PA Atheists Use Race & Slave Imagery in Billboard Against the ‘Barbaric’ Christian Bible
The fact that it was Wilberforce and his fellow devout Protestants who pushed England into being the first country to abolish slavery appears to be unknown to these haters and ignoramuses. Any religion can be misused -- as can atheism. See the deeds of the atheist Stalin, for instance. But Protestant Christianity has been a liberating influence overall
Last month, The Blaze told you about a battle that’s been brewing between atheists and Pennsylvania lawmakers after the state’s House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution calling 2012 the “Year of the Bible.” At the time, a staff lawyer from the Freedom From Religion Foundation called the act “shocking.”
Now, two other groups, American Atheists and Pa. Nonbelievers, are being accused of invoking racial themes after posting a Bible-inspired billboard against the designation. Their sign, which tackles the issue of slavery, was erected in an area of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with a large African American population.
The message aimed at railing against politicians who supported the resolution, was posted just blocks away from the state capitol. It comes, as many atheist-led billboard campaigns do, with a fair amount of controversy. Only this particular message was so inflammatory that it also led to a defacing.
State Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland (D-Delaware), a black legislator, was one of the many voices objecting to the now-removed billboard, which featured a shackled slave. The image of the individual in shackles appeared below the words, “Slaves, obey your masters.” Kirkland supported the Bible resolution and has claimed that the billboard took the Bible out of context and that it is portrayed both racism and hatred.
Now, here’s where the story gets even more interesting. One of the men behind the billboard, Ernest Perce V, is American Atheists’ Pennsylvania director. He is also the non-believer who had been in the headlines of late after being attacked by a Muslim during a 2011 Halloween parade (you’ll recall Perce was dressed as a Zombie Muhammad).
When it comes to the billboard, Perce says that he and his group would like the House to repeal the Bible resolution. If the “Year of the Bible” reference isn’t removed, Perce, who calls the Bible “barbaric,” originally pledged to keep the billboard up and to erect others around the state. Someone vandalized the sign, making his first promise an impossibility (although he could opt to re-post it).
WGAL has more about the controversy:
“The message that we want to send, obviously — slavery is brought to you by the Bible and the House of Representatives,” said Ernest Perce V, of the American Atheists.
Perce said the message shows the Bible promotes slavery, and that the state House should not have voted to make 2012 the “Year of the Bible” in Pennsylvania.
Martha Brown, of Harrisburg, said she disagreed with the message of the billboard. “That’s not true,” Brown said. “I believe the Bible. I read the Bible and I’m not racist.”
Following the controversy, Pa. Nonbelievers President Brian Fields issued an apology, claiming that he is sorry “that many people have misunderstood the billboard.” Fields went on to claim that the intention was never to use race as the sole message behind it.
“The bible is NOT holy or moral as promoted by the Pa. House of Representatives in the ‘Year of the Bible,’” he continued. “The bible was used as an excuse for many very bad things, including American slavery.”
Government should butt out of marriage and churches
UK Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone want to legalise gay marriage. Fine by me: I don't see why gay couples should not be able to sign up for the same obligations, rights and benefits that heterosexual couples observe and enjoy.
She also wants gay couples to be allowed to marry in church, like heterosexual ones. Again, I have no problem with that, if the church is willing to do it.
The Church of England, typically, is divided on the issue. As the Established Church, they do pretty well out of their cosy relationship with the state, not the least of which is that two dozen of their senior executives, the bishops, sit by right in the House of Lords. So when ministers tell them to do cartwheels the Church of England normally swallow their principles, hitch up their cassocks and cartwheel.
The trouble is that some time ago, the state muscled in on marriage. Churches had been doing their own thing for millennia, but when the state started taxing rich folks and paying benefits to poor ones, it had to find some way of defining families so that it could establish the tax base and the appropriate unit to which benefits should be paid (two can live as cheaply as one, and all that). So they nationalised the whole business, and shoehorned everyone into a single set of regulations, as governments do.
But should we be so shoehorned? Maybe one of the reasons why the one-size-fits-all state-produced marriage contract has declined so much is that people today are more individual, and want to fashion their own ways of living, rather than have a standard, off-the-peg package of obligations forced on them. And so they should. People should be able to draw up their own lifetime contracts, accepting some bits of the present marriage contract, rejecting others and adding different ones of their own if they choose. Certainly, the state might insist on some minimum elements if people want to be taxed, and draw benefits, as a family. But apart from that, it should keep its nose out.
Likewise, Ms Featherstone should keep her nose out of what the churches choose to do. They too may have their own minimum standards for marriage, which couples have to sign up to before they can expect to be married on the premises. Fine. Churches are private clubs, let them get on with it. Personally, I would be campaigning for them to accept gay couples, but I wouldn't force church officials to betray their consciences. These are deeply held ethical positions. Churches have been thinking about the morality of lifetime partnerships a good deal longer than Ms Featherstone has.
I do wish politicians would buzz off and leave us all to our private sphere, allowing us to wallow in our own eccentric diversity rather than forcing us into tidy moulds. At this, rate, they will be demanding that the churches should not discriminate on the grounds of religion, and should accept other faiths into membership. I don't know what Cardinal O'Brien is going to make of it when he has to hand out wine and wafers to his first Satanist.
American actor stunned by homosexual backlash
Actor Kirk Cameron has been left stunned by the harsh criticism he has been subjected to since he suggested homosexuality was "unnatural" in a recent TV interview - because those attacking him have shown a complete lack of tolerance.
The former Growing Pains star, now an evangelical Christian minister, has sparked controversy when he spoke out against gays and lesbians during a recent interview on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, when he stated that he thought homosexuality was "detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilisation".
Gay rights activists and campaigners, including the actor's former TV co-stars Alan Thicke and Tracy Gold, were quick to address Cameron's views, and now he has responded to the more cutting remarks, insisting he doesn't deserve to be "slandered" for expressing his point of view.
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"I spoke as honestly as I could, but some people believe my responses were not loving toward those in the gay community. That is not true. I can assuredly say that it's my life's mission to love all people," Cameron told ABC News.
"I should be able to express moral views on social issues, especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilisation for 2000 years - without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach 'tolerance' that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I'm in the public square.
"I believe we need to learn how to debate these things with greater love and respect. I've been encouraged by the support of many friends (including gay friends, incidentally).
Former student radical to be appointed chairman of Australia's main public broadcaster
They don't mention below that he was a student radical but he was. I was there at the time
The former chief justice of the Supreme Court of NSW, Jim Spigelman, is to be appointed chairman of the ABC. An announcement is expected to be made by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, today or tomorrow, sources say.
Cabinet approval was given on Monday for Mr Spigelman to take up the part-time $151,000-a-year post.
Mr Spigelman, who retired from the bench last May, replaces the former stockbroker Maurice Newman, who stepped down at the end of last year.
Mr Newman's tenure at times was marked by controversy. He said journalists had succumbed to groupthink because they failed to predict the global financial crisis and his parting shot was a suggestion to merge the ABC and SBS to save money.
Facing Mr Spigelman will be a long list of issues, the top of which is how the ABC remains relevant in a changing media landscape and its response to the government's review on convergence in the media.
He will also have to negotiate another round of triennial funding and ask for more money as the corporation expands its reach with new channels and appears on more digital devices.
The appointment completes a circle in a career that began with the then nascent area of communications in the Whitlam government.
Mr Spigelman's long association with Labor - he was an adviser to Gough Whitlam and in 1975 was appointed secretary to the first department of the media - will inevitably attract some accusations that he is a political appointee, a charge often levelled at his predecessor, who was a close friend of John Howard.
Mr Spigelman dropped a heavy hint that he was heading for the role at a breakfast talk a fortnight ago. He was asked what he thought about the corporation moving into new genres. "That's also something I don't have an informed opinion about but I'm looking forward to developing one," he replied.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.