SENIOR members of the Church of Scotland have voted to let some congregations choose ministers who are in same-sex relationships – an important compromise that must still pass further hurdles before it can become church law. Continue reading
Category Archives: Protestant sects
Sydney University’s Wesley College is investigating reports of inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment during Orientation Week, after two undercover magazine reporters snuck in to a number of on-campus parties posing as students. Continue reading
So that’s not what we’ll do.
But one of these days these shoes are going
Postal over you.
I can’t extract the text so here’s a link to the image:
Q: How do you know your shoes are atheists?
A: They’ve got no soles.
A PRIEST described as “one of the worst offenders in the history of the Anglican Church” moved between parishes in NSW, and later joined the Baptist Church, despite senior clerics knowing he had allegedly committed serial sex abuse.
Geoffrey Albert Taylor is alleged to have abused dozens of predominantly teenage women and girls over at least three decades from the 1960s.
Of course, knowing someone has ‘allegedly done’ something is not the same as knowing he’s done it. But I expect they could have found out if it had bothered them.
Q: As an intelligent twenty-first century Westerner, it has been drawn to your attention that there is no evidence anywhere for the existence of God. Do you:
a) Become an atheist?
b) Turn a bug into a feature, and proudly assert the fundamental significance of an evidence-free — in fact, existence-free — deity? Continue reading
Dead kids, good God — what’s up with that?
Ask the Religion Experts: How can we explain a tragedy like the Newtown shootings?
It’s appropriate, because these guys wrote the book on crazy! Here’s a summary, so you don’t have to read it:
Anglicans: ‘Cos people are shite and God hates us.
Sikhs: God knows, we don’t.
Muslims: Can we have more time, please?
Bah’ai: God? What God?
Hindus: See Sikhs above.
Atheists: Stupid question!
Buddhism: Dunno why it happened, but Buddhism could have prevented it.
Catholics: God gave us this great stuff, so dodge the question.
Fundamentalist Christians: God da man, dude! Don’t give him no shit, yo!
How come they didn’t ask any Satanists?
Update: I didn’t realise, but at the Ottawa Citizen every Thursday is Ask A Confabulist Day!
As Hurricane Sandy barges through the northeastern U.S., what are people of faith to make of it? Is it a punishment from God, as some pastors have already declared? It it a test? Will everything be OK? Pastors, rabbis, imams and other clergy have been inundated with these kinds of questions and requests for prayers. The answers are complex, and vary among faiths.
But they all have one thing in common: none of them make any sense.
“Nature is value-free,” said Kushner, a rabbi of the conservative Jewish tradition. “It can’t tell the role between the deserving the undeserving. God’s role is not to decide where the hurricane goes and how severe it is. God’s role is to motivate people to help neighbors and improve methods to predict hurricanes. God is found not in the problem, but in the resilience.”
See, God’s just a regular guy like you and me, except for knowing everything and being all-powerful.
And when in doubt, obfuscate:
Martin, the Catholic priest, said Christians should have a similar outlook. “Suffering is never the last word in the Christian world view. “There is no cross without resurrection.”
Schoolboy George Pratt had attended his local Scout group for ten months, and was expecting to invest in the group along with his friends.
But, after being required to swear the traditional promise, he found himself unable to join as he does not believe in God.
George, 11, said he was “very disappointed” in the decision, calling it “very unfair” and claiming he feels left out from experiences and trips his friends are attending.
His father Nick Pratt, 45, has accused the Scout movement of being “narrow minded” and “intolerant”, saying his son is being “excluded because he doesn’t believe”.
To become a full member of the 1st Midsomer Norton Group in Somerset, which meets in a hall opposite his home, George must take the Scout Promise.
This reads: “On my honour, I promise that I will do my best, To do my duty to God and to the Queen, To help other people, And to keep the Scout Law.”
Different versions of the oath are available for different faiths, such as the use of ‘Allah’ to replace ‘God’ for Muslims.
So it doesn’t matter what Invisible Friend you think you have, as long as you have one? What about Harvey, the six-foot rabbit? I’m sure he could teach a twelve-year-old boy all sorts of things.
Who would have thought it?
Luckily, there are some stupid people around prepared to check it out for us…
Rachel Held Evans’ upcoming book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, chronicles her 12 month attempt to obey the Bible’s commandments for menstruating women in Leviticus Chapters 15 to 18, a passage full of rules stemming from the theory that women on their periods are untouchable.
The Tennessee-based writer, 31, stayed home from church, carried around a seat cushion to avoid sitting on chairs outside her home, abstained from sex and even touching her husband, grew her hair out and slept in a tent once a month.
Her project-turned-book follows all the Bible’s instructions for women as precisely as possible, taking on powerful theological questions, gender issues, and the possible future of the church.
It’s International Believe Weird Shit Day!
…today, we pledge to agree with what everyone else believes and says, just for one day. We are not allowed to dissent, ‘offend’ or question. Also, to be fair, we ask everyone else to agree with everything that we believe and say. So let’s see how that works out.
Just for today, I agree with the following twenty five beliefs:
I agree with the Greek poet Hesiod that the world began when Gaia emerged out of Chaos, and gave birth to Uranus, who made her pregnant to give birth to the Titans, after which Gaia convinced her son Conus to castrate his father and become King of the Titans.
I agree with the Bible that the creator of the universe came to planet Earth, circling one of a hundred billion stars in one of a hundred billion galaxies, so that he could impregnate a virgin in order to give birth to himself, then be tortured and die and dictate a book about it…..
Because, you know, they’re right.
The federal government is cancelling the contracts of non-Christian chaplains at federal prisons, CBC News has learned.
Inmates of other faiths, such as Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jews, will be expected to turn to Christian prison chaplains for religious counsel and guidance, according to the office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who is also responsible for Canada’s penitentiaries.
Toews made headlines in September when he ordered the cancellation of a tender issued for a Wiccan priest for federal prisons in B.C…
In an email to CBC News, Toews’ office says that as a result of the review, the part-time non-Christian chaplains will be let go and the remaining full-time chaplains in prisons will now provide interfaith services and counselling to all inmates.
Let us know how that works out for you.
A Harvard historian has identified a faded, fourth-century scrap of papyrus she calls “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife.” One line of the torn fragment of text purportedly reads: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …’” The following line states, “she will be able to be my disciple.”
The finding was announced to the public today (Sept. 18) by Karen King, a historian of early Christianity, author of several books about new Gospel discoveries and the Hollis professor of divinity at Harvard Divinity School. King first examined the privately owned fragment in 2011, and has since been studying it with the help of a small group of scholars.
Or was he just working up a comedy routine?
“My wife, she’s so fat, she needs an abacus to count her chins. She climbed on Balaam’s ass to ride to Jerusalem, and it said ‘Sorry, two of you will have to get off!’ I told her she could be a disciple if she lost forty pounds, and she said ‘Why don’t I lose fifty and become a vestal virgin?’ I don’t get no respect!”
Andrew Brown can.
That is why people are – quite rightly – suspicious of the apparently more limited programme of allowing doctors to kill off the terminally ill who are clear that they want to die because their life offers nothing more than suffering.
Because what could be more sinister than actually letting people do what they want?
Australian Christian Lobby spirals ever-faster towards irrelevance…
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard will address the Australian Christian Lobby’s national conference next month, despite its leader yesterday suggesting a homosexual ”lifestyle” was more hazardous to health than smoking.
The lobby’s managing director, Jim Wallace, made the claim in Tasmania yesterday during a debate on same-sex marriage.
”I think we’re going to owe smokers a big apology when the homosexual community’s own statistics for its health – which it presents when it wants more money for health – are that is has higher rates of drug taking, of suicide, it has the life of a male reduced by up to 20 years,” he told the audience.
”The life of smokers is reduced by something like seven to 10 years and yet we tell all our kids at school they shouldn’t smoke.”
If you smoke after intercourse… you need more lubrication.
Update 2012-09-06: Our beloved Prime Minister has now declined the invitation to speak to the ACL. It seems there are some things even she won’t stand for.
A former police officer who has admitted doctoring photos of teenage girls he met through a church youth group and posted them on a pornographic website says he likes to think of himself as an “artist”.
Wayne Paul Mason, 42, is charged with more than 50 child sex and pornography charges after one of his alleged victims found on a website explicit photos of herself and other girls taken by him nearly a decade earlier.
Mr Mason, who was an officer with the NSW Police between 1997 and 2003, has pleaded not guilty.
Update: Mason has been found guilty and sentenced to a minimum of seven years’ jail.
I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
Justin Brierley[,] the presenter of Premier’s faith discussion show Unbelievable? is inviting atheists to take part in the Atheist Prayer Experiment.
To take part email email@example.com
You will receive further info and be sent a copy of the academic paper on which the experiment is based.
We are asking each atheist who wishes to take part to pray for 2 to 3 minutes a day for 40 days for God to reveal Himself to them.
We would like any reflections, reactions, or revelations (positive or negative) experienced during the experiment to be recorded by participants. This may be video/audio Journal, blog, on a dedicated Facebook page, sent in by email etc.
So the way to ‘scientifically’ prove that the creator and supreme head honcho of the entire universe actually exists is to see if he can get a few atheists to change their minds?
How have the Almighty fallen!
In a just-released Washington Post poll, members of the Tea Party came in as the lowest supporters of same-sex marriage by a huge margin. The poll overall finds that 53% of all adults (and 52% of registered voters) believe same-sex marriage should be “legal,” while 42% feel it should be “illegal,” maintaining the consistent response rate found by almost every major poll over the past few years, which find that the majority of Americans support extending civil marriage to same-sex couples….
While Democrats came in with 68% support for same-sex marriage, Independents with 57%, and Republicans with only 30%, a mere 6% of Tea Party members said they support same-sex marriage. No other group was close to that low support level. Even Republican religious values voters (along with pro-government conservatives) came in at 11%, almost twice the rate of Tea Party Republicans.
The US Republican party is providing us all with an object lesson in what happens when a political force seeks to embrace a particular religion. Every step that leads to the recruitment of a new fundamentalist leads to the loss of someone bright and well-informed enough to see that issues have two sides. Only the miserable showing of the almost equally dysfunctional Democrats conceals what a poor excuse for a political movement the Republicans have become. By now they can’t even field a credible Presidential candidate. Magic underpants, anyone?
Parents who trust in divine intervention, even after doctors say there is no hope of survival, are putting their children through aggressive but futile treatments, [a research report says]…
In an article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics they warned that families with deeply held hopes for a “miraculous” recovery were increasingly being allowed to “stonewall” medical opinion.
Unusually, the warning is contained in an article jointly written by specialist doctors from the neonatal intensive care unit at Great Ormond Street in London — Dr Joe Brierley and Dr Andy Petros — and the hospital’s main chaplain, the Rev Jim Linthicum.
Their article follows a review of 203 cases at the unit in which parents were advised that life support systems should be switched off.
The authors disclosed that 70 per cent of deaths at the unit followed the withdrawal of medical care…
In 17 cases, the parents insisted on continuing treatment even after lengthy discussions about the probability that it would be unsuccessful. In 11 of these, religion was the main factor influencing their decision. Some of the cases were eventually resolved after religious leaders persuaded the parents to allow the child to die, and one case went to the High Court.
In the remaining cases, no agreement could be reached because the parents were awaiting a “miracle”, the authors said.
…because I enjoy seeing fellow human beings undergo incredible agonies.
The image of Tony Nicklinson’s despair is profoundly moving. In his pain, he momentarily transcends his condition to communicate to the world. That should make us wonder about the wisdom of ever making it permissible to end this terrible marvellous thing called life.
That’s all there is to say, really.
Update 2012-08-19: So is Sarah Wollaston.
Update 2012-08-24: So is Richard Carvath.
Promiscuity, separation and divorce are at ‘epidemic’ proportions, a senior Church of England bishop has warned as he called for Britain to use the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee as an opportunity to reflect and reassess values.
The Rt Rev Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, writing in a Bible Society pamphlet about the origins of the word jubilee, said Britain was now an ‘enormously different’ society compared to 1952 – the year of the Queen’s accession to the throne – and in ‘so many ways’ a better place to live.
But he said inequality had grown and material progress had been at the expense of communal life with relationships within families, communities and society ‘more strained, more fragile’ and more broken than people cared to recognise.
I just put this in for the picture. Isn’t it wonderful!
PROPOSED changes to the way parents are notified about the option of ethics classes in NSW schools have been criticised by supporters, who claim they are a deliberate attempt to stymie the classes’ take up.
A government-initiated inquiry into ethics classes was held this year following calls for their abolition by the Christian Democratic Party MP, Fred Nile, whose party shares the balance of power in the upper house.
It found the classes should be retained but recommended that parents should not be advised the classes are available until after they have decided to opt out of special religious education, or scripture.
Surely ‘found’ is the wrong word here. ‘Fantasised’ would be a better one.
A grieving husband armed with a machete launched a terrifying attack on a church hall singing group because he was angry at God for his wife’s painful death from cancer.
The unemployed man allegedly punched, kicked and battered five elderly people including an 84-year-old woman at St Barnabas Church in Orpington, Kent.
The terrified party, part of the Velvet Harmony barbershop singing group, locked themselves inside the hall, turned off the lights and closed the curtains after hearing windows breaking outside.
And where was God when all this was going on? Hiding behind an 84-year-old woman?
Scotland could become the first part of the UK to introduce gay marriage after the SNP government announced plans to make the change.
Ministers confirmed they would bring forward a bill on the issue, indicating the earliest ceremonies could take place by the start of 2015.
Political leaders, equality organisations and some faith groups welcomed introducing same-sex marriage.
But it was strongly opposed by the Catholic Church and Church of Scotland.
Well, that came out of left field…
Mimes often evoke the image of a white-faced man or woman patting thin air with white-gloved hands to imitate being trapped inside an invisible box.
That stereotypical image is evolving, says James C. Hayes, the 31-year-old founder and chief executive officer of Run the Race Performing Arts Ministry, a business that teaches miming and other forms of artistic expression.
“I’ve been Gospel miming since 1998,” said the self-proclaimed “minister of mime.” “It’s taking Gospel music and bringing it to life through out dramatic expression.. It’s something crazy; its something special.”
This Friday and Saturday, Hayes of Detroit is offering a two-day mime workshop to an estimated 250 mime students, culminating with a 1,000-attendee concert at 7:14 p.m. Saturday in the Chapel LIFE Church, Williams Chapel, 3100 Elmwood in Detroit….
Hayes said nearly “every church has a mime team” and the art form is not only gaining popularity in ministries but on the street.
Hayes said using miming people can better convey positive messages to help improve the city of Detroit.
Positive messages like: “Let’s send all the fucking mimes to Chicago!”
Masked assailants launched simultaneous gun and grenade raids on two churches in a Kenyan town on Sunday, killing at least 17 people in the worst attack in the country since Kenya sent troops into Somalia to crush al Shabaab militants.
If you’re an average US resident, around $230 a year.
Research Report: How Secular Humanists (and Everyone Else) Subsidize Religion in the United States
Ryan T. Cragun, Stephanie Yeager, and Desmond Vega
…pay off, apparently.
People professing to have no religion have moved past Anglicans to become the second-largest grouping after Catholics in the 2011 Census.
Almost 4.8 million people said they had no religion, up 29 per cent from 2006, but the number of people not answering the question dropped by 2 per cent. This suggested that more people were claiming a religious identity (including no religion), said Monash University sociology professor Gary Bouma.
The total Christian population is 13.2 million, or 61 per cent, down three percentage points. Catholics have dropped half a percentage point to 25.3 or 5.4 million, Anglicans are down 1.6 percentage points to 3.7 million, while the Uniting Church is down to 5 per cent, or 1.1 million people.
Take that, accommodationists!
Results like this make my job worthwhile.
…moments after Stig Elling married his partner Steen Andersen in a Copenhagen church last Saturday under new Danish laws allowing such a ceremony, didn’t the citizens of Copenhagen hear a low rumbling sound, followed by a terrifying ripping as Church ruptured from State, “traditional family values” were torn asunder, frogs rained down, locusts swarmed, loins were smited, and satanic, skeletal creatures, with teeth like jagged shards of glass, tore humans limb from limb before feasting greedily on their organs?
– Deborah Ross
*That’s Danish for “Oh, bugger!”
House Republicans prohibited state Rep. Lisa Brown from speaking on the floor Thursday after she ended a speech Wednesday against a bill restricting abortions by referencing her female anatomy.
Brown, a West Bloomfield Democrat and mother of three, said a package of abortion regulation bills would violate her Jewish religious beliefs and that abortions be be allowed in cases where it is required to save the life of the mother.
“Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no,’” Brown said Wednesday….
Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas, R-Midland, determined Brown’s comments violated the decorum of the House, said Ari Adler, spokesman for the Republican majority.
“If I can’t say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas?” Brown asked Thursday at a hastily called Capitol press conference. “What language should I use?”
Brown noted “vagina” is the “medically correct term.”
“We’re all adults here,” she said.
Definition of ADULT
1. : fully developed and mature
Well, there’s your problem.