As the first day of 2016 draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have emailed me and sent messages via social media and the Freethinker site wishing me all the best for the New Year.
It’s nice to know that, as I enter my 18th year as editor of the Freethinker, with both my sanity and sense of humour still intact, I have the support of so many.
This gives me the strength and determination I need to keep on carrying on, with my eyes on the prize of entering the history books as the journal’s longest serving editor.
Ah, but will there still be a need for the Freethinker in 2034?
Sadly, yes – and for decades after that. Religion will continue to destroy lives – young lives in particular, and often literally, for the foreseeable future.
Most recent example: A Florida woman named Egypt Moneeck Robinson, 27, has been arrested for killing her young son, Ariel Juan Acevedo, 3, and stuffing his body in a suitcase. Her alleged motive was to “save” him from a Biblical flood.
The people who plant idiotic ideas in the minds of the gullible will continue manipulating fools.
Most recent example: Young Earth creationism evangelist Kent Hovind, above, claimed this week that that God had purposefully put contradictions in the Bible to “weed out” non-believers.
In a YouTube video posted on Monday, the Christian fundamentalist responded to a follower who was troubled by a contradiction in the book of Acts.
Hovind had this explanation, if one could call it such:
If I was God I would write the book in such a way that those who don’t want to believe in me anyway would think they found something. ‘Aha, here’s why I don’t believe.’
And then they could go on with their own life because they don’t want to believe God anyway. I would put things in there that would appear without digging to be contradictions. I don’t think that’s deceptive, I think that’s wise for the Heavenly Father to weed out those who are really serious.
Most recent example: Two “prosperity gospel” evangelists Kenneth Copeland, above left, and Jesse Duplantis appeared in a video to explain why they need private jets to do the Lord’s work.
Copeland said it simply wouldn’t do for him to share an aircraft in this “dope-filled world” with “a bunch of demons” – EasyJet? – and Duplantis insisted that he needed the privacy of his own wings in order to converse with the Almighty, who apparently wants him to have more than one jet.
Duplantis claimed God spoke to him about his one private jet and said just having the one is letting his “faith stagnate.” He described a casual chat he had with God while flying home on his jet.
As I was going home, the lord, real quickly, he said, ‘Jesse, do you like your plane?’ I thought, that’s an odd statement. I said, ‘Well certainly lord. He said, ‘Do you really like it?’ And I thought, ‘Well yes, lord.’ And he said, ‘So that’s it? You gonna let your faith stagnate?’
And the people who are convinced that faith is the is the very foundation of morality will continue to to defend child abusers operating under the mantle of religious rectitude.
Most recent example: It’s just been revealed that former high court judge Anthony Lloyd wrote that Peter Ball, above, the former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, who was sentenced to 32 months in prison in October 2015 after pleading guilty to abusing 18 vulnerable young men between 1977 and 1992, was:
The most saintly man I have ever met … if there is a latter day St Francis, then Peter Ball is him.
Hat tips: Trevor Blake (child murder report), Robert Stovold (Hovind report) and BarrieJohn (Bishop Ball)