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Flagellant's Avatar Joined almost 7 years ago
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Go to: CBC News: Sunday - Richard Dawkins

Flagellant's Avatar Jump to comment 198 by Flagellant

And a Merry Christmas to you, too, Styrer-. The point still stands: in a short interview, you don't want to be sidetracked. Getting sidetracked means too little time spent on other items that would get the general message across rather better.

Your premise - that this notion is too hard to understand - is wrong.
That's not my premise at all. The premise is that it involves wasting too much time on a long explanation when there are more fruitful points to be made.

Yeah, Merry Christmas, kiddo.

Religion - an activity for consenting adults in private.

Tue, 25 Dec 2007 02:58:00 UTC | #98465

Go to: Chasers war on everything: Evangelicals

Flagellant's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by Flagellant

Mainly for Veronique and other Aussies:

Para 116 of the Aussie Constitution with respect to Church & State is based on the similar US First Amendment. It's actually weaker than the US version in that it doesn't prohibit individual states of the Commonwealth of Oz from going all religious… Queensland is strange enough as it is… I mean, they were the last state, despite the name, to decriminalise gays, and they gave you Pauline Hanson.

Two errors in Bryson: On p. 107 of Down Under, (London: Doubleday, 2000) Bryson says that the seats in the Australian Senate are '…in a restful ochre tone.' Actually, they're dusky or pastel pink. Further, the seats in the House are pastel green, giving each chamber pale versions of those in the UK parliament.

He also lists the giant koala as being at Moyston (p. 138). Actually, it's at Dadswell Bridge.

One further snide comment: Our 'Strictly Come Dancing' ('Dancing with the stars' in Oz) has just finished over here. It brought to mind that, a few years ago, Pauline Hanson got to the Aussie final ;-)

Finally, when the Aussie version of 'What not to wear' was launched, they asked for nominees for people whose dress-sense was 'a little lacking'. I nominated 'everyone in Australia'. Cheeky but spot on, eh?

I'll be Down Under for two months, arriving on Jan 18th. I'll have a car for the whole of the period – I do like making free with your cheap petrol ;-). I feel so 'green' that way ;-). I'll PM you when plans firm up a bit. I'll be in Sydney very briefly, in Melbourne (my son's there), Adelaide, and perhaps Canberra. The rest of the time, I'll be 'saving the planet', touring. Anyone who fancies a tinnie/stub or vino, drop me a PM, please.

I like Steve's idea of meeting in the UK. Merry Christmas, everybody!

Religion – an activity for consenting adults in private.

Tue, 25 Dec 2007 02:21:00 UTC | #98459

Go to: 'Expelled' Movie: The Extended Trailer

Flagellant's Avatar Jump to comment 72 by Flagellant

Besides the malicious cutting together of two part-statements from RD, I found Ben Stein's speech quite appalling.

His constant references to amputee heroes made me hope that someone in the audience might shout out 'Why won't god heal amputees?' See

Perhaps someone did - I couldn't watch his crazy spiel to the end.

Religion - an activity for consenting adults in private.

Tue, 25 Dec 2007 00:31:00 UTC | #98445

Go to: Taking children for a ride

Flagellant's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Flagellant

Conversely, though, it's nice to see the Natural History Museum making a serious attempt at a scientific exhibit... and in Dubai, too:

God is grott, merdeiful.

Mon, 24 Dec 2007 01:00:00 UTC | #98124

Go to: Chasers war on everything: Evangelicals

Flagellant's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Flagellant

I think Steve Zara has got Oz spot on. Perhaps I lead a charmed life because I've hit a wombat at night and done no damage to the animal, myself, or the car and I once brushed a spider off my neck only to find that it was a redback. So I never go out once I'm there – it's too dangerous. I get my sunshine from a sunbed ;-) As for the sea, lakes, and rivers, I never go for a swim, either. (Fishes fuck in them.)

Stories about the dangerous nature of Oz are put about by those who want to keep the place nice and select. I'm sure Veronique could tell us the actual fatalities from various fauna but the number's actually very low. IIRC, despite Australia's being home to several of the World's deadliest snakes, there've been no fatalities from them for quite a few years.

OK Veronique, about all this 'jackshit' business: have you read the Aussie Constitution? Have you seen the original Magna Carta in Canberra? I've done both and I have a copy of one - I can't remember which. Can you name just two mistakes – and there are quite a few – in Bill Bryson's otherwise excellent book Down Under?

Back on topic: it's interesting to see so many programmes now having a go at religion. Since Marcus Brigstocke's rant, Can the rest of us have our planet back: Click here, there have been many other digs/tilts in UK comedy programmes and there's a lovely cartoon in The Grauniad, today: Click here.

The zeitgeist is changing. Religion is never going to have it easy again. Faith is no longer universally accepted as beyond criticism. The gentle mockery of Dave Allen is being replaced with a more robust indignation. Hooray!

Religion – an activity for consenting adults in private.
[Links edited for style.]

Mon, 24 Dec 2007 00:04:00 UTC | #98118

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