Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Brian: No, no. Please, please please listen. I've got one or two things to say.
The Crowd: Tell us! Tell us both of them!
Brian: Look, you've got it all wrong. You don't need to follow me. You don't need to follow anybody! You've got to think for yourselves! You're all individuals!
The Crowd: Yes! We're all individuals!
Brian: You're all different!
The Crowd: Yes! We're all different!
Man in crowd: I'm not...
Man in crowd: Shhh!
Brian: You've all got to work it out for yourselves.
The Crowd: Yes! We've got to work it out for ourselves!
Brian: Exactly!
The Crowd: Tell us more!
Brian: No! That's the point! Don't let anyone tell you what to do!
 - Monty Python's 'Life of Brian' (quotes sourced from IMDB)

There has been a lot of who-ha around lately surrounding the issue of religious beliefs, blasphemy and freedom of speech. I’d like to add my own personal thoughts to this very matter. The first part of this blog will be my own ramblings, using a variety of sources to back up or support or highlight my points. You know – a normal blog! I’ll ramble and roam and hopefully hit on a few valid points!

The second part of this blog coming in the next day or two will include a more structured and possibly civilised open letter/email to all of Ireland’s MEP’s regarding the recent declaration by Catherine Ashton. My letter will be inspired by this blog post.

Let us begin exactly with what she said and with whom she said it. That will lead into my main argument.

The aforementioned Catherine Ashton is the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs. A few weeks back she issued a joint statement with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League, on the “importance of respecting all prophets”.  This is the same OIC that has for years been seeking to adopt a legally binding prohibition against blasphemy most recently in the UN. As Michael Nugent pointed out, “Respecting all prophets would mean respecting not only the prophets of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, but also respecting David Koresh at Waco, and David Icke who believes that George Bush is a space lizard. This is clearly absurd. We can respect your right to believe, while not respecting the content of your beliefs. You have rights. Your beliefs do not. That is the essence of freedom of conscience.”
What I find most astonishing is these prophets and gods that our politicians aim to protect, need us mortals to fight their battles for them here on earth. If they actually existed and heard our ‘blasphemies’ and were truly so concerned about our cruel, hurtful words – why not do the old god thing and smite some poor suckers? You know? Show yourself to be angry, then speak from a cloud and apologise for the smiting saying, it was an incident that shouldn’t have happened…. and won’t happen again….. words to the effect of something like… oh I don’t know…… this:
'My smitings have brought deep shame. But shame is not enough. The smiting of said suckers is a grievous sin against god…. I mean me. Therefore we focus not on shame but on my sorrow for your sins. This terrible crime, and the inadequate response by some Church leaders, to my smitings grieve us all. Afterall…. You started it with your name calling.’

Hmmmm, no that won’t work. That’s too much of a ‘pass the buck’ attitude. We need more zazz.

How about:
"The suffering and trauma endured by some suckers who have been smited while refusing to respect my authoritah, and the effect on their family members, is a matter of continuing shame and dismay to all gods. Let us be very clear. The smiting of the suckers was, is and always will be a crime, and is contrary to all I believe in. But seriously. Just believe in the prophets, don’t question and I won’t need to do this again.”
Yes……that’s more from the heart. We’ll stick with that one for the time being. But rest assured oh prophet Space Lizard Bush – I know of an institution whose recent existence has been all about learning different ways to apologise for the same thing. If you need to call them their number is 1-800-GENERICOLGY – they’re also online at www.genericclericapology.abuse or www.institutionalcriminals.vatican In fact – your two apologetic examples above are paraphrasing some of their members worldwide apologies! They know how to apologise to so many different cultures and nationalities in the same meaningless fashion – if they can’t help you no one can.

So while EU citizens of all beliefs are being told to respect all prophets by the EU’s highest foreign policy prophet, here in what I like to call ‘reality’ or ‘everyday life’ we the people have an Institution full of prophets that blasphemes against my belief system: humanity. And it has done it since the first days of its formation. It has blasphemed against women, gay people, scientists, Muslim’s, Protestants, children…. everyone that isn’t deemed ‘Christian’. That institution is the Catholic Church. I have questions regarding their blasphemy aimed at our politicians.
When are we going to have a senior politician stand up and call out this criminal institution for the wrongs it has actually committed and worse still – covered up. The very Pope that ‘apologises’ for the abuse of children, is the same man that wrote the laws that damned the victims.
When will we have a senior politician who will stand up and tell this institution that their views on gay marriage are not even worthy of being associated with the stone age? Their views are so, so wrong. Plain and simple.
When will we have a senior politician come out and chastise the religious for having those whose interpretation of what their religion, religious book and prophet teaches, leads to crimes against humanity like this
What big men they’ve proved themselves to be shooting a 14 year old girl . I am not implying that all take their beliefs as literally as the above – but that is where the danger of Catherine Ashton’s statement becomes very apparent: the interpretation of ‘prophets’ and whose prophet says what to them. Some have a prophet or god who teaches them crap like this and some feel they have the right to say this. In fact, there are the beginnings of a few cracks starting to appear in one religious institution. One hopes more feel duty bound to speak out like Fr Hans Küng.

Lastly, I ask where are the voices in our political elite when the aforementioned authoritarian, criminal institution, the Roman Catholic Church, deems me and other people to be less than human? Where is Catherine Ashton’s voice condemning the following hate speech of one Benedict XVI? This Pope believes that gays and lesbians are, ‘less-than’. They are "incomplete".

I quote the following passage from a blog post by Michael Nugent because I believe what he says is so true and overall it is such a serious matter.

“Pope Benedict recently said that to truly live up to our being we must recognise that we are dependent on God. And Pope John Paul II said that a culture which rejects God cannot be considered fully human; that spiritual values are ultimately what make us fully human; and that Jesus came to teach us what it means to be fully human.
This dangerous arrogance is spread by Cardinals and Bishops and theologians. Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor has said that atheists are not fully human because we leave out the search for transcendent meaning that he calls God. Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo has said that we will be fully human when we see the shining face of God. Cardinal Paul Poupard has said that there does not exist a fully human culture that is not open to the dimension of faith;. Bishop Patrick O’Donogue has said that the fundamental needs of the human person can only be truly fulfilled through encounter with the deepest truths about God and the human person.
More disturbingly, this dangerous arrogance is embedded in the principles of Catholic education of children. The Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario says its Fully Alive program was created to help Catholic parents teach their children to be fully human. An Archdiocesan Board of Education in Iowa says that a Catholic school’s program must concern itself with the whole child in development that is fully human and thoroughly Catholic. Roncalli Catholic High School in Nebraska says its students become more fully human by becoming more deeply aware of God, self and others. Pope John Paul II Catholic School in Chicago says that it fulfills a person’s right to be fully human. Holy Cross Catholic College in Bury says a Catholic College strives to be fully human. These are only some examples.”

This is a far more serious matter than people wish to acknowledge. In humanities recent history, can you remember back to the teachings of a particular political party telling its people that a certain part of society were less than human? What were the consequences of those teachings?

Words have massive influence on people’s thoughts and it is for this reason that I await Catherine Ashton’s joint declaration with secularists and atheists on the need to respect all people from the threat of religious institutional and interpretive man made intolerance. Blaming ones personal beliefs on a figment of ones imagination is just a handy excuse for people that make known their prejudices. All people are important and should be respected no matter what their beliefs, but beliefs should not cost others their freedom. We the people exist. The proof? We pay the politicians salaries.

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