You may believe in the Devil, but do you know who he really is?

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Let’s call a spade a spade.

There’s something very wrong with the label “faith school“. It’s a piece of PR. The word “faith” conjures up images of pious, light-bathed young girls, hands clasped in prayer, gazing hopefully towards heaven, believing that their innocuous prayers for the wellbeing of various friends and relatives will be answered by a benevolent god – or, perhaps as often, Jesus. Faith schools, they would have us believe, are places where students learn peace, love and tolerance for others.

The reality of “faith” when applied specifically to schools, of course, is quite different.

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Godless foodies

It seems news of the atheist bus has reached the foodie community. In a post on today’s Word of Mouth, the Guardian’s food blog, a commenter replies to an increasingly pretentious thread on the etiquette of cheese and biscuits:

There’s probably no etiquette God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your crackers.


Big scary dark thing

What’s the scariest thing you can think of? Well, OK, apart from the fact that there’s currently someone stupider than George Bush who has a crack at the Presidency…

How about infinity? The size of the Universe and, if it turns out to be finite, what lies beyond.

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How Long is Forever?

One of the fundamental tenets of Christianity – and most other religions, in various forms – is the idea that we continue to live on after death. But how long for?

OK, let’s say you’re a Christian. Or a Jew, or a Muslim, or a member of one of the many other religions, denominations and assorted cults persecuted religious minorities that believe in life after death. Presumably – for why else are you a member of your faith? – you believe that when you die, you will go to Heaven.

My question is this: How long do you think you’ll be there?

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News reaches us from London that the Church – the Anglican Church, that is, not the One True Churchhas apologised to Charles Darwin (right at the bottom of the page, after a screed of theological equivocation) for “misunderstanding his theory of evolution”. “About time, too!”, one might be inclined to say. But various commentators – including one of Darwin’s great-grandsons – have pointed out that the only conceivable reason for such an apology is to make the apologiser feel better. Continue Reading »

This just in from the NSS‘s Newsline email (which you should subscribe to, as well as joining or donating to the NSS, of course):

Shropshire County Council Cabinet has decided to proceed with its plan to create six new faith schools. Twelve existing schools are to be closed, the pupils from each pair going to a new faith school.

Four of the schools to be closed are inclusive Community Schools. The changes will result in the loss of hundreds of community school places to the advantage of the Church of England. The chairman of Governors of at least two of the community schools destined to close do not want to become part of a faith school, and fear the religious agenda.

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OK, so it’s a bit off-topic – except inasmuch as it might have fooled a few creationists – but here’s another classic BBC April Fool: Flying penguins! Priceless. There’s also a featurette on how they made it.
Not available for download, sadly, and only on iPlayer for a few more days, but I bet somebody will rip it and post it somewhere on the interwebs. Do please give me a shout if you find a downloadable version…

From the International Humanist and Ethical Union’s website:

For the past eleven years the organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), representing the 57 Islamic States, has been tightening its grip on the throat of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yesterday, 28 March 2008, they finally killed it.

Disgraceful. But not unexpected, given the apathy of the West…

Hat tip: NSS.

News reaches us from the other side of the Atlantic of a family who suffered dire consequences as a result of complaining that their son was required to sing a song of worship by his music teacher for a grade.

His teacher also instructed him to point skyward at certain points of the song. She said that he was to do this to show he loved God.

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