Feb 112013
 

So, the Pope is to “resign” – not “retire”, note – the reasons for which are not yet explained. Is it too much to hope for his resignation note, and reasoning, to read along the lines of:

I’m really most awfully sorry that I spent decades as a malingering evil fucking cunt, covering up the systematic rape and torture of defenceless children, accumulating power and vast wealth, lying about condoms and encouraging the spread of a pernicious, cruel, avoidable disease like HIV, subjugating women – forcing them to give up control over the reproductive cycle and thus remain second class citizens, slandering gays and lesbians and treating them as barely human; I realise, suddenly, how evil I have been and what an absolutely horrific waste of life mine has been, and can’t continue in this disgusting manner”?

Probably.

What about: “sorry”?

Probably.

Ah well, I’m sure that this can continue the reflection of badness on the church. Yay.

Dec 032012
 

Ordinarily, I post these as they are … this time, I need to pass comment. For reasons which I understand, though with which I vehemently disagree, the editors of Gscene chose not to publish my article as originally submitted, even after having requested substantiation of my comments and claims. While they are understandably hesitant to invite legal challenge, I care not. Therefore, I present the original text I submitted, along with the actual published article, with particular attention being drawn to my paragraph relating to the “roman catholic church” – which I did not capitalise for a reason, the content of which has been diluted so far that it’s practically homeopathic and which offends me in its insipidness, and also to the paragraph regarding islam, again neutered like a bad dog, and this time edited so that it no longer even makes sense!

 

 

Canada Dry

And so man* created gods in his image. Unfortunately, that image is a jealous, violent, ill-educated, petty, belligerent, cruel and evil one. Not the better angels of our nature by any means.

Am I being unfair? Intemperate? I don’t think so … I can think of nothing that has caused more misery, suffering, hatred, distress, death or disfigurement in the whole of human history. Religion has – not just permitted, but – required; slavery, objectification of women, vilification of those of other or no religion, wars of aggression, loathing, ethnic cleansing, beating and murder of homosexuals, beating and subjugation of children, racism, cruel – nay criminal – mutilation of genitalia, xenophobia … the list is practically endless. No other aberration of reason and humanity can make such expansive and loathsome claims.

Born in the time of our utter ignorance of everything, offering facile (and fraudulent) claims to answer the difficult questions of existence, presenting false, shallow solace to those who are in pain, salving the pricked ego of those who’ve considered the possibility of “no more me”, religion has absolutely nothing going for it, save vague concepts of tradition, comfort and respect.

The leader of the roman catholic church is the criminal head of the world’s largest paedophile ring and protection racket; it’s only the mantle of religion, claiming as it does incomparable privilege and exemptions, which prevents this vile subhuman monster facing the punishment for his decades of crimes against humanity.

Those of the muslim faith, calling for the death of (admittedly rather bad) filmmakers and their supporters, stoning gays, throwing acid into the faces of women – nay, girls – “suspected” of looking at men in the “wrong” way, baying for the death of people who do nothing more than draw pictures, wallowing in their sheer pig-ignorance; were it not for the “shield of faith” which requires we respect their beliefs, they’d be viewed for what they are – barely more than animals.

In the USA, otherwise normal Americans who shoot and kill doctors in the name of the sanctity of life, previously loving parents who throw out their own children as being “better dead than gay”, a credible candidate for the Presidency who believes in magic underwear and that Native Americans are a lost tribe of Israel (while an atheist is nigh unelectable); these bizarre, illogical conditions couldn’t exist absent the entrenched, privileged position of religion!

The litany is near endless. Religion makes its hay by valuing and prizing ignorance, eschewing reason and the search for knowledge, refusing to acknowledge that it is a world view, and making pseudo-factual claims about, well, everything and that as such it should be subject to the same evaluation of the evidence as any other such world view. Those of us who adhere to the view that, actually, no, if you believe in the power of intercessory prayer, or that the mind is separate from the brain, or that there is a “part” of you which continues after death, or that evolution is inaccurate, or that the earth is about 6,000 years old, then such beliefs should be challengeable (and challenged!) and tested are told that we are being disrespectful.

Why, yes. Yes, yes we are. Utterly disrespectful. So … what? I suffer at the hands of the brainless being disrespectful towards me; I’m a gay atheist – while there are certainly groups who suffer more disrespect, nonetheless I receive more than sufficient denigration from the religious. Which is their right; I may – and of course do – disagree with their beliefs and attitudes, but their right to hold their pernicious, antediluvian views is something I hold nearly sacred. As is my right to challenge it. Why the road doesn’t run two ways, I do not understand.

Or, perhaps I do. My views stand up to scrutiny, and I am able to defend them using logic; the corollary being that I will change my views if the evidence requires it. The views of the religious are nothing more than wishes and hopes, will o’ the wisp fantasies, castles of credulity, precariously balanced upon foundations of faith. As such, there are no arguments which can reasonably be brought to bear. There is no logical recourse for faith, belief, religion.

Perhaps the greatest mind of recent time speaking on the issue of religion and its maleficent influence in and on the world was, now sadly the late, Christopher Hitchens. A couple of his quotes may serve in a few words to state what I’ve tried to say in many:

“I am absolutely convinced that the main source of hatred in the world is religion, and organised religion.”

“Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did.”

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.”

My own modest attempt at a pithy epithet: “Religion is the single greatest crime we have committed against ourselves.

 

So, to conclude, no, “jesus” most assuredly does not have a place in my heart, and religion can take a long walk of a non-existent pier; you can take “christmas” and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine; I’ll see my family around that time, because it’s nice to do so, and let’s face it, there’s nothing else to do anyway. But, religion?  Keep the fairy tales for the children, and let’s all grow the fuck up.

*Sexist pronoun excused on basis of poetic requirement.

 

 

 

 

 GScene - December 2012 - Canada Dry - Religion

 

Jul 132011
 

I wrote just the other day, over at Zhoosh, about the outpouring of puss that apparently constitutes an article from Brian Sewell in the Daily Hate about the Queering of Corrie and how terrible it is.

So far, so nothing new …

Then today, just before 9, BBC Breakfast had a couch moment discussing the “fact” of the controversy in the press (note: tabloids!).

Why?

There wasn’t the same degree of bile as in the Sewer Sewell piece, but merely acknowledging the campaign of hate gives that campaign a greater degree, or at least veneer, of respectability and plausibility!

It’s disappointing; these hate-mongers should be left to fester in their own putrescence not given access to even greater exposure.

Jul 082011
 

Just a quick throw out to the world, that 11 July (Monday) is the International Day Against Stoning.

You can read about it here.

An excerpt of what can be done:

  • Standing in a city square with a photo or poster of Sakineh, tweeting, or organising an act of solidarity or a flash mob to raise awareness and attention, and posting your actions on Facebook;
  • Sending letters of protest to the Islamic regime of Iran;
  • Writing to government officials, heads of state, MEPs and MPs calling on them to intervene to demand Sakineh and her lawyer Houtan Kian’s release and to cease recognition of a regime that stones people to death

 

Please do something – get involved in some way – as small or large a gesture as possible. Given that Iran is now executing an average of two people per day, anything to fight this regime’s evil is a good thing.

 

Jul 012011
 

This is not “news” per se, but it’s the sort of thing which needs to be reported on and brought to the fore as much as possible.

The quick version: Colton Haynes is a not-too-brilliant American actor, who’s starring in the new MTV show “Teen Wolf”. He may or may not be gay. He also appeared, as a teen, in a photoshoot for XY magazine, aimed at gay teen youth, in which photoshoot he a) was shirtless and b) kisses another boy! Shock.

The trouble is, an attorney has been sending threatening letters demanding the removal of any copies of those pictures online, making claims along the lines that they are “private”. Despite having been published in a national US magazine and/or that they are pornographic or sexually explicit.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want any embarrassment to be caused to young Haynes. What I do want, however, is and end to the subtle, low level of homophobia which moves like this seem to perpetuate. The idea that pictures of him, kissing another boy, are likely to end, or at least, damage his career. The idea that such pictures are inherently pornographic or sexually explicit.

So let’s see shall we:

XY Magazine – 2006

Colton Haynes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the magazine says, “shocking”.

Colton Haynes – recent photos

Let’s see the hugely different, non-private, non-explicit, non-shocking photos with which his attorney has no problem shall we?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, there you go – clearly a huge difference!

Basically, I think these photos need to be kept out there, and the story kept out there, because;

  • the attempt to remove them from the public domain intimates that there is something inherently shameful in homosexuality,
  • it perpetuates the idea – which may therefore become self-realising – that to make a career in Hollywood requires one either not to be, or not to be perceived to be, gay,
  • it’s a deeply worrying threat to freedom of expression,

    and, of course,

  • they are very nice pictures! The boy is easy on the eyes!

So, that’s my little bit of activism for the day!

 

1 – these pictures may be copyright – if so, I will happily remove them if so advised

2 – I don’t know Colton Haynes’ sexuality; any speculation is just that – or wishful thinking

3 – more coverage here and here

A couple more pics from the XY shoot, just to keep them out there:

 

 

 

 

Jun 132011
 

Like many, I’ve been following the blog of “A Gay Girl in Damascus”. (No, I’m not linking to it – for obvious reasons.)

Like many, I’m SICKENED to discover that this is a scam, a lie, a hoax.

I’d started following the blog about a month or so ago. I have sat and wept at some of the things that have been described in it, feeling impotently empathetic. A horrible feeling.

I’ve experienced optimism and pessimism in near equal measure, often within the same post.

So, what’s the problem? If the emotional response is genuine, and the circumstances being “described” are essentially accurate, why the outrage?

Simple; the lies which make up THIS blog breed doubt in any others of similar nature. The next time we read an apparently earnest, heartfelt cry for help from an LGBTQ person in such a regime, we will hesitate and wonder. And apathy will be more likely.

Apathy, the enemy of any advances in these states.

And that is why, along with P Z Myers, I say “Screw You, Tom McMaster”.

 

Read the coward’s excuse below:

Continue reading »

Mar 282011
 

Why am I gay? Why, oh why, oh why? Gnashing of gums, wailing and crying … etc.

You may as well ask why am I white? Or male? Or a pompous prick? None of these questions really admits of an answer deeper than “because” … and neither does the question of the cause, or root, or why and wherefore of my homosexuality.

Do I believe our sexuality is an innate trait, laid down for us in the genetic makeup of our very beings? Yes, I’d have to accept that as the most likely reason. Can I rule out environmental factors; upbringing, pollution, pregnant women with a 40-a-day Mayfair habit? Of course I can’t. I’m not a biologist, and even if I were, those questions haven’t been answered definitively!

Perhaps of more interest would be to ask why this question is still being asked? Why does it matter why I’m (or anybody else is) gay? The answer to those questions may be more valuable than a final determination that a certain combination of amino acids led inexorably to my preference for chaps!

Obviously, the reason that the questions are asked is that it is still not seen as “normal” to be gay. Even those who are “tolerant” or “accepting” of homosexuality – words which in and of themselves indicate the basic discomfort of the people who use them – don’t actually feel on a visceral level that we are normal. That doesn’t mean their judgment extends to considering us wrong, immoral or evil – necessarily. But it reflects an “us and them” attitude which, even if not operating on a conscious level, influences a huge range of behaviours and beliefs.

This outlook is on a par with “I’m not racist, but …” or “some of my best friends are black”. The very act of distinguishing denotes the separation in the mind of the person speaking. “There’s nothing wrong with being gay … but why do they have to shove it down our throats?” or “I don’t mind homosexuals … but marriage is between a man and a woman”. It’s all the same shit, different shovel!

I’m not arguing for some undifferentiated pablum world in which we are all the same and Benetton ads are far more monochromatic. I’m not saying that we should live without acknowledging that we are different; among other things, it would be awful to hit on a straight guy and be unable to understand his reticence!

I am, however, arguing that the question “why” – beloved of two year olds the world over – is in this context probably a bad thing. Asking why someone is gay, or black, or female … implies a judgment. Or possibly even disapproval. Until we can move past that, asking why can cause nothing but harm.

So if anyone asks me why I am gay, I can only have one response.

Why not?

Full magazine here.