The poison of radical Islam, Cameron begins to wake up?

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Our Dave wants to defeat the poison of radical Islam, jolly good eh? Well, no, he still defends state funded faith schools. His use of the word poison, copies Blair, his hero, who has used the word poison in the same context many times since 2010. Yet, despite agreeing on the word, neither Blair nor Cameraman have the slightest clue about the nature of so-called radical Islam.

Cameraman’s Birmingham speech on the 21st July was welcome, but several years too late. He announced some short-term measures, but he dared not face, what needs to be done to address the problem.

He missed the reason that so many British educated, intelligent, Muslim young men and women have become radicalised.

I argue that the word radicalised misses the point entirely, and has led Dave, and many others, down the wrong path in search of a solution. He has not yet understood why so many young Muslims are ready to fight in Syria for Islamic State. He has not yet understood how their mind-set was so warped away from that of their parents, most of whom are as clueless as is our Dave.

He said, in his speech, “They start with intolerant views towards democracy, freedom of expression and sexual equality. If this is not challenged they often gravitate to even more extreme views.”

Radical preacher Anjem Choudary has claimed that all Muslim MPs and voters are 'apostates'
Radical preacher Anjem Choudary has claimed that all Muslim MPs and voters are ‘apostates’. This evil deluded monster walks the streets of Britain subsidised by our welfare system.

But, he did not, or dare not, explain that the source of that very intolerance is the Qur’an itself. The Qur’an is aided and abetted by Hadith(s) (supplementary instructions issued long after the original manual). Democracy is an alien concept to Islam. Muslims must instead submit to the will of Allah, as directed by the Qur’an and follow Sharia, Islamic law. Sharia only applies to Muslims, so it should follow that it can only be implemented in an Islamic state.

Indeed, it is arguable that Sharia is not actually Islamic in the first place. The word is mentioned in the Qur’an, three times, but in a completely different context. Sharia, or Islamic law, is based on older Jewish law and was written some 200 years later than the Qur’an itself. Anyway, I could be paddling up an intellectual creek here because so many Islamic scholars disagree with each other on this point, and who am I to offer help? 😉

(Ed: Ooh stop, it hurts!)

Britain however, is subject to the Rule of Law. One legal system to which all citizens, of whatever religion (or none), are accountable. Aristotle said this more than two thousand years ago, “The rule of law is better than that of any individual.”

Our politicians have pandered to Muslim sensitivities. They have mistakenly allowed Sharia courts to rule on “family matters” for example. This thin end of the wedge stupidity, has all but destroyed the last 1,000 years of western philosophical and legal development. Cultural differences have been allowed to fester into the divisions we see today. For example, the political corruption exposed in Tower Hamlets last month and postal voting corruption in Birmingham, Bradford etc.

ISIS (AKA ISIL or Da’ish) are just implementing the bits of the Qur’an that moderate Muslims had started to ignore. Just read a little of the Qur’an and you will soon see what I mean.

So then, you may ask, just how do we stop young minds becoming so warped?

All religions rely on child minds being in awe of something that is apparently bigger and more powerful than them. Better still if this power is invisible, how can you challenge that eh? Once this awe is instilled in a child’s mind, it becomes very difficult to remove in later life. This innate awe is enthusiastically used by those who radicalise disaffected young minds and by all religions, eager for new followers.

Dickens was quite correct then, but times have changed, even he could not see the rise of Mohammedanism (as it was then called)

Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland have found it almost impossible to accept that their Popes have silently covered up the sexual deviance of their priesthood for centuries. Only now when the evidence is overwhelming, have many Catholics found the strength to see the inherent evils in Roman Catholicism. Many still cannot accept the truth, and remain in awe of the Vatican’s clever use of art, music and pomp to hide its innate delusions. Charles Dickens clearly saw what Catholicism was, even if he was somewhat open to criticism in his own personal life.

Faith schools are therefore the source of the problem. The very idea of faith being taught as a valid and laudable path for young human minds to follow is warped. This thinking was exposed, by European Enlightenment philosophers, in the 17th & 18th centuries. They called for reason to replace faith. Notable amongst those thinkers was John Locke who advocated that religion must occupy the private sphere of life in order for the many different faiths to co-exist peacefully.

There are many contributing factors to radicalisation of course;

  • US / UK foreign policy in Iraq;
  • the Qur’an, seen by Muslims as the unalterable word of god;
  • Muslims must live under Sharia, Islamic law
  • Saudi funding for Madrassas in the UK;
  • misguided support for primitive cultural practices by politicians hungry for votes, in the name multiculturalism;
  • government’s fear of violent reprisals from minority communities;

Those are the starting points for the radicalisation process of those already affected by the awe of the faith virus. The rest follows on quite logically from that!

Yes, our democracy is flawed, but all other methods of political control are considerably worse (echoing the words of Winston Churchill). Humans will probably get there eventually, but not while religious groups all compete for separate privileges in the public sphere. One law, applicable to all please!

Free bus passes for Faith schools? Primitive halal and kosher practices being allowed to bypass the law because of religious exemption? Time off to pray? Bah, Poo & Piffle says I.

Come on Dave, get moving!

Meanwhile, more and more faith schools are created each year (200 more planned currently) to preach their message of otherness, difference and division thereby sowing the seeds of societal destruction that today’s young disaffected Muslims’ parents came here to escape. The irony is that the Birmingham schools at the centre of the Trojan horse scandal were not faith schools, but the exposure of their failings raised major questions marks about how faith schools operate. What is alarming is that if the Birmingham schools had been designated faith schools, then many of the practices condemned, such as limiting the curriculum to exclude lessons about sex education and reinforcing a cultural identity to the exclusion of others, would have been permitted!

I would have this next paragraph used in schools to promote discussion:

There is a reason that some 93% of the planet’s top scientist reject the notion of a personal god. The real mystery is why the other 7% don’t. After all, science is based on evidence and there is no evidence that god exists. None. What we may feel in our hearts is not evidence and neither is the bible since the argument is circular. (The bible is true because it says it is. The Qur’an is true because that is what Qur’an says.)

Simply asking faith schools nicely to be more inclusive will not work. A secular (free from religious dogma) education, for all children, is the only way to heal the divisions caused by faith schools.

Whilst even that will take several generations to work, I submit that there is no other way for human societies to develop in peace.

Vote hungry, party politicians are going to remove religion from schools? Let us hope so!

God help us all 😉

Birmingham schools Trojan Horse affair & religious extremism

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There is currently a daft & pointless row between Michael Gove (Education Secretary) and Theresa May (Home Secretary) about who’s ideas are best to fight ‘religious extremism’ in schools.

They have not, and cannot, define extremism, yet the ill-defined argument nevertheless rages in the “poli-news”*1

Both want to gain credit for “fighting extremism” in the wake of the UKIP earthquake, which has woken up the Tories, if not Cleggy and Millibean!

Gove may but Theresa wont
Gove may but Theresa wont;  If looks could kill eh? 😉

This is a further example of how our party political leaders suffer from a lack of philosophical clarity & backbone. In meBook I explain that a better way forward for British society can only be met by the removal of the useless party political system, but anyway, back to the issue.

The real question for debate isWhy have primitive cultural practices have been allowed to multiply in our schools?” These practices*3 separate the children of Muslim parents from mainstream British society,  are socially divisive and create the breeding ground for a future home grown Islamic jihad of terrifying scale.

A deeply mistaken, and socially divisive pandering to Muslim religious sensitivities is shared by all three main political parties and it all started with Blair’s damned academies.

The unpleasant truth is that many British parents are hypocrites and indirectly and unwittingly provide support for an Islamic extremist future. They send their children to Christian / Jewish faith schools simply because they promote better discipline and, as a result, have quieter classrooms and as a result, better exam results. This is all done under the pretence that they are practising Christians or Jews. Once upon a time we had little to worry about the gentle C of E schools and the slightly more rabid Roman Catholic Schools.

But now, this new tranche of Muslim faith schools are effectively destroying a traditional British identity that took a thousand years to form. I know it’s not perfect, but it is the best set of cultural practices to be found anywhere in the world, and it is being destroyed in a matter of decades by our idiotic party political leaders.

Why? Because party politicians:-

a) dare not risk losing any faith vote
b) are completely at a loss how to deal with this “sensitive” issue
c) dare not appear to be “racist*2
d) dare not face up to primitive cultural practices because of their fear of violence from our ever increasing Muslim population.

But, now we are faced with a serious and growing threat to traditional British values from 7th century Islam which has to be addressed by an enlightened government.

Hypatia of Alexandia (370 – 415 A.D.) understood the threat of violent extremism caused by teaching the young mind religious dogma as truth:-

“Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain, and perhaps tragedy, can he be later relieved of them. Men will fight for a superstition quite as quickly as for a living truth, often more so, since a superstition is so intangible you cannot get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable.”

“Life is an unfoldment, and the further we travel the more truth we can comprehend. To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for understanding those that lie beyond.All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final.”

The solution is simple, painful but entirely necessary.

  • Cease public funding for ALL faith schools and slowly change them all to a secular4 ethos but including the missing discipline regimes.
  • Religion should play no part in a child’s education and Britain should adopt the French Secularism charter which is now established in all French, publicly funded, schools.
  • The only way forward is a secular and philosophical based government who have the best interests of the whole population of Britain at heart. Those people who have a faith based lifestyle can continue with it, but not in national state funded schools.

*1 poli-news is my term for the discussion in the media of the politics of the problem rather than the issue itself.

*2 There is no definition of the term ‘racist’ in the Oxford English dictionary, yet the word is used everywhere to mean almost anything.

*3 practices include separating boys from girls; divisive cultural clothing practices (hijab, Burkha  etc.); separation of children, whose parents are Muslim,  from the rest of British society; refusal to teach aspects of science because they challenge religious texts! )

*4 secular; the separation of religious belief from any national, publicly funded institution;  i.e. government, the legal system and education.

Good news from France & Poland, but not Britain

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Here are two items of ground breaking news that you will not find mentioned at all on the BBC.

The first is so important to the philosophical development of mankind that it should be shouted from all roof tops. It is this:- The French Education Minister Vincent Peillon has unveiled the controversial secularism charter which is to be displayed in a prominent position in every school to remind pupils and teachers of the country’s secular, Republican principles. The Minister says the charter is designed to promote “absolute respect for freedom of conscience”.


The new French Charter enforces 15 guiding principles among which are:-

  • Staff must convey the ideas behind secularism to students.
  • Secularism implies the rejection of all violence and all discrimination, guarantees equality between girls and boys, and rests on a culture of respect and understanding of the other.
  • It is forbidden in schools to wear symbols or clothes that show affiliation to religion.
  • Staff have a duty of strict neutrality. They must not show their political or religious convictions in the exercise of their duties.

The reason that you will not hear this on the BBC is that for some reason “we” cannot criticise the Islamic sub-culture that practises female genital mutilation(FGM), “honour” killing, enforced marriage of under age girls to old men, misogyny, cruel 2000 year old animal slaughter techniques (which Islam adopted from Judaism) and a few more primitive practices which we cannot, for some “god-forsaken” reason, mention.

The main reason? We are scared to death of the violent reaction that would ensue from publicly suggesting that these primitive & barbaric practices are unacceptable in Britain. If you want evidence of how this works in practice in Nick Clegg’s liberal party read this! Truly shocking inaction from the deputy prime minister.

The secondary reason is our stupid party politicians reticence to enforce British values on a primitive immigrant sub-culture and instead allows Sharia courts to function allowing Muslim men to keep their women as chattels!

The charter’s 15 principles have been much discussed and have already been condemned as “an attack on Islam” by a Muslim. Sadly the French minister responded to the criticism by saying that this was not an attack on Islam (which of course it is) and in doing so, has somewhat degraded an otherwise wonderful piece of good news for reason and secularism everywhere.

“The laws which made FGM illegal were introduced in France and England at about the same time, in the mid-1980s. But whereas some 100 parents and practitioners of FGM have been convicted in France, there has never been a single prosecution in the UK”.

The only way to combat these primitive practices is through the education of our children in secular schools. It will take 20-50 years – but it is the only way. Our slow and hard won progression to sexual equality is being catastrophically undermined.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our  politicians made clear what Britain stands for – that is, if they can even remember what was great about Britain!

Shame on you ! Gove, Cameraman, Millibean and Clegg!

Bravo La France! Shame on our Government of Rosbifs!

The second piece of good news is from Poland:- In January 2013 the Polish government enacted a bill which banned the ritual “halal” slaughter methods used by Jews and Muslims. The bill was brought by animal rights activists and was based on the cruelty of the method of slow death which these primitive practices entail; the Polish givernement has dismissed a recent challenge.

Kosher and halal slaughter requires an animal be killed by slitting its throat and permitting it to bleed to death while still conscious.

European Union rules on the slaughter of livestock are designed to minimise suffering for animals when they are killed, but religious groups are exempted from a requirement that animals be stunned before death. Ask yourself why? Why should irrational belief systems overrule rational decisions based on respect for animals most of us eat?

Popey & Peres - a new double act
Popey & Peres – a new double act

Meanwhile, Popey has assigned a senior church official to “investigate” the ban, which he said was against the “religious freedom of Polish Jewry”.

The old men in frocks are beginning to cluster together to support each other’s irrational belief systems as the inevitability of their demise becomes more obvious (to some of us at least 😉 ).

Egypt: why has it all gone wrong?

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morsi_hitlerSupreme Court of Wisconsin (1890)

“There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter into our civil affairs, our government soon would be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they would be destroyed. Those who made our Constitution saw this, and used the most apt and comprehensive language in it to prevent such a catastrophe.” (Supreme Court of Wisconsin, Weiss v. District Board, March 18, 1890. )

… but of course we can’t say that – it is not vey respectful to Islam is it?

OK – the Egyptian army is not exactly explaining the benefits of secularism either! They are right to remove Morsi of course, but they are using too much force and are not that interested in secularism either.

So then – what can we do..?

…nothing for Egypt but wait for the message of the European Enlightenment and that USA 1890 Judge’s message to get through the thick heads of politicians everywhere – especially here in the UK and in the USA itself.

Acknowledgement: I thank Yaakov Kirschen’s “Dry Bones” blog for the cartoon.

‘You people will never be safe’ …

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Those chilling words spoken to camera by the calm murderer of a British soldier in Woolwich, London needs very careful interpretation. Islamic extremism engenders nationalist extremism – neither is the way to go, but how on earth can we stop it?

There is no quick or easy solution but surely the education of Britain’s children is a solid place to start?

Wisdom from 400AD
Wisdom from 400AD

Those with a voice, i.e. the government, the Muslim Council of ‘g’reat Britain and the newly strengthened “Task Force” will never see the wood for the trees because of their vested interests.

Party politicians are desperate to preserve the privileges and thereby the votes that “faith” based, irrational belief systems currently enjoy, whilst the MCB, ignored by younger Muslims, still requests that Sharia law be taken seriously.

It is so clear to me that until religion is completely removed from the “public” sphere, we will never know peace. “My bible is better than your bible – so there!” is a wonderful display of wisdom by a court in the USA back in 1893.

The factors, I see, behind the Woolwich murder:-

  • The globalised exploitation of the world’s resources by the West, China and Russia (and the many other countries discovering the adolescent excitement of exploitative capitalism).
  • Globalisation is seen, quite correctly in my view, as a one way road to ever bigger corporations transferring money into ever smaller groups of wealthy elites.
  • The post World War 1 carve up, by Britain, France and the USA, of what was the Ottoman Empire into today’s arbitrarily created states of Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Trans-Jordan Israel and Palestine.
  • The ignorance perpetuated by all religions, but particularly Abrahamic*1 ones, Islam in particular, insisting that their faith systems should be ‘respected’ or else toys will thrown out of prams.
  • These first four, together with our ruling elite’s liberal acceptance of this alien Arab desert culture, unchallenged and now in our midst, is at the heart of this tragic affair.
  • A few young, mainly unemployed, men have been convinced that they are at war with a western democracy that has exploited and oppressed the Arab world. There is some truth in their words, but their ‘faith’ based jihad*2 is fueled by angry, deluded, power mad, misogynistic, male politicians wearing religious hats supported by other Arabs selling oil to the very democracies and globalised businesses to which they are opposed!
  • That many of the extreme Islamists appear to be recent converts is worrying some ‘moderate’ Muslims who say that one of the big issues Islam must face in the UK is that most Imams cannot speak English or have any understanding at all of the last 1000 years of British history and culture. They say that when we have fluent English speaking Imams things will be better. To this I have to say Poppycock! Until Islam can revise the Qur’an we will see no change, and since the Qur’an (in Arabic) is the ‘unalterable word of God’ – that’s that!
  • Saudi Arabia is funding, seemingly unchallenged by our own government, Madrassas*3 in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Canada, Australia (and on and on) spreading Wahhabbism*2, a fundamentalist version of Islam.
  • Globalised BIG business and banking organisations caused the 2008 meltdown yet western governments (China, Russia, India etc. too) are hell bent on recreating the disaster again.
  • Yet more UK faith schools have been approved for 2014 many of which are religiously based thus cementing a division in society for years to come. Light the blue touch paper, stand back, and in 10 years – BOOOM!
  • The right wing backlash has started here in the UK, and in the USA blogs are urging “citizens” to carry their “ARs*5” ‘cuzz the hand gun just don’t cuttit nomore’. Oh yes, bigger guns are the obvious answer …
  • There are just too many people everywhere – that in itself causes tensions. The natural resources war is in progress now (China is winning), the meat wars are starting and the global water wars have yet to start …

The following suggested actions may not, at first sight, seem to be related but I maintain that only by putting them all together can we start putting things right.

  • We have to challenge the very ideas that form the motivation for the killings we see on our streets.
  • The government has to promote a secular philosophy based on reason and fairness and refute all faith based, demands – and yes, this includes the established Church of England!
    • e.g. Many of our universities have allowed the separation of male & female seating arrangements in lectures at the insistence of Muslim student groups – unbelievable!
    • Islamic ‘Sharia’ courts and Jewish ‘Beth din’ courts must be outlawed. They have been quietly allowed by PC governments in the past but unless you want Scientology courts appearing too ..? You catch my drift? We must have just one law followed by, and applicable to, all.
  • Moderate UK Muslims must speak out loud and clear against this killing
    • until they do – cease public funding of the so-called failing community cohesion efforts
  • ‘Faith’ must be seen to be what it actually is, “belief without reason, evidence or justification”. The many privileges it current receives must be removed, e.g:-
    • Church of England bishops taking up 24 seats in the House of Lords
    • Tax breaks for all religious organisations, and private schools for that matter, are nothing but slimy vote winners
  • Government support of ‘faith’ is just plain wrong and should end – ‘reason’ must prevail therefore:-
    • Faith schools must seen as divisive and destabilising for Britain’s future and therefore slowly reformed into a secular mainstream education system. Are you listening Gove? Thought not…no votes there, eh?
    • Dis-establish the Church of England now – this would allow rational debate on religion and the end privileges granted to all those holding irrational belief systems.
  • A secular state in which religion is moved from the public to the private sphere is the only way for a future in which those who have a religion together with those who do not, can live together equal before the law. This would deal with the nonsense of Sharia even being debated – it’s just daft to even think about its validity in Great Britain or any democracy for that matter.
  • Government must invest, NOT in nuclear, but in R & D into energy production. Put our very best brains onto it and pay them well! Use geo-thermal hot-spots in the UK, ground source heat pumps, yes even daft wind turbines etc. etc.
    • Sadly, because of 25 years of government dithering, we will have to build a few nuclear power stations just to keeps the lights on, but longer term focus must be in eventual self sufficiency.
    • This will eventually end in the reduction of our need for oil & gas from regimes that could do us damage if they choose to withdraw gas / oil supplies
    • Decide upon a stable population for ‘g’reat Britain (say 40 million) and work on ways to achieve that in say 50 years.

We then wait 75 years for those actions to filter down to a new secular Britain whose children will have re-discovered the rationality and grown up wisdom of the European Enlightenment.

The alternative is that Islam just quietly and patiently out-breeds us all…

Happy Oestrus & Merry Winterval!

*1 Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all versions of monotheism (the idea of just one god was quite new 3,000 years ago) originating from the area today ‘made up’ of Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq & Iran.

*2 Jihad – the Islamic holy war has many definitions, even within Islam. The “lesser jihad” is “struggle” against those who are not Muslim. The “greater jihad” is the inner struggle by a believer to fulfil his religious duties.

*3 Madrassas – Schools where education is mixed with and distorted by Islamic teaching, thus providing a warped and divisive educational environment. Saudi Arabia finances these schools in Britain but, unlike state schools, religious schools – known as Madrassas – are unregulated and teachers do not have to have specialist training.

*4 Wahhabbism – a fundamentalist form of Islam perpetrated by the Saudi Royal family supporting men as gods and women as chattels.

*5 Assault rifles

Disestablish Church of England now! (Women Bishops row)

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Female clergy are tearing thir hair out!

The management of the Church of England, (Archie Bishes, Bishes etc.) has clearly revealed its true nature; that of political animals. They can see all too clearly that yesterday’s Synod decision to disallow the creation of woman bishes is damaging to the “brand” because their focus group management information clearly reveals that “we the people” have moved on. The only other country in the world where clerics form part of the legislature, by right, is Iran – yes Iran.

The last Arch Bishop (Rowan Williams) doesn’t even believe in god anymore; the evidence for this is in his 30 minute discussion with John Harumphrys (In Search of Faith) a couple of years ago. He clearly is closer to the Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) (1935 – ) “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

John Humphrys pretends to be “In Search of Faith”

Rowan Williams is an peaceful, intelligent, academic man and was therefore ill fitted to the political role that today’s C of E requires.

The only true believers left are the masses who still have not realised that the “Sacrament” and assorted accoutrements of their weird religion (created on a whim by a petulant Henry VIII) are just designed to make their belief system more impressive.

Bach makes god look good‘ etc. (I think that quote is original to me but I stand to be corrected ..?)

Seneca (4 – 65 BCE)
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 – 1821)
Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.”
“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”
“All religions have been made by men.”

Supreme Court of Wisconsin (1890) “There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter into our civil affairs, our government soon would be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they would be destroyed. Those who made our Constitution saw this, and used the most apt and comprehensive language in it to prevent such a catastrophe.” (Supreme Court of Wisconsin, Weiss v. District Board, March 18, 1890. )

Such wisdom is there to be read, absorbed and acted upon but politicians dare not reveal their true selves (no votes in enlightened reason) 🙁
They are not leaders – they are focus group led party politicians whose main motivation is power.

The case for aggressive secularism

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... off to help the Pope fight agressive secularism - ROFL
Baroness Warsi off to help the Pope fight agressive secularism ...

Almost daily now, on the BBC, we hear religious leaders droning on about the importance of faith in our lives and the dangers of aggressive secularism. Now ‘we’ are sending Baroness Warsi to the Vatican, accompanied by 7 cabinet ministers, to join forces with the Pope to speak out against so-called ‘aggressive’ secularism which I would simply describe as reason and commonsense! I find this government mission frankly deeply misguided and almost unbelievable – and who on earth sanctioned that level of expense? We are the only country in the world (apart from Iran) to have theocratic ‘believers in the improbable’ as part of out legislature! As for being ‘aggressive’, secularists are simply employing reasoned argument to remove the priviliges these relics of the Dark Ages still enjoy!

Nick Clegg, as our Deputy Prime Minister (and as the atheist he most assuredly is) should be ashamed of himself for not lambasting this criminal waste of tax payers money. The Lib Dems are rapidly losing any credibility they ever had – nobody now ‘agrees with Nick‘ – not even other lib dems!

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore and Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson will also attend, along with International Development Minister Alan Duncan, Energy Minister Greg Barker and Foreign Office Minister Lord Howell of Guildford. Despite Duncan and Barker being openly gay, the forthcoming free vote in the Commons on introducing gay marriage is said to be firmly off the agenda. (With thanks to the Huffington Post).

How can the suspension of reason in favour of divisive policies at the heart of government be considered so important? We waste so much time in this world trying to cope with religious differences and prejudices that we really should have caught on by now – secularism is the safest place for religion to reside. Religion must be a matter of personal choice and NOT EVER part of central government. Here are just two examples:-

1) Just because Henry VIII fancied a new woman he invented the Church of England to rid himself of the Pope’s veto on his divorce. He broke with Rome in 1534, which led to hundreds of years of sectarian violence and death in England and Ireland. The wounds are still open today 400 years later. A religion created on a pompous monarch’s whim.

2) Just because early Muslims couldn’t agree on who should lead them in after Mohammed’s death in 632 AD, we have another religion divided (Sunni Muslim versus Shia Muslim)  at each others throats for the last 1,400 years. The figures here for sectarian violent death are impossible to estimate but ‘100s of thousands’ is probably not too far out.

In the UK, both labour and conservative governments still think that creating more and more faith schools, which are, by definition, inherently divisive, is a good idea! Parents opt, mostly hypocritically, for a faith school, if they can, simply because discipline is managed better in faith schools, religious faith does not play much of a part in the decision for most.

Religion, whilst it remains at the heart of government, will continue to engage us in pointless activity trying to appease all yet pleasing none. Until we remove the shackles of ‘faith’ from our everyday lives we simply cannot make “reasonable” decisions and live in peace. Please note that I am concentrating on versions of the Abrahamic based religions as it is these which have caused most of the worlds strife. Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion and Hinduism with Sikhism both seem not to be bent on world domination!

A few thoughts from just a few well known thinkers might explain my position, a position based on reason:-

  • Hippocrates (c.460-c.377 B.C.E.) “People think that epilepsy is divine simply because they don’t have any idea what causes epilepsy. But I believe that someday we will understand what causes epilepsy, and at that moment, we will cease to believe that it’s divine. And so it is with everything in the universe.”
  • Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), “Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis.”
  • Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) “The most practical and dramatic victory of science over religion occurred in the 17th century, when churches began to put up lightning conductors.”
  • Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso) (1935 – ) “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

Despite these insights, spanning the last two thousand years, around 70% of the inhabitants of the USA think that world was created in 7 days by a god like man with a white beard who actually cares about them. He cares far more about Republicans of course 😉

The world has gone mad – faith has trumped reason despite the legacy of Socrates and the European Enlightenment philosophers, so where to start? ‘Reason’ and philosophy is the best place to start so here goes:-

  • The Riddle of Epicurus (341-270 BCE)
  • If God is willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
  • If he is able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
  • If he is both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
  • If he is neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

If there is a god, he is no use to us because he / she / it made so many errors in the overall design of the universe, and us, that we have to invest billions in the NHS to save us from the disease pestilence and famine that he (in his own mysterious way) sent, so, even if there is a god, he obviously does not care about us one jot or tittle. The beautiful ‘theory’ of evolution just makes far more sense, and yes it is a theory but it is the best explanation that we have, so far, for the random, beautiful, unfair, chaotic but wonderful world in which we live.

If ‘he’ had a master plan for our ultimate “salvation” he did a very poor job in communicating it! The message should surely be the same for all, so why all these different religions with different back-stories and disagreements?

Its almost as if he / she / it / was some shadowy human Mandelson figure who makes up a different story every few hundred years and tries again  😉 

For example, starting with the Jewish Torah, then on to the New Testament followed on a few hundred years later with a punchier version of the Torah because the New Testament was just a bit too… well, New Age!  All that talk of love and peace PAH, let’s get back to smiting! So finally, to the Quran, the last and biggest Abrahamic story revision. Do take some time to read it – I have read it twice in two different translations and whilst I acknowledge the beauty of the Arabic oral rendition of the Quran – it is sheer poetry, mesmeric – one does not need to understand the words to feel the ‘power’, it is simply spine tingling when recited well.

For me however – the words of the Quran are those of a politically astute desert Arab[1] who demands the suspension of personal reason, the sublimation of free will and demands complete submission to what HE says or else, and, since all he says is the will of Allah, there is no choice but to accept (very handy)! The Quran is a scarily primitive political polemic in which all Muslims seem to be trapped forever; after all, it is “the unalterable word of god”.

Christians have had their reformation but many, albeit in declining numbers, still take enormous comfort from the social structures it provides, but Islam is seemingly forever held frozen in the Arab deserts of AD 650 promoting misogyny and Islamic supremacy; it will take a very brave moderate Muslim scholar to reform all that!

I know I have missed out Rosicrucian’s, 7th day Adventists, Mormons and the ‘Beam me Up’ Scientologists, but they are all just too silly for words aren’t they? 

Well aren’t they? Apparently not, some 40 million of us would disagree. (20 million Mormons claimed worldwide, 100,000 best estimate for the Scientologists (OK +0.5 for Tom Cruise ’cause he’s a bit short), and say another 20 million Christian and other religious factions).

So then, our government thinks it’s a jolly good idea to support a Catholic leader who still supports the protection of pedophile priests by doing nothing? Who on earth thought that an inter-faith dialogue would promote peace when all the evidence is that the slightest disagreement causes schism, death and mayhem as history demonstrates over and over again?

Oh dear me “Beam me up Scotty – take me away please”.

[1] I have a theory that it was his first wife who did most of the political thinking whilst coping with Mohammed’s ‘divine’ fits of epilepsy (see Hippocrates quote above).