Anna Ardin, Sofia Wilen and Julian Assange

August 23, 2012 54 Comments
By

Feminazis outed over rape allegations:

Whatever one feels about Assange, there is something very suspicious about these rape allegations, especially the fact that Anna Ardin/Bernardin, the woman who made the decision to go to the police, has been tied to shady, CIA-funded groups in Cuba, and left Sweden days before new charges were filed, running off to the remote town of Yanoun in the Palestinian West Bank, possibly to spy on Hamas and Orthodox Jewish settlers.

[...] Anna Ardin/Bernardin is a self-described feminist activist who has made accusations before – against her own students – and was thrown out of Cuba for her involvement with a right wing, CIA-supported feminist group.

So yes, it comes down to internicine strife on the left. Two leftist feminazis accuse another leftist and other leftists come in to defend him, while the writer of the post confuses feminism with “rightwing”:

Remember that Julian Assange himself referred to Sweden as “the Saudi Arabia of radical feminism.” All three of these people – Assange, Murray, and Galloway – are on the left to varying degrees. And when one of their number is attacked by state feminism, they will not stay silent and allow him to be buried.

These two are apparently what has the Beeb running scared.

Posted in the interest of public safety, in case either of these two or that Pussy Riot come anywhere within your vicinity.

Does anyone remember a play called The Crucible? Just asking like. Nothing much changes, does it? When the State conspires with pretty women, any man targeted is dead meat.

UPDATE: Moggsy adds, at my place:

Word is with other things Ardin has links with some “extremist” christian groups in the US. That might be seen as a right wing connection by some.

… to which I reply:

Do you see the difference when I rewrite that, Moggsy? Word is with other things Ardin has links with some extremist “christian” groups in the US.

H/T [Lord Somber]

54 Responses to Anna Ardin, Sofia Wilen and Julian Assange

  1. Greg Tingey
    August 23, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Just like the infighting between ultra-right groups, then?

    Ignoring the anti-women “feminazi” smears that I would expect from a christian fake libertarian (you can’t be a libertarian and a christian – think it through) …..
    [ "his sevice is perfect freedom, "jesus" is Lord" ... is this the language of Liberty?
    NO
    It is the language of slavery & servitude. ]

    Nonetheless, this is what quite a few people have been aware of for some time – the Assange allegations are a patent put-up job, so the USA can get him.

    And the US “dominionist” groups are truly scary, they want to re-institute a christian Salem over the whole USA.
    Look (shudder) at Hick Sanatorium, or read “The Handmaid’s Tale” …
    It’s a WARNING, not a road-map, idiots!

    • cuffleyburgers
      August 23, 2012 at 10:56 am

      @ G Tingey – I think you can be a christian and a libertarian provided you don’t go forcing your views and prejudices on other people.

      Unlike certain religions, christans are not instructed to murder members of other faiths (they sometimes do which rather leads one to believe their faith has slipped).

      I am not a practising christian, but most of the central tenets of christianity especially as it has evolved in these isles (and so not RC) (insofar as I understand them having been brought up with them), seem to me highly compatible with libertarianism such as doing unto others as you would be done by (do not initiate force or fraud), not helping oneself to ones neighbours donkey (respect of property rights), rendering unto god that which is god’s and unto Caesar that which is Caesars (separation of church and state)… need I go on?

      Yes there are scary religious groups all over and christians in the past have been guilty of torture and slaughter on an heroic scale (as have the non-religious) but in general I think you would find these activities frowned upon by most modern, decent, practising christians and even most churchmen.

      AT which point I would make a distinction between christianity as a personal code (generally good) and as a lobbying force (eg the synod of the C of E) (bad)

      To oppose christianity and libertarianism is to create a false dichotomy which is damaging ultimately to both and indeed to society as a whole, especially in a country like the UK whose values are formed to such an extent by both .

      • August 23, 2012 at 11:32 am

        christians in the past have been guilty of torture and slaughter on an heroic scale

        Correction – no Christians have ever been guilty of this. Only an atheist or someone playing for the other side would try this worn out old chestnut. For if they do, they are not Christian. They are CINOs. This seems to take a hell of a lot of getting through to people’s brains.

        If I am in thrall to the EU and the global left, but I am head of a party labelled Conservative, that doesn’t make me a conservative. If I’m dressed in a white tunic with chainmail over a big red cross, that doesn’t make me a Christian.

        If I stalk you at your blog and try to trash it, quoting the bible the whole time, that doesn’t make me a Christian.

        The term you need is CINO. These are the people who “have been guilty of torture and slaughter on an heroic scale”. The proof is very simple – the definitive text on Christianity is the gospels – all else is addenda. Where in the gospels is it suggested or an example given, for torture and slaughter? The most you get is turning over a few tables in anger.

        This is the guff which annoys, to suggest that Christians do these things. They don’t. The inquisition was so much the state under Christian guise that it’s not even in dispute. If you want to have a go at Christianity, you’d be better off attacking the apparent prejudice over gays or the singleminded fanaticism of many Christians – that is more fertile ground.

        • August 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

          Ah, the old “No true Scotsman” ;)

          • August 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm

            Strawman. And the issue in the post was not that anyway – it was about the cry of rape by these two.

            • August 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm

              No, it’s not a strawman. To try to claim that Christians who committed atrocities (and they were legion) were “not true Christians” is a classic no true Scotsman fallacy.

              • August 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm

                Not it’s not. Oh yes it is. Oh no it’s not, oh yes it is. ;-)

            • August 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm

              it was about the cry of rape by these two.

              We don’t know that they weren’t. We do know that Assange is an utter shit who is perfectly happy to publish information into the public domain that may well put peoples’ lives at risk. This is not genuine whistle-blowing and ultimately will make it more difficult for the real thing.

              If he is so convinced that he is innocent of the charges, then he should go to Sweden and face the music. I have zero sympathy for him. He is not some abused champion of liberty, he is a deeply unpleasant self-publicist on the make and we do our cause a disservice if we lend our support to him or have anything to do with him.

              • August 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm

                “If he is so convinced that he is innocent of the charges, then he should go to Sweden and face the music.”

                Swedish rape trials are held in secret, closed courtrooms on the inquisitorial model (as opposed to the adversarial model we have in the UK, US etc. where the accused can face his accuser). The burden of proof is inverted – the accused is presumed guilty.

                In short: Assange, or anyone else, will not receive a just trial if accused of rape in Sweden.

          • August 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm

            If its good enough for the Muslims… :twisted:

            • August 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm

              I’m assuming, Julia, you’re not conflating Muslims and Christians but merely mentioning Muslims … and you’d be right.

              But again, why are we dragging the comments over to Christianity and not on the issue of the post? We have a little rule over here that comments need to be on topic. ;-)

              • August 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm

                You mentioned The Crucible, an episode predicated on Christian beliefs. Or are they not true Christians as well?

                They seemed pretty clear about it at the time.

              • August 23, 2012 at 6:17 pm

                Quite correct, W on a R, there is no model in the gospels for life or death judgements like that and in fact, in Romans, quite the opposite – vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. It’s between a person and his/her Maker what he/she believes.

                Tribal elders have the right to maintain a tribe’s heritage for posterity and errant elements can be excluded but there is no precedent in the gospels for execution courts on belief.

        • The Nameless Libertarian
          August 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm

          Quite like the term CINO. Of coure, there are some people who adopt the identity of a Christian with little understanding of the faith and the Bible. George Walker Bush would be one good example of a CINO.

          The problem you have, though, is why people should use your interpretation of what is and is not a Christian as the definitive one. For example, you assert that “the definitive text on Christianity is the gospels”. I know what you mean here, but what about the rest of the Bible? What about differences between the first three Gospels and that of John? In short, why should James Higham define what is and is not a Christian?

          Of course, I’m not saying that you are not right but simply pointing out that the definitional problem of subjectively asserting what is and what is not acceptable in a particular belief system. And yeah, will accept that this is a clear deviation from the main content of your original post.

    • August 23, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      “Ignoring the anti-women “feminazi” smears”

      Women =/= feminism

      An attack on feminism is not an attack on women.

      Best not to conflate the two.

      (Incidentally, some of the best attacks on feminism have come from women.)

      • August 23, 2012 at 6:18 pm

        Mojo – quite right. If you take the universal set of people, women are a large subset and within that there is a further subset, a rump, called the feminists. They do not speak for women – they speak for feminists.

  2. August 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    But surely GT if you are a libertarian you must allow anyone to believe in anything at all, and you can believe anything at all. That’s the essence of being libertarian! The libertarian ‘test’ is that it must not impinge on another’s freedom to do or believe something different.

    • August 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Well put, Woodsy. ;-)

    • August 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Indeed.

    • Watchman
      August 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      Surely a corollary of that is also that we cannot tell someone else how to behave according to their religion (which promptly makes Christianity in any of its organised forms a problem, as orders on how to interpret the text you chose to use to structure your behaviour are handed down from bishops and the like)? Church structures (well, the organisation of structured religion, not the buildings…) are inherently unliberatarian.

      Ironically, this would make Islam, a non-structured religion, much more libertarian that CofE Christianity – which should upset one or two people hereabouts.

      • August 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm

        This is the difficulty faced by libertarians – the acknowledgement that people are free to be authoritarian and organise into like-minded groups.

        I would suggest, though, that while Islam may be less structured, it is inherently more authoritarian than some Christian sects. The CofE is very gentle in comparison and might make some noises, but as it has limited powers, cannot impose its will on the rest of us. The answer to the dliemma therefore is disestablishment. Those who wish to practice are free to do so. They are free to preach at the rest of us if they choose – and we are free to give them two fingers in response :twisted:

        • Watchman
          August 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm

          I don’t think we can claim any one religion based on a book is any more or less authoritarian than another – Islam as practised in Britain is normally more authoritarian than Christianity as practised in Britain, simply because it is still not organic but draws its teachings (and many teachers) from much more authoritarian (old men with beards are right) societies, but this is simply tradition and interpretation, not the religion itself (and, if you talk to muslims, is starting to change in many mosques). Don’t confuse the individual practitioners of a religion (who make decisions about their beliefs and actions) with the actual religion, as that sort of group labelling is pure statist categorisation of people by one characteristic rather than as individuals.

          In actual truth, so long as religion cannot be shown to compel (other than through the threat of hell – if we are to treat each other as grown ups, we have to allow people to make the mistake of believing the threats of religous leaders I suppose), I can’t see any problem with it, but it is not exactly compatible with libertarianism. Clearly, the minimal state should have no role in religion other than justice anyway.

          One minor question – how do you deal with the corporate property holdings of religions in a libertarian society – just treat them as a charitable trust or something, akin to the governing body of a sport? You can’t allow any religion its own legal identity after all.

          • Greg Tingey
            August 24, 2012 at 7:58 am

            Try to think more clearly still.
            You’re getting there!
            Judaism & christianity – Bronze-Age goatherders’ myths.
            Islam – Dark-Ages camelherders’ myths.
            All these, and AFAIK, all the other religions hold “truths” about the world which are known and proven to be false.
            Why, therefore, should we pay any attention to their lies & blackmail?

            • Watchman
              August 24, 2012 at 11:09 am

              Because we have the right to believe which ever bunch of animal herders myths we choose to believe, because we are free.

              Although I would point out that these myths were written down in Roman-style (if not Roman-owned in the case of Medina and Mecca) cities, so these are not the actual myths, but rationalisations of them by groups who, by their presence in a city of that period, were in a position of power and had an interest in keeping that power. These ain’t just myths, they are myths retold to justify the structuring of society to suit others.

              But the fact that any organised religion exists as an attempt to reproduce and preserve patterns of power for the benefit of elites is by the by. If you want to follow these teachings, that’s up to you. I can’t stop you, the same as you can’t stop me believing that I am in fact God incarnate and therefore always correct :roll:

      • August 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm

        Surely a corollary of that is also that we cannot tell someone else how to behave according to their religion

        Absolutely. The problem has always been that CINOs have chosen to interpret church, not to mean the worldwide body of believers, but as an institution called The Church, with a hierarchy and dogmas of their own, with those at the top, in pointy hats, ruling the roost.

        I reject that outright.

        That is not Christianity. Christianity is me being nice to you, turning the other cheek, trying not to stay angry overnight and generally respecting your right to do as you wish. The whole point of John 3:16 is that it is a person’s choice and only his choice, otherwise it’s invalid. It can’t be done under coercion, otherwise it would not be accepted by the Maker. It wouldn’t be genuine.

        And it’s not for any Inquisition to defend a dogma in torture or blood. For these people, look more closely at the PTB who have always kept the people down.

        Similarly, if all these people are torn down, even if the buildings are demolished, Christianity won’t be because it resides in the heart of people. It’s this tolerance of other religions and views which sets it apart.

        Too many fundamentalists do not get this and I had a dispute with a few of these the other day. They were inflicting themselves on a town square and I went up and said you’re going the right way to turn everyone off what you’re trying to turn them onto. It’s counterproductive.

        Better to set an example in your personal behaviour and exude Christian values yourself, rather than preaching – let the pastor in the church building do that – and far more people might start to say – well maybe it’s not too bad after all.

        I do think I have the right to bring it to the table, to offer some links, to leave it at that. I owe it to my Maker to at least point out the good effects of Christianity but that’s as far as it goes.

        • Greg Tingey
          August 24, 2012 at 7:56 am

          Your “makers” were your parents, & theirs, & theirs …
          Or are you trying to deny evolution?
          Be VERY careful

        • cuffleyburgers
          August 24, 2012 at 9:56 am

          JH – what you are saying here is precisely what I was getting at in my obviously-so-badly-written-as-to-be-incomprehensible post.

    • Greg Tingey
      August 24, 2012 at 8:07 am

      I have no quarrel with that.

      NOW, find me a religion that fulfills that test>

      Whereas I propose, being the headings from a long essay I wrote about 10 years back:

      A set of testable Propositions

      1. God is not detectable (even if that “god” exists)
      2. All religions are blackmail, and are based on fear and superstition.
      Corollary: 2a ] Marxism is a religion.
      3. Prayer has no effect on third parties.
      Corollary: 3a ] There is no such thing as “Psi”.
      4. All religions kill, or enslave, or torture.
      Corollary: 4a ] The bigots are the true believers.
      5. All religions have been made by men.

      All the above are testable, by both observation and experiment.
      Unless and until they are shown to be false, they must be taken as true, or at least valid, statements.

      • Watchman
        August 24, 2012 at 11:20 am

        Greg,

        Belief and logic (testable propositions imply this) are not the same thing, nor do we want them to be so – for that would suggest there is a single correct answer to each problem, and that therefore a single correct belief system, which can be administered by the state.

        As we see with the climate change, when you determine that something should be done according to scientific logic, the ‘answer’ becomes the ‘truth’ and scientific logic pretty quickly gets rejected anyway in favour of another form of quasi-religious belief.

        Man must dream, or man becomes a cog in the machine. And the machine is always the state and the corporation – those who turn dreams into ‘logic’ and then into ‘correctness’.

  3. August 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Not it’s not. Oh yes it is. Oh no it’s not, oh yes it is.

    A strawman fallacy is where one puts forward an argument that one’s opponent has not put and proceeds to knock it down, pretending that this is the argument put forward by that opponent. I have not done this (I did not even put forward an argument, let alone one on your behalf, so cannot have done so), therefore, there is no strawman. This is a matter of observable fact. I took you to task because you engaged in a no true Scotsman fallacy. This, too, is an observable fact.

    • August 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      Yes, LR. Silly of me to have attempted to say it. ;-)

    • DerekP
      August 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      There’s a book that describes Christian teaching, belief and actions – if you intend to go along with ALL these and truly try your hardest to do so then you’re a Christian. But if you don’t you’re not a Christian, no matter if you call yourself a Christian, or if others call you a Christian.

      Similar for Muslims.

      Similar for Nazis.

      I’m not aware of a definitive book describing what makes a true Scotsman, but when it exists and is widely acknowledged then it probably should settle the ‘no true Scotsman fallacy’.
      :smile:

      • August 23, 2012 at 9:38 pm

        It’s not about books, definitive or otherwise. The fallacy still applies. And the above is a textbook example of it.

        • DerekP
          August 23, 2012 at 11:02 pm

          My counter-example:
          “This fallacy is often misattributed. The problem with this fallacy is that it assumes that there is an objective definition to these “Scotsman” labels that everyone agrees upon….The only time the “No True Scotsman” fallacy holds is when the person committing the fallacy is changing their pre-established definition of whatever their equivalent of “Scotsman” means to something new in an effort to bolster their argument.…”

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          • August 24, 2012 at 7:01 am

            And all Christians have been doing that since the time of the gospels. Whether catholic or one of the many protestant sects, they all regard themselves as “true” Christians and the others not. So the fallacy is not miss-applied at all, no matter how much you or James might like it to be and James’ example is a classic textbook example.

            • DerekP
              August 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm

              You appear to be unable to read the quote in bold and match it to what James has written.

              He is consistent and has not changed his definition to bolster an argument. Clearly you do not understand what the “No True Scotsman” fallacy is (explained in the link for anyone to read), or you are re-defining it to bolster your argument!

              Christianity is self-defining by actually following the teachings of Christ, which are only in the Gospels.

              But just calling oneself a Christian does not make one a Christian if one does not actually follow the teaching; to make it simple for you, think of a life-long Conservative voter-donor calling himself a Labour supporter?

              • August 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm

                Just because it says something in Wikipedia it doesn’t make it true – it’s hardly a reliable source after all. I understand the fallacy perfectly well and applied it accurately as James’ comment fitted it perfectly. I have not redefined it, your Wikipedia source has attempted to do that – so I’m ignoring it and sticking with the original.

                Christians have been accusing each other of not being true Christians since St Jerome edited and translated the original scriptures into Latin. If you really want to be pedantic and use the Bible as your source, anyone who is not Catholic is not a true Christian.

                As far as I am concerned, they are all true Christians and a pox on all their houses.

                Anyway, enough. This has already gone way off the subject matter in hand.

      • August 23, 2012 at 11:28 pm

        There’s a book that describes Christian teaching, belief and actions – if you intend to go along with ALL these and truly try your hardest to do so then you’re a Christian. But if you don’t you’re not a Christian, no matter if you call yourself a Christian, or if others call you a Christian.

        All of this is words, Derek. No need to guess or speculate or write such books. There already is one. If you follow those four chapters, you are one. If you don’t, you’re not. Simples.

        • DerekP
          August 24, 2012 at 12:54 am

          “…There already is one. If you follow those four chapters, you are one. If you don’t, you’re not…”

          Yep, that’s what I’m referring to.

        • Greg Tingey
          August 24, 2012 at 7:54 am

          Said book describes, in juicy details, how “enemies of the lord” are killed in various unpleasant manners.
          It is also full of shit – especially, if like the us-based-&-funded fundie-loonies round the corner from here, you claim to believe that said book is “inerrant”.
          Which means bats are birds.
          ANd women are inferior to men (just like “the recital” – no? Try reading Saul of Tarsus, especially “Timothy” on that one.

          Please stop talking bollocks.
          Um.

      • Watchman
        August 24, 2012 at 11:33 am

        Derek,

        Who decides whether you are in accord with the book, none of which were originally written in English say, so making it somewhat unclear as to their original meaning? If someone wants to claim to be Christian, you cannot say they are categorically not (that implies you have some form of authority over the identity of others, which restricts their personal identity), although you are at perfect liberty to dispute their definition.

        Incidentally, the books you mention (or at least two of them) contain plenty of stuff – not eating pig or being able to sell your daughter into slavery in the Bible – which is not considered necessary by almost anyone, so the matter of what to follow is not clear cut.

        And I am not sure Mein Kampf is actually a text that Nazis follow (if only because they mostly have trouble reading…) – the Communist Manifesto would have been a better choice of text (especially as most self-proclaimed Communists seem to pick and choose from it, because they might not get to be important if the whole thing was implemented, and that’s not what being a Communist is about nowadays…).

  4. August 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Could the real answer be that all parties to this charade are shits in varying degrees? The wimmen for having a retrospective snit when they found their dahling had been playing away from home, and Jules for cheating on his then girlfriend(s) without taking ‘precautions’.

    The politics are kind of a side issue. Jules knows he was a shit and is trying to avoid facing the Swedish (folk) music (Argh) with regards to the sex, while at the same time boosting his ‘career’. The US powers that be are miffed that he’s pissed in their soup, letting the cat out of the bag regarding what they really think about other nations. The Swedes are trying to enforce their PC Law, although all they say they want to do is ‘ask some questions’ over a minor sexual misdemeanour. Honestly, some things should never be used on an extradition warrant. Whatever next? Unpaid parking tickets?

    As to forcibly extracting Jules from an accredited embassy and putting him on the public dollar; certainly not. Let him go to Ecuador.

    • August 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      Let him go to Ecuador.

      And there to rot in well deserved obscurity.

    • August 23, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      Could the real answer be that all parties to this charade are shits in varying degrees?

      Probably the best analysis yet.

    • August 24, 2012 at 5:50 am

      “Could the real answer be that all parties to this charade are shits in varying degrees?”

      Yes! :)

    • Greg Tingey
      August 24, 2012 at 7:50 am

      ” Unpaid parking tickets?”
      Actually, the Poles virtually DO do this for EAW’s

      Think that one through!

  5. August 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    What about the al-Megrahi solution? Have Assange tried in Ecuador under Swedish law and if found guilty, let him serve his sentence there.

    I’m suspicious about the timing of the accusations, since they appear to come after the Wikileak Iraq revelations.

    • August 23, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      Very much so.

      • Greg Tingey
        August 24, 2012 at 7:49 am

        … and CARL ROVE is involved – see my post below

  6. Greg Tingey
    August 24, 2012 at 7:47 am

    James Higham @ 11.32
    So, the CRUSADES didn’t happen then?
    Or the massacre @ Beziers, or the persecution of my Huguenot ancestors?
    TRY AGAIN.

    Meanwhile …
    “Now that Andrew Kreig, of the Justice Integrity Project, has confirmed Karl Rove’s role as an advisor to the Swedish government in its prosecution of Julian Assange on sexual misconduct charges, it is important that we note the many glaring aberrations in the handling of Assange’s case by the authorities in Sweden.”

    CARL ROVE?
    Arrrrrghhh!

    Tells you all you need to know.

    Oh, source?
    HERE:
    link to markcrispinmiller.com

    • cuffleyburgers
      August 24, 2012 at 10:11 am

      @ GT – I think you are deliberately missings the point which is that christianity practised as Jesus preached it (which would seem to me to be the best definition of how it should be) would not include the inquisition, beziers, the crusades etc all of which were as is the case with all major atrocities, carried out by politicians using cristianity as a cloak for their evilness.

      At root I would argue that the fundamental motivation in all these cases was essentially secular in nature and revolved around power and money. You could make this point in a slightly different way in that all these acts were carried out in ages where gruesome torture and wholesale slughter were not uncommon facts of life, and common to all societies whether christian, muslim – I would suspect even Hindu rulers had their moments; the aztecs and red indians certainly did as did the chinese with and without christianity in the mix.

      So to tar chistianity or any other religion with these disgusting acts is to miss the point that actually it is mostly to do with the application of power.

      I have a book in the pipeline which I hope will make my point to a wider audience.

      • Greg Tingey
        August 24, 2012 at 7:24 pm

        OK You’ve asked for it [LONG]

        5. All religions kill, or enslave, or torture.
        To verify this, one need only read a very little history, or contemporary newspaper reports.
        At this point, an excuse is always presented by the ‘believers’:
        “They are ( or were ) not PROPER Christians / Muslims / Marxists / etc. …. We’re different!”
        Oh, yeah?
        O.S.D. is still part of the Roman Catholic church, isn’t it? Is Ian Paisley a Christian minister, or not? Are the Persian and Taliban ayatollahs clerics, or not? Were Stalin, Mao Zhedong and Pol Pot Marxists, or not?
        Besides which, if these, and similar cases, are, or were not “proper believers”, why do those proper believers never, ever do anything about it, except whinge?

        So, we have another Corollary: 5a ] The bigots are the true believers.

        There is a dangerous trap here. By fighting and studying the evil dragon of their opponent(s) and/or oppressors, a group, sect, or religion can easily become its’ own evil mirror-image. Three recent cases will suffice. I am sure any intelligent reader will be able to supply their own additional exemplars.
        [I] Virtually everything Ian Paisley and his followers say about the RC church and its “evil” are true, and correct. But they have failed to see that they have also become a narrow, bigoted, bloodstained and oppressive reflection of the thing they most despise and fear.
        [II] The previous Pope (John-Paul II) faithfully opposed the cult of Nazism, (or did he, really?) and the Stalinist version of Marxism. And, he became dragon too. Nowhere as evil as Adolf, or Joe, but a narrow, oppressive, censorious dictator, opposed to freedom of thought, reason, or logic, nonetheless. The current Pope (Benedict II), beautifully parodied by the magazine “Private Eye” as “Cardinal Ratpoison”, is even worse. His rampant homophobia, his apparent joining of the Hitler-Jugend before it became compulsory, his authoritarianism … need one go on?
        [III] Persia / Iran, where opposition to the rule of the late Shah has produced a classic theocratic state. Of course, as always happens, an even more extreme movement, the Taliban, appeared in Afghanistan. Both these states have automatically enslaved half of their own populations – the female half. These are true “communities of saints”, as were Calvin’s Geneva, Cromwellian England, or Stalin’s Soviet Union. Perhaps the best example of a total theocracy, where even when the personal representative of the people’s enslavement died, they mourn, rather than celebrate, is North Korea.

        Some more thoughts on this topic.

        If one looks at the actual record and behaviour of Christian “saints”, or their equivalents in other belief-systems, one finds that most of them were complete egotistical bastards.
        “Saint” Cyril of Alexandria ( Inventor of the doctrine of virgin birth ), Bernard of Clairvaux, Trotsky, and Joshua are all classic exemplars. People like that oddly matched pair, Saladin the Kurd, and Francis of Assisi are the exception, not the rule.
        There is a relevant, subsidiary question.
        What is a religion, what is a cult, and what, if anything, is the difference?
        The only discernible real distinction is in the numbers of their followers, and the physical and political power that any one movement can wield. That apart, there appears to be no difference at all, particularly given the nature of the irrational rubbish purveyed by the major religions. An approximate measure has been humorously (?) suggested by the late J. L. Chalker: “When a cult converts more than 10% of a population, it is to be considered a religion.”
        Cults can, of course, arise as subsets of established religions or orders.
        Current and past examples include:
        The “Toronto blessing” and similar fundamentalist lunacies in Protestantism, Opus Dei, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, the Hasisheen, the orders of flagellants or the stylytics, etc. …

        It is very curious, that in most forms of Christianity, the teaching of Thomas Aquinas is official doctrine, but is almost never followed. Namely, that if the recorded “bible” says one thing, and careful experimental test and observation shows something else, why then, the “bible” is wrong.
        In spite of this, in various faiths, we have all the usual irrational nonsenses. Concerning evolution, they say it is wrong, geocentric universes, female inferiority, the dictatorship of the proletariat, virgin birth, listening and writing down the words of angels reciting, etc.

        • David A. Evans
          August 24, 2012 at 9:04 pm

          Your posts have been very enlightening Greg but I will dispute that religions per sé have caused any deaths.

          Certainly religious leaders by selective interpretation of religious texts have.

          I found your post at August 24, 2012 at 8:07 am interesting because it defined one of your beliefs as a religion.

          DaveE.

  7. August 26, 2012 at 8:59 am

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