Dienstag, 16. August 2011

How to know if something is wrong with your (interpretation of your) religion?

It's not really hard to see when something is wrong....

“I do feel bad people had to die,” said Asep Setiadi, 40, as he headed out to his rice field. “But I’m grateful that they’re finally gone.”
Twenty-eight-year-old Siti Zubaidah, holding her baby girl in a sling as she chatted with a neighbor, had nothing but praise for Dani.
“We had to clean our village,” added Wildan bin Satim, 72. “This is no place for the followers of a cult.”........Kill! Kill!” the crowd chanted. “Burn! Burn!”
By the time a video camera was rolling, two men lay naked and lifeless in the mud. The attackers continued to hammer their bodies with bamboo sticks, each thud met with a cheer.
Dani, wearing a black leather jacket and a white skull cap, was the most brutal. The 17-year-old smashed a rock repeatedly into the skull of Roni Pasaroni as the crowd yelled “Allahu Akbar” or God is Great.

"Grateful that they are gone" and cleaning sounds so neutral doesn't it? So much less hostile than "kill" or "burn" and so much less barbaric than cheering when someone hammers an innocents body.

See how "great" your God is. Especially with such "great" followers. You are slaughtering innocent humans in a bath of blood, like a cult. But foremost: you are sacrificing your own humanity.

Folks, it is obvious you are wrong.

Blasphemy is a right (says the UN)

What a lucky day. By chance i found something that obviously escaped my notice before and which i haven't found much reported in the media either.
Already last month the UN issued a statement concerning the freedom of speech in relation with the human rights convention.

Here is the good part (emphasis mine):

48.  Prohibitions of displays of lack of respect for a religion or other belief
system, including blasphemy laws, are incompatible with the Covenant,
except in the specific circumstances envisaged in article 20, paragraph 2, of
the Covenant. Such prohibitions must  also  comply with the strict
requirements of article 19, paragraph 3, as well as such articles as 2, 5, 17,
18 and 26. Thus, for instance, it would be impermissible for any such laws
to discriminate in favour of or against one or certain religions or belief
systems, or their adherents over another, or religious believers over nonbelievers. Nor would it be permissible for such prohibitions to be used to
prevent or punish criticism of religious leaders or commentary on religious
doctrine and tenets of faith

Of course there is the exception of article 20 which states permits prohibition of "advocacy of national, racial, or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence". But it becomes quite difficult to justify the current laws by this exception.
Especially the other comments in the (complete) document above concerning the principle proportionality, the prohibition of laws discriminating certain groups (or favoring them) deal a huge blow to quite a lot of nations on this planet, including some European ones.

Will this change anything in countries like Pakistan? I doubt it. But at least it is clear now even for the greatest apologist, that blasphemy laws are against the human rights convention.

Will this change anything in countries like Austria, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, and San Marino (countries with blasphemy laws) or to countries like Andorra, Cyprus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine (countries with "religious insult" being an offense punishable by law) ?

I think it WILL change some of those laws. And it is about time !

Freitag, 5. August 2011

Psychological association calls for legalization of same-sex marriage

Interesting to see that the APA is finally calling for the legalization of same sex marriage.
As we saw same sex marriages in NY just weeks ago this seems a very good move at a very good time.

The scientific and professional organization's guiding body voted unanimously at its annual meeting this week in Washington to declare its support for "full marriage equality for same-sex couples."
The resolution "clarifies the Association's support for same-sex marriage" in light of new research, the group said. A similar resolution in 2004 opposed discrimination against same-sex relationships, but refrained from a more formal policy recommendation.
Dr. Clinton Anderson, APA associate executive director, said that the timing of the resolution is an indirect result of several states' legalization of marriage.