Monday, July 05, 2010

Mixed bag

Ayman Najafi from London has arrived back home after spending a month in jail in Dubai, his crime, he kissed a Woman in public. Now being a grumpy old man I'm not adverse to a bit of tutting if a couple takes the tonsil wrestling too far in an enclosed public space but it takes religion to throw someone in jail for it. People seem to think that because Dubai has shiny modern buildings that it's also a culturally modern state I guess Mr Najafi has shown us that this would be a misguided assumption.

Bad news, the cost of the Pope's visit to the UK was vastly underestimated, in this age of ruthless cuts in public spending I feel the need for some pretty strong arguments why I should sacrifice a hospital wing for a visit from someone who is under suspicion for covering up systemic child sex abuse. Unfortunately Chris Patten who has been put in charge of the visit could not provide such arguments, when asked about Dawkins recent comments about arresting the Pope Patten said that Dawkins was ill-informed, apparently the Pope is covered by "sovereign immunity" and so couldn't be arrested. I thought this was a typically Catholic thing to say, rather than say something like "the Pope is clearly innocent because he deeply regrets the abuse and is doing everything in his power to put it right", they hide behind ancient dogma and protocol.

Our own Church of England doesn't seem to be worried about the Pope's visit either, they seem to be keen to participate fully at the Summer spangley-frock-fest, the Archbishop of Canterbury will be there front and centre at the trough of bejewelled bigotry along with that other beneficiary of invisible powers Elizabeth Rex. Talking about the exploitation of privilege, the Catholic Church recently seems to be behaving more and more like the mob, with apparent death threats being made to Belgian witnesses against their abusive clergy. Clergy and sex is however concerning the Anglicans, the whole batty saga about gay Bishops is being reported again, apparently such appointments will split the Church. Personally I've never met two religious people who have the same definition of even the most fundamental things they're supposed to believe, but I guess I'm picky like that.

If like me you are exasperated by the constant drivel promulgated by our religious brothers and sisters take heart and have a look at this picture...

The picture is the first full-sky image from Europe's Planck telescope which was sent into space last year to survey the "oldest light" in the cosmos. The bright line in the middle is our milky way, the insignificant 100,000 light year wide galaxy where we live, one among billions of galaxies in the universe. This is a spectacular feat of human achievement, millions of hours of effort and ground breaking super cool technology, the detectors being only 0.1 of a degree above absolute zero; the results will help us understand our reality even further.

In other inspiring news the two richest atheists in the world have just donated some $1.9Billion to charity, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are quietly sorting out some of the big issues that affect real people in our world, like the suffering of millions caused by Malaria. I find it interesting to compare and contrast this with what seems to be preoccupying the followers of Gods, i.e. what consenting adults do with their gonads behind closed doors, call me crazy but this seems less important somehow?

No comments: