Archive for the ‘Christ…’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at July 25, 2008

Category: Christ..., UK Libel Law

As Matt Warman notes under comments over at D-Notice, this issue highlighted in detail yesterday by Unity is in need of a ‘quick guide’, so I’m using his interim version here as an introduction…

In a nutshell, a long running mismanagement and industrial relations saga involving legal shenanigans, enforced contract changes, now up to 30 Industrial Tribunals and the loss over 2 years of a 200 year old chain of bookshops after a takeover that should have rejuvenated it.

Dave had reported the story in 75 posts, and has been Cease and Desisted – in the middle of the Lambeth Conference where he is very busy as Artist in Residence, just as the bookshop chain is being placed in bankruptcy in USA; it is a UK company.

Abstruse management saga becomes freedom of speech issue in middle of 3 weeks when press attention is focused on Lambeth Conference.

Cue shitstorm. Hopefully.

… and then sending you here for more.

1. Joseph Obi is on the warpath.

The attack on Louise Redvers is particularly appalling… and actionable. Sadly, The Obi One has yet to reveal what he’s really angry about (i.e. what triggered this greatly delayed outburst).

2. Thank you, Gordon.

(That is what you’re fishing for, yes? Next time, try to take the lead before you’re backed into a corner, eh?)

3. Independent – Clive Stafford Smith: Why has the Government forsaken Binyam Mohamed?: Why would the British Government refuse to disclose this kind of critical information? Here, we are left to speculate, since they won’t give an explanation. Sadly, the most likely reason is that there is much more evidence that they would rather remained hidden – such as proof of systematic British co-operation in the US rendition process.

If you’d like a hint as to the most likely outcome, here it is; Jack Straw still holds a cabinet position.

4. BBC – Blair ‘to devote life to faith’: Former prime minister Tony Blair has promised to “spend the rest of my life” uniting the world’s religions

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Oh, do excuse me. That’s unforgivably rude. I should kn*…. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

5. Emptywheel – George Bush Authorized the Leak of Valerie Wilson’s Identity: Scottie McC doesn’t know it yet. But that’s basically what he revealed this morning on the Today Show…

See also: Scott McClellan on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Oh, and Matthew Norman’s description of Bush as an “an arrogant, self-deceiving fantasist” reminded me of this little item.

6. LayScience and Septicisle on the recent Standpoint nonsense.

(Speaking of right-wing magazines, someone has a tough job ahead of them.)

7. I had four beers last night, and I’m seriously considering breaking my curfew on Saturday night so I can see a movie with the missus.

I’m a bad boy…. but you ain’t seen nothing yet:

8. Manticore. Monday.

SPECIAL BONUS LINK: An incredible timesaver for 98% of the remaining* regular contributors to Iain Dale’s website. (*Most of the sensible people have grown tried of being ignored, censored, abused by anonymous cowards or told to “piss off” by the great man himself.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 27, 2008

Category: Christ...

Two items for those who watched In God’s Name and appreciated seeing the evidence of Christian fundamentalists and their influence in politics (locally, thanks to David “I’m a tolerant kind of guy” Cameron and his ‘nice’ Tory party):

1. Jesus Camp gets a repeat airing on More4 at 10pm tonight (Tuesday 27 May, 2008). You may recall this classic footage of children urged to bless a cardboard cut-out of George W. Bush. Expect to see this and more tonight.

(Trailer and background. If you miss it tonight you can catch it online starting here.)

2. Independent – Suburban Sydney shows dark side as Muslim school row gets vicious: Liberal Australia has been shocked by the ferocity of the opposition. Riot police were called when nearly 1,000 people turned up at a public meeting of anti-school campaigners. Two pigs’ heads, impaled on stakes, with an Australian flag strung between them, were left on the proposed site, a paddock on the fringes of town. Among the meeting’s organisers was Fred Nile [1, 2], leader of a fundamentalist Christian party and a long-standing member of the New South Wales parliament. Mr Nile – who has no links with Camden – accused Muslims of hating Christians, and called for a moratorium on Muslim immigration.

(If you’d like to spend more time watching wingnuts exploiting valid concerns of locals as hatred begins to swallow them whole, read/see more here, here and here and revel in a notable highlight here; “”They’ve got terrorists amongst them, OK? We can’t say they haven’t – they have,” said one resident.”)

UPDATE (28 May) – Jesus Camp is a hell heck of an outing, isn’t it?

Josh Timonen – Surviving ‘Jesus Camp’: “Raise your hand if you think that God can do anything!” Pastor Becky Fischer throws her arm into the air as an example while darting her eyes back and forth over the children in the audience. She yells in a fake high-pitched voice like a sleazy, overly animated kid’s show host and waits for them to imitate her answer. In one aisle a mother lifts the arm of her disinterested son, no more than 8 years old. That, in a nutshell, is the whole problem.


I have a number of Christian readers, some of them more devout than others, but I would hope none as delusional or as predatory as Becky Fischer, who says things like “The Devil goes after the young; those who cannot fend for themselves*” without a shred of self-awareness.

(*Followed by a charming message about Harry Potter, which you can see from 03:40 onwards here.)

And, like Denny Pattyn, Becky Fischer plans to export her nonsense. Look forward to the Daily Mail playing fundy-footsies with her soon.

Oh, and here are some after-show treats for you:

Carman – Who’s in the House? (That totally rad choon what lets kids get down wif Jesus and his posse.)

The Creation Adventure Team (Highlights from the ‘educational’ DVD you saw Levi watching. The video description on YouTube is a tad OTT, but the author is bang on with this warning; “Don’t listen to what they tell the press, listen to what they teach their own children, because that’s what they really mean.”)

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 21, 2008

Category: Christ...

Dawn Primarolo: “The hon. Lady has asserted many things to be facts that are not.”

Mrs. Dorries: “If the Minister feels that I have said anything tonight – cited any statistic or piece of information – that is not factual, I hope that she will challenge it.”

Ooh! Ooh! Me first, please!

One thing that caught my eye last night was the number of Tories using data from a poll conducted on behalf of the Christian Institute. I found the raw data this morning and I’d like to share something special with you.

ComRes conducted this poll “on behalf of the Christian Institute on the public’s views of abortion” from a sample of 1014 people. In my view, things like (a) the size of the sample (b) the wording of the questions and (c) the interpretation and presentation of the data are all worthy of comment, but let’s keep things tidy for now and watch what happens to the numbers after they leave the hands of ComRes…

ComRes – Abortion Survey : CATI Fieldwork : 2nd-4th May 2008

… and are then released by the Christian Institute with these two key claims:

– Three in four women (73 per cent) think the abortion limit should be reduced to 20 weeks or lower to be more in line with EU countries.

– 72 per cent of women (and more than half of the general public) also want a lower abortion time limit in light of the survival rates of babies born before 24 weeks

… and are then used by a series of Conservative MPs in what Iain Dale hails(!) as a “set piece debate” in the House…

Edward Leigh uses the data, as does Mark Pritchard (who cleverly presents it as the specific will of his constituents) but the whopper belongs to Nadine Dorries, who stepped from the world of reality to a land of wishful thinking a long, long time ago…

Nadine Dorries:”The public have been informed by the images of how a foetus develops, the knowledge that foetuses feel pain in the uterus earlier, the knowledge of what happens in a late termination, the fact that doctors do not want to perform abortions and the fact that they are not performed in the NHS but in private clinics, and they have taken a view. Their view is that they do not want any further late terminations at 24 weeks. The public do not say that they want the limit to come down from 24 weeks; the public – including three quarters of women – say that they want 20 weeks. They specify what they want.

[emphasis mine]

Do they really?

Well, in a word… no.

First, you have to know where this comes from:

– Three in four women (73 per cent) think the abortion limit should be reduced to 20 weeks or lower to be more in line with EU countries.

[emphasis mine]

The Christian Institute arrived at the above figure/claim by taking the options in the red area below that fit the criteria for “20 weeks or lower” (note that this includes an outright ban on abortion) and adding the corresponding figures (circled in red) to arrive at a total of 73% in support of 20 weeks… or lower.

poll grab

But Nadine claimed the support of three quarters of all women on 20 weeks specifically, and made quite a thing of their making that as an informed choice

But if Nadine is to rely on the poll data, the best she can say for sure is that only 15% (less than a quarter) of all women back the option of a reduction to 20 weeks specifically… and only when it is spoon fed to them.

I’m sorry, but the notion that the public has seen the light and embraced Nadine’s wisdom is a fantasy.

Unless she knowingly mislead the House in her speech, Nadine Dorries is a delusional nitwit prone to belief in her own hype and publicity.

She’s still out there right now telling the world that she lost because Parliament failed and is out of touch with the will of the people (and by that she means her people).

I think some time need to be spent looking closely at this poll and how it was used in an effort to fool the people, but for now spare a moment for Nadine Dorries and the tragic extent to which she is still fooling herself.

She needs to spend some time away from people who believe more than they think and ‘know’ more than they can prove.

Septicisle – It was Dorries wot lost it! (now also drawing comments at Liberal Conspiracy)
NHS Blog Doctor – Nadine Dorries loses the abortion debate
Ministry of Truth – Fallout Boy #1
Sunny Hundal – Fundamentally flawed
Liberal Conspiracy – How MPs voted on abortion, and other points
Vraie fiction – Fundamentalism as a cancer
Anorak – Christian Fundamentalists Aborted: Nadine Dorries Tagged
Ministry of Turth – Fallout Boy #2 – The Mad Nad Special (Unity fisks Nadine’s ‘contribution’ to the debate… grab a coffee and dig in)
Septicisle – The final words on Dorries (for now)
Vraie fiction – A letter to Mrs. Dorries (<------ You'll probably wish that you wrote this. I wish that Nadine would admit to receiving it and many emails like it.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 20, 2008

Category: Christ..., The Political Weblog Movement

David Modell (the man who once captured the Hamiltons’ entire marriage in a single photograph) has well and truly got the goods on the Christian fundamentalist movement here in the UK, and I invite you to catch the entire documentary on YouTube (links below via) or watch it air again on More4 at 9pm on Wednesday:

Dispatches: In God’s Name (1/5)
Dispatches: In God’s Name (2/5)
Dispatches: In God’s Name (3/5)
Dispatches: In God’s Name (4/5)
Dispatches: In God’s Name (5/5)

(Or use/share this link that lets you watch all 5 parts in sequence.)

[MINI-UPDATE – Only Part 5 of this sequence is now available online. It is embedded below.]

Of particular interest to regulars of Bloggerheads is Part 5, where we see the cosy interaction between Nadine Dorries and Andrea Minichiello Williams.

Just the sight of Andrea Williams fills me with joy. She deserves more television time, she does. It’s a lot of fun watching her play the media expert as she herds shoutier supporters away from the camera.

She doesn’t want Christian fundamentalists to come across like a pack of wild-eyed fruit-loops, y’see.

And Andrea does it soooo much better…

Her most impressive weapon is that solid black border around her eyes, which doesn’t make her look at all wild-eyed.

[rolls eyes]

And, bless her little cotton socks, when pressed with a difficult question, she will totally take control of the situation… erm, by asking for the camera to be turned off with a pleading grimace or unplugging her microphone with a smug grimace.

More air-time for Andrea, please.


The Telegraph published Nadine’s (allegedly) militant “pro-abortionists” nonsense, and also this David Modell article about his doco on politically-active Christian fundamentalists… but they lose points for not drawing attention to the obvious connection between the two (more) days ago.

Similary, welcome as it is, those of us who worry about media manipulation would have enjoyed the participation of Modell, Aaronovitch and Cochrane much earlier than this.

Nadine said outright on camera (see from 3 min on here) that she gets her information from Andrea Williams, and in the past week or so we’ve seen many outrageous and unsourced claims from Dorries. Many of those claims were published verbatim by MSM, and too few questions were asked at the time.

Now it would appear that a lot of the bad science and questionable poll data came from the same woman who penned Dorries’ amendment… a woman who thinks that the world is around 4,000 years old.

It’s obvious to anyone with a brain that Nadine Dorries is either knowingly in league with fundamentalists or being used by them.

The response is unusually slippery for the dim-witted Dorries; she feigns outrage over an accusation that hasn’t been made and says that she personally isn’t a fundamentalist (which therefore makes everything OK):

Nadine Dorries: God help me!
Posted Tuesday, 20 May 2008 at 11:54

Apparently now I’m a religious fundamentalist! Of all the arrows I’ve had slung at me since I picked up abortion, that has to be the most ridiculous.

Am I a Christian? Yes I am. Do I go to Church? Occasionally. Do I pray? Sometimes. Do I believe in God? Yes. Does this make me a freak? Well, if it does, we’re a nation of freaks, that’s all I can say.

Almost everyone I know believes in a God. It may not be the same God as mine, they may not go to the same Church as me, but they do believe in something.

My position on abortion is motivated by my experience as a nurse, witnessing late botched abortions .

I will say this once again – I am not a religious fundamentalist !!!!

I will say this only once… I!!!! DON’T!!!! CARE!!!!

Nadine Dorries has allowed herself to be influenced by religious fundamentalists and she has worked to further their agenda while taking measures to mask or minimise their involvement.

And now she’s been caught, she thinks she can wiggle out by claiming that she herself isn’t one of the zealots she’s been taking instruction from.

She’s a bigger fool than I took her for… and that’s saying something.


rhetorically speaking – nadine dorries: late abortion is murder
Richard Bartholomew – Documentary Looks At UK Christian Right
Pickled Poltics – Christian fundamentalism in the UK
Indigo Joe Blogs – The ugly face of the British evangelical lobby
Family Lore – A Frightening Prospect
Media Watch Watch – A new Dispatches affair?
Sadie’s Tavern – Whipping, Nad Dorries, and other odd perversions (In which Sadie watches Iain Dale breaking eggs on his face. Tch, to think that he wasted all that time keeping a safe distance from Dorries.)
Independent – Dispatches: Making a giant leap of faith: (In which David Modell “reveals how he gets ‘extremist’ subjects like these Christian fundamentalists to open their hearts to him”)

UPDATE: Ministry of Truth – The (almost) Final Indignity: Regardless of the outcome of tonight’s vote, Dorries walks away with zero credibility and a reputation as a purveyor of long-debunked hoaxes, crap science and a woman who cannot even muster the most basic integrity necessary to be honesty about her motives. And then, to cap it all, along comes Channel 4’s Dispatches to verify that the links between Dorries and Williams that I exposed here, with the help of Tim Ireland, were right on the money.

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 8, 2008

Category: Christ..., The Political Weblog Movement

Nadine Dorries has been making out that her campaign crusade to restrict abortions is nothing to do with her religious beliefs… so why, pray tell, is her campaign crusade so closely tied to a network of Christian politicians and evangelical organisations?

(Psst! Christian Concern For Our Nation / CCFON are a modest lot; take a look at where/how they list themselves as ‘supporters’ on websites they created here and here.)

Even more soon… let’s give Nadine some time to take this on board first. Nadine? Any response?

PS – Watch Tim Montgomerie completely fail to declare an interest as he hails this “cross-party campaign” (supported not by 200 MPs as he claims but instead 13 Conservative MPs and one MP each from Labour and the Lib Dems).

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 20, 2008

Category: Christ..., The Political Weblog Movement

Some idiot spammed me on YouTube last night with this P.O.S. chain mail:

A few years ago, two parents went out for dinner. A few hours later, the babysitter was calling to ask if she could cover up the clown statue in the kids’ room, the father said, “Take the kids and get out of the house. We’ll call the police, we don’t have a clown statue.”; The “clown statue”; is really a killer that escaped from jail. If you don’t post this letter on to 10 videos tonight, the clown will be in your bed at 3:00 am with a chainsaw in his hand (SORRY BOUT SPAM THIS REALLY FREAKS ME)

Now, there are two things that the ordinary citizen requires when faced with data like this;

1. Some good old-fashioned common sense.

2. The ability to use Google.

Here you go; look how simple it is to ascertain the truth if you’re having any difficulty with #1:


Now I should point out here that Nadine Dorries is no ordinary citizen; as MP for Mid Bedfordshire, she is the parliamentary representative for roughly 130,000 people… but for some reason she appears to spend the bulk of her time campaigning against abortion.

(Was this one of her campaign promises? Inquiring minds want to know.)

As part of this ongoing campaign, Nadine Dorries recently launched a totally unjustified attack against Dr Ben Goldacre that showed her complete ignorance of parliamentary procedure and – to avoid any feedback about that reaching her readers – she closed down the comments feature on her ‘blog’.

So Dr Goldacre is well within his rights to point and laugh now that Nadine has been caught peddling an urban myth as documented fact… again, as part of her ongoing efforts to convince us all that abortion is murder and a sin in the eyes of Almighty Lord God.

Nadine Dorries – The Hand Of Hope: This picture show a pregnant uterus laying on the exterior of the mother’s abdomen, having been lifted out of her abdominal cavity, via a c-section incision made in the abdominal wall. Dr Joseph Bruner performed this procedure in order to operate on the baby whilst still in utero before it was born. The baby had spina bifida and would not have survived if removed from his mother’s womb. When the operation was over, baby Samuel, at 21 weeks gestation, put his hand through the incision in the uterus and grabbed hold of the surgeon’s finger, a gesture which was apparently met with a huge amount of emotion in the operating theatre. Dr Bruner said that it was the most emotional moment of his life and that for a moment he was just frozen, totally immobile.

No, what Dr Joseph Bruner actually said was this…

“Depending on your political point of view, this is either Samuel Armas reaching out of the uterus and touching the finger of a fellow human, or it’s me pulling his hand out of the uterus … which is what I did.”

And this…

“It has become an urban legend… The baby did not reach out. The baby was anesthetized. The baby was not aware of what was going on.”

Now, look how easy if is to find this out for yourself if what might be the truth when confronted with a claim that a 21-week-old foetus is capable of recognising its surroundings, thrusting its little hand out of an incision, and grabbing the hand of the operating surgeon…

See? Easy peasy:


But Nadine Dorries did not do this small amount of research or provide her readers with the benefits of this small amount of research. Nor did she point out that the surgeon and the photographer have published vastly different accounts of this event.

Instead, she completely misrepresented the surgeon’s position on the matter.

Because she is a muppet.

Good people of Mid Bedfordshire, I urge you to recall this moment the next time Nadine Dorries asks for your vote as parliamentary representative. You might also want to have a word about how much time she wastes on her own personal crusades.


Take a look at how Iain Dale handles this on his pseudo-blog:

Iain Dale – The Daley Dozen: Wednesday: Nadine tells of the Hand of Hope, is then slammed by Bad Science, who says it’s a hoax, but he is then contradicted by the photographer, Michael Clancy, who took the picture. You pays your money…

1. Note how Iain gives the impression that the photographer has posted his account in response to Dr Ben Goldacre’s bloggage, when this clearly isn’t the case.

It’s a pity it’s semi-anonymous, but this comment just published on Iain’s site covers the matter nicely:

When you say Ben Goldacre “is then contradicted by the photographer” that’s extremely misleading. Ben Goldacre LINKED to the photographer’s (old) story in his blog entry, that was part of Goldacre’s story.

If you believe an emotive story from the man who took the photo, instead of the description of what happened from the very surgeon who did the operation, and does the operation for a living, then that’s your affair. But to suggest that Goldacre has been responded to and shown to be wrong is as misleading as the original Nadine Dorries story.

2. The photographer, Michael Clancy, dedicates his entire website to telling his side of the story (and selling copies of the photo) and says himself; “I have become obsessed with proving to the world that I did capture the earliest interaction ever recorded.” Iain Dale, who loves to claim that anyone who presses him more than once for a straight answer is ‘obsessed’ (or perhaps even a ‘stalker’) chooses not to dismiss a self-confessed obsessive in this way.

3. Iain doesn’t like anyone doing the same to him, but like many political bloggers/writers, Iain will often point out affiliations and associations that might suggest that someone’s version of events is less than objective. But Iain does not mention that this image and account, used widely by religious groups campaigning against abortion, comes to us from a devout and evangelical born-again Christian.

UPDATE – Ahahahahahahahaha! Please excuse me while I quickly address what passes for meat in Nadine’s rebuttal sandwich:

Nadine Dorries – Hand Of Truth: Two points from me: first is that if the experienced paediatrician operating on the 21 week old baby had anesthetised, then that fact endorses the Professor Anand position that a foetus can feel pain; otherwise why would this doctor, who operates on unborn babies all the time, bother? My second point is look at the tear in the uterus. See how jiggered it is just above the hand; and yet the rest of the surgically incised openings are controlled and neat.

1. By anaesthetising the mother you anaesthetise the foetus. The drug travels – via the mother’s bloodstream – through the placenta and into the foetus. Nadine’s not very good at this science thing, is she?

2. Is Nadine aware of the force required to tear even compromised human flesh this thick? Clearly, what we are dealing with here is some form of super-baby. The mother is lucky the little tyke didn’t try thrusting his arm out when a surgeon wasn’t on hand to wrestle him back into place.

I’m not even going to go near Nadine’s none-too-subtle suggestion that the surgeon changed his story because he feared he might be attacked by roaming gangs of ‘pro-abortionists’.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 13, 2008

Category: Christ...

With regards to the Christian religion, I keep myself a (mostly) respectful arm’s length from the fold.

I think this position is best encapsulated in the relevant category on my website; it’s titled “Christ…”

What you’ll find when you explore that category is (a) that I have a shocking level of intolerance for bigotry and those who exploit it and (b) that I’m likely to get especially riled up if people like that deliberately misrepresent someone else’s position in order to diddle fair debates and start false ones.

Key examples of this can be found here and here. In the latter, you’ll also see a fine example of sock-puppeting at work and – even though we’re all still enjoying half-time here – it would be remiss of me not to point out where some parallels between the skills of misinterpretation and sock-puppeting may exist.


I’m with Sunny.

And if you have any doubts about your own position*, I urge you to read Sunny’s article. And Garry’s. And Justin’s. And Septicisle’s.

[*Hint: The best place to start is by finding out what Rowan Williams actually said.]

Posted by Tim Ireland at October 24, 2007

Category: Christ...

WorldNetDaily – World was created 6010 years ago: Get history book that traced actual date it all got started: (The) author of the book frequently described as the greatest history book ever written, said the world was created Oct. 23, 4004 B.C. – making it exactly 6,010 yesterday… The book, now published in English for the first time, is a favorite of homeschoolers and those who take ancient history seriously… Of course, there will be those who disagree with Ussher’s calculations of time – especially evolutionists who need billions of years to explain their theory of how life sprang from non-life and mutated from one-celled animals into human beings.

Posted by Tim Ireland at October 17, 2007

Category: Christ...

Media Watch Watch – Left Behind makers sue for bad reviews

Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion – American Libel News: Left Behind Games Attacks Bloggers

It’s a lovely story with a delicious punchline. Check it out.

(PS – Bartholomew: welcome to my blogroll.)

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