Tag Archives: Christianity

Heresy

At what point do you cease to be a christian?

If you don’t believe that Adam and Eve actually existed and were literally the start of humanity, and that Eve spoke with a talking snake, are you still a christian?

If you don’t believe that Noah’s ark actually existed and there was a worldwide flood that killed the entire human and animal population of the earth apart from those in the ark, are you still a christian?

If you don’t believe that Methuselah lived to be nine hundred and whatever years old, are you still a christian?

If you don’t believe that Moses actually parted the Red Sea so that an army of people could walk across the sea bed, are you still a christian?

If you don’t believe Mary was a virgin who became pregnant without having sex with a human male, are you still a christian?

If you don’t believe that Jesus physically came back to life after three days of being dead, are you still a christian?

Do any of the above questions count more than others? Why?

At what point do you stop being a christian and become just a person with some leanings towards christian teachings? Or to give it an old word, at what point do you become a heretic?

Strange question perhaps, and for the record I don’t believe any of the above things, but interesting.

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Monument colouring and other absurdities

So the world is attacked by islamists again, and what do we do in response? We light up monuments around the world in the colours of the French flag. I despair…

And as for those saying ‘pray for Paris’? I think the situation is bad enough without even more religion being thrown at it. Have some sensitivity, please.

What’s my take on the latest atrocities? I think enough is enough. The western world has allowed islam to flourish within its borders, and this is the result. I think it’s time that islam was treated as a dangerous and violent cult rather than the religion of peace that it rather ridiculously claims to be.

But don’t mistake me for an islamophobe – though you can call me a religiophobe if you like. I have similar problems with christianity – in particular right wing American christians that think they have rights over a woman’s uterus, and catholics who think they have rights over what people do in their bedrooms. And Judaism – have you actually read the old testament? Murder, rape and slavery are the order of the day, all sanctioned by the bloodthirsty and vicious abrahamic god that is shared between judaism, christianity, and islam.

Anyway, when something like this happens, it’s all very well saying #JeSuisCharlie or adding a red, white and blue overlay to your Facebook profile picture. What is needed is action. Islam has proved time and again that it can’t (or rather, won’t) co-exist peacefully with the rest of the world. So what is the rest of the world going to do?

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How does the church get away with it?

With a title like that, do I really need to write a post? Well, maybe a short one.

Here’s the issue: Q&A: Women bishops vote (BBC News).

If a private company or a public sector organisation said “we will not allow women to become directors” it would be hauled through the courts and rightly so.

So how come the Church of England gets away with this blatant discrimination? Being a bishop is a job like any other, and the church should be subject to the same employment laws that govern every other organisation or company in the UK.

By allowing the church to get away with refusing to allow women to become bishops, the government has seriously let down every woman in the UK, and has ensured that resentment of religious privilege will continue to grow.

Of course, I’m happy about the last bit, the more resentment against religious privilege the better, but surely it’s time the church was brought to heel and made to behave in a civilised fashion.

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Burn those books

The planned burning of copies of the koran this weekend has been put on hold, for now at least:

US Koran burning event on hold, says pastor Terry Jones

It seems clear that Jones was put under pressure from various quarters, not least the FBI, though it also seems that the “agreement” which ostensibly led to the stay of execution for the books is based on fairly shaky ground, with officials of the “Ground Zero Mosque” project saying that they knew nothing of an agreement to move the building.

Condemnation of his stunt came from many quarters, across the American political spectrum as well as inevitably from muslim commentators.

However, all that the American authorities could legally do was “urge” Jones not to go ahead with the burning, as his right to carry it out is enshrined in the first amendment of the US constitution.

Freedom to offend

To my mind, this right is vital in order to prevent the kind of oppression we see in countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Malta, Malaysia, etc., where speaking out against religious dogma can and does get people into very hot water.

Fundamentally, nobody has the right not to be offended by another person’s words or actions. A catholic might be offended by seeing two men kiss – but that doesn’t give them the right to prevent it. Likewise, I might be offended by someone telling me that I will go to hell (actually it amuses me but I was struggling for another example) – but I have no right to stop them saying it.

Personal responsibility

I’m sure that muslims the world over were offended by Jones’ initial decision to burn the books – and some of the more inflammatory muslim responses clearly prompted the requests by Obama and Palin for Jones to cancel his plans, out of fear that US troops in muslim countries would be targeted.

However, any muslim response, whether it be the burning of US flags or the killing of US soldiers, could still not be laid at the door of anyone else except those muslims carrying it out. Obnoxious and deluded pastor Jones might be; but we are all responsible for our own actions, and if someone reacts violently because they are offended, it is their own choice to do so and they cannot blame anyone else.

Books don’t have rights

Just for the record, I would have quite liked to see the burning go ahead – followed by the burning of copies of the bible, the torah, and assorted other works of fiction that worsen man’s inhumanity to man. The fewer of these books that exist in our troubled world, the better.

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Pope slams gay marriage

The article “Pope slams gay marriage” appeared in the Times of Malta on 11 January 2010. Clearly the pope’s comments are a direct result of the decision of Portugal to approve plans to legalise gay marriage, and the recent marriage joining two men in Argentina.

Does the catholic church never learn?

Firstly, his comments are blatantly homophobic, as they seek to encourage the denial of a human right to gay people.

Secondly, if the scope of his address had been “catholics should not marry other catholics of the same sex” there would be no problem, however as usual he addresses the entire planet without seeming to understand that he is not king of the world and has no business inflicting his hateful views on non-believers.

Take this direct quote, for instance: “Freedom cannot be absolute. For man, the path to be taken cannot be determined by caprice or willfulness, but must rather correspond to the structure willed by the Creator,” he said.

Quite apart from his use of the word “man” which betrays the ongoing misogyny of the church, who the hell is he to tell you, me or anyone else that our path through life must be something in particular?

Hey, pope, fuck off and take your bigoted megalomania with you.

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