Monday, 17 November 2008

Bad Faith Awards 2008: Vote now

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It's the historic poll you've all been waiting for. No, not the Presidential election. We already know what's happened in that one. Now that it's out of the way we're inviting you to cast your vote to help decide which deluded fantasist will walk away with the prestigious 2008 New Humanist Bad Faith Award.

Regular readers will know we've been gradually releasing the nominees by podcast during the past week, and we are now proud to present you with a motley crew of nine servants to the cause of unreason, who you can single out by voting in the poll at the top right of this page. We've also put together all the podcast nominations into this single edition:






  • Adnan Oktar aka Harun Yahya: Infamous Islamic creationist, author of the Atlas of Creation. Hit the headlines this year by getting Richard Dawkins's website banned in Turkey and offering a trillion dollars for anyone who can prove that evolution happened. For more info, watch Richard Dawkins's very funny dissection of his "ideas".
  • Ann Coulter: Barmy US conservative blonde bombshell – she must be feeling pretty low following last night's events. Obviously Coulter deserves to be nominated every year, but comedian Robin Ince put her forward this year having spent a portion of 2008 struggling his way through a paperback copy of her book Godless: The Church of Liberalism, which suffice to say has left him slightly infuriated.
  • Bishop of Durham aka Tom Wright: His views on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill? "Gender-bending was so last century; we now do species-bending". Enough said.
  • Cardinal Keith O'Brien: The head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, and another cleric who landed himself in the running due to ignorant comments over the Embryology Bill. Talks about Nazis, Frankenstein and Dunblane when most other people are trying to have a sensible discussion about science.
  • The Governors of St Monica's High School, Prestwich: We had a major breakthrough in the UK this year when cervical cancer vaccinations were introduced for 12-13 year old girls in schools. So it's a shame the governors of St Monica's Catholic school decided to keep their pupils exposed to a fatal cancer because they think giving girls the jab would encourage promiscuity. Idiocy and bad faith of the highest order.
  • Rowan Williams: Ah, the Archbeard. Why did he make those comments about Sharia Law? He's still the only man who knows the answer to that, but in addition to all the fuss they caused they've landed him a Bad Faith nomination from Johann Hari.
  • Sarah Palin: Sarah, oh Sarah. So easy to look at (so some say), but not so difficult to define. You burst onto the scene with your convention speech, and we lapped up those videos of you being blessed against witchcraft and nodding your head while some nutter talked about the End Times. You were the best thing that ever happened to me (I've blogged about you 29 times since you entered my life), but now you're gone. Goodbye.
  • Stephen Green: He of Christian Voice (or possibly the only guy from Christian Voice). Obviously he's committed too many offences to mention, but I think my favourite this year was when he picketed "Gay Sunday" at London Zoo. He's nominated here for saying the following about the Atheist Bus Campaign: "People don't like being preached at".
  • Tony Blair: Is he old news? Perhaps, but comedian Nick Doody is none too impressed with his post-PM conversion and his round-the-world faith drive.
So there you go. Quite a field - get your votes in now and have a say in who becomes 2008's most scurrilous enemy of reason. To help you along your way our in-house bookmakers Paddy Gowers have priced up the runners and riders:

Adnan Oktar: 5/4 F; Rowan Williams 7/1; Sarah Palin 15/2; Cardinal Keith O'Brien 14/1; Stephen Green 18/1; Ann Coulter 25/1; Bishop of Durham 30/1; Tony Blair 40/1; Prestwich Governors 100/1

It's over to you - the poll's at the top right of this page. If you've enjoyed our Bad Faith podcasts, be sure you don't miss out on future audio content by subscribing to our podcast by RSS or email.

Join the Facebook Group "Vote In The Bad Faith Awards"

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a poll, us Yanks are leading by a big margin. It is so great to have such cretins amongst us, they offer vast opportunities for comedians and critics

Akheloios said...

The Cardinal must get it. He deigns to introduce himself into a debate on a highly scientifically technical and progressive new set of laws espousing fear mongering hyperbole and a frankly medieval world view.

The Sarah Palins and Ann Coulters may have big box office appeal for morons, but the mad eminence should get it for attempting to (without shame or sense of irony) reintroduce the church (that burnt Bruno at the stake) into completely secular science debates.

My pick for 2009? the Baptists in the red states who lobby for secession from the US in a laughably ironic attempt to end civil liberties for homosexuals, causing the second US civil war.

Ferrous Patella said...

Where is Elizabeth Dole?

nullifidian said...

Where's the "all of the above" option?

No. Seriously.

Reinis Ivanovs said...

Akheloios, don't get carried away, Giordano Bruno was no martyr of science.

felix said...

I want to point out that the New Humanist site repeats the same error of calculation Richard Dawkins inadverently made. Yahya is not offering a trillion dollars. Under the current exchange rates, which have long been revised, the actual amount is about $4.4 Million iIrc.
Several Turkish visitors have pointed this out at Richard's website, and the error has been acknowledged.

Scott Hedrick said...

How about so-called skeptics who instead are anti-religious bigots?

It's a shame that the skeptic movement has stopped being an educational one and has moved on to behaving the same way the skeptics condemn believers for.

Ignorance cannot improve ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Scott, do you mean "believers" also hold a bad faith award? Wow, never knew that. Who's up for the award?

Azkyroth said...

Oh, that's right, this is the blog host that moronically doesn't have blockquote tags enabled, isn't it?

""How about so-called skeptics who instead are anti-religious bigots?

It's a shame that the skeptic movement has stopped being an educational one and has moved on to behaving the same way the skeptics condemn believers for.

Ignorance cannot improve ignorance.
06 November 2008 04:36"

I vote for Scott Hedrick, based on the excellent credentials displayed above.

Anonymous said...

small point - I heard Christopher Hitchens mention that Sharia actually means "Law", so the phrase "Sharia Law" is tortological, you should just say "Sharia"

Simon Alexei said...

I've just heard of and taken a perverse interest in Dinesh D'Souza. I know he "won" the award last year, but surely he deserves another go at it?

Maria MacLachlan said...

dro

Maria said...

It's an impossible choice. Most of these people are astonishingly ignorant and guilty of lamentable bigotry. At the moment I'm inclining towards the governors of the girl school because they are a bunch of non-entities whose decision, which isn't even in keeping with the policy of the Catholic Education Service, potentially puts countless lives at risk.

I think the award might mean a bit more to them, whereas the others are already famous.

Chris said...

I second Ferrous Patella, Liddy Dole really should be on this list.

1000 bluebirds said...

I had to vote for the governors of the high school. Harun Yahya, Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin are all tempting, as Liddy Dole would be were she here, but you just can't beat refusing to protect girls from cervical cancer. (I don't agree with calling it a cervical cancer vaccine, though -- let's be accurate and call it the HPV vaccine.)

Actually, I'm wishing I'd voted for Stephen Green now, based on this quote from the linked article on the HPV vaccine: “Anyone giving this drug to a girl is telling her: 'I think you are a slag'.” Way to wear your misogyny on your sleeve, asshole.

James Graham (Quaequam Blog!) said...

First past the post is so theist. Why not AV? I want to be able to rank the bigots!

Scotty B said...

I probably would have gone with Palin, but after Tuesday, I don't think she'll be a problem anymore, while others continue to influence the masses.

gyokusai said...

As dangerous and as revolting all these candidates are, demagogues, godbots, and gayhaters are a dime a dozen.

But these St Monica’s Governors put children entrusted to them in harm’s way and inflict real and tangible damage on their bodies and minds.

After (to quote the Hitch) the clergy's “No Child’s Behind Left” initiative was aimed mainly at boys, it’s about time they let girls taste some HPV, and possibly cervical cancer, in preparation for a preponed afterlife as a kind of pious affirmative action, right?

So my vote goes to the govs.

^_^J.

Iman Ghaderi said...

Great idea! I think it would a good idea if you make a group on facebook!

Anonymous said...

My vote is for Green. Maybe not the most egregious example (Coulter never fails to make me feel as if I'm about to spontaneously combust), but the lack of self-awareness and hypocrisy displayed there is truly astonishing. I'd argue it's that element that makes bad faith more than any other.

Jackie said...

I vote for Palin. Especially because there was a sense of actually defeating her, which was really nice.

Alex H said...

I voted for the Governers of the Catholic School. They are doing direct harm to children in their care, just as result of their "faith" and nothing else.
I would have voted for Blair because of his promotion of faith schools in England for the same reason - but that was 2007.
The rest are all fools for their religion but at least are not directly causing harm by their actions - although they would if they could, and will if people follow their opinions.

Anonymous said...

I voted for Tony Blair. If you look at the list it's full of psychos and simpletons. Tony Blair, although a simpleton, is the one person on this list who people can actually take seriously and therefore is the biggest danger to decency on there.

ashkara said...

I have to vote for the Govs... they're potentially harming these girls by not allowing them the HPV vaccine. I wonder if, in the instance of any of these girls catching HPV at some time in the future, they'd be able to take action against the school for denial of duty of care?

Richard Bembridge said...

The school governors. Double crime here. Not only are they party to the indoctrination of innocent minds, they then also refuse them what could potentially be a life saving vaccination.

Shameless or brainless?

Jason said...

I wish the proponents of California's Proposition 8 (the constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage in one of the only states that previously recognized it) were included as a candidate for this award. They demonstrated extraordinary bad faith in their (unfortunately) successful efforts to increase their fellow citizens' misery and break down the wall between church and state. But in their absence, my vote went for the Governors of St Monica's High School.

There were a number of excellent candidates for this award, and I do hope that they receive the recognition of their bad faith that they so patently deserve. In the end, however, the school governors demonstrated a commitment to bad faith of an unusually high magnitude. I congratulate the other candidates on their displays of ignorance, stupidity, and bigotry; Ann Coulter, as always, impressed me with her demonstration of all three. But to endanger the lives of young women to make a moral point--that is truly special. Furthermore, the school governors have managed to combine thinly veiled sexual prudishness and anti-vaccine hysteria in a single decision. Fighting reason on two fronts simultaneously and risking lives in the process deserves special recognition and has earned my vote.

My hat is also off to Stephen Green for his stupid and cruel comments on girls getting vaccinated against HPV and to Adnan Oktar for his successful efforts in censorship. Well done, gentlemen. I am sorry that I was not able to provide any sort of special recognition for Sarah Palin, but I do hope that second place in the U.S. presidential election will be sufficient consolation.

Graham said...

I'm voting for the Catholic school governors. As Maria said "they are a bunch of non-entities whose decision, which isn't even in keeping with the policy of the Catholic Education Service, potentially puts countless lives at risk."

If the governors get the award I think that's more likely to have an effect on them (Possibly reversing their decision and saving one or two girls' lives? Dare one hope?) At least there's the potential for reporting in the local press and thus keeping the issue alive.

Most of the others, should they get the award it will either be water off a duck's back or even (in the case of people like Anne Coulter or Cardinal O'Brien) be worn as a badge of pride. So I'm putting my vote where I'm guessing it might have the greatest practical effect.

Adam said...

Really? Sarah Palin is #1 right now? She's done. Even if she decides to run in 2012, she made enough enemies in the party to ensure she won't be the nominee. But the St Marys governors chose faith over health for children because they might sin if they get the shot (which they'd be forgiven for!). We should all be yelling "Child Abuse!" or at the very least "Child Neglect!".

Nullius said...

What a list! It's a bit like choosing the worst disease from a list that includes cholera, diphtheria and plague. When I see the words "bad faith" I think of Sartre and what he meant by that term - essentially being disingenuous and deceitful - which rules out Rowan Williams. Any of the others get the prize though - they'd all let people suffer or die rather than bend their ideology. Ann Coulter gets my vote for being so bilious and hateful.

Jim Thing said...

Well well! A whole thread about nominating the next Religious Idiot of the Year — and no mention of Iris Robinson. She's the fundamentalist spouse of Northern Ireland's current First Minister and she's been preaching recently that homosexuals would be cured if they'd only let Jesus into their wicked lives.

I guess I'll just have to vote for the school governors...

Fogey said...

The governors have my vote. Their bigotry could be fatal to someone they have a moral responsibility to care for.

Fz said...

Rowan Williams is, from what I've seen of him in the past, genuinely a very nice and tolerant guy. Then again, I'm tempted to vote for him because condemnation from atheists would actually help him against the crazies in his Church who want to depose him and take over and steer the Church of England in a far worse direction.

Anonymous said...

Where's Karl Marx on the list? He's gotta top it!

Anonymous said...

The governors of the girls school of course should win the award. It should also be acknowledged that Catholicity in general is in many ways responsible for a tremendous lack of responsibility towards the human race as it continues to encourage sex without birth control, thereby increasing the strain on the families the earth and all its bio-systems.