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  • Say Yes! to an Ethics-based Complement to Scripture in NSW Schools

    Did you know that NSW school students whose parents make a conscientious decision to opt them out of Special Religious Education are prohibited from any other form of instruction during this period?

    To support equal opportunity and fair choice for all students in the NSW public education system, please consider signing this petition by the St James Ethics Centre and the NSW Federation of P&C Associations:

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/SpecialEthicsEducation/

    MORE INFO:

    ► An ethics-based complement to Scripture in NSW primary schools
    http://www.ethics.org.au/content/ethics-based-complement-to-scripture

    ► Is This The Dumbest Education Policy In Australia? | NewMatilda.com
    http://newmatilda.com/2009/10/06/dumbest-education-policy-australia

    ► Almighty row over ethics class in schools | SMH
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/almighty-row-over-ethics-class-in-schools-20090925-g6a0.html

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  • Postcards to say something: 026 – As Others See Us, Darkly…

    atheistism600

    A renowned philosopher, Jason7463, once wrote the immortal words:

    Thats the problem with atheistism,its so damned depressing.Basically says,your fucked so get used to it.

    As is so frequently the case with deeper thinkers of this stamp, the wording, punctuation and homophone-swappage is fully sic. Still, let’s transcend that barrier, and look deeply into the void that is “atheistism as seen by Jason7463″.

    Firstly there is “atheistism” to consider. I am grateful to Jason7463 for the peculiar wording he has employed in his exposition, as it serves to throw a common error into stark highlight. A person may be an atheist, but to consider atheism as an “-ism” in its own right is to overlook the derivation of the word. A- (meaning “not”) -theism (meaning “believing in a god or gods”) is not a belief, but the rejection of one. To imply that a belief must fill that void is to fall into error. This is usually illustrated by showing that baldness is not a hair colour, and that not collecting stamps is not, in and of itself, a hobby.


    Now, is this “absence of belief in a god or gods” as damned depressing as Jason7463 claims? From personal experience and testimonial evidence available, I must say that the opposite applies in the majority of cases. This seems especially true when the subject has experienced belief.

    Relieved from the stress of trying to reframe my entire existence to ensure its relative popularity with the invisible distributor of vengeance, largesse and misfortune, and all the forgive me this, show me the way that, and fitting the bigger picture against prophecy… not to mention the sizable cognitive dissonance between “Jesus said” and “Church does”, I am actually beginning to enjoy life.

    Of course, we can safely dispense with the “damned” bit…

    Basically says,your fucked… I don’t think so. If anything, now that I don’t rely on intangible (and let’s face it, non-manifest) means of support, I tend to plan all details of a project with the most pessimistic outcomes in mind. (The optimum and most likely are also considered: it’s a project management thing.)

    The result is a tendency to be more mindful of circumstances and interdependencies: in short, to be careful. I may eventually wind up “fucked”, but entropy guarantees that for everyone.

    so get used to it. The fatalism implicit in such a statement is more indicative of the “let go and let god” type of person. Any situation has options: acceptance, avoidance, negotiation, or even aggression.

    I’m alive for now. This is all the life I get, and I’ll play the ball as it lies, go to the clubhouse, or picnic on the fairway if I deem it suitable. I don’t have eternity to waste on harp lessons.
    Life is mostly okay, and there’s plenty undone yet. “Used to it”? Only a person who missed a lot of interesting stuff could say that.

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  • Postcards to say something 025: Eating The Red Words Last…

    OTLaws600

    It’s all been said a lot of times, but apparently some skulls are too thick and need Applied Percussive Maintenance™.

    Whether or not your list of uncleans, abominations and what have we applies to the modern christian or not, there is no call from any word of Jesus in your bible that any law or rule for believers should in any way be applied to unbelievers.

    Does this make you look suspiciously at the motives of those who want to get into government and enforce universal compliance with “christian” rules? If I still believed in a Jesus who was other than a being of fable, I’d see him knotting up the ol’ Pharisee Whacker 5000™ for another round.

    Still, carry on, lads! If you manage to make the whole world act godly, there won’t be any need for a god anyhow…

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  • Girl suspended from Catholic school for raising money for cancer research

    Her father is dying of leukemia and has months to live, so Emily Pridham, 15 decided she would deal with this by being active and raising money via shaving her hair short.

    Her fellow students were really supportive she said, but the Catholic school, Mount Alvernia College has suspended her for breaching uniform code.

    How absolutely ridiculous is that? What kind of moral views allow this to happen?

    Her mum backs her 100%, and so do we. This is an important thing for her, a coping mechanism and she has been left high and dry by the school community which forms her growing years. This is just a tragedy for her, something she will never forget.

    You can contact the school here, and ask them yourself as to what is going on with this :

    Mt Alvernia College
    82 Cremorne Rd
    Kedron   4031

    Phone: (07) 3357 6000
    Fax:    (07) 3857 2231
    Email:  mta@mta.qld.edu.au

    What’s up with catholics recently? (well .. recently is not really the right word …)

  • Postcards to say something: 024 – Insert Thirty Pieces Of Silver After The Beep

    answers600

    If you hold your prayers up to your ear, you hear your own heartbeat….

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  • Australian Catholic University – Greg Craven’s theist hissy fit, poor diddums

    Poor Greg Craven, the Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University, he posted an article in The Age as he thinks atheists are attacking catholics because they question his beliefs.

    Michael Brull followed it up with ‘The New Crybaby Theists’ a great article pointing out just how stupidly hypocritical the article was.

    Finding issue with major flaws in theistic arguments is taken by these ‘precious’ apologists as personal attacks and they respond with name calling and cries of offense, classic ad hominem attacks instead of approaching the ideas and debating the opinion. I know heaps of religious people and we have seen a number on the site here that are willing to discuss reasonably major differences without taking personal slight, yet here we have the Vice Chancellor of a Catholic University acting like a petulant child.

    Let’s have a look at his Catholic University ‘Mission’ shall we? Some of the points there I think Mr Craven should read again in a not-so-biased way are :

    • a continuing dialogue between faith and reason – represented, for example, by the dialogue between philosophy and science;
    • respect for truth in all its forms and collaboration in seeking it through all the disciplines;
    • promotion of the common good, and the dignity of the human person;
    • collaboration of all our staff and students, whatever their beliefs, in the interests of a more decent and humane society;
    • the promotion of teaching and research in ways that most serve the mission of the University;
    • respect for academic freedom.

    Well I only left out one line out of the whole mission points, and that was the first; ‘following the way of Christ and commitment to Christian values’. Even that I am sure other more reasoned christians would gladly debate with him.

    .. but be careful. Diddums might call you names and claim you are attacking him if you try to debate any of his beliefs. It’s alright one way, but don’t oppress the poor thing by stating what you think!!

    Greg Craven poor diddums

    It’s heartening to see that this type of bigotry is bringing more and more non-believers out, to openly call themselves atheist and tackle the privilege that religion asks of anyone not of their faith

    I find the responses to both this article and to Greg Craven’s immensely heartening because they signal to me there’s a huge number of committed, thoughtful and motivated non-believers out there.

    Traditionally I’ve always kept my thoughts to myself, partly to avoid awkward confrontations but mostly because they are exactly that – my thoughts. Now I feel emboldened to share and debate and refine my views.

    So thanks Greg Craven for bringing so many atheists together, discussing and openly debating, which is as it should be.

    Michael – November 05, 2009, 3:24PM

    There’s many other great quotes on both the articles, I suggest you have a good read of some of them, and keep open minded

    NO ONE would be bothered by the Catholic Church if it insisted that only Catholics followed its precepts. But in the past year alone, it pushed to influence Parliament to support discrimination against non-Catholics, argued in favour of prolonging the untreatable suffering of non-Catholics who are dying and opposed reproductive health for non-Catholic women. The more sinister aspects of its health policy have been discussed in The Age this week. The Catholic Church is a wealthy, non-tax-paying organisation that receives huge government funding for the provision of social services to all Victorians. For these reasons, what it stands for – unsavoury history, policy directions from a non-human and continued efforts to re-establish medieval Christendom with secular funding – should be scrutinised.

    Janine Truter, The Basin

  • Postcards to say something: 023 – Nothing Of Substance

    fluff600

    Suddenly I could see why the skywriting was so totally emblematic of the whole campaign!

    Congratulate yourselves, guys. It’s a do-nothing feel-good for those already in the churches, and it’s going to appeal to the marshmallow-headed vibe chasers who want a four-song sandwich and a salved conscience.

    Spot on!

    And the poor, you shall always have with you, unless the poor fuckers starve while you’re busy with the banners and the skywriting. – Gospel According to Black.

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  • Postcards to say something: 022 – Go To Hell

    HellSick600

    Seriously, I don’t know what the younger generation of christians are being taught.

    If you are looking for accommodation, I hear hell is quite nice this time of year, and has a lot of room set aside for you. - “Jesus FTW”, who endured the lengthy rigmarole of getting an AFA login, just to tell us that.

    Does it make him happy? Is that a Jesus-like attitude? He’s only the most recent of a container-load of wallies with the same “message”, although the focus generally seems to be on the writer’s own glee at our impending damnation and torment.

    Still, I’m glad, in a totally Pollyanna-like way. Why, you may ask…

    The joy that these sick-puppy types get at the idea of me and Gee Suss reclining in a jacuzzi of molten lava, or whatever their twisty little minds can conjure up, is free.

    It costs nothing from us fantasy victims (although I must confess I feel a bit squicky at the idea they may get excited enough to give themselves Special Rubs), and it hopefully sublimates those nasty urges, so they don’t need to go attacking church youth, pulling the wings off puppies, or whatever.

    We should be charging for the therapy.

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  • Postcards to say something: 021 – Day Of The Dead

    AngloJC

    I buried my Stepfather today. He was more of a dad to me than the gene donor.

    He was not a learned man, although he was more than brilliant in practical ways. Bush mechanicking and skill with even difficult animals were just two of the things that, like his ears, stuck out.

    We had to try a little harder to get along together than is the case for blood-relatives (I’ll excuse my father from this particular comparison), but I thought I knew the man.

    His entry into christianity was gradual, as this man had a low tolerance for bullshit. He was apparently scared into the flock by some of that alarmist material Stan Deyo was putting out in the late 70s.

    The man I knew was kind. Not a soft touch, and guaranteed to give the “pretend-looking-for-work” bloke some actual hard work to do, but a fair reward at the end. Of course, association with church people influenced him over the years.

    I haven’t had a lot of contact with the old man since my mother died. He went to stay with the sister I can’t stand, and I gather he attends her church in the relatively-affluent suburb where she and her unpleasant husband live.

    I don’t know what sort of tolerance and charity Affluent Jeebus teaches, being of the sort who thought, even when a believer, that the whole Jesus thing was more about the unempowered.

    Still, when the only email I get from him in months is all BIG RED LETTERS, saying:

    Good Day and welcome to a brand new edition of :

    ‘ASYLUM’.

    And here’s your game show host…here’s KEVVVIIINNN !!!

    Today’s program features another chance to take part in our exciting competition:

    Hop on a boat

    And win

    A FREE HOUSE!

    We’ve already given away hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of dream homes, courtesy of our sponsor,

    The Australian Taxpayer.

    And don’t forget, we’re now the fastest growing game on the planet.

    Anyone can play, provided they don’t already hold a valid Australian Passport, and you only need one word of English:

    ‘ASYLUM’

    Prizes include all-expenses-paid accommodation, cash benefits starting at $800 a week and a chance to earn thousands more begging, mugging and accosting drivers at traffic lights.

    This competition is open to everyone,
    buy a ticket to Indonesia

    And catch the first available boat.

    No application ever refused – reasonable or unreasonable.

    All you have to do is destroy all your papers or burn your boat once you

    Enter Australian waters and remember the magic password:

    ‘ASYLUM’

    A few years ago, 140 members of the Taliban family from Afghanistan were flown Goat Class from Kabul to Indonesia’s gateway where agents were on hand to fast-track them to their boat trips to luxury accommodation

    They joined tens of thousands of other lucky winners already staying in hotels all over Australia

    Our most popular destinations also include the Baxter’s reef and the world famous Christmas Island resort

    If you still don’t understand the rules, don’t forget, there’s no need to phone a friend or ask the audience

    Just apply for legal aid.

    Hundreds of lawyers, social workers and counsellors are waiting to help.

    It won’t cost you a penny.

    It could change your life forever .
    So play today.

    Iraqi terrorists, Afghan dissidents, Albanian gangsters, pro-Pinochet activists, anti-Pinochet activists, Kosovan drug-smugglers, Tamil tigers, bogus Bosnians, Rwandan mass murderers, Somali guerrillas…

    COME ON DOWN!

    Get along to the Indonesia fishing ports

    Don’t stop in Thailand or Bali

    Go straight to Australia

    And you are:

    GUARANTEED

    to be one of tens of thousands of lucky winners in the easiest game on earth.

    Everyone’s a winner, when they play

    ‘ASYLUM’

    … then I know the man I once held dear has died.

    And may they put Anglo Jesus in the ground with him, before I piss on it.

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