jd Ⓐ★😼🚀🌍🇪🇺🇭🇺

'...scientists working in South Africa made an exciting announcement [in 2015]: They had discovered a new species of human ancestor. [....] One of the most exciting aspects of the naledi discovery was that the skeletons appear to have been deposited in a burial chamber, suggesting the species engaged in rituals and even symbolic thought. That raises a whole host of scientific and anthropological questions: [....]

But the discovery of a relatively advanced human ancestor also raises theological questions, particularly for Christians who believe that a person must believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ in order to receive eternal life in Heaven. It may sound silly to apply that standard to primitive species hovering millions of years ago between animal and human, but it’s an important question if you believe in the eternal soul...'


I thought the kind of Christians who get worked up deciding who has souls and who doesn't got around that by denying evolution.

@frankiesaxx @jd around 1970s Catholics finally accepted that science and religion *can* coexist (there is a whole Science Uni in the Vatican which does space research etc) and non human creatures could enter Heaven (there was lack of agreement as to whether they had souls). But if you told a cat they weren't allowed I they would only think "screw you and your religion, I will go to Buddhist/Muslim/Hindu heaven instead, where there are less closed doors and weather is better 😸

@vfrmedia @jd
I haven't had enough coffee yet to cope with the idea of this being a serious issue adult humans worry about. Fandoms are so weird.

@frankiesaxx @jd TBH most Catholics (other than traditionalists found in USA and very occasionally in DE/CH/AT/LI) *stopped* worrying about this long before either or us were born - I have no idea what the situation is for other denominations.

BTW it is perfectly acceptable to cosplay Jesus in some European countries as part of Easter celebrations (you do actually have to haul a cross but at least don't get actually nailed to it..)

@vfrmedia @jd
Eh. Catholics had the impending crisis of their systematic abuse of women and children looming and the secular social shift toward civil rights and equality. They had more important things to worry about than whether cats go to heaven, like if gay people are abominations and exactly how sinful and corrupting vaginas are. (Too sinful and corrupting for women to be religious leaders.)

@frankiesaxx @jd these atttitudes were exactly what was being challened at Vatican II (1967) and are *finally* slowly falling by the wayside particularly in Northern Europe; especially as less native European people become religious nowadays and Islam has become a more major player amongst faith groups.

Only last year BE changed the unique Flemish version of their Weesgegroet (Hail Mary) that bowdlerised the Dutch word "schoot" (often mistranslated as "lap" but means the womb)

@vfrmedia @jd
We're not much Catholic in Northern Europe. It's predominantly Lutheran, so Catholic attitudes aren't much challenged. Also the current pope is a vile hypocrite who talks social justice out the front while maintaining the status quo, even refrocking convicted child molestors who were expelled by his predecessor. Can't listen to the man talk about how other countries should respect native people w/o remembering he canonized Junipero Serra over their objections.

@frankiesaxx @jd My grandma's side of the family are Lutherans (from Malaysia!) much liturgy isn't as much diverged from Catholicism as other Protestants.

the gender equality of Lutheranism is modern though, Luther himself wasn't known for supporting rights of women!

I'd heard of a priest being laicised who *hadn't* previously (but should have) and issues with safeguarding (the person in charge now sacked) but not of any criminals being readmitted. Popes aren't actually totally infallible!

@vfrmedia @jd
And I doubt an influx of Islam will do anything to engender progressive attitudes. Competing religions in the same territory just gives them an excuse to play holy war with each other. The fundamentalists get all fired up and it's fun and games, except for the bystanders who get blown up or mowed down.

@frankiesaxx @jd that is a big problem. I have at least heard discussions on Radio Maria as well as attempts in NL and DE to *prevent* Christianity being co-opted by the European hard right to recruit disaffected youths to fight against Islam (and create a crusade on our own doorsteps). Although in my town (#Ipswich) a surprising number of faiths co-exist peacefully from Muslims to New Age/Pagans (its not easy, they have regular planning meetings with cops etc in case anything did kick off)

@vfrmedia @jd
Individual people believing stuff usually get on okay as long as they can all agree that they respect other people's right to believe and live differently. But that requires that they're moderates.

I had an American fundamentalist tell me once that respecting beliefs different than her own is against her religion.

@frankiesaxx @jd religious fundamentalism is now discouraged if not actually illegal in the UK (Suffolk actually suffered badly from it in previous centuries) although our society has struggled to cope with monitoring a religion where many of its adherents use languages other than English and live in communities historically suspicious of conventional authorities..

@vfrmedia @jd
It's hard also because you can't outlaw or police a belief itself, only manifestations based on the belief, like hate crimes and discrimination.

And a lot of extremism is being introduced into fundamentalist groups by foreign actors. Via the internet or foreign exchange.

@frankiesaxx @jd searching for Christian info in English alone turns up a shit ton of fundamentalist stuff (both Protestant and Catholic), mostly from USA. Not surprising as these groups have been online since mid 1990s as they have had money, resources, and the required tech people behind them.

@jd @vfrmedia
Really there shouldn't be tensions but it comes down to power and control. Religion's is a wrapper for an archaic system of proto-government/science/philosophy with a hefty dose of woo because when we made it up we were fucking savages who thought gods threw lightning bolts. And its a good 600 years past its sell by date.

No regime gives up power willingly. As long as we have religion we're gonna have identitarian religious groups vying for political control.

@frankiesaxx @jd this is true, and many moderate religious folk fully admit faith cannot be explained in the same rational way as science (and are aware of the history/politics) although there also seems to be a trend amongst a minority of atheists to create power structures of their own and to avoid "social justice norms". Not all are like that, someone on here from explained how atheists do not have to give up their *humanity*

@vfrmedia @jd
Hah. My personal opinion is religion once served a purpose in human society but now it's like an appendix; useless at its benign best, and when it goes bad, toxic and kills people.

@frankiesaxx @jd in England religion was (and indeed still is) used to bolster public services (for instance all the churches mosques and temples are heavily involved in looking after the homeless, they also have street pastors to defuse situations with drunken people in town. This is mostly because Brits would rather either believe in people up in the sky or blame immigrants than pay taxes for these services..

@vfrmedia @jd
Heh. The church in our city made a great big show in public of all they were doing to help the Roma - there was an influx a few years back.

Except it turned out it wasn't charity, they were billing the city for it. So we were paying for it with our taxes anyway. And when the city stopped footing the bill, all that "charity" dried up.

@frankiesaxx @jd doing that would actually be illegal here under our charity regulation laws (a church can (and often does) run a charity but its regulated the same as any others are)

@vfrmedia @jd
It's weird that people try and duplicate identitarian religious politics with atheism - though I think that's largely a product of existing in a society where religion is privileged. Like the Satanic Temple in the US, which exists specifically to demand the same legal rights accorded to theist religions.

Polls say most of Sweden is pretty atheist/agnostic so this clearly is not a good way to promote an anti-social equality agenda.

@frankiesaxx @jd it appears to be a backlash against Christian social teaching instructing believers to put social care (for the poor, mothers etc) *before* capitalism. This is something built in to many Northern European nations (whether or not religion is still a factor) and remains even amongst centre right parties (CSU/CDU in DE for instance) but appears to be irrationally loathed by many Americans hence why they thought the Pope was "communist"...

@vfrmedia @jd
Haha. Francis isn't a communist. He talks a good game about economic equality in other states from a palace in Rome but I don't see him liquidating Catholic assets to help the poor. My observation of much Catholic "charity" is that it's degrading and abusive - there's a fetish around poverty and suffering.

@frankiesaxx @jd recently they are housing Muslim refugees from Syria in various bits of the Vatican (last time I looked a lot of the Vaticans assets and those of the church in DE are in property, most of which is occupied). But it wasn't even that which got Francis accused of communism, it was simply suggesting USA should adopt a more positive attitude to environmental regulations..

Caritas and Cafod (in UK and DE at least) seem to be more pragmatic and now advertise themselves as multi faith..

@vfrmedia @jd
It's hard to tell whether cultural values are a result of foreign religious influence or whether the religion is adapted by the values of the culture. I'd say in general cultural transfer goes both ways, but also Nordic culture has a streak of cultural opportunism. One of my history books talks about the acquisition of technology - specifically literate monks - as one of the motives for Christianizing.

@frankiesaxx @jd its definitely a combination of both. I was reading recently about the history of Lutheranism and was surprised to learn that in Nordic countries not only was the role of Censor Librorum retained from Catholicism, but was actually expanded into a central government role that to cover all publishing of religious (and maybe other) books the general public may have had access to!

@vfrmedia @jd
I don't know how censorship got incorporated into governments. IIRC we were one of the first to abolish government censorship of print, though we continued to have a film censorship board until about 5 years ago I think. Now we just have an agency to rate them.

@frankiesaxx @jd this was a few centuries ago just after the Reformation (TBH I think the backlash may be why countries like SE and DK abolished print censorship earlier than others in Europe!)

Indeed that BBC Receiving station I mentioned a few months ago was part funded by GCHQ/MI6 to monitor DR and Sveriges Radio on VHF during the Cold War as recenly as 1980s as Thatcho thought they might be potential Soviet sympathisers!

@frankiesaxx @jd also for 40-50 years in UK we had competing groups of *Christians* carrying out a full on civil war in Northern Ireland and until 1990s mainland UK...

@vfrmedia @jd
Hah. But the other one was Christianing wrong/not real Christians™.

I always raise an eyebrow when Protestants tell me Catholics aren't Christians. That seems to be mostly a Protestant thing; I've never met a Catholic who told me Anglicans or Lutherans aren't real Christians.

@frankiesaxx @jd this attitude tends to be more American nowadays -although the Church of England was more Protestant in previous times, it now claims to be a "media via" betweeen Catholicism and Protestantism (it also runs all the inter-faith groups, and has a lot of input even into secular education, as in UK church and state are not totally separated!)

@vfrmedia @jd
The US is really the bastion of fundamentalist Christianity and its evangelical home base.

I recall a few years back OUTRAGE among some American Lutherans because their sect is barred from preaching in Swedish Lutheran churches because they have beliefs (mostly about women and gay people) antithetical to Swedish Lutheranism.

And of course the American Evangelical Lutherans wanted to use the pulpit in Sweden to spread their dogma.

@frankiesaxx @vfrmedia @jd I think the conflict in NI was more about ethnicity than religion. Just look at the topics that are controversial, like flag or language.

@ebel @vfrmedia @jd Anything can be ethnic, depending on what factors you use to classify different ethnic groups. I'd say at the most basic it's nationalist vs. unionist identity, but, like most conflicts, it's much more complicated than any one factor.

@vfrmedia @frankiesaxx @jd Catholicism is still incredibly anti science when it comes to any science that touches on sexuality or human reproduction.

They claim abortion is never a medically justified action, that abortion psychologically harms women, that same sex relationships are less than diff sex ones, that it's food for LGB people to never have relationships etc.

@ebel @frankiesaxx @jd I once (out of curiosity) watched an "adult relationships education TV series" on ETWN Deutschland from a Catholic university in Austria. This started with Professor pointing to a flipchart of pairs of various mammals and explaining the basics (including suggesting a human couple should raise 10-20(!) kids), and every time anything more explicit was mentioned there was a fit of coughing from some old folks in the front. Even Father Ted couldn't match that for comedy..

@jd @frankiesaxx @vfrmedia oh and let's not forget anything to do with STIs, like HIV. Condoms can't stop AIDS apparently, and the HPV vaccine isn't effective (literally just happened in Ireland in the last month)

@ebel @jd @frankiesaxx Ireland seems to follow a *very* traditionalist doctrine (compared to NL and some of DE) although being in the Anglosphere I expect its heavily influenced by the USA.

I actually stumbled across the Austrian Catholic youth advice site (whilst trying to find the Order of Mass in Austrian German) and although it doesn't encourage abortion, it was a lot more rationally written than similar sites in English..

@vfrmedia @jd @ebel Ireland and Poland are two of the worst in Europe. Ireland has a terrible history of state sanctioned religious abuse. (Like the Magdalene laundries.)

The Catholic church also has a stranglehold on public policy regarding women's health in South America, and they use South America as a dumping ground for priests accused of sexual abuse in North America.

@frankiesaxx @ebel @jd Ireland has a worrying phenomenon of hardline Christian *consensus* from other denominations (there were other such workhouses run by them), PL also has an authoritarian govt.

out of the two PL worries me more as I think the country is otherwise stable and doing OK economically which limits the desire for change.

For faith(s) to exist peacefully the country itself should first have a suitable level of freedom (as with NL,DE, UK etc)

@vfrmedia @jd @ebel For faiths to exist peacefully, they need to be treated as matters of personal preference, like which gym you prefer to work out at, or whether you want pineapple on your pizza, and not be involved in public policy.

@ebel @jd @vfrmedia But religion is a useful tool for manipulating people, it's a good way of building an identitarian political block you can use to try and force public policy.

Have you read Gilles Kepel's Terror in France?

@frankiesaxx @jd @ebel I haven't, but I am well aware of the rise of Islamic extremism in London and the SE as it has been going on since early 1990s, was ignored by govt of the time and rife in my Uni (ironically I was expelled from the same place Jihadi John graduated from...).

This is interlinked to an extent with another issue of countries that are supposedly secular but encourage faith in family groups to control younger people (rebelling against parents leads some further into extremism)

@vfrmedia @ebel @jd It's really good. He talks a little about London, especially in the context of ties between the extremist networks in London and France.

Among the more interesting topics he discusses how encouraging religious identitarian groups is used as tool by groups who want political power - who might promise to deliver the "Muslim vote" to certain candidates - or alternately stop them voting by telling them secular government seeks to usurp God's authority.

@frankiesaxx @jd @ebel as recently as 2006 a Catholic priest in Glastonbury had to act as peacemaker/ negotiator with police after some youths at a Christian youth festival, got drunk and bust in all the windows of a shop selling pagan stuff (this shocked me even more than living through the Troubles as it was so unusual for that region..)

@frankiesaxx @ebel @jd and that gets especially difficult in countries which lack state funded healthcare and social care which then gets provided (and funded) by faith groups... (NL once had separate Catholic and Protestant hospitals, which only merged just before WWII and separate trade unions well into the 1950s/60s...)

@vfrmedia @jd @ebel which might factor into why heavily religious countries like the US fight so hard against the government providing basic public services.

@vfrmedia @frankiesaxx @jd that's like Ireland now. The Irish state funds religious run and owned hospitals and schools, look at recent controversy over the state's plan to give a new €300m maternality hospital to an order of nuns.

The Irish state seems to not want to run or own things. This is what I mean about non financial ways to support religions

@ebel @frankiesaxx @jd in England we have senior care homes run (partly) by nuns but less common as the sisters themselves are ageing and younger ones (if not cloistered) prefer to teach in schools - but the state only part funds senior care and does not invest directly.

State schools get grants/funding whether or not faith based (is a wide selection in this town both religious and secular)

It surprises me a modern EU country still does this for maternity care which is a core requirement..

@vfrmedia @frankiesaxx @jd most of the nuns and priests are too old to actually run these places, but they religious orders still own and control them. So they can require that (say) they won't provide a particular service because it's against their religion.

@ebel @frankiesaxx @jd this applies to some extent to all healthcare workers in mainland UK (pharmacists can refuse the morning after pill) - but there is also a requirement to provide services in emergency (if they are the only one on duty for instance) and sufficient services to be available in all regions for all ages (cradle to grave healthcare) .

Does Ireland not have a regulator like CQC that oversees this (or is it just less effective?)

@vfrmedia @jd @ebel It's ridiculous people think they should be allowed to use their job to force their beliefs on others by refusing to do their job. Being a pharmacist that refuses to dispense contraception is like being an Amish truck driver.

@ebel @jd @vfrmedia

Of course being an Amish truck driver, and claiming you can't actually do your job because your religion, but you should be able to get paid for it anyway, and people who expected you to actually do your job and deliver their goods are just out of luck, would never fucking fly

But it's totally acceptable when it comes to denying women health care.

@ebel @jd @vfrmedia Heh. I get really mad about American Christians trying to undermine my access to reproductive health care.

@frankiesaxx @jd @ebel I don't think UK midwives perform abortions and have less involvement in wider family planning (unlike NL which seems to do the same as SE) but if this was a part of the job role it would surely have to be clearly explained in basic training (at which point she could just as easily decided to work elsewhere in healthcare as skils are often transferrable)

@vfrmedia @ebel @jd Midwives do most of our routine women's reproductive: pap smears, pre & ante natal care, contraceptive installation, etc.

They're perfectly capable, and it helps reduce load in other areas of medical services. We have a lot of shortages in health care. (We're hoping some of our nurses especially will come home from Britain!)

@frankiesaxx @jd @ebel we've got a shortage of midwives (and currently a slightly higher birth rate than most of Northern Europe) and most of our nurses come from PH and IN (not even that British folk don't want to study nursing, but this area doesn't have as many native young people as London or Manchester to start with!)

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