Abandon All Fear

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Posts Tagged ‘america’

[Power of the Church] Power of the Government

Posted by Lex Fear on October 25, 2009

I’ve discussed before on this blog, what the differences are between America Churchianity and British Churchianity. I can’t think of a better example of why separation of church and state is a good thing, a thing invented by Christians than this little gem by the perspicacious Martin Turner:

“Richard Dawkins’s followers will no doubt be quick to claim this is another example of the heinous effect of ‘the God delusion’. But they would be wrong. Under charity law, the Church of England has to diligently pursue all of its debtors, and, coupled with the laws on ‘chancel repair liability’ which date back to Valor Ecclesiasticus in 1535, they have no choice.

<snip>

What lunatic changed the law in that way? (You know the answer to this one, but, in case you don’t, the legislation is the Land Registration Act 2002.)

Since the Church of England is powerless to extricate itself from a situation which bankrupts ordinary people and brings the church, and thus the entire Christian faith, into disrepute, the government ought to have intervened to simply cancel chancel liability. This would free the Church of England to pursue grants and even Lottery money. This is in fact what the Law Commission and the Church of England Synod recommended in the 1980s.”

At the time when this hit the headlines I was not aware of these facts. I’m glad I reserved my judgement.

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Posted in Apologetics, Churchianity, Fact Erosion, Morals & Ethics, Property Market, Quoteyness, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

[Pause for Thought] Stem Cells

Posted by Lex Fear on March 20, 2009

Just so we’re clear, everyone knows that you can collect stem cells from a placenta. right?

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Posted in Duh!, Morals & Ethics, Realpolitik, Religion & Science, The Purpose Missing Church, The Religious Wrong, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Response] Barack v Bliar

Posted by Lex Fear on February 20, 2009

Cecileaux responded to my previous post on Obama on his blog:

As for the many Clintonites in the new administration, the folks who in the past gave us no health reform, a regressive and pauperizing diminishment of public aid, without any real checks on corporate power, I am glad that they are ultimately not in charge. Obama appears to be unusually his own man.

An eloquent orator, he’s also aware of the dire need to lower expectations, which is my explanation for his relatively flat inaugural speech. In sum, I see Obama as a very cool and controlled individual with a few very clear goals in mind who is a virtuoso in the art of persuasion and leadership.

So I thought I’d respond further.

I eye Obama cautiously. Whilst I was overjoyed he won, and am glad he is now President, I am careful not to put too much expectation on the man – for he is human after all and therefore he will, at some point let us down – as all human beings do.

That isn’t to say he can’t achieve great things – time will tell. Hopefully he will not turn out to be a Bliar – but Bliar was greeted with much the same adulation and praise 12 years ago.

Bliar was seen as being young, idealistitc, being in touch with the people and as a positive change from the old ways.

Bliar was anti-nuclear – a member of the CND, but left his term calling for more nuclear power. Just as Bush was dead against interfering in foreign nations.

It leads me to consider that there are those who get elected and there are those who pull the strings. If Obama is genuine in his pursuit of change, and getting his agenda, then it is doubtless he will come up against these puppet masters and strong unseen opposition in the medium to long term. I expect assassination attempts – and not by white supremacists though they would make a fitting scapegoat.

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Posted in Absolute Power, Anti-Terrorists, Bollotics, Pharisees, Realpolitik, Terrorist State, Untouchables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Atheism] Probably

Posted by Lex Fear on February 15, 2009

I was really happy to see the atheist bus campaign get into full swing. God Bless those atheists, another medium for which they can use to rage against their parents.

I have purposefully held off from writing about it until now, after the dust has settled and things can be fully absorbed.

I’ll start by saying I also found myself disappointed by the weakness of the message. I would much preferred something more assertive, more disdainful of religion. Instead we get probably.

Funnily enough all sorts of speculation took place in the atheist blogosphere and fora as to why include the word. There were some rather feeble apologetics using such idioms as “intellectually honest”.

Since I had followed this saga from it’s inception and was following the commentary at The Friendly Atheist I thought I should help bring clarity to the perception of the ‘Christian response’ as well as information as to how probably got in there:

1) British Christians views on the signs range from ‘Meh’ to ‘Great! More opportunities to talk about God”.

The fact is the Christian religion is led by a man who was violently, brutally killed as a convicted criminal – Call it insane if you will but most genuine Christians see persecution in any form as a privelege and opportunity to stand with Christ and spread the gospel!

Through history, the church has done better in times of persecution and it will always.

2) There are a few who are weak in faith and perhaps new Christians, or they have lost their way and these will protest.. and when they do the media will always give them the microphone to broadcast their ignorance.

But so far the worst response I’ve heard from any Christian is that it’s silly. That’s it.

3) I personally wish that they had dropped the ‘probably’ and gone for something much stronger. I wish it DID say “THERE IS NO GOD”.. with it the slogan is very poor and really isn’t worthy to be considered an attack or something like that. (Also the excuse given to include “probably” has to be the weakest excuse I have ever heard- very stupid)

The proposer of this campaign – a Grauniad journalist – originally gave the reason that she had seen ‘probably’ used in another ad (see Carlsberg) and assumed it was for legal reasons. It’s not, it’s a nod to the British talent for understatement. Silly woman!

Must try harder.

Which was quickly refuted by a commenter called Aj:

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) advised her that “the inclusion of the word ‘probably’ makes it less likely to cause offence, and therefore be in breach of the Advertising Code.”

Lots of people are getting this wrong, so here’s a quote. Lots of atheists don’t believe “there is no god”, they can only agree with statements like “there is probably no god, although I and others prefer “almost certainly” as it’s more accurate.

He went on to include a quote from Ariane Sherine (from a later article).

There’s another reason I’m keen on the “probably”: it means the slogan is more accurate, as even though there’s no scientific evidence at all for God’s existence, it’s also impossible to prove that God doesn’t exist (or that anything doesn’t).

Oh dear, how intellectually dishonest. He left me no choice but to quote the original article by Sherine in response:

“After that, I Googled Carlsberg and found this marketing site, which suggests that using the word “probably” at the start of the ad saved Carlsberg from litigation.” – Ariane Sherine, Atheists – Gimme Five, 20/06/08

Long before the article you quoted. They’ve given all manner of excuses since then.

And the Carlsberg Ad:

http://www.brandrepublic.com/Campaign/News/472122/Scandinavia-Great-nordic-conquerors/

“According to Jakob Knudsen, Carlsberg’s international brand director: “The Scandinavian understated sense of humour is an integral part of the brand’s DNA. If you take other premium Scandinavian brands such as Bang & Olufsen, they won’t tell you they’re the best. Instead, they let the quality speak for itself.”

Only America would produce, “King of Beers” or “World’s Finest” and market their products as the biggest, best, favourite, fastest, greatest etc…

This advertising (up until recently perhaps) would never work in the UK, but picture 2 blokes in a pub, one declares “This is the best lager I’ve ever tasted!”, the other, being British is likely to respond “I don’t think so, I think I’ve tasted better.” But if the first was to casually mention “This is probably the best lager I’ve ever tasted” then the other may likely agree with him “Probably.”

Typical MSM journalist, gets her research from an internet forum rather than the source.

Oddly, no-one then seemed interesting in arguing the point with me and just ignored my second comment completely. Not what you would expect from intellectually honest people but there you go.

Here’s a great quote from Lib Dem MP, Martin Turner:

Imagine that you saw any of the following advertisements:
“The speed camera probably isn’t loaded”
“You probably won’t die in a car crash”
“You probably did turn off the gas”
Telling someone that something probably won’t happen doesn’t stop them worrying about it. Quite the contrary. And, if the millions of lottery ticket buyers are anything to go by, telling someone that something they very much hope for is unlikely to happen does nothing to stop them hoping.
If “there’s probably no God” is the strongest statement that, on reflection, atheists dare to make in public, then they have moved a long way from the certainties implied in their name.

But my favourite quote on worry has to this:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” – Jesus

As well as beating The Grauniad to the post by almost 2000 years, there’s something rather more elegant, meaningful and poetic than “Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”, don’t you think (if you are being intellectually honest)?

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Posted in Apologetics, Doublespeak, Doublethink, Duh!, Laymans Theology, Londonland, Minitruth, Opinion, Propaganda, Quoteyness, The Love of Libel, Uncircumcised Philistines, V for Vendetta, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

[Unconstitutional Alliance] – Where does the Rule of Law come in?

Posted by BHudson on February 8, 2009

I’m having a state-the-obvious day, because (for want of another reason), not many people seem to be seeing things as they are.

I hold these points to be self evident:

  1. The UK has a constitution.

  2. The constitution is uncodified but partially written.

  3. One of the sources of the constitution is the rule of law.

  4. Hence, the government is bound by the laws of the land.

These are pretty simple, fundamental points. The thing is, the rule of law would not allow the wilful suppression of evidence relating to a torture case. So why does Miliband continue to pass off the UK’s spineless response to the USA’s strongarm tactics in the name of ‘national security’? Suppressing evidence is against the rule of law. The relationship between America and Britain enforces the suppression of evidence. Hence, the alliance is (on this front) unconstitutional.


As Crispin Black comments in the Independent on Sunday, the problem stems from the USA’s unilateral foreign policy. We can have a ‘special relationship’ with their government, as long as we don’t step out of line. “There is little cost/benefit analysis of our relationship with the Americans. And absolutely none about the intelligence relationship… We persist in an ‘intelligence cringe’ – the Americans know more, the Americans know better. Well, they did not know what was going on in Iraq… Quite why we should think they understand what is going on any else better than we do remains a mystery.”


In the words of Shami Chakrabarti, “Despite best efforts to shine a light on the grubbiest aspects of the ‘war on terror’, the Foreign Office has claimed that the Obama administration maintained a previous US threat to reconsider intelligence sharing unless our judges kept this shameful skeleton in the closet. We find this Foreign Office allegation … surprising.”

The bottom line is that by withholding evidence, both sides are implicit in torture, regardless of whether they were before (and I’m pretty sure they were). Yet another nail in the coffin of the War of on Terror that will no doubt have no effect.

Posted in Absolute Power, Doublespeak, Doublethink, Global Alarming, Justice & Mercy, Little Hitlers, Londonland, Minipax, Morals & Ethics, Opinion, Protest, Quoteyness, The Elite | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

[DeBushification] Obama… One of Us?

Posted by Lex Fear on January 23, 2009

There’s a lot of cynicism out there about the man, Obama. It’s not entirely unjustified either, our American friends did not get to experience the enthusiasm and promise of a young Tony Blair becoming Prime Minister and ushering in a new wave of ‘Cool Britannia’. That was before the Millennium Dome, the spin-meisters, Iraq, David Kelly, Jean Charles DeMenezes, the surveillence state, banning of protest… and don’t forget all along Gordon Brown riding on top of a spectacular bubble as though he had brought a new era of wealth – ignoring all the warnings by people more intelligent than he.

So yeah, I understand the cynicism about Obama. However I can’t help but be won over by the actions of his first few days in office. Most of us were expecting the usual settling in period, the careful introduction of new policy and slow pushing out of the old… not so for Obama, why it’s almost like one of us got into the White House and set about putting immediately putting right what has gone so horribly wrong.

And like one of us, he’s bound to piss people off, get things wrong and misunderstand the old, establised process.

Still, in just 4 days he has ordered a stop to torture, rendition flights and secret jails, put a stop on staff payrises, taken away as much power as possible from lobbyists, set the closure of guantanamo bay in motion, embraced creative commons, honoured freedom of information, promised to put Israeal/Palastine on the agenda (which I see as a snub to our ponzi Middle-East Envoy), and now reversed one of Bushes executive orders to keep former President records private.

I don’t remember any such dramatic reversal or regime change in history apart from war and revolution.

Although I don’t agree with Obama’s policy towards the global recession and bailing out financial terrorists institutions, I have faith that this is not the same old tribal politics we are going to see. It is plainly obvious that Obama has character and he is not going to do things the same way. I don’t think America will be the same either.

I just hope he doesn’t screw up. I’ve seen so many great and inspiring people personally screw up… enough to make you renounce your faith. When I hear people gush about Obama, all I can think is “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy.”

So, if you’re still a die-hard cynic, at least take consolation in the fact that even if he’s not championing your own personal cause, he’s making steps in the right direction. Much like William Wilberforce took on the huge political task of overhauling Britains slave industry.

Posted in Financial Terrorism, Opinion, Realpolitik | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

[Atheists] Why The Hell Do They Care?

Posted by Lex Fear on January 21, 2009

Friendly Atheist Trina Hoaks ponders on the climate of Hell now that President Obama is, well, black and President.

Well, today was a cold day, to be sure, but I wouldn’t equate the location (our nation) to Hell. But, if this is what Hell is like, I say sign me up! Oh, yeah… I forgot, according to many religious people, that is exactly where I am going whether I sign up or not.

Can an atheist explain to me what they think Hell actually is and why atheists are so offended by something they don’t believe in?

Hey if someone told me I when I die I was going to be condemned to the leek soup bowl by the flying spaghetti monster, I think I’d just laugh then back away slowly.

Seriously, why are so many atheists bothered by Hell?

Posted in Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , | 15 Comments »

[Elections] Kneel Before Zod 2008

Posted by Lex Fear on July 6, 2007

This Post Is Rated: F for a bit of Fun. Kneel Before Zod!

Vote Zod for President 2008!

Posted in Ha-has, Realpolitik | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Ulterior Verse of the Day] Looking for Borders of Their Own

Posted by Lex Fear on June 10, 2007

“And they admitted that illegal aliens and strangers didn’t belong in their country. People who say such things show that they are happy with the country God has given them to protect. If they had been thinking of leaving their country, they would have been wrong. Instead, they were happy in the country they were born in. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared borders for them to defend.” – Epistle to the Hebrews Ch. 11

Apparently the Devil is seeking to undermine God’s country. And when I say God’s country, I’m obviously talking about America of course.

America is the place God has prepared for us Christians to go when we die, except we better have our passports and visas ready, or we’re all going to Hell with Europe instead.

That was all according to Utah Republican County District Chairman Don Larsen a couple of months ago. Unfortunately the original article has been removed from The Salt Lake Tribune but the comments are still there.

How many people on Earth walk around like they are carrying Passports that will get them into Heaven, while not realising their own ‘visa’ has ‘expired’?

Posted in Anti-Terrorists, Dark Side of the Light, Doublethink, Justice & Mercy, Little Hitlers, Pharisees, The Purpose Missing Church, The Religious Wrong, Uncircumcised Philistines | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Ideologies] Right-Minded Individuals

Posted by Lex Fear on May 25, 2007

This Post Is Rated: M for You will probably be Mildly offended. But you won’t be able to explain why.

A while back Bryan Ferry was quoted in The Grauniad about his comments praising Nazi aesthetics.

“I apologise unreservedly for any offense caused by my comments… I, like every right-minded individual, find the Nazi regime, and all it stood for, evil and abhorrent.”

I found it interesting he referenced right-minded individuals (no, I don’t mean politically). I find it interesting because it causes me to wonder, do right-minded individuals really find the Nazi regime abhorrent? I think to verify that, we would need to know who would be considered a ‘right-minded individual’. We also need to establish what exactly was abhorrent about the Nazi regime?

Nazism, defined by Wikipedia is:

I haven’t listed every single reference on Wikipedia (one hotly disputed section argues that Nazism was anti-capitalist which is a joke), nevertheless these are the main associations with Nazi ideology. You will notice that ethnic nationalism, anti-liberalism, anti-communism and nationalism are on this list. Strangely enough, you can find examples of large groups of people who support these ideologies alive and well today (particularly in regards to the American government).

So is it really right-minded to oppose these ideologies? I suspect that many ‘right-minded individuals’ were caught up in the Nazi rhetoric before we could look back in hindsight knowing it was all evil and abhorrent. After all, how else would Hitler rise to power if he was not charismatic and good at blending a patriotic and religious message?

Perhaps being ‘right-minded’ is not enough… or perhaps it’s not about being ‘right-minded’ at all. The problem with using a term such as ‘right-minded’ is that it can only be defined in relative terms. Instead of acknowledging what is essentially evil or abhorrent, we define it as evil and abhorrent only as long as the majority of what we consider ‘right-minded individuals’ find it evil and abhorrent.

See how easy it is to fall into the trap of circular reasoning?

Why am I making such a meal of this? Because it’s quite apparent to me that “I, like every right-minded individual” is a rhetorical statement.

It’s important for us to analyse what makes an ideology evil, and to stand against it as a matter of principal. We should not stand against an ideology simply because someone we dislike believes in it, or everyone agrees it’s wrong – otherwise we will not recognise true evil when it stares us in the face.

Posted in Doublethink, Little Hitlers, Morals & Ethics, Opinion, Pharisees, Propaganda, Quoteyness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »