Have you read your Holi Baibul?

Yawei, yu jis laik det brabli gudwan stakmen.

Have I gone mad? Fallen asleep on the keyboard? Not this time. That’s Australian Aboriginal Kriol, a pidgin that is now the language for an estimated 30,000 indigenous Australians throught the country’s north. The line is Psalm 23 from the Bible, recently translated. In the translation, shepherd is changed to stockman to better authenticate this latest version.

So now indigenous Australians can be converted in their own tongue, with the Bible, once again, editted to suit those that would be the target of its proselytising. However, in a refreshingly honest statement Phillip Zamagias, director of the Bible Society in the Northern Territory, said the translation would allow many Aborigines to “really understand it and they can make their own choices about whether they want to follow Jesus … or whether it’s just an interesting read.” Fair enough.

You can learn more about the project here.

In a rather less reasonable statement, but one I’m not at all surprised to hear, the old Pope is at it again. Benedict has warned Catholic politicians that they risk excommunication from the Church if they support abortion. They should not be able to receive communion, the symbolic ingestion of the body of Christ.

However, rather than risk a massive political backlash, Benedict isn’t prepared to actually excommunicate them himself. When asked if he supported the action by Mexican Church leaders when they threatened to excommunicate the politicians that did support abortion, he said, “Yes, this excommunication was not an arbitrary one but is allowed by Canon law which says that the killing of an innocent child is incompatible with receiving communion, which is receiving the body of Christ.”

People went all a-twitter because Benedict, as the Supreme Pontiff, sets Vatican policy by any words he speaks. That would have massive ramifications for Catholics the world over. But the Pope’s spokesman was quick to point out that the Pontiff was not ordering excommunication. The politicians were in effect self-excommunicating because “Legislative action in favour of abortion is incompatible with participation in the Eucharist. Politicians exclude themselves from Communion.”

Phew, thank goodness the Pope narrowly escaped getting his hands dirty there. Hasn’t the Catholic church come a long way since the days of the Inquisition and the Crusades?

Now, call me rational and capable of independent thought, which I know is anathema to the Vatican, but surely if someone really believed in abortion and their church forbade it, then that person would have no interest in following that church any more? Leticia Quezada, one of the laws chief backers in Mexico, put it best. “I voted to address a crisis of public health. I will continue to be a believer. The church has no right to interfere in my conscience.”

You see, that’s the problem. If you want to be a part of that church, that’s exactly what it does. It intereferes in your conscience in every way, smothering all your individual thought with contradictory, hypocritical, dogmatic nonsense. Continue to be a believer in your god, Ms Quezada, by all means, but don’t have any further ties with a religious body that directly contradicts so many other things you believe in.

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