links for 2008-02-20

Former British PM Tony Blair has Converted to Catholicism

Seen at the CNN website:

Tony Blair, who often kept his religious views private while serving as Britain’s prime minister, has converted to Catholicism, officials said Saturday. (…) The former prime minister told the BBC this year that he had avoided talking about his religious views while in office for about 10 years for fear of being labeled “a nutter.”

Well, good for him, not that it has any bearing on things. It is a little quaint, a national politician who avoided speaking about his religious views for fear of being labeled “a nutter.” Perhaps thinking that no one is interested or that it has no bearing on his tenure. Over here in the colonies, it apparently makes a candidate ‘viable.’ sigh. and a nutter…

links for 2007-12-22

Happy Yule Everybody!

Happy Yule, Yuletide, Yulefest, Yules, Jul, Juletid, Julfest, Jül, Jól, Joul, Joulu, Jõulud, Joelfeest, Géol, Feailley Geul, Christmas, Midwinter ,Winter Solstice, DōngZhì, Şabe Cele/Yalda, Soyal, Teḳufat Ṭebet, Şeva Zistanê, Solar New Year, Longest Night!

Feel free to choose your favorite. 🙂

In case you’re wondering, the 2007 Winter Solstice is Friday, Dec. 21, 2007, at 10:08 PM PST (Sat., Dec. 22, 2007, 1:08 AM EST, 06:08 UT).

Have a Merry War on Christmas!

In what is perhaps to become an annual thing, at least as long as the whole ‘Culture War’ goes on, is Positive Liberty’s A Pagan Dialogue on Christmas from 2005.

The mists of the Absolute drew back, revealing three mostly humanoid figures. Each sat on a lotus, the radiance of which dispelled the least obscurity and falsehood.

Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva – the only genuine gods of the world – were holding court. As we all know, each is but a manifestation of Brahman, the Great Oneness. A bit depressingly, they still like to gossip.

“Can you believe what the Christians are up to now?” asked Vishnu.

“Not them again,” grumbled Shiva.

“Explain,” said Brahma.

“As you know,” Vishnu began, “the West is divided into innumerable religious sects, each of which is convinced that their personal god is the only true god in all of creation.”

“And yet–” interjected Brahma “–don’t they all worship the God of Abraham?”

“They do,” said Shiva. “But my God of Abraham can beat up your God of Abraham.”

“Oh.”

“And that’s where the whole embarrassment begins,” (…)

“But what if most nonchristians, myself included, simply don’t give a rat’s ass about what others may or may not be celebrating?” Shiva asked. “And what if some of us celebrate the Christians’ holiday, except that for us it means peace and love and harmony?”

“It’s not true!” the man replied. “You say that you don’t mind Christian celebrations, you say you’re tolerant, and cosmopolitan, and decent. You even say that you celebrate peace and love and harmony. But deep down inside, you secretly hate Christmas. And I have to stop you from hating it — by wishing you a Merry Christmas with every chance that I get!”

“No tolerance for the tolerant,” said Vishnu.

“You know,” said Brahma. “The last time I shopped at Target, no one wished me a Happy Diwali. Not one person. I wonder if Target hates Hindus?”

“It’s a war of all against all,” said Shiva gravely.

Hilarious! And perhaps necessary if you have in-laws or relatives of a certain stripe. In an American Gods way…

Dawkins and ‘The Four Horsemen’

This came through over on the Dawkinism group on Shelfari.

THE FOUR HORSEMEN: Watch it free online

[O]n the 30th of September 2007, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens sat down for a first-of-its-kind, unmoderated 2-hour discussion.
All four authors have recently received a large amount of media attention for their writings about religion – some positive, and some negative. In this conversation the group trades stories of the public’s reaction to their recent books, their unexpected successes, criticisms and common misrepresentations. They discuss the tough questions about religion that face to world today, and propose new strategies for going forward.

links for 2007-11-16

According to Archbishop Ussher…

As we noted last year:

In 1650, the Irish Archbishop, James Ussher, published his computations that the world was created on Sunday, October 23rd, 4004 B.C., beginning at sunset of the 22nd. [Errors in quoting Bishop Ussher]

So this is the big 6010th birthday! Woo Hoo! (note: I miscalculated last year because I apparently was not paying sufficient attention. The equation would not be 4004+2007. Rather it would be 4004+2007-1 because there is no year 0 [zero].) Pesky Gregorian calendar…