A Depressing Conversation With A Times Journalist About Exorcisms

“Do you know of anyone who thinks they or their house has been possessed by a demon?” a Sunday Times journalist asked me over the phone just the other day. Several names popped into my mind instantly but there was no chance that I was letting her have them. “We’ve got about 20 people on a list to speak to about a piece my colleague is doing about exorcisms” she pressed. Despite explaining that I couldn’t put her in touch with anyone I’d worked with or advised over the years because it would be ethically questionable of me to do so she still didn’t get it, so I went into a detailed explanation. Continue reading A Depressing Conversation With A Times Journalist About Exorcisms

Sunday Assembly is not enough

‘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 Sunday Assembly is not enough

Whatever floats your godless boat

I am non-religious. I always have been despite the best efforts of a Church of England Primary School, and those two or so years I spent in the company of Spiritualist friends, seduced by their ideas of an afterlife. I’m a happy non-religious, non-worshiping, atheist human being with as much good as bad to my name. When I turned my back on tempting religious ideas I didn’t find it a struggle and I know that I am fortunate because of this. I know that many people are isolated, excluded and cast out when they doubt religious teachings. For some, identifying as an atheist is a life changing event – sometimes even a life-endangering event. I think it’s important not to judge people who approach their atheism in different ways than I do, but sometimes it’s difficult. Sometimes other atheists make it difficult. Continue reading Whatever floats your godless boat

Respect is earned

This morning on Facebook a friend posted a link to a group on there entitled ‘Complain to the BBC about their unfair treatment of mediums’. I’m sure you can guess what the point of the group is from the title… Continue reading Respect is earned