Thursday, 25 March 2010

Christian rant

I recently posted this mild question on a christian website:-

"Do religious believers not find it tiresome that to sustain their faith they always need to give god the credit and never the blame?"

To which I received the following reply:-

"Do atheists ever get whiplash from swiveling their heads away from God's glory?

Charitable giving? (snap!) "What are you talking about?"

Outpouring of love and assistance? (crack!) "Haven't seen any, why?"

Unwavering faith in the face of adversity? (pop! OUCH!) "Nope, none of that here!"

You have my pity and my prayers."

This has lost me. Has anyone any idea what he is on about, or suggestions for a riposte?

Monday, 22 March 2010

The Pope blames secularism

Extract from the Pope's letter to Irish Catholics:-

"In recent decades, however, the Church in your country has had to confront new and serious challenges to the faith arising from the rapid transformation and secularization of Irish society. Fast-paced social change has occurred, often adversely affecting people's traditional adherence to Catholic teaching and values. All too often, the sacramental and devotional practices that sustain faith and enable it to grow, such as frequent confession, daily prayer and annual retreats, were neglected. Significant too was the tendency during this period, also on the part of priests and religious, to adopt ways of thinking and assessing secular realities without sufficient reference to the Gospel. The programme of renewal proposed by the Second Vatican Council was sometimes misinterpreted and indeed, in the light of the profound social changes that were taking place, it was far from easy to know how best to implement it. In particular, there was a well-intentioned but misguided tendency to avoid penal approaches to canonically irregular situations. It is in this overall context that we must try to understand the disturbing problem of child sexual abuse, which has contributed in no small measure to the weakening of faith and the loss of respect for the Church and her teachings."

We secularists really must stop getting Catholic priests into these 'canonically irregular situations'. Most inconsiderate of us.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Five signed Richard Dawkins books for sale

Five Richard Dawkins books, signed by the author and dedicated to the "Platitude of the Year 2009 winner" are now being auctioned on eBay. Proceeds of the auction will go to the National Secular Society.

The books were the prize offered for the most platitudinous Thought For The Day on Radio 4 during 2009. This was won by the Rt Rev James Jones, Lord Bishop of Liverpool and Bishop of Prisons, for reminding us of the contribution that Christianity played in solving the problems of Northern Ireland. The prize was forfeit as the bishop failed to attend the award ceremony during the Secularist of the Year.

These books therefore form a unique and highly collectable set. They were purchased by Roger Scotford and are being auctioned by Peter Hearty. The five books are:

The Greatest Show on Earth (hardback)
Climbing Mount Improbable (paperback)
Unweaving the Rainbow (paperback)
The God Delusion (paperback)
The Ancestor's Tale (paperback)

More details on eBay here. Bids stand at £113 at time of writing.