Fantasy

Simple experiment: find a few OT Bible chapters online & paste them into a text editor. Replace every instance of the name “Moses” with the name “Gul Dukat” and “Israelite” with “Cardassian”. Still awesome? You bet:

Numbers 31:7-18

They fought against Midian, as the LORD commanded Gul Dukat, and killed every man. Among their victims were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba – the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. The Cardassians captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder. They burned all the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps. They took all the plunder and spoils, including the people and animals, and brought the captives, spoils and plunder to Gul Dukat and Eleazar the priest and the Cardassian assembly at their camp on the plains of Moab, by the Jordan across from Jericho.

Dukat, Eleazar the priest and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. Gul Dukat was angry with the officers of the army – the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds – who returned from the battle.

“Have you allowed all the women to live?” Dukat asked them. “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and were the means of turning the Cardassians away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD’s people. Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”

Perhaps even more awesome. And certainly more appropriate that a Cardassian is being such a brutal, merciless, child-raping son of a bitch, rather than Yahweh’s chief prophet and holiest man on Earth. Also, it’s strange how easily names from science fiction slot right into Bible stories.

As an aside, I’ve always thought there were curious parallels between the names in sci-fi, fantasy and the Bible (and other mythologies). I’m going to go out on a limb and presume that SF and fantasy authors have always used Biblical/mythological-sounding names (and naming conventions) to add to their stories a particular gravity. “Balaam, son of Beor”, for instance: if you’d never heard this name in its Biblical context and were asked to guess where it came from, you could be excused for guessing it was from a Middle Earth-ish sword & sorcery novel or a space opera in which an advanced race encounter a primitive & barbarous people on a distant planet.

Now, if you wanted your Star Trek search & replace 100% authentic (euphemism for “if you were a complete & utter nerd”) you could replace “Midianite” with “Bajoran”, then do a little research & replace all the other names with appropriate analogues from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. But you don’t have to, really (but if you do, send it to me!).

I think the point I’m making is transparently obvious and doesn’t need explanation. Suffice it to say that if today, you were to read your own sacred scripture for the first time, independent of input from any priests or anyone else with a vested interest in making you believe it, you’d probably think it was mythology inferior to that of the ancient Greeks, fantasy inferior to Tolkien or some sub-par science fiction (which Star Trek is not, by the way, so do not misunderstand me). You’d probably wonder if the protagonists – that Yahweh chap and all his favourites – were really meant to be the good guys, what with their smiting and massacring and raping and pillaging of anyone who displeased them or just happened to be in their way. You’d likely look at the basic factual errors about the universe (such as Genesis) and unverifiable, unsupported events (such as Exodus) and conclude that it was indeed a work of fiction. If, after noticing all that is factually and morally wrong within it, you found out that people were viewing it as absolute Truth, basing their entire lives and after-lives on it and even oppressing or killing people who didn’t believe in it or interpreted it differently, you’d be flabbergasted. If you were already religious, you’d call them blasphemers, heretics. Depending on how religious you were, you may well call for their deaths! If you weren’t religious, you’d stand there scratching your head at the sheer lunacy of it all.

And if you did that, you’d then know nonreligious people feel: watching people hate, oppress & kill each other over some poorly-written fantasy really does our fricking heads in.

Pat pwns Pope

Pat Condell should require no introduction to any heathen who’s been on the web longer than five minutes. If you’re at 4:59, go check out his channel now. Here’s his latest:

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Just a thought

If it’s virgins the Islamic fundamentalist martyrs want, they might consider a career with the Vatican: all the innocent young virgins you can get your hands on plus absolution and a Stay Out Of Jail Free card personally signed by the CEO. Also robes; silly hats; loads of hate for gays, atheists, women, apostates and every other religion on Earth and a really fucking creepy level of interest in other peoples’ sex lives. Additionally, you don’t have to pray five times a day and you can eat bacon & drink alcohol. Did I mention you get all this while you’re still alive and that after you’re dead it only gets better? God damn it, that’s one sweet deal – sounds almost too good to be true.var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-5094406-1”); pageTracker._initData(); pageTracker._trackPageview();

Intelligent Design defined

Via the inimitable Curmudgeon, the most very bestest definition of Intelligent Design *ahem* theory I’ve ever encountered:

An unknown intelligence (whether it’s a solitary creature or a vast swarm is never addressed), with utterly unknown characteristics (mortal or immortal, sexual or asexual, plant or animal, physical or spiritual), whose home base is unknown, and whose ultimate origin is a mystery (evolved, created, or eternal), arrived on earth somehow (in a flying saucer, perhaps, or maybe on a comet), at some unspecified time (or several times), and then in some unspecified way (technological or magical), for unspecified reasons (boredom, or maybe cosmic fulfillment), did something (or maybe several things) to influence the genetic characteristics of some (but maybe not all) of the creatures on earth.

The entire Discovery Institute couldn’t have said it better. But I do realise that isn’t saying much, considering all they do manage to say is either incoherent or rank, stinky bullshit.
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The Catholic Church: I’m fucking exhausted

Time and again on this blog I have railed, ranted & raved about the Catholic Church’s continuing and baffling desecration of children, its preference for its own dogma over life itself and its general mockery of humanity. Lately, still more revelations of child-rape by Catholic priests have surfaced, this time from Germany. These revelations of course come with the standard cover-up allegations, one instance involving Pope Ratzinger himself, back when he was an archbishop in Munich.

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I could go on. There’s plenty of material here. I could rant, rave, ream & rail; ironically pontificate & passionately excoriate; scream and cry and wail and bawl and jump up and down in a fit of righteous anger. But I won’t. Not today. I’m just fucking exhausted.

I can’t keep up any more. Every time I turn around there’s another filthy fucking priest with his cock out. Every time I open a newspage or blog the words “Catholic” and “abuse” are right there in the same sentence, frequently with “scandal” and “coverup” close behind them. The only thing that seems to change is the country whose children were and are still being afflicted with the spiritual cancer that is Catholic authority. Via Greta C and PZ I even find that there’s some mouth-breathing point-missing troglodyte named Andrew Brown actually attempting a defense of the decades of Vatican-enabled child rape, seemingly by saying “we’re not the only institution to employ thousands of child-rapists so stop picking on us.” I suppose it’s true what they say: there is nothing in this world so unconscionably horrible and unquestionably cruel – flat fucking wrong – that you couldn’t find one morally tainted fuckwit to defend it.

I could devote another long & angry blog post to this shit, but I won’t. Not when others say everything I want to say. Links to follow.

Greta C illuminates the point Andrew Brown misses – it’s not the scandal per se, it’s the Vatican’s response:

The Church knew about widespread reports of priests repeatedly molesting children… and instead of acting to protect the children, they acted to protect the priests, and themselves. Thus deliberately and knowingly putting more children in the way of known child rapists, solely for their pure self-interest.

Repeatedly. Time and time again. In every part of the world. As a cold-blooded matter of Church policy.

That is the scandal.

Hitch:

The pope’s entire career has the stench of evil about it.

I could not agree more. Ratzinger’s stench is palpable even if you excise the part where he was a Hitler Youth, for which he may not be entirely culpable (though it probably drove him straight to the Church; I hypothesise that being a Junior Nazi made him used to following orders from jumped-up little tyrants in shiny uniforms and quite probably instilled in him the desire to become a jumped-up little tyrant himself).

Linkfarm:
Apologist: “everyone else rapes children, Catholics aren’t that bad”
Greta C rips into a morally bankrupt apologist for child rape
So does PZ!
Ratzinger covers up abuse while archbishop in Munich
Excorcist: “Satan at work in the Vatican”
Christopher Hitchens tears Ratzinger a new one

I’m just tired. And I’m just waiting for the world to see that the Roman Emperor, despite his gilded finery, is wearing no clothes and probably never has been.

Ugh. What a ghastly mental image.

Thunderf00t: Why the internet is bad for religion

Scientist, creationist vanquisher & Youtube legend Thunderf00t presents his thoughts on why the internets are bad for religion:

Check out the rest of his channel – I highly recommend his series “Why Do People Laugh At Creationists?”

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