A Neat Way To Attack Bigotry

I spend plenty of time ridiculing bigots on Twitter. Sometimes it works and makes them modify their behaviour, but some are just so thick-skinned they just won’t be deflected. Some of the worst bigots are those who believe they’re hating in God’s name – they equate the backlash on Twitter with Jesus’ suffering, and are spurred to ever-greater heights of nastiness.
One such hate-filled moron is a young woman called Raissa Nkuba, better known to Twitter users as @MissRaissa. She’s a deeply religious woman (she says) but she’s primarily obsessed with the parts of the Bible related to sex. In particular (it may come as no surprise to discover) she’s obsessed with the “sin” of homosexuality.
Debating Raissa is repetitive, and a pastime I’ve largely given up (though many brave souls still try). When picked up on a homophobic comment, she’ll quickly fall back on explaining how she “hates the sin, not the sinner”, while making it perfectly clear that she loathes both sin and sinner.
So how do you tackle someone so certain in their God-inspired bigotry without getting bored (or boring), or looking like a bully? Tweeter @Inrodeo has come up with a cunning plan: he’s set up a fund-raising page where people can donate to an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender) cause in protest at Raissa’s homophobia. The more she hates gays, the more money can be raised for a good cause.
So next time Raissa or one of her homophobic friends annoys you, please consider donating to the Miss Raissa Help A Homo fund (OK, it’s not actually called that). Click here to see the page and donate.
Miss Raissa herself has responded to the fundraiser with the following tweet:

The Sexualisation That Wasn’t

The British are known for being prudish about sex, but that’s not really a fair view; Britain’s a very secular country and religion has little sway over the views of the average person. Many Brits are far more relaxed and open about sex than our reputation would suggest. But for some reason, our political leaders and media are years behind the rest of us when it comes to sexual attitudes.

For the past year or so, there’s been a coordinated media campaign to persuade us that British society, and British children in particular, are being “sexualised”. A variety of news outlets, ranging from the obvious (the Daily Mail) to the more surprising (Channel 4) have been increasingly vocal in spreading the sexualisation message. Politicians have taken up the cry. The campaign, though apparently a grass-roots one, has been driven by Christian cash and PR expertise, much of it being driven from the United States.

The Conservative party, now in government, has helped pump up the fear. David Cameron commissioned a report on sexualisation from Reg Bailey (picture above), Chief Executive of the Mothers’ Union. Which happens to be a Christian organisation. Bailey has no expertise in the area of sexuality, but is paid to push right-wing Christian views into the mainstream. The secular British people have been pushed into a Christian-led moral panic without realising it.

The Bailey/Christian/conservative argument is completely circular:

  1. The media has been running scare stories based on Christian PR claiming that “our children are being sexualised”, without any facts or research to back up this claim.
  2. Bailey then surveys parental attitudes in a highly biased way and comes to the conclusion that “parents are concerned about sexualisation” (note, not a shred of evidence to show that these “parental concerns” are actually justified).
  3. The Conservatives in government then take Bailey’s worthless, biased conclusion and use it to propose some of the most draconian censorship seen in any democratic country.

The result of this masterful piece of conservative PR is that Britain faces new laws and regulations that will take our already high levels of censorship to new levels. Many British people, including many who consider themselves liberal, have been tricked into agreeing with the conclusions – because after all, what right-minded person wants children to be “sexualised”?

Think please, dear reader: what does “sexualisation” actually mean? Are children watching Rhianna’s music videos and rushing out to have underage sex as a result? Does the (completely-non-sexual) Playboy logo on a writing book send children into a frenzy of sexual experimentation? The answer of course is No. There is NO academic research to suggest that children are becoming “sexualised” – whatever that might really mean.

Sexualisation, if it exists at all, is what happens (and has always happened) to children when they reach puberty. Before this, they have little interest in sex, after this moment they become fascinated by it. Britain has made great strides in the past 15 years to improve sex education for children and teenagers, and the result is more confident, more educated teenagers.

If children have been so “sexualised” by the Internet, by music videos, or by “inappropriate” clothing, why have teen pregnancy rates more than halved since 1997? (See graph on BBC news item).

British small-C conservatives, as with many in Europe, are feeling stronger and more confident than they have for many years. The “sexualisation” story is just one front of a wider attack on freedoms that progressives have won in recent years and decades. Don’t believe the scare stories – your children are safer than they’ve ever been – and that’s because society has become more relaxed about sex, not in spite of that fact.

In the next few months, we will see the start of unprecedented levels of censorship in the UK. It will be sold as “protecting our children” or “protecting us from terror”, but the aim is to censor our home Internet connections (work is already in progress) and our TV channels (we already have the tightest TV rules in Europe). If we don’t resist these changes now, we may look back with nostalgia at a golden era of British free speech: beginning in 1994 with the widespread appearance of the web, and ending in 2011, as our fear of “sexualisation” overcame our belief that freedom of expression is at the core of a free, stable society.

Banning Sharia And Other Dangerous Things

About six months ago, the US state of Oklahoma pioneered the banning of Sharia (Islamic) law. It’s not too clear why, since Muslims represent only about 0.4% of Oklahoma’s population, but given Oklahoma’s habit a century ago of hanging black men from trees, picking on defenseless minorities seems to be standard Oklahoman thinking. At least 13 states have now proposed such legislation, for no apparent reason other than the fear of minorities that seems to make up an important part of the white American psyche.

I wondered if there were other “useful” laws that Oklahoma should consider introducing, and here’s a selection, with thanks to some helpful people on Twitter.

  • Ban Dragons – Big, scary and fire-breathing. A menace to all God-fearing Oklahomans.
  • Ban Faster-than-light travel – it may be impossible, but do we really want to take the risk? (@ikonografer)
  • Mandatory leashing of unicorns – have you seen the horns on those things? (@DanVerg)
  • Gravity to remain between 9.7 and 9.9 meters-per-second-squared – do you want your weight to increase suddenly without warning? Me neither.
  • Ban christian fundamentalism – proposed by @elizabethr1533 who is obviously a Muslim-loving Commie.
  • Ban monsters under the bed – thank you to brother @cpoffers for this sensible idea.
  • Ban Spiders were suggested by @seancourt, who obviously hasn’t thought about feasibility. Much easier to ban something that isn’t there.
  • Black men to be banned from running for President – no, I didn’t think it could happen either. Does Oklahoma want to risk it happening a second time?
  • Ban Gays – you mean they haven’t already?!?! (@mrrob88 and @jonrod1) – I should point out they were joking. I think.
  • Alligators over 1 metre in length should be forbidden from keeping pet cats (@metalollie) – I don’t think you’re taking this exercise seriously.
  • Bill Bertrand suggested on my Facebook page that False Raptures should be banned. Interesting idea, but far too sensible.
  • Also on Facebook, Tziedel Tammas proposed Equal rights for Martians – that’s much better, though the prospect of Oklahomans voting in favour of equal rights for anything seems unlikely.

Feel free to add your own below.

Whatever Happened To Jesus?

Well folks, here we are: 22nd May 2011. The Second Coming was yesterday, according to the lying fraudulent moron Harold Camping. To be fair, as we go to press, it’s still 21st May in some parts of the world. But unless Jesus decides to appear in Hawaii any minute now, we can assume it’s not going to happen.

Us educated, enlightened people can have a good laugh if we choose (watch the hilarity unfold live on the #May21 Twitter hashtag), at the poor suckers who believed Camping and prepared for Jesus. You can imagine their shock and disappointment, even if they didn’t get rid of their worldly possessions or tell their boss to go fuck himself. But really it’s not so funny.

Camping, like anyone who makes money from selling God, Jesus, Heaven or The Rapture, is a fraud and a liar. He’s also a very wealthy man, who’s made tens of millions of dollars from selling false hope to the poor, the desperate and – let’s tell it how it is – the stupid.

He’s not the only bad guy here: the US education system, for example, could be expected to arm people against obvious nonsense like the Rapture fairy-tale. And the desperately unfair distribution of wealth in modern US society has left millions of people poor and desperate enough – within the world’s wealthiest society – to turn to this modern-day witch-doctery for help.

On the other hand… perhaps we shouldn’t be feeling too sorry for those who were hoping for the Second Coming yesterday. The Second Coming would have been Step One; Step Two being the Rapture on 21st October (again, according to Camping). The Rapture is a hateful piece of religious nonsense; it’s based on the End Of Days idea in 1 Thessalonians, with some 17th-century American modifications. The idea is that at the End Of Days, the righteous will literally rise up into the sky (naked, apparently) and ascend to heaven; while everyone else on Earth is condemned to burn in Hell for all eternity. If you follow some of these Armageddon types (as I have the pleasure of doing), you’ll realise that their anticipation isn’t just about rising to heaven; they’re equally excited about seeing us sinners (representing approximately 99% of the world’s population) stay behind and burn in hellfire. Which is hardly the kind of loving attitude Jesus was trying to encourage in his followers. So go on then, enjoy a moment of gloating. They would.

Is Jesus Coming on 21st May?

Meet Harold Camping, an 89-year-old preacher from Oakland, California. The US of course has plenty of preachers – far too many, some would say. but Camping is special for a couple of reasons. First, he heads the Family Radio Network, an organisation sitting on $120m of assets, all generously donated by Camping’s many followers. Second, he’s predicted the Second Coming with great precision.

Real soon now (according to Camping), on 21st May 2011, Jesus will return, as so long awaited by Christians worldwide. Exactly five months later, on 21st October, the world will end, and the true believers (anyone who has donated money to Camping’s Ministry) will rise up to heaven, while the rest of us will be consumed in hellfire for all eternity.

Camping is an ex-civil engineer, and his prophesy is based on mathematics. 2011 (Camping says) is exactly 7,000 years after the great flood that God sent to destroy almost all life, because his Creation was pissing him off. 21st May somehow equates to the age of Noah at the time of the flood. You can read Camping’s full reasoning at the bottom of this article, but warning: it may give you a nosebleed.

You might think that a rational society would universally laugh at Camping, but he seems to have a good number of followers. Below are some of the faithful on Twitter. Feel free to contact them on 22nd May to ask what happened to Jesus. But don’t expect a reply.

Appendix: Harold Camping’s Explanation For Choosing 21st May 2011

Since I expect the original page to vanish from his site on or shortly after 21st May, here is the text explaining his “mathematical” calculations for the end of the world. I include it here for completeness only.

JUDGMENT DAY


 
 

 


THE END OF THE WORLD IS ALMOST HERE!
HOLY GOD WILL BRING JUDGMENT DAY ON
MAY 21, 2011


JUDGMENT DAY is feared by the world and is the day that God will destroy the world because of the sins of mankind. The world is correct in believing that Judgment Day will come. The Bible gives us the correct and accurate information about that Day.

The Bible is the Holy Book written by Holy God who is the Creator of this beautiful world. The Holy Bible is without question a very ancient book, having been completed about 1,900 years ago. In its original languages (mostly Hebrew and Greek) it has never been changed, and each and every word in the original languages is from the mouth of God. The Bible is divided into two parts (the Old Testament and the New Testament), with each part divided into many books. Each book is divided into chapters, and each chapter is divided into verses. One of the books is named Second Timothy (2 Timothy). In Chapter 3, verse 16 (2 Timothy 3:16) of this book Holy God tells us:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

In Jeremiah 36:1-4 God gives an example of how the Bible was written:

And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which He had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book [the roll of the book is the Bible].

Holy God is far, far greater than our human minds can even begin to explain or understand. In Genesis 1:1 God declares:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth

The Holy Bible is a book written to us so that we can know that Holy God created this beautiful universe, including all of its plants and animals, birds and sea creatures, and mankind who was created to rule this earth. Indeed there is no being of any kind that can compare with Holy God, who simply by speaking brought every kind of plant, animal, sea creature, and mankind, sun, stars, etc., into existence. For example, Holy God tells us in His Holy Bible in Genesis 1:24-26:

And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

The people of the earth, which we call mankind, were created to rule over this earth. God gave laws by which we can live as happily and wisely as possible. He warns, however, that the breaking of those laws is sin, and sin will bring punishment from God. The Bible declares in Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death….

 

The Bible teaches there is only one God. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 4:39:

Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD He is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.

Because God is so great and glorious He calls Himself by many different names. Each name tells us something about the glorious character and nature of God. Thus in the Bible we find such names as God, Jehovah, Christ, Jesus, Lord, Allah, Holy Spirit, Savior, etc. Names such as Jehovah, Jesus, Savior, and Christ particularly point to God as the only means by which forgiveness from all of our sins and eternal life can be obtained by God’s merciful and glorious actions. For more information on this subject, you may request a free copy of I Hope God Will Save Me.

Many books have been written about the Bible, or are regarded as additions to the Bible, like the Koran or the Book of Mormon. But however old or prestigious or well- accepted as a holy book they may be, no book other than the Bible is written by God Himself, and is Holy as the Bible is Holy. God warns in Revelation 22:18:

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.

The word “plagues” in this verse refers to the punishment of death and destruction that will come upon all those who sin. The Bible teaches that even though God loves this world, which He in His infinite wisdom created, the law of God requires that those who sin must be punished by death. The Bible says in Ezekiel 18:20: The soul that sinneth, it shall die. In Romans 3:10 the Bible declares: There is none righteous [has not sinned], no, not one.

God must also obey His law and therefore, since all the people of the world are sinners, He finally must destroy the world. It is evident that sin in the world has become very great. The Bible warns in Jeremiah 25:33:

And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.

However, the Holy Bible tells us that Holy God is a God of great mercy, compassion and love. That is why He has given us in advance of the destruction the exact time of the Day of Judgment. The Bible tells us in Amos 3:7:

Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth his secret unto His servants the prophets.

Consequently we now can know from the Bible the exact time and many details of God’s destruction plan that is to come upon the whole world.

While there is still time we can very humbly cry to God for His gracious mercy. Maybe, since God is such a merciful God, He might forgive someone who is humbly pleading with God for mercy. God promises for example in Zephaniah 2:3:

Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.

Holy God demonstrates for us that He is completely able to bring destruction on this whole world because of sin. The Holy Bible informs us of this awesome fact in Genesis 6:12-13:

And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

By careful study of the Bible we learn that in the year 4990 B.C. (Before Christ) God brought a flood of water and destroyed the entire earth except for eight people and the animals that were with them. They were not destroyed because God brought them into the safety of the ark. Their leader, Noah, had obeyed God’s command to build a huge boat, called an ark, about 450 feet (137 meters) long.

The Holy Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:7:

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Seven days before the beginning of the Flood that completely covered the entire earth, God commanded Noah to warn the peoples of the world that they had seven days to get into the safety of the ark. The Holy Bible tells us that on the 17th day of the 2nd month of that year God shut the door of the ark. Then, the Flood began to completely cover the entire earth.

About 5,000 years later God wrote in His Holy Bible in 2 Peter Chapter 3 about this worldwide destruction by water in the days of Noah. In the same chapter He also warned that the time would come when Holy God would destroy the whole world by fire. Our entire universe would be forever destroyed. In between these two declarations of worldwide destruction that would come because of sin God made a very important statement. God declared in 2 Peter 3:8:

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

God had written in the Holy Bible in Genesis 7:4:

For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

God added in Genesis 7:10-11:

And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the Flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

The ark that Noah had built was the only place of safety from the destruction of the Flood. Likewise, God’s gracious mercy is the only place of safety from the destruction that is coming on the Day of Judgment.

In 2 Peter 3:8, which is quoted above, Holy God reminds us that one day is as 1,000 years. Therefore, with the correct understanding that the seven days referred to in Genesis 7:4 can be understood as 7,000 years, we learn that when God told Noah there were seven days to escape worldwide destruction, He was also telling the world there would be exactly 7,000 years (one day is as 1,000 years) to escape the wrath of God that would come when He destroys the world on Judgment Day. Because Holy Infinite God is all-knowing, He knows the end from the beginning. He knew how sinful the world would become.

Seven thousand years after 4990 B.C. (the year of the Flood) is the year 2011 A.D. (our calendar).

4990 + 2011 – 1 = 7,000

[One year must be subtracted in going from an Old Testament B.C. calendar date to a New Testament A.D. calendar date because the calendar does not have a year zero.]

Thus Holy God is showing us by the words of 2 Peter 3:8 that He wants us to know that exactly 7,000 years after He destroyed the world with water in Noah’s day, He plans to destroy the entire world forever. Because the year 2011 A.D. is exactly 7,000 years after 4990 B.C. when the flood began, the Bible has given us absolute proof that the year 2011 is the end of the world during the Day of Judgment, which will come on the last day of the Day of Judgment.

Amazingly, May 21, 2011 is the 17th day of the 2nd month of the Biblical calendar of our day. Remember, the flood waters also began on the 17th day of the 2nd month, in the year 4990 B.C.

The Holy Bible gives several additional astounding proofs that May 21, 2011 is very accurate as the time for the Day of Judgment. For more information on this subject, you may request a copy of We Are Almost There, available free of charge from Family Radio.

God is proving to us that we have very accurately learned from the Holy Bible God’s time-plan for the end of the world.

GOD’S SUBLIME MERCY AND COMPASSION

God in His Holy Bible has given us a beautiful example of His compassionate mercy. Included in the Holy Bible is the book called Jonah. In it God tells of a very wicked city with a population of more than 120,000 people that existed about 2,800 years ago. It was called Nineveh, which was a capital city of the nation of Assyria that knew nothing of the Bible. But because of its wickedness and because Holy God is merciful, He sent a prophet named Jonah to that city. Jonah’s message from God to them was that in 40 days the whole city was to be destroyed.

The whole city correctly believed with all their hearts that this warning was from Holy God. Thus from the king on down to the lowest servant they repented, which means they turned away from their sins and their pride. The Holy Bible tells us that they sat in sackcloth and ashes. This meant that they fully realized that because of their sins they had dreadfully shamed God. To put on sackcloth and ashes was an act of supreme humility to show in the clearest way to God and to all of the people how greatly they were humbled by their sins against Holy God. It showed that they knew that they fully deserved that God should destroy them because of their sin.

But maybe, there was hope that Holy God might change His mind and instead have mercy on them. The Bible tells us in Jonah 3:6-9:

For the word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

In answer to their complete humility we read of God’s fabulous, incomprehensible mercy toward these extremely wicked people. God tells us in Jonah 3:10:

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that He had said that He would do unto them; and He did it not.

Because this entire wicked city of Nineveh turned from their evil ways and with great humility cried to God for mercy, Holy God did change His mind and did not destroy them.

Sadly, the Holy Bible tells us that only a small percentage of today’s world will turn from their evil ways, and with great humility and fear will cry to God for mercy. Nevertheless, the Bible assures us that many of the people who do beg God for His mercy will not be destroyed. We learn from the Bible that Holy God plans to rescue about 200 million people (that is about 3% of today’s population). On the first day of the Day of Judgment (May 21, 2011) they will be caught up (raptured) into Heaven because God had great mercy for them. This is why we can be so thankful that God has given us advance notice of Judgment Day. Because God is so merciful, maybe He will have mercy on you. The Holy Bible says in Psalm 51:17:

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

And in Psalm 51:1-3 Holy God shows us the attitude we ought to have as we pray for His mercy:

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

 

Sadly, you can’t turn to your religion or go to your priest or pastor or spiritual leader for help. They, too, should be begging God for mercy for themselves. This is a matter only between you and Holy God. God knows every one of your thoughts, words, and actions. Turn away from your sins and humbly beg, beseech, and implore God for forgiveness.

And, thank God that in His great mercy He has given you this warning of the destruction that is almost here, and the great hope that you, too, might be one whom God will bring to Heaven to be with God forevermore in the highest happiness and joy and glory. Holy God in the Holy Bible teaches us in Luke 18:10-14:

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

 

May God have mercy on you as He did on this publican.

To learn much more about the details of the end of the world you are invited to write Family Radio, Oakland, California 94621, USA to request these free books, or to view them on our website, www.familyradio.com:

I Hope God Will Save Me
We Are Almost There!
To God be the Glory!

France’s Racist Burqa Ban

So France, flying the flag for secularism, equality and modernity, has bravely banned an item of clothing worn by an estimated 2,000 women – the veil properly known as the niqab, though often referred to as the burqa. Before we congratulate the French for this bold move, let’s explore some background.

Anecdote: A Mauritian friend, a light-skinned, mixed-race guy, was in Paris recently visiting family. Walking down the road with his blonde wife and their toddler, they passed a respectable-looking guy… who racially abused them and spat on their child.

Anecdote: A French friend of mine, “N”, grew up in the notorious estates (projects) in the Paris banlieues (suburbs). His mother was French, father was an Indian Muslim immigrant, and so in French terms, he’s foreign. He grew up along with other excluded sections of French society: Arabs, North Africans, Jews, Sub-Saharan Africans. Racial harassment from police was a daily part of life. He became a gifted graphic designer, but no company in Paris would hire him. He moved to London and quickly found a well-paid job. He still sees France as home, but without employment, couldn’t live there.

Anecdote: A French friend of mine lives in London. She’s white, “native” French. She visits family regularly. She tells me that racist talk is now openly accepted among white French people, with no shame or stigma attached.

Anecdote: The black British journalist Gary Younge studied for some time in Paris. He’s written of his experiences during that time, when he faced regular racial abuse and police harassment, to the point where he began to feel hatred for white people.

Anecdotes are interesting but don’t prove anything: But what about the UN report that advised on a “significant resurgence of racism” in France? The 1998 poll showing France to be the most racist country in Europe, where 38% of French people described themselves as racist? The 2005 uprisings by poor North Africans who had finally had enough? My friend N’s experience wasn’t unusual: in 2005, 5% of white graduates were unemployed, compared to 26.5% of graduates of North African origin.

Outside of football, non-white faces are barely seen in public French life. France applauded itself when its first black newsreader appeared on TV. In the 70s? 80s? 90s? Actually, it happened in 2006.

The picture at the top of this article is of a yellow Star Of David with Juif written on it (“Jew” in French). In Nazi Germany and occupied Poland, Jews were forced to wear stars saying Jude – “Jew” in German. But in Vichy France, the French carried out the persecution of Jews, and they did it the French way. While some European countries resisted German demands to hand over their Jewish citizens, France sent over 75,000 French Jews, Jewish refugees and other French citizens to the death camps. After World War 2, Germany was forced to live up to the horror of what it had perpetrated; but France was not. The willingness with which the French turned on their own Jewish population was buried, and the myth of the French Resistance was amplified instead, to present France as a heroic nation under occupation.

This is the France that banned niqabsyesterday. Europe’s most racist country, a segregated state that has never allowed equality or integration for its minorities, a country where people of Muslim origin have trouble finding employment or good housing, and face routine harassment and brutality from the police. Those who believed that this is about women’s rights or promoting secularism have been fooled – this is simply France doing what it does so well: bullying powerless minority groups that can’t hit back.

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.

Looking Ahead: Morons in 2011

At this time in a new year, you can expect political pundits, economists and “futurologists” to give their predictions for the next 12 months. As the world’s leading Moronologist (self-appointed), I’ve decided to share my predictions for the coming 12 months. Where will be the hotspots of moron activity? Who are the morons to watch? What will morons be doing and saying in 2011?

Prediction 1: Winter will be colder than summer

OK – that’s obvious. However, this simple fact takes morons by surprise every year, and provides their small minds with “evidence” that man-made global warming is a myth. Meanwhile, the oil, coal, gas, motor, road and aviation industries will continue to fund denialist organisations in order to keep millions of morons confused.

Morons to watch: in the absence of any actual scientists who deny climate change, the serial climate liar Christopher Monckton is likely to again be wheeled out by deniers. It doesn’t matter that he’s been repeatedly discredited; morons don’t check facts anyway.

Probability: 100%

Prediction 2: The Tea Party will become increasingly confused

Given the extreme levels of confusion already existing within these moronic groups, this is a braver prediction. The Tea Party is a loose-knit collection of assorted morons, who believe they are part of an “anti-elite” movement, but who in fact are funded and nurtured by some fairly “elite” types. As activists realise they’ve been primarily used as a tool to win lower taxes and looser regulation for the super rich and big business, many will drift away, disillusioned.

Morons to watch: this may be a make-or-break year for Sarah Palin, the Moron Queen of Morondom. Her chances of becoming 2012 presidential candidate seem to be slipping, and she’s likely to end 2011 by drifting further from politics towards lucrative celebrity deals.

Probability: 75%

Prediction 3: Islamaphobia to rise in Europe/Israel, peak in US/UK

This is a complex one; since 9/11, morons have been inciting even dumber morons to believe that Islam poses a threat to life, the universe and everything. Islamaphobia has helped fuel the growth of neo-fascist movements across Europe, that were already in recovery as collective memories of the Holocaust faded away. Xenophobia is at the core of European identity, though Europe plays well at being “tolerant” in between the odd genocide. Neo-fascists have been making electoral gains for some time in places like France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and across the old Soviet bloc. Israel has also seen a long rise of neo-fascists being elected – something that has deeply disturbed Holocaust survivors.

Meanwhile in Britain, which has always been less fertile ground for fascism than most of Europe, the BNP (British National Party) appears to be heading for collapse amidst electoral failure and financial meltdown. The EDL (English Defence League), perhaps Britain’s dumbest organisation, has gained somewhat as a result, but I predict that they too will splinter and decline during 2011, largely because they don’t seem to have any member who can read or write.

And in America, where mainstream politics are further to the right, the far-right have always found a home within the Republican Party, which ironically seems to rein in their more extreme elements.

Morons to watch: Publicity-seeking Pamela Geller will keep ranting to ever-smaller crowds before vanishing from public view. BNP Leader and British eyesore Nick Griffin may well be ousted as BNP leader. Creepy-looking Dutch MP and inciter of hatred Geert Wilders will continue to be the rallying point for Nazis across Europe.

Probability: 50% – very much depends on whether Islamist terrorist morons (or people pretending to be Islamist terrorist morons) succeed in any major attacks in the West during this year. Also depends on unemployment levels across Europe.

Prediction 4: US economy will gain strength as UK weakens

2011 will provide the results of the big test: stimulus spending (as tried by the Obama administration and by the outgoing Labour government in the UK until May) and government spending cuts (as favoured by the UK’s new Conservative leaders). UK consumers are already reacting badly to VAT rises and government jobs cuts… which is likely to lead to lower tax revenues, and the need for even more cuts (as already demonstrated in Ireland).

Morons to watch: the new Republican speaker John “Crybaby” Boehner needs to help derail the recovery if the Republicans are to have a good chance of winning the 2012 presidential elections. UK Prime Minister David “Rich Boy” Cameron will announce that the recovery is weaker than expected (without taking the blame) and “regretfully” announce further spending cuts.

Probability: 60% – depends on many factors including Prediction 5…

Prediction 5: Oil price rises, morons draw wrong conclusions

Upwards pressure on oil prices continues for simple reasons: the easiest-to-reach supplies are dwindling, pushing oil companies to exploit more expensive sources like oil sands and deep-sea wells. America uses in excess of a quarter of the world’s oil supplies, but developing countries are growing much faster than the West, and use more oil each day.

If your friend was addicted to a substance that is becoming increasingly expensive and hard to come by, which of the following advice would you give them?

  1. Try to use less of it, or
  2. Keep using more, and spend more time and money looking for new supplies.

The oil industry runs the Republican Party, and the Republican Party now runs the House of Representatives, so America will try 2) the moron approach. Being chronically addicted to oil, the moron approach is to spend huge amounts of money to find more oil, and deepen the addiction in the process, leading to an even deeper crash when global oil supplies finally peak. At the time of writing, the oil price is $89 per barrel, and will probably be significantly higher at the end of 2011.

Being so deeply in the grip of oil morons, America’s choices are a painful adjustment now, or an even more painful adjustment later. “Kicking the can down the road” is the moronic choice, and no doubt the approach America will take. Meanwhile China, apparently less in awe of everything the oil industry says, is investing heavily in green energy alternatives.

Morons to watch: The newly-empowered Republicans will stall attempts to invest in green energy, and try to kill rail investment (which would cut transport energy usage). The oil industry will continue to claim that there are centuries of oil supplies left, despite all the evidence. Morons will complain that the price of gas keeps rising, but keep on driving their SUVs anyway.

Probability: 80%

And finally… Predictions 6 and 7: Jesus won’t return and the world won’t end

And now for some morons we can all laugh at (well, almost all of us anyway).

A group calling itself We Can Know ran posters last year in Nashville, Tennessee to advertise their web site. They claim that Jesus will return on May 21 2011, and the world will end on October 21 2011. Their campaign was reported in The Tennessean, but the story was later removed (original link). Meanwhile, many other groups have settled on December 21 2012 as the true date.

For those who believe in the Rapture, and are worried about their pets’ wellbeing after they float up to heaven, a kindly group of atheists have set up a pet care service.

Morons to watch: look out for religious nuts acting even angrier than usual when they wake up on May 22 and find they shouldn’t have sold all their worldly belongings on eBay for a dollar.

Probability: 100% (actually, make that 99%… just in case)