Kevin Andrews suddenly learns that everyone else knows Catch The Fire are batshit #auspol

Minister for Putting Single Mums in Their Bloody Place Kevin Andrews, among other Team Australians, has recently learned that the people of Australia don’t particularly like that the “World Congress of Families” is run by well-known slavering extremist anti-choice homophobic bigots Catch The Fire Ministries and has decided not to open their adorable little Hatesturbate For Jesus for them after all.

Catch The Fire Ministries, whose head douche Danny Nalliah infamously linked Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires to that state’s abortion laws (and will now have to find other high-profile fundamentalist scenery-chewers to mix the green cordial [red is SINFUL!] and run the games of “pin Satan’s pitchfork on the eternally burning lesbortionist,”) have since thrown K-Drews under the bus for being a sad wuss. Because how dare any public official in a secular democracy respond to public outcry over lending explicit government support to a pack of fringe-dwelling cultists whose lunacy is only exceeded by their self-importance.

I suspect that, much like a pair of cling-wrap Y-fronts, this is a transparent arse-covering on the part of Kev and his fellow Tory wingnuts, Eric “I Am The Politican Every Sketch Show Bases Their Politicians On” Abetz and Cory “Looky, I Wrote A Book Just Like God Did” Bernardi, who would surely have gone along had the public not had something of a issue with members of our government explicitly validating the dark-ages lunacy of extremist evangelist hooligans.

Not Catch The Fire but close efuckingnough, amirite?

Uzis are not for children #arizona (derr)

In Arizona, there’s a place called Bullets and Burgers where you can have a hamburger, ride a monster truck and then go and shoot a .50 calibre sniper rifle or a machine gun. 

In Viet Nam there are shooting ranges you can visit where they have available AK-47s, M-60s and other war-era weapons to try out. Pay a little cash, shoot off a handful of rounds, the locals earn some money from the legacy of beating America’s arse out of their country, you get to live out your favourite ‘Nam-movie fantasy (or, perhaps & hopefully, get some perspective and insight on the war), everyone’s happy, noone’s dead.

Yesterday, a 9 year-old girl visited Bullets and Burgers with her family and tried out an Uzi at the range. After a single successful shot, the instructor set the weapon to fully automatic. When the girl pressed the trigger the weapon recoiled, sending a bullet into her instructor’s head and fatally injuring him. The video at this Raw Story article shows the instructor did not have his hands on the weapon at the time.

The difference between those places and this tragic scene out of a Paul Verhoeven movie? Most of those Vietnamese ranges have the guns on short chains or mounted with a very narrow firing arc available, both to prevent theft and to prevent precisely the kind of recoil accident that happened when this small child was given an Uzi and told to let rip on full-auto. An Uzi isn’t large but (contrary to what every movie hero of the 1980s taught me) it’s still a two-handed weapon, even for an adult – spitting out 9mm bullets at a rate of 600 per minute produces significant recoil. With the weapon completely unsecured, that kid should’ve been watched like a hawk and the instructor should have had a hand on – not under – that weapon at all times. It’s the least you’d do, even with a kid using an air rifle for the first time.

Of course, aside from the carelessness that cost a man his own life, the existence of a family restaurant with an attached firing range where fully automatic military weapons are as unsecured as laser-tag guns is the base problem, and which needs to be urgently addressed. I am not confident any meaningful action will occur in response to this, however; the American NRA and their fanatical cadre of barrel-polishers routinely show that there are no depths whatever to their depravity when it comes to defending their right to be well-armed, deluded little toy soldiers with invasion fantasies (and, in the specific case of the NRA, their right to be bukkake’d with cash by the craven sociopaths who own gun companies and wish to sell their products as freely as toothpaste and crayons). They’re certainly not above scapegoating a traumatised 9 year-old girl.

US Court allows case against Vatican

*sailor-talk warning*

Excellent.

[source]

Hold the fuckers liable, make them accountable and make them PAY. A LOT. Not just money either, I want to see some people jailed. And perhaps [SOMETHING], very roughly, by a large, angry Aryan Brother. Or, poetically perhaps, shanked in the neck by some poor damaged junkie kid whose descent into the criminal underworld began at the hands of some cassocked nonce one night after vespers.

Excuse my French, but the only thing that fucks me off as much if not more than a rapist of children is someone convering up for a rapist of children.

From the Wall St Journal article:

A federal appeals court has permitted a lawsuit over alleged sexual abuse to proceed against the Vatican, creating potential liability for the seat of the Roman Catholic faith for the activities of Catholic clergy in the U.S.

Monday’s ruling, issued by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, marks the first time a court at so high a level has recognized that the Vatican could be liable for the negligence in sexual-abuse cases brought in the U.S.

The ruling is seen as a breakthrough by those allegedly abused by priests. Investigators and grand juries have found several instances where the church failed to report alleged abusers and covered up alleged misdeeds to protect them.

Which is almost as bad as the abuse itself. If you personally know of a crime and neglect to report it, you become an accessory to that crime by allowing it to continue.

One of the central pieces of evidence in the case is a 1962 memo, issued by the Vatican and disclosed by reporters in 2003, which directs Catholic bishops to keep silent about claims of sex abuse. The document was approved by Pope John the 23rd.

Well now, if you know of a crime being committed but have been specifically ordered by your employers/superiors/robed & mitred capos not to report it, then they’re also accessories. Yes, also. No fucking way will “just following orders” get you out of this one. Didn’t work for the last crew of brainwashed, uniformed, ignorant fucks who took over the world, powered by mythology and brutality.

Okay, I rag on Catholicism more often than most people. I definitely have a chip on each shoulder about the organisation. But only because the Papacy goddam well deserves it. It’s not the regular everyday believers, the doctrines, the beliefs, the rituals – none of that shit matters. It’s the Vatican’s actions that define it and it’s their actions that fuck me off. Crusades, centuries of Jew-hatred, Nazi sympathy. Constant, deadly lies and anti-human rights bullshit about abortion, contraception, premarital sex. And it’s not just the child abuse – paedophiles are found in every scummy little corner of society. But the Papacy seems to have had a decades-old policy of denying, ignoring or flat-out enabling the sick bastards to continue with their depravity (and this organisation has the fucking nerve to oppose gay equality!).

The Vatican’s hundreds of years old, has a billion followers and claims to be the one true church of the ever-lovin Christ-child, son of the one true god. It claims to be the halfway house between horrid, yukky Earth and totally awesome, sparkly Heaven. It claims to represent the one true god’s all-loving persona…but the one thing that rankles me most: the Papacy’s wizards go on frequent rampages about abortion & contraception, all in the name of the little children, God’s dear children, those teeny lil’ everyday miracles with their big eyes and innocence and for the love of god won’t anyone think of the children!? Don’t abort that clump of cells, it has a soul (never mind that between a third and a half of all pregnancies spontaneously self-terminate, often before the woman even knows she’s pregnant – does that make God the world’s most voracious abortionist?)! Don’t use contraception, think of the soul you’re not creating when you waste your more-or-less-infinite sperm (never mind that gazillions of sperm are wasted with every attempt at conception anyway, with every single wet dream, with every sample given for medical reasons and by every man who doesn’t even ejaculate let alone conceive a child every single fucking day of his life, which is most of us)!

Well, OK Vatican, you claim you care about children, about new souls (I think you give more of a fuck about your membership drying up, but that’s another post). Why, then, have you put so much effort over the years into protecting members of your organisation who have abused & raped the trust, minds, bodies and hearts of countless innocent CHILDREN? If reports of that 1962 memo from Johnny are accurate, does that not just shoot down your pathetic soundbyte-ready hand-wringing every time someone mentions “family planning” or “safe sex” down in hypocritical flames? Every time I see one of your frocked spokestrolls on TV with his concerned, bulbous face spouting about abortion or frangers being evil, I shout at the TV, “what the FUCK are you FUCKING HYPOCRITES doing about your FUCKING PAEDOPHILE ARMY?”

Or do you people only care about God’s precious little children before they’re born?

I hope similar decisions happen the world over – I’d like to see truly massive lawsuits come from every corner of the globe and millions of subpoenas land on the Vatican’s gigantic fucking gold-encrusted doorstep. I can think of few better ways for the Papacy to go stone cold fucking broke than emptying its coffers & selling up all its zillions of acres of real estate settling with victims of the rapist priests they’ve been enabling for decades. I’d like to see irrelevant wastes of space like Ratzinger & Pell have no goddam choice but to take a vow of poverty. I’d like the Vatican’s secret libraries wide open to the public, so we can all see exactly what they’ve been hiding from the world for so long (like what they left out of the Bible – and why). I’d like to see the Vatican cease being its own pretend country, lose its UN seat (how the FUCK did that even happen at all?), start paying fucking taxes and become the world’s greatest museum – a monument to both artistic genius and extreme human greed, criminal hypocrisy and spiritual imperialism based on guilt & fear. Hell, I’d like to see the whole disgusting scam exposed for what it is and see a billion people freed.

Education: still the greatest enemy of organised religion

And this bloke [source] has his cassock in a twist over it:

The Rt Rev Patrick O’Donoghue, the Bishop of Lancaster, has claimed that graduates are spreading scepticism and sowing dissent. Instead of following the Church’s teaching they are “hedonistic”, “selfish” and “egocentric”, he said.

Aw. My heart bleeds for you, Paddy. Quick primer:

Graduates = people who have spent years learning about The World and how it works (ostensibly, anyway – it’s highly likely they’ve spent years learning to be alcoholics).

Bishops = people who have spent years learning about The Church and how it works whilst all but ignoring how The World works yet presuming to tell The World how it should work according to what The Church told them. Back to the bitching…

Bishop O’Donoghue, who has recently published a report on how to renew Catholicism in Britain, argued that mass education has led to “sickness in the Church and wider society”. “What we have witnessed in Western societies since the end of the Second World War is the development of mass education on a scale unprecedented in human history – resulting in economic growth, scientific and technological advances, and the cultural and social enrichment of billions of people’s lives,” he said.

And that’s a bad thing because … oh, that’s right. You people had absolutely nothing to do with any of it! In fact, much of this amazing progress (especially in the areas of cultural & social enrichment and scientific advancement) has been made in spite of the concerted efforts of monolithic religions such as yours. Hence this walloping serve of sour grapes:

“However, every human endeavor has a dark side, due to original sin and concupiscence. In the case of education, we can see its distortion through the widespread dissemination of radical scepticism, positivism, utilitarianism and relativism.

“Taken together, these intellectual trends have resulted in a fragmented society that marginalizes God, with many people mistakenly thinking they can live happy and productive lives without him.

Good golly, how dare anyone use any modes of thought or philosophy other than those sanctioned by That Humungous Tomb In Rome Which Pretends To Be A Country! How dare anyone consider living their life ethically and knowledgably and to the fullest extent possible without consulting That Great Big Confusing Unverified Book Of Fairy Tales, Torture Porn And Contradictions!

So I’m mistaken, am I? Pray, dear Bish, tell me exactly how I, one of your educated heretics, am currently living a happy & productive life with my gifted & gorgeous medical student wife and adorable dog and great band and vegetable patch (the lettuces are looking brilliant) and loving family (also mostly godless) and amazing, talented, beautiful friends (with whom I don’t know that I’ve ever had any sort of serious religious discussion because it’s simply not important enough a topic in our lives to discuss)? How is it that my wife & I are just as happy as those few friends of ours that are religious (not that we know exactly how many of them there are anyway because it doesn’t come up)? How am I less happy than your average petrified, guilt-ridden Catholic because I go through life not fearing Hell, not fearing “temptation”, not studiously avoiding evil “secular” knowledge & not feeling the eyes of God burning through my back as I muddle through life?

Jeez, Paddy … you and your fellow befrocked ones say ignorant, insulting, out-of-touch shit like that and then you wonder why people are, in ever-increasing numbers, viewing your Church and the people who run it as anachronistic geezers with an unhealthy (and often hypocritical) interest in how other people run their private lives, and accordingly turning their backs on it.

Your Empire had a moral monopoly on Europe and much of the world for centuries. The Pope replaced the Roman Emperor as supreme monarch. You imposed your rule by force and enforced & expanded it brutally. Times changed though, and dispossessing rich heretics of their worldly goods and roasting the feet of your still-living enemies as their families watched and screamed in horror became, shall we say, passe. Since the roasting stopped, people have slowly realised that all The Church has left is guilt-inducing judgements & public denunciations of normal behaviour from people like you & Herr Ratzinger to keep people in line, keep bums on pews and keep the souls rolling in. Since people have realised that you have only words to throw at them, they’ve realised that the only power those words have is the power that they give to those words.

If you could just sit in your average pub and watch peoples’ eyes roll (in a combination of mild amusement and apathetic boredom) the next time Ratzi or some collared clown (like, say, our own paedophile enabler, Cardy Pell) appears on TV, as if he’s some kind of social/medical/artistic authority, to spout a soundbite denouncing something pretty ordinary, you’d have some idea what you’re up against. People simply don’t take any notice of your morality police on TV anymore. If anything they laugh at them. Not because people are becoming more evil or more secular (one and the same according to your capo di tutti capi), but because they just don’t accept your self-appointed role as our moral superiors.

It isn’t the 1950’s anymore, where your local priest was the first guy you called in a pinch and not the cops or your lawyer or the milkman. People simply no longer accept that there’s only one source for their morality and, what’s more, they strongly resent hearing people like you (i.e. cloistered virgins with chips on your shoulders about anything fun) publicy denouncing them as hedonistic or self-obsessed or materialistic (or whatever other negative trait you can link to the modern world) just because they don’t go to bloody church anymore. Sheesh, you drive people away from your precious Church by continually being ignorant of modern society and modern peoples’ needs (not to mention being inert at best on the topic of child abuse) and insulting anyone who doesn’t conform to your view, then you have the idiocy to wonder where all the Catholics went! Are you serious?

People change. As societies are made of people, societies inevitably change. Some institutions change along with the societies that support them. Sometimes a change is in fact necessary for the survival of an institution, e.g. the British Royal Family – no longer a monarchy with any real power, yet still existing in all its gilded glory, supported by their society (the French Royal Family, on the other hand, refused to change and they, well, got the chop). Those institutions who refuse to change, or do it very slowly or reluctantly, run the very real risk of becoming irrelevant or useless (or even harmful) to the society in question. The Catholic Church, constantly railing against, insulting, denouncing and harshly judging our ever-evolving society (while simultaneously ignoring its realities), as well as fruitlessly exhorting it to change back (presumably to pre-Henry VIII times when Papists ran Europe and just murdered anyone who stood up to them and then rifled through their pockets), runs the severe risk of becoming irrelevant.

But hey, Vatican, you’ve always been useless & irrelevant to me (except as a museum of artistic genius and great example of reprehensible social policy at the hands of an unchallenged absolute ruler). It would please me greatly if Catholics left you and your judgements behind in droves. Exodus-sized droves. Just keep up whatever it is that you’re doing. You’re driving far more Catholics away with your corruption & hypocrisy & unwarranted moral superiority complexes & unwanted, insulting, ignorant judgements than I ever could!

Just take solace from this, Papists: former UK PM Tony Blair just converted to Catholicism … for some reason. I’m sure you’ll all welcome your newest soul with open arms. He certainly won’t be the first lying, mass-murdering, hypocritical piece of shit to eat your magic zombie-flesh and drink your magic zombie-blood.

"Your problem is with God, not me…"

A Dangerous Intersection post of mine (a duplicate of this one here) attracted, surprisingly for me, a quick splash of comments from users. One born-again young-earth creationist respondent, a Mr Brewer, after pasting the usual slabs of fundie garbage & evangelist catchphrases, decided it would be ok to label me “depraved” (precisely, that I had a depraved or useless mind) because I’m not down with Jesus (I was already familiar with Brewer’s work as we’d had a brief stoush in a post of Erich Vieth’s about sex education. A pet project for fundamentalist ignorance and arse-backwardness, their stance on sex-ed amounts to “don’t tell ’em how to do it safely, just tell ’em not to do it at all.” Right. Worked a treat for Bristol Palin). And, yes, being called “depraved” annoyed me somewhat, as my responses no doubt indicate. So I bit back a couple of times. Who is this guy to judge & insult me because I disagree with him? At least I was only trying to, respectfully but firmly, smack his arguments (such as they were) down without resorting to insulting the guy.

But, really, being insulted (someone who thinks the entire planet is younger than verbal communication, the discovery of agriculture and the domestication of animals, no less, thinks my mind is useless?) wasn’t the problem. I can cop an insult, and “depraved” is pretty mild. Even so, I called him on it and pointed out that it’s not how grownups talk to each other. I didn’t expect an apology – at best, a cessation of such ad hominems in further posts would have been perfectly acceptable. Anyway, instead of an “ok, fine” or even just ignoring it and moving on (which would have been fine), he did it again. But this time he offered a justification – that it’s God who thinks my mind is useless. My problem shouldn’t be with Brewer whipping insults around the place in place of actual arguments, it should be with God. “Hey, don’t blame me, talk to God about it! It’s not me who thinks you’re depraved, it’s God. I’m just passing on his message. You can choose not to be depraved by accepting Christ! Gee, I’m sorry if you took offence at being insulted but hey, again, take it up with the Lord. I just want to help you poor pitiful atheists find Jesus because I care about you!” (I paraphrase here, but that’s the thrust).

Interesting, Mr Brewer. Even though it’s you who thought it and typed it and clicked “post” (repeatedly), it’s not your fault. The depravity – the “useless minds” – of all atheists might not necessarily be what you yourself truly believe but because you think God thinks it, you have a duty to pass it on for our own sake because you care … which is about the most gutless, laughable, pathetic and classically fundamentalist piece of rank bullshit I’ve ever heard. It’s on a par with “the devil made me do it!” as a complete abdication of personal responsibility. It’s a classic passing of the buck to someone who is completely unaccountable (and, to throw in my extra tuppence, whose existence is so gargantuanically improbable that it’s more or less safe to say he’s non-existent, or at least completely uninterested). You might think it’s okay, as many fundies do, to just throw shit like that out there and absolve yourself of any responsibility by hiding behind your god’s apron. “It’s God’s word, talk to him about it.” Or, in more accurate parlance, “Don’t blame me, blame my secret friend. He did it!”. Hey, it worked when you were six, why not keep it up?

I guess your average fundie clown would see this kind of thing as an epic win: you get to call the nasty old atheist whatever you want, be it “depraved”, “immoral”, “stained with sin” or whatever else you want to paste in the comments box from your weekly, talking-point filled email from Answers In Genesis or Ray “Watch Me Wank This Banana” Comfort or Ken “Not That Much Smarter Than A Leg Of” Ham. Then, if anyone gets shitty you can just say “Don’t blame me my friend, that’s just what God says.” Ha!

OK, I’m trying not to harp here. This isn’t a BAWW because some troll called me a name. Like I said, I’ve had worse. This is just a simple, honest Fuck You because the guy weaseled out of it by laying blame at the feet of his God who, conveniently, isn’t the kind who just answers you when you say “Oi, what’s this shit about me being depraved?” Shit, if you’re going to insult someone, have the balls to stand by it and accept whatever response you get and not refer me to your manager. Seriously, if you’re going to stand there, insult a person and say “oh no, it’s not me, it’s God” then you can go fuck yourself. Such blatant hypocrisy is a lot more insulting than an actual insult.

It’s really very amusing, and pitiful, in hindsight. Being accused of having a useless mind by a guy who is so mindless he won’t even take responsibilty for his own words & who believes the Earth is 6000 years old despite centuries of evidence (evidence – remember that?) to the contrary is probably the best & clearest example of fundamentalist hypocrisy I’ve ever seen. Sticks & stones, Mr Brewer. Hell, not even your words faze me that much. Actions, though, are something different. When you accuse me of having a useless, depraved mind, deny your own mind as the source of your words and then attribute responsibility for those words to the mind of your god (who’s conveniently unavailable for comment), you reveal yourself either as the worst kind of cowardly liar, eager to absolve yourself of responsibility for your own actions and pass it on to someone who’s completely unaccountable, as a rank hypocrite or merely as an intellectual zombie – an empty vessel for the thoughts and opinions of others, be they your god, pastor, community or whoever it was who originally put that idea in your head.

To me, a truly useless mind is one that can be used by others for their own purposes as easily as yours seems to be, Mr Brewer. The pity I now feel for your empty mind is far more than any annoyance I previously felt at being insulted. I can think of no worse fate than being a mere vehicle for someone else’s bigotry and ignorance. If I had a religious bone in my body, I’d pray for you.

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World Youth Day’s Bishop Fisher: clueless, ignorant halfwit

Bishop Anthony Fisher, coordinator of World Youth Day, has jammed his little hamster foot in his little hamster face while responding to this statement by a father of two rape victims. The good bishop had this to say (from the SMH):

Happily, I think most of Australia was enjoying [and] delighting in the beauty and goodness of these young people and the hope for us doing these sorts of things better in the future, as we saw last night, rather than dwelling crankily, as a few people are doing, on old wounds…

Come again? A father still awaits justice for his daughters, both of whom were raped by the same Catholic priest (whom, one could say, was enjoying their “beauty and goodness” in his own broken & twisted way), one of whom recently took her own life, and all you can say is, essentially, “Get over it – look at all these happy kids enjoying being Catholics!”?

Language alert:

Fuck you mate. Fuck you and fuck Pell too, for his hollow, repeated non-apology. Fuck you both in the most uncomfortable way possible. Fuck your church for continuing to allow this kind of thing to happen with no results and no accountability and for continuing to allow halfwits like Fisher to speak for you.

You just don’t get it, do you. Here’s a man in agony over sexual violence done to both his daughters – by the same man. He’s still grieving for his lost daughter. He wants an apology from the church – he wants the church to damn well take responsibility – and to be compensated fairly. He wants the church to take action to prevent such things re-occurring. He’s entitled to want those things. And how does the church respond? “Get over it.” This is why so many people get so annoyed, angry, enraged at the Papacy – Fisher’s innocently ignorant failure to appreciate the gravity of the situation and respond appropriately is just another brick in the long, high wall between Catholicism and the rest of the world. The fact that Fisher seems almost childlike in his infuriating innocence only serves to heighten this wedge between the church and the real world. His is a world of robes and rituals and vaulted ceilings and thousands of polite kids rapturously rocking out to clean-cut un-annoying young singers; Mr Foster’s world is one of the darkest pain, grief, frustration, injustice, hollow half-apologies and now, more than likely, of incredulous rage that someone so senior in the church responsible for that pain could just stare, wide-eyed & uncomprehending like a puppy, and say “get over it.”

Ordinarily, in the world the rest of us inhabit, it would be simply incomprehensible that anyone could respond in such an unsympathetic way to a man’s grief and demand for accountability, especially when their organisation is responsible for it. Imagine a school principal or education department spokesperson responding in the same way if it was one of his teachers that had raped two girls, one of whom would later commit suicide. There would be hell to pay, heads to roll, arses to kick. Sadly, however, this kind of thoughtless, callous response is all too common when it comes to the Catholic church on this issue. Idiots like Fisher – clearly unaware of the weight of their words – and emotionless bastards like Pell are exactly why the church needs a complete overhaul when it comes to investigating and responding to sexual violence.

It boggles the mind – it actually puts a tight knot in my gut – that an organisation that’s run by celibate old men, that’s plagued by sexual abuse going back decades or perhaps even centuries, and which has no idea about how to respond to it appropriately continues to lecture their members (and the rest of us, for that matter) about appropriate sexual behaviour.

Happy World Youth Day.