Archive for the ‘Christ…’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at September 15, 2006

Category: Christ...

If you really want to understand the dangers of religious extremism, I urge you to watch the following programme (links in the review are mine)…

The Doomsday Code – 7:00pm – Saturday 16 September – Channel 4

Radio Times (David Butcher):

Tony Robinson is more of a deep thinker than you might guess, and here he brings us a rollicking story about a strain of evangelical Christianity that takes the Book of Revelation literally: the so-called “End-Timers”. Put crudely, End-Timers believe that the apocalypse is coming, and they wield considerable (and worrying) political clout in the USA. We see a string of preachers from the American South (all steel-haired white men with booming voices) whose crackpot jumble of beliefs may well appal moderate Christians as much as atheists. Broadly, their agenda is to pour petrol on the flames of Middle Eastern politics, dilute the USA’s will to combat global warming and foster hostility to the UN. It’s an alarming and incendiary package, to say the least. And before you write to complain that I’m biased in some way, spend two hours watching this shrewd, far-reaching film.

In fact, I urge you to tape it so you can have a copy to share with those in need of enlightenment.

UPDATE – A quick related link for you… ABC News – Film Shows Youths Training to Fight for Jesus (alt. video link here)

Oh, and you’re sure to enjoy Creationism Explained… using a soda can and a banana (link via).








Posted by Tim Ireland at August 10, 2006

Category: Christ...

Pandora (10 Aug): A rather unholy row at the Edinburgh Fringe: the Australian comic Jim Jeffries has been dropped from debating in the BBC1 religious affairs show Heaven and Earth this Sunday, following a run-in with the evangelical activists Christian Voice. They have their robes in a twist over Jeffries’ production, The Second Coming, which claims to be “his most morally bankrupt show to date” – not bad considering that his last one, Porn Idol, delivered “lashings of the most explicit and offensive punchlines of the festival”. Jeffries was billed to join a panel discussion on blasphemy with Stephen Green, director of Christian Voice, but Green refused to engage with such a “sick, repellent man”. “Heaven and Earth called to confirm at 11am,” Jeffries tells me. “At 11.40am they rang back to cancel. It’s stupid because I was looking forward to dropping the knob gags and having a serious debate about blasphemy. He could easily have beaten a hungover bloke on a Sunday morning.” Green admits he “spoke to the producers”, adding: “Freedom of speech doesn’t go so far as being blasphemous. This is a matter of God being gratuitously insulted. God is Almighty and beyond insult.” A member of the H&E production team said the change was “no big deal”. Jeffries denies charges of blasphemy: “Jesus didn’t know he was the chosen one until he was 30. I have got a couple of months left – and as much chance as anybody.”

Picked up by Media Watch Watch, of course, and it needs to be noted for the record that this is yet another example of Stephen Green’s rather unique interpretation of freedom of speech.








Posted by Tim Ireland at June 28, 2006

Category: Christ...

Guardian – Israel enters Gaza: Israeli forces bombed bridges, destroyed a power station and reoccupied areas of southern Gaza today as part of their attempt to free a kidnapped soldier. The Israeli army said the operations aimed to stop the kidnappers moving Corporal Gilad Shilat, the 19-year old soldier abducted during a raid by militants on Sunday.

1. Wheeeee! Look at ’em go!

2. An old link this, but it’s something worth keeping in mind today. Not every prayer is for the safe return of Corporal Shilat.








Posted by Tim Ireland at June 21, 2006

Category: Christ...

Observer – Schoolgirls are forced to take off chastity rings – or be ordered out of lessons: Heather and Philip Playfoot have spent almost two years in dispute with Millais School in Horsham, West Sussex, over their 15-year-old daughter Lydia’s ring. While the school’s uniform rules forbid jewellery, they argue that the rings – given to teenagers who complete a controversial evangelical church course preaching sexual abstinence – hold genuine religious significance… Her ring came from the Silver Ring Thing, an evangelical initiative recently introduced to Britain from the US, with which her parents’ local church is involved… The issue has now been taken up by the Tory MP Andrew Selous, chair of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, who raised the wearing of purity rings with the Schools Minister Jim Knight in the House of Commons last week.

Well done, Andrew Selous… you bold Warrior For Christ, you.

The UK Today – The Silver Ring’s The Thing: Silver Ring Thing promotes a highly suspect doctrine, in a manner that is almost cult-like. To try and use legislation in the manner suggested in the article would be to set a dangerous precedent, and I would give my wholehearted support to the governors of Millais School in Horsham, West Sussex.

Seconded.

The Silver Ring Thing is a Christian recruitment drive dressed up as a health initiative. At least, that’s the position they needed to maintain while they were earning federal funds in the U.S. (to the detriment of health and education services involving actual education about health). But when they reach a tricky moment like this, suddenly it’s All About Faith? Puh-lease!

The following cannot be repeated enough… Denny Pattyn, founder of the Silver Ring Thing, is a lying scoundrel and a danger to children.

Here’s proof from the man himself. When he spoke these words, he was well on his way to earning over a million yankee dollars in federal funding on the basis that his was a ‘health and education program’…

Denny Pattyn: “I believe that the end of the world is approaching very quickly and I believe that Christ will come back. I think about that. I think that I might just be living in the Last Days…. We’re not really putting our energy into abstinence as much as we’re putting it into faith. Abstinence is the tool that we’re using to reach children.”

Even with frank admissions like that on the record, it wasn’t until August of last year that this finally happened…

Washington Post – Federal Funds For Abstinence Group Withheld: The Bush administration yesterday suspended a federal grant to the Silver Ring Thing abstinence program, saying it appears to use tax money for religious activities.

Denny Pattyn is not out to protect young children from unwanted pregnancy and venereal disease (remember; this is his lead pitch and the foundation of his former federal funding)… what he really wants to do is get as many recruits as possible before Jesus returns and starts calling the troops home, even if it involves breaking the 2nd, 7th and 8th commandments in the process.

I’m sorely tempted to introduce a special programme for all children who wish to take a solemn vow in opposition to this abuse of faith, with personalised rings that read; “GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY*”

(*Intended as a special euphemistic message to Denny Pattyn, obviously. Let’s not insult the kids by assuming that they’re stupid.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 4, 2006

Category: Christ...

OK, I’ve watched the interview and have seen/heard the quote in context. I’ve gazed into those tear-filled puppy-dog eyes and have come to the following conclusion;

Tony Blair did not state that Yahweh told him to invade Iraq. Rather, he generously credited Yahweh with being part of the decision-making process.

My immediate reaction was to wonder whether he considered Yahweh to be part of the decision-making process when he decided to turn a blind eye to people being boiled alive and raped with broken bottles.

Let us see what the morning papers bring.

PS – Thank you to CuriousHamster for pointing out that a lightning bolt was mine to command; I had but to look for it.

UPDATE – God’s judgement leaked! Another startling scoop for The Scum!








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 4, 2006

Category: Christ..., Tony 'King Blair

Praise HimIndependent – Blair: ‘God will be my judge on Iraq’: Tony Blair has proclaimed that God will judge whether he was right to send British troops to Iraq, echoing statements from his ally George Bush.

And…. *cue* lighting bolt.

(beat)

I said… “cue lightning bolt!”

(long pause)

You’re really trying my patience, God.

(cough)

The PM’s spokesperson was just on the radio insisting that… wait for it… Blair’s words were being spun by people with an agenda. People like the grieving relatives Tony doesn’t have time to meet because he’s too busy giving cosy interviews and shielding Tiny Tessa from harm. (Incidentally, said relatives can count themselves lucky that they weren’t arrested for daring to march on Downing St.)

As you might expect, BlairWatch is all over this. They’re even having a little competition (and I’m about to pop over there and donate a prize).

Me, I only have this to say ahead of the interview itself (due to be aired tonight on ITV at 9:55):

Would God be my judge if I strangled Tony Blair with my bare hands? Perhaps. But first I would expect a judge to be my judge.

(Give us this day our independent inquiry.)

Related links:

Let us pray
Observer – Bush says God chose him to lead his nation
The Spectator – The special relationship between Blair and God

Bloggage:

Chicken Yoghurt – God is our co-pilot: As much as he should be pelted and mocked for yet another sweaty, weaselly attempt at wriggling from, shall we say, temporal accountability, I do have a nagging sympathy for Blair. A person so steeped in blood and horror would frantically search for even the slimmest shot at forgiveness and redemption or else surely go mad, wouldn’t they? I wonder if, deep down, if he’s truly frightened of what might happen to him when he’s finally gathered unto justice. I hope so.

Craig Murray – Impeach Blair: Yet more scandalous reporting from the BBC. They are saying that anti-war protestors are up in arms because Blair said that “God will judge him for his decision to go to war in Iraq.” That is a deliberate twisting of what Blair said into a more favourable light. I too believe God will judge Blair: the poor bastard has really got it coming in the hereafter. Blair actually said that “Others” were involved in the decision to go to war. When Parkinson pressed him, he confirmed that he was referring to God. Saying that “God decided we should go to war” is very different from saying “God will judge my actions.”

UPDATE – This should make you feel better. (Link via Never Trust a Hippy.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 15, 2006

Category: Christ...

Guardian – ‘Christian Voice is outside, praying for our souls … ‘

Media Watch Watch – Stephen Green “apoplectic” at JS:TO grant








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 19, 2005

Category: Christ...

Who Runs Britain? bloggage continues. Here is a mirror of my latest entry on the Today/BBC website. It relates to the segement broadcasted on Saturday, with panellists Richard Harries, Peter Atkins and Dr Farhan Nizami discussing the influence of religion.

MYSTERIOUS WAYS

Tch! I could have sworn that the question was ‘Who runs Britain?’, not ‘What runs Britain?’…

Also, this week, a lot of the panellists who have been invited to speak on this matter have focused not on who holds the power, but who should or should not be using the power they may or may not hold in a certain way. This morning’s panel was no exception.

Here I should point out that I’ve been guilty of this myself, but I’d like to think that I kept my rant short, sweet, to the point, and presented fairly and in context. After all, it involved a name; one candidate who may be a valid answer to that question ‘Who runs Britain?’… but we’ll get back to that name again soon. Promise.

Right now, let’s get back to this morning’s problem; the question is ‘who’, and today’s candidate – again – is a ‘what’…

Religion.

Religion is an issue, religion is an influence, and religion is a weapon. But most importantly (at least when it comes to the discussion of power and its use) religion is an institution.

Most religious institutions are based on faith and the promise of reward; this is often what makes it such a pressing issue, such an incredible influence, and such an effective weapon.

Throughout the ages, religion has been used (or abused) to great effect.

In pursuit of the answer to the question ‘Who runs Britain?’ – not ‘Who ran Britain?’ or ‘Who shaped Britain?’ – we need to identify the individuals who are currently using (or abusing) religion in a way that shapes/influences our lives the most.

Our first name for consideration is George W. Bush. Behind George W. Bush is a collection of neoconservatives with a number of influential groups behind them; including the Christian right (though many bumper stickers make the claim that they are neither Christian nor right). These people believe that conflict in the Middle East is both inevitable and necessary, that the small matter of the environment will be settled by God’s will, and that abstinence should be taught instead of safety/contraception. If you disagree with their views, you’ll probably hold the view that resulting war, famine and pestilence has and will have a considerable influence on our lives – and fair enough. If you agree with their views… well, you can’t very well argue that the Rapture will skip Britain, now can you?

Our second name for consideration is Tony Blair. Behind Tony Blair is a collection of people of the Christian faith. The point was raised by one of the panel that some of these people may only claim to be Christian for reasons of career advancement. There is also evidence to suggest that the way Tony Blair behaves is far from Christian, but even if the whole Cabinet makes a mockery of faith, it cannot be denied that the Christian religion plays a big part in their formation, direction and promotion. The religion of Islam also drives them, albeit in a completely different way (ditto for Bush’s crew).

And here we come to our final name for consideration… Osama bin Laden. Is he following/promoting the true will of Allah? I’m going to be dreadfully unfair here and suggest that perhaps this is not the case, but – as with Bush and Blair – for the purposes of this discussion it really doesn’t matter. Osama bin Laden operates under the banner of a religion and – despite how much we would care to deny it – he has had an enormous impact on the way we live our lives; even if you only take into account the varying ways people now approach the Muslim faith as a result of his actions (be it positive or otherwise… attention has been turned to this faith where previously it would not have been given much thought either way by those who live outside of it).

The interplay between these three individuals has, especially in the past four years, had an enormous effect on our economy, our laws, our foreign policy, and the way we interact as a society.

So, to summarise, that’s two religions (maybe three… or five… or twelvety), a wide variety of beliefs and many conflicting and/or false claims (depending on your point of view)…. and three names.

And – even if we stick to religion as the primary topic – we can still add a fourth:

Merry Christmas, Mr Murdoch!

(Damn and blast it! Now I’ve used The Name, I feel compelled to carry on with yet another nutty conspiracy theory. OK, let’s keep it seasonal… One man has control of a central database of names and information. This database is global in nature, it is constantly updated with information relating to our ongoing actions, and annual checks are made in order to determine who has been naughty and who has been nice. Where will this madness end?)

UPDATE – Judy reports on our live recorded interview.








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 7, 2005

Category: Christ...

I’m finally in touch with someone other than a copy-n-paster at Woolworths regarding JS:TO, but they keep stonewalling me on the actual number of complaints, and I have yet to receive a straight answer to a straight question.

I’m presenting this screengrab to the public just in case they fall back on a claim of unacceptable profanity (Woolworths even sell 3 items with – *gasp* – the C-word in the title).

[SIDEBAR – Shocked members of the public may wish to note how many F-word items are available. Bargain-hunters may wish to note how many F-word items are available for under a fiver.]

fuck woolworths

Message to Woolworths: I can take a straight argument, but I do *not* like to be fobbed off or ignored. Talk to me like an intelligent human being, and we may get somewhere.

UPDATE – Check comments for an interesting development – Equity is on the case! Huzzah! Also, a range of blog reactions is reported here at the BBC website.








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 7, 2005

Category: Christ...

Hurrah! We have an MP onside….

Lynne Featherstone – Jerry Springer: The Opera DVD: I’ll be writing to the Chief Exec of both Sainsbury’s and Woolworths asking them to change their minds – hope you do too. Emailing their customer services is good idea (as quite a few people are suggesting) but I suspect any such email will be answered by someone relatively junior…

She’s bang on, there. The folks copying and pasting the replies from Woolworths sent me a copy and paste reply when I complained that their initial copy and paste reply did not answer my questions. The folks copying and pasting the replies from Sainsbury’s haven’t even bothered to standardise the fonts:

sainsbury reply

So Lynne suggests that you approach your MP about this freedom of speech issue, and that sounds like a mighty fine idea to me.

She also plans to write to the Chief Execs in order to get past the copy and paste barrier, and I think that this is a fine example to follow:

Justin King, Sainsbury’s, 35 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT
Trevor Bish-Jones, Woolworths PLC, Woolworths House, 242-246 Marylebone Road, NW1 6JL

Finally, there’s that cheeky thought that – perhaps, if we can get 10 people to complain – that Sainsbury’s will stop selling bread.

I’m not entirely on board with this. Surely it would be more to the point to stop them from selling disgustingly phallic objects like cucumbers and candles or – even better – perhaps we can complain about this disgraceful state of affairs…

Both Sainbury’s and Woolworths sell books, both online and in most stores. But they do not sell one of the most popular books of all time. For some reason, both stores refuse to stock the Bible!

I feel a candlelight vigil coming on… perhaps we can follow it up with a good head-kicking.

no bibles here

nope, no bibles here, either








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