Good riddance

April 24, 2008

As my dad used to say, Good riddance to bad rubbish:

 When the Labour government’s Sexual Orientation Regulations were passed last year, the leadership of the Catholic Church in England and Wales warned that the new law would spell the end of Catholic involvement in social service, particularly adoption. Now the first of the UK’s Catholic adoption agencies affected are announcing they will close their doors for good rather than betray religious principles and their guiding principle of the good of the child.

In other words, “The law requires us not to be bigoted a-holes.  We are a bunch of bigoted a-holes, so we’re taking our ball and going home”. Of course the catholic church is claiming that it isn’t a bunch of bigoted a-holes:

Contrary to common accusations that Catholics are trying to unjustly discriminate against homosexuals

See? They’re not discriminating against homosexuals, they’re just:

the Catholic Church holds that its motivation is rather the desire to protect the best interests of children.

They’re just protecting the best interests of children.  Why?

The Church teaches, according to recent documents from the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, that allowing a child to be adopted by homosexual partners “would actually mean doing violence to these children” by placing them into a situation where their full social and spiritual development would be threatened.

They’re not bigoted, because placing children with homosexual parents would be doing violence to them. Words fail me — I am beyond disgusted.

The only reason that this view can be published with a straight face is because the catholic church is a religious organisation. The only reason that the government acts on the contemptible views of the catholic church is because it is a religious organisation. But can we finally lay to rest the view that the catholic church is any kind of “moral” organisation!  It’s bigotry and misogyny knows no bounds and it is utterly devoid of shame.  Any right-thinking person would be ashamed to hear themselves make the utterances we all too frequently hear from the catholic church and its self-appointed clerics. But then, I suppose, we’ve never heard the catholic church claim to be right-thinking, only “infallible”.



April 21, 2008

Universal Mecca Time

Muslim scientists and clerics have called for the adoption of Mecca time to replace GMT, arguing that the Saudi city is the true centre of the Earth.

Erm, do you think that someone should tell them that a point on the surface of a sphere is not the centre of that sphere?  I’m really not sure if these guys are being serious or self-satirical, but something tells me they’re being serious.

One geologist argued that unlike other longitudes, Mecca’s was in perfect alignment to magnetic north.

A geologist said this? Aligned with what? Mecca lies roughly on 40˚W, whilst Magnetic North is roughly 114˚W.  You might as well claim that T’aiei in Taiwan or Manila in the Philippines should be  0˚Longitude!  But then you need to account for the slight problem that magnetic north moves. This is staggeringly stupid thing to say.

He [I’m assuming this is the geologist] said the English had imposed GMT on the rest of the world by force when Britain was a big colonial power, and it was about time that changed.

Not quite.  England didn’t actually go around the world imposing GMT by force on the world.  In the long struggle to pin-point longitude, the English just got there first. Several times.  If you go to the Grenwich Observatory in London you’ll discover that there wasn’t one GMT, but a progression of GMT’s as more telescopes were built and courtyard space was slowly used up in an ironically pointless endeavor to try to discover a way of pinpointing Longitude at sea using telescopes.  The story is fascinating and is actually a story of very English blunders. If you’re interested, the story is brilliantly brought  to life in Dava Sobel’s book, “Longitude” (ISBN: 1-85702-571-7)

A prominent cleric, Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawy, said modern science had at last provided evidence that Mecca was the true centre of the Earth; proof, he said, of the greatness of the Muslim “qibla” – the Arabic word for the direction Muslims turn to when they pray.

The cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawy is clearly following in the footsteps of his more deluded christian theologians.  I’m not familiar with this “qibla”, but I’m reasonably certain that it no more “proves” that Mecca is “the centre of the Earth”, than the Bible “proves” the Madam Adam and Eve story is true.

This one’s a good’en though:

The watch is said to rotate anti-clockwise and is supposed to help Muslims determine the direction of Mecca from any point on Earth.

Kudos to them. Hope it works.  The only problem I can think of is that they may need to think about points that are not “on Earth”.  It’s apparently bad enough for astronauts in Low Earth Orbit; how will they respond should humankind ever venture to the stars, or – the various mutually incompatible gods forbid – to the galaxies?

The meeting in Qatar is part of a popular trend in some Muslim societies of seeking to find Koranic precedents for modern science.

It is called “Ijaz al-Koran”, which roughly translates as the “miraculous nature of the holy text”.

Also known – just like creationist apologetics – by the more technical term, “bullshit”.



Illegal, but right?!

April 14, 2008

Illegal says the High Court, but “right” says Attorney General Goldsmith:

It was of course uncomfortable… but I believe it was the right decision to take, in the public interest, in order to prevent terrorism.

I’m still trying to figure out what the hell we’re doing selling arms to the Saudi’s in the first place, let alone dealing in bribery and corruption, whilst protecting the interests of a private company.

It would have been a dereliction of duty to have taken that view and it would have been absolutely no comfort to people who, heaven forbid, had been injured or lost loved ones in a terrorist attack to say ‘we’re terribly sorry but we thought we ought to wait 18 months to see if this case could go ahead

This really is taking playing the terrorism card to a whole new low. The argument is essentially saying that the Saudi’s threatened to stop feeding us information on terrorist activity if the fraud investigation into the BAE affair carried on, ergo people will die in terrorist attacks.  What a load of bollocks.

Goldsmith is getting a bit too ready to leap in to defend the government’s highly unethical and frequently illegal foreign policy. It was Goldsmith who re-wrote his legal advice to suite Labour’s unstoppable lust for a war in Iraq; even though it would appear that he originally noted that it would, in fact, be illegal under international law.  He’s never had his legal judgement on that matter tried in court.  He has, however, had his legal judgement on the SFO investigation into BAe tested, and he was wrong.

I strongly suspect he was wrong about Iraq too.  Everyone else in Blair’s government was.

We’re dangerous

April 7, 2008

Atheists are dangerous. Even more dangerous than secularism. We are this evil:

It’s dangerous to the progression of this state. And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists! 

The philosophy of totalitarianism is taught in almost every school in the Western world, the philosophies of Stalin, Mao and Hitler are taught in most schools, and children will most certainly come across them.  Children are – or should be – familiar with Hitler’s odious “final solution”. The philosophy of Islamic fundamentalism has, in recent years, been frequently on the front pages of newspapers, and headline news. But all this is small fry.

Atheism is dangerous. It is insidious. It will kill your wife, place porn on your computer and e-mail it to your neighbors. Its mere existence will cause a collapse in space-time and tune your television to hard-core porn. It will turn your cat in to a dog, and your dog in to a spitting cobra.  It will change you in to a lemming, and force you to jump off of a cliff – even though lemmings don’t actually do this. It is also a strange shade of mauve.

It is so dangerous, that even knowing that it exists will destroy everything.  Even being aware of the existence of atheists will corrupt the youth, and destroy civilization.

You have been warned.

Yours, the Evil Atheist Conspiracy.


April 7, 2008

I’m clearly not swearing enough:

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April 1, 2008

While I remember, the Carnival of the Godless #88 is up at the Atheist FAQ.