Ivory Coast

I have made the early New Years resolution to blog more or maybe broadcast my thoughts via Ustream…but we’ll see how long that lasts.

Anyway, today’s story comes from Africa.

When a person has seized control of a country, open fired on UN troops and demanded that they get out, are they really going to pay attention to sanctions?

The UN, toothless as it is, needs to play a more prominent role in ensuring that it’s values are adhered to. This means that it cannot be hijacked by bigoted countries looking to curtail human rights of gays or those who wish to speak out about religion. It also means that when it see’s something like this happen, it has to act in a meaningful way.

The sanctions will not work as from all appearances, the only language that Gbagbo knows is violence. I’ll go on record now and say that if the UN presences diminishes in anyway whatsoever this will become yet another sad and unnecessary conflict on the African continent.

What’s needed to overcome this is a show of force from the international community under the direction of the UN. Without this, Gbagbo will continue to have his way in direct opposition to the values that the UN stands for.

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Messing with my Christian friends on Facebook… #Athiesm #Satan

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Ignorance vs Politically Incorrect

Of late, in New Zealand there’s been a bit of a bruhaha over the resignation of Paul Henry.

A couple of Facebook posts later I find myself under fire for being one of those “Politically Correct” prudes who needs to loosen up and have a sense of humour about it. Here’s my response.

It’s fine to mock people about aspects of their life that they are able to choose and do something about. For example, if you choose to eat crap food and not exercise, you will get fat. This is as simple as cause and effect and a case of personal responsibility (or lack thereof) and therefore is is fair to mock people about this. It’s alright to mock someone if they are hypocritical as people can choose what they say in any situation and then, if their actions or later words contradict this, they should be called on it. I would expect to be called on it if I contradicted myself at any point, this is only right and in my view, a fair exchange. It’s also fine to mock things like religion as people choose their religion and people can change their religions fairly easily – strict Islamic countries aside.

Mocking someone’s religion and weight is not politically correct. What it is, is deriving humour from the conscious choices that the people in question have made.

Note that this implies that the person who is deriving the humour from the situation does so in an articulate way as simply saying “your fat” is not funny (in most cases). The joke has to have a preamble that sets it up and a punch line that delivers a laugh. For example, The Pope, despite being the right hand of god (according to Catholics), still needs to rely on bullet proof glass in the Pope mobile. What happened to the power of prayer. This in and of itself is ludicrous enough to be laughable…

On the other hand, mocking or deriving humour from people about aspects of their life that they can do nothing about, such as their ethnicity, sexual preference or physical or mental handicap is ignorant and very likely to be found offensive. In Paul Henry’s case, the racial slurs. The only exception to this that I can think of is self-depreciating humour if you happen to be part of one of these groups. For example, someone with no legs making jokes about handicapped people.

Both of the above examples can be classed as politically incorrect, the subtle difference is that in one, people are being held to account for their decisions and in the other, they are being mocked for something that they have no power over.

Or – and here is where I go trolling – to put it in language that Paul Henry supporters might understand, one requires you to think, the other doesn’t. I say this as if you browse any of the support groups for Paul Henry on Facebook, the vast majority of his supporters just so happen to be white and judging by the grammar of their status updates and comments, lacking a good education.

It’s the difference between being mean and being funny.

The best example I can give of someone who does this well is Bill Maher who has a show called Real Time. It screens on Friday night in the States on HBO and can be downloaded like any other shows you might download. Check it out…it’s class!

The religion of peace – used by a Government of sexist thugs

Yet another example of the Iranian Government failing to employ modern human rights and simply suspends the stoning of this woman who has really done nothing wrong. Harmed no one and definitely does not deserve to be stoned to death.

I have a feel that I speak for the majority of “civilised” people when I label this punishment as a barbaric remnant of the dark ages, practiced only by those who still wish to live in the stone age, but by the same token, use very modern weapons in an attempt to enforce their religion on those “infidels” who do not wish to submit all of thier basic human rights to an outdated superstition.

The fact that this can and does happen in this day and age sickens me. If anyone has any kind of petition to sign, post it in the comments – however it comes down to the principle as I doubt that the Iranian government listens to anyone – especially the will of the people.

Star Wars quote for Religion

After reading this story, it has become apparent to me that they key way that Islam (and needless to say all religions but predominantly radical Islam) will be through it’s intolerance.

This is hardly a surprise but it does bring to mind the infamous quote by Princess Leia from Star Wars – A New Hope:

The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

And just like the evil empire, radical Islam seems to tighten its grip and hopefully push those moderate Islamists out there to the left. I say hopefully because in all of my internet searching, I’m yet to really find the voice of moderate Islam. Assuming of course there is such a thing as moderate Islam.

Does this mean that our last, best hope will be all those opposed joining forces, hardly,  given the “Ye shall take no god before me” commandment…so in that case, who will be our Luke Skywalker and Han Solo?

You, that’s who. Join the conversation, have a voice and do what you can to fight the oppression of the evil that is religion!

Podcast 001 – 2009-10-30 – Halloween

  
Download now or listen on posterous

2009-10-31 – Halloween.mp3 (15285 KB)

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Adoption rights for gays is tantamount to ‘child abuse’, says the Catholic Church

While on Twitter today I was sent a link by @Denyreligion to this site. It made me angry and here’s why.

As you may be aware, the Catholic Church has been ordered to pay millions of pounds in settlement for the crimes it committed in abusing children in Ireland. Since this information has become public the Catholic Church is yet to apologise. The closest it has come is saying that and this is not a direct quote but something very close to it: “Child abuse is bad but there are x thousand abortions happening every year and that is much worse since those children die”.

And that’s it. No sorry, no we will reform our ways simply justifying what they have done by saying that there are worse things (I refuse to use the word crime when speaking about abortion) happening in the world.

Given this rationale, I think I might just visit my local Aston Martin dealer and steal a DBS because we all know that there are people being murdered out there.

Furthermore, no one has been charged with anything. So the perpetrayors of all the abuse that took place seem to have gotten away scott free. That disgusts me.

In this article, it is clear and no attempt has been made to hide the discriminatory nature of the Vatican. The Vatican issued a directive saying that children should not be adopted out to homosexual couples. They claim that this is tantamount to child abuse. Given the record of the Catholic Church in relation to looking after children, that disgusts me as well.

When the San Francisco board claimed this to be: “An insult to all San Franciscans when a foreign country, like the Vatican, meddles with and attempts to negatively influence this great City’s existing and established customs and traditions such as the right of same-sex couples to adopt and care for children in need.” The resolution viewed a claim from the Vatican that, “allowing children to be adopted by persons living in [homosexual] unions would actually mean doing violence to these children” as defamatory in nature and “absolutely unacceptable to the citizenry of San Francisco.”. The Board said such defamatory language was: Insulting and callous, and shows a level of insensitivity and ignorance which has seldom been encountered by this Board of Supervisors.

I applaud the San Francisco board in this action.

But not to be outdone, the Catholic Church has hit back saying that this: “The policy of San Francisco is one of totalitarian intolerance of Christians of all denominations who oppose homosexual conduct. My concern is that if this ruling is allowed to stand, it will further embolden anti-Christian attacks.”

They then went on to say that “Our constitution plainly forbids hostility toward any religion, including the Catholic faith. In total disregard for the Constitution, homosexual activists in positions of authority in San Francisco have abused their authority as government officials and misused the instruments of the government to attack the Catholic Church. Their egregious abuse of power now has the backing of a federal circuit court. This decision must be reversed …”

The Law society continued that: The Anti-Catholic resolution sends a clear message to plaintiffs and others who are faithful adherents to the Catholic faith that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message that those who oppose Catholic religious beliefs, particularly with regard to homosexual unions and adoptions by homosexual partners, are insiders, favored members of the political community.”

I for one, am actually very against the Catholic church or any religion for that matter having any role in politics. If someone speaks to an imaginary being, then they are simply not fit for public office. End of story.

The sad truth is that in this day and age the Catholic church can issue a brazenly discriminatory order and then claim that by no following it their rights are being violated. I stand utterly amazed that there are supposedly so many “intelligent” people who actually do not speak out against it.

It leaves me feeling both disgusted andthat much more passionate about speaking out against religion and the evil that it fosters.