"We think in generalities, we live in details"
« on: 2008-01-09 17:25:54 »
[Blunderov] The Boss
is keen on blasphemy and he is disconcerted to learn of recent moves to marginalise this important institution. I am to encourage you lot to remember the glory days in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, eastern France, the French-Spanish border and Salem.
On this date in 1697, Scottish medical student Thomas Aikenhead was hanged on the road from Edinburgh to Leith for blasphemy, an already-archaic punishment inflicted for what reads like headstrong youthful atheism of a decidedly garden variety.
Aikenhead partook of the times’ emerging (albeit forbidden) store of humanist and skeptical literature, and chatted most unguardedly with University of Edinburgh “friends” who tattled to authorities to the extent that, not content with testifying against him, one published a pamphlet demanding the offender “atone with blood, the affronts of heaven’s offended throne.”
Said authorities scarcely elevated the dignity of the temporal throne in their own eagerness to swing a sledgehammer against a fly, trying the young hothead for his life under a Restoration law which by its own letter should not have lodged him in mortal peril until his third offense.
Thou Aikenhead, the indictment thundered in the second person:
shakeing off all fear of God and regaird to his majesties lawes, have now for more than a twelvemoneth by past…[vented] your wicked blasphemies against God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, and against the holy Scriptures, and all revealled religione…you said and affirmed, that divinity or the doctrine of theologie was a rapsidie of faigned and ill-invented nonsense, patched up partly of the morall doctrine of philosophers, and pairtly of poeticall fictions and extravagant chimeras
He called the Old Testament “Ezra’s fables”, Jesus the “Imposter Christ” (preferring Mahomet), and anticipated the extirpation of Christianity.
It was a bare two weeks from conviction to execution. Accounts of Aikenhead’s last days seem inconsistent; the prisoner recanted, possibly sincerely, but the Church — explicitly handed the power to at least reprieve him by its intervention — demanded hurried and “vigorous execution.”
Macaulay disgustedly pictured the scene:
The preachers who were the boy’s murderers crowded round him at the gallows, and, while he was struggling in the last agony, insulted Heaven with prayers more blasphemous than any thing that [Aikenhead] had ever uttered.
The singular punishment meted out this day — the last hanging for blasphemy throughout the United Kingdom — cast a long shadow into the coming century’s remarkable Scottish renaissance and lingers even today as a suggestion to some just how near the menace of theocracy might yet remain.
Government may scrap blasphemy laws Press Association Wednesday January 9, 2008 6:23 PM
The Government will consider scrapping the blasphemy laws after consultation with the Church of England, Downing Street said.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown's spokesman said ministers may table amendments to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill in the House of Lords.
MPs are due to debate the measure in the Commons on Wednesday and Liberal Democrat MP Evan Harris has tabled his own amendment to scrap the ancient law designed to protect Christianity and the Church of England from attack.
Mr Brown's spokesman said: "We do believe it is necessary to consult with the churches, particularly the Anglican church, before coming to a final decision, and that's what we are doing.
"Subject to that, we will consider moving amendments in the House of Lords."
The move comes after leading figures, including the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, wrote to The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, urging that the blasphemy law should be repealed.
The letter argued that the law is discriminatory in that it only covers attacks on Christianity and Church of England tenets.
They said the law "serves no useful purpose" and offers Christian activists a means to intimidate broadcasters, publishers and performers.
The campaign follows the diplomatic row over the jailing of British teacher Gillian Gibbons for blasphemy in Sudan over naming a teddy bear Mohammed.
She was later pardoned after diplomatic protests from Britain.
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2008, All Rights Reserved
[Bl.] The Boss asked me to mention in the defence of blasphemy the many, various and glowing tributes he has garnered over the years some of which are to be found enshrined for posterity at
"My mom used to tell me when I was a kid, If you curse at nighttime, the devil's going to come to you when you're sleeping. I used to get excited because I really wanted it to happen . . . I wanted it. I wanted it more than anything . . ."(Rolling Stone, January, 23, 1997 p.52)"
Aikenhead was indicted in December 1696. The indictment read:
"That ... the prisoner had repeatedly maintained, in conversation, that theology was a rhapsody of ill-invented nonsense, patched up partly of the moral doctrines of philosophers, and partly of poetical fictions and extravagant chimeras..."
That's a pretty accurate description of religion. And they hanged him for it. Somehow, I just know there is a pun with ache in head. I will pray for divine guidance in search of a laugh.
Seems as if some blasphemy is in order here. Two weeks before his crucifixion, Jesus finally has a moment alone with Mary. He pleads, "mom, do I have to go through with this?" She replies, "Shut up Jesus, if your father finds out I slept with that Buddhist, he'll kill me."
Number of Wiccans, Pagans in Canadian prisons growing
OTTAWA — Canada's federal prisons are becoming bewitched.
According to figures obtained by Sun Media under Access to Information, the number of practising Wiccans and Pagans behind bars has tripled in the last five years. In 2002 there were just 25, compared to 77 in 2007, data from the Correctional Service of Canada show.
Also known as "Witchcraft," "Earth Religion" and "The Craft," Wicca falls under the umbrella faith of Paganism and has followers who worship Mother Nature rather than a scripture or creed.
According to an internal CSC manual on religious practices, inmate witches are required to have an altar with candles and incense for worship. They should also be permitted a wooden wand, robe, tarot cards, figurines, oils and natural objects such as shells, feathers, stones and crystals, the manual reads.
Richard James, the Toronto-based founder and high priest of the Wiccan Church of Canada, has been involved in prison outreach programs and believes the official count is "woefully understated." More and more inmates are turning to Wicca because they've been let down by other faiths, he said. MORE
For shame, such godlessness is lamentable but expected in a land where same sex "marriage" is and teen group sex clubs is legal. Prison is the catch-basin of social decadence for what slides down the slippery slope, and a bell weather for social malaise. Satan is dancing the jig above the 49th parallel.