If you think right and wrong exist above the law, you’d be right. But that’s theism.

Where now for secular humanists, atheists and other moral relativists who profoundly disagree with the Ashers ruling? The outrage currently coming from their various corners is palpable, but it only highlights their inconsistency when it comes to the Moral Project, and exposes their faulty understanding of human rights and what it means to be human.

Let me explain. Human rights can only come from one of three sources: 1) God, 2) Nature or 3) governments. Those who subscribe to an atheistic and/or strictly secular worldview reject God outright. Grand. That leaves Nature and governments. We can all agree, I think, that Nature is an amoral and impersonal force that thrives on violence and discrimination. Nature might bless you with the genes needed to live a long and prosperous life, or it might chuck a tree at your caravan. So that’s Nature out. That leaves governments – which brings us to the Ashers case.

As far as strict secularists and the Ashers case are concerned, the highest court in one of the most enlightened and progressive civilisations on earth has ruled emphatically that what they sincerely thought was a human rights violation was in fact nothing of the kind. On what basis can they now argue otherwise?

This was a question posed to the pro-life community when the 8th Amendment referendum result went against them. But there’s a key difference. The dominant view among pro-lifers is that the State does not get to hand down human rights. The State’s only job is to protect the human rights that already exist by virtue of you simply being human. Abortion, therefore, will always be wrong, regardless of what the State says because it unjustly takes the life of a scientifically-proven-to-be human being. And so, like all social reformers worth their salt, pro-lifers understand what it means to be human, and are able to remain consistent in their philosophical convictions by opposing the State and continuing to fight for the rights of unborn humans.

This view, of course, is rooted in the Judeo-Christian idea that all human beings are created equally and imbued with intrinsic value and purpose. In other words, human rights are an objective feature of reality above man’s ability to change. This, of course, is a scandalous and radical departure from secular atheism.

Secular atheism, on its own terms, cannot account for human worth or dignity because such things simply don’t exist. They are social constructs arbitrated by those in power – like those who ruled against Gareth Lee. So where do secularists turn now? What are their options?

The European Court of Human Rights? Possibly, but there’s every chance that could go the same way. The universe? Ha. The universe hates you. Shit happens. What about the doctrine that underpins the entire atheist enterprise, Darwin’s Origin of Species? Well, if Darwin was right, human beings are just slabs of talking meat. Some will get lucky, some will get devoured. There’s no secular hope to be found there, either.

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No. All they have are the laws given to them by the State of whatever country and time period they happen to be in. And what the State giveth, the State taketh away.

That’s not to say that proponents of secular atheism can’t oppose unjust laws. They can and do. And many of them do a great job of it. But they do so in contradiction to how they believe reality to be. Any secularist of any stripe who thinks otherwise is halfway to theism, so why not save all this public inconsistency and join us theists, completely? You’d still be wrong about the Ashers ruling, but at least you’d know on what grounds.

Naomi Long – but why are you “personally opposed” to abortion on demand?

Last month, the leader of the Alliance Party, Naomi Long, got into a spiky back and forth with Precious Life after she – along with over 169 other MPs – signed a letter calling for their morality to be imposed on unborn children radical changes to Northern Ireland’s abortion laws. Precious Life (correctly) claimed that the letter is basically a euphemism for abortion on demand, and that (also correctly) a vote for Alliance is a vote for abortion. In response, Naomi Long called it ALL LIES before making the claim that decriminalising abortion does not force abortion on anyone. Because we all know that not forcing a certain thing on people makes the thing itself morally permissible. That’s how the logic of morality works in 2018, bigots.

Other local politicians signed the letter too, of course, but the interesting thing about Naomi is that she is a Christian. That and I genuinely like her. She’s a talented, articulate, and hardworking politician, who has displayed considerable bravery in the face of violent paramilitary thugs, and who has, in the past, spoken out against the exodus of persecuted Christians from the Middle East. It’s just a shame that she doesn’t see the violent expulsion of a human being seeking asylum in her mother’s womb in the same way.

You might be wondering, then, how a Christian could love all her neighbours bar the ones that happen to be in a certain location or at a certain stage of development or are the product of certain circumstances. Keep wondering, because Naomi’s specific beliefs on the act of abortion are pretty hard to come by. While she stated in this 2012 article that she’s personally opposed to abortion on demand, she has yet to explain, to my knowledge, why she personally opposes abortion on demand. Is it because she thinks abortion a sin? Does she think abortion takes a human life? Does she think there’s an intrinsic difference between the corpse of a child that was aborted on demand and the corpse of a child that was aborted because she was the product of rape? It’s all rather vague, which should be a concern for any thoughtful pro-life voter because it’s literally a matter of life and death.

So, how best do pro-lifers go about unpacking and engaging with the absurd contradiction of someone who claims to be personally opposed to abortion (either entirely or to a certain degree) yet is in favour of it as a matter of public policy? How do you respond to such a person? What would you say to Naomi Long if she turned up at your door canvassing and the discussion turned to abortion? What would you say to her on Talkback or the Nolan Show when she’s on arguing for choice but doesn’t explain what the precise nature of that choice is? The answer lies in these basic questions, in the following order:

1. “Naomi, why are you personally opposed to abortion on demand?”

The answer to this should be easy. She will likely say that she’s personally opposed to abortion on demand because abortion kills an innocent human being. If Naomi does not think the unborn are human then she would have no logical reason for any personal opposition to abortion at any stage, for any reason. Having an abortion on demand would be no more immoral than picking your nose on demand or having a mole removed on demand. It would require neither personal opposition nor any further thought on the matter.

2. “Naomi, does your belief that abortion on demand kills an innocent human being have any objective basis?”

This is also easy to answer because, if she’s a thinking Christian, two things will happen. First, she will tell you that the scientific consensus amongst embryologists is that the unborn is a distinct, living, and whole human being from the point of conception. Second, she will appeal to her Christian convictions and tell you that all human beings are knit together in their mother’s womb equally in the image of God, and that, as a follower of Christ with a public platform and a gift for feisty activism, she is compelled to speak out against the destruction of the powerless by the powerful, including those at risk of being dismembered with a Sopher clamp by the strong arm of a wealthy abortion doctor.

3. “Naomi, are you personally opposed to child rape?”

This should be brief. She will say “Yes” – then give you the death stare for asking such a stupid question. But it’s not a stupid question. It’s a trap.

4. The next question is obvious: “Would you be willing to impose this belief on others by banning child rape?”

In the blink of an eye, she will answer “yes”. At this point, though, you might want to remind her that preventing people from raping children is a question of objective morality rather than an issue of choice or individual conscience, as the Alliance Party puts it. It is more a case of asking whether a government should prevent terrible things from happening to a voiceless group of vulnerable human beings than the question of choosing between brown sauce or red sauce for your fry.

5. If at this point she doesn’t yet understand how absurd her position is, ask, “Why do you believe that rape is more serious than murder?”

If she still doesn’t get it at this point or refuses to answer, you can simply explain to her that she thinks it should be illegal to rape children but permissible to murder them – even though she “personally opposes” both child rape and child murder. You can now close the discussion by contrasting her muddled and inconsistent position with your clear and inclusive pro-life position that the law should ban both the rape and murder of children because both are forms of child abuse.

Ireland’s compassionate progressives celebrate the right to kill their children

In scenes resembling an orc wedding from a Dungeons and Dragons game, thousands of Ireland’s most compassionate and tolerant progressives gobbled After Eights and quaffed champagne in a festival of grotesquerie to celebrate the literal abolition of equality.

Dublin Castle was buzzing last night after the 8th Amendment – a law that afforded all members of the human family the right to life – was successfully overturned, paving the way for Irish women to dismember and poison their offspring should the need arise.

The hashtag #KillYourKids began trending as Repealers across the country expressed their unbridled joy at the door being opened to the wholesale destruction of human life – just as it proved to be after abortion was introduced in England and America. Repealers were keen to make their feelings known as Ireland moved into a more tolerant and progressive era.

“I know that throughout history the whole person/non-person argument has ended in misery and death every single time it’s been used to advance a cause, but this time it’s different. I swear” said an adult clump of cells. “#DownWithDowns” one woman from Cork tweeted. “It’s time to create a more perfect race. We don’t need those who can’t contribute to society! Abort it and try again!”

Also present at the celebration was Sinn Fein leader Michelle O’Neill, who addressed the gathering by quoting the famous Republican mantra: “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children!” before adding her own caveat, “Yunno, the ones we don’t abort”. The crowd then erupted into chants and howls, prompting nearby stewards to toss them some newborns to satiate their craving for innocent blood.

Secularists – if you believe morality is subjective, you can’t complain about the Ulster rugby trial (or anything else)

Subjective morality, the idea that there are no moral absolutes, no such thing as “just wrong” – merely differing cultural and circumstantial opinions – is pretty much the dominant philosophy in Western culture today.

And I can see the appeal. I mean, who wants to be told what they can and can’t do? As I’m often told, “you can’t force your morality down someone else’s throat, you intolerant old sea weasel!” Subjective morality is an easy position to adopt because you get to live how you want and nobody can accuse you of doing wrong. Each to their own and all that.

But here’s the catch: if you believe morality is subjective, and you wish to remain logically consistent within this belief, then there are a few things you can’t complain about. Like the following:

1. The Ulster rugby trial

Without wanting to comment on the verdict of the trial, because I’m not a barrister and I don’t know all the facts, one verdict that we can be sure of is this: in terms of pure misogyny, the defendants make Harvey Weinstein look like Moominpappa.

But who are we to judge? Remember, there is no such thing as “just wrong,” so saying “misogyny is wrong” makes no sense. What rational justification is there within a subjective moral framework to deny these men – who were simply creating their own meaning in life – the chance to play rugby again? You don’t like their womanising behaviour? Really? I don’t like the behaviour of people who noisily eat crisps on public transport while whistling through their nose, but I’m not about to become all shouty and righteously indignant over it. Unless the crisps are prawn cocktail.

2. Pro-life protestors outside abortion clinics

We’re often told that pro-life protestors intimidate and harass vulnerable women (“Really? REALLY?!” says the soon-to-be-assassinated fetus), and that such behaviour is wicked and evil and wrong.

Of course, to make any of these claims requires evil and wicked and wrong to be actual things, which moral subjectivists flat-out deny, so to confirm its existence by calling abortion protestors these things pulls the rug from under their entire argument.

So, the simple answer to moral subjectivists who think abortion clinic protestors are wrong is this: if you don’t like protesting outside abortion clinics, don’t protest outside abortion clinics! Ha! See now how this argument works? See? Now?

3. Homophobia (and all the other phobias)

If morality is subjective, equality is a nonsensical concept. It simply doesn’t exist. In fact, it says so in the very title of the book that many secularists and subjectivists hold up as proof that their view is correct – Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

Did you read that? Preservation of favoured races. Stronger races will be preserved, weaker races will be obliterated. No equality here. It’s right there in the secular bible. You don’t even have to read beyond the front cover or anything.

Equality entails treating people right, and right depends on good, which, if what Darwin taught is true, doesn’t exist. In this regard, subjective morality is the ultimate pro-choice position because it allows for all choices – even the choice to be homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic and so on.

4. Chemical attacks

The former head of American Atheists, David Silverman, said during this debate that the Holocaust wasn’t objectively wrong. Although Silverman undoubtedly thinks that such acts are terrible, he has no choice, if he wishes to remain consistent within his atheism, but to deny their just wrongness. The logical conclusion of that, then, is that chemical attacks on innocent civilians aren’t objectively wrong, either.

For an example closer to home, Paddy Kielty’s powerful documentary showed that there’s no regret to be had when ussuns kills themuns because the beauty of subjective morality means that you can force (deadly force, if necessary) your morality on others if it’s in the interest of tribe survival and your personal ethics allow it.

Moral subjectivity makes it impossible to have any kind of meaningful discussion regarding ethical behaviour. There’s nothing to talk about. A conversation on moral behaviour involves juxtaposing one view against another to find out which one is best. But if morals are subjective, there is no reason to view one position over another. You can’t even call something as barbaric as the Holocaust “just wrong”. The best thing a moral subjectivist can do during such a discussion is top up the electric and make the tea.

Living like God exists

The irony of all this is that moral subjectivists often pride themselves on their moral superiority (check out any humanist or atheist Internet group for evidence of this). There’s nobody on the planet quicker at telling you how tolerant and non-judgemental than they are. Moral subjectivists are not like the rest of us insufferable bigots.

In other words, they preach a gospel of moral subjectivity, but when a story like the Ulster rugby trial breaks, or when someone is harassed because of their sexual orientation, their gospel turns out to be a false one that belies who they really are – human beings made in the image of God, coded with an intrinsic moral sense. Their cries of injustice and wrongdoing only make sense in light of the biblical worldview they reject, which is why, if they wish to live in a civil society, they must live like God exists.

 

Don’t like human trafficking? Don’t traffic humans! Why we need to #TrustTraffickers and judge less

The world is full of narrow-minded zealots.

Take a look, for example, at those religious nutjobs who are against human trafficking. They’re too busy imposing their bronze-age morality on the rest of us that they fail to see that human trafficking is not a black and white issue. In fact, there are some totes amaze arguments in favour of it.

Behold:

Trafficked humans would only be living in poverty anyway

There are over 100,000 homeless people in Northern Ireland alone. If we keep human trafficking illegal, that figure will continue to increase. Nobody wants that.

Additionally, many studies have shown that when people come out of a life of being trafficked, they sink into abject poverty, don’t achieve very much, or end up in prison or dead.

Human trafficking, on the other hand, is caring and compassionate; it keeps the trafficked person alive, fed, housed, and out of prison – meaning much less crime on our streets, too.

Anti-traffickers only care about freedom, they don’t care what happens to a person once they’re free

People take up a lot of resources. As anyone who has ever had a human live in their house will testify, they’re really very expensive. From the exorbitant costs of living to the endless pile of stuff they demand, like mobile phones and tins of Monster.

So, if we take away trafficking, who’s going to give all these millions of suddenly-free people a home? I don’t see anti-traffickers queuing up to give them ALL a home, do you?

No – every free human being should be a WANTED free human being. And until anti-traffickers start caring for already-free people, they have no business telling the rest of us what to do. Unless a human being is wanted, the caring thing to do is traffic it.

Banning human trafficking does not stop human trafficking

The main reason anti-traffickers want to keep human trafficking illegal, other than to impose their morals on the rest of us, is that doing so will reduce its frequency. But the data says otherwise. According to the International Labour Organization, there were 40.3 million humans trafficked globally in 2016 – most of which were in countries where trafficking is already illegal! So obviously keeping it illegal doesn’t help. It just stops safe trafficking.

A friend of mine, Mauricio – who only wants to go by his first name because of the horrible stigma attached to trafficking, and for fear of being arrested – trafficks humans in his home village of Lambeg.

Teary-eyed, with his once immaculate three-tier ebony mullet now unkempt with the stress, he recently told me, “Restricting access to human trafficking makes no significant difference to the number of people being trafficked. Instead, restrictions on human trafficking make it more likely that poor people looking to make a better life for themselves will turn to backstreet traffickers. In 2018, this is unacceptable.”

Did you read that? Yes, it’s 2018. Therefore, any other opinion is wrong because it’s older. And older things are inferior to present day things. Don’t ask me how. They just are.

It’s morally wrong to impose your morals on someone else

I’m all for freedom of religious belief. However, when religious beliefs impede on secular beliefs, then we need to ensure that secular beliefs come out on top – because secular beliefs are neutral. And that’s a scientific fact. So, religious people don’t have a right to tell other people how to behave, which is why it’s important to tell them – forcefully, if necessary – that they need to behave more secularly. Or else.

But by far the biggest problem I find with those against human trafficking – in my experience mostly Christians – is when they quote their “holy” book. Well, you can just quote it right back at them – “Judge not, that ye be not judged”.

What the God-botherers fail to understand here is that Jesus didn’t say anything specific about human trafficking, therefore it’s totally cool. And if Jesus thinks it’s cool, it’s cool. Even though I don’t think Jesus even existed.

The point is, all beliefs are good, but I believe that the religious have no right to force their beliefs on others – especially when it comes to sensitive and emotive issues like trafficking. So just stop being so judgemental, OK?

If you don’t like human trafficking, don’t traffick humans

This is the best argument for everything, ever. It is the platinum rule, not just for human trafficking, but for EVERYTHING that people disagree with you on! If you don’t like the idea of human trafficking, no one is forcing you to traffic humans. Mind your own business.

Your anti-trafficking opinion will not change the fact that traffickers traffic people every day. Old traffickers, young traffickers, poor traffickers, rich traffickers – they all traffic humans on a daily basis, and nobody’s opinion is going to change that.

In summary, anyone who values progress and empathy should support traffick rights because being pro-traffic means a lot of wonderful things – among them, the belief that trafficking should be safe, legal, accessible, entirely paid for by your taxes and carried out with empathy and non-judgement.

Only a hateful, bigoted fool would disagree. RIGHT!?!??!!

Four (and a bit) reasons why the world would be a darker place without Christ

Human beings are sinful, so it should come as no surprise that Christianity has a less-than-perfect past. There are lunatics on the fringe of every movement and bad actors in every play. Despite this, when it comes to transforming societies for the better, Christianity is peerless.

In today’s increasingly-secular society, however, detractors and sceptics rejoice in heaping judgement and scorn on Christianity – but it rarely asks, “compared to what?”

The “what” is usually some form of secular utopia. But secular utopias have an abysmal track record, with hundreds of millions killed for ‘the greater good’ by the apostles Darwin, Marx, and Nietzsche. Secularism, wherever it has been officially implemented, has produced some of the most efficient butchers the world has ever known.

And then there’s Islam. Yeah.

So – when a society combines secularism and a charitable view of Islam and calls it “progress,” it jettisons 2000 years of human history. But the history is clear: the life and teachings of Jesus have not only revolutionised our thinking about God but have had a tremendous impact on civilization that continues to this day around the world. Here are four (and a bit) reasons why.

1. Scientific Endeavour

Way back when we knew little about how the world worked, Christians, inspired by a belief that the world was designed and purposed, reckoned that, if they went looking, they would discover a fine-tuned and law-abiding universe. And that’s exactly what they found.

The atheist, by contrast, had no reason to look for anything because built into atheism is the a priori assumption that everything just happened. An atheist expecting to find reason and order in the universe is like someone expecting the mess of a broken egg to spell out the winning lottery numbers.

Christianity, on the other hand, taught that there was a single rational being called God, giving rise to the possibility of scientific laws. And being made in the image of a rational God meant that Christians could employ a rational process to investigate the world in which they lived.

And we don’t have to look hard for evidence of this. Nearly all the founders of modern science were devout Christians (Keppler, Bacon, Boyle, Pascal, Pasteur, Newton, etc.) History professor Rodney Stark writes:

“The leading scientific figures in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries overwhelmingly were devout Christians who believed it was their duty to comprehend God’s handiwork.”

It’s true that other religions and philosophies were around too at this time, but, as Stark suggests, science could not have arisen from these worldviews:

“Unlike the godless religions of Asia and the capricious gods of other faiths, the God of the Bible was a rational Being whose creation operated on laws that were discoverable and could be applied to solving problems for the benefit of mankind —an understanding essential for the rise of science.”

2. Charity. Lots and lots of charity.

Evolutionary psychology reduces all human behaviour to masked self-interest, so charity within an atheistic secular framework is nothing more than mutual back scratching.

Perhaps this explains the miserable dearth of expressly atheistic charitable efforts in the world (unless it’s to give the middle finger to Christians or to point people away from charities that disagree with them on cultural issues). Other religious cultures, with their caste systems and Jizyas, fare little better.

But Christianity is radically different from everything else on the market. Christianity teaches that all are made equal in the image of God, regardless of social standing, race, ability, or gender (more on that later). Jesus’ ministry called for His followers to serve the neediest, lowest, and most despised in society, even (and especially) if they don’t get their backs scratched in return. In fact, Jesus’ teachings have had such a transformative impact on our charitable thinking that it’s easy to imagine a world akin to a Mad Max film had He never been born.

There are, of course, some worthy secular charities, but they mainly exist within the realm of a cruciform West. And it’s the Christian charities that, as they always have done, lead the way. Take for example the following charities, all founded upon expressly Christian convictions: the Salvation Army, Tear Fund, Children’s Hunger Fund, World Vision, Home Leone, Christian Aid, Christians Against Poverty, Bernardo’s, the Free Burma Rangers – a church-funded group of ex-soldiers who rescue civilians from the grip of ISIS (4:45s into this video shows them going out under sniper fire to rescue a small girl hiding underneath her dead mother’s dress). I could go on, but it’s important to keep a word limit on a blog.

3. Human rights.

Feminists in vagina hats think that they were the first to #TrustWomen, but they’re wrong. Jesus beat them to it 2000 years ago – and it didn’t involve killing any unborn children.

Think about this: the resurrection is a sine qua non of the Christian faith. Without the resurrection, Christianity is hokum and all Christians are dupes. So it’s remarkable that the first people to witness the resurrected Christ – that is, the people in whom the entire validity of the Christian story was entrusted to – were women. And this was at a time when the testimony of a woman was less than that of a dog’s. Put that in your progressive pipe and smoke it.

This high view of women continued throughout the ages. In the Greco-Roman world, it was common practice to throw female newborns out to die from exposure, such was the low status of females. The church, which has always been counter-cultural, forbade its members to do so. The anti-choice bigots.

The rights of children, too, have benefitted immensely from Christianity. In the ancient world, infanticide, much like abortion today, was not only legal but applauded and sometimes considered an act of beauty. Thanks to a right understanding of human value and equality, it was the early Christian church that put an end to it.

We see the same thing today. There is no shortage of secular ideologues who question the value of disabled and unwanted human beings. Some even argue outright for infanticide. This is because they have exchanged the Creator for something in creation (in secular atheism’s case, God is exchanged for materialism – the belief that nothing exists except matter). And in doing so, they have exchanged a high view of humans made in God’s image for a low view of humans made in the image of matter. And how do people treat matter? Well, that depends if it’s useful or not. If you’re useful to society, great, you’re in. If not, then, to quote Richard Dawkins, “abort it and try again”.

In sharp contrast, the concept of true human equality comes exclusively from the biblical idea that human beings are more than the sum of their matter. They are created in the image of God, so the emergence of human rights from Christianity is merely par for the course. This is why there are so many Christian charities. This is why there are so many hospitals (and universities) named after saints.

Of course, as I pointed out at the start, not all Christians – or at least those who claim to be Christian – have been respecters of human rights, but in order to behave that way, they must ignore every fundamental edict of Christ in order to do so.

4. Art, Music, & Literature

Firstly, let me be upfront here and apologise, on behalf of Christians everywhere, for Christian rock.

Right. Now that that’s out of the way, it’s uncontroversial to say that the impact of Christianity on the arts has been immeasurable, influencing such literary greats as Dante, Chaucer, Donne, Lewis, Tolkien, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Dickens, etc., etc.

The powerful impact of Christianity on storytelling makes sense because at the core of every story – whether it’s a film, song, or poem – is a saviour (this is why superhero films are so popular) and an objective understanding of good and evil. These innate human truths and desires are only logically and coherently supported within a biblical framework. As Tolkien poignantly put it:

“Man the story-teller would have to be redeemed in a manner consonant with his nature: by a moving story. But since the author of it is the supreme Artist and the Author of Reality, this one was also made . . . to be true on the Primary Plane.”

You’ll not hear anything close to that level of insight coming from Dan Brown.

Christ also greatly inspired the works of greats like Handel, Vivaldi, and Bach (or MC Hammer, if you’re so inclined) – musicians working to honour God with their work (Bach signed all his works with Soli Deo Gloria (“Solely to the glory of God”)) – and the results are pieces of timeless beauty. Not to mention Gospel choirs and all the hymns we’re familiar with.

While there is, of course, plenty of great non-Christian music, espousing secular ideas from the heartfelt to the dangerous to the vapid, Atheists Don’t Have No Songs. That’s because atheism is nothing to sing about – and the atheist soul knows it, even if the atheist doesn’t. And other religions, beyond repetitive chanting, aren’t exactly renowned for their musical output, either.

Then there’s art and architecture, both of which have been magnificently impacted by Christ. While much of modern art trades on the currency of subjectivity, producing art that is literally piss, classical Christian art brings out the best of humanity by pointing us to a higher plane; just look at all the incredible architecture, particularly the magnificent cathedrals of Europe. Humanists can keep their Premier Inn conference rooms adorned with Ikea prints; give me an old church building to look at any day of the week.

Regardless of one’s beliefs, the powerful Christian impact on societies that take the above seriously should be recognised by anyone interested in truth. The bigger question, which falls outside the scope of this blog, is will our secularised society be willing to put aside the Enlightenment myths and acknowledge just how much they have benefitted from living in a culture built on the beliefs they now abhor?

Alas, probably not.

Cannibalism is perfectly natural, says cannibal activist

For most of us, cannibalism is one of the few remaining societal taboos: fillet of human is rarely on the menu. But cannibalism is widespread throughout the animal kingdom – it is part of nature – and that makes it OK, says cannibal and Friends of the Earth campaigner, Hermann Van der Bommel the Carpathian.

In an interview with the pro-cannibalism magazine, Readers Digesting, Hermann explains his thoughts on cannibalism as it relates to nature, stating that cannibalism seems to be part of the natural order of life and is not genetically counter-productive. In fact, he argues, it can be beneficial.

“It has been observed that Mexican lance-headed rattlesnakes cannibalise their young all the time. This is sometimes due to stress, or when the young is weak, so cannibalism can benefit the mother by giving her nutrients and helping her get ready to give birth again. It’s similar to human abortion, except we don’t eat our young, we just throw them in a bin  – so we still have some progressing to do.”

Citing his own book, I’m Eating Gilbert Grape, Hermann states that the vast amount of documented cannibalistic behaviour in other species will set the stage for what he calls the “appetite spectrum”.

“I think — I’m pretty sure about this, I’m an observer of nature — there’s a spectrum. We’re all animals, and some animals, including human animals, are more inclined to eat the flesh of their own species. So we’re all cannibals, really. You just eat one less species than me.”

Asked how cannibalism fits into the grand scheme of evolution — based upon a belief that the “the only purpose of life is to get your genes into the next generation” — Hermann explains that cannibalism exists throughout nature – such as in sharks and spiders – and life still finds a way to move forward.

“Being on the appetite spectrum – vegan at one end and cannibal at the other – being on that spectrum is not detrimental to our species. You can still be a cannibal and exhibit other more popular evolved traits like empathy and love. In fact, only three percent of what I do is cannibalistic. The rest of the time I’m perfectly empathetic.”

“I don’t know about you, but I know a great many people – highly intelligent people who listen to Mozart and stuff – who just want to be true to themselves and have a forearm supper without having to meet someone on the dark web and then travel to Germany,” Hermann explained before adding, “So cannibalism needs to be destigmatised. We need to trust cannibals to make their own decisions based on what is natural and what is right for them.”

 

On humanism: the ethical and scientific inadequacies of a secular religion

Secular humanism is on the rise, and boasts some high-profile and outspoken celebrities amongst its ranks, like Stephen Fry, Ricky Gervais, Sue Cook, and even our own national treasure, Tim McGarry.

In Northern Ireland, humanists, although relatively small in numbers, are a vocal lot, who can often be found working behind the scenes of various movements, from abortion-choice and LGBTQI+ advocacy to campaigns for euthanasia, and the removal of prayer in public institutions. Bizarrely, for all their talk of social justice and empathy, they don’t do much actual charity work, preferring instead to leave that to others.

While it’s true, from a Christian viewpoint, that not everything about humanism is bad – indeed, some of their causes are admirable – it does present a sizeable threat to Christianity. For that reason, Christians ought to know what it’s about and how to effectively counter its claims and recognise its inadequacies. Here goes.

What exactly is humanism?

The term humanism can mean many things. Just as there are many different types of religion, there are many types of humanism, covering a wide range of beliefs with some overlapping elements. From these elements, a core set of humanistic beliefs has emerged, sometimes referred to as ‘secular humanism’.

Over the years, humanists have gathered together to officially declare these beliefs in the form of manifestos. There have been three (and a bit) humanist manifestos so far: Humanist Manifesto I (1933), Humanist Manifesto II (1973), and Humanist Manifesto III (2003). (There was also a spinoff manifesto called Secular Humanist Declaration (1980), but this was mainly considered to be a prologue to the third manifesto).

It is apparent, then, given its multiple revisions, that humanism sees itself as something that evolves with culture; what is wrong today may not necessarily be wrong in thirty years and vice versa, so we shouldn’t rule out more manifestos (or maybe a manifesto manifesto to help us keep track of the manifestos). For now, though, the core tenants of secular humanism can be summarised as such:

  • Non-theism: most secular humanists deny the existence of God, but virtually all deny the need for a God.
  • Naturalism: this an essential belief for secular humanism that follows from the denial of theism. If there is no supernatural – no God – then everything is explainable by natural laws alone.
  • Evolutionism: for the secular humanist, evolution is a sufficient way of explaining origins. That is, in the absence of a Creator God, all living things and the entire universe are the product of chance plus time plus matter.
  • Ethical relativism: most secular humanists don’t do moral absolutes. There are no God-given, unchangeable moral laws, therefore ethical standards must be determined by man. Such standards are subject to change over time as societies evolve, and are relative to different cultures.
  • Human self-sufficiency: this is a central tenant. All humanists believe that man is capable of solving his own problems without divine help. To quote Sue Cook: “I have long felt in sympathy with the Humanist movement. I put an extra ‘ o’ in God and put my faith in the overall Good in humanity.”

Humanism: religion in disguise

Humanists are quick to tell everyone that their beliefs are informed solely by science, reason, and rationality – and are often at pains to dismiss religion entirely. But, whether today’s humanists know it or not, the history of humanism is steeped in religion.

Humanist Manifesto I clearly emphasises the importance of religion and, before that, two founding fathers of humanism, Henri Saint-Simon and Auguste Comte, dreamed of a religion for all humanity, a universal civilisation based on science. In fact, Comte even set up a humanist sect and declared himself a high priest.

Julian Huxley, another eminent humanist, was, despite being an ardent atheist, a big fan of religion. One day while reading an essay by Lord Morely, he read the words: “The next great task of science will be to create a religion for humanity.” Challenged by these words to create a scientific religion, he coined the name ‘evolutionary humanism’. The rest is history.

So while it’s true that humanism entails no God, it certainly entails religion. Religion is simply a belief system, often with a figurehead, that attempts to answer the following big questions: 1) origins, 2) meaning, 3) morality, and 4) destiny. Humanism ticks all these boxes. Their figurehead is Charles Darwin; they believe our origins lie in the evolutionary process; they believe morality is subjective and culturally determined; they believe that nothing happens after death. This is religion 101.

But worse than that – it’s faith! Why? Because what Darwin taught us, if true, allows no room for secular hope.

Sure, scientific progress has helped us to live longer and healthier, but it has done precisely nothing for our ethics. Humans today are as destructive and as greedy as ever, only now, thanks to scientific and technological progress, we can kill, destroy, rape, and pillage on much larger scales. The post-enlightenment world, littered with the ruins of many a secular utopia, is proof of this.

Of course, on atheistic naturalism, such destructive behaviour is merely the evolutionary path of one particular beast – the human being – so to believe that things can or should be any different, as humanists do, takes a considerable amount of faith.

So the first thing we need to know about humanism is that it’s not science – it’s a secular religion. It is a post-Christian faith that preaches humans can be saved if only they accept science and progress as their lord and saviour.

The scientific inadequacy of secular humanism

Despite what you might read on some Internet forums, Christians and humanists aren’t that far apart when it comes to science. Both groups agree that the universe is governed by laws, such as thermodynamics and gravity, and that knowledge of these laws is helpful in understanding how the universe operates.

The conflict, then, is not about operation but origination. And this is where secular humanism starts to unravel. As previously discussed, secular humanists have a naturalistic view of origins – the idea that the universe is uncaused – but this is deeply unscientific.

The two most fundamental principles of science are observation and repetition, but since the origins of the universe were not observed and have not been repeated, we must then look at the present as a key to the past. And we know from studying the present that every event has an adequate cause. Now, if every event has a cause, it follows that the whole universe has a cause. This has led scientists to the conclusion that it all started with a Big Bang – something that is entirely consistent with the Christian narrative.

This is not a happy conclusion for secular humanists, as astrophysicist Robert Jastrow writes:

For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.

Belief in a Creator God is fully consistent with what science says about how the universe works. Conversely, the secular humanist position, despite claiming the scientific high ground, is worse than magic. Something can’t come from nothing. Life can’t come from non-life.

By avoiding this conclusion, humanists are saying that reason only applies to certain events in the universe, but not all events. This is flat-out irrational. Yet they still believe.

Ethical absurdity: absolutely no absolutes, absolutely

Many humanists believe that morality is relative and that values are subject to change. Ethics are situational, they say. Humanist Manifesto II states, “We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience, needing no theological or ideological sanctions.” Since there is no ultimate Law Giver, there can be no ultimate Law – “Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values”.

In other words, secular humanism denies all absolutes – absolutely. For the discerning reader, of course, this is a house built with Wotsits and Flumps. Firstly, is the claim “everything is relative” relative or non-relative? If it’s non-relative, then it’s absolute. If it’s absolute, then the claim is self-defeating. Conversely, if the claim is relative, then it could be wrong – so it can be dismissed.

So this begs the question: do secular humanists believe that humanism is true? They certainly act and write like they do. You’ll notice that humanism always gets revised, never rejected. Their faith is unshakable. So they obviously believe humanism to be the One True Path. The irony here, of course, is that this absolutistic approach is at complete odds with their denial of absolutes. You don’t often hear humanists say, “there are no absolute moral values, except the values of secular humanism.” That would be dogma – a trait they abhor in others.

And yet, that is exactly how they behave. Not only are humanists inconsistent in principle by denying moral absolutes, they are inconsistent in practice. Humanists continually violate their own rules when they say things like: “love is love,” and “no women should be denied an abortion”, or “we demand separation of church and state!” Really? Says who? Sue Cook?

No. It is obvious, then, that from both the writings and actions of humanists that they do believe in some moral absolutes. Just not the ones that they disagree with.

Even humanists need God

One of the biggest pieces of evidence for God can be found in the very people who rail against Him. The confessions of many secular humanists and other non-theists demonstrate this. The atheist and existential humanist Jean-Paul Satre confessed, “I needed God. I reached out for religion, I long for it, it was the remedy.” And the French atheist Albert Camus admitted, “nothing can discourage the appetite for divinity in the heart of man.”

Most tellingly, the historian and atheist Will Durant said this in a newspaper interview:

You and I are living in a shadow … because we are operating on the Christian ethical code which was given us, unfused with the Christian faith … but what will happen to our children …? We are not giving them an ethics warmed up with a religious faith. They are living on a shadow of a shadow.

So why do self-professed rationalists place their faith in a system that exists in the shadow of a shadow with no solid philosophical grounding? The answer is, quite simply, “anything but God, thank you very much.” To quote the famous atheist, Friedrich Nietzsche, “If one were to prove this God of the Christians to us, we should be even less able to believe in him.” I think that says it all.

There are many other areas where secular humanism falls short, such as its many internal consistencies (Existential vs. Scientific Humanism, Egocentric vs. Social Humanism, etc.) and its often-bitter infighting (some humanists are in favour of abortion, others are pro-life. Some are capitalists, others communists. Some are charitable, others are egoists). But when we examine their core beliefs – the beliefs canonised in the three manifestos and a declaration – they reveal many contradictions and absurdities. They claim to be scientific, but they violate basic laws of science. They claim to be rational, but they cannot account for the existence of rationality. They claim that nothing exists outside of nature, but they stand outside of nature to tell us what’s right and wrong. Secular humanists do not hold to a consistent position, so there’s simply no rational justification for being one.

Iran successfully eradicates homosexuality after gay gene discovery

Since the discovery of the gay gene in 2029, Iran is close to becoming the first country where no-one gives birth to a gay child.

Pre-natal tests were introduced in early 2030, and the vast majority who receive a positive test have terminated their pregnancy. Iran previously had strict abortion laws due to religious reasons, but it is now permitted in cases of homosexuality also due to religious reasons.

While the tests are optional, all expectant mothers are informed about their availability, and up to 95 percent choose to take it. The remaining 5 percent just sort of disappear somewhere.

The test determines whether the foetus will have a certain gene which results in homosexuality. According to PinkNews, children born with this orientation behave differently to other children by striking fabulous poses when excited and by adhering to other generalisations and stereotypes.

Many people born homosexual can live full, healthy lives, with an average lifespan of between 60 years and 140 years, depending on whether you read academic studies or BuzzFeed.

On average, just one or two gay children are born in Iran each year. Sometimes, this is as a result of an inaccurate test.

“Gay babies are still being born in Iran,” said Hekmat Al Muderis, head of the Prenatal Diagnosis Unit at Milad Hospital, Iran.

“Some of the foetuses were ‘straight acting’ in our screening test, so we didn’t detect them. However, we take a lot of inspiration from how Iceland entirely eradicated Down syndrome, so we’re determined to get them all.”

Annhammed Al Furedi counsels women who are considering ending their pregnancy over a homosexual diagnosis.

She says she tells mothers: “This is your life. You have the right to choose how your life will look like. If you don’t like gay babies, don’t have one.”

She told a reporter: “We don’t look at abortion as a murder. We look at it as removing a clump of cells. A clump of cells with a sexual orientation, but a clump of cells nonetheless.

“We ended a possible life that may have had many complications … preventing suffering for the child being born into a society that won’t accept them, leading to poverty and mental health issues, and a disproportionate rate of STDs. I think that is more right and humane than seeing it as a murder – murder is so black and white.

“Life isn’t black and white. Life is grey.”

Other countries aren’t lagging too far behind Iraq in gay termination rates. According to the most recent data available, Yemen has an estimated termination rate for homosexuality of 83 percent; in Nigeria, it’s 86 percent; and in Northern Ireland, the world’s second most homophobic country after Iran, it’s 92 percent.

The archaic and backward law of 1861 that previously governed Northern Ireland would have prevented the termination of gay babies, but since the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act in 2019, abortion is now permitted for any old reason – and homosexuality is included in this category.

Dear Alliance Party, is there room in your party for a public representative who believes gay sex is a sin?

On the eve of Gay Pride — a massive, brightly-coloured celebration consisting of not-always-clothed people gyrating and pouting in a bid to tell the whole world that what they do with their genitals is no one’s business — the words of Tim Stanley ring truer than ever: “being tolerant is not merely enough; you must celebrate. Otherwise, there is no place for you in politics”.

We’re at the stage now where the diktats of our new illiberal liberal society demand that not only are we to tolerate leftist ideologies such as abortion and same-sex marriage, we must also celebrate them. It is not enough to say, “I disagree with your ideas, but I respect you” — we must also drive a rainbow-coloured float to work each morning while a team of feminists throw handfuls of abortion pills at passers-by to the tune of Bad Romance blasting out over giant nipple-shaped speakers.

Take Tim Farron, for example. Despite not proposing a single policy that would adversely affect the LGBTQ+ community or abortion law, he wasn’t rainbow-affirming or abortion-loving enough and so quickly found himself in breach of Liberal Democrat orthodoxy. In other words, Tim Farron was too liberal for the Liberal Democrats.

Then there was that time the Thought Detectives came after Dan Walker for having the sheer audacity to present a TV programme and be Christian at the same time. In this Brave New World, presenting a breakfast TV show or leading a liberal political party is a job reserved only for the enlightened, you see. “You religious should stick to herding goats,” they seethe with love and tolerance.

Now that the dust has settled on the Tim Farron episode, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Liberal Democrat’s sister party here in Northern Ireland, the Alliance Party. Just like Tim Farron, the Alliance leader, Naomi Long, also claims to be a person of faith. Unlike Tim Farron, however, she has no such issues reconciling her faith with the liberal zeitgeist; she’s more than happy to proclaim that marriage is more of a government registry of friendships than what Jesus describes in Matthew 19, and her position on abortion is vague and watery enough (“I don’t like it, but…”) to gain her the acceptance of the progressive magisterium. For now, anyway.

So – since the Alliance Party never shy away from telling us how progressive and diverse they are, I’d like to ask them this: is there room within your party for a public representative who publicly states that gay sex is a sin? I’m not convinced there would be —  Tim Farron said it wasn’t a sin and his progressive inquisitors still weren’t happy — but I could be wrong. Maybe the rainbow colours they put on everything are really a celebration of the Noahic Covenant.

Or, if nobody is willing to admit to disagreeing with gay sex, what about the lesser secular sin of disagreeing with pre-marital sex? After all, pre-marital sex is wrong in many religions, not just Christianity. If their answer is, “No, we’re progressives. We believe in sex before, during and after marriage. Take your troglodytism elsewhere,” then not only does that exclude many Catholics and Protestants, but also Muslims and Jews who seek to live under the beliefs of their church from publicly representing the Alliance Party.

These are fair questions to ask because, for the benefit of those who don’t know, the sins of pre-marital and gay sex are long-standing and fairly bog-standard Christian doctrines. Of course, there are some Christians, like Naomi, who are happy to embrace other sexual philosophies (but not all sexual philosophies; we still have a long way to progress in that regard) — but many don’t.

So, would these Christians — and adherents of other faiths who hold to traditional values — feel safe to publicly air their views, or would they be advised not to? Would they enjoy the public backing of their tolerant and fair-minded leader or would they, like Tim Farron, find working for Alliance while holding certain beliefs impossible?