My father was a humanist and he should have had a humanist funeral. But he died many years ago, when their provision was far more limited than it is today. On being told my father had no religious faith in adulthood and his only ‘funeral request’ had been for cremation rather than burial, the funeral director simply said he’d let the vicar know. If he knew about humanist funerals, he wasn’t letting on, so he probably didn’t.

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I find few things more boring than hearing atheists endlessly whingeing about religion but one of them is journalists whingeing about atheists. Madeleine Bunting in today’s Guardian is a case in point. And Bunting doesn’t just whinge, she has constructed from her fevered imagination a whole scenario in which the “country’s finest minds” are trying hard to have interesting and meaningful discussions about religions but are being “drowned out” by the “foghorn volume” of the so-called New Atheists.

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