Thursday, December 19, 2013

...And That's A Wrap!


My pet gripe for today is religious bullies: 

Today I went and had some gifts wrapped at a little stall at a local shopping mall. I ignored the overtly Christian material draped all over the table the lady who was wrapping the gifts was sitting at, smiled and asked her to wrap my gifts. She agreed. I asked her how much it would cost. She told me she would take a donation for her non-profit organization that puts together food parcels for the poor and sickly including cancer patients in Port Elizabeth. 

I thought that his would work out rather well as an act of charity, and agreed.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Vestage Of Ignorance - AUKSANO & The SABC Sabotage Religious Freedom In SA

In a post on Facebook on the SABC's page, the SABC advertised a video of a recent appearance by AUKSANO as follows: 

"Satanism in South African schools is on the rise and incidents of that has puzzled communities. A learner was sentenced to 10 years for the murder of a friend in Randfontein. Three men and a minor are in court connection with the so-called satanic ritual killing of Kirsty Theologo. 

Yesterday a 17-year old Cape Town learner appeared at the Bellville Magistrate's Court for an alleged satanic murder case of a 15-year-old from Ravensmead. Recently distressed learners and educators at Moreri Secondary school in Tseoge Village West of Vryburg in North West are plagued by what is believed to be satanic attacks. 

There is a visible trend, with the consequences more than just alarming. In our Bloemfontein Newsroom we are joined by the Director of AUKSANO Johan de Beer. They are a trauma centre that counsel people involved in sub-cults including Satanism and devil worshiping."

The video pretty much echoed the sentiments above. I found this misrepresentation and rubber-stamping of fraudulent claims, the unquestioning acceptance of someone claiming to be an "expert" on the subject, and the white-washing of the violation of several points of the SA Constitution which protects freedom of religion to be particularly disturbing.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yvonne Engela - A Eulogy

My mother passed on 24 October 2013 at the age of 79 from complications resulting from pneumonia. Her memorial on 30 October was conducted, in accordance with her wishes, at St John's Methodist Church in Central, Port Elizabeth.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ignorance Is Not A Point Of View


The debate around the St Marks "Sex in the City - Is Gay Okay?" discussion held at the church three weeks ago just doesn't seem to want to die. 

Homophobes continue to post their ignorant remarks  in such a manner as if to show that a) they know what they are talking about and b) they have some kind of hand-written note from "God" to authorize them to hate and to persecute others in its name.

Yes sirree, Port Elizabeth has a "prophet" in its 'burbs - another one who claims to know what "God" said and meant, intent on not letting anyone get on with their lives without being told off for being the "lustful sinners" they are.

In today's episode, let's look at the comment made by a Nigel Wakeford, a regular in the Herald "chirps" column. In my humble opinion, Mr Wakeford is just showing his ignorance. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

St Marks Dr Woolard Reject Science As "Claptrap" Since It Doesn't Suit Their Prejudice

I note with amusement in the letters column of today's Herald, that Dr Woolard still hasn't provided any of his alleged scientific sources which he claims to prove that LGBT people are the consequence of molestation, pedophilia, "broken homes" or masturbation. 

Instead, he has dismissed the findings of respected researchers in the medical field as "claptrap" in favor of persecuting LGBT people on the merit of his own apparent "medical expertise" - or that of his colleague who was a medical student once, apparently. 

That, Dr Woolard, is a demonstration of pseudo-science - twisting the name of science to suit your own prejudice, in an attempt to lend it some standing - but with no basis in fact. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Only YOU Can Save The World (If Not You, Who Else?)


I was most fortunate to have two friends who were Methodist ministers, both very open-minded and very loving people. 

They frequently took heavy fire for being welcoming of gay folks, and even people of other faiths, and for standing up against haters in their own ranks. 

The fact that I left Christianity to follow a Pagan path never meant that they weren't my friends any more, or that they suddenly would try to change me. Instead, they continued to be good friends. It's always a pleasure to count Christians like that among my friends. But what about the others?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Book Review: The Pink Agenda by Christine Mc Cafferty & Peter Hammond


I read this item a number of years ago. Twice. Seeing it listed on Goodreads.com made me see red, and prompted me to write a review on it. 

The lies and hatred contained within it's pages made me so angry that I had to keep putting it down and take regular breaks to avoid ripping this disgusting item into itty-bitty pieces and burning each one while singing something energetic involving a lot of hand-actions and expletives. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

St Marks "Is Gay Okay?" - A Rebuttal


This past Monday I reported on the "Sex in the City" discussion which was advertised in the Weekend Post by St Marks Congregational church, being on the question "Is Gay Okay?" The elusive answer was buried among layers of propaganda and subterfuge, masked by verbose tap-dancing, foot-shuffling and showmanship - and turned out to be a somewhat muffled "no". 

I'm not normally given to re-posting private conversations, but I thought that this occasion warranted it. First, to show that there were no ill-feelings between myself and St Marks - or at least, between myself and Reverend Claassen; and second, to show, post facto, that civil dialog had indeed taken place. The intensity - and to borrow a word from the good reverend - the conviction I felt while writing my response to him - and in writing this article, I felt, swayed me to post it here. I feel it reflects in my words, and I hope they penetrate - not just by getting through to the reverend - but to Christians, churches and their related groups everywhere which continue to separate and to isolate and denigrate people based on a self-defined need to be "right", judgmental and self-righteous - and where this results in hardship, cruelty and harm to others.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Read Between The Lies

In a somewhat unusual move for me, I went to a church service on Sunday 18 Aug - unusual because I am not a Christian and haven't been since I renounced the religion and all its tenets in 2010, and have affiliated with Pagan religion in the meantime. 

On the bright side, at least I didn't actually burst into flames.

I didn't go there because I had a sudden change of heart, nor because I needed to take my mother to her church. No, I went because this church, St Marks Congregational, had placed an advertisement in a public newspaper, the Weekend Post, headlined "Is Gay Okay?" 

Knowing the conservative right-wing nature of most evangelical charismatic churches in Port Elizabeth, I decided to go and see what they were about, and what they meant by their question - and the placement of something that should not even be questioned any more in my view, given the modern scientific and human rights rationale.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Russia Has Lost It's Soul... And Its Mind



Russia has begun a very enthusiastic crack-down on LGBT people, and it's using Christian religion and junk-science being peddled by Scott Lively as justification. It's very concerning. Unfortunately this is what happens when religious conservativism is allowed to run riot, and when that very important line between church and state is erased.

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Short Chat With An "Occult Expert"


Last week SAFM featured a debate on Satanism and crime called "What is Satanism?" - you can find the link to the debate here: SAFM podcast link (31 May What is Satanism?). 

Having listened to this debate, and having become involved in the study of the occult and since also becoming a participant in a joint interfaith project recently, I formed something of an understanding of the topic. 

I was immediately concerned with the sort of things being said by one of the guests on the show - one Adele Neveling, a woman who could not even pronounce "coven" correctly (ku-vern, not coa-vin), but who claimed to have been a Satanist for 18 years! I decided to approach her for comment.

Friday, April 26, 2013

SRA Propaganda IS A Harmful Religious Practice!



Dear IOL, I just read this article by you today: "Sin, sedition and Satanism in South Africa".

http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/sin-sedition-and-satanism-in-south-africa-1.417775#.UXqvBqLTxbq 

(Yes, I know the article is from 2008, but I was just made aware of it. LOL. Also, the policeman interviewed is the present head of the reformed SAPS Occult Related Crimes unit - so his views should provide a VERY clear picture of what sort of prejudice and bias this man has. The journalist first points out that there are different forms of Satanism, and makes references to the Church of Satan – but the lengthy quotes from Lamprecht and an evangelicalist drug rehabilitation “expert” speaking out of his field of expertise, tends to off-set this suggestion, making up the bulk of the article, and turning it from an objective piece into a Christian evangelizing soap-box.)

I am sorry to say, this whole article is a perfect example of biased, hysterical SRA propaganda. If is so full of sheer and utter rubbish attributed to Lamprecht and Krige and put out by your paper, that I am beside myself with anger. In fact, there is so much tripe in there about a religion and its adherents who are STILL  (clearly only in theory) protected by law in this country from lies and misrepresentations such as this, being presented as "fact" that I'm not even sure where to begin. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bridging The Great Divide



The Constitution forms the supreme law of South Africa. It is a secular law which stands to prevent the persecution of people on the basis of race, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation - and also religious freedom. 

Of course, most of the time you need to belong to a minority group of some kind to confirm that the law and the letter are being carried out in real life as they are on paper. In South Africa I can attest to the fact that the gap between the paper law and the real life application of these laws - which once seemed to be narrowing, is now just as wide - if not wider than ever.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Poep's Latest Move, And Other Stories



I have a bit of a mixed bag for you all today. Happy 2013 folks!

December 2012 was quite a rough patch for me and mine. I spent a lot of December flat on my back - not nearly as much fun as you might think. 

My girl friend was involved in a bit of a car smash and was in hospital for a few days with spinal injuries, which appear to be healing slowly. After a month with almost no sign of improvement, she is regaining some sensation in her right leg, with full use of her left. Remarkably, even though she can't feel anything in her right leg, she can still move it, and can therefore drive, and in a fashion, walk. She has a new car, her 2011 Polo having been written off by the insurance, and not a word from the other party, life goes on.