Posts Tagged ‘Humanity’

Posted on July 16, 2007 in Religion by Andy @ Yellow Swordfish13 Comments »

Fellow Witanagemot member, L’Ombre de l’Olivier has bought to my attention a debate taking place in the Washington Post between Michael Gerson and our old friend Christopher Hitchens on the nature of atheism. I am not about to quote any of these articles but they are all worth a read.

What really rankles with me is this old hogwash perpetually pedalled by the religiously inclined that an atheist cannot possibly have a strong set of moral values and that only an adherence to a religious faith can provide the moral platform, teaching and structure that we all need to live a peaceful, law-abiding and productive life. Far too many people implicitly believe this bullshit and far more are taken in by it and are ready to shout ‘I believe’ to show the world they are grounded in religion and therefore must be ‘good’. And compared to those people I am more honest. I am an atheist. It’s not something I am proud of and it’s not something I preach – I just am.

I am an atheist on two counts. The first, and the major reason, is that I have never been presented with any compelling argument to believe in what Hitchens calls the ‘Heavenly Dictatorship’ whereas I have been consistently presented with arguments that make common sense, have scientific evidence to back them up and that do not rely on a far-fetched belief in the supernatural or ethereal. And I feel in absolutely no way diminished by this stance. The second reason, of course, is having been bought up in a predominantly Christian tradition, any research into the history of this established religion makes it obvious to me that it is not a club I wish to belong to. It is, in short, morally corrupt. It is, in fact, more corrupt than any atheist I have ever met.

In the last week alone we have seen the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Church payout $660 million dollars to the victims of priestly abuse and a wave of Christian protest because a Hindu chaplain said a prayer at the opening of the US Senate session. Abuse, lies, violence and intolerance. And these people have the nerve to be critical of atheism. We all know that if Jesus turned up in Bible Belt America he wouldn’t last five minutes before, at the best, being run out of town but at the worse seriously assaulted and probably shot. And Christians are not, of course, alone. Muslims slaughtering fellow Muslims is daily news around the world.

Groucho Marx once famously quipped that he’d rather not belong to any club that would have him as a member. In the opposite way, I don’t want to be a member of any club that has those Los Angeles and Boston priests – or the repressed bible thumpers – claiming the moral high ground because I’d pitch my own set of moral values against theirs any day.

Posted on June 16, 2007 in Life in England by Andy @ Yellow SwordfishComments Off

If she had beaten him up with a cricket bat; robbed him of all his possessions; set fire to his house etc., then I feel sure that Amanda Monti would have been given more than two and a half years in prison. But ripping off one of his testicles with her bare hands and then trying to swallow it?
Makes you want to go and have a lie down doesn’t it?
I bet she wont even be placed on the Sex Offenders List for this one.

Posted on April 22, 2007 in Religion by Andy @ Yellow Swordfish2 Comments »

I have tried – really, I have tried. I have read books and websites. I have watched documentaries and interviews. I have had conversations. And without fail, every Muslim tells me that theirs is a religion of tolerance and peace; that they abhor violence; that they cherish human dignity and human life. They tell me that those who plant bombs and carry out acts of inhuman violence in such places as Iraq are an extremist few who do not represent the true spirit of Islam. I have tried to embrace this, but with every day that passes, as atrocity is piled upon atrocity – whether state sponsored in countries such as Iran or in the family home against their wives and daughters – these claims are sounding more and more hollow and hypocritical.

The boy in the picture is clipped from a video. He is believed to be about 12 years old. Immediately after he has talked to the camera, he hacks off the head of a Pakistani man – Ghulam Nabi – accused of spying for American forces in Afghanistan.

A continuous 2 1/2-minute shot then shows the victim lying on his side on a patch of rubble-strewn ground. A man holds Nabi by his beard while the boy, wearing a camouflage military jacket and oversized white sneakers, cuts into the throat. Other men and boys call out “Allahu akbar!” “God is great!” as blood spurts from the wound. The film, overlain with jihadi songs, then shows the boy hacking and slashing at the man’s neck until the head is severed.

If Muslims want to convince more ‘civilised’ cultures that theirs is indeed a religion of peace and tolerance I would suggest that they re-direct their jihad against those in their own ranks who seek to spread this kind of sickening barbarity around the globe. After all, isn’t that what ‘jihad’ means? A struggle on behalf of God and Islam? If they continue to do nothing to stop this they will wait forever for our trust.

Posted on April 12, 2007 in Great People by Andy @ Yellow Swordfish2 Comments »

I find it hard to believe that anyone could fail to have a soft spot for the work of Kurt Vonnegut, surely one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, but I know his work is not to everyone’s taste. To me he was a giant and with the news of his death I know I will have to embark on a re-reading of my favourites. The world is a sadder place knowing there will be no more Kilgore Trout or Dwayne Hoover.

These are the closing line of his last poem ‘Requiem’, the last piece in his last book ‘A Man Without A Country’:

When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
perhaps
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
“It is done.”
People did not like it here.

So it goes.

Posted on February 8, 2007 in Life in England by Andy @ Yellow Swordfish3 Comments »

Abu Bakr, arrested last week in Birmingham as part of a suspected terrorist raid and released without charge has called Britain A Police State for Muslims. He is not alone in the Muslim community voicing this opinion. Whilst the raids and subsequent search operations were taking place, we were treated to many interviews with local Muslims and their so-called ‘Community Leaders’ claiming that their religion was being unjustly ‘targeted’. As I’ve asked before in these pages – what do they expect? Virtually all terrorist operations taking place globally are now Muslim inspired. Of course they are being targeted – it is from their ranks that the threats continually come.

Mr Bakr went on to say:

“They don’t realise that, after seven days of virtual torture for my family, it’s going to be hard to readjust. This is going to affect me for the rest of my life.” He also added that his parents had told him they had aged 10 years while he had been in custody.

Before people like Mr Bakr open their mouths and speak such thoughtless comments they should put their ‘ordeal’ in perspective. It is not uncommon for people to be arrested on suspicions, questioned and then released without charge – black, white, English, Immigrant. It happens all the time. And as for affecting him for the rest of his life, tell that to the families and victims of the atrocities that have been perpetrated around the globe in the cause of this mans religion.