Come to the Dark Side, we have numbers

Darth Maul - definitely One Of Us

The Dark Side Skincare and Cosmetic Range Also Available.

There’s a census coming up soon here in the UK. Now, just as in most countries, the stuff the Government learns from the census is taken far more seriously by ‘Them, the Government’ than it ever is by ‘We, the people’ ticking the boxes.

The information on religion has in the past been used to attribute cash – real, hard, taxpayer’s cash – to religious projects and organisations rather than secular ones, on the grounds of there being significantly more people who claim to have a faith than those who come straight out with it and say ‘Nah, it’s all nonsense.’

The trouble with such a system, and letting the great British public loose with it, is that the nature of the great British public is fundamentally to take the piss and go for the gag. No really – we’re a nation that, above all – above its ability to queue, above its insensitivity to flavour and its casual racism, above even its own staggering apathy, prides itself on its over-inflated Sense of Humour. Get a Brit in an airport and watch them physically struggle not to make jokes about the bomb in their luggage in loud theatrical whispers. We’re just that funny.

Now, what that means in real terms is that while there are genuinely a minority of people who have a strong, guiding faith, and a minority who don’t believe in anything and are quite prepared to say so, the actual majority of British people are piss-taking shruggers who really couldn’t give a toss about religion.

That means, when faced with the census, and having to define their ‘religious affiliation’, they do one of two things. Either they shrug and go ‘ah to Hell with it, I’ll tick the box I was brought up in’…or, if you give them a comedy option, they will flock to it in droves.

Which is why in the 2001 census, Christianity claimed 70% of the population, despite dwindling church attendance records, and why a staggering 0.7% of the population of England and Wales chose ‘Jedi’. Yes, really.

Now, on the one hand, I love this, and it genuinely does represent the sense of humour – and largely the position – of the more than 390,000 people in England and Wales, who really, frankly, couldn’t give a damn about religion, and chose to be a Jedi in 2001. It was a movement that wasn’t confined to England and Wales – in Scotland, there were 14,000 Jedi. In Australia, more than 70,000. Over 53,000 in New Zealand, and 21,000 in Canada. Worldwide, there were enough Jedi hanging about the Earth in 2001 to kick the Sith’s ass back to a galaxy far far away. I even toyed with the idea myself, before going for the more accurate and honest ‘No Religion’ option (You could tell, couldn’t you?).

On the other hand, every Jedi contributes to the idea that Britain (and the other countries where the Jedi option is on the list) is a country ‘of faith’ – as indeed do those who choose the faith of their childhood if they no longer actively espouse it. And while I’m not about to tell anyone they don’t believe in a religion they say they do, the latest research shows that just 15%  – rather than 70% – of people in the UK go to church at least once a month.

In the 2001 census, incidentally, those who had the courage of their atheism in England and Wales amounted to 14.7% of the population. Now let’s do the maths. 14.7 plus 0.7 would equal 15.4% – that’s more than the UK population of regular churchgoers.

So how about this: If you can persuade Imperial Stormtroopers these aren’t the droids they’re looking for; if you can pull spaceships out of swamps with the power of your mind; and if you can come back from the dead for cameos in other people’s lives, looking all blue and fuzzy, and just occasionally being played by an entirely different actor – then you can call yourself a Jedi. Unless you can bring the Force-mojo, save the laugh for people who appreciate it – the British Government don’t – and come join the dark side; tick the ‘No Religion’ box in the 2011 census.

You may be in the Taliban if…

Wondering if you might be a terrorist yourself ?
Do the Terrorist Test here!!!


1. You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to beer.
2. You own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can’t afford shoes.
3. You have more wives than teeth.
4. You wipe your butt with your bare left hand, but consider bacon “unclean.”
5. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.
6. You can’t think of anyone you HAVEN’T declared Jihad against.
7. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.
8. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.
9. You’ve often uttered the phrase, “I love what you’ve done with your cave.”
10. You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least one.
11. You bathe at least monthly whether necessary or not.
12. You have a crush on your neighbor’s goat.
Unfortunately, I can’t claim responsibility for this, thanks to whoever it was who sent it to me.

Bigots Win, NY Islamic Cultural Centre May Move

Not so long ago, it was announced that an Islamic Cultural Centre was to be built within a 2-4 block radius of the World Trade Centre memorial site, otherwise known as Ground Zero.

The site was chosen for several great reasons, thought mostly because it is a great location and was available for what is effectively ‘chump change’ relative to other areas in lower Manhattan.

The reason that the building site was so incredibly demure was due to the landing gear which, after leaving one of the planes which struck one of the twin towers on September 11, 2001, crashed through the roof of what was once the great Burlington Coat Factory. The factory closed and has been disused ever since.

To be clear though, this is not a mosque, it is, as it says, an Islamic Cultural Centre, which is complete with: a 500-seat auditorium, theater, a performing arts center, a fitness center, a swimming pool, a basketball court, a childcare area, a bookstore, a culinary school, an art studio, a food court, and a memorial to the victims of the September 11 attacks. The prayer space for the Muslim community will accommodate 1,000–2,000 people.

Nonetheless, after what can only be described as relentless criticism from bigots and Christian hypocrites from all over America who call the proposed centre a “9/11 victory memorial”, the site’s Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf claims now that he is ‘open’ to other locations.

How sad is it that it has come to this!?! Seriously America, your bigoted few are happy to have 20 churches, multiple banks, strip clubs and burger joints in this same radius, and yet in an inconspicuous and out of the way area, you won’t let a cultural centre be built. So disappointing!

Seriously, it has been stated by the Imam (while certainly – and admirably – a moderate, he is still just another religious leader, but that doesn’t preclude the building) that there is a population within NY who are Muzzie, who have been alienated and almost cast out (to a degree) since 9-11.

This cultural centre is a refuge, a place where Muzzies can go to hang out, play with other Muzzies and further segregate themselves from a society who is afraid of them congregating together in one place. Nonetheless, they want it, and it would be nothing short of complete bigotry and hypocrisy if it were not allowed to occur.

The only reason I would accept a resolution to not build the cultural centre is if all churches, temples, and community centres in the surrounding areas were also dismantled and handed back to the property.

Don’t forget, that the reason they built there was two fold. Firstly, it is inner city and close to all other inner city amenities. Secondly, it is inner city and was available for just over USD$5.5 million, which is spare change.

If the cultural centre is not built, then this block in lower Manhattan sits devoid of anything, with boarded and broken windows.

Seriously, New York, wake and smell the bigotry!

Antiquities of the Jews – they are my siblings, why aren’t they yours?

I had a profound experience when I visited Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany late last year. I went through a similar rollercoaster at Anne Frank’s Haus in Amsterdam.

As part of the German educational curriculum, all German kids are taken to an internment/concentration camp in an effort to help them connect with their history. There were several children’s (mid teens) excursions at the camp while we visited and in the main, I was disgusted by the behaviour of the teens.

I watched as one kid walked up to the glass encased ‘uniform’ that the victims were made to wear, gained the attention of his friends, then simulated shooting the inanimate uniform. I shouted at them, already in a daze, and they moved on, laughing nervously.

Having just published my first book, I’m elbow deep in book two, a compendium of irrational beliefs, and the cretinous morons who hold them. One of the chapters is dedicated to a well known holocaust denier – a propagandist who spreads the flame of intolerance, lighting fires as he goes.

It certainly doesn’t help that the pope refers to Catholics as being as badly persecuted as the Jews. It certainly doesn’t help that the underclasses of every society in the world find it easier to regurgitate propaganda than to hold a researched opinion for themselves.

The Jews are among the most poorly treated individuals in history, and they are guilty of little more than wanting to be themselves, maintain their own traditions, their own beliefs and their own lives. Christians and Muslims yearn to spread their morally repugnant religion, Jews do not, and never have.

Personally, anti-Semitism does not make any sense to me.

With that said, this does not excuse the defence of this ridiculous notion of a ‘holy land’. Israel has committed war crimes in the recent past and does not deserve the ‘backing’ of the USA for their ‘sanctioned’ and ‘legal’ attacks on Palestinian flotillas, or the occupation of seized territory. But this is neither the fault, nor the responsibility of anyone outside of the Israeli government and no Jew should bare the brunt of this.

How could the holocaust happen? Furthermore, how can such anti-Semitism persist in countries and times that embrace multiculturalism?

Irrespective of religion, colour or culture, we are human. Despite our borders and the ferocity and vehemence of belief in actual difference, there are none; we are all human.

Borders, gods, cultures and lands are artificial, fake and irresponsible. They insert a meaning into differences, a meaning that is inherently bad because it is inherently different.

If you feel that you are any different to the Jews, I strongly suggest you look at your genome. You are the same. If they are any different, then so are you.