Archive for the 'Religion' Category

19th Jan 2010

Speak up for Kurt Westergaard and Free Speech

On New Year’s Day, a man attempted to kill Kurt Westergaard with an axe, because four years ago he drew a picture.  The man was a Muslim, and he was so upset that Westergaard’s drawing linked his religion with violence that he attempted to commit an act of violence in the name of his religion.

Today, an auction in aid of the victims of the Haitian earthquake rejected another cartoon, with no religious connotations, that Westergaard had donated.  His hairdresser has told him she will no longer cut his hair for fear of reprisals.

Freedom speech benefits everyone. I’m an atheist, and I’m glad I live in an age when I have the freedom to reject and criticise religion without reprisal from the state or the faithful. Not everyone thinks like me. Lots of people value their religion, and are upset when people like me don’t treat it with what they consider due reverence. But think: if you are offended by Westergaard’s cartoon, or The Satanic Verses, or the Life of Brian, or Jerry Springer the Musical, or Bezhti — freedom of speech means you can criticise it as volubly and vociferously as you like, and disseminate that criticism as widely as you can manage. Freedom of speech is as much yours as it is mine.  We must not allow fanatics the power to bully us into sacrificing that freedom. A fanatic with power is a tyrant, and tyrants don’t value the freedom of anyone but themselves.

Posted by Posted by paddybrown under Filed under Personal, Politics, Religion Comments 1 Comment »

29th May 2008

"Image of Christ" revisited

I posted a piece last month ago about how the supposed image of Christ found in a mosaic floor at Hinton St. Mary actually looked rather more like the Colossus of Constantine. Interestingly enough, as I was browsing in Waterstones yesterday afternoon, I happened across The Romans for Dummies by Guy de la Bedoyere. The cover is a montage of lots of images – but the cover designer has placed the Colossus of Constantine right next to the Hinton St. Mary “Christ”! Perhaps I’m not the only one to have come to that conclusion…

The Romans for Dummies

Posted by Posted by paddybrown under Filed under History, Religion Comments No Comments »

28th Apr 2008

Image of Christ?

A 4th century mosaic was discovered in the remains of a Roman villa at Hinton St. Mary in Dorset in 1963. At the centre is a portrait of a man superimposed on the Christian Chi-Rho symbol, and on the basis of that symbol it’s universally identified as a picture of Christ. Here’s what it looks like:

Doesn’t look much like the traditional image of Christ, does it? He’s clean-shaven and wearing a toga. The Romans may have co-opted Christianity, but they never claimed Christ was a Roman.

Here’s a photo of the statue known as the Collossus of Constantine – a portrait of the emperor who legalised Christianity, and is supposed to have had a vision instructing him to conquer in the sign of the Chi-Rho.

The same cleft chin. The same broad face and narrow mouth. The same eyes and eyebrows. The same haircut. That mosaic image isn’t Christ – it’s Constantine!

Posted by Posted by paddybrown under Filed under History, Religion Comments 11 Comments »

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