Monday, February 09, 2009

Calgary Bishop is Very Confused

It seems that Calgary bishop Fred Henry is rather confused about the point of the atheist bus ad campaign.

Henry is quoted as saying, "I don't know what the norms Calgary Transit uses to accept advertising, but if the benchmark is that it should be non-offensive, I'm offended."

Well, tough luck. If some narrow-minded religionist can't stand to hear that other people believe differently, that's no reason to censor the ads. The goal of the ads is not to offend believers, but to tell non-believers that they're not alone. But for some overly-sensitive theists, even the idea that someone believes differently is something they can't handle.

Then again, this kind of behavior is typical for Henry, who in the past has claimed that homosexuality "undermine[s] the foundations of the family, the basis of society"; yet has hired Catholic priests who are convicted sex offenders.


Takis Konstantopoulos said...

This is great: I am happy to see ads like this not only in the UK, but also in Canada and, hopefully, soon in other parts of the world. Religious people will keep complaining, and that is good: their reaction shows their lack of tolerance. They are willing to tolerate the religion of their enemy more than they are willing to tolerate the skepticism of their fellow compatriots. They are not offended by belief in the wrong gods as much as they are offended by the desire to think rationally and critically. They are afraid that the nonsense some of their religious dogmas and texts will be revealed and taught. And then what? Oh my god! [sic] They will have nowhere to hide. Their basis (which is irrational belief) will be shaken. Cool. Let the campaigns go on. Let us support them openly.

About homosexuality, let us recall that about a month and a half ago, the Pope said that "saving" humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rainforests. (See, e.g., the article from a conservative UK newspaper.)

And it's not only (many) Catholic priests who are sex offenders, pedophiles, etc. The phenomenon appears in other christian churches as well. For instance, the greek orthodox church is full of sex and corruption scandals: bribery, drug dealing, sexual favours, homosexual rings, antiquities smuggling, etc. See here and here for brief reports of the worst series of scandals ever in this church, revealed through videos and audio tapes (3 years ago) showing bearded priests dressed like women, using girly nicknames for one another and performing every single thing they condemn. About 6 months ago, some high priests of the indepedent religious state of Athos in N. Greece (a favourite place for the yearly pilgrimage of Prince Charles, a place were women are not allowed to enter, nor are female animals either) were found guilty of a multibillion euro financial scam involving the selling of a lake, the illegal acquiring of private property, and the bribery of greek politicians.

Blake Stacey said...

The reactions to this ad campaign reminds me of the weeks just after The God Delusion was published, in terms of the number of intolerant theistic bigots flushed out of the woodwork.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't welcoming Bishop Richard Williamson back into the fold prove that the Catholic church is the most tolerant organisation ever? So why the heck is Fred Henry feeling so intolerant about what people might read on a bus's advertising sign?