To Baroness Warsi, From Diderot…

Baroness Warsi recently decided to talk about militant secularisation being a danger…

“For me one of the most worrying aspects about this militant secularisation is that at its core and in its instincts it is deeply intolerant. It demonstrates similar traits to totalitarian regimes – denying people the right to a religious identity because they were frightened of the concept of multiple identities.”

Therefore I decided to many one of my little pictures  for her. It is worth bearing in mind when looking at the picture that the term philosopher was also in some times and places a synonym for scientist.

P.S. If you like this picture there are lots more of them here (scroll down a bit).

Cameron’s Vague Christian Thingummy

I was all geared up to have a go at this but someone has beaten me to one part of it.

I would just add that he is maybe missing some statistics to the effect that in 2005 only 31% of people who believed (not the total population) were attending services and that number has been reported several times to have fallen since then too.

Also, the British Social Attitudes survey of 2007 reported that the largest single group was “no religion” with 45.7% of the total.



Two Memorable Bits

When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. The movement becomes headlong – faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thoughts of obstacles and forget that a precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush till it is too late.

Frank Herbert (Dune, P441)

Who should we be looking out for next I wonder…

God (knows) Made Me Write This Post

On the way to the supermarket this morning I was listening to a podcast in which they were talking about Michelangelo’s David and when someone took a hammer to it.

The story goes that the guy who did it said that god told him to do it.

We are all familiar with loons doing lunatic things and then claiming that god told them to do it.

But I  started thinking… why is it always mad stuff? Why doesn’t this god person tell people to go the beach or eat more fibre once in a while?

Cartoon by Rick the Pleb

Starting A Fight In An Empty Chambre

Denis Diderot was born today in 1713.

The Chief Editor and co-founder of the Encyclopédie contributed much to the enlightenment and I would recommend that amongst anything else it would be worth reading The  Nun (La Religieuse) if you haven’t already.

I have always suspected though, despite his humanist convictions,  that he was the kind of man who could start a fight in an empty room. I give you some fantastic examples below…

There’s a bit of testicle at the bottom of our most sublime feelings and our purest tenderness.

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. (I know there is some debate about this one).

To attempt the destruction of our passions is the height of folly. What a noble aim is that of the zealot who tortures himself like a madman in order to desire nothing, love nothing, feel nothing, and who, if he succeeded, would end up a complete monster!

The God of the Christians is a father who makes much of his apples, and very little of his children.

There is no good father who would want to resemble our Heavenly Father

To prove the Gospels by a miracle is to prove an absurdity by something contrary to nature.

We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.

The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers.

The possibility of divorce renders both marriage partners stricter in their observance of the duties they owe to each other. Divorces help to improve morals and to increase the population.

The blood of Jesus Christ can cover a multitude of sins, it seems to me.


This came via infiniteregress on twitter who I concur with when he says…

“I’m not the biggest Family Guy fan, but this was inspired”

(There is something below the video as well)

This is not as frivolous as it might seem. There have been many allegations that certain nature documentaries have been altered to remove references to evolution and so on. A few years ago Martin Wisse pointed out that that Dutch Evangelical TV had been editing Attenborough programmes to remove all references to evolution. The links for 3 videos [in English] demonstrating the editing were HERE, HERE and HEREbut have since been removed.