He Said What?

Over the weekend I went to a chapel communion service and I did this voluntarily. I was away at the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre and while there one of the members of staff was going to deliver the chapel service. I went to the chapel service to support her and be a part of her experience. There is also the very slight possibility that one of these services might persuade me a little to partake in religion. It’s not happened yet and perhaps I secretly want this. I am, very slightly, jealous of those who have such faith, such comforting thoughts about the world.

As it turned out my friend couldn’t deliver the service because there are rules about who can touch certain parts of church paraphernalia and I guess you have to be a certain rank within the church before you are allowed to commit certain acts. I find it all rather confusing and very amusing. I think that every church has these man-made rules to govern who can do what within their made up system of belief. Everyone seems to take this very seriously.

I was once at Amport House and someone mentioned that although gay priests are allowed your vicar licence has to be approved by the local bishop and if that bishop is homophobic then you lose your licence to priest if you come out to the church. That seems utterly ridiculous that your ability to church is dependent on what your human boss thinks. But then again, the idea that a committee of humans can overturn the common ideals of a religion within a committee and change a religion’s view on a particular issue amuses me greatly.

The sermon on Sunday was interesting. The padre [I honestly don’t understand the terms for vicar/priest etc] spoke about Valentine’s Day and the love that we receive from partners on that day. He then linked this into the love that Jesus gave to us and also the love that God gives us. There was general chatter about two holy men who gave their lives for strangers. One of them was at Auschwitz and he sacrificed his life for another man. The other man went on to live to an old age and had many children. The other priest was a man who got entangled in another soldiers parachute on D-Day. The priest cut himself free to fall to his death and the other soldier went on to do his job. These stories were interesting and not ones I had heard before. While they showed a love for the stranger I do think they missed the point that they occurred within a time when there was great evil on the Earth and millions were dying in concentration camps and in battle. But religious people gloss over the problem of evil.

Within the sermon the padre talked about a passage from John. He mentioned words that Jesus said:

[side point: Jesus didn’t say these things. This was written about thirty years after Jesus died. Go back and think about any conversation, important or not, from thirty years ago and try to be convinced about how accurate you are. It amuses me just how much study is made from the EXACT words in the bible when it’s all translations and copying errors]

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Hey, it’s only my way or no way. You must do as I say or you won’t get to heaven. Do as I say you muthafuckers because I will damn you if you don’t follow my exact words.

“But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”

This part was read out and the message was meant to be that if you love Jesus you will get to heaven. My problem is the bit IN THEIR OWN BOOK which clearly shows signs of an abusive relationship. This part wasn’t talked about in the sermon and it’s interesting the bits of their own book they are willing to gloss over. You see that little bit in there which is along the lines of:

Follow my rules or else. Follow my rules and I will love you. Don’t follow my rules and you are damned to everlasting hell.

Do as I say or you will be burnt and suffer in indescribable pain forever. This section of the reading was glossed over in the sermon but it screamed in my head and really bothered me. If christians take this book so seriously and believe it is the word of god then why don’t they see these parts. The parts that require complete submission or else. They don’t see them because they are either glossed over or they think it is a good thing. That passage has really bothered me for a few days now.

Follow my rules or get fucked.

It’s not like following the laws of the road or those at work. This is referring to eternal damnation and the only path to heaven is through following the rules of Jesus. Well, screw that. This book has been used to justify hatred and murder for the last two thousand years and probably will be used for another millennia. I do hope that one day we grow out of following a book written by men about two thousand years ago which is demonstrably wrong about so much.

You don’t need Jesus to understand that being nice to people is the best way to go. You don’t need Jesus to believe that treating people as you would wish to be treated is a good maxim for life. These things are self evident and don’t require a god or his naughty boy. It’s easy to use the principle of BE NICE to inform all your choices and decisions. If only more people realised you don’t need god [or the threat of hell] to be good.


On a bit of a whim I decided to get ordained in the Church Of The Flying Spaghetti Monster. I think this will allow to undertake certain duties within the Church. I really do feel as though I have been touched by His noodly appendage.


I’m looking forward to undertaking my new duties as part of this Church. I’ve owned a copy of the Gospel for a long time.

I’ve had a FSM on my car for a while because those stupid fish really annoy me. I’m not sure how many people understand the concept of the Church but maybe they should. I’m always amused when people say “but that’s not a real religion” and my response is “what’s a real religion and how do you know?”.

I haven’t yet decided to go full Pastafarian but I might. I probably need to ask someone to get me a metal colander as a gift though.

A Slight Explanation

Earlier today or if I publish this after many revisions it’ll be early on 21 Sept 2014 I tweeted the following:

I thought I ought to give some clarification about why I said this. I think I feel slightly guilty and that the tweet may have come across as not considered and plain offensive. It probably is still offensive, if you are easily offended, but it was considered. I spent the weekend in Coventry. I saw the Ricoh stadium, a massive Tesco store and the Transport Museum [home to Thrust 2 and Thrust SSC].

I was invited to the christening of a friend’s children. These friends are people I see about once a year. I have known them for ages [since College] and I always look forward to their company and listen to what they have to say. This communication is definitely not about questioning my loyalty to them. I remember at their wedding the vicar asked the whole congregation to promise that they would be there for the couple in a time of need. I promised and would keep that promise, even now, ten years after the wedding. I didn’t really have to make that promise though. These people are the sort of people I would help out and look out for without the need to make a promise in front of the zombie cult alter.

The christening took place in a village church to the south west of Coventry. I turned up and there was singing in the church, five people playing guitar, piano, bongos and bass while singing. It set a reasonable tone. There were two projector screens on the walls giving words and information. The vicar seemed good fun and wore a Madonna style microphone so we could hear him. In terms of a service this was probably as modern as the Anglican Church gets. It was happy and friendly. People were singing out loud and dancing and raising their hands when they sang to god and putting effort into it all. I could imagine the more “cold and dreary” traditionalist hating this all. The church was a lovely very old building and was decorated well.

Here’s my point. I saw the best the modern church can offer. It left me cold. I was not moved at all. Not a tiny bit. In reality I felt slightly sorry for them. Their whole beliefs are built on lies. The historical evidence for Jesus is pretty slim, as for him being the son of god, well, let’s just say they jumped the shark with that one.

And so Jesus said . . .

Was how one of the readings began. Well, that’s all well and good and the lessons are probably perfectly good moral lessons, but why don’t you use Star Trek or Dr Who? They are all three as made up as each other. Saying that Jesus said it doesn’t make it true. And, so to my conclusion of that hour spent in a lovely church:

I just don’t get it. I don’t see how they can believe. I don’t understand why they think these things happened. I just don’t get it.

This was the best a church can offer and it was still shit.

Here’s two proper human achievements. Something we can all celebrate and take lessons from:

Thrust 2
Thrust 2


Thrust SSC
Thrust SSC

An Atheist Answers

I recently looked at a tweet in my timeline:

I am an atheist. Let me see if I can answer these questions. I will do my best to not turn the question around but actually answer the question to the best of my ability.

Quoth I:

Some Questions Atheist Cannot Truly and Honestly REALLY Answer! Which leads to some interesting conclusions…

1.       How Did You Become an Atheist?
2.       What happens when we die?
3.       What if you’re wrong? And there is a Heaven? And there is a HELL!4.       Without God, where do you get your morality from?
5.       If there is no God, can we do what we want? Are we free to murder and rape? While good deeds are unrewarded?
6.       If there is no god, how does your life have any meaning?
7.       Where did the universe come from?
8.       What about miracles? What all the people who claim to have a connection with Jesus? What about those who claim to have seen saints or angels?
9.       What’s your view of Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris?
10.   If there is no God, then why does every society have a religion?

I answer these below.

How did I become an atheist?
I’m not sure I was ever that religious. I was taken to church on Christmas Eve by my mum. I did, at times, attend Sunday school and I read a cartoon version of the bible. So I was certainly exposed to church and religion as a child but I was never really indoctrinated. When the Gideons came in to school and gave me a bible I ate each page so at the age of 12 I wasn’t that fussed by god and stuff. When I joined the Air Cadets I made a pledge to God, The Queen and Country but wasn’t that fussed about the God bit. I attended church as part of the ATC and have been to funerals to say goodbye. I don’t think my default position was ever God, I was looking for evidence and never found it. [that’s not actually true, one Xmas eve midnight service I was almost called to God because the church looked beautiful but then I was very drunk and although the church was pretty that doesn’t mean God exists]. Whenever I think about religion and God I get angry at how it suckers up people who lack a certain train of thought, it preys on everyone. It is quite obvious to me that there is no rational evidence for the existence of God. If it is discovered I will happily believe. Until then, the burden is on those who believe to convince me with rational evidence.

What happens when we die?
My heart stops, my brain functions die away as the oxygen is used up and I cease to exists. After that my body will slowly disintegrate and I will become part of the Earth again.

What if I am wrong and there is a heaven and a hell?
I guess this depends on which brand of religion wins the great battle. If it’s christianity then I’m sure that God will forgive me and understand my questioning and accept me into heaven. If it’s another brand then surely the compassion preached by religion will accept my mistakes. Can I really be sent to heaven for questioning the lack of evidence for God? Perhaps the more fundamentalist Christians and Muslims will condemn me to ever lasting pain and torture.
I would like to point out that while I have answered the question my answer to the previous question pretty much rules out the existence of any afterlife. The afterlife is just a human invention to easing the pain we feel when those close to us die.

Without God where do you get your morality from?
As much as I grew up and currently live in a country with a largely Christian culture I don’t need to be told that to kill someone would be wrong. I also don’t need a book to tell me right from wrong. My personal morality is probably quite different from the overarching social morality which exists within the laws of the country in which I reside. I can reach my own conclusions about morality by thinking about it. My general rule is to not do harm to others.

If there is no God, can we do what we want? Are we free to murder and rape? While good deeds are unrewarded?
No, no and the knowledge itself is it’s reward. A longer answer: Our social laws exist outside of religious instruction. As a member of society I accept the law of this land and the morality it implies. I don’t always agree with it but I accept it. There was once a time when the law was “god given” but to be honest it was just the interpretation of god’s law by a human being and so open to problems [it was once acceptable to kill witches, evidence of witches having supernatural powers is remarkably skant and so it is no longer legal to kill witches, a triumph of reason over god]. I do not want to murder or rape. I want to do no harm to others. I don’t need god to tell me that. I also reap my own rewards of doing good, I tend to be treated well by others. I don’t need the promise of life-every-after to make me do good things, I can’t imagine anything much worse than living forever.

If there is no god, how does your life have any meaning?
My meaning comes from trying to learn and understand the cosmos but more so from the love I get from my children and getting a thank you from someone.

Where did the universe come from?
I don’t know and to be honest I’m not that bothered by that. I do find it amusing we seek answers to the questions WHY and HOW when sometimes you shouldn’t think in those human terms. In science terms we know that the big bang is our best explanation of the START of the universe but not the WHY and HOW. I will just say that if God did create the universe then why does that mean that I have to follow the writings of some dessert people from two thousand years ago?

What about miracles? What all the people who claim to have a connection with Jesus? What about those who claim to have seen saints or angels?
What about miracles? When miracles are investigated they turn out to have very Earthly origins. Humans are brilliant at fooling themselves all the time. People can claim to have a Jesus connection or having seen saints or angels but I don’t think they fully understand the working of our minds/brain. People can claim everything they want. Until they can show demonstrable evidence I’m not interested. I feel as though I have a connection with Thor, am I ok or deluded? If I grew up in India you would be asking if I felt a connection to Shiva or other gods. It’s quite cultural.

What’s your view of Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris?
These guys are necessary to help people learn to think rationally and see the problems of religious arguments. They pretty clearly try to explain why beliefs are wrong, they don’t try to mock those who have those beliefs.

If there is no God, then why does every society have a religion?
Not every society has religion, Buddhism can be considered a religion but it is devoid of our notion of god. Some religions have many gods. Some gods have been supplanted in common culture. Which god are you talking about? Humans are story telling great apes who concocted tales of supernatural beings to explain the things to which we had no answer. Over the last 2000 years we have made leaps and bounds into understanding so much of the wonder of our world that the notion of answering Why? and How? with the answer God should be dismissed entirely.


I am not an eloquent writer or purveyor of ideas so my arguments may not come over as the subtlest or best worded. I have tried to answer these particular questions to the best of my ability and in a small space. I have also tried to keep to the question and not end up writing at a tangent to the subject. I have also tried hard not to question the particular beliefs that have lead to these questions.

I don’t expect people who are strongly religious to accept my answers, but I have answered these questions as honestly as I can. I am unsure what particular conclusions I am meant to find but they probably aren’t the ones the website writers wanted.

The final word comes from the Ricky Gervais character Derek:



I am an occasional follower of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I love the way the church has answers to all the really hard questions to life and by giving these answers I don’t have to think about what worries me any more. I also don’t have to question those areas of knowledge anymore.


Recently I mentioned this church at my workplace and I was told that it wasn’t a “real” religion. I countered “define ‘real religion'”. It’s wonderful that when faced with a made up religion people suddenly question their own made-up religions. Ha Ha.

Anyway, it turns out that I am eligible to become ordained as a minister in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I can be a Pastafarian minister. I can’t wait. I am really looking forward to this.

By it for me now by clicking here.

Hopefully, once I become ordained I can then apply to perform ceremonies like marriage and naming parties. Excellent.

Why I Go To Church

I found this in the local church magazine [You’ve got to look at these things if only to get the gossip]. What amused me most was the utter lack of mention of christ or god. It appears that this person goes for social and meditation reasons. We are tribal animals and feel the need to be in like minded groups, that’s why I see my friends. I don’t need to try and believe in a man-in-the-sky to get fulfilment in my life.


As I say in the page about me, follow the evidence. Find out for yourself. Ask questions. Reject dogma.
That was about as calm as I’m willing to go on this matter.


Signed up to the Atheist out of the Closet campaign on Freedom From Religion Foundation website. Also starting to listen to their podcast. Like it.
They do very good work in USA making sure church and state separation is maintained. We could do with something like that over here, but our parliament is hard wired for religion. Our head of state is the leader of our church! We have bishops in the House of Lords ffs. When can we get rid of that? Current plans are to have representation from all major religions in the Lords. How stupid. When do you know to stop? How do you choose which religions? How big do they have to be? Remove all religious representation and let them lobby like everyone else (not that I’m keen on lobbying groups).