Crowd Led by Priests Attacks Gay Rights Marchers in Georgia
MOSCOW — A throng of thousands led by priests in black robes surged through police cordons in downtown Tbilisi, Georgia, on Friday and attacked a group of about 50 gay rights demonstrators.
Carrying banners reading “No to mental genocide” and “No to gays,” the masses of mostly young men began by hurling rocks and eggs at the gay rights demonstrators.
The police pushed most of the demonstrators onto yellow minibuses to evacuate them from the scene, but, the attackers swarmed the buses, trying to break the windows with metal gratings, trash cans, rocks and even fists.
At least 12 people were reported hospitalized, including three police officers and eight or nine of the gay rights marchers.
“They wanted to kill all of us,” said Irakli Vacharadze, the head of Identoba, the Tbilisi-based gay rights advocacy group that organized the rally.
Nino Bolkvadze, 35, a lawyer for the group who was among the marchers, said that if they had not been close to the buses when the violence began, “we would all have been corpses.”
The attack comes amid an increase in antigay talk in Russia and Georgia, whose Orthodox churches are gaining political influence.
In a statement Wednesday, the leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II, compared homosexuals to drug addicts and called the rally a “violation of the rights of the majority” of Georgians.
“We are trying to protect our orthodoxy, not to let anyone to wipe their feet on our faith,” said Manana Okhanashvili, in a head scarf and long skirt. “We must not allow them to have a gay demonstration here.”
In a telephone interview, Mr. Vacharadze of Identoba said that priests from the Georgian Orthodox Church had led the charge that broke through a heavy police corridor.
“The priests entered, the priests broke the fences and the police didn’t stop them, because the priests are above the law in Georgia,” he said.
How dare these homosexuals insult the Christian faith and offend religious sentiments.
Richard Dawkins Debates Flying Horses with Muslims
In addition to being characterized as a bunch of fedora-wearing neckbeards, this is the kind of sophistry atheists have to contend with every day of the week.
Notice how even the pictures of Richard Dawkins they select are ones where he’s grimacing and has his eyebrows furrowed.
Character assassination has been the tool-of-choice in suppressing atheism since the dawn of the Age of Reason, before which religion could get away with imprisonment and murder to manage it (it still does in many countries).
Fortunately it has been proven to be ineffective, especially over the past 50 years or so, and very especially in the past decade where non-belief has seen tremendous growth.
And what I think the supporters of religion fail to recognize is that their actions are solidifying the opposition to religion. Everything you do lends further support to our claims, and sets yourself up in opposition to us.
Every time you say something like ‘atheism is a form of autism’ or ‘atheists have no morality’ or ‘atheists are racists’ you are overstepping the limits of the common sense of some moderate believer, who not only then finds out that atheism is on the correct side of the argument upon chance investigation, but is also outraged by the new way they find themselves treated because they have become an atheist. In consequence they not only become atheists, but anti-theists as well.
Front page, Blue Grass Blade Free-thought/Atheist newspaper, May 23rd 1909.
‘Abul-Ala’ is another name for Al-Ma’arri, who was a blind Arab philosopher, poet and writer who lived between 973AD-1058AD.
These superstitions, Sacred Books and Creeds,
These cults and Myths and other noxious Weeds—
So many Lies are crowned, in every age,
While Truth beneath the tyrant’s heel still bleeds.
Another few of my favorite lines (not from this image, but from the preceding quatrain):
Another prophet will, they say, soon rise;
But will he profit by his tricks, likewise?
My prophet is reason, aye, myself—
From me to me there is no room for lies.
Pity those muslims recently beheaded his statue in Syria isn’t it?
It’s a pity people are still muslims a thousand years after Al-Ma’arri’s time..
Some old ‘new atheists’.
These letters were sent to ‘Blue Grass Blade’ in 1903, which was a
Kentucky/Ohio-based freethought newspaper.
Readers were asked to send in their description of why and how they had become atheists.
These are only a few letters out of what seem to be a few hundred. I might post some more later.
Some related background: ‘Dog Fennel’ refers to a book published by Charles Chilton Moore, who was editor of the ‘Blue Grass Blade’. The paper ceased with his death in 1906, but was briefly published again from 1908-1910.
Moore was born to a father who was a wealthy land owner, minister and slave holder. Thus he was ordained a minister himself. He was well liked, and cared for wounded soldiers during the civil war. But upon becoming an unbeliever after long study of religious beliefs he left the ministry and started the ‘Blue Grass Blade’ newspaper in 1886 which was widely circulated. For this newspaper, he was found guilty of blasphemy and imprisoned by a jury of 12 Christians. He also survived an attempted assassination.
When he died at the age of 69, a rumor was spread that he had a deathbed conversion, but this was untrue. Thousands attended his funeral. His epitaph reads ‘Write me as one who loves his fellow man.’