March 26, 2009

Forward: “Great” people of the Bible

Posted in atheism, christianity, Conservatism, creationism, Philosophy & Politics, Sociology, World Wide Web tagged , , , , , , at 9:10 pm by Bram Janssen

Here’s a fine article written by ‘Atheist under UR bed’ posted on AnAtheist on what is really so great about the most revered people in the Bible. As it turns out, when you actually do the research and read the passages, there’s not much “great” to report.

6) Jacob – Isaac’s son, Jacob, had two wives (Gen. 29:15-30Open Link in New Window). He cheated his brother Esau out of both his birthright and their father’s blessing (Gen. 25:29-34Open Link in New Window; Gen. 27Open Link in New Window). Amazingly, even though Jacob acquired these things quite dishonestly, God didn’t protest in the least. Indeed, He honored Jacob exactly as He should have honored Esau (Gen. 28:12-17Open Link in New Window). (Whoever said “Crime doesn’t pay” never read the Bible!)

Excellent post and of the sort I wish I’d written.

Click here.

December 15, 2008

Fox News Mocks Atheist Bus Campaign: “Need a hug? Go to church!”

Posted in atheism, christianity, Personal Ramblings, Philosophy & Politics, Sociology tagged , , , , , , at 2:53 pm by Bram Janssen

Here’s a toe-twister for you. Once again, this makes me so happy we don’t have anyhing like Fox News here in The Netherlands.

Apparently, the Christmas spirit should extend only to fellow Christians:

December 8, 2008

Atheist Music 03: “Celtic Frost – Ain Elohim”

Posted in atheism, Atheist Music tagged , , , at 9:46 pm by Bram Janssen

Lay thy hand on the neck of thine enemies.
Devour their flesh with thy sword.
Bring down the slain from among thine adversaries.
They shall fall to rise no more.

Tetragrammaton.
Thy wrath inflame my passion.
Tetragrammaton.
Against all sinful flesh.

Tetragrammaton.
Thy wrath inflame my passion.
Tetragrammaton.
Against all sinful flesh.

Let thy wrath consume all of thine enemies.
Scourge them with flames of fire.
Lay thy feet on the pile of those slain by thy mysteries.
We shall be cleansed by their blood.

Tetragrammaton.
Thy wrath inflame my passion.
Tetragrammaton.
Against all sinful…
Tetragrammaton.
Thy wrath inflame my passion.
Tetragrammaton.
Against all sinful flesh.

Thus said the Lord: I am Sabaoth.
Feel my holy wrath.
I am glorified.
I cannot be denied.

I am he who is.
Punishment for wickedness.
I am the one you dread.
You are as good as dead.

Tetragrammaton.
Thy wrath inflame my passion.
Tetragrammaton.
Against all sinful flesh.

There is no God but the one that dies with me.
I have no life but the one I take with me to the grave.
We come into this world alone.
And we will die on our own.
I live.
I die.

Ain Elohim.

December 4, 2008

Proposition 8: The Musical

Posted in atheism, christianity, Personal Ramblings, Philosophy & Politics tagged , , , , , , at 1:04 pm by Bram Janssen

Usually, I hate musicals.

November 28, 2008

Dinesh D’Souza’s nonsensical remarks on “the absentee God”

Posted in atheism, christianity, creationism, evolution, intelligent design, Sociology tagged , , , , , , , at 1:31 pm by Bram Janssen

So I’ve been reading this blog by someone about his journey from Young Earth Creationism to Evolutionism. This means he still believes God has a hand in evolution, but I can’t blame him, reading about his personal history with religion. Go read it, he has a knack for writing.

Anyway, I have a couple of things to say about his post, where he defends remarks by Dinesh D’Souza as being “speculative, but still good.” I’ll reproduce them here. Dinesh D’Souza :

Here is the thrust of Hitchens’ point: God seems to have been napping for 98 percent of human history, finally getting his act together only for the most recent 2 percent? What kind of a bizarre God acts like this? . . . The Population Reference Bureau estimates that the number of people who have ever been born is approximately 105 billion. Of this number, about 2 percent were born in the 100,000 years before Christ came to earth. “So in a sense,” [Erik] Kreps [of the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research] notes, “God’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect. If He’d come earlier in human history, how reliable would the records of his relationship with man be? But He showed up just before the exponential explosion in the world’s population, so even though 98 percent of humanity’s timeline had passed, only 2 percent of humanity had previously been born, so 98 percent of us have walked the earth since the Redemption.”

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything “good” about this quote. Two percent of 105 billion might not sound like much, but it’s still hundreds of millions of people. Didn’t these people have souls? Also, the human race nearly went extinct at one point, where was God then?

I mean, Hitchins wasn’t playing a numbers game at all- he commented on nearly 100,000 years of people dying of things like predation, petty deceases or injuries, childbirth and a real tough life in general. All of which was spent in a complete ignorance of the true and only God, worshiping false idols instead. Hitchins made a very human point, which D’Souza turned into a mere numbers game. This is very peculiar to me, since it’s usually D’Souza who likes to wave the religious banner of humanity and morality in his discussions.

One more point: He showed up just in time? This argument is so skewed it’s laughable. By the time He ‘showed up’ there were numerous civilizations, religions and cults around with centuries of traditions. Seeing how humans love to cling to traditions and world views, God should have known this was asking for conflict.

Also, the population boom came and is still going on, and still most of the people born in this prosperous time either never heard of God or don’t worship Him. Someone in God’s PR-Campaign messed up, apparently. A campaign that He never needed to organise if He had just revealed Himself in the earliest times when there were mere thousands of people on Earth- and had continued to do miracles to this very day, especially to atheists like Hitchins or me.

November 25, 2008

Thomson Lectures On The Science Of Religion

Posted in atheism, christianity, creationism, darwinism, evolution, intelligent design, Philosophy & Politics, Sociology tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:54 pm by Bram Janssen

J. Andersen Thomson gives a good scientific and psychological lecture on the human, biological side of religion. It puts religion into a testable, scientific perspective, which is a nice relief from the usual sociological and historical arguments. It compares religion with audiovisual tricks of the brain, group mind as well as human cognition. Recommended material.

Found at richarddawkins.net

November 13, 2008

Atheist Music 02: “Greydon Square – Molotov”

Posted in atheism, Sociology tagged , , , at 3:26 pm by Bram Janssen

The product of God & Allah is Osama Bin Laden
George Bush, Saddam Hussein just bottling problems
Stickin’ dirty rags in the top and lightin’ the bottom
Holdin it wit a smile to throw it into the crowd

Kaplow, its bigger than George Bush and Osama
Or if we ready for a black president named Obama
I’m tryin to fight my own indoctrination
They think they can stop an Atheist by sayin’ he’s prayin to Satan

Oh yeah, I fought the holy war in Iraq
So get ya facts straight before you stick your sword in my back
God Bless the troops, that’s kinda odd
America only blesses you as a troop if you believe in their Gods

So where does that leave me?
They tell me to leave G
But at the same time they tell me America needs me
See I can deal with people pointing fingers laughin’ at me
But if it’s one nation under God then I’ll happily leave

Try to draft me then, call me a draft dodger
And try and catch me I’ll be the one laughin’ then
Why would I accept a religion that my slave owners practiced?
At the same time keeping the gauge under the mattress

People comin’ in masses
Reverends & chaplains
Buddhists, Hindus, & Catholics
Even heaven’s assassins
Secret organizations that convene at the Vatican
To discuss how to either convert or beat up the pacifists

I’m the Malcolm X of Atheism
By any means necessary take it to em’
This how I’ll break it to em’

Your God is logically impossible
And can’t even survive the most basic logical obstacles
God of the impossible huh

It’d be impossible for him to be the God of impossible stupid
You really need to look at the facts,
Look at holes in your religion, look at the cracks
Infinite Regression prevents a God from even existing

Let alone an intelligent one this is just the beginning
I’m Greydon Square and no longer am playin fair
I’m Kirk Cameron’s worst nightmare, Cheers

April 10, 2008

Remembering The Mourre-Berna Proclamation

Posted in atheism, christianity, creationism, Personal Ramblings, Philosophy & Politics, Sociology, World History at 11:25 am by Bram Janssen

Verily, verily, let’s not forget the brave souls who rose against the Catholic Church in risk of their precious lives.

Actually, and in all honesty, I don’t believe this is the most proper or the smartest way to go about spreading the word of anti-religion, but you got to admire this man’s balls. Brass balls indeed. During the high Easter mass in the Notre-Dame and dressed in the garb of a Dominican monk, he waited for an opportunity to climb the rostrum and declare the following message to the hundreds gathered and many thousands more at home who watched it on television or listened to it on the radio:

Today, Easter day of the Holy Year here, under the emblem of Notre-Dame of Paris I accuse the universal Catholic Church of the lethal diversion of our living strength toward an empty heaven I accuse the Catholic Church of swindling I accuse the Catholic Church of infecting the world with its funereal morality of being the running sore on the decomposed body of the West. Verily I say unto you: God is dead We vomit the agonizing insipidity of your prayers for your prayers have been the greasy smoke over the battlefields of our Europe. Go forth then into the tragic and exalting desert of a world where God is dead and till this earth anew with your bare hands with your PROUD hands with your unpraying hands. Today Easter day of the Holy Year Here under the emblem of Notre-Dame of Paris we proclaim the death of the Christ-god, so that Man may live at last.

April 9th this was 58 years ago. The man had to be rescued by the police from an ensuing angry mob that would probably have ripped him to shreds if they got their hands on him. More on that whole affair here.

February 8, 2008

Atheist Music 01: “Slayer – Disciple”

Posted in atheism, Atheist Music, creationism at 6:11 pm by Bram Janssen

Slayer

Drones since the dawn of time
Compelled to live your sheltered lives
Not once has anyone ever seen
Such a rise of pure hypocracy
I’ll instigate I’ll free your mind
I’ll show you what I’ve known all this time

God Hates Us All, God Hates Us All
You know it’s true God hates this place
You know it’s true he hates this race

Homicide-Suicide
Hate heals, you should try it sometime
Strive for Peace with acts of war
The beauty of death we all adore
I have no faith distracting me
I know why your prayers will never be answered

God Hates Us All; God Hates Us All
He Fuckin’ hates me

Pessimist, Terrorist targeting the next mark
Global chaos feeding on hysteria
Cut throat, slit your wrist, shoot you in the back fair game
Drug abuse, self abuse searching for the next high
Sounds a lot like hell is spreading all the time
I’m waiting for the day the whole world fucking dies

I never said I wanted to be God’s disciple
I’ll never be the one to blindly follow

Man made virus infecting the world
Self-destruct human time bomb
What if there is no God would you think the fuckin’ same
Wasting your life in a leap of blind faith
Wake the fuck up can’t ignore what I say
I got my own philosophy

I hate everyone equally
You can’t tear that out of me
No segregation -separation
Just me in my world of enemies

I never said I wanted to be God’s disciple
I’ll never be the one to blindly follow
I’ll never be the one to bear the cross-disciple

I reject this fuckin’ race
I despise this fuckin’ place

January 30, 2008

Arguments Against God #01: There Are Transitional Fossils

Posted in Archaeology, atheism, christianity, creationism, darwinism, evolution, Paleontology at 1:01 pm by Bram Janssen

“There are no transitional fossils”

“Darwin himself admitted there were no transitional fossils”

This is one of the main arguments an evolutionist gets from non-evolutionists. It’s always something like this: “If land animals evolved from fish, then where are the transitional forms- the fish with feet? Or where are the half-human apes?”

Of course Darwin was one of the first biological evolutionists living at a time when the field was yet newborn and he made mistakes because of that. But Darwin did not know about punctuated equilibrium. This was only “discovered” and developed in the 1970s:

“Evolution is characterized by geologically long periods of stability during which little speciation occurs, punctuated by short periods of rapid change, species undergoing most of their morphological changes shortly after breaking from their parent species.”

This was a major advance in evolutionary science that was spun by its opponents as being proof Darwinists were clinging to straws. Darwin himself thought of speciation as pretty much of a gradual process – like a child growing into an adult is gradual – but what 150 years of fossil-digging has shown us is that speciation is more like driving a car with a faulty gearbox. Darwin could not know this, nor could any of his contemporaries. What has happened here is called: “gaining knowledge about a subject through test and theory.” You cannot quote Darwin or his colleagues in the context of disproving transitional forms, much in the same way as not quoting Galileo Galilei on the nature of comets.

But what are the implications of punctuated equilibrium in the search for transitional fossils? Well, mainly: expect them to be hard to find. If life on earth evolved in (relatively) short spurts, chances are you will be finding a lot of fossils from the much, much longer periods of gradual evolution.

That is not to say there are no transitional forms found, museums are filled with them. In a broad sense every creature that has ever lived and every organism that is alive today is transitional species. But if you want fish with feet: here is one:

tiktaaliktiktaalik impression

This is tiktaalik, read up on it here and here. Here is an interview (video) with the co-discoverer of tiktaalik: “Neil Shubin.” (Note that he doesn’t like the term “missing link”)

Of course the anti-evolutionists follow suit with denying it’s transitional:

“However, the claim of a transition from water to land is no more than a dream, because the physiological gulfs between terrestrial animals and fish cannot be overcome by any of the fictitious mechanisms of the theory of evolution. The latest attempt to make Tiktaalik roseae fit this scenario, which is supported out of blind devotion to the theory of evolution and rests on no scientific evidence whatsoever, is based on preconceptions and intentional misinterpretation.”

I don’t have a mind to go debunk the entire article, suffice to say it shows a shocking lack of what is actually out there. The depth of ignorance is staggering.

Here’s an apeman:

australopithecus

To be precise: here is Australopithecus Anamensis

Here’s a dinosaur bird:

dinobird

All of these (and there are many, many more, musea filled with them) aren’t convincing to the anti-evolutionists. They might say the fossil isn’t transitional but either one or the other. They might also claim it’s a sick animal or human, deforming by say: “arthritis” (the first ever found Neanderthal Man had arthritis, which was spun by some as meaning: all Neanderthal specimens ever discovered were normal modern humans with arthritis. Which makes me wonder why my arthritic neighbor doesn’t look like a Neanderthal Man.)

In the end, what it boils down to is misinformation and ignorance. Groups and individuals claiming there are no transitional fossils always show a lack of knowledge of what has actually been discovered and how these discoveries were actually interpreted. To remedy this I can only recommend two things: teach every child from any cultural background evolutionary science and fact and – if it’s too late for that – read up on the scientists’ side of the issue.

January 24, 2008

De Bond Tegen Het Vloeken (Maar eigenlijk tegen blasfemie)

Posted in atheism, christianity, Personal Ramblings, Sociology at 12:18 pm by Bram Janssen

vloek

Volgens de website van de “Bond tegen het vloeken” is dit de achterliggende gedachte van deze poster:

De Bond tegen het vloeken is deze week gestart met een nieuwe postercampagne. De campagne met de slogan ‘Als er een vloek valt, breekt er iets’ richt zich op het kwetsende karakter van vloeken.

Een vloek wordt vaak in een opwelling, onnadenkend geuit. Toch kan zo’n enkel woord mensen in de omgeving pijnlijk raken en meer teweeg brengen dan je je bewust bent. Doel van de campagne is mensen hierover aan het denken te zetten. De aanpak van vloeken begint bij bewustwording.

De slogan ‘Als er een vloek valt, breekt er iets’ wordt gevisualiseerd door een kapot gevallen wijnglas.
“Breekt er iets”? Volgens mij is vloeken juist een uitvloeisel van potentieel kwetsend gedrag. Als een man tegen zijn vriendin zegt: “Ik wil je niet meer zien- ga weg en laat me alleen,” is dit volgens mij toch even kwetsend als: “Rot op, slet.” Het kwetsende hier is het gedrag en de wens van de man, niet de woordkeus van de man.

En dan dit:
lindavloek

Dit staat op de website van de Bond, onomwonden:

Doel: Uit diep respect voor de Naam van God wil de Bond een eerbiedig en juist gebruik van Gods Naam in de samenleving bevorderen. We stellen echter niet alleen vloeken, maar ook schelden aan de kaak. De Bond zet zich in voor respectvol taalgebruik in de meest brede zin van het woord.

Vloeken gebeurt vaak onnadenkend. Vandaar die papegaai in het logo. De Bond streeft ernaar dat mensen zich meer bewust worden van wat ze zeggen en wat ze hiermee God en medemensen kunnen aandoen.

Motivatie:

De motivatie voor ons werk vinden we in de Bijbel. Bijvoorbeeld in het Onze Vader, waarvan de eerste bede luidt: ‘Uw Naam worde geheiligd’. Liefde en hoogachting voor God zijn drijfveer voor ons werk. Maar we weten ons ook gesteund door opvattingen die breed gedragen worden in onze samenleving. Vrijwel iedereen vindt vloeken en schelden onbeschaafd.

 

Ik geloof niet in God. Ik geloof niet in “een” God en ook niet in aliens, engelen, telepatie of Sinterklaas. De Bond is echter een spreekorgaan voor Christelijk Nederland. Hun motieven zijn door-en-door Christelijk. Ze zeggen terecht dat iedereen vloeken en schelden onbeschaafd vindt, maar dat wil nog niet zeggen dat blasfemie onbeschaafd is. Er valt zelfs iets te zeggen voor blasfemie.

 

Christenen indoctrineren kinderen, ze discrimineren jegens vrouwen en homosexuelen en ze verkopen prietpraat. Dankzij de “verlichte” conclusies die ze trekken over normen en waarden zijn er op dit moment honderduizenden mensen een langzame dood aan het sterven door HIV, vooral in Afrika. Dankzij het Christendom hebben we duizend jaar “Dark Ages” gehad tussen nu en de laatste grote beschaving van de Romeinen. Voor Christenen is het belangrijker om kuis en nederig te zijn dan assertief en te werken aan je volle potentiaal.

 

Christenen proberen normen en waarden op te leggen gebruikmakend van een fundamenteel foute basis: een immens verouderd, bij elkaar geraapt en oneindig gereviseerd boek uit het stenen tijdperk- vol met tegenstrijdigheden, gruwelijkheden en klinkklare nonsens. Voor alle “wijze lessen” in de Bijbel staan er zeker twee maal zo veel “onwijze lessen” in.

 

Ben ik nu echt de enige die een godsgruwelijke hekel heeft aan De Bond? Ok, ik besef me helemaal dat het allemaal nogal onschuldig is, en dat de acties van de Bond nu niet bepaald verstrekkend zijn, maar ik vind het allemaal zo’n verspilling van geld en moeite.

 

Christenen verdienen geen speciale behandeling- ze verdienen respect en fatsoen net als iedereen dat verdiend. Ze hebben echter helemaal niet het recht om naar wij gepeupel te wijzen met een vermanende, patriarchische vinger over ons taalgebruik. Ze staan niet boven de rest, ze zijn deel van de rest en het wordt eens tijd dat ze zich daar naar gingen gedragen.

January 7, 2008

“God is punishing me for not believing in Him”

Posted in atheism, christianity, creationism, intelligent design, Sociology, World Wide Web at 9:03 pm by Bram Janssen

god punishes me for not believing in him

For a long while now, I’ve been a steady reader of PostSecret. It’s a well-known blog featuring postcards sent in by anonymous people- all of them sharing a personal message or “secret.” One returning message is people struggling with their belief in God. Or disbelief, such as the person who sent in the card above. This theme is a fairly common one on PS.

“I don’t believe in God & I believe he is punishing me for just that….”

Behold the terrible power of indoctrination. At first glance, the message of this card is almost laughable to both believers and atheists, but once you really start to think about it, the utter sadness of it becomes clear. This is a message filled with despair- a true believer whose faith is shaken and is left with… well, with what? Most religions try their very best at convincing their flock (their term, not mine) that there is no life without God. No real one at any rate– you will not have hope, love or morals. You’ll be damned to rot in Hell too, especially if you once believed. (I remember reading that there is always hope for those poor, lost souls who never came into contact with Christianity at all.)

However, in this day and age it’s becoming increasingly easier and affordable to become well-informed. Close-mindedness is under attack by the Internet (by people such as me) and elements of the mass media (unfortunately, however, large parts of the media still think small minds are right minds). Pretty soon, the inevitable will happen: the mind of a true believer will start to refuse to believe in God.

And so you might end up torn apart, with a heart that belongs to God and a mind that belongs to reason. No wonder religions force upon the masses that true faith is blind faith. There truly is no other way to believe. The only way the cardwriter’s split being can be healed is to allow himself to see that the notion of God almighty isn’t the only thing that’s awry- the doctrine that a life without God is a life wasted is equally false. There is beauty, love and above all: honesty and truth beyond God and dogma.

December 20, 2007

New I.D. film: “Playground For The Expelled” aka “Playground For The Crybabies”

Posted in atheism, conspiracy theory, creationism, darwinism, evolution, intelligent design, Philosophy & Politics, Sociology at 10:44 pm by Bram Janssen

Intelligent Design… [insert huge sigh here]

Now you have got to credit these folks: they never give up. Their fanaticism seems to have no bound!

In theatres 2008: “The Playground For The Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”

Watch the trailer.

Now I’d like to start off my criticism with this message: all pretense gone! They seem to have come out of the closet when it comes to the role Creationism plays in their ideas. Not that there was any doubt about it since the Dover trial. With a film endorsed by the Intelligent Design movement and with interviews with prominent I.D. front-men, the case seems clear.

With that out of the way… well, honestly, I can feel nothing but contempt for the message and tone of this trailer. It’s all: “boo-hoo-hoo, the Neo-Darwinists are oppressing us for no other reason than us righteously questioning their theory.” This awesome lie is bound to fail of course.expain

First of all, it is common knowledge now that Intelligent Design is a farce. No playing martyr is going to change that. The only thing that could only ever change the pitiful status of Intelligent Design as a scientific theory is evidence. Rock-hard, ice-cold evidence. And don’t think of bringing on the vertebrate eye or the bacterial flagellum once more, like you did in Dover. In fact, don’t bring any examples at all- bring testable, structurally sound theories. And stop this conniving and scheming.

This trailer is a new low in outrageous Creationist propaganda, second only, maybe, to The Way Of The Master. Check that out for some gruesome twists in the fabric of reality.

Arguments Against God

Posted in atheism, christianity, conspiracy theory, creationism, darwinism, evolution, intelligent design, Paleoanthropology, Personal Ramblings, Sociology, Zoology at 10:36 am by Bram Janssen

Of all the foolish things people believe, God is one of the most extraordinary. I think it’s alright to have the personal belief that your life is being guided by a divine being, but it’s not alright to fight about it to the death – or at least utter tediousness – without having sufficient proof for it.

And there is no proof for God, folks, it’s time to face up to that fact. The time when the world was an almost wondrous affair are all but gone, thanks to science. What came in place of God is the beauty of the real world. Isn’t the natural world amazing and breathtaking enough, do you really even need to throw a supernatural being in the mix to be awed by reality? Isn’t life on Earth incredible enough- just look at all the incredible shapes of life! What about quantum mechanics? Astronomy? Psychology? All that science uncovers in these fields inspires in me the same awe that miracles would- all without need of a God. In fact: don’t you agree the “revelation” that all of this came about without a maker is even more inspiring than explaining it away by means of a mysterious Creator?

That said, there are millions of people around the world who claim to have evidence of said Creator. One of the themes of this weblog will be presenting these various forms of evidence and dismantling them. Yes: dismantling. As yet, there is no evidence for the existence of God or even the suggestion of the existence of God, as I will show you. Until I get down to penning about this, I’d like to present one of the strongest arguments against God I’ve heard so far, by the great George Carlin.

Dutch Christian Committees “offended by blasphemous advertisements”

Posted in atheism, christianity, creationism, intelligent design, Personal Ramblings, Philosophy & Politics, Sociology tagged , , , at 2:00 am by Bram Janssen

Several days ago, the news got out that several Dutch Christian organisations filed official complaints at the address of the Dutch “bureau for codes of conduct in commercials” (honestly, I don’t know what the official translation ought to be, so here’s the literal one) due to franchised electronics warehouse “Dixons” disrespecting Christian faith.

The franchise distributed commercial prints depicting the Three Wise Men navigating by TomTom and baby Jesus listening to ‘I’m dreaming of a white Christmas’ on an iPod in his crib. According to spokesman Bert Dorenbos these depictions are: “Dangerous, especially during Christmas time.” If you can read Dutch, here’s the original article.

Now, I’d like you to consider this and ask yourself how this is different from Islamic outrage over comic portraits of Muhammad in a Scandinavian newspaper. The only difference I can think of is the intensity in the revulsion felt by the offended religion. In fact, I think there is no difference at all. Both situations are equally outrageous and truthfully: the only “dangerous” thing in the whole situation is giving these Christian organisations credulity.

What’s more: where is the danger in these depictions anyway? What’s offensive? I don’t get it. Because it is blasphemous that Jesus might listen to a Christmas song on an iPod? Give me a break! It’s not as if he is trying to get friendly with the mule or anything. Now that would be a decent reason to take offense.

Why did I say it was dangerous to give these Christians credulity? Well, for the plain reason that they are trying to establish that Christianity needs to have a special place in Dutch society. Such a special place, in fact, that it is deemed to be a major breach of common decency to harmlessly depict a Shepherd playing a video-game. What these organisations are lobbying for in this manner, is that society should not be critical of Christianity, however trivially, because it would hurt their personal feelings. And hurting anyone’s feelings is bad thing, don’t you agree?

Well, Bert Dorenbos, you are hurting my personal feelings. Even though I am not too fond of Dixons, I feel offended by the organisations you speak for, for trying to insert small-mindedness into society. For trying to stop us from being critical of a religion that needs to be criticised like never before. For trying to promote Christianity as a clique beyond reproach and mostly– for playing on people’s fears by playing the card that says: “criticizing religion breeds hatred in society.” After all, people, wasn’t Theo van Gogh killed for his blatant critique on religion (Islam), wasn’t Ayaan Hirshi Ali forced to flee the country for the same reason?

For these reasons, I want to hurt your feelings. I want to be critical of you, so that hopefully, it will dawn on you that you are being small-minded and patronising. I don’t mind you and your Christian conviction, however, what I do mind is that you can not keep it to yourself. Instead, you try to tell me, an atheist, and any other person who might ever get the idea to say something “dangerous” about your faith should keep their “blasphemy ” to themselves. I will not shut up. I repeat: I will not shut up. I will never stop criticizing people with small minds and hypocritical agendas.

Amen.