About Ian O'Shaughnessy

http://www.irreligion.org/

Posts by Ian O'Shaughnessy:

Islamic cleric bans women from touching bananas, cucumbers for sexual resemblance

Islamic cleric bans women from touching bananas, cucumbers for sexual resemblance

CAIRO: An Islamic cleric residing in Europe said that women should not be close to bananas or cucumbers, in order to avoid any “sexual thoughts.”

The unnamed sheikh, who was featured in an article on el-Senousa news, was quoted saying that if women wish to eat these food items, a third party, preferably a male related to them such as their a father or husband, should cut the items into small pieces and serve.

He said that these fruits and vegetables “resemble the male penis” and hence could arouse women or “make them think of sex.”

He also added carrots and zucchini to the list of forbidden foods for women.

The sheikh was asked how to “control” women when they are out shopping for groceries and if holding these items at the market would be bad for them. The cleric answered saying this matter is between them and God.

Answering another question about what to do if women in the family like these foods, the sheikh advised the interviewer to take the food and cut it for them in a hidden place so they cannot see it.

The opinion has stirred a storm of irony and denouncement among Muslims online, with hundreds of comments mocking the cleric.

One reader said that these religious “leaders” give Islam “a bad name” and another commented said that he is a “retarded” person and he must quite his post immediately.

Others called him a seeker of fame, but no official responses from renowned Islamic scholars have been published on the statements.

Yoga is the work of the devil, says Vatican’s chief exorcist

Yoga is the work of the devil, says Vatican’s chief exorcist

Father Gabriel Amorth has carried out more than 70,000 exorcisms in his capacity as Chief Exorcist at the Vatican.

The 85-year-old can boast 25 years in the post after being appointed by the late Pope John Paul II.

At a conference today, he surprised the delegates by revealing some of his greatest dislikes – yoga and Harry Potter.

Father Amorth, a colourful and often outspoken personality, said:’Practising yoga brings evil as does reading Harry Potter. They may both seem innocuous but they both deal with magic and that leads to evil.’

He added:’Yoga is the Devil’s work. You thing you are doing it for stretching your mind and body but it leads to Hinduism. All these oriental religions are based on the false belief of reincarnation.’

Father Amorth, speaking on the subject of People And Religion at a fringe event at the Umbria Film Festival in Terni, spoke of his distaste for JK Rowling’s young wizard.

He said:’People think it is an innocuous book for children but it’s about magic and that leads to evil. In Harry Potter the Devil is at work in a cunning and crafty way, he is using his extraordinary powers of magic and evil.

‘Satan is always hidden and the thing he desires more than anything is for people to believe he does not exist. He studies each and everyone of us and our tendencies towards good and evil and then he tempts us.

‘My advice to young people would be to watch out for nightclubs because the path is always the same: alcohol, sex, drugs and Satanic sects.’

It is not the first time that Father Amorth has raised eyebrows with his forthright views – last year he said that the ongoing child sex scandals rocking the Catholic Church were evidence that ‘the Devil was at work in the Vatican.’

While in 2006, Father Amorth, who was ordained a priest in 1954, gave an interview to Vatican Radio in which he said that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Russian dictator Josef Stalin were both possessed by the Devil.

According to secret Vatican documents recently released the then wartime Pope Pius XII attempted a ‘long distance exorcism’ of Hitler but it failed to have any effect.

It is also not the first time that Father Amorth, who is president of the International Association of Exorcists, has spoken out against Harry Potter saying in the past that it opens children’s minds to dabbling with the occult and black magic.

Today Vanda Vanni, of the Italian Yoga Association, said:’A Satanic practice? Pardon the pun but that is an accusation that is neither in Heaven or on earth. Father Amorth’s accusation is completely without foundation.

‘It is an outrageous thing to say – yoga is not a religion but a spiritual discipline. It is about freedom and a search to find one’s inner self. It does not touch religion and has nothing to do with Satanic sects nor does it encourage people to join them.

Giorgio Furlan, who runs the Yoga Academy in Rome, said`:’There are some paths of yoga which do lead towards Hinduism but other paths are more philosophical but their is no direct link with religion and certainly no link with Satanism.

‘To say such things shows you have no idea of what you are talking about – yoga controls violent impulses of the nervous system and subconscious – to be honest with me it had the effect of bringing me closer to Christianity and in particular the Catholic Church which I had abandoned as a youngster.

 

 

God Here…

Collin via CNN

Dear Evangelical Christians:

God here.

First, I do not exist. The concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the thoughts and actions of the 7 billion human beings on this planet is ludicrous. Grow a brain.

Second, if I did, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors, their credibility or their possible ulterior motives, yet you cite them for the most extraordinary of claims.

Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who withheld evidence of my existence in the first place.

Fifth, I would not care who you do or how you “do it”. I really wouldn’t. This would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Oh, the egos.

Sixth, I would have smited all evangelicals and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and yet you speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric for me to even contemplate).

Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

Move on – get over me. I did.

God

English expat ‘rips his own eyes out’ during church service in Italy

Yeah, that’s not normal… but on religion, it is.

English expat ‘rips his own eyes out’ during church service in Italy

AN English expatriate in Viareggio (northern Italy) has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital after ripping out his own eyes with his naked hands during a church service.

The 46-year-old, a long-term resident in the Tuscan municipality, began screaming and banging his head against the floor during mass, explains his elderly mother, who was with him at the time.

He claimed he heard voices telling him to tear his eyes out.

The man was rushed to nearby Versilia hospital for an emergency operation, but surgeons were unable to save his sight, meaning he will now be blind for life.

Doctor Gino Barbacci, who treated him, said the man did not complain or show any signal of physical pain, and answered correctly when asked his name.

In the 26 years I have been practising, I have never seen anything like it, confessed Dr Barbacci.

Yet he appeared to be a completely normal person.

He would have needed absolutely super-human strength to pull his own eyes out with his hands.

He got up and started banging his head against the floor, he was covered in blood. I did not know what was happening, he didn’t say anything, explained the man’s mother when interviewed.

Medics say he had been in treatment for a psychiatric illness, but had not wanted to take the pills prescribed to him.