Am I Miserable

According to Mary Kenny in the Guardian chances are that I'm a miserable git. Which isn't true, and isn't true ot the vast majority (all?) of the atheists that I know. Perhaps she just knows a lot of boring people?


QuickLinks 7/11(2)

As I wrote on my personal blog I am currently going through a wealth of stuff I have mentally or physically tagged as 'blog about this'. Having had a day off today I have decided to clear the 'To Blog About' folder of ny browser's bookmarks, so here is your second dose today of QuickLinks!

Lily Cole, Playboy and the Church

It perhaps says a lot that I have only heard of Lily Cole by reading the free-thought media. Turns out she's a British (super)model who has recently posed nude for the French version of Playboy, and also works for that bastion of Britishness, Marks & Spencer.

Apparently, because of her posing for Playboy, an organisation known as Christian Voice has advised everybody to boycott Marks & Spencer. This raises a few issues.

1) Is nudity still that much of a taboo in modern Britain? I assumed that we had grown up and allowed people their own views on the subject, and the right to act on them. If you don't want to see Lily Cole nude, don't go and buy a copy of French Playboy!

2) Where do these issues come from? I would argue religion, nothing else seems to dehumanise the nature of humans as much or as often. The religious notion of nudity being associated with sin is unnecessary in the modern world.

3) What else does this 'Christian Voice' believe in? Head over to their website to be scared! They seem to be homophobic, hate other religions, support the anti-choice movement and generally be lovely people. Thankfully they seem less well funded than some of their US counterparts, as you have to pay for them to send you literature. Which is a shame, as if it was free I would give it a good slating on here!

100th Post: Pattern Finding

Welcome to the 100th In Defence of Reason post! Over the last year and a bit I have seen this blog gain popularity quite rapidly, although it seems that the majority of people just come to read the odd post. I'm slightly disappointed with the number of people who leave comments.

The photo is thanks to Hank Fox!

Someone Agrees With Me!

It seems that this guy shares my views on teenagers being teenagers. Perhaps I have something in common with the nudism crowd!

On a related note, the Australian photographer Bill Henson has come under fire for recruiting models in schools. Henson came under fire earlier in the year for making nide photographs of children, although he has recently been vindicated in the courts and the photos are once again art, not suspected pornography. (Thanks to Jennie for commenting on this).

There are a few things going at the moment that make we wonder if we are heading towards a police state: restricted freedom of expression, 42 days detention without charge,..... need I go on?

QuickLinks 7/11

In an attempt to share more ideas with you I intend to follow the lines of SkepChick and every now and then give you a selection of links to posts that don't quite warrant commenting on individually, but are worth checking out anyway.

See also:

Phelps to Picket Biden Mother-in-Law's Funeral

Fred Phelps is a disgusting, evil and pathetic man. Through the Westboro Church he plans to 'protest' at the funeral of Democrat Vice-Presidential hopeful Joe Biden, quoting:

"Abington Presbyterian Church - Joe Biden's Mother-in-law 1082 Old York Rd We are going to picket the funeral of a very evil woman named Bonny Jean Jacobs. "Why?" you will ask. Because she is the Mother-in-law of Joseph Biden, Democratic Candidate for Vice President of DOOMED america. That's right, she lived a lot of years with a little influence over that evil bastard, and never by all appearances said one word of correction or warning to him. She is in hell, and Joe will soon follow. However, our words are for the living, not the dead. And here are the words, to wit: Ac 13:50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. They say that behind every "great man" is a "great woman", so there you go. She had the influence over the evil witch married to Joe Biden. The evil witch living with Joe Biden did not do a thing to stop him from passing laws against God's servants, and in fact (like her foremothers before her) probably has egged him on this whole time. She did not stop him from saying blasphemous things about God, time and time again. This woman is responsible for her daughter's conduct. That's all there is to that. Pr 6:24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lu 17:32 Remember Lot's wife. AMEN!"

This is incredibly offensive, and clearly constitutes a doctrine of hatred. Although what would you expect from a person whose website is www.godhatesfags.com? I would hate the man, but his life is so petty that I really do not give a flying f**k about him!

Problems in India

I don't have a particular favour of the Guardian, despite the fact that lots of my news articles have been coming from there recently. They just make it easy for me to add their religious stories to Google Reader.

Sunny Hundal wrote a piece that sums up the problems between rival factions in India. Note that all of these problems are rooted in religion!

Pope wades in on Economic Crisis

The Pope has made his views clear on the current economic crisis. Apparently the banking system is like the proverbial house built on the sand. It's a good job that the Christian faith is built on such a strong rock. Oh, wait...... it isn't!

The lives of teenagers

A few stories have come to my attention recently about the antics of teenagers. Such as this girl from Newark, USA who sent photos of herself nude to some of her classmates. Fair enough, it's not the best plan in the world, but a criminal record?

The law exists to protect the rights and property of individuals. If somebody has their rights removed, or their property unlawfully damaged they are a victim. Where is the victim in this scenario? Who is the law protecting? And from who?

The fact that this girl may get a criminal record, and may have to sign the register is ludicrous. She has been forced into being the victim of a victimless crime.

The other story relates to a 15 year old boy streaking at a sports match. Again, not the best of plans, but why is he being held in a juvenile detention centre?

Teenagers need to make their own mistakes. They do not need to be criminalised for them. Experimenting, and even exhibiting, their new found sexuality is normal, and should not offend you. Unless, of course, you are scared by sexuality.


Opus Dei

Opus Dei received a bad press from Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, but in all fairness it is probably deserved. Especially so if what these film makers have to say is true. Perhaps Opus Dei does 'protest too much'?

On a more positive note the article suggests that the Spanish government, long a bastion of pro-Catholicism, may be succombing to secular ideals.

Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown's new Guardian blog seems to have a refreshing view on religion - no holds barred. He's also not scared of pointing out their stupidities.

A recent example is this one, where the fundie urges people to boycott Google for coming out against a plan to ban gay-marriage, but links to Google news pages from his site!

Bible Advisory

This is an old image, but still amuses me!


YouTube Eucharist Desecration

This guy seems rather upset by the activities of FSMDude desecrating the 'most holy eucharist', calling it a hate crime. He genuinely believes that a rather tasteless cracker transforms into the actual body of a god. Now this fantastical process does not need me to offer any evidence to disprove it, if you believe it becomes the body of christ then you won't accept my evidence, and if you don't the idea will be inherently absurd to you anyway.

I was thinking of creating a flagging campaign to remove his work on the basis that it encourages canabilism, but that would mean accepting his irrational beliefs.