Except, no, love doesn’t win.

Love gets gunned down by a fanatic with a gun. Love dies screaming. Love bleeds out on the pavement. Love sends desperate text messages before falling silent. Love is killed. Love dies, and dies, and dies.

And even if it doesn’t die, it is scarred. Love is rushed to the hospital, pocked with bullets. Love loses blood. Love loses limbs. Love has nightmares about hiding under dead bodies. Love has PTSD. Love loses people.

Love’s legs are broken, and even though they’ll walk again the bones will never set quite right, they will always ache in the cold.

Love was just going about its business and trying to have a good time, to be kind, to get through life without causing too much harm. Love is not good enough for some people. Love does not convince people who are already so far gone they think that violent hate is the answer.

Love is mocked by our politicians and our political institutions. Love is lied to with platitudes and then stabbed in the back by conservative political donations and back-room deals. Love is dismissed and ignored by the powerful. Love is picked on in the playground. Love is called names. Love is hated by those who are blinded by their faith. Love gets fucked over again, and again, and again. Love cries itself to sleep at night because it feels like nothing is changing.

Love has to live in a world where Trump is an American presidential candidate and Cory Bernardi is an Australian Senator.

Love, quite frankly, is tired of this bullshit. And so am I.

I’m sick of people pretending that religion has nothing to do with it: IT DOES.

Almost all major religious texts preach homophobia. It doesn’t matter if you are religious person with humanist ethics who dismisses the parts of their Bible/Qu’ran that they don’t like. Your faith is no more or less valid than the people who read the same book and decide to blow up a building full of Filthy Heathens, or bomb an abortion clinic. Faith by definition has no basis in rationalism or reality, and there is nothing to stop it spiralling out of control. Faith does not and cannot stop radicalisation; only logical human morality can.

I’m sick of people pretending that homophobia has nothing to do with it: IT DOES.

Queer people are still, in the 21st-goddamn-century, treated unequally by our political and social institutions. If you’re a casual homophobe, congratulations, fuckwit, you helped Orlando happen. You are a bad person and you should feel bad.

I’m sick of people pretending that inadequate mental health care has nothing to do with it: IT DOES.

Logically, the majority of the world’s population follows a religion of some description, and yet the majority of the world’s population are not psychotic mass-murderers. If you hear voices in your head, you need psychological help, even if the voice calls itself ‘God’ and convinces you that eternal glory awaits you in the afterlife. (Hint: it doesn’t. You’ll just be dead. Sorry.)

I’m sick of people pretending that gun control has nothing to do with it: IT DOES.

This one’s just incredibly fucking obvious to most of the world.

I know why people say that love wins. Love wins because in spite of everything done to it, love keeps on loving. It just keeps on doing what it does.

Is that going to be enough, though?

Normally I am inspired by solidarity, but tonight I feel like it’s just a hollow hash tag. There’s no glory here. Love doesn’t win. Love gets massacred.


You Have The Right To Not Read This Blog Post.

You do not have the right to prevent this image from circulating:

(I debated for a while putting a stronger warning at the top of this post, to avoid hurting religious sensibilities. But you know what, I’m not feeling overly tender towards religious sensibilities right now. They need to grow the hell up and learn how to live in the real world, which does not cater exclusively to their strange whims about ‘prophets’ and magical invisible sky-daddies).

The media reprinting this cover? Naughty naughty, they’re ‘encouraging the circle of violence’.

The Muslim groups protesting the publication of this image? Oh, they’re just exercising their right to free speech! It’s not like anyone’s going to take them seriously and firebomb news outlets or brutally massacre journalists, right? “Muslim leaders lined up to condemn Charle Hebdo for its decision to put a cartoon of the prophet on the cover and warned that it risked fuelling sectarian tensions.” … Yeah, you know what else fuels sectarian tensions? Shooting people for not agreeing with you.

Free speech does give them the right to protest, as it gives media the right to publish the images in the first place. But how can we blame one side for encouraging violence and not the other?

Should those journalists not have been drinking so late at night, wearing such short skirts, drawing so provocatively? Were they, in fact, Asking For It?

This accommodationism is gross. I don’t believe we should hold groups of people to lower humanitarian standards just because of the colour of their skin or because they believe in fairies.

So many people have been murdered for their unwillingness to treat religious beliefs as sacred and unquestionable.

The least we can do is carry on in their footsteps.

Is it just me…

… Or is the phrase ‘God is Great’ starting to sound suspiciously Orwellian?




Icky Naughty Dirty Bad Sinful Humans!

Some thoughts about sin, prompted by the Godbotherer handing out pamphlets on my way to the train station this morning:

Just for reasons of pure practicality, isn’t it better to assume that people are essentially decent, and try to actively fix any mistakes we make, rather than assuming that all people are inherently Bad and Sinful and praying constantly to an invisible presence for forgiveness? The first option seems obviously more productive, in terms of ‘making the world a better place’. (I guess you might not have much reason to care about that if you believe in an afterlife though?)

Apart from practicality, it’s also a much less depressing way to go through life.

‘Original Sin’ makes me feel dirty. Not because I have it – just that there are people out there who seem to believe that this is a reasonable approach to the world. I know not all Christian denominations are so strong on the Original Sin thing, but every branch (correct me if I’m wrong) believes in the concept of sin – otherwise there’s no need for Jesus, no need for forgiveness.

I think the sooner humanity can let go of the idea that we’re all icky naughty dirty bad creatures, the sooner we can move on to better things. And the happier we’ll be.

The danger of ‘offending people’

I’ve been thinking a bit about what it means to ‘offend’ someone, particularly if that someone is a friend of yours whose beliefs you happen to strongly disagree with. I am not one to shy away from a heated argument (har har, understatement) on an issue that I care passionately about. But I do sometimes have this nagging worry that my anger will frighten off people that I consider to be good friends, and good people, who happen to have some unfortunate beliefs.

But the more I think about it, the more I believe this needs to be put in perspective.

The Bible says that unbelievers will burn in Hell for eternity.

… Wait, rewind, what?




Suddenly, calling someone a poopyhead doesn’t seem like such an offensive crime. I have friends who worship a God who would condemn me to ever-lasting suffering. Not just believe in Him, but worship him as some kind of superior moral being.

(Of course, most of my friends are the ‘cut and paste the good bits and leave out the vast majority of the rest’ sort of Christians, which makes them much nicer people but perhaps less theologically cohesive. I do still hold them responsible for the contents of the Holy Book that they choose to follow, though.)

While my friends hold those beliefs, I’m sorry, but I’m just going to stop fucking worrying about ‘offending’ them. If people don’t think the very idea of hell is the most offensive thing possible, then surely nothing that I can say will bother them, anyway.

Already seen my first ‘#prayforboston’ hashtag

Already seen my first ‘#prayforboston’ hashtag,

sitting there on my screen all smug and pious,

as if prayer will bring people back from the dead or re-grow their limbs,

as if prayer can keep this from happening again

When it is prayer in the first place

That makes some people decide

They would like to see your blood on the road,

Because their God wills it.

Either their God is more powerful than yours,

Or none
of them
are listening

So don’t waste so much time praying;

We need to fix this shit ourselves.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

* Just to be clear… I am aware that I am jumping to conclusions. Though to me it feels more like a small hop than a giant leap. Still, I may be wrong.

Two things the Church wants

Your silence and your money:

Your silence and your money


Just going through Europe photos from last year, and I remember how much this made me roll my eyes. It’s taken inside the Notre Dame, Paris. Such a beautiful building – I don’t think we should let God take the credit for it. It’s not like he showed up to help out with the construction.

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