Cross posted at the Atheist Oasis
Thousands of Pakistani mourners have attended the funeral of murdered minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti.
Mr Bhatti, a Christian, was shot dead on Wednesday by the Taliban after he urged reform to blasphemy laws.
There were emotional scenes as several thousand Christians buried their leader in his home village near Faisalabad.
Earlier, hundreds turned out for a church service in the capital. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told them his colleague had been "very rare".
Wednesday's assassination in Islamabad was the second this year of a Pakistani politician who wanted to reform the controversial blasphemy laws.
Shahbaz Bhatti's body was flown by helicopter to his last place of rest.
Someone should likely pound those idiots at the UN over the head with this sort of nonsense, which happens regularly, especially in Pakistan.
It took a full hour for the coffin to make its way into his village and the service was held outside the church, so large were the crowds.
Weeping and chanting slogans in his praise, mourners thronged the ambulance carrying the glass-topped coffin of their murdered hero. Women and men broke down.
Mr Bhatti's mother and two brothers travelled ahead of the coffin in a separate car.
Bishop of Faisalabad Joseph Coutts told those present that the blasphemy laws - which Mr Bhatti wanted to reform - were being misused to persecute minorities.
Yeah, nobody saw that coming, did they?
Referring to those who would glorify the minister's murderers, he said: "We don't want to worship a God who rewards killers."
Guess what? That would be all three of the big monotheisms, so shit outta luck.
In January, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who had also opposed the law, was shot dead by one of his bodyguards in the capital.
The blasphemy law carries a death sentence for anyone who insults Islam. Critics say it has been used to persecute minority faiths.
Observers say Mr Bhatti's killing leaves Pakistan's Christians without their most prominent voice and threatens to silence debate on the blasphemy law. The government is accused of giving in to religious hardliners.
Accused? More like guilty as charged.
Stringent security precautions were in place for the funeral.
Roads were closed and police and paramilitary forces deployed around Fatima Church in the capital for the service for Mr Bhatti, 42, who was a Roman Catholic.
Marksmen took up positions on the roofs of nearby buildings ahead of the Mass.
The prime minister praised a man he said was devoted to helping the downtrodden.
"People like him, they are very rare," Mr Gilani told the packed congregation. "All the minorities have lost a great leader. I assure you, we will try our utmost to bring the culprits to justice."
Mr Bhatti was laid to rest in the family grave in his village of Khushpur
Top government leaders, MPs, foreign diplomats and Christians joined relatives and friends at the service.
Mr Bhatti's coffin - wrapped in the green and white of Pakistan along with a flag of the all-Pakistan Minorities' Alliance - was then flown by helicopter to Faisalabad.
In the minister's native village of Khushpur nearby, black flags flew for the burial.
"The killers have snatched our hero," said Mr Bhatti's brother, Sikander, the Associated Press (AP) reports.
So large were the crowds that the burial was delayed by several hours, the BBC's M Ilyas Khan reports from Khushpur.
He says the thousands of mourners waited all day to pay their respects.
Amid fears the service could be attacked, the entire village was sealed off and hundreds of security personnel deployed.
It’s not enough that these lunatics shoot people at the drop of a hat, but the funeral itself is endangered? It seems as if being religious makes one color blind to all the metaphorical red flags that sprout everywhere on the landscape. It’s a sick, sad, fucked up world when claims of peacefulness precede the slaughter.
Till the next post, then.