Questionable Motives

September 30, 2010

How shocked are you… really?

From the CBC:

A Roman Catholic order in Quebec was aware of allegations of sexual abuse by brothers in the religious group, according to evidence discovered by Radio-Canada.

A nine-page document, written by a long-term member of the Order of Holy Cross, chronicles specific allegations of abuse over the years at Montreal’s College Notre Dame. The document lists a dozen Holy Cross brothers from various institutions.

It also outlines how alleged abusers at the order’s flagship private school were not reported to the police and instead were allowed to stay on as teachers or support staff.

Wilson Kennedy, a former member of the religious order, told Radio-Canada in an exclusive interview that while he was with the order he spoke to a Vatican official about the problem.

“Rome was informed and the Superior General asked me for clarification on several cases,” Kennedy said. He said there was a culture of silence that protected alleged abusers.

Now just how shocking is this news? Or is it now so commonplace, so widespread, so endemic that the Vatican’s actual policy is clear: pay off those who have the best claims about abuse within church-run organizations while it continues to pay the legal bills for the pedophiles it maintains on staff but hold fast to the lie that the Vatican knew nothing while swearing that each new case is simply an isolated incident carried out by a few bad apples?
What’s surprising is that anyone – even devout die-hard life-long catholics who cannot comprehend how the institution itself can be so corrupt – continue to believe this tired spiel and that the pope has not been criminally liable for his active part in aiding and abetting these child rapists from secular authorities. That the pope himself has been an integral part of this ongoing cover-up for the past four decades seems to me to be very well documented while he avoids prosecution because he is immune as a ‘head of state’.
What a remarkable legacy for a life time of work for Pope Palpatine: helping a world wide organization to maintain a pedophile ring and helping the participants to avoid prosecution all the while claiming to be the moral voice for god. The arrogance and temerity and hypocrisy is profound, while the believers’ willful ignorance and trust and avoidance to seek the truth equally so.

September 28, 2010

How much do you know about religion?

Filed under: Atheism,belief,Poll — tildeb @ 9:58 am

How do you compare with others? Take the quiz here. (Don’t be surprised if the server is too busy… it seems you’re not alone.)

Atheists are often accused of knowing too little about religion to be able to criticize it. That seems to be just another ill-informed conclusion thrown into public debate by the religious as if it were true. Apparently, it isn’t.   The latest from PEW Forum on Religion and Public Life shows that atheists know more than believers, which raises the interesting question if in-depth knowledge about religion itself is the leading cause of  atheism.

September 24, 2010

Will it ever get better for LGBTs?

Filed under: abuse,LGBT — tildeb @ 12:56 pm

In support of Billy Lucas, a young gay teen who killed himself, comes the It gets better video series.

Billy Lucas was just 15 when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother’s property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates—classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his body. (From Dan Savage)

Here are Terry and Dan:

(Tip to Pharyngula)

What’s the e-word?

Filed under: Jesus and Mo — tildeb @ 12:08 pm

(Thanks to

For anyone curious where I’ve been this past week, I’ve been commenting a lot over at John Shore’s site. He is a good writer and hosts some terrific conversation, too. Come on over and have a peak.

September 17, 2010

What does an atheist hate campaign sound like?

Filed under: Atheism,Catholic Church,Criticism — tildeb @ 7:05 am


Why is the pope a vicious authoritarian theocratic homophobic misogynist hierarchical thug?

Filed under: Atheism,Catholic Church,Intolerance,Pope Benedict XVI — tildeb @ 6:42 am

Because, borrowing Ophelia Benson’s accurate description of him at her blog, he embodies his religion’s dogma, which just so happens to be vicious, authoritarian, homophobic, misogynistic, and hierarchical in need of of thuggery… and our favourite Pope Palpatine delivers in spades!

From his ‘welcoming’ speech at Hollyrood, Scotland:

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny” (Caritas in Veritate, 29).

Liar! Bald-faced liar! Your two-timing church WAS allied to Mussolini and Franco, you revisionist asshole, and you KNOW Hitler was a catholic by his own admission, you duplicitous despicable piece of human intellectual refuse. Yet you dare to blame atheism? Hitler’s political philosophy was NOT based upon atheism and had absolutely NO connection whatsoever with atheism, but that doesn’t stop the Darth Pope from spreading this disgusting lie when it serves his child-raping purposes.

Today, the United Kingdom strives to be a modern and multicultural society. In this challenging enterprise, may it always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate. Let it not obscure the Christian foundation that underpins its freedoms;

The lies just don’t stop with this deplorable excuse for an honest man – one who was an actual member of the Nazi party. Christianity underpins secular enlightened values?! Now we see what religious belief can do to addle the brain and distort history all at one fell swoop.

The man obviously suffers from dementia and is desperate need of prompt medical intervention. Wiring his lying mouth shut would be a reasonable start, putting him on trial for aiding and abetting heinous criminal acts against children would be what any responsible and respectable police force should do, and his speeches represent all the right reasons for good catholics to stay home from church and stop donating money to it if they wish to do the morally right thing… unless and until this lying-coward-who-is-pope is replaced by one that is willing to treat atheists and secularists with the human dignity we deserve.

Although his uniform has changed since the war, The Rat still harbours his inner Nazi… his irrational hatred aimed this time at secularists and atheists.

September 15, 2010

Religious discrimination or fraud? You be Da Judge!

Filed under: discrimination,Law,Religion,Witchcraft — tildeb @ 7:10 pm

For an atheist, this has got to be one the funniest and most ironic stories around these days (from the Brampton Guardian):

A Brampton man has been charged with fraud and “pretending to practice witchcraft” in his home. Yogendra Pathak, 44, was arrested Monday and will make his first appearance in court Oct. 7.
“He was offering to solve people’s problems, whether they were romantic or financial, through witchcraft, and we’re alleging that he wasn’t able to do that,” said Peel Sgt. Zahir Shah.

Don’t faith healers do the same schtick with the same results? And yet the police don’t arrest them. We’re talking blatant religious discrimination here, folks!

Shah said practicing witchcraft is not illegal, but police allege Pathak took advantage of people’s beliefs and trust for financial gain.

Sounds suspiciously like the catholic church… but without the child raping. Still, no charges for the roman catholic church. Good thing they didn’t charge money for raping kids or they’d be in REAL trouble with the Law!

Peel Regional Police investigators with 21 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau said they don’t know how many people went to Pathak’s home and paid for “witchcraft-related services”, but it is believed he has been offering the services for well over a year.

It’s new to the parish, I’ll grant you.

“We know there are more people out there,” Shah said. Police said he was advertising his services on the radio, and focusing on the South Asian community.

This what happens when you forget that you need to go big or go home. Or not… if the police are waiting there. He should of gone with cable TV.

It’s a rare charge to lay, Shah agreed. “It’s the first time I’ve come across it,” he said.

It’s religious discrimination against wiccanism, is what I think it may be. Down with The Man! Fight the system! Threaten to turn them into frogs and bats (but don’t charge them $$$) and eternal damnation in some Irish bog!

Now consider the following legal advice as it pertains to visiting your favourite church, synagogue, mosque, or stone circle:

Meanwhile, police are also warning residents to verify the accuracy and reliability of any type of service being offered:
• verify that you are being told the truth before you do anything. There is no need to make  an immediate decision when purchasing a service;
• get as much information from the service provider as possible;
• ask for references, and check them;
• try to get a written contract;
• if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Too funny!

September 13, 2010

What is the root of religious intolerance?

Scripture. Holy scripture. And we need to be courageous to face this most unpleasant fact. The only way for religion and Enlightenment values like freedom of expression to live together in peace and tolerance is if religion becomes domesticated. And that means that the scriptures need a good editing to annul the intolerance and bigotry it promotes by order of god and for the scripture’s literalistic adherents to be marginalized by main religious body of followers. And this needs to be clearly stated by our political leaders who, so far, have done a piss poor job enunciating this necessity; instead, they have kowtowed to the religious sense that all is fine and dandy in their religion… except for a few dingbats, wingnuts, and deluded folk who actually dare to believe that the scriptures say what god means. I know… crazy talk!

As Dan Gardiner clearly explains in this article:

Of course religions can evolve. It is true, for example, that most Christians do not support the immediate execution of all homosexuals and very, very few would think it appropriate to kill a man who had carnal relations with a sheep. Or kill the sheep. That’s progress.

But, even if religions evolve, religious texts don’t. The language of brutality and bigotry is still there, in books said to be holy. Surely it is not surprising that it can still inspire suspicion, hostility, and division, or that, every now and then, some strange little man will read it and decide to burn a Koran or picket a gay man’s funeral or fly a jet into a skyscraper. It’s true that religion can inspire the best in us. But it can also inspire hate and madness. This is a fact of enormous importance, if only our leaders had the courage to say it.

The fact of the matter is that biblical and qu’ranic scriptures are filled with god’s sanctified intolerance for the Other and various admonishments and punishments that seem to suit his rather barbaric taste in allowable retribution. People who honestly believe that these scriptures really are the word of god cannot understand how others who claim to be of a similar religious persuasion can cherry-pick which are to be understood to be benign metaphors and which are to be taken literally. Arguments for moderate and tolerant religious beliefs are usually based on theological interpretations that rely on a rather sophisticated reading that elevate the good bits over and above the bad bits. But many adherents feel uncomfortable agreeing to go along with these man-made interpretations rather than stick closer to the source. And I do not think we can fault these folk for relying on the source material… a practice hammered into my head by the repeated mantra of many a professor: when in doubt, go the source.

Our leadership – like most religious folk – would have us believe that these believers who rely on the source scripture for and are willing to act on their religious beliefs are some fringe group that has been radicalized into fundamental extremism. I think that is unfair and is an avoidance technique to have to deal with the truth of the matter: it is the religious and tolerant moderate who has moved away from the word of god as revealed in scripture. Unless and until we recognize scripture itself as a never-changing central impediment to achieving tolerance and legal respect for the rights and freedoms and dignity of the Other, we shall continue to pretend that this intellectual cowardice to face reality is a synonym for tolerance. It isn’t. It is an enabling attitude. And that enabling cowardice shall continue to exact a heavy price in human suffering in the name of god.

(Tip to a subscriber)

September 9, 2010

In spite of the beginning, what’s in a Word? Well… bad news for some…

Filed under: Education,Religion,Statistics — tildeb @ 7:29 pm

(Thanks to research by OKCupid with more than 3.5 million members)

Alas, what can we do?

Filed under: Jesus and Mo,theology — tildeb @ 2:04 pm


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