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You're doing it wrong.

Why I want all our children to read the King James Bible

Why I want all our children to read the King James Bible

The good book should be read as a great work of literature – but it is not a guide to morality, as the education secretary Michael Gove would have us believe

Richard Dawkins
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 19 May 2012 16.30 EDT

For some reason the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (UK) was not approached for a donation in support of Michael Gove's plan to put a King James Bible in every state school. We would certainly have given it serious consideration, and if the trustees had not agreed I would gladly have contributed myself. In the event, it was left to "millionaire Conservative party donors".

I am a little shocked at the implication that not every school library already possesses a copy. Can that be true? What do they have, then? Harry Potter? Vampires? Or do they prefer one of those modern translations in which "Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, all is vanity" is lyrically rendered as "Perfectly pointless, says the Teacher. Everything is pointless"? That is Ecclesiastes, 1:2, as you'll find it in the Common English Bible. And you can't get much more common than that, although admittedly the God's Word translation provides stiff competition with "absolutely pointless" and the Good News Bible challenges strongly with "useless, useless".


A native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian. In the week after the 2011 census, my UK Foundation commissioned Ipsos MORI to poll those who had ticked the Christian box. Among other things, we asked them to identify the first book of the New Testament from a choice of Matthew, Genesis, Acts of the Apostles, Psalms, "Don't know" and "Prefer not to say". Only 35% chose Matthew and 39% chose "Don't know" (and 1%, mysteriously, chose "Prefer not to say". These figures, to repeat, don't refer to British people at large but only to those who self-identified, in the census, as Christians.

European history, too, is incomprehensible without an understanding of the warring factions of Christianity and the book over whose subtleties of interpretation they were so ready to slaughter and torture each other. Does the eucharistic bread merely symbolise the body of Jesus or does it become his body, in true "substance" if not "accidental" DNA? Prolonged wars have been fought over how we should interpret the words allegedly uttered at the Last Supper. Three bishops were burned alive just outside my bedroom window in my old Oxford college for giving the unapproved answer. Centuries-long schisms were based on nothing more serious than the question of whether Jesus is both God and his son, or just his (very important) son. Even bloodier wars were fought against a rival religion that sees him not as God's son at all but just reveres him as a prophet.


Whatever else the Bible might be – and it really is a great work of literature – it is not a moral book and young people need to learn that important fact because they are very frequently told the opposite. The examples I have quoted are the tip of a very large and very nasty iceberg. Not a bad way to find out what's in a book is to read it, so I say go to it. But does anybody, even Gove, seriously think they will?


When Put This Way, Corporations Actually Sound A LOT Like People. Annoying, Intolerable People

Catholics caught between bishops, Obama’s birth control mandate

Mommy and daddy are fighting, and the anguished children don’t know where to turn.

This is the state of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States today. A small group of very conservative bishops has hijacked the church, or at least the public voice of the church. The bishops are playing the role of the authoritarian father. In case after case, their message to the faithful is “Do it because I say so.”

Last week, in an orchestrated political maneuver, 43 Catholic entities — including the Archdiocese of Washington — filed a dozen lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, saying that any mandate requiring religious organizations to provide contraceptive coverage to employees was a violation of religious liberty.


A much larger group of more moderate bishops has stayed mostly silent, fearful that to take a stand against the brethren would be to lay bare intramural fissures. They play the role of the silent and frustrated mother.


Only one brave bishop has so far explained his refusal to sign on with the authoritarian minority. Like a parent who prefers to work on marital disagreements in private, rather than expose the kids to disharmony and force them to choose sides, Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, Calif., told America magazine Tuesday that he wanted the bishops to do more consensus building. If religious liberty is indeed the goal, then high-impact lawsuits with news releases aren’t the best way to achieve it.


But this dynamic is untenable, as any good family therapist will tell you. The real solution is, as Blaire suggests, for mommy and daddy to talk to each other and work it out. Or the kids will find a happier home someplace else.


Just saw Rodger Waters perform The Wall live. Epic!

Georgia gay activists rally after religious attacks

Dozens of gay rights supporters rallied for a second day in the Georgian capital Friday after being attacked by Orthodox Christians during their initial march in the deeply religious Caucasus state.

Around 60 young activists assembled on the steps of the parliament building in the overtly Christian ex-Soviet nation holding banners with slogans such as "Stop hate crimes" and "No to religious extremists".

A day earlier, gay rights demonstrators held a rare march and were attacked by a group of Orthodox priests and their supporters, who shouted abuse and threw punches at some participants.

Supporters said they gathered again Friday in reaction to the violence, with one person holding up a hand-made drawing of Christ with the words "Jesus is love".

"They can do what they like, but we're not going away. We're here, we're out and we're proud," one of the participants, Natia Gvianishvili, told AFP.


15 year old girl 'Kidnapped For Vatican Sex Parties,' claims RCC's leading exorcist.

The Holy See was directly involved in the disappearance of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi in 1983, according to a contentious accusation by the Catholic Church's leading exorcist. The Rev. Gabriele Amorth claimed that the girl's kidnapping was a "crime of a sexual nature."

"Parties were organized, with a Vatican gendarme acting as the 'recruiter' of the girls," Amorth told La Stampa, according to a translation by The Telegraph. "The network involved diplomatic personnel from a foreign embassy to the Holy See. I believe Emanuela ended up a victim of this circle."

Amorth, who was appointed by Pope John Paul II and has carried out more than 70,000 exorcisms, is no stranger to controversial public statements; according to The Sun, the exorcist has called Harry Potter the "work of the devil," and has claimed "the devil was at work in the Vatican" when discussing the Catholic Church's sex scandals.


For our Catholic friends here, how so you continue to justify your direct and indirect support for this terrible organization?

Catholic Cardinal Says Church Is Willing To Let Poor People Starve In Protest Of Contraception Manda

Cardinal Timothy Dolan has made it very clear that he doesn’t like President Obama’s contraception mandate. And apparently, he and the Catholic Church are prepared to let poor people starve to death if President Obama doesn’t give in to their demands.

In an appearance on Martin Bashir on MSNBC on Tuesday, Dolan said that the Church would abandon Jesus’ effort to help the sick and feed the poor in protest of the contraception mandate that only applies to insurance companies and not the Church itself.

“If these mandates kick in, we’re going to find ourselves faced with a terribly difficult decision as to whether or not we can continue to operate,” Dolan said. “As part of our religion — it’s part of our faith that we feed the hungry, that we educate the kids, that we take care of the sick. We’d have to give it up, because we’re unable to fit the description and the definition of a church given by — guess who — the federal government.”

Bashir then pointed out that the Catholic Church had taken a staggering $2.9 billion from the federal government to pay for the charitable efforts the Church provides. “They don’t seem to bristle at the hand of government when it comes to money, do they,” Bashir commented.

But it was David Corn of Mother Jones who had the best observation about Dolan’s threat. “It strikes me as just not very Christian, if I can say so, to get out there and say, ‘We will not be providing services if you force us to do these things — or if there’s a mandate,” Corn stated. ”Would Jesus take his fish and a loaf and go home?”


For our Catholic friends here, how so you continue to justify your direct and indirect support for this terrible organization?

Brazil rocked by abortion for 9-year-old rape victim

Declaring that "life must always be protected", a senior Vatican cleric has defended the Catholic Church's decision to excommunicate the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old rape victim who had a life-saving abortion in Brazil.

Cardinal Giovanni Batista Re, who heads the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, told reporters that although the girl fell pregnant after apparently being abused by her stepfather, her twins had, "the right to live, and could not be eliminated".

In an interview with the Italian newspaper, La Stampa, the cardinal added: "It is a sad case but the real problem is that the twins conceived were two innocent persons. Life must always be protected."

Police believe the girl was sexually assaulted for years by her stepfather, possibly since she was six. That she was four months pregnant with twins emerged only after she was taken to hospital complaining of severe stomach pains.

The controversy represents a PR nightmare for the Vatican. The unnamed girl's mother and doctors were excommunicated for agreeing to Wednesday's emergency abortion yet the Church has not taken formal steps against the stepfather, who is in custody. Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, the conservative regional archbishop for Pernambuco where the girl was rushed to hospital, has said that the man would not be thrown out of the Church, because although he had allegedly committed "a heinous crime", the Church took the view that "the abortion, the elimination of an innocent life, was more serious".


For our Catholic friends here, how so you continue to justify your direct and indirect support for this terrible organization?

I am finding it very interesting to see just how much support there is on DU for attacking religion.

Looking at GD, there are several threads going right now about using Romney's (insert one of the many pejoratives found in those threads here) belief in Mormonism as a weakness and reason not to be President.

If any one of us were to re-post any of those OP's, yet change it to Christianity, juries and Hosts would be working overtime to hide and lock them.

Not that I am surprised, we are all very aware of the hypocrisy. It's just interesting to see it on such open display.
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