Here is the news release that went out yesterday:
The latest issue of the gay humanist magazine Gay & Lesbian Humanist (http://www.gayandlesbianhumanist.org/) is now online with the unwavering message that we are all God-damned.
Everywhere we look, the religious bigots are trying to ram what they call the true meaning of Christmas down our throats, while totally ignoring the fact that “Christmas” has existed in many forms since ancient times.
Unfortunately, however, the crushing nature of religion isn’t confined to Christmas. Just as phoney is their talk about peace on earth, while religious ideological wars continue in the name of peace and true gods. We need look no further than the Middle East to see the misery and mayhem being caused in the name of God, Allah or Whatever. In fact, many parts of the world appear God-damned!
Our feature article this time is by ROY W BROWN, who is the immediate past president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union and IHEU main representative at the UN, Geneva. Brown warns about how Islam is taking over the world; how Muslims are making claims for special treatment in British schools, hospitals and the workplace, and want to impose Sharia law for the settlement of family disputes. He rightly warns of the grave threat Islam poses to our very way of life. You only have to look at any country where Islam is in control to see where we are headed. In such places, murder and mutilation are daily occurrences and freedom and human rights are gone.
The Islamic menace is not just confined to Britain, but is widespread throughout Europe and beyond. Neither is it driven by chance, but is part of an international campaign, orchestrated by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which demands the worldwide acceptance and adoption of Islamic norms and values.
If we don’t stamp out this creeping canker very soon, Britain and the rest of Europe will be God-damned, too.
Christianity has been showing its true colours recently in Archbishop Rowan Williams’s reluctance to speak out over the proposed gay murder bill in Uganda. SYMON HILL takes a detailed look at what has been happening there, and asks why the church seems quite happy with state murder of gay people. Given the church’s long and bloody history, some of us are not the least surprised by its acquiescence in a gay-murder bill. More worrying still is that this evangelical menace is spreading, as, in “World Watch”, GEORGE BROADHEAD reports of similar proposals now being aired in Rwanda.
Religious fundamentalism holds sway elsewhere in Africa, too. LEO IGWE describes how, in Nigeria, in July of this year, a large group of Christian thugs from the Liberty Gospel Church trashed a public symposium on witchcraft and child rights at the Cultural Centre in Calabar Cross River State. Igwe was himself assaulted by the gospel thugs and had his glasses broken.
Continuing our theme on the threat of aggressive religionism, “Blogwatch”, this time, is presented by ALVIN McEWEN, whose book Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters has done so much to expose the lies of the American religious right. His blog, of the same name, continues this vital work. McEwen explains that the phoney image of the LGBT community as evil outsiders looking to gain influence via indoctrination and deception is an intentional fabrication of “pro-family” or “traditional morality” groups.
On the cover of this issue of G&LH appear some words from a song called “Goddamned” by JAY BRANNAN. As a little thank you to our readers for their support, we are running a competition to win Jay Brannan’s album of the same name, Goddamned. The whole lyric of the song appears on the competition page, and I think you will agree it is extremely apposite to both this issue’s theme and the perilous state our world is in today.
Atheist Christmas and Santa in Heaven
Can you be an atheist and enjoy Christmas? ZACK FORD tells us why even though he’s an atheist, he loves this holiday period. Meanwhile, NEIL RICHARDSON asks, “Do you believe in Father Christmas?” Richardson says he is struck by the similarity between believing in Father Christmas and believing in God.
Warm your cockles!
As I sit here typing in what is a very chilly office, summer days seem very far away. If you’re feeling the cold and damp where you are, too, you will like MARTIN LEWIS’s cockle-warming look at a few of last summer’s Pride events from around the world. And STEPHEN BLAKE takes a look at TLA’s new bad-boy rites-of-passage film, Shank.
Most of us believe we are freethinkers, but what exactly is freethought, and what qualifies you as a freethinker? WARREN ALLEN SMITH shares a few examples of individuals in Philosopedia who have been described by various “freethinking” labels.
In our “Out of Print” feature, we reproduce an article by ANTONY GREY, first published in the Winter 2002 issue of G&LH, that looks at the history of gay-law reform in the UK.
IAN STEWART tells us something about a presentation to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the publishers Thames and Hudson – held at the London School of Economics (LSE) – discussing recent exciting developments in the function of museums.
It’s been a busy year for the Stockholm-based Nordic Rainbow Humanists (NRH), and BILL SCHILLER reports on what’s been happening.
As usual, ANDY ARMITAGE has been on the blog and gives us his report on what’s been happening over at our sister publication, Pink Triangle.
If you thought quality television is a thing of the past, and that Lord Reith is spinning in his grave, think again! According to STEVEN DEAN, quality viewing on the box has never been better, as can be judged by a typical week’s viewing for he and his gran.
Finally, catch up on what’s been happening in our regular “News Watch” comment on selected recent news stories.
To see the latest free issue of G&LH, go to http//www.gayandlesbianhumanist.org
And I can add that there’s an excellent short story to chill you at Christmas. It’s by Bram Stoker of Dracula fame, it’s called “The Judge’s House”, and it’s a real chiller. It’s on the first page you’ll come to once you’ve hit the “Enter” button. Just sit back and listen. It’s in two parts, to give you a chance to pause it and go and replenish your glass. You’ll need it! It’s been adapted, read and produced by Andrew John of Celtica Radio. Enjoy!