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A King Of Kings Thing

I first saw King of Kings(1961) when I was about 7-ish. Even then I knew Carmen Sevilla was one of the most beautiful women I was ever going to see, but that aside, it was on TV last week in the UK and I thought I'd let it ramble on in the background while I was a bit poorly. It was kind of a reminder of my Gran's kitchen, an original Victorian black leaded range roaring away and a afternoon movie on the black and white TV in the corner whilst she toasted crumpets for us.
Awww; yes, all in all, I had a great childhood but I digress.
Like I said I had it on, and I was right about Carmen Sevilla btw, and when it came to the sermon on the mount I heard him, Jebus, say a line that I've not heard/read for almost as long as the age of the memory above and certainly not thought about not since I fully reclaimed my atheism...
"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

Matthew 10:16 KJV

Wise as serpents; he considers the serpents wise.
I suspect then he'd have to agree that if he is promoting serpents as having wisdom then the most wise/smart/knowledgeable of serpents would display even more of the characteristics of the wisdom which he wishes the sheep should seek to emulate.
And, as I'm sure you've already realised the most famous serpent of which we know from the story is his older brother, Fiery McRedArse.
We may not assume that Jebus didn't know the Genesis story, or had forgotten it, or that his words were chosen without care.

Surely then, we must conclude that it was a direct instruction to think like Satan?

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Multicultural British National Anthem

I listened to the British National anthem today and it suddenly struck me that it's really not very inclusive.
I mean, given that the UK is NOT in any way a Christian nation(not a theocracy); we have what the government has delighted in calling a multicultural mix.
We have some Christian's, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, Rastas, Krishnas, Druids, Wiccans, Jedis and of course the vast majority of us are now Atheist.
Yeah, yeah, go right ahead and dispute it but until there's a box on the census which asks 'Did you tick the box corresponding to your religion because it is what you were branded at birth?' the census (on at least this point) is hokum.
So, to reflect what the loss of life in two world wars and big business's greed to maintain their profits after that massive loss of workforce, has done to this country's mix of cultures, I thought it might be time for a rewrite of the anthem.
However, as I'm not a songwriter the best I can offer, by way of an example only, is a modification of what the English/Brits currently belt out when ordered.
Yahweh save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
Allah save the Queen.

Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
Pretend save the Queen.

O Vishnu, our Brahma, arise,
Scatter thine enemies,
And make them fall:
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On thee our hopes we fix:
Goddess save us all.

Not in this land alone,
But be Force's mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Krishna make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world over.

From every latent foe,
From the assassins blow,
Buddha save the Queen!
O'er her thine arm extend,
For Britain's sake defend,
Our mother, prince, and friend,
Jah save the Queen!

This is final verse is less sung now so I've left it in it's antique state.
lord grant that Marshall Wade
May by thy mighty aid
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush,
And like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush.
god save the Queen!

Not keen?
Nor I, but it's probably best if we make a start, so we can get used to the idea because, if things keep going the way they are, and the Government don't wake the fuck up and change tack from its feeble attempt to stamp on Islam by trying to ramp up Christianity, rather than poo-pooing the supernatural in all its foolish forms, which is truly the only way to stem the Middle Eastern totalitarian tide, don't you think it's very likely that all our great-grandchildren will be wailing out "Allah Praise our gracious Allah" in Arabic?

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To Be Or Not To Be Aborted

With all the insanity the pro-lifers are spouting in the USA at the moment and to a lesser extent here, I thought I'd drag this out of my about page and expand on the simple paragraph it was...

I am Pro-Life but, before you get all antsy and run off, hating me, I am NOT pro-life at the expense of existing life. I am for humanity so, personally, I would not choose to terminate the life of a potentially healthy addition to the human family. All babies conceived should be born if circumstances make that possible; as I see it, you never know which baby will be the next Darwin, Aristotle, Einstein. All have the potential to be valuable members.

However, and this is a massive however, circumstances REALLY matter.
Existing life matters, to society, more than any vague hope of a potential, future genius or idiot.

The decision to abort, or not, must be made without any unsolicited interference from family, friends, society or religions but especially from religions, who are biased in favour of swelling their own ranks.

To be clear, while I would never personally choose to abort a healthy child of my own, I would also never choose to interfere with anyones right to make their own decision based on their own circumstances.
If you choose to abort, I will not judge, berate or challenge your choice, I am not you and could never hope to understand what it is to be you. I bow to your adult right to self-determination and can only empathise with the scale of your intolerable dilemma; if you find yourself in a position where you are forced to make that extremely troublesome decision you have my support, whatever your circumstances demand of you.

I could carry on to talk about limited resources and the horrendous poverty and starvation caused by the RCC's self-serving condom policy or even pose the question "What would pro-life Christians or Jews advise for the newly pregnant Mrs Hitler?" but, as always, George Carlin really nailed it and pretty much said it all for me...

As a final thought, one must wonder...

Is the Roman Catholic Church's policy of forcing people to have children they don't want, merely a means of swelling orphanages to provide, for future wearers of the paedo collar, a stock of virgin victims to abuse?

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Crucifying The Resurrection

This week I was in conversation, I use the term loosely, with a fundie. No, not a fundie, one of those who have bought into the myth "hook, line, sinker and copy of angling times". Anyway this er, religious, person laid out for me one of the Christian 'proofs'. It was not, as one might expect, an answer to a question but, as usual, a seemingly unanswerable question in place of an answer; as seems the way of those who wish to believe.
The point the religious person was trying to make ran something like this; I'm paraphrasing:

"Jebus was obviously a magic god or what-have-you,
coz how could a 3 days dead human move the tombstone?"

So, as it does, the probability engine between my ears started its infernal whirring and this time it had a look at the the crucifixion and resurrection through the eyes of Jonathon Creek. (No, not really, it's just an analogy. :)
I'm not going to repeat the fable, there are bible references at the end if you need a recap.

As it turns out, the Jonathon Creek view of the Zombie Jebus fable looks way different...
1. It was common for people to give the crucified, poison; to speed their death. It is said Jebus refused.
2a. Assume for a moment that the Roman soldier who stabbed Jebus didn't want him to suffer and, knowing he'd refuse poison, stabbed him as an act of mercy to speed death.
2b. Even also muse on the likelihood that Roman soldiers, being only human and not actual monsters, might have regularly done this.
3. Consider that Jebus was reclaimed by his kin but only seemed dead to the Romans who wanted to go home for dinner.
4. Suppose that secreted inside the tomb, there were medical supplies, food and water.
5. Speculate that Jebus came round as the stone rolled closed, collected the medical supplies and sowed up his wounds.
6. Suggest that he ate and slept and regained enough strength to roll the stone back or was helped so to do.
7. It's fair to conclude that none ever spoke of it, so as to protect Jebus and he went on to be a...?

This forms a list of conditions and actions, none of which are individually impossible. Yeah, we can put the weak point that there's no evidence to support these conjectures but as we're talking about a tale of which we have only bullet points, one could easily counter with 'there's insufficient evidence to rule them out' and, for me, almost any chain of implausible but rational causalities1 trumps one 'impossible' event or, as that adage is more commonly repeated...

When you eliminate the impossible(resurrection)
whatever remains,(1-7) must be the truth.

The resurrection fable is only 'astonishing' if you accept the chain of events laid out in the Bible but examine an alternative chain, using exactly the same bullet point details as are told in the tale, as I have above, and it looks completely achievable.
So why the hell is it still allowed to be taught as if it is the full facts of the matter?

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1 Magic And Mumbo Jumbo Test
Thanks to "Red Dwarf" for the "copy of angling times" quote.
And to Jonathon Creek and Sherlock Holmes for collaborating in this post.

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Relevant references for the mentioned myth
Matthew 27:27 - 28:20
Mark 15:21 - 16:8
Luke 23:26 - 24:12
John 19:16 - 20:18

Whitney Dead at Forty Eight

Whitney was born in 2008 to a Roman Catholic family in Niger, Africa; one of 17 children, the product of Roman Catholic 'condoms are evil' imperialism.
Whitney is 48 months old. She's never had the strength to find out if she can sing but she thinks she might like to one day. Whitney has always eaten all of whatever scraps of food her mother could scrape together for meal times and never wasted anything. She has always said her prayers and never abused her body with drugs or alcohol. Whitney's favourite thing was to watch the thin stream of fresh water that used to run passed their hut, until the spring dried up; she liked the way it twinkled as it rippled over the little pebbles.
Whitney has been thirsty for a week now and help is another two days walk away. She's been too weak to walk for the last 48 hours, her mother has been carrying her.
Whitney dozes in half-dead stupor, in her mother's arms, lost in a sea of starvation. With her mother's muttered prayers to their god droning above her and the steady padding of her mother's shortening stride, Whitney slips into sleep.
A priest is waiting to greet new arrivals when Whitney's mother finally comes to a stop at the gate of the rescue camp.
Whitney's mother smiles at him and he takes her hand, raises his eyes skyward and offers a prayer of thanks for their deliverance into safety.

Whitney didn't hear him, she hadn't made it to the rescue camp and was buried at the roadside in the same manner as eleven of her good Catholic brothers and sisters who had also perished on the journey, victims of Roman Catholic 'condoms are evil' imperialism.

In other news...

A celebrated American singer passed away at the age of 48 years.
The famous songbird was found in a bathroom of a luxury apartment after enjoying the typically decadent delights of an evening of privilege just hours before she was expected to enjoy the decadent delights of a star-studded gala evening of privilege. After a fulfilling 48 years of self indulgence and excesses, stardom and successes, with amassed global media clamouring outside, the singer's many relatives and luminary friends gathered in a Roman Catholic derivative church to wish her a luxurious bon voyage.

As always, condolences to any who have lost someone.

If you can, 
please give Unicef a helping hand.

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Andrew Copson Vs Anne Atkins

"Baroness Warsi wrote, for The Daily Telegraph, that British society was under threat from a rising tide of "militant secularisation" and that Europe needs to be "more confident in its Christianity".

Article Here

This is a discussion on BBC News yesterday between Andrew Copson and Anne Atkins about the 'Militiant secularism' comments made by the Baroness

(extra twiddly bits by yours truly).

More details of the Council Prayers court case they discuss are here:

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In Conversation

For those of you who are unaware, Reap Paden of ReapSow Radio and The Angry Atheist podacst has been conducting conversations with atheists. The purpose is to allow those who have not met an atheist to hear for themselves that we are not baby munching monsters and show just how 'normal' we are. This weekend it was my turn.

Crispy Sea in conversation with The Angry Atheist


I'd like to thank Reap for the opportunity.
I highly recommend it, it's kinda theraputic to just open your head.
And for free too!

You cam follow Reap on twitter @1AngryAtheist
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Prayer Is Not Legal

A brilliantly fair decision all around by Mr Justice Ouseley.

Bideford Town Council prayers ruled unlawful
A Devon town council acted unlawfully by allowing prayers to be said before meetings, the High Court has ruled. Action was brought against Bideford Town Council by the National Secular Society (NSS) after atheist councillor Clive Bone complained.
Mr Justice Ouseley ruled the prayers were not lawful under section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972. However, he said prayers could be said as long as councillors were not formally summoned to attend.

I've reported on the case before so there's more in "Hands together Eyes Closed" 1 and there's the full story with associated links on the BBC website 2

It's a shame it had to go to court before the religious were forced to see sense but at least it is now quite clear.

"Should prayer be compulsory in public meetings?"

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1 Hands together Eyes Closed - http://crispysea.blogspot.com/2011/04/hands-together-eyes-closed.html
2 BBC website - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-16980025

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Philosophical Dickens

I Just watched a lecture by Dr Chris diCarlo, entitled "Natrual and Supernatural Responses to Life's Biggest Questions" If like me you didn't know any more about Dr diCarlo than his authorship of the RDFRS slogan "We Are All Africans" the video introduction furnishes us with some pertinent details; advisory fellow CFI Canada. Philosopher of science and ethics,interests in cognitive evolution have taken him into the natural social science. His research focuses on how and why humans reason, think and act the way they do.
Now I've not read the book, just seen the lecture but Dr Chris diCarlo's "How to become a really good pain in the Ass: A critical thinkers guide to asking the right questions" delivers the 'Big 5' questions about human life that, we find, we all ask of ourselves, even if only subconsciously.
The Big 5
1. What can I know? (what are the limits of my knowledge?)
2. Why am I here (how did I get here/what am I doing here?)
3. What am I (What am I composed of?)
4. How should I behave (that is to say, ethically; toward others/other species?)
5. What is to come of me?
Dr diCarlo says in the lecture, and I agree, that the way we each answer the big 5 tells us a lot about ourselves because they trickle down to decisions we make about human rights, abortion etc.

Whilst I think Charles Dickens did a sexier job of delivering the list, via Scrooge (A Christmas Carol), even if the elegance and artistry of his transmission method somewhat obscured the list's presence, and I've a sense of despair that the philosophical awareness displayed by our greatest of authors is often ignored in the schoolroom or trampled in the rush to forced feed children a steady diet of those novels with a promise of post mortem reward points, I think Chris diCarlo's list is a great distillation of the relevant points into an exceedingly manageable format, almost a questionnaire even. They are clear enough in fact for one to take a step sideways and consider selecting a set of multiple choice answers for them.1
Y'know, we are all humans, we have limited choices about how we wipe our arses noses. we ALL have a similar experience.
Wouldn't handing out the big 5 as a questionnaire be better suited to human life than a religious studies lesson?
Wouldn't it prompt a great comprehension of our humanity to openly discuss and debate the possible answers to the questions and the consequences of those choices, in class, than merely expecting children to simply follow ancient rules of a fake authority?
I bet you can guess what I think.

1Interminably long sentence in honour of Mr Dickens 200th birthday.
"Please, Mr Dickens, can I have some more breath now?"

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