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July 26, 2012

Pratlets for 26th July 2012

December 16, 2011

WotD: Scheinheiligkeit

Colombia: Scheinheiligkeit is a German word for hypocrisy, specifically that kind of hypocrisy which involves feigned innocence, an "appearance of holiness". A good example of Scheinheiligkeit would be a high-ranking representative of an organisation which has deliberately covered up child sexual abuse in its ranks groundlessly accusing another group of paedophilia.

Which brings us on to Colombian Roman Catholic bishop Juan Vicente Córdoba, who objected to the adoption of two boys by an American gay man because, well, pooves only want to have sex with children. He told newspaper El Tiempo:

I don't know him, and I do not blame him, but one thing is clear: he has homosexual tendencies, and has got a 10-year-old boy and a 13-year-old youth. Between them there will be no father-son relationship. the priest, who is also Secretary General of the Colombian Episcopal Conference, said. He will get the two children at an age when he might find them attractive. This could be a temptation. Cordoba said that it was safer to give gays two girls. [Caveat: this is translated by me from a German translation of a Spanish language article.]

I realise he's not very important to the sort of Christian who beats on about it, but didn't that Jesus chappie have something to say about this sort of behaviour? Ah yes, here we are. Matt. 7: 3-5:

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Bischof: Schwule wollen Sex mit, 15th December 2011. Okay, here's a link to it on Google Translate.

How not to run an online petition

Scotland: Dozens of people have complained after their names falsely appeared on a petition to the Scottish Government opposing same-sex marriage. MSPs and the Information Commissioner have heard from people whose names appeared on the petition without their consent.

Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale said a number of furious constituents had contacted her to say their names had been placed on the anti-gay marriage petition, which has been signed by former SNP leader Gordon Wilson, as well as senior figures from Scotland’s Episcopalians, the United Free Church of Scotland and the Evangelical Alliance.

Scotland for Marriage, an alliance of mostly religious organisations and opposed to marriage, was quick to blame the victims.

A spokesman for Scotland for Marriage suggested that supporters of gay marriage had placed their own names on the site in an underhand tactic to make it appear that Scotland for Marriage had dishonestly added names to the petition.

He said: This appears to be a malicious attempt to undermine the campaign. A police investigation would be welcome.

Those who found their names falsely added to the petition say that they were unaware they has "signed" the petition until it was published, suggesting that Scotland for Marriage had neglected to send out confirmation e-mail to signatories - a standard practice for online petitions. The bogus signatory who spoke to the Scotsman also did not think Scotland for Marriage deliberately added him to boost their numbers, but that someone else did so maliciously. In not applying even the simplest automated check, Scotland for Marriage have thoroughly undermined their own petition. No shenanigans required.

Bogus names discovered on petition that attacked gay marriageThe Scotsman, 16th December 2011.

June 29, 2011

Die rosa Euro

Germany: Lufthansa is one of the sponsors of several "Christopher Street Day" (LGBT Pride) events around the country, and is offering a number of special deals should you wish to travel to any of the cities around those dates. One Catholic extremist "news" service is upset at this, and is not content with simply making a few snide comments about cabin crew. No, according to, flying with Lufthansa could give you AIDS! Let me translate:

Travel advisory to passengers on the German airline: the upholstery and interior of the aircraft could be infected with HIV. Families and children are particularly vulnerable.

No mention is made of the cooties that could leap out at your delicate regions from the toilet seat.

Fans of the outrageous will be pleased to note that this religious group goes on to compare Lufthansa to another organisation from German history. Yes, that one:

Lufthansa marches the German goose-step in the gay parades in Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Hamburg....

In the Berlin homosexual parade — reminiscent of the Nazi Party rallies in Nuremberg — the homosexual mayor Comrade Klaus Wowereit will ride on a ridiculous vehicle also marred with Lufthansa logos.

Love the mixed metaphors there, and I'm hopelessly disappointed that they forgot to rant about the presence of the Orden der Schwestern der Perpetuellen Indulgenz.

Die ‘Lufthansa’ stürzt, 27th June 2011 (with thanks to Schwester Aura Scortea Beneficia)

June 8, 2011

Pratlets for 8th June 2011

May 4, 2011

Pratlets for 4th May 2011

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 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.

December 19, 2009

A correction

Matthew Sephton has mailed to point out an error in our piece about homophobe Richard Carvath:

Richard Carvath is NOT trying to become the Conservative PPC for Salford and Eccles. In fact, he has NOTHING to do with the Conservative Party. He has stated his intention to stand in the constituency as an Independent however.

December 16, 2009

Pull the other one, it has sleigh bells on.

United States: Newspapers usually only prank their readers on April 1st, but the Arkansas Sunday Post (bringing you the biggest stories for the tiniest minds, every Sunday!) appears to be engaging in a bit of festive tomfoolery. I mean, there is no way on earth this story can be true, is there?

Arkansas church ban popular carol promoting homosexuality. Protests grow.

The church in question is Saint Catherine and Angelic Martyrs in Puftville, the very name of the town making the story suspicious, but what makes it really doubtful is the apt name given to the pastor: Randy Pillock!

Explaining his decision, he points out, The second verse is the problematic part. The first line ‘Don we now our gay apparel’ is clearly incongruent with our values. The outrage doesn’t stop there for Pastor Pillock who explains that the third verse is an homage to a ‘Blazing Yule.’

He is not alone in his views though. Church stalwart, Ted Trotter agrees, This carol has been part of the gay agenda for years and it really is time to put a stop to it. It’s unbelievable that we have been singing it unnoticed for all these years.

Nice try.

Gay carol ban: No more Deck the HallsArkansas Sunday Post, 16th December 2009 (not a Sunday!)

December 15, 2009

Bigoted cunt round-up

The Court of Appeal has ruled that a Christian was not discriminated against when she was sacked for refusing to do her job. Lilian Ladele had claimed that she was unfairly dismissed for refusing to carry out civil partnerships, a fundamental part of the registrar's job. She plans to whine to a higher court. This is the second recent case where someone claiming to be Christian has insisted that it is religious discrimination to make them obey the law from which they themselves are trying to benefit. Only two weeks ago, former counsellor Gary McFarlane lost his appeal against being sacked for refusing to do his job.

Perhaps they should enlist the help of Richard Carvath, who is trying to become a Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for Salford and Eccles. He's started his campaign for the nomination by engaging in positive dialogue with one of his competitors with whom he disagrees, in an attempt to find common ground. No, he hasn't. He called Matthew Sephton a homosexual pervert and describes a blog post about the LGBTory group's trip to Manchester Pride as heavy with pro homosexual pervert content. I never knew Manchester Pride was that good! Must pop along one year.

A self-styled pro-heterosexual, he describes his platform thus:

If elected he vows to; work for a complete ban on homosexuals fostering or adopting children, for the abolition of civil partnerships, for the re-criminalisation of the act of buggery, for the restoration of ‘Section 28’, and for the criminalisation of public homosexual behaviour and the public promotion of homosexuality.

Sounds to me like the only place he can get any is the local gents' loo.

Carvath has already acquired a non-fan club on Facebook. Unfortunately, some people have decided to encourage his persecution complex by reporting him to the police for hate speech, rather than just laughing at the silly monkey throwing his fæces all over his own bed.

Anti-gay registrar loses case in Court of AppealEkklesia, 15th December 2009; Tory chair branded pervert by election competitorPink Paper, 11th December 2009 (I do hope that last headline is not literal!).

November 30, 2009

Update: Relate vs. Gary McFarlane

England: Almost a year ago, we mentioned the case of Gary McFarlane, an alleged Christian who had been sacked from his counselling job because he claimed that doing it without discrimination was against his religion. Well, the case went to an employment tribunal, and McFarlane (or MacFarlane - I've seen both spellings) lost. He appealed, and lost again.

Christian loses sex therapy caseBBC News, 30th November 2009.

October 26, 2009

A clarification

Dear Norfolk police,

This is a homophobic hate crime. Here's another example. Here's a third example.

This, on the other hand, is just a bigoted, batty old woman, probably quite normal for Norfolk, and any visit you make should really just be to check that she's okay and not done any accidental harm to herself.

July 31, 2009

Religious group is accepting, respects diversity and generally tries to make up for all the rest.

There are a few religious groups that rarely, if ever, feature in the Prattle. Some, seem to think, conspiratorially, that Judaism never features but the responses demonstrate that that is not the case. No, the group that most notably never features here is the Religious Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers. And today's news demonstrates why: whilst other denominations are spewing out homophobic hate speech, the Quakers have been quietly thinking about it (for 20 years, apparently), and today a decision was made:

This open sharing of personal experience has moved us and added to our clear sense that, 22 years after the prospect was first raised at Meeting for Sufferings we are being led to treat same sex committed relationships in the same way as opposite sex marriages, reaffirming our central insight that marriage is the Lord’s work and we are but witnesses. The question of legal recognition by the state is secondary.

We therefore ask Meeting for Sufferings to take steps to put this leading into practice and to arrange for a draft revision of the relevant sections of Quaker faith and practice, so that same sex marriages can be prepared, celebrated, witnessed, recorded and reported to the state, as opposite sex marriages are. We also ask Meeting for Sufferings to engage with our governments to seek a change in the relevant laws so that same sex marriages notified in this way can be recognised as legally valid, without further process, in the same way as opposite sex marriages celebrated in our meetings. We will not at this time require our registering officers to act contrary to the law, but understand that the law does not preclude them from playing a central role in the celebration and recording of same sex marriages.

News release and background on Committed Relationships paper for YMG09Quakers In Britain, n.d., but the press release itself is 31st July 2009.

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