Author Archives: The Bigot

EXCLUSIVE: Boojum set to mock Mohammed during Ramadan, gay icon during Pride Week

Following the publicity-grabbing success of its Easter meme which mocked the risen Christ, a representative for the overrated quasi-Mexican restaurant chain, Boojum – famous for its sticky floors and nappy-style burritos – has revealed similar plans to mock the prophet Mohammed during Ramadan, and the veteran gay rights activist Peter Tatchell during Pride Week.

After some pushback from Christian former-customers who found the Easter meme offensive, Boojum’s management responded by saying their aim is to offend all people groups equally, not just easy targets.

“Our next meme will go up during Ramadan and will depict Mohammed having the Koran revealed to him by an angel, but – get this, right – instead of the Koran, it’ll be a big burrito! And the caption will read: “When the only thing worth revealing is a Boojum!”

He added: “We’ve already hired a graphic design student to photoshop an image of Mohammed kneeling before a burrito with a speech bubble coming from his mouth saying: “Allah Akbar! I knew I smelled Boojum!”

“F***ing hil-are, isn’t it?” said Boojum’s impossibly cool and radical PR manager and Head of Banter, Sye Merkin.

“And then, during Pride Week, we’ll post a meme depicting the veteran gay rights activist, Peter Tatchell, coming out of an actual closet, but instead of finding tolerance and acceptance, he’ll find a trio of tacos!

And the caption will read: “When the only thing worth coming out for is a Boojum!” with the speech bubble saying: “Heeeey! I knew I smelled Boojum!”

Merkin continued: “Mocking Christianity – especially during its most significant time of the year and, so I’m told, at a time when hundreds of its adherents were murdered for their beliefs – is not at all insensitive and crass or devoid of wit and creativity; it’s the kind of super original, cutting edge comedy that sets Boojum above the other higher quality, more authentic Mexican restaurants in the country.

That’s why we’re going to up our banter game even more by going after Islam and homosexuality!”

“Yeooooo!” he added.

In a separate radio interview, Boojum reaffirmed its commitment to equality by revealing additional plans to mock Bobby Sands during the upcoming hunger strike commemorations in August, and King Billy during the Twelfth fortnight.

What exactly is an atheist anyway?

For as long as humans have been shaking their fists skyward, the term ‘atheist’ has been used to describe a belief that there is no God. However, since the popularisation of New Atheism a decade or so ago, there has been a concerted attempt – a revisionist attempt – by some atheists to redefine atheism as ‘a lack of belief’. In other words, for these atheists, atheism is not a positive belief that God does not exist, but rather something that entails no belief at all – it is simply a lack of belief.

The reason for this is simple: defining atheism this way makes it easier for the atheist to defend their position because there’s nothing to defend. You don’t have to defend a non-belief. And if there’s nothing to defend, you don’t have to shoulder the burden of proof.

If I were an atheist, however, I wouldn’t go down this path. Not only is this definition a departure from the language that we’ve all agreed on – the same language that allows us to have fruitful discussions – but it’s intellectually dishonest. It’s dishonest because there are only three possible answers to the question “Does God exist?”

“Yes” (theist)

“No” (atheist)

“I don’t know” (agnostic)

By replacing this common sense and historically-understood definition with a convoluted and self-serving one (“I’m a freethinking open-minded anti-theistic accommodationist explicit uppercase agnostic-Atheist… or “bright” for short!”) is just linguistic legerdemain that helps no one, least of all the atheist.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that there’s no such thing as a ‘lack of belief’. There is. For example, when it comes to which is the best curling team in Uzbekistan, I lack a belief. I have no information on the subject, nor do I care to find out. I genuinely lack a belief in the Uzbekistani curling scene.

But if you’ve ever listened to an atheist – particularly of the Stetson-wearing, goateed YouTube channel variety – it quickly becomes obvious that they don’t behave like they lack a belief about God. They have lots of beliefs about God, so much so that they write book after book, participate in debate after debate, and create YouTube video after YouTube video to espouse them. They even have their own logo! Now, I don’t know about most people, but I’ve yet to create a logo to express a lack of belief, and – having never had a skunkweed habit – don’t have the desire to.

Now, if an atheist wants to say, “I don’t have a belief in God” – that’s fair enough. They don’t have faith in God because they don’t think that God is real. But that is not the same as saying, “I don’t have a belief about God”. They do have a belief about God – lots of them – chiefly that God doesn’t exist. And if you hold a belief, and there is a justification for holding that belief, then you ought to be forthcoming about it.

But perhaps the most bizarre aspect of defining atheism as a lack of belief is that a lack of belief describes a psychological state; it tells us absolutely nothing about whether God exists or not. In other words, if atheism is merely a lack of belief then toasters, USB sticks, chickens, and my cat, John Knox, are also atheists since they too lack a belief in God. It also means that atheism can never be true or false (because only claims can be true or false), rendering it meaningless and, let’s be honest, a bit boring.

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Curling – a game in which players must slide polished atheists across some ice.

To be clear, I’m not saying that atheism is a religion – that job goes to Humanism – but it is definitely a belief, meaning that atheists – along with Christians, to be fair – must shoulder the burden of proof to support their position. If an atheist asserts – as they do – that only natural and material things exist, then they need to make a persuasive and principled argument for how immaterial things like logic, consciousness, evil, morality, mathematics, etc. are the accidental byproducts of exclusively natural causes.

Unfortunately, many of the atheists that I’ve engaged with – as lovely as they all are – seem most comfortable when critiquing the beliefs of others than when offering a robust defence of their own. This, I suspect, is because they know they can’t, for the more we learn about the complexities of the natural world, the more implausible a purely natural explanation becomes. In fact, a purely natural explanation for all of reality is, in theory, impossible because anything capable of creating nature would have to come from outside of nature and would be, by definition, supernatural – hence the desire to retreat to a boutique definition of atheism.

Sorry, Fionola Meredith – arguments have no gender. Abortion is still wrong even if a man says it

Fallacious arguments are a bit like Where’s Wally?. Once you learn how to spot Wally, you can easily spot him on every page. Similarly, once you learn how to identify logical fallacies – no matter how eloquently put – they leap off the page and beat you over the head with a hurley bat.

I mention this because, after reading this article by Fionola Meredith, I got beaten so badly by a whole gang of fallacies that I had to be rushed to intellectual A&E.

According to Fionola, some men aren’t qualified to speak on abortion because “murdering the little babies” is the sole reserve of those with a womb. But since pro-life men use exactly the same arguments as pro-life women, it is incumbent upon Fionola to answer these arguments without resorting to fallaciously attacking someone’s gender or making unqualified assumptions about their character. Does she do that? Nope. In fact, the entire article is who’s who (what’s what?) of logical errors, from name-calling and emotional appeals to wild and unqualified assumptions. There’s even some amateur psychology in there too for good measure.

Some of these angry, heartless men call themselves Christians. That’s a sick joke. If you’re such a champion of the unborn foetus that you can’t spare an ounce of compassion for a raped child, then what does your faith count for?

Let’s assume that these men are angry and heartless. In fact, while we’re in prejudice mode, let’s make them tax dodgers and drug dealers too. They’re horrible, compassionless, hypocritical, drug-dealing, tax-dodging, pro-life Christian scummers. And they stole the lead off yer Da’s shed. So now what follows? Nothing. Abortion is still the intentional taking of innocent human life.

What we see here – and in the following four (!) paragraphs – is a commitment to the ad-hominem fallacy – that is, attacking people (who she’s never met) as opposed to their ideas in lieu of making a persuasive case of her own. It’s just name-calling. And name-calling is not an argument.

Notice also that she attacks a strawman – the intentional misrepresentation of an opponent that is easier to defeat than their actual view. I’ve yet to meet any pro-lifer who wouldn’t have compassion for a raped child. Such a charge is as ridiculous as it is unfounded. But it also cuts both ways. If you’re such a champion of raped children that you can’t spare an ounce of compassion for the child heading for the abortion chopping block, then what does your egalitarian secularism count for? See how that works?

A much better approach – and one desperately needed in our wee divided country – is to advance actual arguments that must be defended. Arguments that stand or fall on their merits, not the gender (or colour, or race, or religion, .etc) of those espousing them.

It’s true that we frequently hear female voices who are implacably opposed to abortion in all circumstances, although I’ve never yet heard one of them give a satisfactory answer as to why any girl or woman should be forced to give birth to a child she does not want.

The answer is simple and wholly satisfactory to any right-thinking person: the value of human life is not determined by wantedness. A woman should not be able to poison alive / methodically dismember her unborn child because she does not want her, any more than she should be able to poison alive / methodically dismember her two-year-old for the same reason.

Again, the gender of the person making this point is completely irrelevant – it is either true or false on its own merit – but since you mention it, there are countless female pro-life leaders articulating this basic philosophical truth in the world today. In fact, the whole pro-life movement is headed up and staffed almost exclusively by women. There’s at least a dozen of them in NI alone. Why not meet with them if you’re still unclear?

I think they are motivated by something far more base, ugly and deplorable. I believe they are driven by contempt for women, a desire to control them and to have dominion over their bodies.

Listen to the vitriol in the words they use. What you’re hearing, echoing down the millennia from the dawn of time, is misogyny: an ancient fear, suspicion and resentment of women and their extraordinary power to give birth.

There’s no doubt that Fionola is a talented writer and articulate speaker (as much as I disagree with some of her views, I enjoy listening to her on the radio and reading her articles), but she’s no psychiatrist. All of this is mere conjecture that lies outside the bounds of her knowledge and expertise. How does she know what drives someone? Is she qualified to make statements about someone’s personal psychology? I doubt it. Is she privy to their medical records? I hope not. This is yet more name-calling, just made a little more sophisticated by wrapping it up in pseudo-psychology and poetic language.

And who are these suspicious and contemptuous men anyway? Big Ivor Bogroll she heard on the Nolan Show? Well, she might have a point with Big Ivor – I once saw him eat a plastic fork in a KFC outside Lurgan – but she hasn’t mentioned any names, or provided any evidence of these alleged transgressions, just assumptions and generalisations and someone she heard on the Nolan Show. This is not journalism – or even a thoughtful opinion piece – it’s naked activism.

Men can never know what it is like to experience a crisis pregnancy. They will never grapple with the horror and fear. They will never have to take out a bank loan to fund their personal travel expenses to England, or to make the lonely, disorienting journey there and back.

Consider this: Fionola will never know what it’s like to fight in a war. She will never grapple with horror and fear. She will never have to survive on benefits or struggle with PTSD. Therefore, Fionola doesn’t get to decide whether the army can torture war prisoners or not.

That’s a pretty bizarre argument, don’t you think? So, why would discussing other moral issues like abortion be any different? It’s true that gender perspectives on abortion can help us understand the personal experience, but they are no substitute for rational inquiry.

The abortion question does not hinge on gender or personal experiences (indeed, many women will never know what those things are like, either), but whether or not the unborn child has value and is worthy of protection. Would she make the same appeal to emotion if the debate were about killing toddlers instead of fetuses?

But ultimately it won’t be the man’s decision, nor should it be. Their views count for less, and rightly have no legal weight, because it is the woman who carries the child. She deals with the immediate physical reality of the pregnancy, as well as the lifelong impact of giving birth to another human being.

OK – if men can’t make decisions on abortion, then the 1967 Abortion Act is bad law. After all, it was introduced by David Steel, a man, and backed by a government comprising entirely of men. The same goes for Roe V. Wade in America which was passed by nine male judges. Of course, Fionola likely believes that the views of those men – and today’s male abortion lawmakers like Simon Harris and Leo Varadkar – do not count for less and have plenty of legal weight because she agrees with them.

So what this all amounts to, then – even with a shoe-horned attempt at balance by referencing the “kindly pro-life men” she knows – is the silencing of those she disagrees with based purely on their gender. Think about that for a second. Isn’t that the very base, ugly and deplorable trait that she claims to detest in others?

Abort thy neighbour: a response to abortion-choice Christians

When coming up with a title for this piece, I resisted the temptation to put the word ‘Christians’ in scare quotes – “Christians” – which would imply that abortion-choice Christians aren’t really Christians at all. But I don’t think that necessarily follows. Our status as Christians – our salvation – is, thankfully, not determined by our views on social issues, but by our view of Christ – as antithetical as abortion is to the teachings of Christ.

Which brings us on to this video, which features three self-identified Christians extolling the virtues of “choice”. By “choice,” of course, they don’t mean picking a flavour of ice cream; they mean the choice to intentionally take a human life. They mean “abortion”.

The truth is, I don’t know if those in this video are genuine Christians or not. Don’t get me wrong, they exhibit all the hallmarks of spiritual-but-functionally-atheist nominal churchgoers (they never actually mention Christ in defence of their views, rather give primacy to feelings and opinions) – but I could be wrong. What I do know, however, is that once you get past the emotional appeals and question-begging, there isn’t a single compelling argument for abortion to be found anywhere in this video. Not one. Let’s take a closer look.

“I’m actually getting emotional” (00:00)

Nobody does emotion better than the abortion lobby. If they aren’t appealing to difficult and rare cases (“What about a diabetic one-legged mother-of-ten with crippling sciatica and hypersexual bipolar disorder, who works down a mineshaft on a zero-hour contract?!?! How could you deny her an abortion?!?! HOW???”) – they get upset. And true to form, this video plays that card straightaway; the music is touching, the lighting is soft, eyes are teary. Only a vile monster would disagree now.

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“I think God put us on this earth. He gave us choices, He gave us freedom” (00:20)

White belt abortion-choicers, for the most part, believe that an unborn child is not fully human. But instead of trying to argue their case with science and reason, they merely assume it to be true. This is a logical fallacy called “question-begging,” and it can be found running free and wild throughout this video.

Case in point: the statement above assumes that because choice and freedom are in principle good things, it follows that the freedom to choose an abortion is also a good thing. But nowhere does the interviewee even attempt to justify this claim. It’s all assumed within her rhetoric. Is racism a good choice? What about the freedom to rape or commit tax fraud? Oh, I see. She only means the choices she agrees with. Ah.

Well, excuse me while I choose which puppy to test my new taser on.

“Love your neighbour as you love yourself. I couldn’t look my neighbour in the eye if I denied them healthcare.” (00:46)

But here, at least his neighbour still has eyes (01:17).

Who said anything about denying people healthcare? No-one. This is a strawman statement – an intentional misrepresentation of the pro-life view that is easier to defeat than an actual pro-life argument, such as:

  1. It is wrong to take an innocent human life (sound philosophy)
  2. Abortion takes an innocent human life (accurate science)
  3. Therefore, abortion is wrong (logical conclusion)

Or maybe he’s confused and doesn’t know that the slow and methodical dismemberment of a live human being isn’t healthcare. If only he had Googled some abortion-victim photos before being interviewed, then he would’ve seen how recipients of abortion don’t look particularly healthy or cared for.

From a Christian perspective, though, the pertinent question to ask here is: “who qualifies as my neighbour?” Is it the Christian view which tells us that every human being is created equal in the image of God and therefore worthy of the title ‘neighbour’? Or is it the time-period-and-culture-dependant secular humanist view which holds that human beings are valuable only in virtue of their location, their size and their level of physical and mental development?

Careful which horse you back there, fella. History has not been kind to those secular rulers and governments that took seriously the idea that human beings are nothing but the product of blind natural forces.

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“My decision to not have an abortion due to my faith, shouldn’t dictate other people’s choices.” (01:10)

But wait! Why not have an abortion? Is abortion wrong? Is it because you think abortion kills an innocent human being? Is that not a good reason to dictate other people’s choices? Isn’t that how civilisation works?

Society dictates what people can and can’t choose all the time. It’s not a matter of if choices will be dictated, but which choices will be dictated. If pro-lifers impose their views on women and doctors, then abortion-choicers impose their views on the unborn. And only one of those views ends with a broken corpse in a petri dish.

“Being told by people who have encouraged me to become Christian that my opinion is wrong, or that the bible says something that contradicts my opinion is quite hard for me to hear.” (01:15)

Yet more question-begging. This is just a personal perspective that tells us absolutely nothing about why other Christians are wrong and she is right. No attempt has been made to defend her views, or to justify the act of abortion; she just assumes she’s right.

It’s almost as if all the interviewees suffer from some sort of mental disorder that restricts their ability to even fathom how other people could possibly disagree with them, to the point where they don’t even feel the need to defend their position. Either that or it’s just intellectual laziness.

For the record, the bible does contradict her. Scripture is clear that all humans have intrinsic value because they are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28; James 3:9). In other words, humans are valuable in virtue of the thing they are, not because of what they can do – and especially not because of someone’s opinion.

Therefore, since human beings are made in God’s image, unjustly killing them is wrong (Exodus 23:7; Proverbs 6:16-19; Matthew 5:21). What makes the pro-lifer’s job easy here is that science confirms beyond all doubt that the unborn are whole and distinct human beings, so it follows that any scripture that forbids the unjust killing of human beings must also apply to unborn human beings.

That you find it hard to hear doesn’t change things.

“I just don’t want to make those choices for other women. I’m not pro-abortion, I’m pro-choice” (01:38)

This isn’t about pro-choice versus anti-choice. Pro-lifers are staunchly pro-choice when it comes to many things: the right to vote, to choose your own partner, to choose your own religion, to choose your education, to choose a career, to choose to shave your head and paint yourself blue. They just believe that some choices are wrong, like killing little ones. Therefore, the important distinction here is that you are pro-abortion.

Pro-abortion feminist and activist, Camille Paglia, calls the term “pro-choice” a “cowardly euphemism”. She believes that those who are pro-abortion must face what they are opposing – the right to life for every member of the human family. If you’re going to be in favour of something so obviously – and necessarily – destructive and discriminatory as abortion, at least have the courage of your convictions to tell it like it is.

Why every Christian should be pro-life

If humans only have value in virtue of the things they can do, or because of the landmarks they have reached, like the ability to breathe independently, express self-awareness, or pass seven inches down a birth canal – things that differ from human to human – then it follows that human equality isn’t actually a thing. It just depends on how the people in power dish it out.

But Christians tell a better story. It’s much more persuasive and reasonable to ground human rights in the idea that although humans vary greatly in their mental and physical abilities and characteristics, they are all still perfectly equal because they share a common humanity, made in the image of a personal and just triune God.

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 right to kill their own 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.