Some people will say that Muslims are terrorists, or have the potential to be terrorists. They will say ‘once again no one will do anything and this will happen again! Ban Muslims from the country, deport them!’ But these people have no long-term ideas, no actual answers to the extremely complicated issues that surround IS and their attacks. Both Britain and the USA sell weapons to countries like Saudi Arabia, which uses these weapons to perpetuate the refugee crisis. The failure to have any clear and coherent exit strategy after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have created voids for IS and their ilk to thrive. Whether we care to acknowledge it or not, the refugee crisis owes a lot to our actions.

It’s also strange that people cry out for members of the Muslim faith to condemn these attacks, yet when they do, the reporting falls strangely silent. It isn’t newsworthy – it doesn’t sell papers, least of all rags like The Sun and The Daily Mail, who thrive on ignorance and hate. Yet believe it or not, there are many Muslims who actively protest the actions of IS, and for further, oft-unreported irony, it is often Muslims who are targeted by IS.

There is more to this than simply religious beliefs. And Islam is not the only religion that has fundamentalists that kill. People have used religion, culture and politics as excuses for violence and war throughout history. Should we have banned Catholics in the UK because of the IRA? Obviously the answer would be no. Looking beyond the simplistic explanations, we have a tangled web with a lot of bitter history, and yes, there are religious influences involved, but targeting ála Trump an entire faith of one billion people (who obviously aren’t all out to kill non-Muslims, otherwise we’d see a lot more bloodshed) is exactly what IS want. They need us to drive a wedge between ourselves and moderate Muslims, so they can radicalise more. There are no easy solutions to this, but let’s not turn to giving IS what they want.

wp-1475571248461.jpg

Remember how ground-breaking Star Trek was back in 1966, when it introduced a black woman, an Asian man, a Russian and an a mixed-race (represented through Spock) alien into positions of importance and authority, on a mission to better humanity? Well, that particular spirit has never been more sorely needed than it is right now.

It should not surprise me to learn that there has been a backlash against Discovery from the worst scum of the internet – misogynistic, racist morons. I first discovered this via Wild Dead Roses – and I am horrified that people can call themselves Trekkies and yet so thoroughly abandon the ideals of the franchise, in favour of such bigotry. Well, not on my watch!

Guess what A-holes, there’s more to the human race than the white man. Showing this does not equate to an attack, nor to political correctness. It simply shows the truth. Go crawl into your holes where you dream of your Aryan world. No one else wants it, and you won’t ruin Star Trek with your pathetic attitudes.

A short while back I had an interesting discussion with one ‘Darthbards’ over on Big Footy. This discussion related to the idea that the earth is in fact, flat. Needless to say, this idea is sketchy, at best.

The trouble is, after going around in circles for ages, there comes a point where it becomes hard to sustain a reasonable discussion. This is not helped by excessive attacks on science from Darthbards, who I believe deliberately conflates science with religion, to try and suggest the religiously-inspired Flat Earth theory deserves greater consideration as a science. When arguing in such a fashion, it becomes frustrating. Unfortunately, the powers that be who moderate the Conspiracies board on Big Footy have blocked me from posting replies, a decision I feel is unreasonable, but one that doesn’t appear likely to be reversed any time soon.

However, I can still make comments about the ‘discussion’ here. So I’m going to. For anyone who wishes to see the thread in action, it’s here. Let’s start with our old friend Dathbards, whose posts will be in pink.

While on the topic of things in the sky,why can’t I just hover in a helicopter and wait for the earth to spin round rather than having to drive or fly everywhere?
Big game over that one,and how the hell does a plane even land on a planet spinning millions of miles an hour?

This ‘point’ is easily answered via Google. Look up Newton’s First Law of Motion. Also, the earth doesn’t spin at millions of miles per hour. Another user, called Big Cox 88, summed up this point quite nicely (their posts are in dark green):

The reason is inertia, the Earth and you and travelling at the same speed so there is no relative change in velocity, you are geocentrically bound to the Earth with centripetal force.

To which Darthbards replied with the following:

That’s it though,I’m not moving. Going by your logic if I jumped I should feel that I’m whizzing around at a million miles an hour keeping up with the ground.
Their is no centripetal force because the earth is not spinning. The centrifugal force is just a reactionary pseudo force to the motion of whatever I’m in or ons movement.

Have you actually even looked at the science of the flat earth?

Bards does science backward. He starts with his conclusion – that the earth isn’t spinning. Unfortunately this is rather typical of this sort of ‘science’ – take the conclusion, and force the facts to fit it. It requires extraordinary leaps of logic.

Another user, Tants, asked a series of questions aimed at understanding FE theory. His posts are in blue:

Could one of the FEers please concisely post the relevant information about flat earth.

  • Is there an icewall? If so, how high is it?

  • Please post the accepted version of the map of FE.

  • Is there a firmament? If so, what happens to Elon Musk’s rockets?

  • Please use maths to explain UA (or whatever the preferred force that keeps objects returning to earth).

  • The moon and the sun are 3100km away and the same size. True or False? If true, how do solar and lunar eclipses work?

  • Every manmade object ever sent into space is a lie. If there are any that are true, how did they get there?

  • I get that “they” are keeping us from the truth. But who are they? How have they got so many people involved and yet none of those people have broken ranks?

  • Why are all videos confirming a flat earth denied as fake, yet we should believe all videos posted by FEers?

  • What is the maths of a flat earth? Surface area, radius of the flat earth, distance from Sydney to Tokyo, Sydney to Santiago in Chile and Santiago to Tokyo.

  • What evidence would you require to convince you that indeed the earth is roughly spherical?

Instead of attempting to answer these questions, Bards got quite indignant and tried to shut the conversation down…

How dare you once again raise point five as a question :mad::fire:
Not only was this discussed at some length only a matter of pages ago,but I opened my heart and explained how the shadow object is my favorite scientific thing. I expressed how I wished to call my next child Shadow and sent out an invitation to other flat earthers to come and discuss the shadow object with me.

You have no interest in flat earth and your just asking baby questions easily answered in the FAQ section of the website. Your trying to be a smarty pants. Why don’t you piss off back to the science board or something mate. Plenty of ball lovers over there you can chat with,I’ve had a gob full of you blokes constantly bringing your ball love over here and shoving it down people’s throats.
If you cannot show respect for the shadow object you are not welcome for scientific discussion here.

This mythical shadow object is purported to explain the eclipses. The aggression with which Bards responds over this (and indeed, the honest questions from Tants) goes to highlight just how unscientific FE is. Tants asks a series of perfectly fair questions and Bards dismisses them, completely and utterly, and with a fair degree of hostility too. I rather liked Tants’ reply…

OK. So rather than answer the questions you have chosen to deflect. I want the science of flat earth and the generally accepted view from FEers. From your overzealous response, I take it that the shadow object is the accepted scientific reason for eclipses. Thank you. Now if you could address the other answers, without further deflection that would be ideal.

One further question though, does the shadow object exist within the firmament?
How high does the firmament go? I assume 3100km.

I want your answers (or GGs or Negans), I don’t want references to other websites. I want your convincing reasons for flat earth. Your love of the shadow object is the first believe to answer a question(though there is no science to it, I’ll get to that later).

I’m a student of life and happy to learn. But what I get taught needs to make sense with maths (the numbers never lie).

Deflect – and as we shall see later, outright hostility – appear to be ‘go-to’ tactics for Bards.

Another poster – bovs – also challenged the FE nonsense.

167 pages… has anyone reported on their own experimentation yet?

Anyone tried to demonstrate that New Zealand, Antarctica, Mount Everest aren’t obscured by the Earth’s curvature if you try and observe them from Australia?
Anyone tried to demonstrate a ship sailing over the horizon is just an optical illusion?
Anyone demonstrated that measurements of atomic compositions of distant objects by spectroanalysis is fake and/or doesn’t confirm that those objects are what conventional science defines them as being?
Anyone documented a circumnavigation of Antarctica and shown that the distance actually reflects the “outer bounds of the planet” FE model rather than the continental circumference of a round Earth model?
Anyone attempted to fly from Australia to South America by crossing Antarctica and found it wasn’t possible?

For a bunch of people so passionate about FE, it’s a little surprising that that passion doesn’t seem to extend beyond reading and watching what’s on the internet. This is the difference between science and pseudoscience. Science isn’t some sort of global movement or philosophy (although I’ll admit the sorts of people who “defend” science on the internet often act like it is)… science is a process by which a hypothesis is formed, an experiment is then conducted to test the hypothesis, and the results are used to assess the truth of the hypothesis. Science is formalised by creating structure around how that process is then documented and verified by peer-reviewed literature so that the scientific body of knowledge is consistent and open to revision, disproof, repetition or to be built upon.

This process can just as easily be applied to the FE hypothesis, but not without experimentation. So I’ll keep checking in now and then to see if anyone has done any experimenting.

Bards responded with his typical passive-aggressive stance.

Morning bovs,was just enjoying a lovely flat white and noticed your naive post.

We are aware we can’t just endlessly see NZ or Mt Everest because of the angular limits of perception. This can be proven when a ship half vanishes over the horizon but can be pulled back into view with a set of binoculars or a telescope.

Numerous experiments have been carried out to prove the earth is flat. We have what is known as the Bedford Canal experiments,The Kansas experiments the Bishop experiments and if you take the time to read Thomas Winships Zetetic Cosmogony or A Hundred Proofs The Earth Is Not A Globe by William Carpender you will see numerous experiments carried out proving the Earth is flat. I highly recommend these books and highly suggest you read them.

I think your over selling the old fraudulent science as it is just a global movement and in actual fact is what’s known as a religion.
The peer review process sounds good on paper but with so many dodgy websites out there and the advent of social media I think it’s best we should be very careful what we read or believe in regards to the spinning,orbiting,hurtling,tilted round ball earth.
Having said that you will find that papers written and published by Samual Birley Rowthbottom regarding his flat earth experiments that were peer reviewed by a woman by the name of Lady Blount.

It’s interesting that Bards cites, among other things, the Bedford Canal Experiment. This experiment actually went a long way toward proving the earth is round, but also triggered a spiteful campaign by a fanatical flat earther against one of the participants.

I haven’t been able to discover anything meaningful about the Kansas Experiment, beyond the comparison of that particular US state to a pancake (yes, seriously, and this has been held up as some sort of proof of a flat earth). If you check the link  you will see that the state of Kansas is not in fact, flat, but only appears that way because of the distance. Familiar idea?

The Bishop Experiment is one I’ve having a hard time even finding out about. There are mentions on forums that it’s been debunked (not a surprise), but I’ll provide more info on it as I find it.

Bovs pressed on:

Wasn’t suggesting experiments you’ve read about on the internet. Was suggesting experiments you’ve conducted yourself. Or know someone who has conducted them. Or have seen detailed methodology not just a conclusion that says what you already want to believe.

I would happily through the same comment at those arguing the standard position. I don’t understand how anyone can be so passionate as to argue the point over and over again, but not have actually done anything practically to demonstrate what they believe to be true. 

I’m not convinced by the argument around angular limits of perception… but I guess when the moon or sun dips over the horizon it should be effected in the same way… and if the moon or sun is further away than whatever land-mass object is in the direction of where it dips over the horizon, then with sufficient magnification you should see that object silhouetted in front of the moon or sun.

Again I’m not arguing the point… I’m just pointing out that you could probably actually design an experiment and go and conduct it and produce some evidence that suggests the nature of the Earth one way or the other. It’d be a far more impressive than 167 pages of argument based purely off what people have seen on the internet.

It doesn’t even have to be peer-reviewed. Peer-reviewed is a method that served humanity for a long time but I don’t disagree that the modern world presents many challenges for the scientific norm. But peer-reviewed isn’t the definition of scientific, the method of constructing and testing a hypothesis is what makes something scientific. This thread is exhaustive construction of the hypothesis without any testing. Regardless of which side you’ve been arguing.

I’ve done the binoculars experiment.
How’s all you’re experiments going? Been into outer space to view the earth or to prove we can get out of lower orbit? Discovered magik gravity? Dark matter and energy are important for the fraudulent science mythamatics ,how’s all that coming along?
Personally I think there’s big hurdles on both sides. It’s just the FE has the better scientific evidence and round earth sounds the most ridiculous and on top of that they use to many unproven things in their theories.

Have a read of these books I suggested and I’m sure you’ll have your eyes opened.

Also,to suggest the peer review has served us well is a bit rich. The majority of people in this day and age still think the earth is a ball. You can’t have a religious organisation running its own review and expect it to work.
Anyway,if you want to give a long and detailed explanation of what you think old fraudulent science is or stands for as opposed to modern science just go tell your riveting theory on the actual science board.

Bards continues his irritating lie that science operates like religion. Funnily enough, this is exactly what flat earth theory is – an old, long debunked, religious argument, pretending to be a scientific one.

Bovs called Bards out on his shambolic practises…

I’ve made 2 posts… trying in both not to actually argue one way or the other on the actual issue of flat Earth vs round Earth… merely to make the point that 167 pages of “the Earth is flat… no it isn’t… yes it is look at this video… no it isn’t look at this video… etc.” without anyone actually detailing their own experiences or efforts to demonstrate what they believe is a little surprising.

Yet you’ve managed to (quite rudely) argue with a non-argumentative point both times. 

Mathematics isn’t a myth. I can assure you of that much. If you’re going to throw mathematics out the window then you may as well be trying to have a debate on whether humans really need to breathe oxygen (or that oxygen even exists as a real thing I guess).

In terms of peer-reviewed science, whatever you think of it it has been the foundation of pretty much all technology and social advancement achieved in at least the last 100 years… probably the last 300 years… and depending on how you choose to define the concept of scientific literature for as long as humanity. Again, if you believe that scientific endeavour is a myth, conspiracy or Satanic work and all technology has actually been developed by faking it, aliens on being directly supplied by God then that’s fine and you can believe that but there’s not much point trying to engage with anyone else if you’ve taken such an outsider view without any consideration of the alternative. 

It’s pretty clear from your responses so far that you probably don’t even have an interest in the nature of the world as flat or round or anything… you only have an interest in arguing with anyone from the “other team” i.e. “science” which somehow means to you all the people on the internet who like technology or science news or arguing with religious types or something I don’t really know what. Maybe you need to spend more time on the politics board where people choose a side and debate it continuously regardless of whether they actually believe with any conviction what they’re arguing.

Sorry,I just didn’t get the point to your posts and you quite clearly haven’t thought your comments through and are blinded.
Yes,of course we scienctists at the FES would like to be carrying out a whole multitude of further experimentation,but money doesn’t grow on trees. I’ve made my suggestions as to how we could obtain greater funding by closing down LIGO and handing the facility over to the FES, as well as the funding, so we can carry out greater research. Do you think the FES is rolling in money just because the ball lovers are? I told you some of the experiments carried out but it wasn’t enough was it?
Your comments tend to be leaning towards saying the round earth is to be believed or given a go. We at the FES do not believe what we have been told by the old fraudulent,religious science. We think their made up theories are laughable with its made up Dark matter,energy and let’s not forget gravity. We think your math is wrong. I don’t mean to be rude but we don’t want a debate any more. Why do ball lovers think our flat earth thread is a great place to debate round earth but on the other science board flat earth discussion not allowed?
The ball lovers have made their garbage point. It’s the ball lovers who continuously come, spreading their lies and insulting flat earthers.
The FES is growing,old fraudulent religious science is a failure. Instead of saying I don’t have an interest in nature or science you should be pointing the finger at those spreading the lies or those wasting the billions of dollars,the old fraudulent religious science.

We at the FES do listen to other fields of science,but we have no respect for ball lovers. Who would believe that garbage.

Tldr..If you have constructive comments to make feel free,but don’t come here saying the old fraudulent religious science is not a global movement and don’t come here gobbling off about pseudo science like your some sort of a gatekeeper to how we reach our findings.

Emphasis mine. Any discussion of a conspiracy theory (which is what flat earth is, make no mistake) is going to be in the form of a debate at some point. Despite the rules of the Conspiracy board on Big Footy, in real life a conspiracy is not assumed to be true or accurate, nor capable of supplanting an existing theory, without reasonable evidence. When something like flat earth comes along, that pretends to be scientific, yet is in fact rooted in baseless ideas, why should it share the stage with proven, scientific facts?

I remain unconvinced that Bards is not simply trolling.

I wish I didn’t have to write this, but the more time I spend looking at threads like this one (I refer to the Flat Earth nonsense I’ve discussed before), this one (vaccines are all big pharma conspiracies dude!) and all sorts of hastily generalised rubbish like this, the more I feel the need to stand up and lend my own, small voice against this tidal wave of ignorance that seems determined to come crashing down upon us.

Increasingly, we live in a world where anyone can come up with a half-baked idea (I refer once again to the flat earth theory), and with enough big words, it can be taken seriously, not because it should be, but because it sounds clever. If something contradicts a certain narrative (for example, climate change contradicts the aims and goals of big business and their powerful political allies) it gets condemned as fake news (Trump, I’m looking at you).

wp-1480424118070.jpg

Yes, sometimes scientists lie. Sometimes they get things wrong. Scientists are also human, and therefore not perfect, and sometimes the information and evidence will, at first examination, lead to incorrect conclusions. What opponents of science suggest is to throw the baby out with the bathwater – ‘if the theory is not perfect’, they crow, ‘or if scientists are not perfect, we should discount it. Here’s a replacement theory’. It doesn’t matter if the new theory offers up a poorer explanation of the facts. It doesn’t matter if it is full of holes. ‘If theory A isn’t perfect, theory B wins’, even if theory B is a load of bull.

At least the March for Science has shown there are people who are still interested in facts and in learning. I implore everyone to check it out – don’t fall for the ignorance that Trump and his ilk peddle!

It’s 2017. Despite some very obvious attempts to return to tired policies of old (I’m looking specifically at you Donald Trump, and casting a few glances at your chum Vladimir Putin too), we are in fact not living in the 1950s, so the bigoted mindsets of back then should have faded to nothing by now. So why do I see stories like this appear in the news? Russia is already noted for being decidedly backward when it comes to the LGBT community, but in Chechnya the problem has escalated to full-blown kidknapping and torture of gay men, or even men suspected of being gay.

Ok, so the reports of torture may or may not be true. Given the troubled history of Russia’s government when it comes to human rights, and the even worse state of affairs in Chechnya, it’s not hard to imagine this actually happens. It’s going to be difficult for this small site to somehow spread the word, but if you know anyone in Chechnya who you are worried about (or if you are part of the LGBT community) direct them to here, so they can seek help in getting away. As always, don’t put yourself at risk – be safe, be well.

On several occasions now, I have sparred with David Tee of Theology Archaeology. This occasion concerns an attack on science – and this is not the first time we have crossed swords on this issue. David has made several statements concerning his disdain for ‘secular science’, and it should come as no surprise that he doesn’t like the Theory of Evolution, nor the scientific methods that support it.

Here he is, responding to a post over on Age of Rocks – his posts will be in pink.

is a blatant and gross distortion of creationists’ views concerning our origins.  The author of that piece assumes far too much. For example he assumes that secular science has been charged with the duty of discovering our origins. It has not. He assumes that secular science has found and maintains the truth about our origins. It has not.He assumes that secular science is infallible when it comes to the information it uncovers. It isn’t.

He assumes that secular science or any science knows more than God does. It doesn’t. He assumes that evil plays no role in the work of secular scientists work, thinking and presentations, as well as those scientists who call themselves Christian. He would be in error. He assumes that secular science is an authority and has the final say on all matters of life. Again he errs.

Secular science is the blind leading the blind and that is the best thing we can say about that field of research. We include all those scientists,like Francis Collins, who claim to be Christian yet contradict God and his word by including evolutionary ideas and models in with God’s creative act.Those people are very misguided and deceived.

Previously David has got into great detail on the evils of science, whilst reaping the benefits of it – for example, he denounces pollution, but he is using a computer and the internet, powered by electricity, to make his posts. If science is so evil, why is he taking advantage of it? The truth is, science is neutral – the application of it can be good or bad. In this instance, no one is assuming science is infallible – but the evidence for our origins isn’t some evil conspiracy, but rather, the result of studying what the evidence is. To date, the Theory of Evolution has not been falsified, despite it being considered a falsifiable theory (namely, that for the theory to stand, it must stand complete, and is potentially vulnerable, yet it has passed every test). Why should we ignore the evidence in front of us, in favour of one interpretation of one religious document?

Nor of course, does science claim to have the final say on all matters of life. David is unfortunately rather fond of this particular Strawman.

The other important aspect that author assumes is that only those who do secular science can do rational and logical thought or are the only people who know anything. I am sure he is one of the group of anti-creationists who will say creationists lie when they disagree with the claims of secular scientists but they have to prove an actual lie has been told willingly.  Disagreeing with the results of secular science is not lying nor is honestly producing information one believes to be the truth. Sometimes people repeat information that they think is the truth because they were taught that information was true. That is not lying.

Anyone can do rational and logical thought. It’s through logic that we arrive at certain conclusions – factual observations about our world and the universe. It’s logical that we test theories and examine evidence. You don’t need to be a scientist to do this. You can in fact be very religious and still do these things.

However, creationists do manipulate evidence. Whether they do so intentionally or not depends on the individual, but it certainly happens. When there is so much evidence, readily available thanks to the internet, and creationists continue to repeat dismantled arguments – at that point, it can be reasonably assumed they are lying.

Then that author thinks that one has to be a scientist to rebut anything secular science declares.That s far from the truth for even an office assistant can know the truth because they listen to the God who did the actual creating over the fallible human who was not even an adviser to the creator of the universe, life and its development. The secular scientist is the one who does not know anything about our origins not the lowly uneducated believer of the Most High God.

In fact, it is smarter to be the latter than the former. It is rational and logical to be a believer in the one who did the actual creating than follow the one who rejects  him and his revelation.Making fun of those who believe God and the Bible is also not an intelligent, rational or logical move. That behavior only exposes the ignorance of the one who rejects God and his word. Science, any variety, is a lowly creation and not greater than the one who created it. Science was created by God so we would understand him more and learn about him. It was not created to usurp authority nor declare that God was or is wrong. Nor was it created to be  the authority or final word on all aspects of life.

Scientists tend to have studied long and hard in order to become scientists in their chosen fields. They have devoted their lives to learning, as the process of study continues long after they have completed their education. It’s the height of arrogance to assume these people know nothing, because they don’t follow one rigid interpretation of one religion.

Sadly, too many people,including those who claim to be Christian, have thrown God out of his own creation and try to do science on their own. All they have done is open the door to evil and let it destroy any truth science could uncover. You cannot throw the God of truth out and expect to come to the truth when you are influenced and led by the father of lies.

Secular science and scientists need to humble themselves and recognize that they are not the supreme being and acknowledge God as above them. Then they need to repent of their sins and get right with God so that science can be used correctly, leading people to the truth and to a greater understanding of God. Currently, science is being used to lead people to lies, to say God did things he did not say he did, and to distort the evidence we have to fit their humanistic views. Science is being misused and abused by those who reject God and that is wrong.

Scientists usually are humble. They don’t proclaim to know and understand everything. They don’t claim God doesn’t exist or that God didn’t create the universe. Who knows what the truth is? Maybe God created the universe billions of years ago? However, that’s an article of faith. If you have that faith, more power to you. Science is following where the evidence leads – if God put that evidence there, and yet it’s supposed to be misleading and we’re supposed to view the Bible as a literal document, why did God put deliberately put evidence in place to suggest otherwise?

The church is not against science especially when science gets things correct– like orbits and other factual members of the universe.It is against the lies of that secular science produces. Lies like Darwin’s theory of evolution, natural selection and other human alternatives to the truth of Genesis 1 and 2. Science does not belong in the affairs of our origins for that is not a mystery. We know where we came from, how it all came about and we do not need secular science meddling in what we already know to be the truth.

Secular science and its human alternatives bring confusion and confusion, as the Bible tells us, is not of God. This fact tells the believer to reject what unbelieving scientists say because they are disagreeing with God and the Bible. Anything that disagrees with God and the Bible are the ones in error. God does not lie and he does not make mistakes so we take God’s word over the word over those who ‘do science’. That is the right and Christian thing to do.

Why does the Bible take supremacy over other religious documents that also proclaim the truth about our origins? What makes the Bible flawless and such a good self-referencing document over the Qur’an for example? Or anything else for that matter? It seems to me that the only neutral, fair way to determine our origins is to turn to science.

 

Let’s preface this post by saying that it might be a good idea to read this article from Rae of Bookmark Chronicles, and this one from Violet Wisp.

Both articles offer an important perspective on the divisive issue of abortion – namely, they offer a female perspective. I have pointed these articles out to those in discussion on this issue over at Blogging Theology, where I have had discussions in the past on this very issue. My comments are in blue, and where I quote from Rae’s article, it is in purple. The first part actually concerns a brief remark about discrimination practices, before moving on to the abortion issue.

As I have said before (in comments here, elsewhere and on my own site), a business is a public institution and as such, has agreed to abide by anti-discrimination laws. At what point is the line drawn Ken? Should a Christian business be allowed to refuse service to a Muslim, or vice-versa? Can a business started up a white supremacist be permitted to refuse service to people of colour?

The bottom line is, if you are prepared to start up a business that expects to deal with the public, you cannot pick and choose on religious lines, or sexual orientation, or skin colour, sex, or faith. Not unless you want to open the floodgates to arbitary discrimination.

On the abortion issue, I would urge you to consider these words, from a woman (you know, women, who are affected far more than men on this issue, yet were curiously absent from representation when Trump was signing his order):

As for abortion, like I said I am pro-choice. Meaning that I think women should be able to choose not to have a baby if they are not ready to. I don’t think it’s fair to be forced to have a baby just because someone else thinks you should.

Some people think that others just aren’t careful and decide, “I don’t want kids but I’m just going to have a lot of unprotected sex and then get an abortion.” I have a feeling that those thoughts don’t run through a lot of people’s minds. Not like that.

Then there’s the “well then you shouldn’t have had sex” argument. This needs to stop.

Firstly, it’s usually directed at women when we all know it takes two to make a baby.

Second, no birth control is 100% foolproof and I think that’s forgotten a lot of the time.

It is possible to be on the pill, use a condom, take the day after pill and still get pregnant. What’s the argument then if everything was done “the way it should be done?”

What about the person whose life is hectic and forgets to take their pill just that one time? Shit happens. Sometimes life gets in the way. No one is perfect.

What about rape victims?

What about people (like me) who are chronically ill and can’t carry full term anyway?

What about people who are disabled and/or physically incapable of enduring the stress that pregnancy puts on the body.

What about the people who are incredibly careful but also don’t want children?

What about the people who just know that they are not financially capable of giving a baby it’s best life.

Yes, adoption is an option but look at all of the things that I just listed. On top of that child birth is painful. It’s really not something that one should have to do if they don’t want to.

Did you know that you can’t even get your tubes tied without being harassed by doctors? Some women don’t want children, it shouldn’t have to be up for debate, it should be accepted. It’s also common after the first child that the woman decides she doesn’t want any more. Some doctors refuse to do it. They say that they should wait until the second child. Or they think that the patient will change their mind. If you’re single, they’ll ask well what your future husband wants children? They won’t let you make a choice about your own body because of someone who possibly hasn’t even come into your life yet. Or might not come into your life at all. I mean, really how fucked up is that? They completely ignore the fact that the choice is not theirs, but they clearly don’t think it should be yours either.

My cousin recently had a baby and then got her tubes tied. Her doctor said, “oh, I was sure that you would change your mind” her response was, “Why, I told you that I wouldn’t.” So the question is why? Why do men and doctors think that they should choose whether or not we have children. It’s not their decision. It’s not their body. A woman in the U.S. had to go to the Supreme Court just to get her tubes tied. That’s absolutely ridiculous. Things like that should not happen.

From the comments (posted by a woman called Quinn, and highlighted in green):

If you google Savita Halappanavar you’ll see that she was a 31 year old woman who died in Ireland about four years ago. She had a septic miscarriage, where the foetus was still technically alive but was going to definitely die. It was infecting her, and killing her. She asked for them to abort the foetus and save her life and they wouldn’t, because laws hadn’t been put in place to allow that to happen. The doctors’ hands were tied; they couldn’t remove the foetus until its heart had stopped beating, and they couldn’t force the heart to stop beating. Eventually she delivered a stillborn girl, but it was too late, and Savita died four days later. For what?

Twenty years ago, a 15 year old schoolgirl went to a grotto behind the church (you know, those stony areas with the statues of Mary in an alcove) after school, and tried to deliver the baby she’d been secretly pregnant with. She was completely alone, with a pair of scissors in her backpack to cut the umbilical cord. She bled out and the baby died of hypothermia. For what?

This is what you end up with when you have pro-life legislation. These situations are what happen when shame and blame and backwards laws (that completely hamstring doctors and make them unable to save their patient) are in effect. Sorry, this was less of a comment and more of a blog post all of its own, but there’s a huge push now in Ireland to try to repeal the 8th Amendment and it’s been a long time coming.

It’s easy to say that these cases are the exception. Of course they’re the exception. But as the saying goes, “Today you, tomorrow me.” One day the exception could be one of your loved ones. Someone you know. People who wave their hand in dismissal and say “that almost never happens” are conveniently ignoring the fact that it still happens. It could happen to you. Or me. Or your sister. Or your neighbour. Or your best friend.

The fact that Savita was an unlucky exception doesn’t make it any easier to bear for her husband, or her parents, or her friends. It doesn’t make it any better for Savita. These kinds of completely preventable deaths should never, ever happen in a first world country. Nobody should be using clothes hangers, or trying to overdose on vitamin c, or taking mystery pills they bought online, or dying in hospitals pleading for their lives to be saved, or delivering babies in grottos alone in their school uniforms. Nobody should be forced into a corner like that because of their gender, when there is a possible alternative. I could go on and on about this (and I have! Sorry!) but I’ll leave it there.

So the strigent anti-abortion laws in Ireland effectively permitted the deaths of women – I fail to see how that is pro-life, when such measures lead to preventable deaths, due to laws that might as class women as vehicles for child-bearing, and not as human beings. Such is the misogyny of Trump’s regime.

This is where pro-life isn’t actually pro-life. It’s ‘pro-life until certain circumstances and certainly not pro-life in respect of the mother’. As Rae mentioned, it is possible to make full use of various contraceptives and still fall pregnant. What then? What in cases where the embryo is not viable, and would die shortly after birth? What of rape victims? What of the real risk to the mother’s health during pregnancy and birth?

The first reply I had to this was from one of Blogging Theology’s authors, Paul – he did not reply to the part regarding abortion, but instead on the first point regarding discrimination. His comments will be in red:

So you would be happy if a Jewish cake shop was compelled to make a cake for the KKK with a swastika on it?

As I said to him…

I knew you’d set up your misleading question and I also knew it would be that one. Conflating a hate group like the KKK with a gay couple asking for a cake to celebrate their relationship isn’t really fair now is it? Would you be happy if a Christian who happened to run, say, a fish and chip shop, wouldn’t serve you any chips, on the sole grounds of your faith? Even though they had set up a public-facing business?

Unfortunately, Paul is fond of asking the sort of question that he asked, and equally unfortunately, won’t answer such questions himself. His reply…

So is that a yes or a no?

… completely ignored the point.

It’s a misleading and frankly dishonest question Paul. Why should I answer it? Or maybe a better question is, why do you equate homosexuality with the KKK? That’s the implicit suggestion behind your question isn’t it?

Next, Paul replied with the picture below. Make of that what you will.

I’ll take your inability to respond as validation for my point. You know full well the KKK is a hate group – there is a marked difference between them and a gay couple seeking to celebrate their relationship, but if I am being honest and frank with you, I believe your pride is preventing you from acknowledging this point. Equally, I don’t believe you would welcome any scenario where people could use any excuse they wanted to justify discrimating against anyone else. Just look at Trump using the existence of a few fanatics to deny far more people access to help and support through his immigration ban.

Other people weighed in as well. Ken Temple (a long-time commentator who also runs his own site here) had this to say – his comments are in olive:

The gays and Lesbians who destroyed the bakers, the florists, and photographers lives by taking them to court and destroying their businesses, they were the one who were hateful, because they could have just gone to another business who would not mind going to their so called ‘wedding” ceremony, etc.

No baker should be forced to put two plastic men on a cake and write “Jim and David, Love forever”. Gross. No business should be forced to cater or go to their so called “weddings”.

But if they walk in and buy a product, no problem. Like a plain cake, no problem, or flowers no problem.

The problem is forcing people to participate in celebrating things that are wrong, immoral, and sin.

My replies at this stage were quite short as I was using my phone, which isn’t a great medium for responding.

Wrong Ken. They opened a public business and have hidden behind their faith to justify turning people away. Bigotry disguised by religious arguments is still bigotry.

no; they did not turn people away; when they wanted them to go to their celebrations and be a part of the wedding, don’t you see the difference? No it is not bigotry, because their ceremonies are wrong and sin; and besides, in today’s world, they can go to another photographer or baker, or caterer, etc. It is not bigotry. You don’t understand the difference between regular service with no indication of the sexual sins, and then the special kinds of services that require the business to go to their sinful ceremonies.

You make it sound like a baker (or florist, or photographer) is being forced to marry a homosexual – they’re not. They’re being asked to fulfil a business role, one they cannot do, out of bigotry, pure and simple. This is the same sort of mentality that allows discrimination against people of colour or people of one faith to discriminate against people of another faith.

No; not true. We cannot attend or celebrate a wedding that is sinful; by nature there is no such thing as “same sex marriage” – it is not a marriage at all. It is also a butchering of language, as it redefines the word. It is sinful to be forced to put 2 plastic men together or 2 plastic women together on a wedding cake and write words of marital love and passion.

there is a difference between regular service and buying a product; and the kind of services that require the business to leave their shop and go to their so called “wedding”.

If homosexuals and Lesbians want to buy a plain cake, that is fine, – they can take it and decorate how they like on their own.

So you favour being allowed to refuse service to someone along any arbitrary grounds you see fit?

The lines and grounds of these are clear about going to the wedding ceremony and having to write evil wording on the cake or put two plastic men on a cake ( a disgusting thing in itself)

Ken,

Making a cake is NOT the same as going to the ceremony. No one is forcing anyone to take part in the wedding itself. After all, when cakes are made for heterosexual couples, the baker isn’t actually taking part in the wedding, they are simply making a cake. Imagine the fury among the reactionary religious right if a gay baker (or florist, or photographer) refused to fulfil their obligation to a customer, on the grounds of the customer’s faith.

Making a plain cake is fine.
the problem is the wording and 2 plastic men or 2 plastic women kissing or together. Sinful. the government forces these businesses to sin.

No, the government expects public businesses to abide by fair and reasonable anti-discrimination laws. You want those laws cast aside, you’d better be prepared for the consequences. You will open the floodgates to a very unpleasant experience.

If they operate a public business they have zero right to use their faith as an excuse to pick and choose the members of the public that they serve. No one is saying they have to actually participate in the ceremony – making a cake is in no way doing that.

What’s the difference between refusing to honour a business agreement and refusing to hire someone based on their orientation? The answer is – nothing. It’s bigotry, simple as that.

No; I don’t accept you imputing bigotry to Christians and freedom of religion and Christian’s understanding of sexual sins and what marriage really is.

It is the Leftist-Marxists – Rioters that are bigots – like the ones setting fire to the buildings at Berkley and rioters and rock throwers and thugs and leftists who defecated on police cars at “occupy Wall-street”, etc. It is the extreme political left that does most of the bigotry nowadays. (in the west)

It’s right-wing fascists who carry out acts of outright murder Ken – the shooter in Québec being one such person. It’s the religious right that continues to create an environment where the LGBT community, women and minorities are denied rights, on a scale that dwarfs your faux outrage.

the government turned evil by approving of those sinful so called “marriages”. The Obergfell case ruling was evil by the Supreme Court – they forced all states to comply and over-ruled the state’s legislature and people’s authority to vote and legislate. The Supreme Court made new law rather than interpreted the law according to the Constitution. And the judges who punished Christian businesses are evil.

Ken,

The government did what it is supposed to do and kept religious interference out of peoples’ rights. There is no such thing as a ‘Christian business’. A Church is not a business, and is a private institution. They are not obliged and cannot be forced to carry out same-sex marriage ceremonies. A business though, is a PUBLIC INSTITUTION. They do not have the right to freely discriminate, and this is the point you keep missing – where does it end Ken? Should a Christian business be allowed to refuse service to Muslims and Jews and anyone who isn’t a Christian? Should any business be permitted to discriminate on any grounds they see fit (which is what you are advocating, and you have yet to address this)?

Maybe I should open up a business, sign up to rules and regulations (and do so knowingly), then decide I can pick and choose what customers I serve and who I employ, along racial, gender and ethnic lines? Would that be fair of me Ken?

This is the point I strive to make, but one that continues to not sink in – for all the cries of ‘religious freedom!, there is much greater freedom for Christians in America than for the LBGT community. Globally, the situation the LBGT community finds itself in is awful, yet there is no outcry about any of this.

There are several states in the US which offer only state employment protection for the LBGT community, and still others which offer zero protection. Meanwhile, Ken is complaining about making cakes.

Another poster (William Shraffner, whose posts will be in sky blue) weighed in on the abortion topic.

Is there something wrong with contraception? It’s rather cheaper, easy to use, and far less evasive than abortion.

Note – he meant ‘invasive’.

There’s nothing wrong with it, except that (as you will have read in the quoted article) it isn’t 100%. Plus the facilities that are under threat from Trump are the sort of places that would offer contraceptives and education.

So the massive abortion industry is due to the fact that contraception doesn’t have a 100% success rate?!

Define ‘massive’.

Fact 1 – no form of contraceptive is perfect. It is possible to take every precaution available and still get pregnant. The woman has her reasons for not wanting to become a mother and despite her efforts (and those of her partner) pregnancy has still occurred. Is it therefore reasonable to force her to proceed with the pregnancy (even though pregnancy carries an increased strain on the woman’s body, and childbirth is actually dangerous)?

Fact 2: there continues to be a social stigma around birth control. Call it ignorance. There is still the widespread belief that people (especially women) shouldn’t enjoy sex or regard it as anything other than a procreational act. As such, there is a prevailing ignorance about contraception and sex education, usually from the same sources as those oppose abortion (who are therefore creating a rod for their backs). I provided a link within this thread (and quoted from it), and I would urge you to go and properly read it, and to converse with the people who are commenting on it, so you may better understand a woman’s perspective.

That’s the discussion as it stands. I open this to the floor to discuss further.