Friday, 14 December 2012

#Cornwall Council bleeding the poor for nearly 5 x our weight per capita.

According to the excellent Guardian Data site, Cornwall Council's demand that I - and the other poorest people in the county - pay 25% of my Council Tax Benefit, means that those that are not in receipt of benefits escape any and all of the cuts that central Government has made whilst the poorest have to pay approximately five times the amount per capita of the county.

Let me clarify:

  1. My contribution to CTB under the Council's plans mean that I will be paying an extra $246 per year.
  2. Set against the £48 the cuts will cost me, this represents bad value for money.
  3. At 5 times the cost of the cuts, I am subsidising those that can afford to pay.
  4. The contribution made by those who are not in receipt of CTB will be exactly £0 per year.
  5. Set against the £48 the cuts will 'cost' then, this represents robbing the poor to pay your own debt.
  6. By not paying anything to counter the cuts, those that can afford to pay are off-setting their financial losses against those that have nothing.
Seriously! What is wrong with people? How can this be a difficult concept to get your head around?

The poor do not have any money, because they are poor. Cornwall Council thinks that it is the poor that are best suited and funded to bail their national party's mess. Well, let me just say this.

"Over my cold, dead body!"

Explain to me how the poor pay for the entirety of the cuts and those that are not considered poor enough to warrant getting CTB at all pay nothing? NOTHING?

Idiot quote from #Cornwall Council leader, Jim Currie

“While we recognise that this recommendation will cause difficulties for some people in Cornwall, the stark truth is that the Council does not have the money to pick up the bill for this”
-Jim Currie. Conservative Leader of Cornwall Council

Why is this idiotic? Because he thinks the poorest people in the county do have the money to pick up the bill.

Here is a question for Mr Currie:
Considering I have a negative annual income, and that I suspect that you do not, who is better situated of the two of us to 'pick up the bill', as you put it?
This isn't empty rhetoric. I want an answer, Mr Currie.

Other posts in the series

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Do you have a message for our illustrious Leader? Please leave a comment below. I will be emailing him a link at

#Cornwall Council Cabinet decision gets locals commenting. Not #BloodFromStone at all.

The comments section at ThisIsCornwall is getting quite a hit, no less for my participation. Here is my tuppence-worth (cause that's all I have):

"Okay. I have found the words.

Cornwall Council is spinning this story to make you feel bad for them being short-changed from central Government's deep pockets/long arms ratio, but it is downright insulting of them to suggest that they don't feel the Cornish tax payers should shoulder that  burden, only to then put that burden wholly and directly on the county's poorest people. It is shockingly arrogant beyond belief.

In fact the money they stand to make from this little enterprise actually exceeds that they claim is the shortfall; all at the expense of the poor. I applaud their cheek, if nothing else. 25,000+ more homeless. 

And to all you nay-sayers below; do you really think there are enough jobs to go around to save this situation? Really? What about those of us that are on ESA or DLA? Should we just be thrown in the bin along with the tightly squeezed toothpaste tubes? There's no paste left, and no method to obtain any more.

A number of you here will recognise me from my posts regarding religion. Clearly that is not my only area of activism, and I shall not be taking this lying down. At the following link, you will find a post I have quickly hashed together with why this deal sucks for me personally (it is my blog after all), followed by a checklist of what the other 25,000+ people that will be affected by this recommendation can do to stop it.

I have a readership of some 5,000 a month, over 8,000 social network contacts, am already in contact with The Cornishman, and my local Cornwall and Penzance Town councillor (who has already committed herself to voting against the recommendation - thanks Ruth Lewarne). And I am a long way from over yet; we have a month to mobilise. 

Andrew George MP will be next. Perhaps he would like to join the Facebook or Google+ groups 'Great Cornwall Council Poverty Tax', or start Tweeting with the #BloodFromStone hashtag to highlight the issue. Whatever, I and a great many people like me will be marching on Truro in the run up to the Full Council meeting at 10:30am on January 15th to remind the Cabinet that there is a local election coming up on May 2nd, and that their seats are not granted to them by fiat.

Just so people know where I am coming from, on Monday I shall be standing in front of Penzance Town Council to make my pitch for why I should be considered for the co-option of the vacant councillors position in Penzance's Promenade Ward. I look forward to seeing some support at 7pm on Monday 17 December 2012 in The Guildhall, St John’s Hall.

It is all too easy to bend over and let the Government bite you on the ass, but when we turn around and bear our teeth, democracy assures us there will only ever be one winner."

Other posts on the Great Cornwall Council Poverty Tax:

#Cornwall Council's Cabinet is broken. Not to worry; I've reported it. #BloodFromStone

I love modern technology, especially when it means I can contribute to making my community a better place to live. is just one such enterprise that makes bringing a problem to the attention of your local council so much simpler.

Here in Cornwall, we have a great deal of problems with the council itself, so where better to raise the issue than with a site dedicated to getting them to solve local issues. I decided to do just that.

I wonder how long it will take to fix it, there is only one month left to go before it is too late.

See my earlier blog post to see what the problem is, followed by the next post

Please remember to share and promote this import issue. It could mean the difference between 25,000+ people having a roof over their heads.

Do you get Council Tax Benefit in #Cornwall? Then bloody well read this and do something about it.

In a press release from Cornwall Council today - and despite having just rejected a similar 30% recommendation earlier today - the Council cabinet has announced that it plans to... a recommendation that all working age recipients of council tax benefit [have] to pay an additional 25% contribution towards council tax.
If you are considered one of the poorest working-age people in the county, and you currently receive a full 100% rebate on your council tax,it is  you that will start paying 25% of your total council tax bill. 

Let's put this into perspective, shall we? I'll take my circumstance as an example.

This is my income/expenditure:

Employment Support Allowance: £3,692

These are my basic outgoings:

Gas & Electric: £592
(both increasing by 7.8% in 2013)
Water: £300
Food: £2080
Pet costs (food and insurance): £217
Mobile: £384
Broadband: £204

Total: £3777

So at the end of each year, and before I have to worry about council tax, I have no less than:

- £85 p.a.

Let me stress that amount:
After having paid only those bills that are necessary or I am contracted to pay, I am left with a negative amount of money.
Earlier today, I was forced for the first time in my life to accept the generosity of my community, and take an emergency package from the food bank. It was inundated. I shall be putting my name forward as a volunteer now.

Assuming that regardless of any other discounts I receive, and that the council is telling the truth when they say they 'support the proposal to reduce the maximum entitlement to council tax benefit to 75%', I should expect a bill of no less than £246.90 for my band 'A' property. This leaves me one simple question that anyone who is in a similar position to myself must ask the Cornwall Council cabinet?
Given my circumstances, where do you suggest I find the money to pay a council tax bill?
I don't just mean that metaphorically. Actually ask them!

I suggest you do much the same as I have; take an hour or two out of your day to work out your income expenditure for the year, find out how much Cornwall Council expects you to pay in council tax and follow the instructions below.

So what can I do?

Lots of things
  1. Work out the combined annual income from all sources (after tax) for your household. (benefit rates. Jobcentre Plus can also help you with this; inundate them with requests and jam up the system)
  2. Work out your expenditure for a one year period for your household. You may run a car, or own a TV (I can't afford one) or have other expenditures that I do not have. Try to be as thorough as possible, but don't lie; you won't need to.
  3. Work out how much your full council tax bill here, and deduct 75%. This will leave you with a good approximation of what Cornwall Council expects the county's poorest to stump up.
  4. Find out who your local Cornwall County councillor is here, and email them with your income/expenditure, your estimated council tax bill and ask them (politely) how they are going to vote at the Full Council meeting at 10:30am on 15th January, 2013, reminding them that the local council elections are on the 2nd May, 2013.
  5. Using the same link, write to your Member of Parliament with a similar email/letter,, and that you will not support them if nothing is done.
  6. Most importantly, write to the cabinet of Cornwall Council (Yes, I know there are 10 of them, but the same letter can be repeated) informing them of your plight and that you simply do not have the money with which to pay. 
  7. If you like to write a lot, express your disgust at the situation by writing an article on the ThisIsCornwall site (login required). A mention in the letters column of your local paper is just as good. Do you have a blog? Use it. Telephone any journalists or media types you might know. Phone into Radio Cornwall, Pirate FM or any other local radio station. Anything! Just get your voice heard.
  8. Leave a comment on the ThisIsCornwall news item on the subject.
  9. If you really want to go to town, you can contact all 123 councillors!
  10. Sign the Cornwall Council on-line petition (coming soon), and share the address on your social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+)
  11. Speak to your friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues - anyone that will listen - and let them know what they stand to lose.
  12. Join the dedicated social media pages on Facebook, Twitter (Use the #BloodFromStone on your Tweets about the subject) and Google+.
  13. Attend the Full meeting of Cornwall Council at Truro (15/01/2012) where the final decision will be made. I shall try to organise a car pool, march (any other ideas?)
  14. Let everyone know your thoughts in the comments below.
This is just a beginning, people. I am nowhere near done yet.

In order to make sure you keep up to date with events, you can also click on the little red RSS link on the right. I get most of my traffic from Reddit, please share this post by adding it to PenzanceLocalPolitics (coming soon) and any other subreddits you feel would get the most attention.

Finally, thanks for your time. See you Truro on the 15th January.

Latest posts on #BloodFromStone

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Norwich: Godless capital of England and Wales, Census shows

Source: BBC News

Norwich has the highest proportion of the population in England and Wales reporting no religion, at 42.5%, according to the census.
It is not the first time an area in the east of England has taken the title.
In 2009, a survey by think tank Theos suggested it was the most non-religious region of the UK, with almost half of those surveyed saying they believed the theory of evolution made God obsolete, and more than 80% disagreeing with creationism and intelligent design.
Andrew Copson, from the British Humanist Association, which ran a campaign to persuade people to tick the "no religion" box last year, says it's not easy to know exactly why Norwich stands out.
"We know that it tends to be more young people, whites and males that say they are non-religious," he says. "Norfolk also has a lot of free churches, and we know they tend to die out more quickly than other churches - so that might be a factor."
Norwich does have two cathedrals and is said to have more standing medieval churches - 32 - than any city north of the Alps.
Keith Morris, editor of Network Norfolk, which reports on the Norwich and Norfolk Christian community, says his experience contradicts the census findings.
"In the last year we have reported on a number of new church congregations, including those serving mainly Chinese and African residents in Norwich itself, " he says.
Other posts on the UK Census 2011;

Domestic Energy Prices vs Inflation and #fracking in the UK

Source: BBC News

A controversial gas extraction technique known as fracking has been given the go ahead by ministers today, in a bid that the Government hopes will bring energy prices tumbling.
Fracking involves creating little explosions underground, then injecting water and chemicals to release gas trapped in cavities in shale rocks.
In the US, the method has been met with considerable opposition as reports of poor, incomplete or censored research have lead to a number of detrimental environmental issues. These include;

  • Air quality - In some areas, elevated air levels of harmful substances have coincided with elevated reports of health problems among the local populations.
  • Water consumption - An average US well requires 11 to 30 km3 of water, typically within one week. According to the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, greater volumes of fracturing fluids are required in Europe, where the shale depths average 1.5 times greater than in the U.S.
  • Water quality 1 - The contamination by hydraulic fracturing fluid both as it is injected under high pressure into the ground and as it returns to the surface, is thought to be a further risk to drinking water supplies.
  • Water quality 2 - Groundwater methane contamination is also a concern as it has adverse impact on water quality and in extreme cases may lead to potential explosion. There have been reports of people being able to set light to their domestic water supply.

  • Water quality 3 - Hydraulic fracturing fluid might release heavy metals and radioactive materials from the deposit which may reflow to the surface by the flowback.
  • Seismicity - Hydraulic fracturing causes induced seismicity called microseismic events or microearthquakes. In the UK, the firm, Cuadrilla, was stopped from fracking after two small earthquakes.
  • Health - One fairly extensive American study on the effect of fracking concluded that exposure to gas drilling operations was strongly implicated in serious health effects on humans and animals.
The Government hopes that fracking will lead to price stability and long term consumer cost benefits to the UK energy supply, but the Committee on Climate Change has warned that;
...relying heavily on gas for future electricity supplies would leave households vulnerable to higher bills in the long run as the price of gas on the international market is volatile.
The UK won't benefit from substantially lower prices unless the rest of Europe decides to back shale gas too, as Europe has a gas grid that allows gas to be traded to the highest bidder.
The CCC has examined the potential impact on bills of different energy systems and predicts that subsidies to renewables and nuclear would put about £100 on household bills by 2020, but that by 2050 a gas-based electricity system might cost people as much as £600 extra.

Energy in the UK

Despite a long-term inflation rate that has not altered much over the last decade, energy costs have risen considerably above this underlying rate.

But, according to;

"the real impact on households is seen in the cumulative price increase. The chart below shows domestic energy prices have risen by 75% since 2005 compared to around 20% for the CPI in aggregate.

"Fuel prices have risen much faster than food and transport costs, which have been in the news recently, and the CPI. These rises have tended to overshadow those components of the cost of living that have (supposedly) fallen or increased much more slowly – such as clothing and communication.

"Domestic fuel prices have risen rather more since 2005 than the price of petrol. The greater public outcry about car fuel prices than domestic fuel prices could reflect the relative transparency in pricing – so it is no surprise to see Ofcom and parliament looking at energy companies’ pricing policy and tariffs.

"The prices of all fuel types have risen with liquid fuel the most volatile and at the top of the pile (since 2005), along with gas. The gap between gas and electricity looks set to widen further as Scottish Power announced that gas bills will increase by twice as a much as electricity bills."

Until the UK Government can provide credible research that fracking is both a safe and genuine solution to the deepening energy crisis facing us, then they will continue to draw the ire from an increasingly suspicious electorate.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

My responses to the Pope's first Tweets.

Upon hearing Pope Benedict was to begin Tweeting, I signed up immediately. There is nothing more fun, don't you think, than being able to engage directly with the most powerful religious leader on the planet (*ahem). Here follow my opening salvoes.

Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.
 Looking forward to the debate.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

An invitation to #TeamJesus to define what they mean by 'an atheistic worldview'

For as long as I have been writing/commenting/blogging about atheism, I have been confronted by an utterly bewildering phenomenon, namely the insistence by theists that atheism - despite being the lack of a belief in the existence of a god or gods - forms the basis of (or in its totality) a 'world view'.

I encourage people to forward this to their theistic-leaning friends and family, and share on whatever social networks you are subscribed to (I'll post it to r/atheism, but if you want to post it to another subreddit, I thank you), to try and elucidate just what it is theists think constitutes an 'atheist world view'.

If you would like to leave a comment, please be as specific as you can.

Thank you in advance.

UK Census 2011: 'No religion' rises from 15 to 25% of the population

Despite the controversial wording of the 'religion' question in the UK Census in 2011, the number of people stating that they had 'no religion' rose 10% from 15% to 25% of the population according to figures released today.

Conversely, the Christian population of England and Wales has fallen by four million to 33.2 million in the past decade, despite the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, saying English cathedral congregations have grown in recent years.

U.N. rights body gives posts to "unfree" countries

Reuters reports that Mauritania and Maldives, which both permit citizens who renounce Islam to be sentenced to death, have been elected vice-presidents of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) has recently released the Freedom of Thought 2012: A Global Report on Discrimination Against Humanists, Atheists and the Non-religious, that lists seven countries where should one's religious beliefs be in abeyance with that recognised by the state, the death penalty can be sought.

Under what circumstances is it possible that a human rights organisation like the UNHCR can elect members from a pool of nations that have broken International Law with regard to freedom of religion as set out out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights?

The Covenant commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial.

Article 27 of the ICCPR mandates the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minority to enjoy their own culture, to profess their own religion, and to use their own language.

However, Mauritania (signed 17 Nov 2004) outlaws apostasy, or the renunciation of the official religion for another or for a philosophy that does not recognise the existence of a deity. Anyone found guilty of the offence is given the opportunity to repent within three days, according to the report. If this is not done, the offender is sentenced to death and his property is confiscated by the state. 

The report also recorded two cases in 2010 in which Maldivians (signed 19 Sept 2006) who declared publicly they could not believe in Islam or any other religion were told they would face death if they did not renounce their views. One subsequently declared after special education he accepted Islam and the other committed suicide after writing a note saying he had been foolish to reveal his stance on religion to workmates.

Other than Mauritania and Maldives, the report names Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan as holding policies where the death penalty can be sought for ,amongst other 'crimes', apostasy and atheism.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Mapping the atheist blogosphere.

The number of atheist bloggers appears to be on the rise, but there is little in the way of promotion or support; often leaving beginners with a feeling of failure and/or burnout.

Over at Cryptonaut in Exile, CdogZilla has collected the names and locations of a number of atheist bloggers and plotted them on Google Maps.

Blogging can be a lonely, frustrating and daunting task, so any help to support someone's burgeoning blogging experience is something that has my whole-hearted support.

A great many of you will be familiar with The Atheist Blogroll, and it has certainly brought some traffic my way, but I think the visualisation afforded by utilising Google Maps adds a different dimension to blog promotion that cannot be overstated.

Atheism - and more importantly the allied political movement of secularism - is indeed on the rise. We should be mindful to promote good sources of information, opinion and general competence in our positions if we are to be taken seriously, and this map can be a significant aid to rallying local support like no other I have encountered.

Add your atheist blog to the project here.

Can you recommend any other support efforts for the promotion of atheist bloggers? Let me know in the comments below.

I don't quite know why I haven't posted about this before, but better late than never.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Mythmaking in the Gospels (Richard Carrier)

Richard Carrier doing what he does best. Perhaps the greatest argument for Gospel mythicism I have heard,

Monday, 3 December 2012

I get mail.

I have to admit, I am somewhat disappointed with the lack of feedback I get here. My traffic appears moderately healthy, but very few people engage. So when I received an email titled 'AN ATHEIST IN THE WOODS', my pique was raised. No less so because it hailed from the email account of my aunt, whom I shall be visiting in France over the holidays.
An atheist was walking through the woods.
'What majestic trees!''What powerful rivers!''What beautiful animals!'He said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him.

He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him. 
He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing in on him.

He looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even closer.

He tripped & fell on the ground.

He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw & raising his right paw to strike him. 

At that instant moment, the Atheist cried out: 'Oh my God!'
Time stopped.The bear froze.The forest was silent.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky.
'You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident.' 'Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament?'
'Am I to count you as a believer?'
The atheist looked directly into the light, and said: 'It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian?'

'Very well', said the voice.
The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke:

'Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.'
I am sure my aunt finds this sort of thing harmless, humorous, perhaps even compelling, but my initial reaction was that this is the single most vile and abhorrent communication I have received in any form and at any point in my life. [Edit: A reviewer on Reddit has made me realise that this is - in fact - not the worst communication I have received. There have been a number of highly offensive comments on social networks. But it is still the most offensive email I can recall.]

Why do I feel this way? Put simply, it reflects the abject disregard Christians have for morality, it demonises and condemns those that have the audacity to  rely on a rational and evidential view of reality and it is presented in a condescending and gut-churningly patronising manner.

Let's examine these aspects a little closer.

The Christian and morality

Christians are often wont to suggest that atheists are moral relativists - as if this is something dreadful in and of itself - but the truth is there are a good number of us that would say that morality is objective, just not divinely so. I do not happen to be one of them, but that is not my point here. In reality, it is the theist that is shackled to moral relativism and not the atheist at all. 

Consider the Deuteronomical references to slavery. It is clear that the Christian God has no qualms with the practice, and accordingly issues decrees on how such a trade should be conducted. So why doesn't the Christian also accept slavery? If objective morality comes from an omnipotent and unchanging God, why would the Christian take such a morally relativistic stance on slavery in abeyance with divine command?

An oft-touted retort is that that was the Old Testament and the New Testament of Jesus Christ is the proper account of morality for Christians, but there are now two relativistic problems to deal with. The first being that an objective moral law-giver must necessarily display that morality changes over time; rendering it relativistic. The second being that even in the New Testament there is no objective prohibition on slavery. So how do modern day Christians give an account for their objection to the practice?

Also, by trying to dismiss this moral aberration by insisting it is a cultural rather than theological phenomenon, and that slavery was very much a part of life in Judea, Galilee, and in the rest of the Roman Empire during New Testament times, but it is not now, one has openly adopted a morally subjective position. Which ever way you pick away at theistically motivated moral objectivism, it always turns out to be subjectivism in a cheap objectivist suit.

So what has all this to do with our ursine-threatened hiker? Well, this is the sort of story that is bandied around by Christians as a teaching in morality. In this case, it would appear that the moral of this story is that the Christian is absolved responsibility for killing non-believers for no other reason than their faith and their nature is the sole arbiter of decency. The obvious problem with this is that the Christian's morality simply doesn't exist in this context; they are nothing more than the whim of the Christian

Is this really what Christians want people to make of their perception of morality? That their faith and character is enough for them to kill their brethren with a clean conscience?

I find that vile.

The Christian and criticism

I have noted over the years that those people or organisations that do not take criticism well, or feel they have a right to operate outside of what is generally held to be common decency, tend to have one thing in common; they have a power base to defend at any cost. Churches are certainly no exception to this rule. Indeed, it might be said it was the notion of religion that initially created the concept. As such, churches - and those aligned with them - are very keen to dismiss any form of criticism.

This story tells us in no uncertain terms that the Christian God not only condemns those that criticise, but uses subterfuge to enforce it. The atheist trusts that this new and unexpected experience of God will be a fair and just  - as his Christian friends and family had assured him God would be - but instead of forgiving him his sins (which He could do at any stage) or receiving any form of mercy, God allows the Christian to kill him.

His crime? Using the so-called God-given faculty of reason and observation to conclude that there was no reason to believe in the Christian God's existence. He would have believed at the end, but apparently not even the death-bed conversion is enough to save one from God's wrath.

I would also like to mention the atheist's use of "Oh, my God!". It is clear that the story would have you believe that the atheist in question - by simple virtue of the fact that he made such an utterance - wasn't really an atheist at all, and that this cry out was a genuine call for the God he believed in all along. 

This is bullshit personified. If you are an atheist, you do not believe in the existence of a god or gods. That is it. There is nothing more to it. It can be restructured or reworded, but so long as the description meets the premise that atheists do not believe in the existence of a god or gods, then atheists do not believe in the existence of a god or gods.

Why would he exclaim such a thing? Well, such is the entrenched insidiousness of theistic thought in our society that we use these terms interchangeably with secular terms. I, for one, try very hard to eradicate such terms from my vocabulary, and I encourage others to do the same. Lest theistic types continue to peddle their hackneyed misrepresentations and have them understood only in their demonstrably incorrect terms.

To summarise, I find the sentiment of this story wholly abhorrent, and so should any person that values human life.

The Christian and condescension and patronisation

More than anything about this story, it is its tone that disturbs me the most. Hahaha, the atheist was foolish and got killed because God is like that. When I mentioned 'gut-churningly patronising' earlier, I am not exaggerating. I have - throughout the curation of this post - been sat sneering at the screen in disgust at my even having to wade through the subject at all.

Why does my aunt think I would get anything from this other than a deep sense of resentment on her part, and the idea that she thinks my demise will be a painful and unmerciless one?

I can see it now. "It's only a joke, Tris. Don't take it so seriously." But it isn't a joke, is it? This is - as I have already stated - a story about morality. About a morality that the believer has faith represents - not a joke - but an objective reality that will befall me for their God's inability to present himself.

Well, fuck that, and fuck your God. He's a monster. Just as well He doesn't exist, eh?