Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

Posted on June 10, 2006 in Religion by Andy @ Yellow SwordfishComments Off

Id37901There are, apparently, a series of very successful novels published by a Christian Fundamentalist movement in the USA known as ‘Left Behind’ – dealing fictionally with the Apocalypse and it’s aftermath. I know little more as I find all this sort of stuff rather distasteful and the small amount I did learn was enough. They claim to have sold some 63 million copies ‘worldwide’ and rising fast. It is, of course, all propaganda for the particularly insidious agenda of making the world a right-wing Christian domain of their own, warped, ugly and blood-soaked twist on the Jesus story. But worse is yet to come.

An affiliate company is about to launch a video game Left Behind – Eternal Forces aimed at recruiting children to the cause through raw violence. Talk To Action describe the game:

Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City. You are on a mission – both a religious mission and a military mission — to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state – especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is “to conduct physical and spiritual warfare”; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice. You have never felt so powerful, so driven by a purpose: you are 13 years old.

Id37902Good, honest, normal people, be they Christians or not, must surely find this trend amongst the brainwashed flocks of America’s ‘Taleban’ like evangelicals a major cause for worry now and in the years to come. They are as fanatical, as violent, as war-mongering as the Islamic fundamentalists they seek to destroy, they are growing in numbers, they have the ear of the most awful and dangerous President the US has seen in a long time and they are coming after your children.

There have been many, many times in recorded history where religious fanatics have got themselves into positions of supreme power and the result has always been mayhem and lots and lots of blood-letting. If these people got their way, they would throw the world back into another ‘dark ages’ of fear and violence that would take decades, maybe centuries, to climb back from.

Posted on June 6, 2006 in Politics by Andy @ Yellow SwordfishComments Off

Id37501Mike Power poses an interesting question in his item Anything you say may be acted on without corroboration… For several days we have had news coverage of the full-scale raid in the search for a chemical weapon. The police went in, sirens blazing, news teams at the ready, several hundred officers equipped with special suits, forensic teams – you name it, they are on the scene. And so far, the ‘compelling intelligence’ they tell us they received has apparently turned up nothing except for an injured postman, a large number of angry locals and several orgasmic lawyers with their calculators to hand.

The question Mike raises is, why the full-scale publicity over this raid – which appears to be a travesty of failure – when at the same time the Met and the Home Office have been convincing us for months of all the terrorist plots they have foiled – without the cameras rolling – in softly, softly operations we know nothing about. Does it suggest that the long list of foiled plots are more an imaginative fiction? Either that or the Met has been seen to be duped big time. Whichever, you have to admit then when our boys in blue decide to be incompetent again – they do it with a lot of style.

In tandem, and as a consequence, of this raid, local Muslims are voicing their anger that the police are concentrating on their ethnic group. In all honesty, what the hell do they expect? When the IRA was having fun blowing up buildings and people in England did the police go looking for Welsh sympathisers? Did they seek IRA members amongst London’s Polish community? When one single religious or ethnic grouping is causing bloodshed and terrorism throughout the world then it is within that group that you look for the bad apples. Sorry – but get used to it. The more tired non-Muslims get of these continued outrages, the more your community will feel the pressure. Even better than getting used to it – do something constructive about it. Help and support the police a little more.

Muslim Council of Britain leader Muhammad Abdul Bari (pictured – the one without the silly hat), said yesterday that “The danger is the trust between the community and the police may be broken. The community feels very vulnerable.” Vulnerable? Like the people who get on a tube train every day?

Posted on June 5, 2006 in Weird People by Andy @ Yellow Swordfish3 Comments »

Id37101Thanks go to my wife for finding this and leaving me pondering.

Yesterday evening, at Kiev Zoo, during the busiest period of the day, a man shouted ‘God will save me if he exists‘, lowered himself by rope in to the lion enclosure, took off his shoes and boldly walked up to the lions.

God obviously doesn’t exist, or if he does, didn’t much like this guy – or perhaps just didn’t really care – as was proven when a lioness knocked him down and ripped through his carotid artery.

It seems a somewhat extreme experiment in divine intervention and at the end of the day one has to wonder at this poor guy’s delusional state.

But what I really want to know, is why did he take off his shoes?

Posted on May 27, 2006 in Life in England by Andy @ Yellow Swordfish8 Comments »

Id36301It’s becoming clear to me – and I suppose I have known this for a long time in reality – that the main difference between the English and the other three member nations of the Union, is our capacity to put aside old grievances. As a race, we don’t really seem to have a great capacity for hatred. We forgive quickly, take tea together, pat our old enemies on the back and then invite them into our homes. For all I know this is a peculiarly Anglo-Saxon trait, but I do know we are very good at it.

I was born into a post-world war 2 east London. Well – quite a long way east to be fair – but the house opposite my childhood home was still a bomb site and I well recall trips into London seeing some of the yet to be cleared devastation in the East End. Yet did Londoners hate the Germans? Not really – not deep down. They reserved their hatred for the perpetrators, Hitler and the Nazi elite. They had that very English habit of realising that the whole nation of Germany was not the fault. OK – perhaps they hated for a short while but not for long. Within a very few short years, we were treating Germans as our friends and now, 60 years on, it is over – a thing of the past, history.

I realise that I am generalising here but sadly, the same can not be said for our neighbours in the Union. The image above is the flag of Paraguay. I understand that the English football team will play Paraguay in our opening World Cup bid. Andy Murray, the rising Tennis star – that the English have notably taken to their hearts – has stated that he will wear a Paraguayan shirt during the game because his inbred hatred of the English means he cannot bring himself to support the only Union nation to qualify. And this is a sentiment being echoed throughout Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The sort of sentiment and support the English showed, for example, the Scottish curling team, is not reciprocated. If both England and Scotland were in the World Cup finals, and England were knocked out, a lot of English supporters would transfer support to Scotland to see a Union member win. Sadly, the Scots deem it necessary to openly pray for English defeat.

The Scots have never forgiven us for the battle of… well, insert whichever battle you like. The people of Ulster still seem to think that Oliver Cromwell stalks the Palace of Westminster. I’m no longer sure what the Welsh grudge is it goes back so far. Yet, personally, I have liked all of the people I have ever met from these countries. As I say, it’s a wild generalisation to say they are all tarred by the same brush of hatred but put them together as a ‘nation’ and the old sores open up and fester and the finger points immediately at the English even though I’d bet most of them don’t even know why.

Leo McKinstry, himself from Northern Ireland, wrote a piece in yesterdays Daily Mail in which he shares my incredulity of his nations hatred. It’s worth a read to discover how deep rooted and irrational it all is. And he, like me, is appalled at the duplicity that sees more English tax money spent on Scotland than on England with ‘not the slightest sense of gratitude from the Scots towards the English. Instead, the English have to endure the outstretched palm, asking for more money, or the clenched fist of grievance.’

As someone who does not live with this inbred hatred, handed down from generation to generation, festering in every thought and action I take, I find it hard to put myself in their shoes. I can only imagine how awful it must be to live your life like that and thus feel blessed to be born an Englishman.

Posted on May 22, 2006 in Our American Friends by Andy @ Yellow SwordfishComments Off

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) predicts there will be 13-16 named storms in the 2006 season (June to November), four of which will be “major storms”.

This is above average but far less than the unprecedented 28 storms the USA suffered in 2005, 15 of which went on to become hurricanes, including, of course the devastating Katrina. Noaa had predicted that there would be up to nine hurricanes last year.

I assume that Noaa use millions of dollars worth of sophisticated equipment, thousands of hours of computer time and are manned by a large army of highly skilled scientists and specialists so that they can come up with these predictions.

All of which is such a big waste of time, money and effort when all they have to do is wait for TV Evangelist Pat Robertson who confided to the world just a few days ago that God had personally told him back in January: “In 2006 the coasts of America will be lashed by storms“. God even told him ““There well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest.

Seattle – you’ve been warned.