Casey's church leaders to consider a day of prayer.

He does not believe he made the following statement reported in the Dandenong Journal of 30 June 2003:

Many people and groups... want to set up in Casey. Do Casey families want groups like these, who promote evil, to be part of our community?

The Pagan Awareness Network plans to get on with more important stuff now, such as organising a Full Moon ritual in Casey.

In view of Cr Wilson's statement that he did not intend his comments to incite fear or hatred, PAN Inc has decided to adopt the 'Wilson' approach towards his June 2nd, 2003 media release naming Olivia Watts... 'People can work it out for themselves.'

None of this affects the case relating to the alleged religious vilification of Olivia Watts, which involves separate issues and continues. Mayor does deal with Pagans -- but must still face Witch Olivia (PDF) - Pagan Awareness Network Inc. Media Release, 14th May 2004; Mayor spared a hex debt - Herald Sun, 15th May 2004; see also He knows so much about these things - Pagan Prattle, 10th May 2004; This charming man - Pagan Prattle, 21st August 2003; This charming man (update) - Pagan Prattle, 27th December 2003.

The stars are wrong

India: A man has allegedly murdered his three-month-old daughter because the timing of her birth was inauspicious.

Nagesh of Dudda village and Radha of Nidudi village in Hassan taluk were married a year and a half ago. Nagesh had met an astrologer to know the future prospects of his daughter, but was told that he would have to face many difficulties. A worried Nagesh decided to kill the child.
He went to Nidudi where Radha was staying with her parents after delivery and injected the baby with a syringe filled with poison when there was no one in the room.

Man kills daughter for better future - Newindpress, 14th May 2004.

May 10, 2004

He knows so much about these things

Australia: A transexual Wiccan woman has decided to test out Victoria's religious tolerance legislation and is suing the local mayor who ran a vendetta against her on local radio.

Cr Wilson first threw a cat among the Wiccans last June when he blamed a series of council embarrassments on diabolical intervention. He said there was a Satanic cult out to take over Casey and the council's toils and troubles had all the hallmarks of being linked to the occult.
He hit the local community airwaves and outed Ms Watts, who had unsuccessfully run for council, as a witch.

As she has been unable to work due to the distress caused, she qualifies for Legal Aid, which is expected to be worth around $15,000 (£5,848/€8,759). Tony Parsons, of Victoria Legal Aid, considers it money well spent:

Victoria Legal Aid does not fund three-ring circuses. (We have) a long and very worthwhile history of identifying and backing cases where there are areas of the law that need to be tested or explored, Mr Parsons said.

The Pagan Awareness Network is also suing, and Attorney-General Rob Hulls is on their side. Encouraging them to file their complaint, he wrote: We govern for all Victorians -- and that includes witches, magicians and sorcerers. So maybe the Courier-Mail ought to have been a little bit more careful when they described Olivia Watts as a black magic woman?

Civic row bubbles into legal toil and trouble - The Courier-Mail, 11th May 2004. See also Witch Hunt in Victoria - Pagan Awareness Network (timeline, and donation button); The Casey Witch Trials - a web site dedicated to the case; This charming man - Pagan Prattle, 21st August 2003; This charming man (update) - Pagan Prattle, 27th December 2003.

May 8, 2004

No imaginary enemies this time

Canada: A judge has convicted a 23-year-old man of murder after rejecting his insanity plea. Joseph Jason Chamberlain's defense lawyer called a number of witnesses to testify on the state of his client's mental health:

One doctor said Chamberlain claimed to hear voices -- or psychic powers -- that drove him to kill Burn after convincing him she was somehow responsible for his anguished mental state.
Chamberlain also said the voices told him he was a member of the Royal Family and ordered him to eat human flesh -- claims which raised red flags with another psychiatrist who suspected him of malingering, or feigning his illness.

The judge, Queen's Bench Justice John Scurfield, appears to agree with this psychiatrist and told the court Mr. Chamberlain is outright malingering or, more likely, deliberately exaggerating a pre-existing mental disorder in order to benefit from a not criminally responsible defence.

No defence for murder. Man feigned insanity, says judge - The Winnipeg Sun, 8th May 2004.

May 4, 2004

Lack of real ale is bad for you

Sweden: One of Sweden's top TV stars has turned down the opportunity to interview Ozzy Osbourne because he is the unofficial Prince of Darkness. Rickard Sjöberg felt uncomfortable with Osbourne's married-with-children lifestyle. No, that can't be right...

To me, Ozzy is so strongly associated with a questionable lifestyle, Satanism and evil messages that I felt I couldn't do the job justice considering the format of these interviews. It would have just strengthened his position, Sjöberg told the newspaper Aftonbladet.

The presenter claims to be a Christian, and that even non-alcoholic beer makes him vomit. Swedish TV Star Refuses To Interview OZZY Due To OSBOURNE's 'Questionable' Lifestyle - Blabbermouth, 2nd may 2004.

Fundamentalists Rush In

Iraq: A rise of religious fundamentalism is terrorising the Iraqi academic community.

After Saddam Hussein's overthrow, university president Taher al-Bakaa gathered his staff, and promised them a university free from oppression and fear. But recently a dispute between a Sunni professor and a group of Shiite students turned into a demonstration that closed the campus for three days. Now, Dr. Bakaa says, religious factions are hijacking the university, and he fears for his life.
If we let the parties interfere with the universities, it will be a bloody situation, says Al Bakaa. Many people are in such fear they are giving up their post, including me. I am in danger.
A rise of religious fundamentalism is terrorizing the Iraqi academic community, and threatening to roll back the gains in academic freedom made by university presidents and their advisers from the United States since the end of the war.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Love Thy Neighbour category from May 2004.

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