Russell Blackford on Complexities of Free Speech *

Jan 28th, 2010 | Filed by

What if speech with real social value seems very likely to lead to violence?… Read the rest

Village life

Jan 27th, 2010 5:14 pm | By

I have nothing to add.

A 16-year-old girl who was raped in Bangladesh has been given 101 lashes for conceiving during the assault. The girl’s father was also fined and warned the family would be branded outcasts from their village if he did not pay. According to human rights activists, the girl, who was quickly married after the attack, was divorced weeks later after medical tests revealed she was pregnant. The girl was raped by a 20-year-old villager in Brahmanbaria district in April last year…Muslim elders in the village issued a fatwa insisting that the girl be kept in isolation until her family agreed to corporal punishment.

Her rapist was pardoned by the elders.

No, I have nothing to … Read the rest

Ben Goldacre on Animal Research *

Jan 27th, 2010 | Filed by

A lot of it is flawed; it’s stupid to make animals suffer to do flawed research. Do it right.… Read the rest

Christianity Explained for Pesky Militant Atheists *

Jan 27th, 2010 | Filed by

Christianity is based on the Bible, as read in the light of reason under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, OK?… Read the rest

More Warnings on ‘Bomb Detectors’ *

Jan 27th, 2010 | Filed by

‘Speaking as a professional, I would say that is an empty plastic case,’ said explosives expert.… Read the rest

Pope Calls for More Evangelism *

Jan 27th, 2010 | Filed by

Urges ‘shared witness’ against secularization, relativism, abortion, euthanasia, science.… Read the rest

Scientology Meddling in Haiti *

Jan 27th, 2010 | Filed by

‘Healing patients’ via ‘the power of touch to reconnect nervous systems.’ Doctor doubts touch cures gangrene.… Read the rest

The mystery of the providence of God

Jan 26th, 2010 12:56 pm | By

The horrible slush keeps pouring out as if from a broken sewer pipe.

Instead of admitting that we do not know how to reconcile a loving God with terrible disasters like Haiti and Indonesia, some theologians come up with cruel solutions…We do not know the answer to this conundrum except to say that is the nature of freedom in an imperfect world and that is the mystery of the providence of God. God will work all things for our good even if we don’t understand. That is what faith is: the moment we say we understand, there is no longer any faith.

We do not know except to say – it’s always ‘except to say,’ isn’t it – it’s never … Read the rest

Bangladesh: Rape Victim Gets 101 Lashes *

Jan 26th, 2010 | Filed by

For getting pregnant. Her father was fined. The village elders pardoned her rapist.… Read the rest

‘Religious Freedom’ to Ignore the Law *

Jan 26th, 2010 | Filed by

If Christian influence is a licence to practice bigotry at public expense, it’s time for armchair secularists to resist.… Read the rest

Why Atheists Are Helping Haiti *

Jan 26th, 2010 | Filed by

We have an evolved psychological need to help people who are suffering, especially when we can see them.… Read the rest

The Job of the Humanist Chaplain *

Jan 26th, 2010 | Filed by

Someone who can empathise without offering a load of meaningless or insulting platitudes.… Read the rest

More Theodicy, and More and More *

Jan 26th, 2010 | Filed by

‘God will work all things for our good even if we don’t understand.’ ‘Even catastrophes include divine presence.’… Read the rest

Just say No to equality

Jan 25th, 2010 12:36 pm | By

The Church of England comes right out and admits it – it is opposed to equality. It’s politely regretful – or to put it another way, it politely pretends to be regretful. But when a choice has to be made, it chooses the principle of male authority, and that’s that. It would like to be all liberal and modern and right-on and all, but when the stakes are this high, it just can’t do it. So sorry.

The Christian Churches, alongside many other faiths, support the Equality Bill’s wider aims in promoting fairness in society and improving redress for those who have suffered unjust treatment.

Except for we don’t. We say we do – but then when we’re actually expected … Read the rest

HRW to Canadian Embassy in Riyadh *

Jan 25th, 2010 | Filed by

We look forward to your cooperation in this very urgent matter.… Read the rest

Katha Pollitt on Nazia Quazi *

Jan 25th, 2010 | Filed by

An adult woman who made the mistake of setting foot in Saudi Arabia; her father is holding her prisoner.… Read the rest

C of E Officially Opposes Equality *

Jan 25th, 2010 | Filed by

We support fairness but we want to go on excluding women and gays. Surely you understand.… Read the rest

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is Conflicted on the Burqa *

Jan 25th, 2010 | Filed by

While fighting racism we cannot allow ourselves to become apologists for another, abhorrent injustice. … Read the rest

Football and Family and Forced Pregnancy *

Jan 25th, 2010 | Filed by

They all go together, surely.… Read the rest

Religion ‘Fills the Void’ in Haiti *

Jan 25th, 2010 | Filed by

‘The earthquake is God’s voice and He will do other things. The stars will crash down onto the earth.’… Read the rest