Purple doesn’t exist.

Purple is a figment of people’s imagination.

Really. Believe me. I know this. And why do I know this? I have never seen it. That is why I don’t believe in purple. It’s amazing how many people are convinced that it does though. Even when I ask Google to show me ‘purple’ it comes up with something:

This can’t be purple. I see 3 entirely different things but none of them is purple (apart from the actual word purple). For me these consists of “I don’t have a clue”.

My popular witch Hilda will hate me for this. Her favourite colour is purple as well while for me it’s not real.

Why do I state that purple doesn’t exist?

Because I’m colour blind. (Note to ignorami: colour blind doesn’t mean that I see in black and white. Colour blind is a stupid, wrong name for the fact that many people can’t see all the colours that are around.)

Purple to me is a word. A concept that other people’s eyes make them interpret as a colour. That also goes for stuff like mauve, beige, pink and other pastels.

It’s the same thing with religions and gods. Those to me are concepts that in other people’s eyes signify something. A kind of creature, a colour I can’t see. For me it’s not real.

If you feel that a god is real, that your religion is real, be happy with it. Just don’t expect me to see it the way you do. I’m religion blind in the same way I’m colour blind so I see things differently from how you do.

A test.

Do you see a letter or a number up here? Yes? Great. You can see your god. I just see a lot of little circles of a doubtful colour (green, brown, grey?) which make up the totality of a ball, a sphere. This is how I see my world, my surroundings. I don’t have a god colour to tell me what’s what. I can look at the whole of evolution, the world, space, the other planets and stars, and take those as the ball up there. Doubtful colours, but definitely a shape I can appreciate. In the entirety of the cosmos there are probably more colours I can’t see. More colours that you can’t see (beyond ultraviolet, beyond infra red, into the electromagnetic ranges). You are blind to them as I am blind to your precious colours.

I’m happy with that. I know what to expect. I know there’s more out there than I can see which is fine. As long as people respect that and don’t try to make me ‘see’ what they see (because again, I’m entirely blind to that) we’re all in harmony.

If you try to convince me that your god is the one and only, and that she’s black, has horns and teeth that would make a tiger jealous, then I will shake my head and walk on. Be happy with your tiger tooth god. It’s not mine. I don’t see it. It won’t bother me and if you’re a good follower it won’t bother you.

So please don’t bother to bother me with it.

 

Agora

I watched this film. Agora.

According to Wikipedia an agora was:

The Agora (/ˈæɡərə/; Ancient Greek: Ἀγορά Agorá) was a central spot in ancient Greek city-states. The literal meaning of the word is “gathering place” or “assembly”. The agora was the center of athletic, artistic, spiritual and political life of the city.[1]

An interesting detail is that this is a Greek world while the film is located in Egypt. The film brings amazing views of the ancient city of Alexandria and also of its famous library which was one of the Wonders of the World.

alexandria library
Capture of the Library from the film.

IMDB says about this film:

In the 4th century A.D., astronomer and philosopher Hypatia (Rachel Weisz) teaches her scientific beliefs to a class of male students. Among them is lovestruck slave Davus (Max Minghella), the equally smitten Orestes (Oscar Isaac) and young Christian man Synesius (Rupert Evans). Hypatia dismisses all of their advances, but this romantic drama pales in comparison to a rising battle between Christians and pagans on the streets of soon-to-be war-torn Alexandria.

This synopsis says enough about the film.

The film showed me how amazing people can be when religion takes possession of them. No form of violence is crazy enough to ‘convert’ and ‘convince’ once that madness takes someone in its claws. If you want to learn more about this, I advise you to watch this film.

And no, this is not just Christianity. This is also Islamic and all the other large, monotheistic religions. All of them have their share of bloodshed in their history.

Religion might be something good but the way it’s performed (and seeing the amount of stoning in Agora I can also say ‘executed’) is insane. It made me abhor religion even more than it already did.

Religion. I don’t care.

Really. I don’t care about your religion. Are you christian? Fine. Are you muslim? Be happy with it. Are you hindu? Good for you.

Just Don’t Freaking Kill People. Even stronger: don’t kill people in the name of your loving, caring god!

It’s not about killing ‘non-believers’. It’s about killing people. The idiot who shoved the idea into your mind that people who don’t believe what you believe should be killed should be killed. Yes, read that again if it confuses you because I’m sure it does. What god, master of the universe and the whole rest of the area would be happy if tiny little you goes to the market and kills someone? Which excuse for righteousness would be jumping for joy when you brainwash children of 10 years old to tie a bomb around themselves and blow themselves up in a marketplace?

Oh, right, you do that because it’s in your book. Your holy book that conveys the will of your god. The book that’s been written by – ehm – no, not god. It’s written by people who thought it good to write things down, and in the process added lots of their own ideas to it. To screw with your mind. If you don’t believe it then read it again. Or watch this video about a man who tried to live biblically for a year:

And then decide when you are going to stone someone. I’m not just talking about muslims. Christians have their own share of bloodshed to answer for (Crusades, Inquisition, invading South America). All big, monotheist religious organisations have something to answer for, I’m certain.

I don’t give a damn about anyone’s religion. Just stop murdering people.

Thank God it’s Friday. Yes…

Do you know this one?

It’s an interesting one. I thought about this on the way home a few days ago.

As some God is thanked it’s probably based in the Christian religion. Muslims would rather thank Allah, I presume. So what’s up with this TGIF thing?

It’s Genesis 2:2. “On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work.”

This is bad news for Christianity. Their god worked six days a week and only rested on the seventh day. This doesn’t make sense compared to “thank God it’s Friday” because Friday is the fifth day. Sorry, folks, there’s one more day of work in store for you.

Just wanted the world to know.

One world religion

Image courtesy of wikimedia.org

This thing from the current pope had the world in shock for a while. Lately you don’t hear much about it any more though. It even had the Vatican in shock (and perhaps still has).

What many people perceive as the new Crusades to make the entire world become Catholic doesn’t seem to be more than a “repositioning” of that faith so it’s more modern. Will this pope succeed? Who knows.

“Some in the Roman Curia” — the Vatican bureaucracy — “say, well, this pope is old so let’s wait a bit, and things will return to the way they were,” said the Rev. Humberto Miguel Yanez, a Argentine Jesuit. (source)

I doubt that ‘the world’ will have to worry immediately. There are many people on this earth, and many of them aren’t Catholic. That’s a healthy thing. Anyone worth their salt should be able to resist the ‘lure’ of Catholicism. I don’t believe the Catholics will start a full-scale war on other religions – there would be too much opposition.

Still, knowing the history of Catholicism, it’s good to keep a watchful eye. Its history is quite filled with bloodshed and torture in the name of their loving god. The power that they hold is something to be aware of, as in January the pope had 178 diplomats from all over the world in his humble abode in the Vatican. Among whom several people who can’t see eye to eye in the halls of the United Nations. (source)

US ambassador AND Iranian ambassador at the same papal party.

Christians and their martyrdom

[Candida] Moss, professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame, challenges some of the most hallowed legends of the religion when she questions what she calls “the Sunday school narrative of a church of martyrs, of Christians huddled in catacombs out of fear, meeting in secret to avoid arrest and mercilessly thrown to lions merely for their religious beliefs.” None of that, she maintains, is true.

Surprised? You can read the entire article on salon.com. How did I come upon this? A while ago I was looking something up and found an article on how the entire (or at least 99%) of the Christian martyrdom/being thrown for the lions for being Christian etc. was not true. Unfortunately I lost that link, it had loads of interesting links and examples in it. What I remember from it is this:

The early Christians were not prosecuted for being Christian. The Roman empire was insanely huge, there were thousands of religions everywhere, so the Romans couldn’t care less who did what to or with whom, or why, as long as they stayed within the law and paid their taxes. (Most modern governments can learn a thing or two of that, but that’s my personal view.)

What then caused the Christians to be picked off the street and occasionally be thrown for the animals? (Not always lions, often these were wild dogs or bears.) The Christians didn’t want to obey many laws of the Romans. They felt they stood higher than the laws of those savages with their many gods. The early Christians were known to insult others, did not want to pay their taxes and other things that Roman law ordered, and that apparently was, at first, most of the issue there.

The PBS site has a long and interesting article on this too. Part of the article (C.E. =  Common Era, or “A.D.”):

Before the year 250 [C.E.], the persecution of Christians is sporadic. It’s local. It’s improvised. It is at the discretion of a Governor to whom complaints are made and so on. It’s not a dragnet and it’s not an imperial policy. After 250, when the empire is being battered on every frontier by invading armies, when there’s absolute rampant inflation, [there is] incredible governmental instability. There are an average of two or three Emperors in a year. They keep getting assassinated. It’s just an incredibly fraught time. That’s also the point at which you begin to get the imperial expression of persecution of Christians. Now then again, also, it’s interesting. It’s not a criminal offense to be a Christian. What you have to do is get a ticket, a lebevos, a chit saying that you have sacrificed for the well-being of the empire…

The article I couldn’t find any more told that the first written proof of Christians being thrown for the lions because of their religion date from somewhere in the 13th or 14th century. Only a good millennium later. Not much for eye witness reporting…

Sorry. I don’t believe that Christians were prosecuted for their faith. They were prosecuted here and there for being stuck-up, for wanting to convert others. As far as I know they were among the very few religions that actively sought to convert people to their ideas. Not much has changed there…

Magdalene Laundries

When Singer Sinead O’Connor tore a picture of the Pope on SNL, Americans were never told why.....In Ireland, they knew. For crimes as petty as being too beautiful or talking back.....girls found themselves in a living hell. Catholic Church enslaved 30,000 Irish women as forced unpaid labor in Magdalene Laundries until 1996 What a horrific story. The Irish Prime Minister gave a partial apology today for the government’s role in a 74-year scandal in which, a new official government report says, over 10,000 women were forced to work without pay at commercial laundries called Magdalene Laundries, operated by the Catholic Church for “crimes” as small as not paying a train ticket. Wikipedia notes that the estimate of the number of women who were used as forced slave labor by the Catholic Church in Ireland alone goes as high as 30,000 over the entire time the Magdalene laundries were in operation. The last Magdalene laundry closed in 1996. Women were locked in, couldn’t leave Magdalene Laundries for months, sometimes years The women were locked in and not permitted to leave. And if they tried to get away, the cops would catch them and bring them back. They were quite literally Catholic slave labor working for the government and even Guinness, which would pay the laundries for the women’s slave labor. Half of the girls enslaved in these Catholic Church prisons were under the age of 23. The youngest entrant was 9 years old. Singer Sinead O’Connor was perhaps the most famous Magdalene Laundry slave Singer Sinead O’Connor was forced to work in a Magdalene Laundry in Dublin: When I was a young girl, my mother — an abusive, less-than-perfect parent — encouraged me to shoplift. After being caught once too often, I spent 18 months in An Grianán Training Centre, an institution in Dublin for girls with behavioral problems, at the recommendation of a social worker. An Grianán was one of the now-infamous church-sponsored “Magdalene laundries,” which housed pregnant teenagers and uncooperative young women. We worked in the basement, washing priests’ clothes in sinks with cold water and bars of soap. We studied math and typing. We had limited contact with our families. We earned no wages. One of the nuns, at least, was kind to me and gave me my first guitar. No apology from the Catholic Church Absent from any of the media reports on the scandal that I could find was an apology from the Catholic Church which operated the Magdalene laundries and made handsome profits from contracts with government and hotels. Oh, found one. It seems the Catholic Church blew the women off. I know, you’re as surprised as I am: Victims of the child sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Irish Catholic Church have received an apology and compensation, but no one has taken responsibility for what happened in the laundries. Cardinal Sean Brady, the most senior Catholic cleric in Ireland, met with Justice for Magdalenes in 2010. He said “by today’s standards much of what happened at that time is difficult to comprehend” but that it was a matter for the religious orders who ran the laundries to deal with. The religious orders have declined to meet the women. The Irish Cardinal wasn’t interested in hearing from people who were hurt and abused — if not sexually, certainly physically and mentally, by the Catholic Church. And it’s not the Catholic Church’s fault. Where have we heard that story before? The laundries were run by nuns, many of whom treated the women sent to work there as slaves: Senator McAleese’s inquiry found that half of the girls and women put to work in the laundries were under the age of 23 and 40%, more than 4,000, spent more than a year incarcerated. Fifteen percent spent more than five years in the laundries while the average stay was calculated at seven months. The youngest death on record was 15, and the oldest 95, the report found. The Irish state is also implicated in the scandal because the police would take women to the asylums after arresting them for trivial offenses and would return runaways. The story of the Magdalene laundries shows what happens when an institution — in this case the church and the government — is considered beyond criticism. It probably isn’t a coincidence that the last of the laundries closed in 1996, shortly after the first wave of the Catholic pedophile priest scandals hit Ireland. Let me reiterate that for a moment. The Catholic Church had slaves as late as 1996. “It changed me as a person to authority, God forgive me I learned to hate people then” Here are some of the testimonials of the women who served as forced Catholic slaves. You can find them in theofficial report: “The only thing was I had appendicitis and asked [named nun] could I go to bed and she wouldn’t let me”. Some, but not all women reported that their hair had been cut on entry to the laundry. Some described this as an upsetting and degrading experience. “T’was the ultimate humiliation for you. It changed me as a person to authority, God forgive me I learned to hate people then”. One woman said that in the Magdalene Laundry in which she was, “You could write once a month but the nun would read the letters”. This is one is pure torture: Another very common grievance of the women who shared their stories with the Committee – particularly those who had previously been in Industrial or Reformatory Schools – was that there was a complete lack of information about why they were there and when they would get out. None of these women were aware of the period of supervision which followed discharge from industrial or reformatory school. Due to this lack of information and the fact that they had been placed in an institution among many older women, a large number of the women spoke of a very real fear that they would remain in the Magdalene Laundry for the rest of their lives. Even if they left the Laundries after a very short time, some women told the Committee that they were never able to fully free themselves of this fear and uncertainty. Victims reject Irish PM’s apology The victims have rejected the Prime Minster’s “apology,” which does sound somewhat lame: “To those residents who went into the Magdalene Laundries through a variety of ways, 26pc from state intervention or state involvement, I am sorry for those people that they lived in that kind of environment,” Mr Kenny said in parliament in Dublin today. “I want to see that those women who are still with us, anywhere between 800 and 1000 at max, that we should see that the state provides for them with the very best of facilities and supports that they need in their lives.” Did your defense lawyer write that one up for you? Here’s Joni Mitchell singing about the Magdalene Laundries: http://youtu.be/kU1Zymqlhko

When Singer Sinead O’Connor tore a picture of the Pope on SNL, Americans were never told why…..In Ireland, they knew.

For crimes as petty as being too beautiful or talking back…..girls found themselves in a living hell.

Catholic Church enslaved 30,000 Irish women as forced unpaid labor in Magdalene Laundries until 1996

What a horrific story. The Irish Prime Minister gave a partial apology today for the government’s role in a 74-year scandal in which, a new official government report says, over 10,000 women were forced to work without pay at commercial laundries called Magdalene Laundries, operated by the Catholic Church for “crimes” as small as not paying a train ticket.

Wikipedia notes that the estimate of the number of women who were used as forced slave labor by the Catholic Church in Ireland alone goes as high as 30,000 over the entire time the Magdalene laundries were in operation.

The last Magdalene laundry closed in 1996.

Women were locked in, couldn’t leave Magdalene Laundries for months, sometimes years

The women were locked in and not permitted to leave. And if they tried to get away, the cops would catch them and bring them back. They were quite literally Catholic slave labor working for the government and even Guinness, which would pay the laundries for the women’s slave labor.

Half of the girls enslaved in these Catholic Church prisons were under the age of 23. The youngest entrant was 9 years old.

Singer Sinead O’Connor was perhaps the most famous Magdalene Laundry slave

Singer Sinead O’Connor was forced to work in a Magdalene Laundry in Dublin:

When I was a young girl, my mother — an abusive, less-than-perfect parent — encouraged me to shoplift. After being caught once too often, I spent 18 months in An Grianán Training Centre, an institution in Dublin for girls with behavioral problems, at the recommendation of a social worker. An Grianán was one of the now-infamous church-sponsored “Magdalene laundries,” which housed pregnant teenagers and uncooperative young women. We worked in the basement, washing priests’ clothes in sinks with cold water and bars of soap. We studied math and typing. We had limited contact with our families. We earned no wages. One of the nuns, at least, was kind to me and gave me my first guitar.

No apology from the Catholic Church

Absent from any of the media reports on the scandal that I could find was an apology from the Catholic Church which operated the Magdalene laundries and made handsome profits from contracts with government and hotels. Oh, found one. It seems the Catholic Church blew the women off. I know, you’re as surprised as I am:

Victims of the child sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Irish Catholic Church have received an apology and compensation, but no one has taken responsibility for what happened in the laundries. Cardinal Sean Brady, the most senior Catholic cleric in Ireland, met with Justice for Magdalenes in 2010. He said “by today’s standards much of what happened at that time is difficult to comprehend” but that it was a matter for the religious orders who ran the laundries to deal with. The religious orders have declined to meet the women.

The Irish Cardinal wasn’t interested in hearing from people who were hurt and abused — if not sexually, certainly physically and mentally, by the Catholic Church. And it’s not the Catholic Church’s fault. Where have we heard that story before?

The laundries were run by nuns, many of whom treated the women sent to work there as slaves:

Senator McAleese’s inquiry found that half of the girls and women put to work in the laundries were under the age of 23 and 40%, more than 4,000, spent more than a year incarcerated.

Fifteen percent spent more than five years in the laundries while the average stay was calculated at seven months.

The youngest death on record was 15, and the oldest 95, the report found.

The Irish state is also implicated in the scandal because the police would take women to the asylums after arresting them for trivial offenses and would return runaways.

The story of the Magdalene laundries shows what happens when an institution — in this case the church and the government — is considered beyond criticism. It probably isn’t a coincidence that the last of the laundries closed in 1996, shortly after the first wave of the Catholic pedophile priest scandals hit Ireland.

Let me reiterate that for a moment. The Catholic Church had slaves as late as 1996.

“It changed me as a person to authority, God forgive me I learned to hate people then”

Here are some of the testimonials of the women who served as forced Catholic slaves. You can find them in theofficial report:

“The only thing was I had appendicitis and asked [named nun] could I go to bed and she wouldn’t let me”.

Some, but not all women reported that their hair had been cut on entry to the laundry. Some described this as an upsetting and degrading experience.

“T’was the ultimate humiliation for you. It changed me as a person to authority, God forgive me I learned to hate people then”.

One woman said that in the Magdalene Laundry in which she was, “You could write once a month but the nun would read the letters”.

This is one is pure torture:

Another very common grievance of the women who shared their stories with the Committee – particularly those who had previously been in Industrial or Reformatory Schools – was that there was a complete lack of information about why they were there and when they would get out. None of these women were aware of the period of supervision which followed discharge from industrial or reformatory school.

Due to this lack of information and the fact that they had been placed in an institution among many older women, a large number of the women spoke of a very real fear that they would remain in the Magdalene Laundry for the rest of their lives. Even if they left the Laundries after a very short time, some women told the Committee that they were never able to fully free themselves
of this fear and uncertainty.

Victims reject Irish PM’s apology

The victims have rejected the Prime Minster’s “apology,” which does sound somewhat lame:

“To those residents who went into the Magdalene Laundries through a variety of ways, 26pc from state intervention or state involvement, I am sorry for those people that they lived in that kind of environment,” Mr Kenny said in parliament in Dublin today.

“I want to see that those women who are still with us, anywhere between 800 and 1000 at max, that we should see that the state provides for them with the very best of facilities and supports that they need in their lives.”

Did your defense lawyer write that one up for you?

Here’s Joni Mitchell singing about the Magdalene Laundries

How teachings of the old testament affect daily life

On her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet.

Dear Dr. Laura

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can.
When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination… End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus Dept. of Curriculum,
Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia