Bigots?

September 11, 2012 Leave a comment

It turns out the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, was due to deliver a speech in support of gay marriage which criticised those who opposed said government proposal as “bigots”. Sadly, it seems Clegg and his aides have quickly removed the “bigot” parts of his speech on the grounds that it was included as a “mistake”. It seems the only “mistake” Clegg had made was removing the term “bigots”, and for incredibly good reasons.

I have long despaired at the remarks by opponent’s gay marriage from the Catholic Church, the Church of England and other smaller organisations. This is something we here in the UK have been able to watch, almost smugly, across the Atlantic in the USA for many years. But no, it turns out the UK has it’s bigots on this issue as well. Yes, that’s  right, I’m willing to say what Clegg never could. Given there is no reasonable or legitimate secular reason to oppose gay marriage, what so ever, I am fully inclined to regard those who oppose gay marriage as bigots. This is not said in attempt to silence opponents, it’s not an attempt to close the conversation but it is simply the most logic explanation given the reasons we’ve heard so regularly in the USA and now here. And I’d like to take a moment to address three of the most common I hear:

  • But gay marriage will change the definition of marriage!

– So? Your point being? First off, marrying for love is a rather recent idea, until the last 150 years or so marriage was arranged around power relationships between families and often the woman would become property of the husband…but we re-defined that. In fact, the ‘re-defining’ argument fails to provide any reason why this would be a bad thing to do in the first place, but rather a vague unfounded assertion.

  • But my religion means I must oppose it.

– Well ok, you’re welcome to oppose upon religious grounds. But the thing is that we make laws based on secular reasoning. You can’t force your religious views on another section of society…period.

  • But gay marriage will lead to bestiality and polygamy!

– Now this is what we call a slippery slope fallacy. Just because one thing is allowed it does not mean we’ll move onto other actions. That’s why when homosexuality was decriminalised under Roy Jenkins in the mid-1960s, bestiality and polygamy have still yet to be legalised by this obscure argument. Hell, while I wouldn’t call it polygamy (polyamory for a better term), I would have absolutely no problem with polyamorious (if that’s how it’s spelt) marriage.

  • But it’ll be damaging to a child’s upbringing.

– There’s two problems to this assertion. 1 is that there’s absolutely no evidence that a man and a man or a woman and a woman would fair any less in raising a child than a man and a woman. 2  this argument implies the sole purpose of marriage is to produce children which is just nonsense on so many levels. First off, would you then not bar seniors or infertile straight couples from marrying as apparently the only purpose of marriage is reproduction? It also implies that having children out of wedlock is fundamentally wrong, which of course is complete bull, don’t even go there.

For once, Clegg could’ve made a principled stand on something that really matters to ending LGBTQ discrimination, but it turns out he’s too much of a coward. Thankfully, when I see an individual oppose gay marriage for incredibly poor reasons such as above, I’m happy to make no reservations in pointing out the most logical assessment.

They. Are. Bigots.

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Genius speech.

September 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Being lazy with my posts lately, but meah. Enjoy this absolutely cracking speech by Adam Savage from the ‘Reason Rally’ not too long ago.

Categories: Atheism

A much delayed Paul Ryan reaction.

August 25, 2012 Leave a comment

So, with the US Presidential race entering it’s final stages Romney has finally played one of his last cards (so to speak), Congressman Paul Ryan. Well, daring dynamic or damp squib of a running mate? Well thankfully at least, the American public have so far opted for thelatter with Ryan failing to provide any real boost to Romney’s campaign. Ryan may well give Romney a boost in the single Vice-Presidential debate given his reputation as a ‘numbers guy‘. Having Chaired the House Budget Committee in the House of Representative since January 2011 Ryan does have the potential to give Romney the detailed policy and authority he has so lacked up until now. However, Ryan, like Palin (though probably to a lesser extent) still has the potential to be the Republican nominee’s undoing….as can be seen here:

  1. Voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (A strong step in the right direction for equality in pay for women).
  2. Voted 59 times(!!) against abortion in Congress. (And yes, this is a bad thing as I’ve addressed previously).
  3. Voted to cut all Federal funding to the amazing organisation that is Planned Parenthood.

Now I accept these political stances, as disgusting as I may find them may not always quite enrage the American people, there are some ideas that Ryan believes that potentially could:

  1. Ryan’s budget proposals as a Chair of the House Budget Committee effectively sought the end of Medicare. (Turning it into an effective voucher system which is HUGELY unpopular amongst senior citizens…a high turnout demographic especially in the key swing state of Florida).
  2. His budget proposals would cut $3.3 trillion from low-income programs (over at least 10 years, but I could be wrong on that specific number).
  3. And at the same time cut taxes for the wealthiest in American society (an equally unpopular idea).

Still believe Ryan will be a game changer for Romney? Well I sincerely hope not, but you never know when it comes to the often intellectual backwardness of American politics.

Categories: BULS blog, US Politics, USA

I have good and bad news

July 25, 2012 2 comments

Good news peeps!:

hands

I’ve always been one for giving credit where credit is due to opposition parties and I make no exceptions here. It seems the SNP Government in Scotland has the good sense to bring forward draft proposals to have Gay Marriage legalised in Scotland (after proposals here in England were put on hold).  This is nothing less than a momentousness step in the right direction for LGBTQ rights and the UK as a whole. I’ve become in recent months splutteringly enraged at the pathetic excuses made by those who oppose Gay Marriage, “It’ll redefine marriage” (which isn’t even a reason). I’m incredibly happy the Scottish government has moved beyond such bigotry and I hope the Scottish Labour Party gives this proposal it’s full backing.

Bad news:

When I started University back in the September of 2009 (back in the middle of the previous recession) I always had it in my mind that, ‘Hey, at least the recession will be over once I finish my degree.’. Now ignoring the fact that I’ll be returning to the University of Birmingham (and BULS for that matter) in September to train to be a Primary Teacher. But now I’ve finished my degree I realise that this was a foolish assumption to make as the UK now suffers it’s 3rd consecutive quarter of negative growth at 0.7%. Now of course, we’re going to hear all the usual excuses, oh the Jubilee Celebrations, oh the weather, oh the Eurozone (which is nonsense on the latter given the UK and Italy are the only two major G20 economies back in a double dip recession). This was a recession made in Whitehall and in Downing Street.

It’s about time Cameron, Clegg and Osborne own up to their own mistakes and take responsibility.

A vile culture 30 years in the making

July 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Neo-liberalism has had its day.

There are points throughout history where established cultures near a breaking point. Today is one of those days.

£13 trillion ($21tn) is the rough size of the US’s and Japan’s economies combined. That same £13 trillion (and this actually a conservative estimation) has been hoarded andhidden from tax by a mere (estimated) 90,000 individuals.

I don’t think any one individual can truly comprehend what this £13 trillion could have been effectively used for. To find a cure for cancer, to vaccinate millions of vulnerable people in third world countries, to fund an almost infinite supply of scientific research or to provide free education for millions of children worldwide.

This is what has happened under the culture of neo-liberalism. The right has found it fitting to shift the blame onto “benefit scroungers”. What is apparent instead that this has been a mere smokescreen for a far wider problem. We have also been encouraged to not question and even idolise these “wealth creators”.

As Labour members we must accept that our party had helped facilitate such actions, we’re not innocent in all this.

I can only hope that one day soon, the established culture will finally break.

Categories: BULS blog, Economy, World News

Just too awesome

July 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Enjoy

Categories: Atheism

And to think, I was having such a good day.


Up until around half an hour ago I was having probably the best day I’ve had since my degree results came out and I received my conditional offer for my PGDipEd Primary from the University of Birmingham a few weeks ago. I’d just got a new bike (gears certainly not as good as last bike, but good feel and phenomenal brakes). I’d confirmed my necessary School Observation place for the second week of September (only at my old High School, Parklands). Re-arranged Key Stage 1 School experience so I’m actually helping in Key Stage 1 instead of Reception (which apparently isn’t Key Stage 1) and still get to go on the trip to the Manchester museum of Science and Industry with the pupils (love that museum). I can more or less wear what I want for Jenna’s Graduation Ceremony as I wont be in the main hall. And Ollie is coming up from Nottingham tomorrow.

And then I found this on Laci Green’s tumblr account:

That’s right, she has received effective death threats from people who somehow know where she lives.

For those of you who’re asking; “Who’s Laci Green?” I do have answers. I personally discovered Laci’s work on youtube in May 2011 around the time when I was finding all the stuff from the Atheist Experience show. So naturally I found her channel that primarily focused on religion and atheism (and Laci, if by some obscure chance you do ever read this post, I know you’re busy with all the great stuff you do over on your main channel, your day job and the fact that you said you’d wrap that channel up, but please make more of those videos on gogreen18, they’re just too awesome!).

Later I then found her main channel (which I guess is also pretty awesome :p). Through that channel I have genuinely learnt so much, it really has enlightened my own thinking and critical and sceptical (skeptical if y’all from the the states) skills and empowered me to question my own privilege.

Now I do know that she has received…unpleasant…messages in the past (and maybe even similar to this), but I have never seen any of the content of these messages. And to be honest, my trust in the current state of humanity has now never been lower.

This is short of an absolute fucking disgrace. Violence and death threats simply because Laci speaks her mind and she doesn’t unquestioningly accept the status-quo. Laci should NEVER have to censor herself to pander to people’s (often willfull) ignorance. Laci is an awesome youtuber and a champion for social justice (and I suppose has a nice tumblr blog :p).

Laci, if you do actually have read this, you have not only mine but every single person’s life you have enlightened and improved for the better backing and support. You’re nothing short of fucking awesome. And if you still feel safe to keep doing your brilliant work: Do. Not. Let. Them. Win.

If you can keep going, the world still needs their Laci, we’re all behind you…even if metaphorically :p

Categories: Uncategorized