More than 10,000 people take to the streets to protest against pope
By ANDREW BROWN - GUARDIAN
Added: Mon, 20 Sep 2010 07:22:09 UTC
Degree of hostility over Pope Benedict's three day visit takes observers by surprise
I never expected to hear a middle-class crowd that almost filled up Piccadilly chanting "Fuck the Pope". But Saturday's anti-pope demo in London took even the organisers by surprise. I don't know how many people there were, but 10,000 seems a reasonable minimum estimate. It wouldn't be surprising if there had been 15,000.
The higher figure would be nearly a tenth of the number of people who paid to see the Pope over the last three days but it is still a lot more hostility than sober observers had expected.
There was a mixture of slogans from the policy wonkish to the straightforwardly abusive. "Boss of the world's largest sex abuse gang" said one, next to "Vatican promotes segregated schools". "Thou shalt not bugger boys" marched next to the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association. "Despicable, twisted, vile hypocrite" marched ahead of "Why not women priests?"
There was a picture of the pope holding a golden swastika, which the organisers apparently took down later, as offensive. I don't know why, since Richard Dawkins later delivered a speech comparing every Catholic in Britain to Adolf Hitler.
But for the most part, the crowd was cheerful and good humoured. Almost at the end, the condom fairy marched past: a young man who seemed like Puck, wearing a spiky headdress of inflated contraceptives.
Whether this energy will dissipate is one of the most interesting questions that the Pope leaves behind him. The crowd was certainly having a lot more fun than the gloomy handful of Paisleyite protestors traditional on these occasions. The face of anti-Catholicism in England has changed forever.
- - YouTube - townsquare Comments
Cara Santa Maria (Senior Science Correspondent, Huffingtonpost.com) leads this week's panel on 'The Point' to discuss these issues and more with Michael Shermer (Publisher - Skeptic Magazine), Sean Carroll (Theoretical Physicist - Caltech), and Edward Falzon (author of 'Being Gay Is Disgusting').
- - Ancestors Trail Walk Comments
WALK DARWIN’S TREE OF LIFE ~ 26 AUGUST 2012 - event begins on Saturday 25 August
Richard Dawkins - for the Press and... Comments
I was invited several months ago to speak at the Faclan Book Festival in Stornoway and I was delighted to accept, as I have a great affection for the Highlands and Islands but have never visited Lewis and have heard such good things about its beauty and about the friendliness of the islanders.
Andy Liegl - CBR (Comic Book... Comments
In front of a packed crowd during his panel titled "My Two Years with Dawkins, Christ and a Small Crab Called Eric" at Comic-Con International in San Diego, artist, writer and indie filmmaker Dave McKean recounted two recent life events on radically opposite ends of the philosophical spectrum: an all-ages book he illustrated with scientist and Atheism proponent Richard Dawkins called "The Magic of Reality," and a film he shot starring Michael Sheen in Port Talbot, Wales called "The Gospel of Us," a modern day interpretation of "The Passion" story chronicling Jesus Christ's final days of life on Earth.
Jacob Fortin - The Good Atheist 103 Comments
Update 6/7 - podcast
"Faith: Pretending to know things you don't know"
Eugenie Scott - YouTube -... 17 Comments
Many creationist arguments would be familiar to Darwin. But others--such as Young Earth Creationism--would have baffled him. Genie Scott explores the then and now of creationism. Where: Transylvania University. When: 2/15/2012
MORE BY ANDREW BROWN
Andrew Brown - The Guardian 78 Comments
Resurgence of religious debate after September 11 challenges notion that theism is doomed
Andrew Brown - The Guardian 71 Comments
The memo warns: "This situation cannot endure. Exposure of the reality would be nuclear."