What this site is all about
Some people don't understand what this site is about - they take it seriously!
This web site is a spoof, a joke, a parody, a satire on all aspects of religion - particularly the Abrahamic religions which are based on the jealous, violent and murderous god described in The Old Testament.
This site follows on in the centuries-old tradition of religious parody from the plays of Aristophanes, through the works of Chaucer and Erasmus, to the films "The Life Of Brian" by Monty Python and "Religulous" by Bill Maher.
The site is predicated on two simple facts:
- all gods were made up by someone - as were the religions and holy books associated with them,
- it is easy to make up a god and a religion - an exercise for year 6?
A parody, a parallel - complete in every detail
This site defines a perfectly valid religion. It has all the elements that make up any religion.
- A creator god - The Pink Hippo
- Holy books - "The Book of the Pink Hippo", "Revelations of The Pink Hippo"
- Life after death reserved for the faithful. Hell awaits non-believers, apostates and followers of false religions.
- A set of external rules to avoid individuals developing a personal code.
- A conflicting set of more humane rules - as between the Christian Old Testament and the Sermon on the Mount.
- A prophet - The Messenger
- A patriarchal hierarchy of leaders.
- Splits and schisms: the Literalist and Interpretist churches of The Pink Hippo
- A pocket-lining structure for priests and scholars
- Prejudice and discrimination against women and homosexuals.
- A desire to indoctrinate children under the apartheid of religiously segregated faith schools.
- All the other usual religious mumbo-jumbo and nonsense
The serious point
If you reject the religion of The Pink Hippo - you must logically reject all others.
The evidence for The Pink Hippo (and all its trappings) is exactly the same as the evidence for the other thousands of gods and religions/sects in the world today.
So many gods, so many religions, so many sects, so many prophets, so many holy men, so many rituals, so many holy books, so many holy places, so many interpretations, so many shades of meaning, so many differences of opinion, so much fancy dress, so much archaic language, so much obfuscation, so much ignorance, so much tension, so much conflict, so much violence, so much .....
If 50 million people believe a foolish thing it is still a foolish thing.
We are not denying that many religious people do good things (they would probably continue to do so even if they were not religious - simply because they are good people) but we look at the broader picture about what religion and its institutions have done, and continue to do, on the world stage.
Respect and taking offence
This site does not set out to offend people - it is laughing at ideas.
What should we respect?
"You should respect sincerely held beliefs."
Should we respect the sincerely held beliefs of fascists and white supremacists?
Who determines which beliefs should be respected and which should not - and what criteria are used?
No one has the right not to be offended - after all, we are deeply offended by much that is done in the name of gods and religions.
People have to earn respect by what they do - not by what they claim to believe or by what they say. The world is full of hypocrites who believe and preach one thing but behave in the totally opposite manner.
People have every right to take offence if someone insults them as individuals but religious ideas, including the god idea, are what they are - they are ideas - they can't take offence. The Pink Hippo is an idea and The Messenger is dead - they will not take offence, nor will we - we will just laugh. Feel free to show them as little respect as you wish.
The United Nations, and Section 29J of the Racial and Religious Hatred Act (2006), make it clear that no one has the right not to be offended.
Section 29J: Protection of freedom of expression
"Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion, criticism or expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions or the beliefs or practices of their adherents, or of any other belief system or the beliefs or practices of its adherents, or proselytising or urging adherents of a different religion or belief system to cease practising their religion or belief system."
Are you offended?
If you are offended by the contents of this site you should ask:
- Am I so insecure in my faith that a spoof web site like The Pink Hippo can shake it? Why am I afraid of this site?
- Do I want to restrict the freedom of anyone to laugh at any ideas - no matter how sincerely held? The world failed to laugh at and act against the "sincerely held beliefs" of Hitler and the Nazis - and look where that ended up! No, we are not saying religious people are Nazis, of course not, we are simply using them as an example of "sincerely held beliefs".
- Do I put my god, my holy books and my holy prophets above my fellow human beings?
- Do I think book burning and web site destroying are the best ways to promote the "tolerance and understanding " that my religion claims to promote? Is my religion a loving and peaceful one?
- Do I think it is a good idea to threaten to kill people because they laugh at my beliefs, my holy books and my holy prophets?
- Am I taking religion a touch too seriously, do I need to get out more and speak to people different from myself?
- How far should non-religious people be expected to go to tolerate the sensitivities of religious people? How far should they bend? How many compromises should they make to accommodate those who stridently demand that no-one should laugh at their superstitious religious ideas? How far will the tolerance of non-religious people be stretched?
Defending the Liberal Tradition
For centuries people in this country have struggled for the Liberal Tradition which we should be proud of.
Part of that tradition is freedom of belief, speech and action as long as:
- you don't cause harm to anyone else.
- you don't call for harm to anyone else,
- you don't restrict the freedom of others.
- you accept personal responsibility for your actions.
Many countries in the world, particularly those run as theocracies (Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Iran, Pakistan, parts of the Southern USA), don't support the Liberal Tradition.
This site is an exercise in free speech within the Liberal Tradition.