My Favourite Christian Fundamentalist Tweeters

Religion is one of the great applications of Twitter. Although I’m an atheist, and strongly believe that a world without religion would be a better world, I believe in religious freedom, and wouldn’t engage with someone for their beliefs alone. However, many use religion for profit, mix religion with bigotry, or are simply too crazily entertaining to ignore. Most of the craziest Christian tweeters are based in the US, although Africa will undoubtedly offer competition in this field as its broadband connections become faster and more reliable. There are so many great examples to choose from… here are just a few.

@MissRaissa

Miss Raissa says on her bio: I am a young woman who loves God. I enjoy intellectual conversations and politics. I am 100% Pro-Life. I have a tough personality and I am also really sweet.

Really sweet? If she says so herself… but many beg to differ, especially during her many outbursts against “evil” and “wickedness” – for example on her blog: Turn away from your wickedness. Depart from sexual immorality, fornication, adultery, drunkenness, lies, gossip, homosexuality, robbery, murder. Did you notice how she snuck in sexual immorality and homosexuality? It’s these types of statements that have won Miss Raissa more enemies than friends on Twitter. Miss R’s Congolese origins may help to explain her attitudes; African Christianity being a strand that can make even US varieties look moderate.

Miss R tweets liberally, and clearly struggles with the natural urges that afflict any woman of her age, as revealed by tweets such as: when you are dealing with lust – thus demonstrating how making lust “sinful” is a fantastic way of recruiting young people to religious causes.

Miss R can come across as a confused and misguided young woman, but her blog does contain a “Donate” button, and when pressed on what the donations are for, she tends to be uncharacteristically shy, saying that they will be used for “ministry”; she obviously understands the link between preaching and profit.

@BrendaSawJESUS

Brenda is a “Prophetess”, and as you might guess from her ID, she saw Jesus. She sees many other things too, and is here to warn us to turn to God before it’s too late. I’m never sure how much of Brenda’s persona is a money-making opportunity and how much may be caused by a mental illness, but given that she reaches thousands via Twitter and Facebook, and sells her book online (presumably at a profit if anyone buys it), I consider her fair game regardless.

Brenda explains how she achieved her role as a Spokeswoman For God on her blog as follows: At the end of 1997, God sent I, Brenda, a dream/omen warning of an eclipse crashing through my eldest daughter’s window. A few weeks later in 1998 she was diagnosed with Rheumatic Fever…

She interprets the above to mean that God was calling her, though in a similar position I’d have a few questions to ask God first, like: “An eclipse is a pretty vague way of warning about Rheumatic Fever isn’t it?”, or “How does an eclipse crash through a window?”, or “If you knew my daughter was going to fall ill, why didn’t you just stop it from happening in the first place?”

Brenda’s tweets tend to entertain; here’s a taster:

I am a End Times messenger of God..I am on social networking 2 relay the warnings that God is sending B4 Jesus appears!

Question: Isn’t being a false prophet a sin? Answer: Yes, but understand the difference. False prophets make up things. Real prophets don’t (I’d hate to ask how you tell the difference).

#PROPHECY Warning from the Lord God’ March 26, 2011 “Vision of Black People Worshipping and Explosion” (Brenda’s visions are always so impressively unusual).

@apiyor

Duncan Apiyo is (I believe) Kenyan, and boldly tweets his beliefs without regard to logic or political correctness.

His tweets range from the bigoted…

Нomosexuality is evil, nobody was created a homosexual, just like nobody was created a pedophile or a murderer. Romans 1

To the somewhat confused/confusing…

Love drives out fear, thats why the selfish, atheists and the nonebeliever will always be afraid.

To the what-the-fuck-are-you-talking-about???

Doing calculations to make my perpetual energy motion equipment a realityNobody knows all about electrons or neutrons, NO EVIDENCE. Nobody has seen them, hadron colider arround jupiter cant get you any evidence

Richard Carvath

We “don’t do religion” in the UK, so I’ve selected Mr Carvath as a relatively rare British example. While across the pond, the Republican Party is home to many religious nuts, their UK equivalent, the Conservatives, keep most of their remaining fundamentalists locked up in a closet somewhere, out of the public gaze.

Richard Carvath runs a blog where he describes himself as a political activist and a former member of the Conservative Party. It seems that his gay-hating, Muslim-hating views aren’t appreciated in the modern, newly-packaged Conservatives, at least not to be waved around too publicly.

While his blog is worth a read, Richard doesn’t appear to tweet, a great loss to moron-watchers everywhere. Searching for his name on Twitter only found one recent tweet, which sums up his importance to British society: RT @r2danny2: @JJBounce well Richard Carvath is just a twat really

@JoeCienkowski

Go out on a high, so they say, so I saved best till last. Joe’s Twitter activity has declined of late, but his one-man mission is to demonstrate, using nothing but pure scientific logic, that the Bible is literally true, including his “proofs” that the Earth is 6,000 years old. One of his key arguments is that you can trace a smooth population curve from the population of the Earth after Noah’s flood 4,000 years ago (8 people, apparently) to the current population, as revealed in this tweet: human population fits like hand in glove w Noah’s 8 people 4400 years ago to 250M in 0AD, 1B in 1804, to 6.7B today. 7B in 2012

Below are a couple more, though I can’t do Joe justice here – you can find his thoughts on Twitter and (I believe) elsewhere if you Google him, though his web site seems to have vanished for the time being.

there’s not a chance we evolved, as scientifically impossible. Real evidence shows creation- directly created male and female-is true

evolution is ‘fig newton’ of your imagination. It’s real only on ‘fairytale science’. In true reality, there’s clear 1st design

one tsunami and Japan is different as we know it. The amount of water (70% on earth) also proves the flood is literally true

the resurrection is a solid LITERAL historical fact that cant be discounted but only denied by incredibility

Sorry that I missed so many favourites… feel free to add more below.

The British Government’s Moronic Oil Love

Last week’s budget by Chancellor George Osborne was unlikely to contain much good news, given the ongoing cuts; but right-wing newspapers did their best to find some anyway. The headline-grabber was an action to “help the motorist”, possibly not the constituency most in need of help, but certainly the moaniest. “TAX ON OIL FIRMS TO HELP DRIVERS” screamed the loyally Conservative London Evening Standard (full, grovelling story here), perhaps the publication most desperate to prop up Tory support, given the proximity of next year’s mayoral elections, and the apparently precarious position of London’s right-wing (and car-loving) Mayor, Boris Johnson.

The story was a gushing tribute to Osborne’s “massive tax raid” on oil companies (actually, the £2 billion is roughly one month’s profit for BP alone). But the key point is missed entirely – given that this money will be used to reduce petrol costs at the pump, it ends up being taken from the oil companies… and in large part fed straight back to them by subsidising their own product. Oh! The pain!

Hence a government subsidy to maintain the British addiction to oil is spun by the Conservatives (and more importantly their media friends) as a victory for the little man over the beastly oil giants. And yet the oil industry will have been cracking open vintage bubbly on the announcement: not only have train and bus fares continued to rise above inflation, bolstering car usage, but the government has proved itself hostile to oil alternatives such as solar, as I wrote here last month. Rocketing crude oil prices have pushed oil profits to record levels. And on top of all this, a 2p-per-litre government subsidy to petrol. This is a great time for the UK oil industry.

The rest of us should be more worried: peak oil warnings become ever louder (though apparently the cries haven’t yet reached the ears of George Osborne) and our military seems exclusively and expensively to be used for the protection of British energy supplies. The next great depression will dawn when oil production can no longer keep track of global demand, and those nations that have made a concerted investment in weaning themselves off the stuff have a chance of emerging as the next world leaders. The US is apparently intent on hitting the wall at full speed – and it seems, so is our own moron government.

Obama and Blair: Fallen Heroes

When Labour came to power in the UK in 1997, the left/centre majority heaved a sigh of relief after 18 years of Conservative rule. Britain had become a far more progressive place in those years, and the feeling that our leaders were finally in tune with us was elating. Anti-gay laws were repealed, police were subject to more control over their street behaviour, pay of teachers and nurses rose and massive investment was pumped into the crumbling education and health services. “Cool Britannia” was announced, and top music stars were seen rubbing shoulders with government ministers.

It was all so much fun that we chose to ignore the parts we didn’t want to see. Labour wasn’t going to re-nationalise any privatised industries, however messy or unwise the privatisations had been; most of the new schools and hospitals were built under a “Public-Private Partnership” regime that would work out more expensive in the long run; Blair and his top ministers seemed to love the company of Bankers and CEOs, and the rich-poor divide was allowed to widen even further.

I voted Labour in 1997 and again in 2001. And then came 9/11, and Blair’s fangs appeared. His religious mania started to be slowly unveiled (religion is a vote-loser rather than a winner in UK politics, and his spin-doctors played it down as best they could). Days after 9/11, it became obvious, to those who watched, that Iraq was in the cross-hairs of the neocons, and by mid-2002 there was no doubt that an attack on Iraq was in the planning stages (we later learned that Blair had already committed in early-2002). A large anti-war march was held in London in October 2002 (while Blair was still pretending that all options were on the table) and a huge march was held in February 2003, a month before the war. But Blair ignored the marchers, ignored the facts, ignored the majority within his own party, and took Britain to join one of the least justified, most brutal wars in modern history.

From that moment, he was widely hated by the British people, and the hatred steadily increased. When, in July 2005, terrorists killed 52 in London, and injured 700 more, most people held Blair’s Iraq adventure partly to blame, and his popularity fell further. It wasn’t just that he had carried out an unforgiveable act – it was that he had come to power as a progressive, and our eyes had finally been opened to reality. When Blair left power, exposed his deep Catholic fundamentalism, and began to profit from oil and other companies who had benefited from the Iraq war, the transformation was complete.

In the UK, we were as elated as American progressives by Obama’s election in 2008 – Bush had been hated here and worldwide for his moronic foreign policy, long before the majority of Americans turned against him. We knew, though we didn’t want to acknowledge it, that America is more than the President, and that Obama’s main reforms would be on domestic ground. Sure enough, America’s murderous behaviour towards Afghanistan and Pakistan was little changed – some things (such as drone attacks on civilians) became even worse. But we tried to ignore these, and enjoy the knowledge that Obama was more intelligent, more progressive than Bush could ever be.

So now we have a bombardment of Libya. We want to cling on to the idea that this is being done to protect civilians, but even as the bombing started, civilians were being shot dead in the streets of Yemen, Syria and Bahrain with barely a word of condemnation. It becomes increasingly clear that far from boosting the Arab revolutions, this attack on Libya will deliberately undermine them.

American progressives are going to increasingly feel about Obama the way we felt about Blair in 2003. It was easy to hate Bush – he gave us plenty of reason to, and he’d been elected by morons anyway, but Blair and Obama were ours. We can try to justify Obama’s capitulation – we already knew that America’s democracy is no longer strong enough to represent the will of the people over the interests of corporations and the military. But whichever way you look at it, betrayal hurts.

Japan vs New Orleans

Strange blog title, I know. But I was driven to write a quickie in response to a moronic tweet from @talkradiohost, who says his name is Eddie Burke and he’s a former Talk Radio host from Alaska.

Hi Eddie, you’re live on Radio Moron Watch. What would you like to say?

Well, Eddie tweeted the following: #katrina was bad- #japan worse. y R jpn ppl respectful 2 1another &ppl of kat rioted & killed, stole beat ea other? Then blam it on Gov.

OK, I think I know where you’re going with this… most of those trapped in New Orleans were of a darker complexion than the Japanese. Am I right? Let’s look at some of the OTHER differences between these situations.

  1. The Japanese united as a nation to help each other. But nobody came to help the (mostly black) people stranded in New Orleans. Instead, troops were sent in to maintain “order”. That’s right, people without food or water were treated as a “security issue”. Would Japan treat its own internal refugees like criminals? No. Would most countries? No.
  2. The US media quickly started reporting an epidemic of rape and murder in New Orleans. This turned out to be false – but it fed America’s racial stereotypes and ensured that the victims were treated like criminals, not refugees.
  3. The Japanese response to the earthquake/tsunami has been praised as excellent. Bush’s response on the other hand was so appalling it made headline news worldwide.
  4. People fleeing coastal zones in Japan were helped, taken to shelter and fed. People fleeing New Orleans were shot dead.
  5. Japan had well-built earthquake and tsunami defences, though none had predicted an event on this scale. The US Government had underfunded coastal defences, which had become unfit for purpose.
  6. Prediction: Japan’s rebuilding will be fast and fair to the residents. Bush’s rebuilding turned into a money-grabbing free-for-all by developers.

I’m sure people could add plenty more to this. Bottom line: Japan is more egalitarian, less segregated and less afraid of its own people. There’s a lesson here for you Eddie, if you wanted to think about it.

Perhaps you should educate yourself: watch Spike Lee’s jaw-dropping documentary When The Levees Broke.

Smiley Culture And Deaths In Police Custody

Today, we heard of the death of Smiley Culture (David Emmanuel), a London-born reggae artist. For anyone outside the UK, or anyone under thirty, his name will mean little, but Emmanuel had several chart hits during the 80s, in particular his 1984 hit, Police Officer, about the habit of police in unofficially “confiscating” his cannabis and letting him go rather than arresting him for possession.

His death reportedly happened during a police raid on his home, when he is said to have stabbed himself. Reaction to this explanation among the black community on Facebook and Twitter has been angry and skeptical; which is understandable, given the high incidence of black deaths in British police custody over the past few decades.

I saw an interesting suggestion that deaths in custody are more frequent under Conservative governments than Labour ones. It’s certainly true that Labour tends to demand more accountability over police behaviour, while the Tory message is that police should be “relieved of red tape” (in other words, not have to explain their behaviour towards the public).

I decided to test this theory, so I found a record of deaths in custody going back to 1993. I looked at the average annual death rate from 1993 to 1997 (Conservative administration) and from 1998 to 2010 (Labour). The results were more conclusive than I expected:

  • Average annual deaths under Labour: 38.31
  • Average annual deaths under Conservatives: 50.2

It’s also worth noting that there was a spike of deaths from 2002 to 2005, presumably related to increased police activity following 9/11, as the “war on terror” was in full swing. Without this spike, the difference between Tory and Labour administrations would be even more stark.

Whatever happened to Emmanuel, we will (or perhaps won’t) learn as time goes on.

As for deaths in police custody, let’s hope the correlation between these and the party in power proves to be purely coincidental; if not, the British people (especially ethnic minorities) are in a for a rough few years.

Fuel Price Morons

Every day now, my timeline is filled with howls of rage from both sides of the Atlantic about the high cost of gas/petrol. There are some local differences: US screams tend to be louder, reflecting their greater exposure to crude oil prices, and they tend to blame Obama for the global price rises, believing (incorrectly) that more drilling at home will fix the problem (search for the #DrillHereDrillNow Twitter hashtag to see some real-time stupidity). British morons are generally more aware of the global nature of oil pricing, so instead they turn their rage on government-imposed fuel duties. Both sides miss the key points: that rising global oil prices are outside the control of any individual or nation; that more US-based drilling will at best slow down the rise while wrecking the environment; that addiction to oil won’t be cured by further addiction; and that Europe has actually avoided the worst of oil addiction by imposing high fuel duty (although our price-per-gallon is much higher, our overall spend on fuel isn’t because we use less).

I used to love driving; I loved my car, and drove it as stupidly as a typical 19 year old wannabe racing driver could do. Then, I found a great job – the only downside being that I had a minimum 80 miles per day commute (much more if I had meetings outside the office). The cost wasn’t an issue for me; my employment package included a company car and fully-expensed fuel; but my minimum of 2.5 hours a day in the car soon started eating away at my enjoyment of driving. Despite the fact that most of my commute was on motorways with a speed limit of 70mph, my average speed was around 25mph, and lower if there had been a serious accident.

Day after day, I sat on the M25 (London’s massive ring road, often referred to as “The World’s Biggest Car Park” and subject of the Chris Rea song, Road To Hell), and pondered the wisdom of Britain’s long-term shift from rail to road. I was surrounded by thousands of other people, mostly sitting alone in their own metal boxes, all facing in the same direction, all burning fuel in their own personal engines, and moving very, very slowly.

It slowly became obvious to me that this wasn’t sustainable, either for me personally or for the country. However many lanes were added to the M25, the traffic never sped up significantly – more cars simply arrived to fill the new space. Car ownership and mileage were growing constantly. People were abandoning urban life for the suburban dream. It was clearly impossible to fit cars into a human-sized town or city; the space has to expand to cater for all the cars, whether moving or parked. Car addicts were being offered American-style shopping malls in the middle of nowhere, and town centres were beginning to wither and die as commercial places. And this was long before I first heard about Peak Oil – the (in hindsight) obvious idea that if we keep using more fuel, one day we won’t be able to get it out of the ground quickly enough to serve demand.

My long hours spent behind the wheel took their toll, and I developed back problems and asthma. I grew to hate the car, and became jealous of people who didn’t have to drive to work. Changing to a job where I had to buy my own car made the problem worse. Eventually I moved to a London-based job, sold my car, bought a new bicycle and moved home close to good public transport. On a conservative estimate, I saved £5,000 ($8,000 at today’s rate) a year, my weight fell, my health improved and so did my quality of life.

After 9/11, Osama bin Laden was very clear about his strategy to undermine American power in the Middle East: provoke US revenge attacks, create instability and drive oil prices up to $200 a barrel, thus destroying America’s oil-addicted economy. The 2000 Bush election win had been an effective coup for the oil industry; in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Bush and the neocons did what bin Laden had invited them to do, and the seeds were sown for a disastrous end-game of rising demand and unstable supply.

The oil industry is doing what it needs to do: convince us to keep using its product. It does so by lying about the risks of our continued addiction, by denying that peak oil is near, by overstating oil reserves, and by continually lobbying against any new energy source or form of transport that may threaten sales. In 2000, it even installed its own oil-friendly regime in the White House in order to preserve its revenues for another eight years. A Saudi oil minister, aware of the threat to his nation’s future if the world turned its back on oil, is quoted as saying: “The Stone Age didn’t end for lack of stone, and the oil age will end long before the world runs out of oil.”

Smart individuals can act in their own interests – primarily by abandoning car-based, suburban living. We need to appreciate that destroying more nature for a little more oil won’t change anything; and Europeans should understand that high fuel duty is what has saved us from an even worse disaster to come as oil prices keep rising. We’re driving ourselves fast towards a cliff. We need to stop moaning and start steering.

Nationally and internationally, change is much harder to execute; America in particular is so far down the route of de-urbanisation that it would take decades of concerted leadership to move society back to a high-density, low-energy style of living. And while the oil industry retains its political power, and pumps its anti-peak-oil, anti-climate-change propaganda via outlets like Fox News, this can’t even begin to happen.

Those morons who continue to ignore the obvious deserve their looming fate: suburbia and exurbia will become the new ghettos and ghost towns as their oil-based lifelines to civilisation shrivel away. They can tweet their hatred of Obama forever, but it’s the oil industry, its conservative friends, and our blind acceptance of their lies, that got us to this point.

Moron Spotlight: Jon Gaunt

Jon Gaunt is one of Britain’s favourite moronic commentators: a right-wing ranter who seems to have modelled himself along the lines of America’s nuttier commentators. He broadcast on the BBC’s London station for a while, but his moronic ranting didn’t work too well in the capital; his achievements included predicting that the London congestion charge wouldn’t reduce congestion (it did), and he eventually moved on to less challenging territory, including as a columnist for The Sun, a low-end paper that is effectively Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News equivalent in the UK.

Like America’s craziest man, Glenn Beck, Gaunt enjoys using the word Nazi to describe people he disagrees with, a habit that got him fired from a job on TalkSport Radio. Entertainingly, in his legal battle against that dismissal, he used the Human Rights Act (a creation of the EU that he has ranted against), and received the support of civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti, a woman who he had previously described as “the most dangerous woman in Britain”.

Jon has his legion of mouth-breathing fans, who call him Gaunty, and cheer on his every predictable and moronic outburst on any subject: moaning about “Europe”, moaning that car drivers are being victimised, moaning that smokers are being victimised… and of course, Jonny-boy has been at the forefront of the moron’s favourite activity: Muslim-baiting.

When I recently found Gaunty on Twitter, I was delighted – every tweet guaranteed to be a Moron-Watcher’s treat. I decided to approach him about his role in spreading anti-Muslim disinformation.

The story I was interested in appeared in the summer of 2010: a spate of reports in a number of tabloid papers stating that a “local council has covered all 250 windows at the centre in Darlaston, near Walsall, West Midlands, with dark tinted film” at the request of Muslim residents. The actual story turned out to be a lot more bland, as you’d expect – all the windows hadn’t been blacked out; the lower windows only had been frosted (not tinted) to prevent people seeing in, at the request of a number of pool users, some of whom (though not all) had been Muslim.

A completely made-up smear story making Muslims look bad, and making a local council appear “politically correct”? Perfect material for Gaunt, who covered the story during his show on SunTalk Radio, “The Home Of Free Speech” (sadly now defunct). The show blurb said “Recent reports have stated that thee swimming pool windows at Darlinton Leisure Centre in Warsall have been blacked out in order to appease Muslim Women. Ben Percival, Sports and Leisure Manager gives his view as to whether he believes this is morally right. Sun Columnist Anila Baig reveals that she is disgusted by this story.” (I’ve put the typos in bold purely for my own entertainment – it should be “Darlaston” and “Walsall”).

So I tweeted Gaunt to ask him why he spread malicious lies about Muslims, an accusation that he denied. When I pushed further, providing a link, he promptly blocked me. And there ended my dealings with this paragon of Free Speech, this voice of the common man… for now.

For more information from the man himself, see his official site. For some reason, the news section there doesn’t seem to have been updated since a January 2009 article headlined Jon Gaunt Takes Legal Action Over Radio Sacking – surprisingly, there are no links to later articles on the same story such as this one: Jon Gaunt loses court challenge over ‘Nazi’ jibe.