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An open letter to Christians and other bigots

By Sir ScotchMistery

For the last several years as a gay man I have stood silently by and allowed your fundamentalist claptrap to interfere with the way I lead my life.

I confess to being one of those rare gay men who actually doesn’t have sex, but I represent a huge number of men and women who do, and in much the same way as you like to have your heads of department go after major corporations and counsel them on their choices about who and what to support, I feel it is high time to put a few cards on the table.

About the only thing that any of you are being noticed about recently is your support for your leaders in various ways as they have been stood up before the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child abuse and made excuses for either years of screwing little boys and girls, or even more years as organisations, making excuses for those who did the screwing.

You have to understand at some stage, and I have to tell you I don’t give you much credit for the intellect to do the understanding, but seriously folks, you really don’t represent anybody but the half-dozen that cluster mindlessly in front of you on a Sunday, listening to your liturgy espousing the naughtiness of homosexuality, whilst planning your next impact on the nether regions of a 6-year-old.

I still fail to understand how it is that parents of the children who have been the victims of your behaviour still feel that you have some “message” for them from some spiritual being who may or may not have at some stage walked the earth. I still fail to understand how you vicars, pastors, priests and other assorted ne’er do wells who have found a tax-free method of inflicting your small minds of even small minds of those clustered in front of you.

Even Hillsong, which at least is honest about it being a business, was started by somebody whose primary passion – it was rumoured – was far from, shall we say, a good Christian? The bit that I don’t get is that the organisation is still run by his son, and your mindless, drip fed adherents are okay with that.

You may have our politicians conned, but that’s to be expected – none of them are all that bright either, but don’t for 1 minute think that you fool the rest of us, we know your game. Create as many mindless adherents as you can, and have them give them your children, without asking questions, the way the Catholic Church, particularly the Jesuits used to do.

The most outrageous part of this whole process is that the perpetrators and the facilitators of this abuse are now going after major corporate entities and telling them to stop supporting marriage equality. They don’t give any reason, they merely expect it to be done, because mindless cretins have always done what they have told them, which is why you have had this endless supply of little boys to play with as you fancy.

The ABS will tell you that you represent less than 20% of the population of this country. It seems amazing that among such a small group, so much damage can be done. Sort of like the police and the court system, in terms of their impacts on Aboriginal kids, though it has to be said you have a lot to answer for among those children as well.

Committed Christian? Mindless knucklehead? Abuse supporter/facilitator? Which Christian are you?


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  1. babyjewels10

    I feel your (justified) anger.

  2. Athena

    Totally agree with you, SSM. And there are more than rumours to Frank Houston’s past times. His son Brian and other people within the church knew of it and didn’t report him to the police. Brian has since admitted he was wrong to stay quiet.

  3. townsvilleblog

    In my humble opinion religion = delusion, and every religious order or cult in Australia has been found guilty under the Royal Commission into institutional child abuse. Hillsong, as the USA cult: the assembly of god – Australian Branch and is known by many different names around the country such as Calvary in North Queensland. I do not judge people on their sexual preference and consider you letter to be very well written and straight to the point, and I agreed vwith every point that you made.

  4. JiMM

    well said!

    I’m going to hell because I don’t believe
    And I think it’s swell – I can’t wait to leave

    There’ll be rooters
    and shooters
    and sceptics
    and dykes
    and druggies
    on big motorbikes
    and poets
    and writers galore
    most of the ‘rich’
    and most of the ‘poor’
    angry old commies
    young confused brats
    sex hungry mommies
    sly bureaucrats
    lecherous tradies
    drunken yahoos
    professional ladies
    those with tattoos
    all the dangerous folk with daring ideas
    all those raring and willing to stoke Christian fears

    So descending to hell, can only be good
    It’ll look exactly the same, as my old neighbourhood

  5. Michael Lacey

    Agree! Doesn’t stop the dirt bag politicians using these nut job fundamentalists to push their agendas when it suits them however!

  6. paul walter

    Fantastic. No doubt, gays are on that revolving carousel of “others” whose role is to be pilloried before the town square for the predilection of bumpkins, in the interests of those responsible for the diversions.

  7. Michael

    Existence = nature + humans + everything else
    Nature = balance
    Humans = intelligence
    Everything else = human construct
    Before humans – no religion
    Religion is a human construct
    – to explain the unexplained at any one time,
    – to seek virtues which assist humans to live together in mutual harmony, and
    – to leverage power and influence over fellow humans by division
    Human constructs can be de/reconstructed

    Well done Sir ScotchMistery!

  8. Anthony Element

    It’s a real tragedy that anybody is discriminated against on the basis of a set of ancient myths developed by a primitive tribe millennia ago.

    Sadly, stupidity is part of the human condition. I hope you don’t have to pay a price for that stupidity for much longer.

    And in answer to your last question, I’d go with all three.

  9. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said SSM.

    It beggars belief to me too that such diametrically opposed values can exist in such organisations and many of their adherents.

    Great poem, JiMM.

  10. Backyard Bob

    Existence = nature + humans + everything else

    Humans are not distinct from nature, and nature is not distinct from “everything”.

  11. Wayne Turner

    As a straight atheist – My view on issues,like same sex marriage = If what you do does NOT hurt anyone else.Then you should be able to do it. ie: Same sex marriage should be allowed because it does NOT hurt anyone else,and none of anyone elses business.

    I’m more worried about dodgy businesses avoiding tax,that does hurt the rest of us ie: Lack of revenue,and it hurts the rest of us.Same with industrial relations in general – Workers are losing rights to selfish self serving greedy business managers/owners.

  12. Anon. E. Mouse

    A little story, Sir Scotch, though it is a little after 10 am, I am into the vodka. One of those moments, I am sure you understand. Once upon a time, when I was young, I knew nothing of religion and the various flavours that make what are termed Christians. A school friend asked if I wanted to go to Sunday school, was is that, I said, oh they tell stories and stuff, what religion are you, he asked, I don’t know I said. What’s that, what’s religion? Come on, said, you’ll like it. So we went, my recollections tell me it was a bit boring, but I went home with a new discovery, eager to tell my mother, I know what I am I’m a baptist I said. Mother obviously not pleased, what she said, who told you that, your not she said you C of E. Over the years, well after she had topped herself, I put the the story together, she had been raised and schooled by the Catholics who had most perfectly f*cked her up, so well, in fact, that she married C of E and religion was never mentioned until I made the mistake of Sunday school. The only positive, perhaps, is my deep seated feelings against all who call themselves Christian. I despise you f*cking arsewhipes with with a passion, in fact anyone following any organised religion can go root themselves. Thank you for your indulgence, Sir Scotch, and thank you for this opportunity, the vodka calls and my spirit is weary. Prost to you.

  13. Sir ScotchMistery

    Thank you all for your comments. It brings light to an otherwise dark day.


  14. Anon. E. Mouse

    Dear Sir Scotch, I hope the day is not too dark for you, the vodka loosens my tongue and I intended to indulge myself in a passionate rant against all of you that have betrayed that trust that children have and need for adults. You have betrayed every worthwhile value, you you have no no rights you have nothing but black and evil hearts. As you might see, these abuses affect not only those directly abide, but those of use left behind. Spelling mistakes and all. Thank you, Sir Scotch, in vino veritas. Well, who would of thought such an article could bring these tears, which is why I too remain a mystery. Cheers

  15. Jaquix

    ScotchMistery – I remember the olden days, when my favourite Uncle, who happened to be gay, was at risk of imprisonment. So we have made progress and Australia is just lagging behind the rest of the world on this. Im reading Brian R Morris’s book “Sacred to Secular” which I can recommend. It highlights the very dangerous situation we find ourselves in, in Australia. We are allowing the government to FUND these religions to the tune of $31 billion a year. Imagine how much better that could be spent. We are funding the enemy to indoctrinate our children !

  16. Salstarat

    Well said, ScotchMistery – very well said indeed! Your comments truly reflect the absolute and total disillusionment the overwhelming majority of Australians feel about the deep seated, malevolent and totally “un-Christian” kind of despicable homophobic, misogynistic and xenophobic hatred espoused within the so-called established Christian institutions, not only the vile, hallowed halls of Jesuit Catholicism but also the sneering, condescending exclusiveness of the Baptists, Protestants and United Churches, not to mention the screaming, ranting neo-Nazism of the homophobic lunatics in the Russian orthodox churches! Whilst I am at it, I am very willing to give a full serve to the unspeakable women-hating ideology indoctrinated throughout Islam where women (and children) are seen as collateral damage to the unfettered, overwhelming and unchallenged abuse and power of patriarchal indoctrination.

    Religion, in all its despicable forms, really IS the opiate of the masses … “drugging” people into a coma of self righteous hypocrisy; dumbing them down into absolute catatonic oblivion! Numbing them to the pain of others; desensitising the sociopathic religious masses to believe that they will be judged on how many people they can EXCLUDE instead of the better alternative in trying to expand the number of people they can INCLUDE! Religion, of late, couldn’t have moved further AWAY from the teachings of Christ! Christianity has been hijacked by the screaming, ultra right wing lunatic fringe, used and abused to punish anyone and everyone who does not fit into their tiny, miniscule and obscene view of the world. Christians and Muslims have used and abused their religions to POLARISE people, politicising their religions for their OWN self serving agenda; using their religions to commit the most heinous and evil acts of deplorable inhumanity against others! Ultra-religious nutters are the NEW serial-psychopaths of our times … mad, bad and incredibly dangerous, unconscionably morally bankrupt whilst piously maintaining the high moral ground! What a nauseating juxtaposition these grubs must find themselves in .. how DO they sleep at night?

    Ironically, it now appears that Atheists and Agnostics appear to be the ONLY ones left who have any sense of decency!

  17. keerti

    The strange thing about their gay bashing is that JC, if he existed, clearly preferred the company of men and even had a snogging session with one of the a-postles the night the Romans caught him.

  18. Jack Russell

    Shut off the money supply, legislate them out of all public discourse, shut down their schools, and apply very serious criminal jail sentences for any kind of contact with minors. That should do it I think.

  19. diannaart

    …and our taxes continue to fund these para-religiousites (new word, don’t look it up).

    Catholic church one of the world’s wealthiest institutions – its very existence an insult to the golden rule – which, BTW, was termed long BEFORE Christianity was even an idea.

  20. Anon. E. Mouse

    Thank you Salstarat, I would of if I could have said what you said. F*ck them f*ck them f*ck them curse them through all of time those that have abused the children the coaches the priests the leaders all of you may you know no peace no contentment no joy you f*ckers for what it is worth I curse you for all of time I curse you now and I curse you forever. Three times makes the magic three times makes the curse three times I say it. Yes, the vodka strikes, just another pissed rant you say. I believe it though. I am a product, once removed of your vile evil f*cking traitorous behaviour there is no turn the the other cheek there is no forgiveness there is no compassion for what you vile f*ckers have done. Where is the love where is the duty of care how could you f*ckers do those things to those children cover the abuse turn a blind eye and still AND F*CKING STILL you have power over us and still you can dictate terms F*CK YOU

  21. Salstarat

    Start making the vile, sanctimonious HYPOCRITES in these churches PAY TAX!!!! Let these smug, supercilious sociopaths PAY THEIR WAY like the rest of us!

  22. Anon. E. Mouse

    Let these sanctimonious HYPOCRITES rot in the hell they believe in pay their taxes and f*ck off well over the bullshit fed to us yes pay their way you f*cking barstards pay your way and f*ck off you f*cking HYPOCRITES and all that follow their bullshit

  23. David

    Good work Sir Scotch, well put. Your pertinent remarks brought to mind a sketch from a like minded individual as yourself. the late brilliant Irish comedian Dave Allen. Thanks again for being what many so called Christians cannot…honest and true to their beliefs

  24. Miriam English

    Removing the tax-free status of religion would end a lot of the insanity in church. Con-artists would no longer find it so attractive, church would be forced to put some of that money back into society without attaching it to propaganda, exposing their inner finances would clean out some of the worst corruption in the churches, and there would be less money left over for bribing politicians. Not only would it be good for society, but it would actually be good for the churches.

    Frankly, I will celebrate the day humanity puts all silly superstition and fairy stories behind us. Reality is so much better than delusion. Doing the right thing because it is right is much more moral than following ancient rules to get heavenly reward and avoid eternal torture. It also makes it less likely people will be duped by nasty Iron Age prejudices against, for example, gays.

  25. Kaye Lee

    Some churches are trying to help

  26. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well pointed out, Kaye Lee.

  27. diannaart

    Indeed, Kaye Lee

    Moving on from the much-needed venting, we can look at those institutions which actually do work for the people.

    Such as the Unitarians:

    Unitarians trace their history back to the courageous heretics who dared to apply reason to religion, such men as Michael Servetus, Giorgio Biandrata, Faustus Socinus and Francis David. Outstanding Unitarians in the past century and a half include Joseph Priestly, Theodore Parker, William Ellery Channing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Schweitzer and Florence Nightingale.

    Unitarian churches are democratic and congregationalist, which means that each church is autonomous and governs its own affairs. This is distinguished from less democratic systems of church governance, such as presbyterian governance (by elders) or episcopalian (by a hierarchy of bishops). Ultimate authority for the governance of the church lies with its members.

    I am not a member, however I endorse organisations which really are about caring and all-inclusive rather than causing division among people.

  28. JeffJL

    Didn’t bother reading this. What an asehole type title. If that is the attitude of the author lumbering all Christians together then there can be little of worth in the article.

  29. Miriam English

    JeffJL, of course. Let’s not see anything that affects one’s delicate Christian prejudices. Better not to know why some might be angry at the more vocal Christian bigots in society.

    Not all Christians are bigots, certainly. And not all Christians deserve to be linked with the monsters currently doing their level best to damage our society and the minds of our children. The author’s title does overreach, somewhat. But perhaps it is worth finding out why he, and some others (read the comments) are so angry at those Christians. Maybe you’ll be angry at them too.

    You’re still allowed to reject the idea that all Christians are bigots, as some good folk above have, and in fact I do, while sympathising and generally agreeing with his piece.

  30. Jaq

    Well said, the saddest things being is that there are some actually kind hearted people involved in religion. My mum was one of them. Her excuse for the priestly paedophiles, was that it they were human. It wasn’t the faith. Having studied some of the data on priests and paedophilia, I just wish we could have had the discussion re the fact that is very much the faith that always such things as child rape and bigotry. Especially when so much has come to light recently. But she went to meet her maker.
    Great poem too JiMM. If all these Christians and Catholics, not to mention the bloodthirsty Zionists, are going to heaven then count me out.

  31. Michael

    Backyard Bob – I also struggled with the distinctions in an effort to seek an explanation for today – yes, humans are part of nature as is everything-else, yet it is the intelligence factor which makes humans a standout in nature.

    Nature is the constant “platform” which forever seeks, constantly changing, reacting to what is happening and but fleetingly passes through an equilibrium because of all the activities of the elements making it up – ying/yang, good/bad, etc

    Our existence is due to human intelligence, humans are top of the tree with our “modest” superiority and human intelligence constantly adds to the elements making up nature – having ability to join the dots, imagination, beliefs, religion, rules, laws, discovery, experimentation, committing fraud on nature and on each other, etc – this is the everything-else (by humans) component of the logic boxes – hence nature–>human–>everything-else.

    Thank you for your interest.

  32. Michael

    Salstarat – don’t forget Humanists

  33. Equipe á Grumeaux (@veloaficionado)

    I bet there were gay people and lesbians in first century Palestine: Roman, Jewish,Samaritan, Arab, Byzantine, Greek. I bet Jesus (whomever he may be) didn’t care if there was. In fact, some (enlightened) Biblical scholars think St. Paul was a repressed gay man, and that his conversion on the road to Damascus was a realisation that his own sexuality mattered little as to whether he should accept himself as being someone who felt loved, by others, and by God.
    So where does that leave your bitter rant? Demonising and tarring everyone Christian with the same brush as pedophiles and oppressors?
    If it wasn’t this state religion, it would be the cult of the Emperor, or totemic worship of something or other that the preistly class oppressed others in society by. Or State Socialism. Or Stalinism. Or Neo-Conservatism.
    Get over yourself. Humans are the problem, not ethics.

  34. Scipio Africanus

    “The ABS will tell you that you represent less than 20% of the population of this country.”

    I call BS on that. And if you cant get that basic fact right the rest of the post should be sent to “Trash”

    “Of the roughly 61% identifying as Christian in 2011, Roman Catholics made up 25%, Anglicans 17%, and 5% were affiliated with the Uniting Church in Australia.”

  35. regalcrime


    I often wonder if I had the choice to forget or remember the horror of the sexual abuse that was inflicted upon me, what would I choose.
    The horror, the brokenness, the futility, the rampant desire to end it all; cannot and should not be forgotten because how will we protect or prevent others from the potential harm of that terrifying experience.

    bleh, I think I will have a few drinks tonight too.

    religion sucks. The paedophiles (and their protectors) only keep me alive for their own sadistic entertainment anyway.

  36. Gangey1959

    WEll said Sir Scotchy.
    I call myself a heathen. When god wants me to become religious SHE will appear before me and tell me why.
    Until then, I will support marriage equality, and damn child abusers, and behave like a normal human is supposed to.
    Take religion’s money through proper taxation, and let’s see how well they do on faith alone.
    You are correct KayeLee. There is a good one. Out of how many?

  37. Douglas Evans

    Understand the anger. A great wrong has been committed by religious fundamentalists of all stripes (much wider than just Christians) against LBGT brothers and sisters world wide. As Kaye Lee points out, a pretty fair proportion of Christians are doing what they can. Take heart and look for what is beautiful and profound out there. All that anger will kill you. I guess that also applies to a few of the commenters to judge from their comments.

  38. John Kelly

    We do have an inflated view of our own importance in the cosmic order of things, don’t we? The whole Heaven and Hell mythology was built on the idea that we were too important to simply live and die. There had to be something else, surely. Well, no there isn’t.

  39. Backyard Bob

    John Kelly,

    There had to be something else, surely. Well, no there isn’t.

    Well, as far as you know.

  40. Miriam English

    John Kelly, “We do have an inflated view of our own importance in the cosmic order of things, don’t we?”
    That really is at the heart of so many of our problems.

    So many people consider it a self-evident truth, when it really isn’t self-evident nor truth. Even Michael (April 19, 2016 at 3:58 pm), above, said, “humans are top of the tree”. So many people begin their thoughts from there with that as its starting point — the unquestioned base. But really, it is an appalling self-conceit that permeates humanity, saturating every religion, and even most agnostics and atheists.

    Humans are not the peak of anything, except perhaps egotism and pumped-up self-importance. We are a mere naked ape too weak to survive without tools and clothes. We see our weakness as some mark of superiority. In the image of god? Don’t make me laugh! Our ability to make tools setting us apart as greater? How absurd! Is a fish superior because it can’t survive out of water? Is a bee superior because it can’t survive without flowers? Are we superior because we can’t survive without tools?

    We humans have walked this Earth for a mere 200,000 years, perhaps a little more, perhaps a little less, depending on how you define “human”. We are babies. Insects have been supremely adapted to this planet for more than 300 million years. They’ve seen global extinctions come and go. Ants inhabit every continent except Antarctica and they vastly outnumber us. Termites have built airconditioned cities with deep wells in the driest landscapes using negligible energy and pollution, and have been doing so long before the first ape swung in a tree — were probably already building their cities while the dinosaurs ruled the planet.

    We ridiculous apes think we are the center of the universe. A universe of hundreds of billions of galaxies, each galaxy containing hundreds of billions of stars, most stars having planets, our insignificant planet orbiting one of the most common kinds of star… and we delude ourselves that we are the center, the peak, the one in god’s image. We are insane.

    The way we hurt each other, raping children and women, going on rampages of mass murder called war, stripping dignity and value from each other so that we can pretend that the accumulation of idiotic trading tokens makes us better than our fellows. We truly are insane.

    I hope we wake. There are signs that it is happening — that we are coming to our senses, that we cease sawing off the branch upon which we precariously perch; that we don’t take half the life on Earth with us if we perish at our own bloody hands. There are good signs: people who love the world around them; who don’t scorn others for preposterously superficial differences such as the amount of melanin in their skin, or the shape of their eyes, or whether their sexual organs are on the inside or outside, or for the kind of clothes they wear, or for who they love, or the language they speak, or their imaginary friend being a different one. There are people who have little interest in hoarding trading tokens, or in enslaving their fellows.

    Perhaps we will endure, but we will have to grow up. I have hope.

  41. SGB

    As I am relatively new to the ranks of openly atheist, I made the mistake of blurting out my anger, on Facbook, at the recent priest who compared the punishment pof pedophiles to adulterers.

    In doing so I upset a friend, who happens to be a catholic.

    I regret that.

    As an atheist, I am absolutely behind you SSM, but how do I forgive myself for hurting my friend

  42. Jaquix

    Relax, I think you’ve probably outgrown your friend. Your thinking has changed. No need to “forgive yourself” – The priest and your friend are out of line, not you. Take this opportunity to open your horizons and look to making new friends who share your exciting new outlook!

  43. darrel nay

    Collectively blaming and/or hating a billion christians for the beliefs and actions of some is as unpalatable as collectively blaming and/or hating gay people – it’s blatant prejudice.

    Love not hate.

  44. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Miriam English @ 9.44pm on 19/04/16,

    thanks for your fantastic post. If I was still harbouring any stupid sense of superiority, I’m not now. You speak words of wisdom.

    Well said, darrel nay also.

  45. Athena

    Good post Miriam.

  46. Miriam English

    SGB, as Jaquix says, they are the ones who are wrong.

    For years I’ve tried to tiptoe around the absurd sensitivities of my religious friends too. Nowadays I make a joke of it. (I try to avoid arguing about it or calling bullshit.) I make sure they know I’m their friend and I make no bones about the fact that I think their beliefs are crazy. When they say something loony I laugh gently and say in a somewhat amazed voice, shaking my head, “You believe the craziest things.” Sometimes I’ll correct them, though that can be tricky as it can ruffle feathers too much. I try to always let them know that I value their friendship no matter what silly things they believe. If they choose to cut off their friendship then I can’t help that, though that’s rarely happened. Usually I can keep my friend without having to quietly put up with the bullshit and suffer the pain of lying by omission. I have the hope that it puts a small doubt in their head about their nutty religion.

    If they preach often at you then your best defence is the Bible. Read it. Most atheists know the Bible far better than most Christians. There is a very good reason why so few Christians actually read the Bible: it is the quickest road to atheism. It is so full of contradictions you can generally find the opposite to anything they preach right there in the book. I have a list of contradictions on my website that can be a starting point:

    Listen to some talks by Bart Ehrman. He grew up in a fundamentalist Christian family and decided to study the Bible, its history and its origins, in its original languages, to prove to atheists that it was right and they were wrong. Thankfully he is a very honest and honorable man, so the further he went in his studies, the more untenable his religion became — he couldn’t avoid becoming atheist. A number of his talks are on YouTube. He is a smart and compassionate man and knows more about the core of Christianity — the Bible — than almost anybody alive.

    Learn to ask uncomfortable questions in response to when they preach, for instance, if god made a mistake with all the people before Noah, why would he choose mass murder instead of being a good role model and helping them see the error of their ways? And why would he blame them for his mistake? He could see what was going to happen when he made them the way he did, so why would he blame them. And why would he think that murdering all the children and babies was any kind of good solution anyway? If god is good and just why would he torture someone for one minute for not accepting all the weird stuff in the Bible… let alone torture them forever? What kind of justice is that? Why would god allow mistranslations in his Bible? For instance the original writings say nothing about witches or killing them. That little mistranslation cost countless women the horror of being burned alive. Why does the Bible nowhere denounce slavery? It even explicitly gives rules about how to treat your slaves (for example you can beat the living snot out of them, but not to death). It also lays out rules on who you can enslave. You could ask why a just god would inflict all manner of horror on Job for the sake of a stupid bet with Satan. When they denounce gays, ask about the gay marriage celebrated between Jonathan and David and the love and devotion Ruth declares for Naomi. If they insist on denouncing gays, ask them why they don’t mind eating shellfish, shrimp, crab, calimari; why they wear cotton-polyester blends, or wool blends; why they cut their hair and shave their beard. All these things are denounced too. Do they make any kind of strenuous effort on the weekends? The Bible demands they be put to death. Do they have any flaw — glasses, a bad leg,scars? They aren’t allowed to go to church. The Bible is crazy. It is easy to find uncomfortable questions. If you ever get stumped, by all means email me and I can help: mim at miriam-english dot org (replace the “at” and “dot” to get my email address).

  47. Deanna Jones

    darrell, no it is not the same, not at all. How is the rage of oppressed peoples in any way the same thing as the institutional abuse of power wielded by the oppressor group? By the way it is not just gays as you have stated, but bisexuals, lesbians, queer, intersex and trans peoples, gender and sexuality being a spectrum as opposed to a rigid set of binaries. The hatred directed by straights and other christianity-identified people, at sexually and gender diverse peoples, has real every day impacts on our lives. How does raging back against them impact their lives in any way? It does not and it will not. Your commentary is devoid of any analysis of power.

    To put it in perspective for you, imagine a predominantly queer political party taking office and legislating that your straight relationships are against some kind of made up ideology and not even real relationships. You are legally banned from marriage because marriage has either been outlawed or is only available for queer people. Most people just go along with it. Valentines day is also banned as are any and all other heteronormative cultural practices and entertainment media representations. The derogatory expression “That is so straight” becomes a norm when describing anything considered worthy of an eye roll. You get bashed in the street for being obviously straight. Your wife gets jostled a bit whilst out shopping and someone yells “F*ckin’ straight bitch” at her. This happens frequently, this is your world now. Social commentators start debating whether or not we should allow straights to marry and people keep saying “Maybe, but there are just so many other more important issues to worry about”. A school program is developed to help children learn how to be inclusive of straights and people complain that this will contaminate the minds of their queer children because these straights are just so disgusting – being straight is almost like wanting to have sex with animals. Does this put it into perspective, darrell? I mean, you know, I have nothing against straights, I had a straight friend once and he was quite nice actually. I just don’t want them parading their lifestyle choices in front of me all the time.

    While we are ‘persecuting’ christians, many of us have not forgotten the several centuries they spent burning women to death.

  48. Miriam English

    Deanna, eloquently argued. Just beautiful.

  49. Sir ScotchMistery

    I have a couple of points to make to add to my crime of naming the beast. Firstly at JeffJL. The fact that you opened the email, read a little of the post then took the time to reply, even in such a scant way, means a nerve was struck. So my question to you Jeff is; are you put off by what I said from a humanist point of view where I have put every christian in one bag, or from a christian point of view, where you simply disagree? I spell christian as I do,because Christ wasn’t one. He was Jewish, and died on the cross, Jewish, according to the legend.

    The christianity is a construct by men to control those things they covet. For some,it’s women, for others it’s little boys and girls, but however you look at it, it’s a construct, with no basis in anything but control. And I don’t need faith to know the truth of that.

    At Scipio Africanus, my thanks for your vote of confidence. The best you could do is call bullshit on a percentage. I can assure you, based on watching churches wither and die, around this country, that my numbers are far more accurate than yours, because of the source of mine. The ABS records numbers at census and through the survey, but they ask “what is your religion”. Depending on the place, and the person, the answer to that question comes from the past when they were children. If the question was asked “do you practice or attend any religious observance more than twice a year?” I suspect the numbers would be very different.

    Finally – I didn’t use the word “hate” at any time. I don’t hate christians, any more than I hate Christ. I feel one should hate an act, not a person.

    That having been said, I am totally sorry and apologise profusely to all the good christians who take and apply a humanist approach to what they do. Especially Father Rod Bower in Gosford, who is a good man exercising the teaching of Christ in his workaday world. He doesn’t appear to be following the teachings of his “church” so much as the teachings off his “faith”.

  50. darrel nay

    As society becomes increasingly selfish, so we are now seeing adults views on marriage also becoming more selfish. We are seeing more and more adults who think marriage is primarily for them – what a tragedy! If only we could remember that marriage is an institution designed for children and the community. Surely, divorce would not be as prevalent (or typically destructive) if we adults chose to see marriage in a selfless fashion – after all, our children and communities are worth it.


  51. darrel nay

    Many atheists actually delegate belief and god-like powers to the ‘State’, corporations or other devices like tv or smartphones. The cool thing about our civilisation is that it’s your choice.


  52. Sir ScotchMistery

    @ Darrel, never a nay-sayer, just a quiet voice of reason.


  53. Miriam English

    darrel nay, what is your evidence for saying that people are becoming more selfish. Is it just that you feel like they’re more selfish? Or is it just an oft-repeated meme? It actually seems to me that the reverse is happening; I think people are becoming more altruistic and considering others feelings more. There is pretty good evidence that I’m correct, beyond my general feeling that it is so.

    As far as I know, marriage was never an institution designed for children and community. It was designed so a man could own one or more women. It evolved from there towards a more equal contract, though many men still seem to think ownership is a major part of the deal. As far as I know children were never part of the contract — a quick test is to look at how much the marriage vows mention children (they’re usually not spoken of at all). Of course, historically, if a woman failed to produce a good male child, suitable to inherit the head of the house’s mantle, then she was generally given the boot, or at least shamed, and if she had the temerity to produce a baby (single-handedly) without the legitimising protection of marriage she was often cast out. But marriage was never really primarily about children. It was about ownership and bond. However I do think, as you obviously do, that it should be largely about children, if children issue from it. Though increasing numbers of normal couples decide not to have children, and of course marriages between older people have absolutely nothing to do with offspring, and gay marriages often don’t feature kids.

    “Many atheists actually delegate belief and god-like powers to the ‘State’, corporations or other devices like tv or smartphones.”
    This is a very weird thing to say. I can’t even imagine what would even prompt you to say something like this. As far as I can see, it is so wrong it is pretty-much meaningless… especially the astonishing extension to smartphones and TV.

    I can only think of one example that might be vaguely similar to what you are trying to say: many free-marketeers and libertarians have what amounts to a superstitious reverence for “the invisible hand of the market”. They will think they understand some vague mumbo-jumbo about supply and demand, but when presented with the market’s natural and inevitable move toward monopolies they wave their hands and fall back on their comforting superstition that the market will fix everything.

    Darrel, I don’t mean to pick at you, but I am amazed you would casually make such statements in the first place. But perhaps you have an excuse… maybe you’d been overconsuming alcoholic beverages and your thinking was a little muddled and these things sounded feasible in that state.

    Please don’t take this as insulting. I am in a hurry so I have perhaps been a bit abrupt, but I couldn’t think of a way to say bollocks in a more gentle way. Sorry.

  54. diannaart

    Loving your work, Miriam.

    In particular your point that wedding vows do not mention children – at all. At least the western vanilla christian wedding vows don’t, which are supposed to be the final word in what is appropriate for women and men, being the only true religion out of the world’s millennium… blah, blah, blah…

    There was the “honour & obey” thing for the bride to state – which probably was the catch-all clause – but that has been pulled from most wedding vows for a long time now.

    Still wondering why it is “oh so complicated” to change back the alterations Howard made – we need a plebiscite for that?

    Bull Shit!

  55. diannaart

    Christians like to claim that without religious instruction our children will grow up lacking a strong moral core, they like to teach such values like this:

    This semester’s planned religious instruction classes ask 10-year-olds to act out a beheading….The moral of the story is that “through Jesus, David’s descendant, God would save his people forever from their greatest enemies – sin, death and Satan”.

    With Jesus on your side you can vanquish even the most frightening enemies….

    So long as you behead them, then slaughter all their followers… the Abrahamic way….

  56. Miriam English

    Thanks for the link. That truly is disgusting… especially when you consider that if the David and Goliath story actually happened the way it’s told, Goliath was no real threat because he was likely suffering acromegaly and was half blind. His size was simply used to scare opponents.

    It is interesting that Christians think their religion is the basis for morality, yet objective studies of morality show the exact reverse. The more religious a population is the more they are blighted with murder, violent assault, sexually transmitted disease, teen pregnancies, divorce, infant mortality, and shortened lifespans. The populations that score best on all these are secular, non-religious societies. Makes god look positively evil.

  57. Miriam English

    Ummm… when I say the populations that score best on all these are secular I mean, of course, that they have less of all those problems. There are many more things that contrast the two populations. One other that comes readily to mind is level of knowledge. Christians are generally terribly ignorant of both science and religion, whereas secular people tend to be much more knowledgeable on science, and surprisingly, on religion too. Atheists, in particular, tend to know far more about Christianity and the Bible than Christians do.

  58. diannaart

    ..Atheists, in particular, tend to know far more about Christianity and the Bible than Christians do

    Indeed, reading the bible meticulously surely results in more atheists?

  59. Athena

    “Christians like to claim that without religious instruction our children will grow up lacking a strong moral core, ”

    I should not have been eating whilst reading that. These are the people who consider that the concept of a father plotting to put his son to death is beautiful and worthy of our admiration. They’re the last people i would consult about morals.

  60. Sir ScotchMistery

    We are beginning our own little Pantheon here – somewhat more palatable as well.

    Athena, Dianna, Scipio Africanus in a Roman sort of way.

  61. abbienoiraude

    I have found a modern day mentor.
    Miriam English.

    Thank you.

    I have read the Bible 3x.
    I have been studying since I was 17 all religions and at the ripe old age of 42 ( YES..Douglas Adams ‘meaning of life’) I became a rabid Atheist.

    The sealing of my understanding was reading; The Jesus Mysteries.
    Finally it all fell into place…How, why and who started the whole coercive controlling mess.

    Reading about Paul and his ‘testimony’ it opened the aperture wider! What a misogynistic narcissist! He never even mentions “Jesus” ( who was merely a compilation)….Nasty piece of work!

    Thank you Miriam.
    You speak for me.

    The freedom that comes from finally realising and then reading other amazing Atheists ( David Attenborough, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennet etc) and now YOU rams home the fact, the truth and the openness of a life lived with compassion, kindness, and empathy based on human caring.

    Thank you Miriam.
    You speak for me.

  62. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Although I have acknowledged the wisdom of people like Miriam and you, abbie, for quite a long time too,

    I don’t want to just dismiss the beliefs of people I know who hold onto the faith, as ill-founded as it may appear to be, to you and me.

    However, I also want to say that I called onto those same people the other day to Pray for my unemployed, highly educated and intelligent 23yo daughter to succeed at the 5th stage of her recruitment process.

    Those good people did so without question.

    Think beyond your square.

  63. Athena

    “Reading about Paul and his ‘testimony’ it opened the aperture wider! What a misogynistic narcissist! He never even mentions “Jesus” ( who was merely a compilation)…”

    The Apostle Paul? He most certainly does mention Jesus, many times.

  64. abbienoiraude

    Jennifer Myer-Smith

    Not once did I say I was disrespectful.
    Not once did I say I was not aware…in fact…I mentioned I had been studying ( including ‘visiting’) other Xitan denominations and other religions for about 25 years.
    During that time I have been ‘damned to eternal darkness’, sent to ‘oblivion’, promised to be given the worst kind of judgement by ‘god’, dismissed as a denier and an apostate of the worst order. I took it all as it was given….and found church men to be afraid of my quest/questioning.

    YOU are asking ME to ‘think beyond my square’?

    How many of those whom you asked to ‘pray for your daughter’ has done as much work and been judged and as condemned as that?

    I hope your daughter does succeed and do well…but prayer is hopeless. It is the fact that your daughter is an amazing person, a lovely human being, a delight and a deserving worker that will help her succeed, not any of the ‘magical’ guff.

    I have met some lovely Xtians in my 62 years…but I have figured they would have been kind, caring, thoughtful, supportive people ANYWAY.

    Nothing stirs my sense of Injustice more than being told by a relative stranger to ‘think beyond my square’ when I have spent more than half my life doing just that!

    Oh and Athena…
    Could you give me one or two or three chapters and verse of Paul mentioning “Jesus”…( btw…NOT…’my lord’…there were many ‘lords’ throughout history).

  65. Athena

    Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (several verses in chapter 1).

    1 Corinthians Chapter 1
    1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
    2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
    3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
    5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
    6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
    7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
    8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
    10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

    Galatians Chapter 1
    1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
    2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:
    3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
    4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
    5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    and many more times throughout his writings.

  66. Athena

    Ephesians Chapter 1
    1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
    2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
    4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
    7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
    8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
    9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
    10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
    11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

    In fact, you can go here and search for “Jesus” in all the books written by Paul. Paul mentioned him tons of times.

  67. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Ok abbienoiraude,

    I bow to your greater wisdom.

  68. Miriam English

    abbienoiraude, yep, Paul of Tarsus did mention Jesus. He just never actually met him. If I remember right, he had his conversion to being Christian about 60 years after the date Jesus supposedly died.

    I say “supposedly” because there is no actual evidence that Jesus really existed. This may be surprising to many, but the Romans were obsessive about keeping records and there is nothing about any of the exploits of a guy who performed miracles and came back to life after being crucified. Also, many of the events in the Bible are clearly made up, such as the time when all the dead people came out of their graves. That would have been noticed.

    Add to that, the fact that most of the features of the Jesus legend keep turning up in earlier history, beginning with (I think) the Zoroastrians, then various other religions through the Egyptians and finally to the Jews. There are about half a dozen versions of a prophet who is the son of god, born to a virgin, grows up to be a leader of 12 disciples, walks on water, performs miracles including bringing a dead man back to life, is killed by the authorities, resurrects after 3 days, then goes to heaven, to one day return. Even the names of many of the people are similar, especially between the Egyptian and Jewish versions. It is just a bit too specific.

  69. diannaart


    Humans love a ripper yarn, don’t they?

    Imagine if the fireside tales of our ancestors lit upon a version of Lord of the Rings? Paul waxing lyrical on the adventures of Frodo?

    Formal religion has been used and abused for centuries to control, coerce and gain power – the 3 major Abrahamic religions display exactly those uses.

    As for “thinking beyond the square” – any scientist who does not think beyond the known, is not a very good scientist.

    I like to meditate using a beautiful amethyst crystal – staring into it aids the meditative state – doesn’t prove that any gods exist or even existence of the supernatural.

    In fact, to paraphrase Tim Minchin, “What is the supernatural that is proven to exist?…… The natural.”

  70. abbienoiraude

    Osirus, Isis, Horus…several ‘pagan’ gods were born of a virgin, grew up and were crucified. Ancient texts written on stone have depicted the usual story of the mythical ‘Jesus’ and show the ‘sacrifice’ of their god.
    Paul lived about 110 AD. His writings were a diatribe of mishmashed misogyny and control. He expressed much of his own opinions and only sparingly declared it was ‘gods’ will. (eg women must have long hair, but must cover it…etc)

    The ‘Bible’ has been re interpreted several times, each time ‘correcting’ sections especially when translated into English.(One word for example that has changed was the word for ‘birthing a child’….now known as “labour”…once known as ‘travail’ etc) Whether it be the KJV the one that had most impact which was in the late 1800’s where a group of Protestant men got together and decided to clear up a few ‘inconsistencies’. One of these was the inserting of “Jesus” when Paul ‘wrote’ as he originally only mentioned either “God” or “The Lord.”
    He never met a “Jesus” so it would be like me writing about a well known oral story of Aboriginal Songlines.

    Either way the usurping of all or most of the “Christian” calendar and rituals from the Pagans was purely for political purposes. The Church needed power and money, and absolute control. The best way to wrest control, was to inculcate the Winter Solstice, the Spring Equinox, the evoking of Ishtar ( goddess of fertility and renewal), and all the superstitions in between to entice the unread, uneducated and frightened masses to turn to the Church.

    One of the most vindictive and powerful invocations was that of the control of women. By succeeding in this area not only were the powerful female leaders of the pagan religions usurped and denounced, but by controlling women the Church could control the children and how they were raised creating a captured market for the future power of the churches. They garnered more land, more wealth, and more say over the rulers of countries who turned to the Church in THEIR need for backing, funds, and decreeing such things as “The Divine Right of Kings”.

    Nothing much has changed. Except…education, rationalism, scientific research, open curiosity, freedoms and women’s right to no longer be beholden to their fertility.

    I don’t care what people believe…I do care how they behave and react, judge and condemn.

    From my 4 year old self thinking I was a Xtian, to my intense 17 year old self searching, studying for the ‘truth’, to the eye opening day of my Atheism’s realisation….at 62 I am now arrived.

  71. Miriam English

    abbienoiraude, interesting perspective. You post a few things I hadn’t really thought of (e.g. controlling women so that the children can be controlled, assuring the church’s future). Interesting. I’m not sure if Paul’s original documents mention Jesus. It would be interesting to see, but I don’t speak ancient Greek, and I have to admit I’m not all that exercised by it. 🙂 I’m happy to leave it that Paul was an asshole. In the words of some, he was the antichrist — adoring power and wealth instead of challenging it; hating women, prostitutes, gays, and other people discarded by society, whereas legends have Jesus hanging out with women, prostitutes, and criminals and defending them.
    You and I are nearly the same age. I’m just a year older. 🙂

    diannaart, true. A good yarn often replaces truth. Funny you should mention Lord of the Rings. Tolkein actually intended it to be a kind of English mythology. He envied the mythology other cultures had. Also, his family (before he was born) having fled from Germany to England as refugees from Frederick the Great during the Seven Years’ War and his experiences in the two world wars convinced him he needed to make a statement against war, avarice, and evil.

  72. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Why dear female friends,

    do you feel so compelled to destroy the beliefs of many equally reasonable women.

    Maybe earlier commenters bypassed the obvious contradictions and allowed earlier dysjunctions and saw belief interpreted another way.

  73. paul walter

    T’is a bit crabby in parts. How about a bit more mellow, a bit more tolerant?

    Not all atheist folk are nice, not all religious bad..nuance?

  74. Athena

    “Whether it be the KJV the one that had most impact which was in the late 1800’s where a group of Protestant men got together and decided to clear up a few ‘inconsistencies’. One of these was the inserting of “Jesus” when Paul ‘wrote’ as he originally only mentioned either “God” or “The Lord.” ”

    Abbie, if you look at the Greek alongside the English translation, Paul used different words for “God” and “Jesus”. He was the apostle who brought Jesus to the Gentiles, so it’s rather odd that he should do so without mentioning Jesus at all.

  75. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    paul walter is correct.

    Stop the analysis of the ‘heathen’ Christians and think about how YOU people can advocate and demonstrate socio-economc-spiritual change to/with them.

  76. diannaart

    Agreed Paul.

    Does that then mean, we should remain silent when we see travesty? Such as the enforced teaching of religion in public schools?

    I have linked to a Church I find egalitarian in an above comment.

    I also find egalitarianism and religion a rare combination. Ooops, I shouldn’t say that?

  77. diannaart


    I have complete respect for you and others like you.

    I am talking about religious doctrine, religious evangelism, religious dogma carried out to ridiculous practices.

    Are you, like Paul, saying I should be silent on religion?

  78. paul walter

    No. I am as much against what I’d describe as “ideologicised”or “politicised” religion as anyone.

    I’m not especially religious myself. I do think it is as strange to say there is no god as it is to say there is one.

    The “silencing” bit is a bit melodramatic, diaanart. Everyone wonders about questions to do with life and so forth, but no one would support less, any censorship of views critical of religion than me.

    But yu cant stop people wondering,because that i s what we are.

  79. Trish Corry

    Just do good things and caring things because you are a good person. No-one should need religion as a reason to do either of these things. I used to be religious (Anglican) and as I got older I saw the ugliness, inequality and unfairness in what it also brings. I still don’t know what I believe as in ‘God’ but I know I don’t believe in any man made religion.

    Religion should be completely separate from the legislative debate and as I wrote about in an earlier blog post on marriage equality – as citizens we should frame and set aside the harmful narrative that impedes progress, if we truly want progress.

    As SSM has said in his article, ‘For the last several years as a gay man I have stood silently by and allowed your fundamentalist claptrap to interfere with the way I lead my life” Words like that just hit me right in the heart. It is words like that, that say to me ‘what more can I do?’ They make me frustrated and upset that there are people who feel like this still today in 2016 in Australia.

    For me the line is drawn, Christian or otherwise – if your narrative is a burden to achieving a real progressive society, that narrative should not even be considered in any debate. If you need to hide behind religious book as an excuse for contributing to stigma and inequality of others, then you really should choose a better Library.

  80. nurses1968

    Plenty of biblical quites flowing freely, why not these?
    Leviticus 20:9
    If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death.

    Deuteronomy 22:20-1 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house.

    Exodus 35:2
    For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death. {there go penalty rates}
    Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    Deuteronomy 7:1-2 When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations . . . then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.

    20:10-17 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. . . . This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

    Ezekiel 20:25-26 I also gave them over to statutes that were not good and laws they could not live by; I let them become defiled through their gifts—the sacrifice of every firstborn—that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the LORD.
    Leviticus 25:44-45
    Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    Psalms 104:5
    He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved

    Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

  81. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I also admire you because of your thoughtful, astute and supportive commentary for a better world. I think you would know me well enough not to believe I would think you should stay silent on religion.

    I don’t fully know where I stand on Christianity either because I too can see the human rights travesties written in the Bible that nurses1968 is gleefully ramming down our throats. I too, am offended by anybody ramming their beliefs down my throat especially when I perceive they have a narrow outlook on life.

    If I stand on either side of the line, it is on the side with good people like Father Rod above. I also stand with other humanitarian advocates and activists, whatever their beliefs, who care for the needs of people and the environment.

  82. diannaart


    I always look forward to reading anything you have posted – I can’t say that about everybody.

    Just to let you know; I subscribe to the Beacon – monthly magazine put out by Melbourne Unitarian Church, because it is about humanity, politics, justice – no preaching. Am a big fan of Father Bob – a true father to all. I also, frequently, tune into 774’s John Cleary – a show which (most of the time) is interesting to me because of the human interest, however, when they start to bang on about how the world would be a better place if we all saw ourselves as in the image of god, like they did last night, I get a little testy. One guest they had on said she couldn’t understand how atheists managed to care so much about others AND that it must have to do with god, even if the atheist is not aware of it. Sheesh!

    If religion has any role to play it needs to be in the best interests of people – all people not just the ‘special religious’ ones. Spirituality without judgement?


    Speaking about god, Paul Walter…. if there is a god which created the universe and everything where does this god come from? And why would you even consider belief in a god as described in the bible?

  83. Athena

    @ Paul Walter

    “I’m not especially religious myself. I do think it is as strange to say there is no god as it is to say there is one.”

    “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours” – Stephen Roberts

    @ Trish Corry

    “For me the line is drawn, Christian or otherwise – if your narrative is a burden to achieving a real progressive society, that narrative should not even be considered in any debate. If you need to hide behind religious book as an excuse for contributing to stigma and inequality of others, then you really should choose a better Library.”

    Thank you. I was about to respond with something similar to Jennifer Meyer Smith

    “Stop the analysis of the ‘heathen’ Christians and think about how YOU people can advocate and demonstrate socio-economc-spiritual change to/with them.”

    @JMS – Trish hit the nail on the head. Trying to achieve socio-economic change with a practising Christian is incredibly difficult due to their religious dogma and cherry picking of bible verses to suit their own agenda. I have enormous respect for Fr Rod Bower, but he’s a very rare Christian. I spent many years inside churches when I was younger, both with my ex-husband and seeking answers for myself. I spent many years engaged in bible study, at a bible college, in a study group run by my church and with an interdenominational group called BSF International. The majority of Christians I encountered were not very nice people at all and tended to think that they were better than everyone else. They are also very misogynistic, even the women.Their attitudes are a great hindrance to progressive policy. I used to have a very active social life via the church. I would attend services in the various home churches of women I met at BSF (most of their classes are restricted to one gender). I never had a falling out with the church or a debate with any of the members. I simply stopped going when I came to the conclusion that for the most part, Christianity is quite harmful and deceiving. No one from the church made any attempt to keep in touch with me or find out if I was ok. Nobody asked why I stopped attending. I wasn’t the slightest bit surprised considering the common attitudes I witnessed within the church.

  84. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I know what you’re talking about and sympathise. It is especially disappointing when it comes from people who profess to have faith.

    However, I’m sick of the Christian bashing too by some commenters. It’s another form of discrimination.

  85. diannaart


    I must admit I really dislike Christian dogma – because Christianity is the religion I know a lot about. Christianity is the religion calling the shots from Canberra. If I was living in an Islamic type country I would, doubtless, feel equivalent anger towards Islam.

    Part of my investigations into religion meant studying all the religions of Abraham – I like to know what I am dissing after all.

    Also looked into Buddhism (which is the only religion which comes close to being reasonable – but again not so equal towards women and a bit hypocritical when it comes to violence) and Hindi.

    Therefore, I will continue to speak out – not silenced, Paul.

    People, if I am really out of line, then point out my errors, else have a think about why I am saying what I am saying.

    Happy Anzac Day

  86. Miriam English

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith, I mostly love your comments and agree thoroughly with them. I don’t think anybody should victimise Christians. It is definitely the wrong thing to do.

    However exposing the lies, inconsistencies, and wrong-doing of Christianity, or any other religion, is an extremely worthwhile thing to do. It is the right thing to do for exactly the same reason I like to show why free-market belief systems are hopelessly out of touch with reality and often downright malevolent, even though the market itself is one of the best inventions humans have come up with.

    It is definitely worth showing why the Old Testament is a deeply disturbing collection of writings, and why the writings of Paul of Tarsus in the New Testament have contributed so much to the social ills of our times, and why the remaining writings (except for John’s hallucinatory stuff) are relatively innocuous, even if they perpetuate a potentially dangerous delusion.

    Is it worth calling the belief in a god a delusion? Yes. As I’ve mentioned before, few Christians would hesitate to consider a belief in fairies a delusion, and they’d be right.

    paul walter…
    Belief in a god is a delusion. This is so, regardless of whether a god exists or not.

    Suppose I ask someone what 2 + 2 equals and they answer “4”. If I then ask why, and they tell me that it is because if you count the straight pointy parts of the numbers it gives the answer, then they would be wrong, even though they coincidentally came up with the right answer.

    On the basis of the evidence there is no reason for believing in any gods. If people nevertheless go ahead and choose to believe in a god anyway then it has nothing to do with truth, but a desire for self-deception. If they don’t hurt anybody then I have no quarrel with them. But they can’t ask for their delusions to be treated with respect. As I’ve said before, I have great respect for a number of religious people — one is even a Nun! But that respect has nothing to with their religion. It is purely because they are good people who improve the world around them.

    Religion. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
    — Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize-winning physicist

  87. nurses1968

    If my grandchildren sat at the bottom of the garden and spoke to the fairies I would think that cute and know they would grow out of it.If it continued on, they saw branches turn into snakes, possums rising from the dead, a fairy bringing dead animals back to life, and this odd behaviour continued I would seek out the best possible mental health professionals to deal with these delusional thoughts.If I didn’t, authorities would have every right to pursue me for neglect and ignoring the mental/psychological wellbeing of the child.

    Once she turns 18 she can turn to religious hocus pocus and be seen as a good and caring soul with a strong religious belief

    something odd there?

  88. diannaart

    “…something odd there?”

    Not that I don’t understand your point; I could give you an answer, but have decided to remain polite and courteous.

  89. nurses1968

    Thats a change

  90. Sir ScotchMistery

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I know what you’re talking about and sympathise. It is especially disappointing when it comes from people who profess to have faith.

    However, I’m sick of the Christian bashing too by some commenters. It’s another form of discrimination.

    Perhaps as you feel frustrated by the Xtian bashing becoming a “thing for the age” you might give a silent moment’s thought to my 60 years, spending 45 of them defending myself, on occasion with my fists and on one occasion with a bat, due to something I didn’t “choose” as put about by the “men of god” in the current situation. Sexuality apparently (and this has been accepted for over 20 years) is no more a choice than gender, and to say anything else is to live on a flat earth and believe in fairies. (Oh hang on…..).

    Perhaps you could also spare a thought for the Matthew Shepherds of the world and there have been tens of thousands over the years. Perhaps you could spare a thought for the 27.8% of young men 15 – 24 years who died at their own hand since 2010. 15 year old boys kill themselves for many reasons, but being outed, confused, put upon by parents as a result of a life of christian brain-washing certainly figures high in those numbers.

    “Christian-bashing”. Seriously Jennifer you need to take a hard look at what “the church” does, as a group, assisted little by the current Royal Commission, about those suicides. Over 2,000 suicides a year. If even 200 of them are by young gay men and boys, the church needs to hang its head in shame and accept primary responsibility for those numbers.

    …”discrimination” – LOL you have to be joking.

    Same sex marriage – a case in point. The church went to several major corporations and asked them, nay, demanded that those companies stop supporting a percentage of the population having equal rights. To quote an earlier “commenter” I call BS on that!

    Why should the rights of one group in the population have primacy over another? What twaddle. The churches who don’t do that are in the minority. It’s an example of reverse discrimination I’ll give you that, but it has another name. Getting our own back. Think of it as your private Nuremberg trial.

    I have a level of respect for your thoughtful contributions, but seriously, when you talk about discrimination against the church, rather than by it, and don’t mention the discrimination it not only condones, but supports and encourages, you’ve lost my vote as a thinker.

  91. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    where did I say I supported the Church? I don’t support any organised Church, especially when delivering such narrow, regressive messages and measures.

    I said Christians. And I didn’t say I put a Christian’s rights above your rights. That is not my style. Above all else, I believe in Equality.

    I confess I have not been exposed to the same pain you have been exposed to all your life by small-minded arseholes. I’d like you to think I’d be in the fight with you, if I saw it happening.

    I’m speaking on this subject because I actually know some kind, caring Christians and out of respect to them, I am trying to show organised, institutionalised Churches do not necessarily speak for the good works of many decent people, who might in some way identify as Christian.

  92. Athena

    “I’m speaking on this subject because I actually know some kind, caring Christians and out of respect to them, I am trying to show organised, institutionalised Churches do not necessarily speak for the good works of many decent people, who might in some way identify as Christian.”

    Jennifer, those good people such as Fr Rod would be good anyway, without their faith. As for discrimination, the Christian church discriminates against non-Christians, women, gay people, the poor, people who are mentally ill and more. We have every right to judge them. Their members refuse to judge themselves.

  93. Sir ScotchMistery

    Jennifer, on this one I have to agree with Athena.

    Fr Rod Bower and his ilk could be hittites, and he would still be a good man.

    That’s not about christians, it’s about being inherently good.

    Years ago I played dungeons and dragons as a level 15 chaotic good paladin. Fr. Rod would have appreciated the job description, which was that you could do nothing bad. It was not in the nature of that player position.

    Your average christian goes to church on Sundays and decries the evil they see around, using themselves as a marker for a measure of good and bad. Some of them go out, like Rod Bower, and live their faith, and for that they have my respect. Take a look at the likes of Hillsong et al. Founded in and driven by perversion, supporters of the ultimate corrupter – money, liveried in the same vile colours as the conservative arm of Australian government.

    Beneath contempt and without a single ounce of anything resembling a spiritual nature. All singing, all-dancing god botherers.

  94. Miriam English

    Sir ScotchMistery, actually… I think the people in Hillsong and other dangerous religious groups have a very strong spiritual nature. This is part of what makes them so dangerous. That spiritual feeling is a major part of what convinces them that they are right. Without the spirituality their religion would quickly fall apart with followers quickly abandoning it because they would be able to see its immorality for what it is.

    I’ve often been described as spiritual by religious friends, with some puzzlement on their behalf. How could I be spiritual without believing in spirits? I think it’s all about the bliss. I get enormous doses of it from the natural world and technology. I don’t need fables, or leaders, or chanting, or prayer.

  95. thomas hummer

    There is alot of anger and resentment in these comments. You have painted all Christians with one brush. I understand your anger and frustration. However, I am not on the canvas you just slapped, yet I am a Christian. May Gods love and peace lead you into His eternal truth.

  96. Miriam English

    Thomas, to be clear, even though a lot of people are very angry about the great damage being wrought upon society by religion, many of us, including the author of the article, have respect for those who believe in a god, but who nevertheless lead good lives and help those around them.

    I’m sure you mean well when you wish that god’s love and peace leads us to his eternal truth, but do you see how it is like me saying you’d be a better person if you didn’t believe a fable simply because you were told to do so? Do you find that offensive? It isn’t meant so. Can you see how your statement can get up people’s noses?

    (Especially when the god you talk of is about torturing us forever if we don’t believe the absurdly broken words of the Bible. That isn’t love, or peace, or truth.)

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