Apr 132017

Hamilton couple refuse to tell foster kids Easter Bunny is real, CAS shuts down home: court docs

A foster family up Canada way is devoutly Christian, so they don’t buy into all that “Easter Bunny” and “Santa Claus” hooha. And a Canuck court has decided that while apparently it’s ok to be devoutly religious and be a foster family, refusing to tell toddlers about the gospel of Ostara’s fertility rabbit actually being *real* just ain’t gonna fly.

Let that sink in for a bit.

A government agency has decided that refusing to tell children that fables are fact is legally actionable. One wonders where that might lead.

…the organization expects foster parents to respect common customs and the traditions of the biological family.

“From an organizational perspective, we need to be cognizant and respectful, both of the beliefs of the foster parents and also the needs and customs of children in our care,” he said. “We consider children coming into our care to be on a temporary basis … and there should be a … very smooth transition back to their home from a foster placement.”

This would seem to imply that a foster family will be expected to play along with and affirm every single set of beliefs that the bio-family had. This would seem to imply that having multiple children from multiple backgrounds simultaneously would be problematic at best. Imagine a foster family that has an Asatru girl and a Muslim boy at the same time… the girl might demand to *not* be dominated, and by the gods she will *not* be denied bacon for breakfast and a ham sammich for lunch, and she’ll point the soles of her feet anywhere she damn well pleases… and the family will have to affirm that at the same time they need to affirm pretty much the opposite for the boy.


 Posted by at 12:47 am
Apr 062017

A few days ago I watched the movie “The Discovery.” It was based on an interesting idea… a scientist played by Robert Redford has scientifically proven to everyones satisfaction that there is, in fact, an afterlife (it’s pretty vague on just how this proof was demonstrated). What the proof does *not* include is any sort of definition on what that afterlife entails… heaven, hell, reincarnation, limbo… nada. Even so, in the several years since the discovery was announced, a major problem has hit society: millions of suicides. Now that people no longer have a doubt about an afterlife, a whole lot of ’em just decide to check out.

Unfortunately, “The Discovery” commits the worst cinematic sin: it was dull.

Still, it’s an interesting idea. How would society respond to proof that there was an afterlife? Three options seem most interesting to me:

A: The afterlife remains an unknown. That’s just it!  We don’t know! Maaaaybe something bad… maaaaybe something good!  I guess we’ll never know!

B: Everybody goes to Hell. Yog Sothoth awaits us all.

C: Everybody goes to Heaven.

What would happen in society at large with each?

With B, I can expect to see near-universal panic. There would be some people who wouldn’t panic… the people who were *already* convinced they were going to Hell. A lot of these people would be nightmares… together with the people who were only holding back their darker impulses because of the fear of Hell, they would rip and tear their way through society, now that they know that it doesn’t matter what they do – or don’t do. As for everybody else, there would be those who’d just sorta try to ignore it. There’d be those who would devote their efforts to life extension… suddenly, attempts to create immortality, or at least practical cryogenic suspension, wouldn’t seem so crackpot.

With C, some things would be the same as B. People restrained in their actions by a fear of damnation, if they knew that no matter how bad they were they still get to go to heaven, would suddenly go bonkers. But where in B most people would try to avoid death at all costs, if it was universally acknowledged that the afterlife is better than this life, it seems to me the population would plummet rather precipitously rather quickly. If life sucks *even* *a* *little,* then the promise of an assured paradise is impossible to ignore.

But Option A is one I can’t really predict. I think most people believe in an afterlife *now,* but there is enough doubt about whether it’s real, and worry about negative afterlives, that it keeps the believers from offing themselves. Additionally, most religions have proscriptions against suicide; if I understand Christianity correctly, suicide is generally a direct pipeline to damnation. Of course, some other, crappier religions offer up the idea that committing suicide while blowing yourself to smithereens is a direct pipeline to paradise; and the results are that regions under control of such religions are generally pretty awful.

Personally, I highly doubt that  scientific proof of an afterlife will come down the line anytime soon. Partially because I can’t see how such a proof could be accomplished; mostly because I doubt the existence of an afterlife. But it’s interesting to consider.

 Posted by at 3:30 am
Feb 262017

Of course, anyone can chime in.

Here’s the ponderable: it is later in the 21st century. For a few decades, the Catholic population of Europe has been declining, while the overall population has grown substantially. However, the long trend of Europeans becoming less and less religious has reversed; Europeans are now very religious. It’s just not a religion friendly to Catholicism.

So for some years not only have the Catholic churches grown more and more empty, Catholics and the church are coming under increasing attacks, legal and physical. Most Catholic churches around Europe are in fact empty… and mostly empty burned out shells or converted to the replacement religion. So now Catholicism in Europe has contracted to within the walls of the Vatican. And it is clear that very soon it will be physically assaulted and destroyed.

That said, North and South America, Australia and the Pacific island areas remain more or less as they are now, demographically, just more so. There are somewhere in the area of a billion Catholics with a lot of money and resources. It is physically possible to send a flotilla of cargo ships to Italy and load up all the Vaticans stuff and transfer it all elsewhere.

So, the first question: under the immanent threat of destruction, does the Catholic Church pull up stakes and move elsewhere, or does it stay put and put its faith in divine intervention?

Second question: assuming it moves… where to? There are a lot of Catholics in the US and Canada, but a distinct minority of the overall populations. Plus, the idea of setting up a sovereign theocratic nation within US borders is probably not a politically floatable boat. On the other hand… from Mexico on south those lands are *loaded* with Catholics, the vast majority of whom would probably be thrilled to have their home town turned into Vatican 2.

And this being later in the 21st century, the possibility exists of the Catholics setting up Space Vatican, in orbit, on the Moon, Mars, asteroids, wherever. However, getting there would be fabulously expensive, difficult and risky.

My own suspicion is that Mexico and Brazil would be in the lead. But then Argentina seems to have the best climate, and the Caribbean has it’s charms. Cuba, perhaps.

So… any thoughts?

 Posted by at 6:11 pm
Feb 242017

… but if so, it’s pretty good.

France’s Le Pen cancels meet with Lebanon grand mufti over headscarf

French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen supposedly had a meeting set up with the Grand Poobah of the Sunni Lebanese, when said glorious leader supposedly demanded that she wear a headscarf, which she refused. Of course there are conflicting accounts… one side said the headscarf was a demand from the get-go, the other that it came after the meeting was set up. In either case, Le Pen’s refusal to put on a scrap of cloth that would actually be occasionally *illegal* back in France will probably hold her in good stead in the forthcoming election.


 Posted by at 12:03 pm
Feb 232017

I have some small hope that anybody reading the title of this post won’t actually believe that I believe it. I would hope that *nobody* would believe the title. But as with so many of my hopes, this is another one that has been dashed. For there are people – not just uneducated jerkwater morons, but educated university professors such as Georgetown University’s Jonathan Brown – who believe that slavery, when done under the rules of one particular religion, is a wonderful thing. And that rape doesn’t exist because it was never mentioned in his favorite book of religious fairy tales.

Professor Uses Lecture to Defend Islamic Slavery

The lecture was sufficiently vile that even fellow Muslims were appalled.

It seems Prof Brown is a recent convert. There’s no fanaticism like that of the recently converted… the newly minted vegan or non-smoker or non-drinker or… but to get *really* nasty, nothing beats the new convert to a religion. Especially when you think that your new religion not only puts you right with some divine moral absolute, but also gives you the right to be a monumental dick.

Of course, this lecture has received some discussion and debate in the days since it was publicized. And of course Prof Brown is trying to walk it back, with the usual “I was taken out of context” scheme we always see when someone is recorded saying something indefensible.Brown even starts out his lecture by announcing that he will be saying hyperbolic things and that he’ll be taken out of context.

It was clear that he wanted to make sure that he controlled the debate as he had a “Jihad Watch” reporter expelled prior to his lecture. But what’s extra-remarkable is that the audio of the lecture was uploaded to YouTube by… prof Brown his own self. Clearly he thought that his advocacy and defense of the indefensible was perfectly wonderful.

Here’s a simple test: if you are being a dick and your understanding of your deity backs you up on your dickishness… consider that perhaps either your deity is a dick and does not deserve your worship and belief, or that you are simply a dick and have chosen a belief system to confirm your dickish nonsense.

Here’s a shorter video of the lecture. Better audio, though edited.

 Posted by at 5:35 pm
Feb 182017

‘Blind sheikh’ convicted in 1993 World Trade bombing dies in U.S. prison

Omar Abdel-Rahman has died at the excessive age of 78 due to complications from diabetes.

There are those who say that no matter how horrible the actions of a person or persons, they take no joy in those people’s deaths. To these presumed moral superiors I say:

You try to kill a bunch of folks because you got some crazy ideas from a crazy book written millenia ago by some crazy semi-literate monster who headed a death cult? Yeah… we don’t need you.


 Posted by at 11:11 am