Because religion should not matter (too much)

Ireland

Westboro church get country wrong

Westboro ReportOur old friends the Westboro Baptist Church are continuing their campaign of hate against gay people, saying God hates Ireland for legalising gay marriage. The only problem is they put the flag upside down, so they were really protesting against the Ivory Coast. In any case the video is funny, give it a spin on YouTube. https://youtu.be/1Pe2Pa8yYuM

When is a Catholic not a Catholic?

Bread and Wine

A recent survey conducted among Catholics in Ireland has been raising a stir after it was found that only a quarter believe in transubstantiation and less than a third attend mass regularly, both of which are key aspects of being a Catholic. Many people also defy the Magisterium, or teaching authority of the Church, by using contraception or having gay relationships, yet still claim to be Catholic.

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, when asked about the transubstantiation issue in the survey, speculated that maybe they have never been educated in that. I don’t think he is calling 75% of Irish Catholics dumb, just saying that they haven’t been told they have to believe this stuff. Does that mean you can be a Catholic if you don’t know you are supposed to believe in it? It reminds me of that joke:

Eskimo: If I did not know about God and sin would I go to hell?

Priest: No, not if you didn’t know.

Eskimo: Then why did you tell me?

So Catholics, now you know. When you eat that little wafer, you are actually eating the flesh of Christ and if you are lucky enough to sample the wine, it is the actual blood of Christ. If it looks like bread, smells like bread and tastes like bread, it’s actually meat. If it looks like wine, smells like wine and tastes like wine, it’s actually blood. Gruesome, I know. It’s your religion, get your head around it.

Jesus appears in Ireland for Paddy’s Day

Jesus BruiseI nearly missed the appearance of Jesus on an Irishman’s leg earlier in the week. Martin Carroll from County Laois and now studying teaching in Marino, Dublin got a bang on the leg during a game of hurling. The clash left a bruise featuring the face of Jesus, just in time for Paddy’s Day. Sure where better to spend it? See it on YouTube. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day wherever you are.

A Poem for Christmas and Baby Jesus

Jesus Missing‘Twas the week before Christmas
Outside every house
And Jesus was stirring
Helped by a louse

The crib was placed
On the lawn with care
But alas Baby Jesus
Is no longer there.

Yes, the stealing Baby Jesus from the crib season is in full swing this year right across the globe. From one in Waterford, Ireland which was later found badly damaged, to the serial Baby Jesus snatcher in Port Angeles who took six of them. One bright spark who posted a picture of a stolen statue on her Facebook page and bragged about taking it, is now facing charges in Fredericksburg. Over in Macomb County, MI, they had a new variation this year. Besides stealing the Baby Jesus, they also posed lighted reindeer ornaments in sexual positions. If you are placing a Baby Jesus outside your house, make sure it is fitted with a GPS device and install some hidden cameras.

Merry Christmas everyone, or if you object to Jesus being include:

Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, Enjoy the Winter Solstice

Jesus spotted on Cliffs of Moher

Jesus on Cliffs of MoherYes, Jesus is taking some time out to enjoy the scenery on the rugged west coast of Ireland. When an American tourist went to see the famous cliffs of Moher, she was surprised when the camera shots she took appeared to have a face imprinted in the cliffs. Ms Clifford (that really is her name) immediately knew that it was the face of Jesus. Later that evening, following Irish traditions, she showed the photographs to the locals in Gus O Conner’s pub in Doolin, who agreed with her conclusion. I can just here it, “Oh Bejaysus that’s Himself alright”.  Now if we can just get some mad Irish priest to build an airport nearby and the tourists will flock to see it. Thank you George for sharing the link on Facebook.

Religious Affiliation Fading.

World ReligionsA recent study has concluded that organised religion is an endangered species.  This follows a study of nine countries, selected because they have census figures with the relevant data over a significant time span. The countries involved were Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Canada, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Daniel Abrams and Haley Yaple of Northwestern University together with Richard Wiener of the University of Arizona predict a continued growth of non-affiliation, tending toward the disappearance of religion in 85 regions around the world. Even in Ireland, which is mostly Catholic, the figure has risen from 0.04% in 1961 to 4.2% in 2006. Another census is taking place shortly in the UK and Ireland, so perhaps there will be more data to back it up shortly. So do you as an Apathist belong to the non-affiliated group or others? That’s right, you don’t care. Let someone else worry about it.

Happy Yuletide

Today, the shortest day of the year, is Yule, celebrated by pagans since long before the Christian Christmas. This year it coincided with a full moon, which looked particularly spectacular in my part of the world as it shone on a snow covered Europe. There was also a lunar eclipse last night, but it was not visible in all parts of the world. The last total eclipse during the winter solstice was in 1638, so it was truly a once in a lifetime event.
This morning the dawn at Newgrange, was broadcast live on Irish Television. Newgrange, claimed by some to be the oldest building in the world, was built over 5,000 years ago, just north of Dublin. It was constructed so that shortly after dawn on the Solstice, the sun shines directly into the inner chamber. This evening it will be the turn of Stonehenge. The main focus of Stonehenge, built about 1,000 years after Newgrange, seems to be the solstice sunset, as viewed through the arches of the Great Trilithon.
This year is especially a happy Yule for pagan prisoners in the UK, as their religion has now been recognised and prison governors have been issued with a list of the 8 main pagan holidays, including Yule. The prisoners may choose to celebrate 4 of these and may also keep tarot cards, a hoodless robe and a wand in their cell.
Happy Yuletide to all. Look forward to longer days.

Jesus visits Irish pub

For His latest appearance, Jesus has decided to visit an Irish pub. Rather than visit one in Ireland, He decided to support the Seanchai pub, in Warrnambool, on the Great Ocean Road in Australia, where they supply pints of the black stuff to appreciative locals. The black figure, which again bears an uncanny resemblance to a Jedi knight, appeared on the painted front of the hotel.  As word of the apparition spreads, people are coming from all around to take photos of the miracle. One of the local patrons has claimed that Jesus is turning water into Guinness. The owners are installing a shield to protect the apparition from being defaced.

Continuing is not good enough

Two Irish Catholic priests based in Australia, continue to hold church ceremonies, despite being at the centre of abuse allegations.  In Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady refuses to step down despite allowing Fr Brendan Smyth to remain free to abuse over an 18-year period. Fr Sean Brady, as he was at the time, failed to notify the proper authorities and had young witnesses swear oaths of secrecy to protect guilty parties.

Last night Australia’s ABC television named Fr Finian Egan, based in Sydney, and Fr Paddy Maye, based in Melbourne, in connection with alleged abuse. Church investigations found that Fr Egan groped two girls over several years in the 1980s and Fr Maye forced himself on a vulnerable 31-year-old woman and also groped two sisters over several years in the 1980s. Fr Maye has been told by the Archbishop of Melbourne not to continue working as a priest, but despite this he served mass for St. Patrick’s Day both this year and last year. The women allegedly abused by Fr Egan received a letter from Bishop David Walker of Sydney to apologise for the way they had been treated by Fr Egan. However, a month later, the same Fr Egan was honoured in a church ceremony across the road from the Bishop’s office, to celebrate his 50 years as a priest.

In much the same way, Cardinal Sean Brady pays lip service to the suffering endured by victims of abuse in the church, but takes away from that by remaining in a senior position in the church. The victims, including the One in Four campaign group are very clear that they want him to resign.

Some portion of the blame must also go to the congregation who attend ceremonies celebrated by these men. If you attend such a ceremony, you are acknowledging their right to the position they hold and denying the suffering of the abusers. Perhaps the easy confessional ethic of the Catholic Church is responsible. Just say a word and I shall be healed. Unfortunately many of the victims continue to suffer the effects, long after the word has been said. They want action, not words.

Rugby without alcohol?

Rugby BallOn Good Friday Jesus died and the pubs are shut in Ireland. What’s good about it? One of the biggest Irish rugby fixtures of the year, between Munster and Leinster, has been scheduled for Good Friday, causing outrage among Irish fans. In Ireland, sales of alcohol are banned on Good Friday, so the traditional venue for fans to congregate and cheer their team on is closed. Celtic Rugby, who organise Magrers League fixtures with Setanta Sports, set the date. It suits both teams, as they have European fixtures the following week. Publicans and politicians are fighting for a six-hour exemption to the archaic alcohol ban to enable pubs to open and cash in on the deal. The planned exemption is to cover all licensed pubs in the Limerick area, which is most unfair to the rest of the country.

The local Franciscan Friars have also condemned the date. Brother Sean O’Connor, head of the Moyross friars said

“If you identify yourself as a catholic, then you should be nowhere near Thomand Park or a pub on that day.”

Thousands of fans however, unable to get a ticket for one of the 26,000 sold out seats, wait to see if the pubs will be open. It is unlikely that anyone will be excommunicated, executed or have their children victimised as a result. Not so in other parts of the world.

In Denver, Colorado, the Catholic Archbishop Charles J Chaput is defending a decision not to re-enroll two children to a Catholic school, as it became known that their parents are lesbians. Why they would want their children to be raised as Catholics, I don’t know.

In Iran, Mohammad Amin Valian’s appeal against his death penalty for “moharebeh”, used to punish political protesters, has been rejected. Using moharebeh to defend the regime has been widely critised. A further appeal is still possible.

Back in Ireland again, the police have detained 7 Muslims suspected of plotting to murder the Swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilks, whose depiction of the prophet Mohammad caused outrage among Muslims over two years ago.

It’s a crazy world out there. I’m glad I’m an Apathist.

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