In December the British Government blocked the legal recognition of humanist marriages because it was seen as a ‘fringe’ issue. Andrew Copson of the British Humanist Association called this decision an insult, pointing out that ‘under this government, Scientologists have been added to the list of religions that can perform legal marriages, joining Spiritualists, the Aetherius Society (which believes in aliens and that the Earth is a goddess), and dozens of other religions. To describe the legal recognition of humanist marriages as a “fringe” issue insults the many couples – much larger in number than these many small religious groups – whose planned marriages next year will not be able to go ahead if Number 10 blocks this change.’ Continue reading
‘The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any metaphysical Beyond or Divine Regulator. It is the concept of an actual, real world with its liberating, expanding and beautifying possibilities, as against an unreal world, which, with its spirits, oracles and mean contentment, has kept humanity in helpless degradation.’ – Emma Goldman
In her essay The Philosophy of Atheism Emma Goldman groups religion with other man-made systems of domination. The essay came to mind recently while reading an Alternet article by Alex Gabriel titled 10 Ways to Make Sure the Atheist Movement Is Not Just for the Wealthy. His experiences with religion were much harsher than mine and the piece is eye-opening to a whole new experience of discovering atheism. One in which the author and his family would have been unable to leave the church if they’d wanted to because of how much they depended upon it for support. In his article Alex tells those claiming to offer ‘alternatives to church’ to offer more, writing: Continue reading
One of the teachers at my Church of England Primary School used to tell us children that a good Christian treated others as they wished to be treated themselves. She would explain that even the smallest kind gesture would make others think well of you and of your testimony in Christ. We were taught that good Christians were selfless, kind, shared, volunteered and loved their neighbour regardless of their story. Our teacher would remind us that we should live as Jesus did himself, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you Jesus said, John 13:15”, she would say “I have given you an example, that as I have done, so should you do.” Continue reading
In 2012, after interviewing 9,229 students about their experiences with religiously motivated hate crime in Higher Education (HE) and Further Education (FE), the National Union of Students (NUS) published the ‘No Place for Hate’ report.
In it they concluded that ‘hate incidents on the basis of prejudice against peoples’ religion or belief are relatively rare, affecting a small minority of the students’ surveyed. However, our findings show that these hate incidents are not exceptional occurrences, indicating that colleges, universities and students’ unions need to take action.’ Continue reading