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Today’s link.




Discussion (50)¬

  1. maggs says:

    Right guys, that’s it! No more defamation of beliefs in the unbelievable, unreasonable and inhumane or there’ll be horrible consequences. Oh yes, that’s been said before hasn’t it.

  2. Grouchy-One says:

    Interesting. I wonder how many die due to religion related causes…

  3. KrateKraig says:

    However, they will feel the need to “convert/recruit/save the souls” of the poor children before they can be fed.
    Here’s your bible, the food is on the way.

  4. Grouchy-One says:

    And of course, denying access to contraception will mean ever so many more to starve/save…

  5. jean-françois says:

    to be fair, folks, however silly belief in a wooden submarine crossing the atlantic/young male virgin walking on water/guys living some nine hundred years while fathering children with their sisters and cousins may be, we have to admit that most established religions do run very active charities, hospitals, schools and orphanages (great way to meet young boys!), in the poorest of places. in some african countries, they *are* the health care system. just sayin’.

  6. Colonel Leisure says:

    Yes, very poignant!

  7. geek65535 says:

    @jean-fancois: You are absolutely right–but at the same time, there is a church being built near my house (in north Texas) that is twice as large as the *existing* church on the same lot. That’s money going to self-aggrandizement (or as they would say, “the glorification of god,”) that’s not going to any undernourished kids.
    Oh, did I mention that religious organizations in the US are non-profits, so don’t pay taxes? Which means that this church, like all churches in the US, doesn’t contribute to the local government. (Yes, I know that’s more of a rant for another day, but it fits in the theme of helping themselves rather than others.)

  8. Neil Hoskins says:

    And clearly our number one priority has to be stopping people putting rubber things on their cocks.

  9. bigjohn756 says:

    I live in East Texas where the local churches spend much of their money trying to outdo each other in building churches and other facilities. Ostentation obviates charity around here. The world would be much better off if Christians were to follow the tenets of Christianity and give to charity for which they have been awarded tax breaks instead of engaging in self-aggrandizement for which they should get no tax breaks.

  10. ketil.G says:

    i agreee with Jesus Stop gay marriage.

  11. Husain says:

    @jean-francois
    You have made a very valid point. I am associated with a christian charity, working in rural parts of India. Though I am an atheist, it not the religion of the charity organisers, but their work that matters. If at any point of time, I would come to know of their (mis)use of funds for religious purpose, the charity would go to some other deserving organisation.

  12. nina says:

    When you consider that if churches actually did promote the values that they claim – love, kindness and charity – gay marriage could have been achieved decades ago – and so many lives and families wouldn’t have been ruined or torn apart.

    But the purpose of churches is not to spread these values or peace – it’s all about concentrating wealth, power and thus influence into the church’s hands.

    so they can use this power to influence politicans, referendums and voters to do the opposite of why they claim they are for.

  13. Jack Mackerel says:

    Yeah. I guess that’s why a great majority of churches here push for Gay acceptance, have held discussions on the illegality of torture, and run charities and food operations in some third-world country without any religious requirement.

    But they’re religious, so of course they’re trying to do this to influence politicians.

  14. JimS says:

    Marriage exists because it provides benefits to society as a whole. ‘Gay marriage’ is only of benefit to the individuals concerned.

  15. Stonyground says:

    I run a charity snack shop at work and up until recently have donated money to various causes via the numerous charity shops in the local town, trying to share the donations out reasonably fairly. I have since learned that many “charities” are in fact quangos that the government use for misdirecting taxpayer’s cash. I now feel the need to be much more careful when it comes to making donations.

    I also think that poor countries need development and help toward being able to manufacture and sell things rather than just hand-outs. I once heard an African guy on a radio discussion say that in many cases, aid was perpetuating problems rather than solving them and also I would hate to think that my donation was being used to buy more gold for some mad dictator’s palace. So I think it is important to be charitable but the problems are incredibly complex and not as straightforward as just finding enough cash.

    Interestingly, if I had the kind of power that Yahweh is supposed to have, I would have every child on the planet fed, clothed, housed, and educated within about a fiftieth of a second.

  16. JaR says:

    Why do we have this silly idea of “civil” or “legal” marriage anyway? What does it mean? Why is the state even involved? Marriage is a religious ceremony.

    Here’s an idea, get the state out of the marriage business completely. If you must have a mechanism for next of kin, inheritance, etc. call it a legal partnership, which is what it is. Most states here already have some sort of provision for legal partners. If folks want to “Marry”, then that would be between them and their church, cult, sect, coven, whatever.

  17. Daoloth says:

    Jean-Francois raises a very valid point.
    I have started to think that a defining feature of many religions is the tenet of non-self-ownership. Your life is only a rental- it’s going back to god. Its certainly not your to do with as you will (such as euthanase).
    This can lead to some very fine behaviour, noble-self-sacrifice for the sake of others, and also the most ghastly excesses of the inquisition- doing it for your own good (and charging you for the privielge of being tortured)
    What do people think? Idea got any merit?

  18. Daoloth says:

    Jean-Francois raises a very valid point.
    I have started to think that a defining feature of many religions is the tenet of non-self-ownership. Your life is only a rental- it’s going back to god. Its certainly not your to do with as you will (such as euthanase).
    This can lead to some very fine behaviour, noble-self-sacrifice for the sake of others, and also the most ghastly excesses of the inquisition- doing it for your own good (and charging you for the privielge of being tortured)
    What do people think? Idea got any merit? Or am I talking crap as usual?

  19. abz says:

    @jean-françois: That’s what makes me so angry that the catholic church don’t just admit that there is nothing in their bible to prevent people using condoms and finally lift the ban.

    After all they have the wealth and the health support/distribution network to make a huge difference right now if they wanted to.

    To have the power to save millions of people and to decide not to just because you don’t like to restrict breeding more infected people is insane – it’s genocide.

    No matter how many nuns they have comforting the dying, it does not make up for fighting for their lives instead.

  20. Just had a thought — Jesus and Mo might live in Mississippi! http://www.jesusandmo.net/2009/10/13/poor/

  21. GE says:

    @JaR: Other way round, actually. Forget the words, because the semantic arguments can be twisted either way, but “marriage” – as a contractual entity between two (for now) people of opposite (for now) sexes – is far more about the legal implications than any religious ones. That’s why it’s so important to allow everyone equal, non-discriminatory access to it. Marriage is just another legal contract – outlining the rights, responsibilities, privileges and obligations of the marriage partners with regard to each other and to the state. It’s the religious aspect of marriage that is irrelevant, actually!

    Look at it this way: you can head over to the church or temple or Pagan Hut or what-have-you, mumble some mumbo-jumbo, do some wiggling or touching or eat a cookie or stomp on a glass…none of that will grant you the rights that a married couple is entitled to, period – you’ll still have to head over to the courthouse (or wherever) and get the marriage license, get it all squared away with the state.

    On the other hand: head over to the courthouse, get all the paperwork done, pay whatever processing fees are necessary…and you’re set. The state will recognize your marriage partnership; no religious ceremony is necessary.

    So which one – the licensure (state) or the ceremony (religion) is truly tangential to the qualification for those contractual conditions inherent to the matrimonial entity? Seems pretty clear, actually.

    In that light, since we already use the word “marriage” for it, there’s no reason to endeavor to come up with new terminology. If anybody wants to attach some religious (or “spiritual” – ugh) significance to their marriage, they’re welcome to do so. It won’t mean squat as far as the state is concerned anyway. Meanwhile, the actual state-sanctioned contractual stuff should be open and available to any legally consenting adults, period. I’ve yet to see any rational justification for prohibiting any two (or more, yes) consenting adults from marrying.

  22. bewlay says:

    couple of questions….

    @JIMS: how is it exactly that marriage benefits a society, whereas gay partnerships only benefit the couple? dont say children, because plenty unmarried couples have children quite successfully.

    and as to churches doing charitable work…sure a lot of them do, and do it well, as do secular charities. but how about the poison many of them spread along with their charitable work, like convincing african people that condoms spread aids, to name but one. along with the process of trying to convert to their particular breed of poison, as some have already said. bibles then food…indeed. that smacks of agendas hidden or otherwise, to accompany the charitable work.

    edit…i think abs just said it even more concisely and eloquenlty than me

  23. Jack Mackerel says:

    IIRC, a few countries practice secular weddings. See: France.

  24. Toast in the machine says:

    Lots of stuff on the subject here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage

    Jack Mackeral – I don’t know what country you’re writing from, or really what your last post means. I think if you look a little harder you’ll find almost everywhere that isn’t an islamic dictatorship implements secular weddings: even the USA.

  25. Quester says:

    Any recommendations for “effective aid organizations”?

  26. Jack Mackerel says:

    Was responding to JaR, eh.

  27. France practices “secular weddings” in that you cannot get married in a church. Everyone marries in the town hall. You can pop down to the church later to have the priest bless your marriage, if you wish, but that’s a separate event.

    This separation of the legal/civil and religious/spiritual aspects of marriage is an aid to clear thinking.

    TRiG.

  28. His Royal Oddness says:

    Jesus: “We need to stop gay marriage first.” (while sitting naked in bed with Mo.)

  29. nina says:

    Gay Marriage isn’t legally or socially different than straight marriage.

    Some gay couples have kids, others don’t – same as straight couples.

    Gays and Lesbians pay the same taxes, obey the same laws and participate in society through work, volunteering, charitable donations and being part of the same communities

    If human rights are going to mean anything, then they need to be the same for everyone.

    The courts of many countries have found that there is no legal or moral basis to deny marriage to Gays and Lesbians.

    And while marriage was a church function, the state does in fact have an interest in marriage since it impacts taxes, immigration and is essentially a function of contract law.

    There are no rights granted by being married in a church, people who are married in civil ceremonies are as married, straight atheists are married.

    If churches don’t want to perform gay marriages, then fine, let them not do it – but some churches do want to offer their services.

    But a church not wanting to perform my wedding to my spouse should not prevent me from being able to be married.

    I am a married lesbian in Canada and my marriage is not lesser than anyone else’s nor do I contribute less to society than others.

  30. Prioritize – http://www.jesusandmo.net/2009/10/13/poor/ Coz the poor are always with us. /sarcasm

  31. Vaginarian says:

    The good religion does has nothing to do with the harm it does.
    And the harm religion does is pervasive and mind-boggling.
    Yet we continue to put religion on a pedestal.

    Whatever religion is, it is not the government. And it should be kept completely out of it.

    I want a system of govt that protects people from religion

    Fuck “separation of church and state” – the government should stand alone as the only authority and ultimate authority to make laws and protect & punish people.

    Religion has no business in governing.
    The concept of separation of Church & State came out of a time when the Church was the State!

    Why am I ranting about this today? Dunno, but this is the only place I could think of venting my anger after reading this:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/nyregion/14abuse.html?em

    And every religion has evil lurking in the open harming its people with the full complicity of the government.

  32. Efogoto says:

    Unfortunately, I think it unrealistic to think we’ll cure poverty until we figure out how to effectively limit population. As it is, population always grows when resources are plentiful, right until resources are overtaken and competition reduces some to poverty.

    Maybe I need to read Mo’s book.

  33. Toast in the machine says:

    Trig – interesting. Didn’t know that. Good for the French.

    Generally, this seems relevant also: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/welcome-to-the-gayby-boom_b_230933.html

  34. Uncle Roger says:

    Sadly, oh so true.

  35. Dídac says:

    Jesus for one answered all that crap about helping the poors: “For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always”. (Mathew 26:11).

    As for a religious group promoting development and self-reliance we have http://www.kiva.org/team/fsm They have loaned a total of $122,800 to several microprojects based on TRUE economy.

  36. Crusader Rabid says:

    It would be impossible for charities to Feed The World, but I do support Christian Blind Mission which at least gives many of the poorest children a chance at life.
    Marriage is the the union of a man and a woman.
    Defamation of religion is a freedom which must not be taken off us.

  37. Kristian says:

    @Didac, yes, Jesus is no longer with us, but the church certainly is.

    What does it hurt any heterosexual that gay people would like to show their friends and their society that they’ve made a pledge? Grow up!

  38. Kristian says:

    What does it hurt any heterosexual that gay people would like to show society that they’ve made a pledge?

    (I couldn’t get the ‘edit’ to work)

  39. Toast in the machine says:

    Kristian – exactly. It’s bizarre that anyone cares or thinks they have any right to criticise who anyone else wants to have sex with or marry, as long as the person concerned is mature enough and able to give consent.

    As the article by Johann Hari shows, there’s even plenty of evidence now that gay couples raise children who are just as happy and well-adjusted (and as likely to be heterosexual) as heterosexual couples.

    Yet, there are still idiots who think they can trot out drivel like ‘marriage is the union of a man and a woman’ without even attempting to provide a reason or logic, and that’s enough to justify discrimination against 10% of the human race.

  40. [...] bigoted do you have to be to refuse to help people because you’re more concerned about restricting rights (2) from other [...]

  41. avatar says:

    hahahah this is awesome. True. If money is the root of all evil why do churches want it so bad???

  42. Pappy mcfae says:

    Marriage exists because it provides benefits to society as a whole. ‘Gay marriage’ is only of benefit to the individuals concerned.

    Really? I guess you know nothing of the history of marriage.

    1. Marriage as a custom is old, perhaps as old as Neanderthal.
    2. Gay marriage has a history just as long.
    3. Marriage as a legal contract began as a modification of adoption rules in Roman times. At that time, homosexuality was not only accepted, it was seen as virtuous by many. Adoption and marriage were the means of bestowing rights of inheritance, property rights, and so on.
    4. Marriage only benefits society in making rights of ascension and inheritance clear. Everything else is BS made up by the Religious Reich.
    5. If the thought of same sex marriage makes you uncomfortable, say so. I think it’s very Religious-Reich-like to put forth such a non sequitur argument.

  43. Naboo says:

    @Efogoto
    That is not necessarily how the population dynamics works.

    I remember watching a conference on several videos with a professor (don’t remember who or where) who was talking to his students about the immediate threat of over-population on our earth.

    To make a long speech short; his suggestion was that the best alternatives was to spread some kind of disease over land which was highly populated, and preferably poor (because disease spreads much more quickly without good infrastructure).

    The big problem and lack of logic behind his reasoning (in addition to the horrible lack humanity he and his students possessed), is the that the most poorest and often most birth productive areas on our world is also where the population as a whole consumes the least resources and food.

    There is a clear link between families being poor and having very many kids.
    There is also a clear link between families being rich and having very few babies.

    But non the less, the rich families consumes much more land, food and resources than the poor ones does. And it should be obvious to everyone genuinely interested in this question, that the problem isn’t overpopulation, it is the way the food and the world’s resources are organized, and the horrifying overconsumption in the western world. That is the problem.

  44. angryinadk says:

    I recently read the world spends 30 Billion dollars every 8 days on war. This is estimated to be the amount necessary to eradicate hunger world wide for a year. Our priorities are screwed. I give to my local food bank and my wife volunteers with them, so we give but locally. USA spend more than all the rest of the world combined on its military, enriching large corporations stealing from everyone else. Read Eisenhower’s farewell speech 1961 warning of this exact occurrence. We need to have the politicians listen to the people, and to do that we need first to eliminate lobbying and political contributions by corporations. good luck with that .
    I found this site late. However I felt compelled to comment. I see that some other comments are also more current. Thanks for making me think.

  45. fenchurch says:

    I don’t know why some folks hate marriage so much that they want to restrict it and reserve it for people just like themselves.

    Jesus didn’t get married either, so maybe that’s why– they just want people to be more Christ-like and forsake marriage in favour of being gay virgins. Even Church “fathers” like Paul saw marriage as being an unfortunate, grudging alternative to fornication.

    When folks these days argue for a return to marriage’s early values, I can never properly date the point in history they are hearkening back to– often they are referring to some time after the fashion of bride prices, rape as wooing, and contracts engaged by ones parents, yet decades before marriage equality (removal of racism and heterosexism).

    Also, they tend to sound a little grandiose with sweeping statements about marriage being for one man and one woman– they don’t get to decide what the definition of marriage is, except for themselves.

    If you don’t want gay marriage, then don’t get one. You’ll be sorry yours wasn’t as fabulous, though!

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