Tagged: religion

Multicultural midwinter

Listeners who are, or have been, parents or teachers might have experienced the problem of fair shares, when a child has a sweet or a treat, and the others get wind of it and demand one too. It’s no good trying to sneak a treat to one child, without setting off wails of “O-oh! That’s not fair!”

Cherie Blair says religion “is no excuse for inequality”

AS HER husband works to bring about peace between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims, Cherie Blair put both religions in the dock over their unequal treatment of women.

With characteristic aplomb, she attacked the continuing inequality of women’s role in world religion and said differences of culture or religion could not be used as a justification for denying equal rights.

She denounced the treatment of women on religious grounds as a “distortion” of the true message of faiths such as Islam.

Atheists who cross their fingers “for good luck”

In an Ipsos MORI poll of 1000 people last month, “to examine faith, belief and superstition”, one of the questions was –

Do you ever cross your fingers for good luck? 44 per cent of Christians said yes, compared with 31 per cent of atheists.

Iranian dissident Mina Ahadi is Secularist of the Year

Mina AhadiRichard Dawkins says that it is “the awakening of women” that will solve the problem of “the worldwide menace of Islamic terrorism and oppression”.

His remarks came while praising Mina Ahadi, winner of this year’s NSS Irwin Prize for “Secularist of the Year”.

The Association of Teachers & Lecturers’ position on Faith schools

ATLThose strongly in favour of faith schools often cite the rights of religious parents, as taxpayers, to ensure that their child has State schooling within a school that promotes their faith. However, in areas where faith schools are over-subscribed, there is a real risk that non-religious parents, who are also taxpayers, do not have the same rights of access.

Avoiding confusion about Creationism or Intelligent Design in Suffolk RE lessons

Suffolk County Council’s Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) will discuss guidance for teachers on the discussion of Creationism and Intelligent Design in RE lessons.

We wonder if some RE teachers may not be as informed about the scientific facts as they should be, and if their religious beliefs may influence their approach to the subject. We advocate training in basic science for RE teachers.

We welcome any evidence about good or bad examples of RE teaching when this subject has arisen. Please email us. Emails will be treated in strict confidence.

Onward Christian soldiers?

Death is not the end and soldiers need to be spiritually better prepared for war, according to the head of the British Army.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, said that Christian leaders and chaplains in the Army needed to equip soldiers for the spiritual issues at stake.

Living in a Secular Society

Margaret Nelson led a discussion at a Suffolk Inter-Faith Resource Forum of Faiths on 16 October 2007. The others speakers were Manwar Ali (Muslim), Robin Herne (Pagan) and Shpetim Alimeta (“thinker” of Albanian origin).

For those who don’t know me, I’m a Secular Humanist. I make that qualification because in the States there are Religious Humanists as well as Secular Humanists.

However, in Great Britain and other countries where there are Humanist organisations that are part of the International Humanist & Ethical Union, Humanism is totally non-religious. It’s an approach to life for people who’ve rejected religious and supernatural explanations for life, the universe and everything, and whose ethical outlook is based on our common humanity and our experience. We have a naturalistic view of life, rather than a supernaturalistic one. Science can’t explain everything but it can and does help us to understand our place in the natural world, and where there aren’t any answers, we prefer to leave a question mark, rather than explain the gap in our knowledge with a religious answer.

Gummer’s unholy row with the humanists – Independent Online Edition > Pandora

An un-Christian dust-up is under way between John Gummer, the Catholic Tory MP, environmentalist and cow eater, and the British Humanist Association. Each accuses the other of dishonesty.

The humanists claim that Gummer attacked them a fortnight ago at their stall in Blackpool. “He walked up to us and said loudly how much he hated us,” says the BHA chief exec, Hanne Stinson.

“He was shouting that we, because of our beliefs about living a good life without religion, had no right to be there; that the Conservative Party is a Christian party. He was spitting angry. It was peculiar behaviour.”

Gummer’s unholy row with the humanists – Independent Online Edition > Pandora.

It took a while, but it eventually made the national press. You can read more here.