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Hmm. I don’t know what to think of this. I was surprised at how much I agreed with. I don’t agree with some of things he suggests towards the end, such as voluntary repatriation, but a lot of the stuff he says is fairly sensible, particularly with regards to the annoying, dangerous, cultural relativism of the left…

As I said, many of those Muslims in Europe would like to implement Shariah Law in our judicial systems. As you know, Shariah law covers all areas of life, from religion, hygiene and dietary laws, to dress code, family and social life and from finance and politics to the unity of Islam with the state. For some crimes, horrific, barbaric punishments are prescribed, such as beheading and the chopping off of opposite limbs. In Shariah Courts no woman may become judge. Shariah Law does not recognize free speech and freedom of religion. Polygamy and killing an apostate are ‘virtues’, but the consumption of alcohol is a crime. This is the sick Shariah Law in a nutshell, and it is unbelievable and unacceptable that the cultural relativists allow Shariah banks, Shariah mortgages, Shariah schools and unofficial — and in Britain even official — Shariah tribunals in Europe.

Ladies and gentlemen, these are of course shocking facts, figures and statements. However, they are not particularly surprising to anybody who has some knowledge of the Koran and knows who Muhammad was.

In this connection, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to very briefly discuss the essence of Islam, and let me come straight to the point: Islam is not so much a religion as, first and foremost, an ideology; to be precise, like communism and fascism, a political, totalitarian ideology, with worldwide aspirations.

Of course, there are many moderate Muslims. However, there is no such a thing as a moderate Islam. Islam’s heart lies in the Koran. The Koran is an evil book that calls for violence, murder, terrorism, war and submission. The Koran describes Jews as monkeys and pigs. The Koran calls upon Muslims to kill the Kaffirs, the non-Muslims.

The problem is that the injunctions in the Koran are not restricted to time or place. Rather, they apply to all Muslims, in any period. Another problem is that Muslims also regard the Koran as the word of Allah. Which means that the Koran is immune from criticism.

Apart from the Koran, there is also the life of Muhammad, who fought in dozens of wars and was in the habit of decapitating Jews with his own sword. The problem here is that, to Muslims, Muhammad is ‘the perfect man’, whose life is the model to follow.

This is why Jihadists slaughtered innocent people in Washington, New York, Madrid, Amsterdam, London and Mumbai.

Now is clear why Winston Churchill, in his book ‘The Second World War’, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Literature, compared the Koran to Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’. Now is clear why the famous Swiss theologian, Karl Barth, in 1936 said, and I quote, “It is impossible to understand national socialism unless we see it in fact as a new Islam, its myth as a new Allah, and Hitler as this new Allah’s prophet.” Now is clear why Heinrich Himmler was an admirer of Islam. And now is clear why President Obama, who last week, in Cairo, said that Islam has a tradition of tolerance, should be sent back to school.

Just like communism, fascism and nazism, Islam is a threat to everything we stand for. It is a threat to democracy, to the constitutional state, to equality for men and women, to freedom and civilisation. Wherever you look in the world, the more Islam you see, the less freedom you see. Islam is a threat to the Europe of Bach and Michelangelo, Shakespeare and Socrates, Voltaire and Galileo.

This was via GayandRight.

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As you no doubt will be aware, death happens. It is an extremely necessary part of life. Or, as my optimistic imagination puts it: Life is a part of every death.

The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has always been afraid of death. Even most of those who say they are not do, I think, feel something: the slightest tendril of fear, of doubt, even horror, at what awaits beyond. It is something primal, something ineradicable; no matter how hard that annoying rational part of our brains may protest at the silliness of the fear — “I do not fear death, in view of the fact that I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it,” as Mark Twain had it — we are still a wee bit worried by death.

Or rather, what happens beyond it. If you are of a religious inclination you will certainly be terrified about where you are going to go — God’s grace, or Satan’s torment? (Replace Satan and God with whatever brands are popular in your neck of the woods). If you aren’t worried, then you think you are moral enough to get into Heaven: such proudness is surely a quick route — one of many — to Hell. Thus, your chances of being damned are much higher, and you should be — nay, need to be — very worried about your spiritual accommodation after death.

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I am amazed that for a blog so new as this that I am receiving approx. 1000 views per day now! 🙂 This is awesome! Feel free to comment, and I will be having some book give-aways going on very soon.

Anyway: Sam Harris’ dissing of Sarah Palin (I think diss, dissed, dissing, are actually quite good words, but I won’t use them too often, I promise); it’s a long article, but well worth the read. Also, Richard Dawkins’ website has been banned in Turkey! Poor people.

You can also read my less eloquent critique of Palin here. I take cheap shots, I’m afraid, but they are kinda true.

When Atheists Attack
A noted provocateur rips Sarah Palin—and defends elitism.

Let me confess that I was genuinely unnerved by Sarah Palin’s performance at the Republican convention. Given her audience and the needs of the moment, I believe Governor Palin’s speech was the most effective political communication I have ever witnessed. Here, finally, was a performer who—being maternal, wounded, righteous and sexy—could stride past the frontal cortex of every American and plant a three-inch heel directly on that limbic circuit that ceaselessly intones “God and country.” If anyone could make Christian theocracy smell like apple pie, Sarah Palin could.

Then came Palin’s first television interview with Charles Gibson. I was relieved to discover, as many were, that Palin’s luster can be much diminished by the absence of a teleprompter. Still, the problem she poses to our political process is now much bigger than she is. Her fans seem inclined to forgive her any indiscretion short of cannibalism. However badly she may stumble during the remaining weeks of this campaign, her supporters will focus their outrage upon the journalist who caused her to break stride, upon the camera operator who happened to capture her fall, upon the television network that broadcast the good lady’s misfortune—and, above all, upon the “liberal elites” with their highfalutin assumption that, in the 21st century, only a reasonably well-educated person should be given command of our nuclear arsenal.

The point to be lamented is not that Sarah Palin comes from outside Washington, or that she has glimpsed so little of the earth’s surface (she didn’t have a passport until last year), or that she’s never met a foreign head of state. The point is that she comes to us, seeking the second most important job in the world, without any intellectual training relevant to the challenges and responsibilities that await her. There is nothing to suggest that she even sees a role for careful analysis or a deep understanding of world events when it comes to deciding the fate of a nation. In her interview with Gibson, Palin managed to turn a joke about seeing Russia from her window into a straight-faced claim that Alaska’s geographical proximity to Russia gave her some essential foreign-policy experience. Palin may be a perfectly wonderful person, a loving mother and a great American success story—but she is a beauty queen/sports reporter who stumbled into small-town politics, and who is now on the verge of stumbling into, or upon, world history.

The problem, as far as our political process is concerned, is that half the electorate revels in Palin’s lack of intellectual qualifications. When it comes to politics, there is a mad love of mediocrity in this country. “They think they’re better than you!” is the refrain that (highly competent and cynical) Republican strategists have set loose among the crowd, and the crowd has grown drunk on it once again. “Sarah Palin is an ordinary person!” Yes, all too ordinary.

We have all now witnessed apparently sentient human beings, once provoked by a reporter’s microphone, saying things like, “I’m voting for Sarah because she’s a mom. She knows what it’s like to be a mom.” Such sentiments suggest an uncanny (and, one fears, especially American) detachment from the real problems of today. The next administration must immediately confront issues like nuclear proliferation, ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and covert wars elsewhere), global climate change, a convulsing economy, Russian belligerence, the rise of China, emerging epidemics, Islamism on a hundred fronts, a defunct United Nations, the deterioration of American schools, failures of energy, infrastructure and Internet security … the list is long, and Sarah Palin does not seem competent even to rank these items in order of importance, much less address any one of them.

Palin’s most conspicuous gaffe in her interview with Gibson has been widely discussed. The truth is, I didn’t much care that she did not know the meaning of the phrase “Bush doctrine.” And I am quite sure that her supporters didn’t care, either. Most people view such an ambush as a journalistic gimmick. What I do care about are all the other things Palin is guaranteed not to know—or will be glossing only under the frenzied tutelage of John McCain’s advisers. What doesn’t she know about financial markets, Islam, the history of the Middle East, the cold war, modern weapons systems, medical research, environmental science or emerging technology? Her relative ignorance is guaranteed on these fronts and most others, not because she was put on the spot, or got nervous, or just happened to miss the newspaper on any given morning. Sarah Palin’s ignorance is guaranteed because of how she has spent the past 44 years on earth.

I care even more about the many things Palin thinks she knows but doesn’t: like her conviction that the Biblical God consciously directs world events. Needless to say, she shares this belief with mil-lions of Americans—but we shouldn’t be eager to give these people our nuclear codes, either. There is no question that if President McCain chokes on a spare rib and Palin becomes the first woman president, she and her supporters will believe that God, in all his majesty and wisdom, has brought it to pass. Why would God give Sarah Palin a job she isn’t ready for? He wouldn’t. Everything happens for a reason. Palin seems perfectly willing to stake the welfare of our country—even the welfare of our species—as collateral in her own personal journey of faith. Of course, McCain has made the same unconscionable wager on his personal journey to the White House.

In speaking before her church about her son going to war in Iraq, Palin urged the congregation to pray “that our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God; that’s what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan, and that plan is God’s plan.” When asked about these remarks in her interview with Gibson, Palin successfully dodged the issue of her religious beliefs by claiming that she had been merely echoing the words of Abraham Lincoln. The New York Times later dubbed her response “absurd.” It was worse than absurd; it was a lie calculated to conceal the true character of her religious infatuations. Every detail that has emerged about Palin’s life in Alaska suggests that she is as devout and literal-minded in her Christian dogmatism as any man or woman in the land. Given her long affiliation with the Assemblies of God church, Palin very likely believes that Biblical prophecy is an infallible guide to future events and that we are living in the “end times.” Which is to say she very likely thinks that human history will soon unravel in a foreordained cataclysm of war and bad weather. Undoubtedly Palin believes that this will be a good thing—as all true Christians will be lifted bodily into the sky to make merry with Jesus, while all nonbelievers, Jews, Methodists and other rabble will be punished for eternity in a lake of fire. Like many Pentecostals, Palin may even imagine that she and her fellow parishioners enjoy the power of prophecy themselves. Otherwise, what could she have meant when declaring to her congregation that “God’s going to tell you what is going on, and what is going to go on, and you guys are going to have that within you”?

You can learn something about a person by the company she keeps. In the churches where Palin has worshiped for decades, parishioners enjoy “baptism in the Holy Spirit,” “miraculous healings” and “the gift of tongues.” Invariably, they offer astonishingly irrational accounts of this behavior and of its significance for the entire cosmos. Palin’s spiritual colleagues describe themselves as part of “the final generation,” engaged in “spiritual warfare” to purge the earth of “demonic strongholds.” Palin has spent her entire adult life immersed in this apocalyptic hysteria. Ask yourself: Is it a good idea to place the most powerful military on earth at her disposal? Do we actually want our leaders thinking about the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy when it comes time to say to the Iranians, or to the North Koreans, or to the Pakistanis, or to the Russians or to the Chinese: “All options remain on the table”?

It is easy to see what many people, women especially, admire about Sarah Palin. Here is a mother of five who can see the bright side of having a child with Down syndrome and still find the time and energy to govern the state of Alaska. But we cannot ignore the fact that Palin’s impressive family further testifies to her dogmatic religious beliefs. Many writers have noted the many shades of conservative hypocrisy on view here: when Jamie Lynn Spears gets pregnant, it is considered a symptom of liberal decadence and the breakdown of family values; in the case of one of Palin’s daughters, however, teen pregnancy gets reinterpreted as a sign of immaculate, small-town fecundity. And just imagine if, instead of the Palins, the Obama family had a pregnant, underage daughter on display at their convention, flanked by her black boyfriend who “intends” to marry her. Who among conservatives would have resisted the temptation to speak of “the dysfunction in the black community”?

Teen pregnancy is a misfortune, plain and simple. At best, it represents bad luck (both for the mother and for the child); at worst, as in the Palins’ case, it is a symptom of religious dogmatism. Governor Palin opposes sex education in schools on religious grounds. She has also fought vigorously for a “parental consent law” in the state of Alaska, seeking full parental dominion over the reproductive decisions of minors. We know, therefore, that Palin believes that she should be the one to decide whether her daughter carries her baby to term. Based on her stated position, we know that she would deny her daughter an abortion even if she had been raped. One can be forgiven for doubting whether Bristol Palin had all the advantages of 21st-century family planning—or, indeed, of the 21st century.

We have endured eight years of an administration that seemed touched by religious ideology. Bush’s claim to Bob Woodward that he consulted a “higher Father” before going to war in Iraq got many of us sitting upright, before our attention wandered again to less ethereal signs of his incompetence. For all my concern about Bush’s religious beliefs, and about his merely average grasp of terrestrial reality, I have never once thought that he was an over-the-brink, Rapture-ready extremist. Palin seems as though she might be the real McCoy. With the McCain team leading her around like a pet pony between now and Election Day, she can be expected to conceal her religious extremism until it is too late to do anything about it. Her supporters know that while she cannot afford to “talk the talk” between now and Nov. 4, if elected, she can be trusted to “walk the walk” until the Day of Judgment.

What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. Watching her deny to Gibson that she had ever harbored the slightest doubt about her readiness to take command of the world’s only superpower, one got the feeling that Palin would gladly assume any responsibility on earth:

“Governor Palin, are you ready at this moment to perform surgery on this child’s brain?”

“Of course, Charlie. I have several boys of my own, and I’m an avid hunter.”

“But governor, this is neurosurgery, and you have no training as a surgeon of any kind.”

“That’s just the point, Charlie. The American people want change in how we make medical decisions in this country. And when faced with a challenge, you cannot blink.”

The prospects of a Palin administration are far more frightening, in fact, than those of a Palin Institute for Pediatric Neurosurgery. Ask yourself: how has “elitism” become a bad word in American politics? There is simply no other walk of life in which extraordinary talent and rigorous training are denigrated. We want elite pilots to fly our planes, elite troops to undertake our most critical missions, elite athletes to represent us in competition and elite scientists to devote the most productive years of their lives to curing our diseases. And yet, when it comes time to vest people with even greater responsibilities, we consider it a virtue to shun any and all standards of excellence. When it comes to choosing the people whose thoughts and actions will decide the fates of millions, then we suddenly want someone just like us, someone fit to have a beer with, someone down-to-earth—in fact, almost anyone, provided that he or she doesn’t seem too intelligent or well educated.

I believe that with the nomination of Sarah Palin for the vice presidency, the silliness of our politics has finally put our nation at risk. The world is growing more complex—and dangerous—with each passing hour, and our position within it growing more precarious. Should she become president, Palin seems capable of enacting policies so detached from the common interests of humanity, and from empirical reality, as to unite the entire world against us. When asked why she is qualified to shoulder more responsibility than any person has held in human history, Palin cites her refusal to hesitate. “You can’t blink,” she told Gibson repeatedly, as though this were a primordial truth of wise governance. Let us hope that a President Palin would blink, again and again, while more thoughtful people decide the fate of civilization.

I hope that was worth the read 🙂 I certainly enjoyed it. I should have a copy of some of Sam Harris’ work to give away very soon! Along with Dawkins’ The God Delusion!

Kthxbye.

says the present Pope, head of the Catholic Church, calling the love of wealth and power, “pagan”.

AHAHAHAHA.

I will say no more:

(Apparently, instead of this image of the Vatican, people are instead seeing a blank white box. Oh dear. I don’t how to fix that — God must have done it).

Depressing news today, coming after news yesterday that the Church of England was to apologise — quite literally — to Darwin himself.

Comments in red are mine.

From the BBC, and biased towards creationists! 😦

Widely believed in the United States, creationism – the belief that God created the earth and man in six days – is enjoying a resurgence of support in the UK, say its believers and its critics.

At first glance the Genesis Expo museum, in the naval town of Portsmouth, looks like any other repository of natural history exhibits: fossils of dinosaurs and unusual rock formations.

Eve and Adam

Eve and Adam

But focus on the narrative of the information panels alongside them, and you start to realise this is a museum with a difference – one dedicated to the theory of creationism.

The revelation that US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin says creationism should be taught in schools has raised few eyebrows in the US. An estimated 47% of Americans reject outright Charles Darwin‘s theory of evolution, accepting instead the Bible’s account of the creation of the universe – as laid out in the first chapter of Genesis.

But in Britain, where a portrait of Darwin appears on the back of the £10 note, his theory of life evolving from primitive to complex structures by means of natural selection appears to be unchallenged orthodoxy.

Not so, say those on both sides of the creationist divide – a point amply proved by the existence of the Genesis Expo museum, to date Britain’s only creationist museum. The museum is the work of Britain’s oldest creationist group, the Creation Science Movement, which has built Genesis Expo to visibly challenge the theory of evolution.

In its walk-through display, fossils in glass cases purport to show that ancient animals – including man – did not evolve from lower creatures but were instead divinely created “after their kind” (Genesis Chapter 1, verse 21).

A picture of a landslide-causing volcano is used to counter the scientific understanding that rock strata took millions of years to build up. And throughout the display are scattered examples of “intelligent design” – complex creatures that “could not have evolved” as the result of natural selection. Unless you have an understanding of evolution, in which case you see quite clearly that they could…

Gravestone exhibit

Leading British scientist and author Dr Richard Dawkins has warned of creationist “brainwashing” in the UK – spurred on by an unwillingness of the authorities to offend religious sensibilities. His creationist adversaries say their ideas are beginning to gain wider acceptance within these shores as dissatisfaction grows with “materialist” evolutionary explanations of how life began. Replace the word “materialist” with the word “true”…

£10 note

Much better than the US notes with that surely unconstitutional phrase, “In God We Trust”!

Museum curator Ross Rosevear describes himself as a “Young Earth” creationist, who believes that the earth was created in six days “less than 10,000 years ago.”

Standing before the museum’s prize exhibit – a mock gravestone inscribed: “Here lies the Theory of Evolution” – he rejects as “unreliable” the scientific tests that fix the age of the earth at more than four billion years. While he concedes his convictions are intimately connected with his Christian faith, he insists the evidence presented in the displays could convince even non-believers of the “fatal flaws” in Darwin’s theory of evolution.

“All we are saying is that it is not unreasonable to present an alternative explanation of how life began,” he says. For some, it’s an explanation that has gained a surprisingly wide acceptance in the UK. A 2006 survey for the BBC found that more than a fifth of those polled were convinced by the creationist argument. Less than half – 48% – chose evolution.

And while the Church of England this week issues a formal apology to Charles Darwin, after initially denying his theory, other churches – mostly on the evangelical Christian wing – adhere to old beliefs.

Growing support

Justin Thacker, head of theology for the Evangelical Alliance, says research in 1998 found one third of the Alliance church members were “literal six-day creationists.” The other two thirds embraced evolutionary theory to a “greater or lesser degree” he says.

Ross Rosevear

British creationist and curator of Genesis Expo, Ross Rosevear

“Since that survey was done, I’d say fewer of our members are out-and-out creationists – it has become more acceptable to embrace some form of Darwinism,” he says.

But Keith Porteous Wood of the Secular Society is unconvinced.

“There is no question that creationism is growing,” he says. “It is increasingly well funded, and well organised.”

The society says Britain is beginning to follow the lead of the US where supporters and opponents of creationism have joined battle – in the school classroom. Two years ago the government sought to clarify the rules on creationist teaching, following revelations that the head of science at one of its new academies was the director of an anti-evolution pressure group.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families says creationism is not included in the science curriculum because “it has no scientific basis… but it can be discussed in [religious education] lessons”.

Creationist schools

But that ruling was questioned last week by an influential figure. The Rev Professor Michael Reiss, director of education at the Royal Society, says science teachers ought to be willing to talk about creationism if students bring the subject up. And, as barely any news reports have mentioned, himself a vicar…

He told the British Association Festival of Science in Liverpool that while making clear creationism is not accepted by the scientific community, teachers should convey a message of respect that does not “denigrate or ridicule” children’s beliefs.

It’s a sentiment that inflames the anti-creationist lobby, which sees any compromises in the classroom as a betrayal of children’s interests.

“Creationism is anti-science,” says Mr Porteous Wood. “Teaching it to children is a form of intellectual child abuse, because it gives them the wrong facts about life.” His passionate views echo those of Prof Dawkins, who last month accused teachers of “bending over backwards” to respect “prejudices” that children have been brought up with at home.

And secular groups also point out that while state school pupils are “protected” from creationist teaching, similar guidelines do not exist to cover children who attend private religious schools – Christian, Jewish and Muslim.

One such school that teaches creationism as a science is the respected Islamic Karimia Institute in Nottingham. “We teach what it says in the Koran, that God created Adam and Eve, and from them came the rest of humanity,” says institute director Dr Musharraf Hussain. “We do not teach that man is descended from a lower animal – we say that God created the different species on their own.”

This shared belief in the origins of man – and the universe – is uniting unlikely bedfellows in the anti-evolution cause. The Rev Greg Haslam, who preaches the creationist Christian creed to his 400-strong congregation at Westminster Chapel in London, welcomes the determination of Muslims to impart a religious-based view of the world.

“Science does not have to be taught in conflict with faith or religion,” he says. “I believe the current debate over creationism versus evolution is beginning to draw more and people over to our side of the argument.

“The materialist explanation of the creation has nothing to offer – if we came from nothing and go into nothing, then that encourages people to lead reckless and materialistic lifestyles. Evolution is a world-view that leads to futility. It’s no wonder people are dissatisfied with it.”

That, I think, is a matter of opinion, if not an outright calumny, but, whether or not people find the theory very encouraging or not, has no impact on how true or not it is! And the reporting by the BBC, I felt, was particularly unbiased and tendentious towards the creationist cause!

A man commenting on their site says:

I have long been at a loss to understand how it is possible to believe the evolutionary theory, riddled with holes and inconsistencies as it is, more that the creationist view. The facts we see in front of us fit the notion of a rapid creationist view far better than a long evolutionary one, and why the evolutionary theory is considered to be “science” but the creationist theory is not eludes me completely. It was partly a serious study of evolution that led me to conclude that I’d rather be the product of a creationary God than an evolutionary accident, and so embrace Christianity. I am so pleased I did, life has become so much less gloomy.

I, personally, find that evolution inspires me. Saying “I’d rather be the product of a creationary god than an evolutionary accident” does not make that view true! I’d like to believe that the noodley appendage of the Flying Spaghetti Monster brought me into creation, but that wouldn’t make it true. Evolution is not a belief system. The creationism view throws all of science out of the window — the age of the earth, physics, astronomy, geology, etc.

Evolution is a fact. It’s called a Theory, though. Why?

The colloquial meaning of “theory” can be used in the “just a theory” sense of “unproven”, not backed-up. There is another meaning to Theory, with a capital “T”, in the dictionary, of a systematically updated idea supported by vast and ever-growing quantities of information. That is the type of Theory that evolution is.

It doesn’t matter whether you think evolution is the most immoral, disgusting, saddening thing in the world (it is, in fact, not): it wouldn’t have any bearing on the whether or not evolution is true — and it is. Theory, with a capital, was used in a time when that secondary meaning was well-known. Now that it is not, we should not feel shy about using a colloquial word to describe evolution: fact. Most of this also comes down to a misunderstanding of what evolution actually is.

The Church of England will concede in a statement that it was over-defensive and over-emotional in dismissing Darwin’s ideas. It will call “anti-evolutionary fervour” an “indictment” on the Church”.

The bold move is certain to dismay sections of the Church that believe in creationism and regard Darwin’s views as directly opposed to traditional Christian teaching.

The apology, which has been written by the Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, the Church’s director of mission and public affairs, says that Christians, in their response to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, repeated the mistakes they made in doubting Galileo’s astronomy in the 17th century.

“The statement will read: Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still. We try to practise the old virtues of ‘faith seeking understanding’ and hope that makes some amends.”

Opposition to evolutionary theories is still “a litmus test of faithfulness” for some Christian movements, the Church will admit. It will say that such attitudes owe much to a fear of perceived threats to Christianity.

Hmm. Interesting. It’s taken them a long time, and I think it’s conveniently timed, but I think this should be very useful in stopping creationists in the school system — at least in the UK. If even the Church admits that they were wrong about Darwin, then it’ll be quite difficult for individual creationists to convince judges or school boards, I’d hope.

My instinct was to say, “so bloody what” at this news, but, let’s face it: I do believe science is incompatible with faith, but not that we should throw away such statements as this. The Church is basically saying that believing in evolution is not a bad thing, no matter about Genesis, and I think once religious people are thus allowed a fuller and more accurate understanding of evolution, it could encourage them to be more pro-science. A fuller understanding of science does death blows to religion and all forms of superstition.

So: for the first time in a while: go Church of England! (By which, I don’t mean go to a Church of England service. Because that might be very boring.)

Former Conservative Minister Ann Widdecombe, who left the Church of England to become a Roman Catholic, said: ‘It’s absolutely ludicrous. Why don’t we have the Italians apologising for Pontius Pilate?

‘We’ve already apologised for slavery and for the Crusades. When is it all going to stop? It’s insane and makes the Church of England look ridiculous.’

Yeah… but it sort of is, isn’t it? I mean, there was a time when the Church had power. Not any more. All the glories of Christianity have been reduced to “a kind of sharing”, as Stephen Fry put it.

I do find it strange that the apology is written directly to Darwin himself, though.

A strange story from the Daily Mail — not the most reliable, trustworthy, or likeable of newspapers, it must be said; in fact, I would say it’s a disgusting hate-mongering festering pile of lazy journalism and racism… — about the latest plans of Islamic extremists in the UK.

Muslim hate fanatics plan to take over Britain by having more babies and forcing a population explosion, it has been revealed. The swollen Muslim population would be enough to conquer Britain from inside, they claim.

Fanatics told a meeting of young Muslims on the anniversary of the 9/11 atrocity, that it would then be easy to impose Sharia law on the population, the Sun newspaper reported.

Speaking at a meeting in London, Anjem Choudary, right-hand man of exiled preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed, said: “It may be by pure conversion that Britain will become an Islamic state. We may never need to conquer it from the outside.” He added: “We do not integrate into Christianity. We will ensure that one day you will integrate into the Sharia Islamic law.”

His comments were made as voice of hate Bakri warned that the next 9/11 would take place in the UK.

I don’t think Islam is a very nice religion, and nor do I think Christianity and Judaism are; extremism isn’t so much an extreme view as just simply following what it actually says in the Holy Texts which constantly preach violence and oppression. People go on about “religious extremism” as though that were a perversion of a perfectly alright religion in the first place. It is not. Religion is foul and odious, more so because we have been raised to believe that it is not that way; that to call someone a “person of faith” is to axiomatically infer a compliment; that to be religious is to be moral. It is not.

That said, there are many perfectly decent Muslims and Christians and Jews, and whatever other faith you can name will likely have likeable adherents. And I feel sorry for the more moderate Muslims who will be hurt by this type of faith-war-mongering. I despise mobs in general who go baying after blood, their sweat and stench and ignorance filling the air, and I do despise these fanatics; I would not be surprised, though, if there were some kind of backlash against them — the Islamic British community — soon. And that will be a bad day.

Religion poisons everything, to borrow the refrain that runs through Christopher Hitchens’ excellent, god Is Not Great.