“He was wearing a condom.”
An Iranian woman at a protest in Brussels highlights the barbarity of death by stoning, in which women are buried up to their necks in front of a crowd of volunteers. Photograph: Thierry Roge/Reuters
To the faithful, God seems to be whatever they want Him to be. Of course the problem is when they insist we must want Him, and we must want Him to be whatever they want Him to be. Then there is their claim that their God is love, peace, compassion and understanding, yet if we look at most of the violent troubles in the world we find that they split down religious lines. Where did all that love, peace, compassion and understanding go?
Within the Christian faith, interpretation of the Bible, (God’s sacred words) seems somewhat arbitrary. Women can be ordained, women can’t be ordained, Priests must be celibate, Priests needn’t be celibate. Some Bishops can find Biblical support for their belief that homosexuality is abhorrent and a sin. While other Bishops find support for their belief that same-sex love is a gift from God. However most have abandoned the Bible’s recommendation that neighbours who work on the Sabbath should be put to death. (Exodus xxxv – 2). Why are they selective, on whose authority do they uphold one recommendation yet abandon another?
Perhaps the Bishops could clarify this position. Since they have all arrived at their conflicting beliefs through the same sacred words of God, what are the criteria for interpretation of the sacred words of God, for spotting the Holy Spirit in action, recognising sin and recognising gifts from God. Or are their ways of reaching their conflicting conclusions as mysterious as God’s?
As rational human beings why do we need an infallible higher authority, shouldn’t we take responsibility for our own rules and actions? This would mean we are responsible for what we do and can’t hide under the banner of “doing God’s work” or “carrying out God’s words” With so many religions to choose from and each with its own infallible being at the top it is simply a case of our infallible being is more infallible than your infallible being. What is more the faithful are quite prepared to kill to prove this absurdity. Isn’t it time we stood up and said, “No Gods, no Masters and therefore no slaves.”
C.R.A.P. for short.
Any alien looking in on our society must come to the conclusion that we earthlings love CRAP. It is all they will see as we scurry about working in CRAP jobs for CRAP wages and in what little “leisure” time we have we rush around buying CRAP. We spend precious time discussing the benefits of this piece of CRAP as opposed to that piece of CRAP. We weigh up the difference between this pair of CRAP trainers and that pair of CRAP trainers, this CRAP label and that CRAP label. We consider we have choices when we select this CRAP newspaper or that CRAP magazine from the avalanche of CRAP paper pulp on offer. One CRAP supermarket after another offers us an array of CRAP food and TV vomits endless CRAP into our homes and we flick from CRAP Big-Brother to CRAP house make-overs, from CRAP lifestyle programs to CRAP celebrity chat shows.
Move to the realms of the “serious” CRAP and we have on offer CRAP political parties throwing up an display of smiling CRAP politicians, who, come election time, prance about offering CRAP policies in the hope that they can take their place in that CRAP institution at Westminster. What we get from the CRAP government of the day is such things as the CRAP war on drugs, that doesn’t work, CRAP tough on crime, that criminalizes poverty, CRAP war on terrorism, that is counterproductive,
can produce nothing but an abundance of CRAP as profit is the only motive.
produces CRAP freedom destroying dogma, based on the supposed mutterings of some airy-fairy gods.
gives us a CRAP life based on surveillance and strict unbending laws.
the last refuge of the scoundrel gives us CRAP racism and generates canon fodder for the state’s endless CRAP wars.
Is this the type of society that we want to bequeath to our children and their grandchildren? Should we not be taking control of our own affairs and producing to our needs based on sustainability? A world of free association, voluntary co-operation and mutual aid is possible, a world that accommodates us all as equals and prepares the world for the next generation rather than rob them of an existence.
First we have to get rid of C. R. A. P. Let’s start now.
A to Z of RELIGIONS.
Acclaim Arrogant Absolutes.
Bellow Bygone Beliefs.
Casuist Cackling Cabal.
Deadly Divine Dogma.
Embellish Earlier Errors.
Form Fearful Fundamentalists.
Gaily Gabble Gehenna.
Hype Holy Hate.
Ignorantly Idolise Illusion.
Justify Judgmental Jargon.
Knowingly Kindle Kulturkampf.
Lambaste Liberal Learning.
Machiavellian Mind Moulding.
Narrate Nescient Nostrum.
Obligatory Obnoxious Obfuscation.
Peremptory Pestiferous Panjandrum.
Quickly Quell Querists.
Redundant Reactionary Rants.
Suppress Scholastic Scepticism.
Totally Trammel Tolerance.
Ululate Useless Utterances.
Vaticinate Vicious Vengeance.
Wailing Wearisome Waffle.
‘xtol ‘xcessive ‘xaltation.
‘y? ‘y? ‘y?
Zany Zealous Zealots.
Atheism is not a belief, it is the absence of belief, therefore needs no argument to support it. Faith on the other hand needs argument to support the validity, or otherwise, of its sacred words.
Faith should be yours to choose, if there are those that feel the need or want to choose religion, then that’s fine. However to force a particular faith on a child is child abuse. It is taking advantage of the innocence of childhood and indoctrinating the child’s mind with a biased inflexible morality, stifling any route to a freethinking mind and lifestyle.
Religion should be measured by its fundamentalists, the believers of the literal text of their God’s words. When has a church excommunicated a fundamentalist, when have they brought down the wrath of their church on the head of a fundamentalist? However, if the individual goes to far the other way and becomes more liberal, moving away from the centre, the voice of the faithful booms out with vitriol and wrath.
Those “liberal-nice-guys” of religion are really saying, the “sacred words of God” are not that sacred, you can cherry-pick the bits you like and discard the bits you don’t, you can interpret it as you will. You have to ask them, do you believe these writings to be “sacred words of God” to be obeyed, the good bits the bad bits the miracles and all, or can anybody select what they like and interpret it as they wish? If you can discard, alter and interpret them to your own liking, why not abandon the lot and think for yourself as a rational human being.
One of the problems with the “Faiths” of the world is that each is convinced that theirs is the only true and therefore superior faith. Large numbers are quite prepared to die for their Faith and also to kill for that same “love of God.” We can find evidence of this in the newspapers every day. It is a strange “loving Divine Creature” that asks it followers to kill in its name, or blesses those that go to kill.
Surely as human beings we should take responsibility for our actions rather than looking to a higher authority whose existence is denied or called into question by vast swathes of humanity and even those who do believe can’t settle on a unified being as they squabble among themselves as to who has the true “sacred words.” and who are his true followers.
Only when we as human beings come together as equals and take responsibility for our actions and base those actions on evidence in the real world, seeking no higher authority than ourselves and work in co-operation to our mutual advantage will we start to create a peaceful world.
Anarchists are atheist, we aim for a world with no kings, no Gods, no presidents, simply communities of people working together with the future of all our children and grandchildren in mind. A free and peaceful world for all its colourful people.
The state system seems to survive in spite of its crippling restrictions on our civil liberties, today more than ever the state works against the general population and is simply the apparatus that keeps control of the population while the corporate world rapes and plunders the planet in its endless pursuit of profit. It protects a small group of pampered parasites and ensures that the wealth of the world flows in their direction and stays there. Why haven’t we as ordinary people brought and end to this enslaving system?
Perhaps it is because there is a powerful disposition in each of us toward developing a view of the truth, a value structure, that favours the circumstances into which we happened to have been born. Where we start from always seems normal, therefore correct, it is only with observation and reasoning that we realise other ways and start to question our values. Interaction with others should stimulate or reasoning, unfortunately, self ennoblement can be and often is, the invisible cement of religious and political dogma. Against this invisible barrier the only defence is the ruthless application of reason. Reason must be the doorman that evicts and prevents entry of self-serving false entailments that attempt to shape our value structures. inducing us to accept a false reality. Reason should force us to see our true position in relation to the social structures we build.
Each of us has the faculty of reason, and it is our right, as well as our responsibility, to exercise it. Surrendering this faculty to others, for what ever purpose, whether it be to the authority of the state, church or political party, is neither a rational nor an ethical option. Holding a particular belief can never relieve us of our responsibility to strive to justify our beliefs in the light of evidence. The state by its nature negates the individual’s right to govern his/her own life by reason, as it demands allegiance. Today we have marauding religion infested politics on the rampage with powerful states infused with religion, this is intrinsically flawed and extremely dangerous to us all, since they must insist on their version of the truth against all others. A considerable amount of the violence across the world is manifestation of this fact. How we interact, one with the other can have no reference to revelation but only to ethical truths that can be discovered through human reason. Our capacity for such reasoning and that each individual is capable of ethical consideration, is what gives each of us the right to equal worth, this in turn makes any need to appeal to divine revelation redundant. It should also allows to see the state in its true colour and look beyond this system to a better world built on reasoned co-operation and mutual aid.
Today is International Women’s Day – traditionally, a time to celebrate and honour women worldwide. However there is not much honour nor anything to celebrate in the fact that every minute a woman dies needlessly in childbirth. Almost always, her baby will die too. Pregnancy is not a disease, so it is all the more shocking to realise that at least 80% of these deaths are preventable. Poverty, lack of facilities and knowledge and religious traditions all play their part. Though poverty is probably the biggest player in this field, this is a human rights crisis, an avoidable crisis. Across the globe we should be putting pressure on the powers that be to address this issue which belongs to a bygone era. Somehow I fear that this issue will stay with us as long as we have the present system where profit overrides the welfare of the people.