Filed under God-botherers

Keep the faith

There\’s a piece in this week\’s Economist on government funding for faith schools. I\’d forgotten that the government shamefully capitulated to the imaginary-friend-in-the-sky brigade and didn\’t force them, as originally planned, to set aside places for children without mentally ill parents.

Anyway. The article is broadly abolitionist, which is a good thing. But it glosses over the suggestion that religous schools can provide better educational outcomes (even for kids of a given income level) than secular schools – it cites one LSE study which believes previous work was inadequately controlled, but only in passing. Given that the main claim behind faith schools is that they\’re better, a good article would have devoted rather more time to the point [note to self: write a good article one day].

If faith schools do have better educational outcomes, then I have a genius plan to allow this advantage while ending the ghettoisation and unthinking indoctrination that makes them morally evil: allow parents to opt to send their child to a faith school, but then ensure the faith is different from that of the parents.

This will not only provide the disciplinary and teacher-motivational benefits that are supposed to be associated with religious schooling, but will also highlight to kids that 1) it\’s all just a load of stories anyway 2) grown-ups, when speaking about beliefs rather than facts, are not to be trusted 3) the worthwhile parts, like respecting other people, are common to [the chat, if not the actions, of] all religions.

My staunchly atheist parents sent me to a succession of church schools. This left me thinkingly rather than unthinkingly atheist, and also gave me an infinitely better knowledge of Christian theology than most of the idiots who actually believe in said cult. Which is about the best grounding in life that one could ask for…

Mo\’toons redux

I seem to recall, about 18 months ago, the \”we\’re libertarian, err, except when it comes to Muslims, who should probably all be sent home or killed or something\” branch of blogland getting very excised about the reaction to some puerile cartoons of an old religious geezer.

\”We live in a dhimmi state\”, was the cry. \”People who publish these cartoons get censored and harrassed, while the fanatics who protest about them get away with it.\”

Now the judicial process has run its course, let\’s see the final statistics: number of people prosecuted for disseminating said cartoons: 0; number of people jailed for several years for protesting about them: 4.

Mysteriously, the dhimmibollocks brigade has been silent about this. It\’s almost as if it didn\’t fit their paranoid conspiracist agenda…

I would so buy that game

A pointless and absurd fuss has been brewing in Manchester over Sony\’s use of the local cathedral as the backdrop to a shoot-em-up game.

In an attempt to simultaneously conjure up the ghost of Mary Whitehouse and give the Muslims a decent run for their money in the \’taking offence at really stupid things\’ stakes, the god-botherers are trying to get the game withdrawn. Daft sods – if a building I spent my Sundays at (e.g. the pub) were included in a computer game, I\’d be fucking delighted.

According to the cleric leading the crusade campaign,

\”We still fear that the next buildings to be cloned for virtual desecration could be a mosque, synagogue, temple or other church.\”

I would so buy that game. You could have loads of different levels, playing as the KKK, neo-Nazis, Gujurati Hindus, Pakistani Muslims, the IDF, the Romans – the possibilities are near-endless. In \’expert\’ mode, the congregation fights back…

\”Worship Desecrator IV: how many can you burn? Out now on PS3!\”

Amen, brother

Those who the gods love die young. Jerry Falwell was 73.

Ian Caldwell is a bigoted cunt

Specifically, Mr Caldwell is the kind of bigoted cunt who, when he spots a lady Muslim swimmer wearing a burqini, tries to get her thrown out of the swimming pool, and then sells his story to the tabloids lying that the lady in question was wearing a full-on burqa.

Balance on Iran

There\’s an excellent piece by Matt Frei on the contradictions at the heart of Iran (key take out: not bloodthirsty backward place ruled by mentalists, and only a fucktard would believe it was).

If you\’re as sick as me of the brain-dead knee-jerk demonisation of both the country and the regime, then you\’ll enjoy it. If you aren\’t, that suggests you\’ve got no fucking clue about what\’s going on there, and so you need to read it even more.

Also, re sailors: as long as they aren\’t being tortured, which they aren\’t, and will be released as soon as our government has made some concessions (broadly, easing up in the whole \’demonising them and opposing their understandable attempt to defend themselves from Israel\’s nukes\’ business), which they will, bothered.

I\’m the Israeli ambassador, this is what I do

The Israeli ambassador to El Salvador makes the Bishop of Southwark look like a rank amateur in the \’drunken career suicide\’ stakes. Good work, that gimp.

The sad thing is, they didn\’t even recognise the irony

Tony Judt is a British Jewish writer and historian. He believes that Israel as a racially-founded state is morally unsustainable, and that it would be desirable to convert \”Israel from a Jewish state to a binational one\”, with equal rights for all Jews and Arabs living in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Because many defenders of Israel are mendacious conniving bastards who view criticism of Israel as equivalent to antisemitism, Mr Judt has been punished for his views. He was fired from the New Republic, and more recently had a speech cancelled in New York.

On October 4, 2006, Judt\’s scheduled New York talk before the organization Network 20/20 was abruptly cancelled after Polish Consul Krzysztof Kasprzyk suddenly withdrew his offer of a venue following telephone calls from the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committe.

I wonder if you can guess what the speech was going to be about?

Judt, who had planned to argue that the Israel lobby in the US often stifled honest debate, called the implications of the cancellation \”serious and frightening.\”

Rule of thumb

If you follow a link to a blog you haven\’t heard of before, and the top post begins with:

There\’s an important post from Melanie Phillips

it\’s fair to assume that the rest of the blog is crazyarsedloonery and best avoided. Christian Hate? is no exception: it hates the charity Christian Aid because Christian Aid sometimes has a go at Israel without adding \”but the Palestinians kill Israeli babies for fun\” to each criticism it makes. This makes Christian Aid objectively antisemitic, obviously.

The linked Mel piece is, admittedly, one of her best – she has a full-on mentalist rant at pretty much all British Christians for sometimes having a go at Israel without adding \”but the Palestinians kill Israeli babies for fun\” to each criticism they make. This makes all British Christians objectively antisemitic, obviously.