This is in response to the crushing of dissent in Islamic and other totalitarian States. Today is also International Day against the Death Penalty, which is often used to silence dissenters.
So today, we pledge to agree with what everyone else believes and says, just for one day. We are not allowed to dissent, ‘offend’ or question. Also, to be fair, we ask everyone else to agree with everything that we believe and say. So let’s see how that works out.
Just for today, I agree with the following twenty five beliefs:
- I agree with the Greek poet Hesiod that the world began when Gaia emerged out of Chaos, and gave birth to Uranus, who made her pregnant to give birth to the Titans, after which Gaia convinced her son Conus to castrate his father and become King of the Titans.
- I agree with the Bible that the creator of the universe came to planet Earth, circling one of a hundred billion stars in one of a hundred billion galaxies, so that he could impregnate a virgin in order to give birth to himself, then be tortured and die and dictate a book about it.
- I agree with the Quran that Allah taught Adam all of the names of the plants and animals, which must have taken some time as there are millions of species, that salt water and fresh water do not mix, and that Allah made the mountains as pegs to stabilize the earth.
- I agree with the Church of Dermotology that former Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern created the world out of nothing, that ice cream wafers are literally the body of Dermot Ahern, and that magic underwear protect us from fire, bullets and blasphemy.
- I agree with the Indonesian legal system that Alexander Aan should be jailed for two and a half years for writing on Facebook that God does not exist and for publishing information about the life of Mohammad online.
- I agree with the Bible that God will bring so much evil that it will make your ears tingle, that God will smite you with hemorrhoids, scabs and an unhealable itch, and that God will make you so fearful that you will flee even when nobody is chasing you.
- I agree with the Hadith that says that Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.
- I agree with David Icke that Wang Yee Lee, a being who looked like a Chinese mandarin and had Socrates standing next to him, gave Icke a message that he had been sent to heal the Earth and to expose George Bush as a space lizard.
- I agree with the Catholic Church in India that Sanal Edamaruku should be charged with blasphemy for exposing a supposedly crying statue of a deity to be caused by faulty plumbing from a nearby washroom and capillary action.
- I agree with the Bible that a man should be stoned to death for gathering sticks on the Sabbath, that a woman should be stoned to death for not being a virgin on her wedding night, and that children should be torn apart by she-bears for mocking a prophet because he is bald.
- I agree with the many investigators of unidentified flying objects who say that an alien spacecraft crashed at Roswell in 1947 and that successive US Governments since then have been hiding the aliens at a military base near Groom Lake in Nevada.
- I agree with the Vatican that it is an actual State, despite being just over a hundred acres in size, having no proper citizens, few public services and no real economy, because it issues its own stamps and has a novelty ATM machine that issues instructions in Latin.
- I agree with the Pakistani legal system that Asia Bibi should face the death penalty for having questioned the relative merits of Jesus and Mohammad after her Muslim work colleagues complained that she had drunk from the same water bowl as them.
- I agree with Rev Ian Paisley, former MEP, that the Catholic Pope is the Antichrist, a liar, the true son of the father of lies, the original liar from the beginning, who imitates Christ, a diabolical imitation, Satan transformed into an angel of light, which will deceive the world.
- I agree with the Quran that a man may beat his wife in certain circumstances, that a woman should receive half of the inheritance that a man receives, and that a woman’s evidence may be worth half that of man because she may not remember things.
- I agree with the Bible that It is okay to kill your slave if he takes a few days to die, that Jesus came not to bring peace but a sword, and that Jesus will kill the children of Jezebel with death because she did not repent of her fornication.
- I agree with the Saudi Arabian legal system that Hamza Kashgari should be jailed for tweeting that if he met Mohammad he would shake his hand as an equal, and tell him that he had loved some aspects of him, hated others, and could not understand many more.
- I agree with Pope Benedict who, soon after the launch of Vatican Airlines, announced that sick people who visited Lourdes during 2008 would get a free plenary indulgence that will get them early release from Purgatory, and get them faster to heaven, after they die.
- I agree with the Vatican that a priest sexually abusing a child is so serious a crime that it should be put on a par with the other most serious crimes in the Vatican’s list of Delicta Graviora, namely crimes against the Eucharist and Confession, and trying to ordain a woman as a priest.
- I agree with Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor that atheists are not fully human because we leave out the search for transcendent meaning that he calls God, and with Pope John Paul II that a culture which rejects God cannot be considered fully human.
- I agree with the Russian legal system that three women from the punk band Pussy Riot should eb jailed for singing their protest song ‘Punk Prayer: Mother of God, Chase Putin Away’ in a Moscow Cathedral and recording the protest to make a YouTube video.
- I agree with the Bible that Dwarves, or men with flat noses, may not offer bread at the altar of God, and I agree with Matthias, son of Deuteronomy of Gath, in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, that that piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah.
- I agree with the Vatican for joining with the Islamic States at the UN to oppose attempts to decriminalize homosexuality, because it would “add new categories of those protected from discrimination” and could lead to gay people being allowed to marry.
- I agree with the recent joint statement by the European Union and the Islamic States, that we should respect all religions and all prophets, which includes respecting David Koresh at Waco and David Icke who believes that George Bush is a space lizard.
- I agree with anyone who believes that the earth is balanced on the back of a sea turtle, that homeopathy is more useful than a heart transplant, that Rapunzel wove her hair into a ladder or Rumpelstiltskin wove straw into gold, that stepping on a pavement crack will break my mother’s back, that a deposed Nigerian prince wants to email me several million dollars, that Uri Geller can bend spoons with his mind, that I am in danger from vampires or zombies or broken mirrors, or that I am protected by angels or leprechauns or horseshoes.
In return, just for today, I ask everyone who believes any of the above to agree that some of them are very silly beliefs and that others are very unethical and dangerous beliefs.
Just for today. You can go back to dissenting tomorrow.
Unless, of course you live in an Islamic or other totalitarian State.