Sunday, April 13, 2014
In which Christian freedom fighters take a stand against bullying gays, women and Islamics ... and we keed, we keed ...
The news that Christ might have been a sexually active man with normal healthy sexual appetites has once again sent the tabloids into a novelty spin, as the pond was recently advised by a correspondent, and you can read in 'Jesus's wife' fragment is not a fake, scientists claim ...
The only people who might get agitated by the notion - yes, the Vatican immediately denounced the very notion - are the ones who cling to celibate virginity as the highest spiritual state (and never you mind what that nocturnal emission might signify).
Like most other superstitions, the nonsense about virginity was a pagan one, shared by many non-Christian cultures, though when it came to the Delphic Oracle it had its wrinkles:
Echecrates the Thessalian, having arrived at the shrine and beheld the virgin who uttered the oracle, became enamoured of her because of her beauty, carried her away and violated her; and that the Delphians because of this deplorable occurrence passed a law that in the future a virgin should no longer prophesy but that an elderly woman of fifty would declare the Oracles and that she would be dressed in the costume of a virgin, as a sort of reminder of the prophetess of olden times. (do a Greg Hunt here)
It's an important reminder of the many pagan superstitions rife in Christianity and Islam (which borrowed slavishly from the Judaeo-Christian tradition), with Easter and its fertility rites and egg symbolism just around the corner ...
Why Christians would settle for the image of a bearded wimp afraid of a fuck, as opposed to a manly man who enjoyed a good fuck, is one of the deeper mysteries of ancient times. Let's even not begin to wonder why Christ also seemed to enjoy the company of men, and spent a lot of time hanging around with his buddies ...
The Christ industry has spent the last few thousand years honing the right sort of image, playing down Christ's testosterone-driven anger management issues and producing an ethereal blue-eyed, pale skinned Scandinavian incapable of masturbation or fornication.
It reached the peak of absurdity with Jeffrey Hunter:
Rumour had it that preview audiences complained about the Messiah's hairy chest, and scenes were re-shot to give Jesus a nicely waxed body for the crucifixion scenes. Oh the persecution of the bears, when bears should be allowed to roam wild and free (it's listed, along with assorted other Jesus movies, here).
But enough of the weirdness of historical myth-making, because right at the moment the world is blessed by the angry Sydney Anglicans doing their best to flip events to suit their myth-making, led as always by the Jensenists, strangely posing as defenders of free speech in Phillip Jensen's Bullies and Censorship.
Why is it weird? Well let's forget the weirdness of Sydney Anglicans posing as anti-censorship freedom fighters for the moment ...
Jensen even gets agitated with QI for not giving equal time to slagging off Islamics the way the panellists allegedly slag off Christianity ... (they also probably don't spend enough time on Mormons and underwear, Hindus and sacred cows, or Scientologists sweating into their E-meters).
Anyway, here's how it's done. After the odd few thousand years persecuting gays, Jensen is shocked and appalled that gays might take a view, and in these liberated times, do something about it:
Amongst the strangest censorious power groups today are the minorities and victims. The homosexual lobby has repeatedly bullied people into silence, its latest victim being the IT giant Mozilla whose new CEO Brendan Eich, a co-founder of the company, was forced to resign for opposing gay marriage.
Actually Eich wasn't bullied into silence. He can keep on being as bigoted as he likes.
What he can't go on doing is pretending that the idle nonsense that was outlined in the Mozilla Manifesto and the Mozilla Community Participation Guidelines can continue to be blathered, in a meaningless, well-meaning way, without people noting the actual activities of the CEO of Mozilla.
1.Inclusion and Diversity:
The Mozilla Project welcomes and encourages participation by everyone. It doesn’t matter how you identify yourself or how others perceive you: we welcome you. We welcome contributions from everyone as long as they interact constructively with our community, including, but not limited to people of varied age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views.
Except if you were a gay who wanted to get married.
There's endless more blather, full of righteous hypocrisy, and completely at odds with Eich's actual activities, and Mozilla knew it, which is why they hastily attempted to paper over the cracks of an appointment guaranteed to cause trouble, and issued an FAQ on CEO Resignation - as geeks are wont to do.
But let's go on, because it seems bullying the hapless Xians is also the sport of vicious Islamics:
Another minority movement which bullies organisations into censorship, is the Islamic community living in Western nations. So Brandeis University has withdrawn its offer to confer an honorary doctorate on Aayin Hirsa Ali. She is an ex-Muslim atheist whose personal life is highly controversial but whose public life has involved campaigns against genital mutilation, honour killings and forced marriages. It was because of her published opinions against Islam and Mohammed that the university withdrew the offer of the degree. Those who live in Islamic lands do not have the freedoms that Muslims enjoy in Western nations, yet they use our freedoms to bully us into silence.
The bald-faced cheek of this one rocked even the pond. The notion that angry Sydney Anglicans are in the business of offering freedom of speech to atheists - even ones that have defaulted from Islam rather than the Anglicans - is risible. And the notion that the angry Anglicans have been bullied into silence ... well if only, if only ...
The Australian Christian Lobby is one of the most active censorship groups doing the rounds, and the angry Anglicans have frequently been in league with them, but even more ironic was the recent fuss that surrounded one Robert Crotty:
The issue was raised in a Note to Readers in the latest issue of the Journal of Religious Education, published by ACU. It was paltry: “Robert Crotty thinks ‘that Jesus was conceived in the normal way by two Jewish parents, named Joseph and Mary’.”
The sentence was extracted from a professional book chapter on the obvious difference between sacred story and historical reality.
In the same note was this puerile statement: “The assertion by Robert Crotty does not reflect the opinion of the Australian Catholic University, nor the Faculty of Education. Teachers using such material contained in the article within the classroom should exercise due caution and prudence.”
A quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the virginal conception of Jesus was cited as sufficient evidence for this extraordinary statement. (Academic freedom is at stake, behind the Oz paywall because freedom of speech comes at a price)
Yes, we're back in the tortured domain of healthy Jews having a productive fuck.
Now this was a Catholic do, but the fuss handily draws attention to the way that angry Anglicans and Catholics deal with their own and with others, by charging them with heresy, or by simply overlooking them or berating and snubbing and shunning them or refusing them promotion or appointment (do a Greg Hunt on Christian heresy in the modern era).
Where the rubber hits the road always comes back to pornography:
Australia is still struggling with censorship. The idealism of the 1960’s has proven untenable, with the rise of the pornography industry and, in particular, child pornography.
Which is code for, while you're reading this ostensibly freedom-laden tract about freedom of speech, in a profoundly anti-censorship way, how the angry Sydney Anglicans would dearly love to censor pornography, because won't someone think of the children ...
But the real problem of censorship is the silencing of intellectual debate about issues of abortion, homosexuality, child raising, multiculturalism and Islamic violence.
Which is news to the pond. The angry Sydney Anglicans routinely continue to rabbit on about all these issues, at times in offensive ways. The real irritation, surely, is that they are, these days, routinely ignored, except when their bigotry contributes to the hapless condition of gays in Africa and women's rights in Sydney ...
If you do not defy bullies you will be enslaved to them. Undoubtedly, at times, Christians in power have been at fault, but since the Reformation, Christians have slowly learnt the importance of truth setting us free rather than offence needing to be restricted.
Not had your fill of delusional rhetoric yet? How about this?
We now need to learn not to be cowered into silence by bullies.
The Christian pulpit is one of the few uncensored voices left in our land...
Yes, by that point, the pond was rolling jaffas down the aisles, and looks forward to atheists around the land being invited into church to preach sermons on atheism and its joys ...
Relax, the uncensored voice really only means the right to continue to preach the patriarchal bigotry and prejudice inherent in the bible. And whatever you do, remember this doesn't include celebrating Jesus as a man with a wife, who hopefully gave him a hard time about equal rights for women ... and don't you go giving me any of that complementarian crap, Jesus, I've had it up to here ...
If you want a classic example of how the angry Sydney Anglicans get their history back the front, take a look at Michael Jensen's A bloodthirsty God?
Jensen opens with a tale of the bloodthirsty Aztecs doing damage to some of Hernanz Cortez's men, and never mind that the Spanish empire, by way of disease and deliberate violence, killed hundreds of thousands in the invasion of South and central America (and incidentally imported over 12 million slaves up until the time slavery was abolished - there's a brief history of all this google cached here).
The rest of Jensen's tract is the usual anguished attempt to sort out the vengeful, angry old testament god who was inclined to all sorts of barbarities, right up to and including genocide. It's tricky because this angry god kept up the tradition in the new testament by arranging for the execution of his son, perhaps because he envied his son's manly life and marriage ...
As a corrective, the pond commends the Skeptic's Annotated Bible, which inter alia has a number of highlights on absurdity, injustice, cruelty and violence, misogyny, intolerance and other good stuff.
And handily, lest the pond be accused of imbalance, it also provides a link to a body count for those killed by god in the book of Mormon, while readers with time to waste can also indulge in the Skeptic's Annotated Quran (with highlights on injustice, intolerance, cruelty and violence, women, yadda yadda), and the Skeptic's Annotated Book of Mormon, though many will find it hard to get past the sundry bits of plagiarism in this relatively modern cult...
Meanwhile, as Jensen rages about gays, Islamics and other bullies, how are the Sydney Anglicans showing their freedom-loving ways?
Why by slagging off a woman's right to choose, gays with an ear for hypocrisy, and Islamics showing the sort of prejudices that were long considered the rightful domain of various Christian cults ...
It's a funny old world, and if only we could say Jesus fucked, rather than Jesus wept ...
(Below: Cathy Wilcox taking a view on hypocrisy, and more Wilcox here)
Posted by dorothy parker at 4/13/2014 08:28:00 AM