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  • 10 Sep 2010

    Peter Tatchell's documentary: The Trouble With The Pope

    Next Monday on Channel 4, Peter Tatchell examines the Pope's beliefs and positions on a wide range of issues, as well as the impact his pronouncements have had on both the developing and Western world. Watch the trailer HERE.

     

    tv | people | religion poisons everything
    Comments 1

  • 02 Sep 2010

    Britain: a "selfish, hedonistic wasteland" and the "geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death"

    According to a senior advisor to the Archbishop of Westminster, speaking just weeks before the Pope's visit to England. And guess who's to blame? Go on, I'll give you one guess.

    Bingo! The gays! And abortion and the commercialisation of sex. Our usual bedfellows.

    "Whether we like it or not, as British citizens and residents of this country - and whether we are even prepared as Catholics to accept this reality and all it implies - the fact is that historically, and continuing right now, Britain, and in particular London, has been and is the geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death," he said.

    "Our laws and lawmakers for over 50 years have been the most permissively anti-life and progressively anti-family and marriage, in essence one of the most anti-Catholic landscapes, culturally speaking - more than even those places where Catholics suffer open persecution."

    "Britain in particular, with its ever-increasing commercialisation of sex, not to mention its permissive laws advancing the 'gay' agenda, is such a wasteland."

    Reports in the Guardian and the Independent with reaction from gay rights campaigners and others.

    How utterly laughable. What kind of deluded lunatic looks around the world - at countries that torture and murder their citizens, where the systematic rape of women is used as a weapon, where women are bought and sold as chattels, where gay kids are hung in public, where dissidents are imprisoned and murdered - and then decides that civilized, democratic, gardening Britain is the epicentre of the "culture of death"?

    Joan Smith, also in the Independent, comes to the defense of modern Britain.

    I woke up as usual yesterday in the "geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death" - and very pleasant it was. I fed the cats, read the papers and carried an espresso into the back garden, congratulating myself on being a citizen of a country that doesn't stone women to death, hang gay men from cranes or murder people who change their religion. I mean, how great is that? I love living in the "selfish, hedonistic wasteland" that is London - both quotes come from one Edmund Adamus, who is apparently a senior British Catholic and an adviser to the Archbishop of Westminster - and I just wish more nations would follow our example.

    Frankly, I'm tired of hearing religious bigots running down this country. For all its faults - crap public transport, Nick Clegg popping up everywhere and a national obsession with Simon Cowell - Britain is still one of the most civilised places in the world to live. It's not Iran, where prisoners are subjected to rape and mock executions; it isn't Saudi Arabia either, despite Mr Adamus's downright peculiar belief that we're more anti-Catholic than the Chinese or the Saudis. (Might I suggest he tries walking along a street in Riyadh carrying a crucifix and a Bible?) The Catholic Church has picked up this habit of dissing secular culture from hardline Muslims, who dislike pretty much the same things: gay relationships, equal rights for women and the freedom to mock religion.

    Read the rest.

     

    religion poisons everything | uk | gay rights
    Comments 3

  • 24 Aug 2010

    Let us prey

    Toronto is not known for the kind of extreme Christian shenanigans that other parts of North America are known for, so when a group from an Evangelical church took to praying the gay away outside the house of a local gay couple, other residents of the street confronted them and shooed them away. Reportedly the group had already succeeded in driving a lesbian couple from the area. At one point one of the Evangelicals says, "We've been doing this seven years", to which one of the residents replies, "And we've hated it the whole time!".

    (Link: Torontoist / Via: Towleroad)

     

    religion poisons everything | world | gays | sex
    Comments 1

  • 23 Aug 2010

    The frightening consequences of ignorance and religion

    As you are probably aware, a proposed plan to build a Muslim community centre in lower Manhattan, a few blocks from "Ground Zero", has become a national controversy in the US, where the usual suspects claim the plan is an insult to people who died in the World Trade Center attack. Well, an insult to the Christians who died I suppose, because the Muslims and others who died weren't real Americans. How dare they build a Muslim community centre (because Muslim = terrorist, you know) on this "hallowed ground", blocks away from Ground Zero, among the McDonalds and the strip clubs....

    Now, as a happy atheist (I always find myself saying "happy" atheist, because the zealously religious are always trying to paint atheists as sad lost souls, projecting their own emptiness on to me) who firmly believes religion is a force for ill in the world, I'd rather there were no religious community centres, or mosques, or churches, or temples built anywhere, but trying to conflate all Muslims with terrorists, and deciding that one religion, i.e. Christianity, is all-American and good, while another is not, is just pathetic and ignorant.

    Yesterday, a large group of about 2000 protestors turned up near the site (and were met by a counter protest of about 1000 people) and the ignorance and hate was palpable. In this clip, an unfortunate guy becomes the focus of the crowd's ignorance. His crime? Being brown skinned and wearing a funny hat. As he says himself, he's not even Muslim, and "All y'all dumb motherfuckers don't even know my opinion on shit".

    P.S. The guy is a carpenter who works at the Ground Zero site.

    UPDATE: Al-Jazeera's report on the protest and controversy.

     

    religion poisons everything | usa
    Comments 19

  • 13 Aug 2010

    Novellist Colm Tóibín on homosexuality, the Church, and the Pope's own sexuality

    Colm Tóibín writes an in-depth piece in the London Review of Books on homosexuality and the church. It's worth taking the time to read it in full.

    Here's part:

    There are very good reasons why homosexuals have been traditionally attracted to the priesthood. I know these reasons because I, as someone ‘confused about my sexuality', had to confront and entertain the idea that I should join the priesthood. In 1971, aged 16, I gave up my Easter break so I could attend a workshop for boys who believed they had a vocation.

    Some of the reasons why gay men became priests are obvious and simple; others are not. Becoming a priest, first of all, seemed to solve the problem of not wanting others to know that you were queer. As a priest, you could be celibate, or unmarried, and everyone would understand the reasons. It was because you had a vocation; you had been called by God, had been specially chosen by him. For other boys, the idea of never having sex with a woman was something they could not even entertain. For you, such sex was problematic; thus you had no blueprint for an easy future. The prospect, on the other hand, of making a vow in holiness never to have sex with a woman offered you relief. The idea that you might want to have sex with men, that you might be ‘that way inclined', as they used to say, was not even mentioned, not once, during that workshop in which everything under the sun was discussed.

    That you were gay was something you managed to know about yourself and not know at the same time. I am almost certain, for example, that when I was warned by a priest at school that a boy who had parted his hair in the middle had by this act given a sign that he was homosexual (the only time the term was mentioned in those years), the priest himself had no clear and open idea that he himself liked teenage boys. (He would spend time in jail more than 20 years later for abusing teenage boys.) He would have had a way, learned for good reasons in adolescence, of keeping some of his actions and desires secret from himself. His sense of power and entitlement would also have meant that such crimes as he committed would most likely not see the light of day. The priesthood had, as far as he was concerned, solved his problems for him.

    This is almost an aspect of the Catholic religion itself, this business of knowing and not knowing something all at the same time, keeping an illusion separate from the truth. We knew that the bread and wine, for example, were literally and actually changed into the body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ by the priest at Mass, and, at the same time, we must have known that this was not the case, that, really, they remained just bread and wine.

    The shame an adolescent felt about being gay in those years should not be underestimated; the feeling that you were less than worthy, that if people found out the truth about you they would despise you, went deep into your soul. This was another reason to become a priest. You could change your own powerlessness into power. As a priest, you would be admired and looked up to, you would spend your life - as so many Catholic priests have indeed spent their lives - doing good and being good. And being seen to be good, being needed by the sick and the dying, being wanted to officiate at weddings and baptisms and funerals, saying the sacred words which would mean so much to the congregation, all this would offer you a fulfilled and fulfilling life. Becoming a priest solved not only the outward problem of forbidden and unmentionable sexual urges, but, perhaps more important, offered a solution to the problem of having a shameful identity that lurked in the deepest recesses of the self.

    This idea of knowing two things at the same time has been essential to gay people in other ways. Gay people have known that our sexuality was actually, despite what we read or were told, quite normal, quite natural; it was only the world that thought otherwise. While the world's view often ate into the self, there was another part of the self which remained intact, confident, sure. Introspection, the study of the self, for gay people became necessary, fruitful. The struggle between our knowledge and their prejudice often meant that a spiritual element in our being - something private, wounded, solitary and self-aware - had reason to come to the fore and seek nourishment in a close relationship to God. This is another reason so many gay men have become priests.

    Gay liberation made its way, strangely, into the seminaries. I have a letter from a friend, an Irish writer, sent in response to a piece I wrote for this paper about the Ferns Report, describing his visit to an Irish seminary in the 1980s.[*] Since the Church was liberalising at that time, it would not have been unusual for writers to be invited to seminaries to speak. My friend had no intention of being shocking, or amusing. He spoke about literature, choosing the dullest subject for the seminarians. What he noticed among them, however, was anything but dull; and it surprised him greatly. He saw an immense amount of male fluttering; he listened as young candidates for the priesthood, boys from rural Ireland, attempted Wildean witticisms; he noticed them wearing specially tailored soutanes, moving around each other, excitedly, like a flock of girls. Here it was, and he was not the only one to witness it: ‘the takeover of the seminaries by homosexuals'.

    But this was merely what it looked like. What such a seminary would have looked like a generation or two earlier, or indeed a century or two earlier, was as much an illusion as what my friend witnessed. Before the creation of a post-Stonewall gay identity and the presence of gay role models on television and in the movies, most gay men worked out a strategy, in early adolescence, to do a perfect, lifelong imitation of a straight man, to move around in that gruff, rangy way straight men had invented for themselves. For many homosexuals, the stereotype of the mincing, high-pitched queen was the most frightening idea that ever walked towards them. They hated it and feared it and worked out ways not to look like that themselves, or to be invisible when they did so.

     

    religion poisons everything | people | literature | gays
    Comments 15

  • 09 Aug 2010

    Anne Rice explains why she broke with Christianity

    Obviously, as a happy atheist, I fundamentally disagree with Anne's religious world view and wish she'd turn her obvious intellect to something else altogether, but still, it's at least refreshing to see a Christian take a critical look at Christianity, acknowledge the gigantic rotten holes, and act according to her principles. (Rice has abandoned organised Christianity: previously)

     

    people | religion poisons everything
    Comments 0

  • 31 Jul 2010

    Baby preacher speaking in tongues - now with subtitles

    If, like me, you spend too much time trawling around the internet, you may have already seen the American baby preacher who spoke "in tongues" at church, much to the delight of the congregation. It's weird and cute at the same time, so it got two thumbs up from the internet.

    Now, someone fun has gone to the trouble of subtitling it. I know you shouldn't say things like this about a baby, but turns out he (she?) is an idiot. He's not making any sense at all. Sheesh! Back to preacher school kid! Stupid baby.

    Kidding! As rabid Christians go, he's adorable. Well, until he's old enough to start shouting abuse at Pride parades and smearing shit on the local gay's front door.

     

    religion poisons everything | kids
    Comments 4

  • 30 Jul 2010

    Really? I mean seriously. Really?

    Is this religion's lowest point? (Well, apart from the torture and murder and hate stuff, but lower than say... folk mass)

     

    really? | nuts | religion poisons everything
    Comments 2

  • 29 Jul 2010

    If you're Catholic, here's another fella to make you real proud

    This is 83 year old Chilean Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez, who thinks being gay is "is a defect, as if one lacked an eye, a hand, a foot", and having gay sex is "immoral". But not to worry, "like alcoholics" you can overcome this tendency by "discipline, education, or reeducation." And just for good measure, if you're a gay Catholic and want to become a priest (obviously, none of you dirty women!) well, don't, because "ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood of homosexual men or men with homosexual tendencies is absolutely inadvisable and imprudent and, from the pastoral point of view, very risky. A homosexual person, or one with a homosexual tendency is not, therefore, fit to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders."

    Catholic Culture has the report.

    I really have difficulty understanding how there are any gay Catholics left. They hate you! They don't want you! You are an unwelcome member of a club the despises your very being. Have you considered Anglicanism? Or Shamanism? Or Dolly Parton?

     

    religion poisons everything | world | gays | sex
    Comments 6

  • 24 Jul 2010

    The Vatican's gay scene is thriving

    An Italian magazine has caused a splash in Italy with an exposé on the gay shenanigans of gay priests in the Vatican, including hidden camera photos and video. Depending on your point of view, it's all rather sad and pathetic, or totally hilarious.

    I'm going to go with hilarious!

    The Irish Times has a report:

    He and his friend were invited to the party by a French priest, referred to as Paul, whom the friend claims he first met in a sauna. After watching two semi-naked, oiled and muscular gay dancers go through their routine, Fr Paul climbed up on stage for what the reporter calls a session of "Dirty Dancing For Three".

    That first night ended with Fr Paul spending the night with Abbate's friend. The Panorama article is accompanied by clandestine photos allegedly depicting the said Fr Paul in striped boxer shorts in the friend's bedroom on the morning after.

    The article goes on to detail homosexual encounters with two other Rome-based priests, "Carlo" and "Luca", passionate encounters that are also photographically documented. After sex, Fr Luca, for example, proudly shows off his clerical vestments, walking around the bedroom half-naked. Fr Carlo claims that "98 per cent" of the priests he knows are homosexuals.

    The reporter's friend says he knows many priests who frequent gay spots such as the Coming Out bar near the Coliseum.

    Fr Paul and the friend begin a relationship via affectionate text messages. At one point the priest explains he has "to say Mass this evening at six o'clock but I'll say a prayer for you, if you like".

    At the Testaccio party, a Sardinian claims he has come to Rome just for the party, and asks: "Did you meet Fr Paul when you went to confession?"

    But you need to see the photos and video for the full hilarity. Here's the magazine's blog report on the investigation in Italian, and here's the English translation. Make sure you watch the video, even though sadly, they've cut out the explicit sex scene!

    At the end of the short video, one of the gay priests says mass in the pink flat where he's just had sex, and I love that on the shelf behind him there's a glamour pic of some Italian diva!

     

    religion poisons everything | world | gays | sex
    Comments 2

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