Bigotry, Faith, free speech, Nationalism, Nazi, Orwell, Religion, Twitter, UK politics, USA

Nationalistic bias & online influence

It is possible, but highly improbable to speak on distilling the Russian revolution of 1917 without invoking the words “Animal Farm”. Even more so it is, by my reckoning, utterly impossible to discuss dystopian futures or totalitarianism without mentioning the number “1984” or the overused term “Orwellian”. Despite this, I find, as many have, that Orwell’s genius was not in his novels but in his essays & journalistic pieces. I have recently mulled over the question ‘What was his most important work?. I first came to the conclusion that this question was preposterous but at the time at writing this, my answer would currently be ‘Notes on Nationalism’.

It may be my admiration for terse work; ironic when you see how I babble on. For example, the greatest novel ever written is ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens. This isn’t an opinion mind you, it is verifiable fact. He surely did write more intelligent & introspective works; he clearly put forth brilliant ideas that changed Victorian Britain, but nothing that I find to be as close to perfection as the story of Mr Scrooge.

For me, Orwell’s ‘Notes on Nationalism’ is the most eye opening whilst being easily digestible of his writings. He takes on the notion that nationalism isn’t just an irrational clinging to one’s own nation but an irrational clinging to any belief that leads to a willful ignorance of facts. Maybe he should have used a different term to stop conflation or confusion; his point still stands.

Football fans are nationalistic in their love of a club, in truth, there is no more reason to support a team than there is to support a political party or religion. With party politics, the vast majority delude themselves to believe:

A) That they know propaganda exists but it doesn’t affect them, in fact it only affects the opposite side. How cute?

B) That they have genuinely thought through all of their beliefs & can substantiate them, when in fact they have been handed down to them, forced upon them & made comfortable to them through group-think.

Most people support the football team of their father, follow the political party of their area & believe in the religion of both – their parents & place of birth. This is nationalism. This is irrationality. I have shaken off the political party that people of my area are peer pressured into; thankfully I have pushed away the religion forced upon me at birth – sadly, I cannot say I have been emancipated by the football club my father supports. Especially when admitting the pain it puts me through on a seasonal basis. The only saving grace I have is that I am as far from “Nationalistic” with my team as possible. Of course they aren’t the greatest team in the world – but in the height of my blasé fanaticism I must admit I do get stressed watching the team like no other & cannot remove what seems falsely like an innate love of the team. None of us are perfect.

Under the branches of confirmation bias we can study the real term effects of “nationalism”. This is why I included above the statement “willful ignorance”. We choose to share & like sources online that agree with us; we find it easy to ignore, block or report sources that we vehemently disagree with. Leading not only to a bias, but one that is not the fault of politicians or leaders but directly of the people themselves. You have a responsibility to make sure every one of your strong held beliefs are balanced on a genuine effort to study both sides of the argument. In trying to attack my own prejudices I have en devoured to spend time studying people of the “far right” which in most cases  I have now noticed means “centre” or “right”. I won’t name names as it would be poisonous. What I can say is that I have now seen a direct correlation between what the left claims a person believes & fiction. Just as simply as I see the same correlation between what the right says about the left & what the left actually believes.

If only they each took the time to study their “enemies”?

As a side note:

The term “Nazi” has fallen back into leftist circles, in a serious way for the first time in decades. It is utterly misused as expected. From what can be discerned online, a national socialist can be anyone from someone who mentions immigration in a negative light to a capitalist that doesn’t tweet favorably about a black led movie. This to me, someone who understands what the word “Nazi” means – thank you British schooling system – is as far from Nazism as it is from any political ideology. It is a basic failing to understand the definition of the words. Again, willfully. I feel this usage of the word is only back with vigor due to the vicious & evil nature of the term. It looks like an attempt to equal the swear of the N Word towards the black community. Using language as a weapon can in some ways be admirable, after all what am I doing? But falsely using terms to stop free speech is a worrying event – especially when it looks like there is no consequence for a false label.

We need to quickly address “nationalism”; irrational-ism, confirmation bias & refusal of reasoned debate on ALL issues, If we are to overcome the problems of fake news & manipulation within the online world. It’s now harder than ever to question our beliefs. That is why it is imperative that way do it. If we allow our beliefs to be strengthened by nationalistic bias, whilst finally noticing, yet not attacking the impact of social media – then we are doomed to allow a tyranny that can easily utilize the media to manipulate us all. The same way Newspapers, Radio & TV propaganda shaped the 19th & 20th century, we have fallen into allowing the same with social media. Question is, how long shall we allow it?

What views do you hold that can’t be swayed and why? What would your opposite say of the view? What is their argument? Study it, learn it backwards – falsify it to the point of certainty, only then can you be justified in your belief.

The left, centre & right are all failing on this issue at a similar rate. For example:

When a terrorist attack occurs, the far left masturbates furiously to the notion that this will be the outlier, where the perpetrator will be that of a Christian, or even better, a white male; the far right masturbates furiously at the belief that this will again be a Muslim perpetrator or even better a Muslim immigrant. The centre are furious that both have come to a conclusion before any real evidence in their opinion is confirmed. In the end we are all just coming furiously to a conclusion that satisfies our prejudice.

 

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Atheism, Bible, British Government, Christianity, Christopher Hitchens, Church, Faith, free speech, philosophy, Religion, UK politics, Uncategorized, USA

Thomas Paine: British Revolutionary, French Prisoner, American anti-hero.

Giving just a few simplistic reasons as to why we should admire Thomas Paine, is in many ways as facile as writing “Twelve reasons why Napoleon was an important man.” The list of his experiences & influence are too numerous for one volume. Any well-known writer or politician in such an influential time will be packed with dates of significance or meetings of importance. Yet Paine isn’t afforded the same worthy praise or even discussion as his peers. I believe this is due to his secular views in a religiously dominated time.

I write this because, for some reason, Thomas Paine has seemed to vanish from the common lexicon – whereas many of his contemporaries, who may or may not be as deserving are still present in the zeitgeist. Names like Thomas Jefferson, William Pitt the younger, Benjamin Franklin & John Adams. I understand that one might say these men all held high office, but in terms of impact it could be argued quite easily that Paine held much more sway in the creation of the United States – and additionally – in revolutionary democracy around the world than the other four combined – and that doesn’t begin to touch his influence in regards to deism.

It is notable that on a Blue Plaque which hangs outside the White Hart Hotel in East Sussex, in honour of Mr Pain* (he didn’t add the “e” until his emigration to the British American colonies) it states;

“THOMAS PAINE 1737-1809
HERE EXPOUNDED HIS REVOLUTIONARY POLITICS. THIS INN IS REGARDED AS A CRADLE OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE WHICH HE HELPED TO FOUND WITH PEN AND SWORD.”

*Italics are my own.

The inclusion of “pen” is no small point, if any human can be given as evidence of the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Let it be Paine.

Within two years of arriving in British America Paine had written “Common Sense – 1776” a best-selling – anonymous – pamphlet that carefully spread a positive, persuasive & most importantly brand new case to be made for not only a new way of political life in the colonies – but one of clear independence from the super power of Britain. Something which had been virtually unthinkable before then. Imagine for a second how astonishing it is, that this best-selling work of prose not only first created the idea of an independent United States; then gain swathes of popularity – but within less than six months – the declaration of independence would be signed. Has any writer changed the course of the world in such a short time?

The only other occasion, which is even by my account much less important & somewhat facetious, is the fact George Orwell’s 1984 was published in 1948. Within months The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea was “founded” – as Christopher Hitchens says:

George Orwell’s 1984 was published at about the time that Kim Il Sung set up his system, and it really is as if he got hold of an early copy of the novel and used it as a blueprint. (“Hmmm … good book. Let’s see if we can make it work.”)

Two major points from the early pages of Paine’s Common Sense, is a repudiation of the United Kingdom’s constitution; he claimed that the idea of a monarchical & aristocratic structure seemed the complete antithesis to human rights & fair governance. He only agreed to the idea of government at all by way of necessary evil. Understanding a fundamental system must be put in place to stop the carnal desires of men, but a system that is ruled by debate & reason with limited power – as not to fall into a new tyranny that is monarchical in all but name. This is one reason why he believed in a form of Deism also. If only he had more belief in his fellow man to be moral. Paine wrote in a vulgar form, or common tone. To the point that his work was easier to digest for the masses. At this point in history most could not read or comprehend intellectual literature. His writing used anger, humour & what could be described in the most respectful way as “tabloid”. He knew how to engage his wider audience & that was not by removing them from the debate by acting like he was addressing the intellectuals. He knew the power of the people – so address the people directly.

At the time of his writing, upward mobility was something of fairy tale – regardless of gains – a King was divine, his court less so but above all else; the poor were poor & all this was formed by hereditary lines. Paine argued that “all men are created equal”, which may not sound it now, but was such an incendiary statement at the time that he nearly lost his head for it whilst living in France – It’s a kin to claiming one is an atheist in Saudi Arabia today. Words like this, unspeakable to most, carry a death sentence. His books were in many ways a call for revolution in Both America & France, with a hope to influence as far as Germany & all other European states. The work, in time, led him to being arrested for Treason – The French took a hard line on faith at the time.

After his success shaping the American Revolution he moved to France to try & achieve similar goals in the French Revolution – but the tide turned against him. He began as an honorary citizen of France & soon become a prisoner. His incarceration in France for Treason is made only the more interesting when one notices that he only survived due to an unbelievable mistake. Prisoner’s cell doors were marked with chalk to denote execution by guillotine later that day, on Paine’s day, he had a visitor, so his door was left open. The official, marking cells, had accidentally marked the inside, not the outside of the cell door – therefore when Mr Paine shut his door it was clear. The chalk denoting execution could only be seen by Thomas on the inside. Luckiest man in history? Or most idiotic prison guard? You decide.

‘The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True & Fabulous Theology’ was another notable work of Paine. More controversial than his earlier book, but oddly, somehow not unique. Deism was well known in British society at the time. The book, written in three parts between 1794, 1795 & 1807, was in some ways a polemic & overall challenge to the claims of biblical mythology & organised religion. His attack on the “institution” of religion was most scathing; in essence calling out the rich & powerful faith leaders using their flock for personal gain – being “Christ like” in no true sense. One could say this was just an extension of his views of monarchical society & upper class hierarchy.

Paine’s argument that Christianity, was essentially an invention of man & not inspired by a deity, drew fierce opposition from nearly all corners. In shocking terms he basically laughed off biblical stories as childish & illogical myths, which may sound benign to us, but I would compare it to holding a “Draw a homosexual Prophet Mohammed” competition today. Let’s not forget he lived & died through the Spanish Inquisition, so The Catholic Church killing people for beliefs of the religious kind was par for the course.

The two main factors often debated about the backlash to this work are as follows:
– Due to his fame, and ability to be loved by the wider public, the powers that be saw his writing as a genuine attack & force for change against their concrete hold on the masses.

– His style of writing was so brash, vulgar & offensive that it added fuel to the flames of his opinions. Ironically it was his vulgar tone which drove him to success, as many cite (and as I have done previously) the style was well understood by the vast majority including the underclass of society. Whereas a public reading of Voltaire or Socrates, may have been far more confusing & harder to empathise with – in effect – wasted on an uneducated public.

In Britain a litany of replies to his biblical stance occurred. Most of them with the usual apologetics of the time; some with vicious personal attacks. In a similar vain that one would expect from evangelicals today claiming the validity of Noah’s Ark or that anyone who doesn’t believe in the Bible could not be a moral human. The very same bible that advocates slavery, torture, drowning of all but one family & much more. It still baffles me that we have these debates today – as Christopher Hitchens once said;

“Human decency isn’t derived from religion, it precedes it.”

The moral panic in Britain due to this book cannot be understated. Publishers were prosecuted just for printing the work. Richard Carlile, a publisher of the book, was put on trial in 1818. The trial in a sense backfired & led to an increase in sales to the tune of some 4000 copies. In a moment of sheer defiance & intellectual brilliance, Richard chose as his testimony to read the book, in its entirety on the stand – ensuring that if the book would be censored from this day forth – anyone reporting on the court case would have to in some sense also publish the work. Carlile failed in his case & was found guilty of blasphemy. His sentence of one year was extended to six as he would not accept any legal conditions on his release. What a man!

Common Sense – being a book to influence revolution in both The United States, France & then wider Europe – which failed in all but one instance. The Age of Reason however, was geared towards a French audience more specifically. Sadly these views were well known in France & had in most circles been ignored as a legitimate ideology for some time. To Paine’s dismay, the French had no interest in this anti-biblical stance.

Paine felt France’s revolutionary bent would lead them without his help, into atheism, something he feared greatly. As even the most secular of the time would believe a country without religious safe guarding would fall to a tyranny of vices. Paine attempted in vain to create his own ‘Church of Theophilanthropy’. As expected the Church had no priesthood hierarchy. Any sermon given would be a scientific lecture or philosophical reading – in this alone I feel Paine was at least 200-300 years ahead of his time. He saw to supplant the faith by fear tactics of old & implement a society of free thinkers. This had him branded an atheist, even against his own wishes. In an ironic act of hierarchical power grabbing, Paine’s Church was dissolved in a small sense by his minute corrugation & in a massive sense by the Concordat between The Vatican & Napoleon. This agreement found Napoleon with even more power & gave the Roman Catholic Church it’s place as the state faith once again. The Church was allowed to come out of hiding & Napoleon was allowed to not only select bishops but have a hand in church finances. It’s hard to figure who gained more from this Concordat. Many such agreements have been made since then but the most important I would argue was that of The Vatican & Adolf Hitler – being his first signing of legislation as Chancellor. A fact often ignored by those who believe Hitler an Atheist.

At the time of its publication in the US, The book, initially spoken of highly, quickly fell to attacks of the sort seen in Britain & then vanished from memory for most. It is noted that again, although Paine classed himself as a Deist, this book was so blasphemous in nature that his anti-god credentials lasted for longer than any could expect. He was known as;

“The filthy little atheist.”

By Theodore Roosevelt.

Over one hundred years later this work continued to tarnish his name.

Whenever the Age of Reason showed signs of popularity in the US it was countered by powerful reprisals. By 1796 every student at Harvard was given a copy of Bishop Watson’s rebuttal to The Age of Reason, regardless if the students had read Paine or not. The attacks against him led his popularity to decline, his name to be dragged through the mud, and part 3 of the work could not be published until 1807. Within just thirty years Paine went from a hero of the American revolution to one of the country’s first enemies. Named in the press as “The Scavenger of faction” a “loathsome reptile” a “demi-human archbeast” and more.

The backlash & eventual creation of Thomas Paine as a hateful & evil figure didn’t lessen his resolve – if anything he doubled down. His beliefs stuck with him, regardless of their popularity or consequences. He enjoyed being a hero for his work early in his career not for the status but because he believed in its inherent truth. In his later life he endured the toxicity of being an alienated & mostly hated figure for the same reasons – he would not go back on his word for riches or public acceptance – he stood for what he believed in, no matter the cost.

On his death bed, a woman came to visit him claiming that God himself had instructed her to save his soul. Paine is said to have dismissed her immediately with:

“pooh, pooh, it is not true. You were not sent with any such impertinent message … Pshaw, He would not send such a foolish ugly old woman as you about with His message.”

I’ve never felt closer to any man, than I do when reading this. His stance, dismissal & choice of attack is such like my own I find it uncanny to read – I would admit my English is usually not so, terse, or polite in such situations.

Not until Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species in 1859 did Paine’s Age of Reason really flourish. Darwin also took a bullet for his beliefs & a widespread reading of Deism soon ensued in Britain.

Still to this day I believe the ideas within The Age of Reason should be prescribed reading for all teenagers or university students – or as I would call it, anyone over the “age of reason”.

Between the publication of these two works. Paine’s articles regarding the French Revolution & his political views regarding the rights of people, were compiled into maybe his most known work ‘Rights of Man: Answer to Mr. Burke’s Attack on the French Revolution’

It was a reply to Edmund Burke’s ‘Reflections on the Revolution in France’ from the year before. Burke being of the opposite, conservative side of the argument, to Paine, led to a fierce disagreement. Burke’s book appealed to the wealthy & sold upwards of 30,000 copies but Mr Paine knew how to entice his audience. Although the book was originally withdrawn from publication due to fear of prosecution. It eventually got published on 16th of March 1791. It is said that it sold as many as 1,000,000 copies utterly eclipsing that of his opponent. Rights of Man grew in readership among intellectual reformers; protestants, democrats, craftsman & factory workers of the new industrial North of England.

Oddly in this work Paine seems to distance himself from some of his anti monarchical views. He claimed the view that all should be united, even that of a king & his people. This could have been from fear of his life or much like his governmental beliefs of earlier works, he felt the King itself was not the problem but the disparity in wealth & power between the two factions of society – and the idea it was based upon parentage & not merit.

The book champions what he believes are inherent rights of humans to decide their own fate. He dismisses the current belief that the nobility had inherent wisdom passed down to them through hereditary lines. Claiming that nations have a right to form governments of the people by the people. The right to govern must not be inherited & the upper class is in no way more morally superior to the lower class. All they seemed to lack was the social standing & wealth to fit such a position.

It was dedicated to both George Washington of The United States of America & Marquis de Lafayette of France.
It is no coincidence that the self evident truths of Human Rights to which Paine consistently wrote of ended up not only influencing two revolutions, but became the back bone of both country’s revolutionary documents.  The Declaration of Independence can see lines & in some cases entire paragraphs that are taken directly from his writings. The declaration of the Rights of Man & of the Citizen, set by France’s National Constituent Assembly, although written by Lafayette, Honore Mirabeau & in parts by the American Thomas Jefferson – was highly shaped by the writing of Paine & his contemporary enlightenment authors.

Paine’s Rights of Man like his other work caused havoc against the patriarchy in England most notably due to the affect it could have had on the Crown. His talks of a social welfare state where the poorest could be cared for by the wealthiest – was essentially a crime. For the reasons above & more, yet none with specificity, he was tried in absentia & convicted of seditious libel against the crown. Thankfully at the time he was in France & not able to attend his own hanging in London.

Again, it is silly of me to distill the work or life of Thomas Paine. This is just an overview of his most notable works & their shaping of modern history. I would urge all not only to read his writing but find time to study a man whom I feel is in some sense, a hero to us all. I don’t agree with everything he believed of course, but I do strongly feel that every human can find something within his books to truly inspire them. The courage to stand against the fear of execution in writing that humans are all created equal – is what every philosopher & political writer aspires to. To change the course of history in such a way without any sadness to his loss of fame, or lack of riches from his work – is the epitome of Kipling’s “If”. Thomas Paine is what it is to be good. Moral. Lionhearted and resolute, even when it’s easier to sell our “souls” for a safer life. A hero isn’t just someone who puts his life on the line for another, but someone who can put his life on the line for people who won’t even appreciate his sacrifice until long after it may have vanished from memory. Is it not the highest moral standing to do what is right, in the face of harm & without the expectation of praise? After all, how can one be moral if they only act morally in fear of a vengeful God or angry mob?

Thomas Paine died on the 8th of June, 1809 in New York. After a career of such repute & a legacy of fame & then infamy within his own years. He changed the course of the world from the creation of the United States of America due to his revolutionary pamphlets; to the deistic & enlightenment beliefs of the western world. He died penniless, hated & cursed for the most part. Only six people attended his funeral.

His ridicule of the supernatural claims of the Bible & Christianity on the whole led to being ostracized by a community that simply didn’t understand how valuable this man was to them – or how much the lives of themselves & their children would be shaped in the millennium that followed. However inconsequential & nationalistic it sounds, I am proud that Thomas Paine was born an Englishman; and however silly it may sound I am equally proud that he died an American – for without Thomas Paine, what even is it to be “an American?”

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Anti-Gay, Arianna Grande, Bigotry, Faith, free speech, ISIS, Islam, LGBT, Manchester, Manchester Arena, Middle-east, Moderate Muslims, Religion, Terrorism, We Stand Together

Take me out tonight…

I don’t need to rehash the details of the attack, we all know what happened in the Manchester Arena, I don’t have the heart to repeat it. The enemy attack us at our most vulnerable, because they don’t have the stomach for an equal fight. I’ve seen videos of ISIS on the battle field, they couldn’t hit a still target from 10 feet away. They are angst-filled slackers with no skills or achievements. In our culture if you feel an outsider as a teenager, you do what I did, you listen to Nirvana & claim your parents just don’t “understand you.” Extremist lunatics don’t have the same capacity of “phases” it seems.

We know these type of bullies, the small guy in the group who is the most vocal – big in a crowd – but singularly wouldn’t say boo to a goose. Make no bones about it, these men are losers. They have no direction in life. They’ve been sold a lie by their faith that evil is somehow courageous. Just think for a second how miserable & hate-fueled their lives must be to inflict such pain on innocent strangers, all the while knowing they will also certainly die?  I have suffered with depression, spent years hooked on anxiety medication, In and out of Dr’s appointments, hospitals & therapy sessions. During my hardest times (which pale in comparison to the families of the victims) I only ever felt that I wasn’t good enough to exist – but never that others deserved the same treatment. I know how shit my life could be at my lowest point – so my mind boggles at how bad theirs is.

No, I am not claiming they are victims. They are scum. My point is, in life we make choices. People like us don’t act like them, we don’t feel such hate, we don’t attack children. We don’t choose the road they do.

Bigotry of gays, suppression of women, viewing all non-Muslims (and other Muslims who enjoy such “vile” things as Make-up and Music) as enemies.

-They are against free speech because it is used to criticize their holy books.

-They attack children because to them, there is nothing scarier than a young group of kids with the opportunity to learn how to think for themselves; especially girls having the right of education.

-They shoot up cafes because our lives are so fulfilled that we have free time to enjoy the company of others – regardless of differing opinions.

-They hate freedom because it flies in the face of everything they’ve lacked in life.

Some years back I began writing specifically about Islamic terror attacks after I watched a video of around 400 Ahmahdi & Shia Muslims being shot one by one & dumped into a shallow grave. They didn’t resist, they just took a step forward after the man or women in front dropped lifelessly to his/her grave. They truly had no hope, you could see it in their eyes; in all these years, I still remember some of their faces. It reminded me of the Holocaust – I wondered why it wasn’t mainstream news. So I began fighting for these people with my writing, it was a small gesture, maybe more for my benefit but it was something. For a short time I had Muslims applaud my work, until they noticed not only was I standing up for Muslims but admitting the killers were usually also Muslims, albeit more extreme. This made me an Islamophobe, somehow.

I hope one day we will feel safe again; the truth is, we are afraid and we should be – we are under attack because of our way of life, and we for damn sure won’t change that. So in time they will tire, knowing that after every bomb and every bullet people will still stand against them, with love in our hearts & care for the truest forms of humanity we see all around us.

Our way of life gives us strength in days of fear. In New York on September 11th 2001, the peace-loving-people of the world stood still in horror. We cried, we hurt, we tried to understand. The evil power that attacked The World Trade centre seemed enough to supplant any hope for humanity that Americans previously had.
But the very next day, New Yorker’s went to work. They cared for each other like never before. Divides of race & colour seemed to dissipate in the hours after the attack as every one came together as Americans. They aren’t alone, cities around the world have shown this resolve in the face of such hate.

Sadly, it’s Manchester’s time to endure the burden of these murderers. Do you think they will lose hope? Do you believe bombs & bullets can dissolve the thriving community of culture, music and love that is Manchester?

Not a fucking chance.

By the time the next football season comes around, I will go back to pretending Manchester are the adversaries of Scousers in a jovial feud over sport – but today I will admit what I usually wouldn’t dare say. Just like every day before & every day to come – Mancunians are our brothers and sisters, cousins and friends. We don’t need to stand with them, we are them – and therefore will never leave their side.

In our darkest times, we need a light to guide the way, one to walk towards as we shake the fear from our bones. Stupidly these terrorists attacked the wrong city. Did nobody tell them about Manchester? Mancunians could never let terror lead them into darkness, they will always find hope; always find a light to walk towards, and as we all know in that city, there is a light and it never goes out.

 

Rest in peace to the victims & my tearful condolences to their families. As & when the victims are named I will add them below. 
*John Atkinson – 26 years old.

*Saffie-Rose Roussos – 8 years old.

*Georgina Callander – 18 years old.

*Olivia Cambell – 15 years old.

* Sorrell Leczkowski – 14 years old.

* Nell Jones – 14 years old.

* Martyn Hett – unknown

* Michelle Kiss – 45 years old.

*Elaine McIver – Unknown

*Jane Tweddle-Taylor – 50 years old.

* Marcin Klis – 42 years old.

* Angelika Klis – 40 years old.

* Kelly Brewster – 32 years old.

* Alison Howe – 45 years old.

* Lisa Lees – 47 years old.

* Liam Curry – 19 years old.

* Chloe Rutherford – 17 years old.

* Eilidh MacLeod – 14 years old.

* Wendy Fawell – Unknown.

* Courtney Boyle – 19 years old.

* Philip Tron – 32 years old.

 

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Faith, free speech, ISIS, Islam, Paris, Terrorism

The statistics that no one is willing to accept. And the Holy Book you have never read.

Just over a month ago, on October 1st, I wrote a piece about a Muslim child who was arrested for making a bomb hoax. I made a few important points that I won’t go over now – but I find it right to mention a similar thread which will align here. At the end of the blog I give reasons as to why a school would react in such a way to a Muslim child who had what looked like a bomb in his possession. Let’s not forget his engineer teacher had told him to hide the clock as he thought other teachers may suspect it a bomb, the child ignored this and then refused to answer teachers when the suitcase began to tick. Truth is, no matter what faith, this child would have been arrested. But we cannot ignore the elephant in the room.

In the height of the IRA crisis, it was the norm for call centre operatives to be trained on how to deal with potential bomb threats – especially from Irish callers. Nearly every news story about terrorism or bombs would have been linked to the IRA. But never did you hear the word “Irishaphobia” uttered; never did the news call the organisation “the so called IRA”, nor did anyone ever say in the pub (pre facebook) “stop blaming ALL Irish, it’s only a few bad apples!” or “they aren’t really Irish”

It seems with the IRA we were smart enough to know it wasn’t all of Ireland. We were intellectually honest enough not to invent pointless words like Irishaphobia. Oh how times have changed. The reason why it was a normal reaction to arrest the child, was because in the last decade or so, terrorism has ultimately been monopolised by Muslims. These are not Muslims but terrorists you say? Nonsense. One can be a good Muslim, one can also be a bad Muslim – we don’t go around excommunicating based on bad actions. If a man prays to Allah 5 times a day, and actually lives his life by the ancient scriptures of the Koran and Hadith – of which is the basis of Islamism, Jihadism & fundamentalist Islam – who are we to say he isn’t Muslim enough?

Hitler for example, was a Roman Catholic, his soldiers’ belt buckles read “GOD WITH US” engraved in their native tongue. In fact his book Mein Kampf mentions Jesus and God more than it does his own family. We cannot simply deny his faith because he exterminated generations of innocent humans; no more than we can deny a man of being a “true father” if he beats his children – sure he isn’t a good one, but biology doesn’t change with the PC feelings of the western populous.

Muslims who take care of their fellow neighbours, and raise money for charities are good Muslims who would, in my opinion, be just as good without their holy book. Muslims who marry children or chop the heads of infidels are bad people, but that doesn’t negate the fact that they are still Muslim. Especially when both the actions of marrying children and chopping heads off of infidels are written in black and white inside the Koran (Mohammed married a 6 year old; along with crucifiction and many other actions can decapitation be found)

The main crux is this. I ended the blog with a statement about how most people are blindly walking into a sharp knife, by parading themselves as left wing peace lovers on facebook, who claim every one is perfect, evil doesn’t exist and Islam has no bad passages. The majority of those on my facebook have absolutely no expertise on this subject, and couldn’t distinguish a bible verse from a hadith for a million pounds. Sadly social media has created a platform where all of our baseless and useless thoughts are somehow valued as important. I know nothing of ballet or Opera, thefore would never post a status about it – I do wish the vast majority of the country would stop becoming moral philosophers every time a country is invaded or a terrorists attacks a victim, because 20 statuses later and you still know fuck all about the subject.

Many sheep like humans are now known to post images and memes regarding Koran 5:32 which states:

…Whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind…”

This is beautiful. In truth it is one of the most out of context verses ever used in debate. For one, notice it says “innocent” and not “any” – Do ISIS see us as innocent? Of course not, therefore this verse commands our death by proxy. But what most don’t know, is the very next verse. Which not only takes back the previous one, but explicitly calls for death.

Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth (to cause) corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides of that they be exiled from the land…” – Koran 5:33

I wonder why people on facebook don’t post 5:32 and 5:33 back to back…

When the current leaders of ISIS say “you in the west let women drive and therefore you are at war with Allah” They specifically invoke chapter 5 verse 33 as evidence for justly murdering us. And as we are not innocent in their eyes, chapter 5 verse 32 isn’t applicable. I urge those who did not know of this verse, please stop debating Islam on the internet, as you only make it worse for those who actually understand this topic.

The statistics that no one will post on facebook, and that will get no shares or likes are as follows. In the October piece, up until that point there had been 230 known terrorist attacks worldwide in 2015. I will copy the findings below, to your amazement.

In 2015 alone, there has been a reported 230 “terrorist attacks”.

Attacks carried out by:

Christians: 1

Jews: 2

Unknown/unaffiliated with religious group: 17

Muslims: 210

210 out of 230 = 91.3%

Let that settle in. We keep reading these nonfactual memes that you are more likely to choke on a peanut than be killed by a Muslim radical. Well I don’t see peanuts on the list, but I see it is a hell of a lot safer next to a Jew then a Muslim. These figures do not include the massacre of Paris Friday 13th – so the 91.3% figure will have surely risen.

Are you ready to be reasonable and talk about the influence that not only religion but belief has on a human’s actions?

Are you ready to morally accept that the more you lie on facebook about how everyone wants to get a long that you are letting a radical ideology take over the world you say you hold sacred? Unless we accept these findings, we cannot begin to counter them.

Not all Muslims are terrorists, but 91.3% of terrorism worldwide from January 1st 2015 to October 1st 2015 was carried out by Muslims only.

Think it over.

Rest in peace to all of our fallen friends in Paris; and for moral relativism, for all deaths at the hands of fanatics, especially Muslims in the Middle East and Central Africa who bear the brunt of Jihadism.

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Anti-Gay, Atheism, Bible, Bigotry, Christianity, Church, Faith, gay, Homosexuality, Ireland Gay Marriage, Ireland Yes Vote, LGBT, Religion, UK politics, USA

Love is all you need

I have debated many Christians & Muslims on the issue of gay marriage, or marriage as good people call it. The rising tide of embarrassment and public shaming of any anti-gay rhetoric has created a situation were lots of believers have now changed their argument to seem more inclusive, or dare I say compassionate. What used to be ”They’re demons” or ”gays are evil” or ”they must be killed” or ”they’re unnatural” has now turned into ”They’re sick … but God loves them and we can help” or ”if they hold back their urges we can accept them” or ”they’re sinners but can be forgiven” my personal worst “we can pray away the gay”

In fairness, not all Christians feel this way, just many who frequent the public forum, but it is important as it only goes to show they are still stuck to their hatred, instead they now use condescension within their argument. Either way, the believers are wrong.

Every single argument goes back to ”because the bible says…” So if this is a point you hear often, please remember the following as I always debunk this idea in the same way. (separate example given)

”Do you believe slavery is a good thing?”

”No, not at all.”

”OK do you think the 10 commandments are good?”

”Yes of course!”

”OK, Well slavery is sanctioned in the bible & not only that but certain verses explain how hard you can beat your slave! How do you answer this?”

”That doesn’t count! That is the old testament, which is basically null, we have a new testament, a new covenant of Jesus!”

”Ah but you believe the 10 commandments are good?”

”YES”

”Well that is the old testament too…”

”…”

Take out slavery and input homosexuality. There is no reason to be anti-gay from a biblical perspective unless you are also pro-slavery & pro-killing of adulterers etc. As soon as a Christian can choose to ignore slavery but adhere to the anti-gay or the 10 commandments they are now being intellectually dishonest & cherry picking. If you disregard any of the old testament then do away with all of it to be at the very least intellectually consistent. Never again mention Moses & the 10 commandments or Genesis & Adam & Eve; never use your belief that evolution is wrong based on the start of Genesis as you have already accepted that some parts of that perfectly inspired & divine book is complete nonsense.

The only reason to be anti-gay and not pro-slavery in this regard, is clear bigotry. You personally hate gays or think it is yucky, so you find something within your holy book to bolster your hatred, but logic defeats you. Gladly this hatred won’t last much longer; the fact that vitriol has turned into a more seemingly humane care for gays to change gives me hope that the next step is acceptance, through gritted teeth.

Many have used natural disasters to prove that god is on their side. Maybe god has evolved in his opinion of gays, much like politicians in the EU or US (once the the population passed 50% of support) because on the day that Ireland voted for gay marriage to be made legal, a beautiful rainbow was cast above the emerald isle; whereas in Texas (which had been outraged at the outcome of the vote) there had been a massive flood of near biblical proportion. I guess God finally chose a side. If you are anti-gay there is no rational evidence for your belief, from any perspective and if you still hold this view in 2015 – you most certainly are a bigot.

Lastly, for any of my gay brothers & sisters, friends & family I hope I can call you. Always remember that Love has no colour; it has no sexual orientation or societal responsibility; nor is it blind, in fact it is based on the evidence that we can be convinced that we are meant to be with someone we care for, even when everyone else seems convinced of the opposite. Love is not a privilege for a select few or a right for only the religious to hold, it is a staple of why we are so special as a species. It is what separates us from our cousins in the animal kingdom who don’t have the capacity or language to convey such feelings, we must defend this with all we hold dear; Not just straight Love or Gay Love or interracial Love – But Love in all its glorious and fantastical forms. A human should not have to defend the right to love another human, whatever their differences.

A supporter holds a sign reading 'Thank You - You're All Invited to the Wedding' as he celebrates outside Dublin Castle following the result of the same-sex marriage referendum in Dublin on May 23, 2015. Ireland on Saturday became the first country in the world to approve gay marriage by popular vote as crowds cheered in Dublin in a spectacular setback for the once all-powerful Catholic Church.    AFP PHOTO /  PAUL FAITH

A supporter holds a sign reading ‘Thank You – You’re All Invited to the Wedding’ as he celebrates outside Dublin Castle following the result of the same-sex marriage referendum in Dublin on May 23, 2015. Ireland on Saturday became the first country in the world to approve gay marriage by popular vote as crowds cheered in Dublin in a spectacular setback for the once all-powerful Catholic Church. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITH

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Atheism, Faith, Islam, Middle-east, Moderate Muslims, Religion

Muslims protest Charlie Hebdo…

Zero Muslims protest outside downing street to stand up for the free speech of everyone (including enemies)

No large protest of Muslims against the Charlie Hebdo killings in London

Only around 200 Muslim protesters (finally) stand against ISIS in London

Only around 260 Muslims protest the Lee Rigby Killers

But thousands (between 1000-3000 reported) Muslims turn up to downing street to protest free speech and Charlie Hebdo.

That means for every 1 Muslim willing to protest for free speech, there are between 4-12 willing to protest against it.

If this doesn’t seem important to note, then what is the point in having a voice when most of us are too afraid to use it. Until we see some outrage by these “peaceful” people we keep hearing about, I won’t believe this fable. We are past nuance, silence is consent. This is not a fallacy regarding guilt by association; I can acknowledge the difference. Most are peaceful but their silence is echoed by the sound of their fellow brothers sisters and children dying in their thousands, and the only people who seem to give a shit are secularists. Muslims should acknowledge their feelings properly like most other groups on this planet can.

I stand up against Jihadist & Islamists because they kill thousands of innocent Muslims every year, will any Muslims like to join me in caring about their people or will secular atheists stand alone?

I despair.

Source 1

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Atheism, Bible, Christianity, Faith, Forever 21, Religion

Forever 21: Bible verse on every bag – did you know?

It seems I am always the last to know; after some research I have found that one or two national newspapers in the U.K. have already discussed this topic – I am ashamed to say it passed me by – maybe because it is regarding fashion. High-street fashion retailer ‘Forever 21’ has already fought off criticism in the U.S. & despite local coverage has seemed to have done the same here in England. I first heard of the store when my girlfriend explained she just had to wake up early to make the ‘grand opening’,

“really?”  was my response, I didn’t even know people actually did that (other than for iphones)

The shop which my partner frantically woke up to attend has fallen upon the fury of many secularists who have found it deplorable that the shop prints Bible Verses on their bags. This not only is an invasion in my opinion, but it just feels creepy.

Imagine my confusion as I looked around my room and found a bright pink plastic bag that my other half had brought with her, on closer inspection I wondered “does that say John 3:16? It can’t.”

John 3:16King James Version (KJV)

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Christians may find this heart-warming, but is it not unbelievably wrong to force the idea not only that the Christian God exists (which presupposes other God’s who claim to be ‘the only’ do not exist) but that he gave a son (not a daughter) and finally that if you believe in him you will live forever – most importantly if you don’t believe in him you will “perish.” Might as well just say “Thanks for buying this item, if you’re a fan of cheese, you will have a good life, if you’re not – you will almost certainly get AIDS.”

If the bag secretly had a verse from the Quran or some wording from Mormonism or Scientology I believe it would get more attention.

I just found it a little disgusting that I was being subjected to someone else’s religious beliefs in my own home; some might say I invited my girlfriend in so technically I let her bring the item – but in truth she had no idea until I noticed it. How strange that the company wants to promote Christ so much that is secretly hides bible verses in the fold at the base of a bag. Not exactly obvious. For the first time in a long time I took my perspective from the position of a Muslim – silly ideologies aside – how would they feel if they had unknowingly brought such a blasphemous item into their homes? The same homes that grace the presence of The Holy Quran! I’m sure in many Muslim households this type of oversight could end up in shaming, discipline or even violence. Who knows, the same could be said of other religions – I know my family would have a similar reaction if I bought a certain newspaper or wore a certain item of clothing that was counter to our core values (like the Daily Mail & The Sun Newspapers – or a Swastika T-shirt)
Strange that in a supposedly secular country like the U.S. this is heralded by Christians as a beautiful thing, but in England a supposedly Christian nation it is seen as an unwanted intrusion. It never ceases to amaze me the country that fled religious control turned into arguably one of the most religious countries on earth.

On the one hand this is someone’s own company, it’s their choice to print whatever they like – I have seen high-street shops with half naked men and women and other things that could offend many, but this is more sinister. The company have been known to fast-track the careers of devout Christian designers and offer Christian missionaries to store workers, again it is their prerogative – it still sits wrong with me.

So where does it leave us? Should this be OK? Should buyers protest with their wallets and refuse to shop at Forever 21? Fat chance, the shop has more turnover each year than I care to mention. And due to low prices and fashionable designs I’m sure no teenagers or twenty some things are going to care; these issues wouldn’t bother everyday shoppers, but they really should.  If we set a precedent that this is acceptable we leave the door open for all religious nutbags to force their beliefs on us as long as we buy an item, which in truth we’re forced to buy due to low pricing.

The company do make donations to charities, which is fantastic, but like most religious companies there is little transparency regarding this (site includes charitable donations but it seems to me more of a missionary than a donation – I would bet they also donate bibles)

There has already been court hearings due to treatment of workers in sweat shops which a large cash settlement was made. Would Jesus endorse a company with billions in turnover that uses slave labour in foreign countries? I doubt it.

I won’t choose to shop here myself, and I advise others to take this into account before shopping there themselves, although I understand this is a losing battle. Please tell me what you would do, or what an atheists view of this should really be – I think consensus here might actually help.

A good option is to create a secular-fashionable-discount store that promotes humanism, morality, equality, fair trade and pays a good minimum wage to all employees (not just the ones we see in store but the ones in terrible conditions abroad) we need a healthy alternative that promotes freedom, peace & love, not the nasty horrors to be found in the bible (rape, slavery, genocide)

I wonder who owns Primark?

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