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Here in the West and in the East we have our religious nutters.   What is not being covered as much in the media here is the moderate response to the “film” the Innocence of Muslims.  Avaaz.org has a great article which I’ve taken bits out of and posted for your reading pleasure.

Seven things you may have missed in the ‘Rage’:

Like everyone else, many Muslims find the 13 minute Islamophobic video “Innocence of Muslims” trashy and offensive. Protests have spread quickly, tapping into understandable and lasting grievances about neo-colonialist US and western foreign policy in the Middle East, as well as religious sensitivities about depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. But the news coverage often obscures some important points:

1. Early estimates put participation in anti-film protests at between 0.001 and 0.007% of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims – a tiny fraction of those who marched for democracy in the Arab spring.

2. The vast majority of protesters have been peaceful. The breaches of foreign embassies were almost all organised or fuelled by elements of the Salafist movement, a radical Islamist group that is most concerned with undermining more popular moderate Islamist groups.

3. Top Libyan and US officials are divided over whether the killing of the US ambassador to Libya was likely pre-planned to coincide with 9/11, and therefore not connected to the film.

4. Apart from attacks by radical militant groups in Libya and Afghanistan, a survey of news reports on 20 September suggested that actual protesters had killed a total of zero people. The deaths cited by media were largely protesters killed by police.

5. Pretty much every major leader, Muslim and western, has condemned the film, and pretty much every leader, Muslim and western, has condemned any violence that might be committed in response.

6. The pope visited Lebanon at the height of the tension, and Hezbollah leaders attended his sermon, refrained from protesting the film until he left, and called for religious tolerance. Yes, this happened.

7. After the attack in Benghazi, ordinary people turned out on the streets in Benghazi and Tripoli with signs, many of them in English, apologising and saying the violence did not represent them or their religion.

Add to that the number of really big news stories that were buried last week to make room for front page, angry Muslim “Clash” coverage. In Russia tens of thousands of protesters marched through Moscow to oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin. Hundreds of thousands of Portuguese and Spaniards turned out for anti-austerity protests; and more than a million Catalans marched for independence.

    I really wish my job was harder on finding and featuring the appalling nature of religion and the horrible shite it makes people do.  Today’s disservice features Cardinal Timothy Dolan arguing that if forced to allow women access to  birth control they intend to cease their charitable work done by the church on behalf of the poor.  The illogical depravity of such a statement is currently ripping a hole in my frontal lobes as I seem currently unable to process this level of outrageous stupidity.

Un-frakking-believeable.  This is why religion needs to be shat out of the collective bowel of humanity; as it has (once again) proven that religious doctrine has no place in a civilized rational society.

 

Clean your brain with Steven Fry’s thoughts on the RCC –

Only in Alberta does the the electorate consider ending the 40 year term of the staunchly right wing Progressive Conservatives with a party that is, you guessed it gentle reader,  further to the right.  It is only the false populist veneer of the Alberta Wild Rose Party that makes it appear palatable to the people of Alberta.

My progressive bones shudder with the thought of electing a party that is considered the fast-track to completing the journey to the dark-side of corporatocracy.    Make no mistake, the WRP party was spawned by the Conservative effort, namely the Royalty Resource Review, to give the people of Alberta a more reasonable deal when it came to the extraction of resources from this province.  The Royalty Review, even in its gutted state, cost Ed Stelmach his job as premier and cries rang out through the oil patch of ‘never again’; cue the WRP resurgence – a party for the oil companies people of Alberta.

Fortunately, for sanity’s sake, the WRP is made up mostly of dyed in the fool social and fiscal conservatives.  These conservative-clowns have now been unleashed on the public and have been busy finding ever larger calibre of guns to shoot themselves in the foot with as the election draws near.  Let’s begin with Allan – Homos Will Burn – Hunsperger’s thoughts on sexual orientation –

Musing on the Lady Gaga song ‘Born This Way,’ which preaches tolerance, Allan Hunsperger wrote that: “You can live the way you were born, and if you die the way you were born, then you will suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire, hell, a place of eternal suffering.

Wow, now that is Christian bigotry Love in action.  All the stupid fuckwittery of religion and intolerance on display, you would think the leader of the WRP would kick this sack of bug-frak crazy out of the party.   It would be the rational course of action…

Time to burn homos. Love Jesus. How can you believe in shite like this in the 21st century?

At a campaign event in Calgary, Wildrose leader Danielle Smith refused to condemn Hunsperger’s views. From Postmedia:

“When a person is making personal statements in their capacity as a pastor, which he was, I don’t think anybody should be surprised that they’re expressing certain viewpoints,” she said outside a Wildrose photo opportunity at the Calgary Hindu Society’s temple.

“It was a year ago when he was talking in his capacity as a pastor. He now understands, we’ve spoken, we’ve communicated on this, that we will not be legislating on contentious social issues. He understands that. He accepts that.

Hey, in the WRP upfront religious delusion is A-OKAY.  Nothing like this will go into making secular public policy…honest..we swear on the very tears of Jesus!!!   Oh and there is bonus material as well apparently Captain Crazy also has his pastor mojo on over another great evil in society – The public school system!!1!!11!  In his own frothy words:

This includes those students, staff, and families who identify or are perceived as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two- spirit, queer or questioning their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The Board expects all members of our diverse community to be welcomed, respected, accepted, and supported in every school.” Why this from our public educators? Because they believe people were “born this way” and have a right to die this way. The blind leading the blind! Now every Christian school that has come under the Edmonton Public School board will have to adopt this as well. Trapped! For years I have warned Christian educators that you can’t partner with public education because public education is godless. As far as public education is concerned, there is no God

Yes, there you have Admiral Nut-Butter Von Douche-Bigot of the good ship Homophobia whinging on about the anti-bulling policy of the school board.  How dare it be tolerant of the devil children and all their evil!  Frak me jebus, why isn’t this man running the party!

Religious delusion aside, the Wild Rose Party of Alberta also happens to be chock full of privileged while males…

And Everywhere the Wild Rose Party is as well.

I believe that for the people of Calgary-Greenway they need a change. They need someone who has a passion for their community, someone who will represent their community and I believe that as a Caucasian I have an advantage that for the Punjabi community I am able to speak for the whole community and to lift the community up in our region,” CTV reported Leech as saying on the video.

“I believe when I come to our community here I am very concerned that the Punjabi community have not been esteemed, lifted up. When a Punjabi leader speaks for the Punjabi, the Punjabi are listening but when a Caucasian speaks on their behalf everybody is listening.” The host of the program then said he agrees with Leech’s statement.
Wildrose officials said the video was recorded about two weeks ago, before Leech made similar controversial comments to Fairchild Radio on Sunday.
“I think as a Caucasian I have an advantage,” Leech said during the radio interview. “When different community leaders such as a Sikh leader or a Muslim leader speaks they really speak to their own people in many ways. As a Caucasian I believe that I can speak to all the community.”

Leech, a long-time a pastor, apologized earlier this week for his radio comments, […]

This is lobe exploding material – Ron Leech who honestly believes that by default White is RIGHT when it comes to representing a constituency.   Because isn’t it superobvious that the white man represents all people much better than any of those colour folk.  Amirite?  Y’all?!?

Damn, you would think that bigots and racists would have learned by now to keep this kind of shit holstered until after the election.  And unfucking surprisingly, we get these progressive words from yet another kindly loving Man of God.  The vile duplicity of religion is being put on glorious display, you would think that our news media might mention that fact somewhere…  but no we get the lukewarm saccharine mewings from our media about candidates questionable behaviour.

Certainly now, Denial Danielle Smith (The science is still out on whether or not Danielle Smith has more than two neurons to rub together) would apologize for this carnival of crazy and boot these loons out of the party.   Instead we get a rancorous “Oh Hell No!” from Danielle Smith –

“EDMONTONWildrose Leader Danielle Smith on Friday headed into the final weekend of the Alberta election campaign on the defensive, insisting that a candidate who said a white politician was better able to represent the community had simply misspoken.

Ah yes, let us NOT hold Mr.Lake of Fire and Mr.White Power accountable for their reprehensible actions, just STFU Albertans and elect them already; the WRP has a province to run in the interests of the Oil companies.

Vote for the WRP party! Embrace Corporatism!

I wonder if they have any religious prognosticators in Japan telling the people that abortionists, feminists, homosexuals and secular society was the reason for their natural disaster?

Apparently 9/11 was the result of god’s anger if you listen to certain prominent members of the  US religious community.

Yes, with sure faced certainty these two ratbags are commenting solemnly on the will of god and what the ‘rampant secularization’ has caused in the USA.   I’m betting such religious mendacity would not see the light of day in Japan, as belief in the supernatural is squarely in the private realm in the island nation.   The earthquakes and tsunami in Japan are being dealt with in a rational cogent manner, no supernatural boogy-man involved or necessary.

Update – Americans keep it classy on facebook.

Update- A good portion of America is crazy.

I’m glad the Globe and Mail fired Rick Salutin because we certainly need more of the risible god-bagging apologetics and whinging over the evils of ‘strident Atheists’.  Irshad Manji grapples with these great problems(?) with considerable aplomb as she is a card carrying member of the religiously addled, reality challenged sect.  Her first paragraph does incite some hope, maybe this piece will not be a festival of banal accommodationalist drivel.

“In this, the season of giving, I propose we give novelty a chance – novelty, that is, in the debate between atheists and people of faith.”

Ooh… so far so good…

“Let’s move beyond the stale polemics that insult everybody’s intelligence.”

*sigh* It is those humourless irascible Atheists and their tone!  Let us just be clear here about who has the problem and who does not.

Rational people inform their decisions based on evidence that is available to them.  Informing your decision making process on mythology and declared ‘truth’ is the path that wends distinctly away from any sort of rationally coherent underpinning.  Having a distinct preference for reality based decision making, as opposed to “my sky daddy says so”, is not a particularly strident position, but rather an overreaction on the part of the deluded when you point to their pet mythology and magic men and call ‘bullshit’.   Sorry believers, but without evidence it sounds like you are arguing for the existence Unicorns and Santa Claus.  Rational people find it hard to take mystical arguments like this very seriously.

We must soldier on though, and hit the low-points of this particular bit of whinging about the evils of atheism.

“I’m riveted by a new biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran pastor who famously opposed the Nazi regime – and was hanged for his role in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Bonhoeffer grew up in a household that valued science, logic and independent thinking. A habit of asking questions helped him pierce Nazi orthodoxy early on, and his vascular faith motivated him to do something about it. Bottom line: His moral courage came from a combination of reason and religion.”

Citation needed.   Did his moral thinking explicitly come from a combination of reason and religion?   The qualities mentioned, valuing science, logic and independent thinking are atypical of those encouraged by religious institutions.  Of course, he could be the insider and saw religion for the hokey sham that it is and decided to rely on reason instead of magic to inform his decision making processes.

“So it’s shallow to suggest we must choose between God and progress.”

The world is 14 Billion(ish) years old.  The world is 6,000 years old.  One statement is based of fact, the other… well, not so much.  Is it important to note that even a little magic in one’s thought processes can have deleterious effects.  Ask those who lecture on the evils of ‘refined sugar‘ or those who believe you can make happy water; see what a little magic in your thinking can do for you?  So, the divide between rational and religious influenced thought is a little deeper than the “shallow” pond Manji suggests.

“But if it’s entertainment value we’re after, we should know that the “new” atheists are only rehashing what’s already been said umpteen times. In the late 1700s […]”

Unfortunately the delusion known as religion has formidable staying power, praying to the sky-daddy makes people feel good.  Furthermore, repeating a fact when faced with irrational nonsense is not necessarily a bad thing.  The religious bullshit has not changed over the centuries (more handwaving granted, but still no proof), so why should the rational response change?  Ahh, but instead of talking about how transparently false religion is, lets project the evil that religion is known for onto Atheism:

“[…] historian Edward Gibbons – a luminary of the British Enlightenment and a consummate skeptic – observed that the “bigotry” of the anti-God squad mimics the fanaticism of churchmen.”

Oh ho!  Checkmate Atheists!  Your religion dedication to rationality is just as bad as our belief in Jeebus (allah,etc, insert your fairytale here, not to mention our fallacious friend the Tu Quoque argument)!  I wonder when apologists will stop comparing non believers to the deluded when the real issue is the inherent irrationality of religious belief.

But apparently, I am being to harsh on Ms.Manji as she advocates a “different” debate.  It must be my stridency, inherent in Atheism, showing through.

“Today’s conversation can be different. In January of 2009, novelist Salman Rushdie and I had a public discussion in New York to mark the 20th anniversary of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomaini’s death warrant against him. Mr. Rushdie and I thoroughly agreed on the need to defend freedom of thought, conscience and expression.

Toward the end of our exchange, he took a jab at my belief in God. I chuckled and retorted that the existence of successful atheists like him is proof positive that a merciful God exists. Mr. Rushdie laughed affectionately. Clearly, this debate can be had with deep appreciation of the other.”

From xkcd

Wow.  Proof positive a merciful god exists.  Oh wait, no proof here, just anecdotal evidence that a noted Atheist when confronted with a dyed in the wool believer, just does not want to go there, again, because the bullshit is the same, just coming from a different mouth.  Dragging people up Mount Rationality is a difficult, often frustrating process and frankly, until people see the delusion for themselves it is often not worth a rational persons time and effort explaining that god, like unicorns and santa (most likely) do not exist.

Here’s my humble contribution: It may be that atheists themselves are inadvertently affirming the existence of a loving God. Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese sage, noted that a great leader makes his followers believe they’ve led themselves. In that sense, a scientist, humanist or atheist who chalks up all progress to the human mind could be showing what an empowering and effective leader God actually is.”

I just vomited up my corpus callosum and it is yelling at me for feeding it such inane batshittery.

It could be, also Ms.Manji, that these people inspired by Reason and the quest for knowledge did some remarkable things.  No god or magic required.  Of course you could defend your position on how awesome a leader god is by explaining how righteous and purposeful smallpox, AIDS, hell even malaria, are without resorting mysticism.  We’ll just leave the floor open for your response on that one Ms.Manji, but please watch your tone for stridency.

“No doubt, this idea will come off as insane to some. But if so, why is it crazy? As a person of faith, I’m used to being challenged by atheists – among them, Richard Dawkins, who heckled me from the audience when I spoke at Oxford University. “

Good on Dawkins for speaking up when you bring your edifice of irrationality to the table and attempt to pass it off as a notion that deserves credibility.  Magic and myth need to be called out each time they attempt to stick their head into goings on in the real word.  Hopefully Ms.Manji, you learned something from Dawkins’ line of questioning, although your Op-Ed suggests quite another conclusion.

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