Another one bites the metaphorical dust

November 27, 2008

And this time, it’s a police officer.

A Christian policeman who objected to being ‘bombarded’ at work by emails and posters promoting gay rights and events has been sacked for misconduct.

PC Graham Cogman, 50, responded to the ‘politically correct’ campaign by sending emails to colleagues which quoted religious texts and suggested homosexual sex was sinful.

Of course, being a good upstanding Christian citizen, he feels he has been discriminated against.

He confirmed he was considering an appeal against the dismissal and was continuing with plans to have his case heard by an employment tribunal on the grounds that he had been harassed over his Christian beliefs.

Apparently the police force don’t offer remedial courses in basic English.  He was not sacked because of what he believed – he was sacked because of what he did.  He is a police officer, and his duty is to uphold the law, not his personal beliefs.  If he cannot separate his personal beliefs from his actions, then he has no business being a police officer.

Good riddance to bad rubbish. One less bigot in the police can’t be a bad thing.


Here’s something strange…

October 29, 2008

I learned something today that I hadn’t realised before.  Now that I know it, it is both blindingly obvious, and remarkably funny.

Whenever I browse through the Reference section on the “App Store” section of Apple’s iTunes, I’m often curious as to how there can be so many different bible applications, and I was astonished at how much some people are charging for them.  Out of pure idle curiosity, I clicked on one that happened to be free, and read this rather amusing comment in the application’s description:

NIV, ESV, NKJV, etc. are copyrighted texts.  I cannot afford to pay the royalties.

The bible is copyrighted, and subject to royalty payments!  God, apparently, doesn’t believe in Open Source…

Legalised bigotry

July 10, 2008

This is ridiculous, infuriating, and just damned outrageous.  I previously wrote about a civil registrar who refused to do her job, because she was a homophobic bigot, and didn’t want to do her job.  She took Islington Council to an employment tribunal, claiming unfair discrimination.

Infuriatingly, she actually won.

A marriage registrar was harassed for refusing to conduct same-sex ceremonies, a tribunal has ruled.

Okay, she was harassed for attempting to break the law, which seems fine to me.  She’d be harassed if she was a racist or sexist, especially if her ignorance prevented from doing her job.  But in this case:

The tribunal ruled that Miss Ladele was discriminated against on grounds of religious beliefs and was harassed.

Or, in layman’s speak, “but it was okay, because she’s religious”.

This is bullshit.  This is utterly incredulous bullshit.

It is illegal in the UK to refuse to provide services to a person based on their sexual orientation.  Catholic adoption agencies fought hard and dirty to secure a religious opt-out.  Catholic politicians fought hard to secure a religious opt-out.  They failed.  The law of the land is quite clear: it is not acceptable – no: it is illegal – to refuse to provide a public service to a person based upon their sexual orientation.  Yet apparently, this employment tribunal thinks that there can be an exception to this law, because – erm – a person is religious.

Miss Ladele said she was being effectively forced to choose between her religion and her £31,000-a-year job as a result.

Of course she bloody was!  Like it or lump it, she provides a public service. As such, it is freaking illegal for her not to provide that service irrespective of the person’s sexual orientation.  If she didn’t like it she could simply find another f*cking job. This ruling makes a complete mockery of parliament (which doesn’t normally need a hand to be made a mockery of), and a complete mockery of the law.

But this pig-ignorant little bigot knows no bounds:

“It is a victory for religious liberty, not just for myself but for others in a similar position to mine.

Bullshit.  This – like every other debate going on within the churches at the moment – has f*ck-all to do with “religious liberty”, and everything to do with personal bigotry.

The next time some pissant little theist tries to claim religious discrimination, and state intimidation against religion, or some ridiculous form of martyrdom because they’re being oppressed by the state machinary, I’m not going to bother to point to the bishops in the house of Lords. Nor will I bother to point to the huge number of state schools run by religious institutions, or the ridiculous amount of money the Anglican church owns, or the unprecedented restrictions on the right to protest in Australia over the pope’s – hideously mis-named – “World Youth Day”.  I will simply point to this decision, which shows just how much power the religious really do have.

It’s sickening.

Here we go again.

May 21, 2008

Another day, another story about a religious bigot who refuses to do the job they’re paid for.

A civil registrar who refuses to officiate at partnerships between same-sex couples, claiming that it is “sinful” and against her religion, has brought a legal case that could have implications for ceremonies conducted throughout the country.

Note that this is a civil registrar, employed by the town hall to perform a public duty.  She is not paid to discriminate.  Once again, there is a simple solution to her dilemma: get another job.  If you have a particular conviction then you should be the one to suffer for it, not the general public.  I don’t care what that conviction is. For example: when I started work as a programmer, I wrote real-time motion control applications (monitoring and robotics, prinicpally), as such I could probably demand a high wage in the arms industry writing missile guidance systems.  But I have a private conviction that I won’t write applications for the military, so I don’t.  I forgo the money I could make writing military applications, and opt to do the best job I can in civil industries.  What I don’t do is what this woman is doing: I don’t go screaming to the arms industry claiming discrimination.

The simple fact is that this woman – like many religious people, including some of our own polititians – is a bigot.  She may also be religious, but this is simply an attempt to make her bigotry “acceptable”, and it is telling indeed that many in the media – and in government – appear to be buying this hook, line and sinker.

But it gets worse.  This homophobic bigot is claiming persecution too because:

Ms Ladele, who has worked for the council for 16 years, alleged that she was accused of being homophobic by gay colleagues at Islington town hall and was shunned by staff after refusing to carry out civil partnerships.

You read that right.  She’s actively attempting to discriminate against gays, and is shocked – shocked! – to find that she’s being described as homophobic.  But isn’t that precisely what she is?  Or is she claiming that the word “homophobic” cannot be applied to someone who is religious?

She claimed that she was “ridiculed” by her boss, the superintendent registrar Helen Mendez-Childs, when she raised her concerns about the new ceremonies in August 2004.

Ridicule?  Personally, I couldn’t heap enough ridicule on this woman, and I think she’s doing a pretty damned good at ridiculing herself.  But what was this alleged ridicule?

Ms Ladele said that her superior had told her that her stance was akin to a registrar refusing to marry a black person.

And her superior had it bang on the money.  It is akin to a registrar refusing to marry a black person.  It is akin to refusing to marry an inter-racial couple. It is unwarranted discrimination, and it is wrong.

“There was no respect whatsoever for my religious beliefs,” she said.

And neither should there be.  Respect is earned.  Just because a belief is religious does not suddenly mean it has earned respect.  If superstitious clap-trap is making you believe stupid things, then you believe stupid things, and those views don’t suddenly become worth of respect: they’re still worthy of horror and ridicule.

It’s about time the religious started feeling uncomfortable discriminating against gays.  It’s about time that politicians ignored any organisation that promotes this kind of bigotry, instead of pandering to them. And it’s about time that those religious people who feel that their “personal convictions” stop them performing the duties they are paid to perform either found other jobs, or stopped having such stupid “personal convictions”.

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”.



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.