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.
I almost found myself in the unprecedented position of defending alternative therapies recently. Well, not the therapies themselves but those who believe in them. Given that I devote much of this blog to attacking these very same people as deluded morons, this admission will come as a surprise to regular readers. But after reading the story of the child who died of diabetic ketoacidosis because her parents — Dale and Leilani Neumann — failed to get medical help and relied on the power of prayer instead, I was feeling almost charitable about the father of Gloria Thomas, who’d relied on homeopathy to save his desperately ill child’s life. At least homeopathic ‘remedies’ — as they are laughingly called — are tangible and some people swear that they work as they’re supposed to and not just as a placebo. Obviously, these people are wrong but at least I can see where they’re coming from (a place of astonishing ignorance).
‘Walking with dinosaurs’ is the supremely appropriate title of a post on Lifelinking’s blog about last Saturday’s sectarian march — or ‘festival of bigotry’ as he calls it — through the city of Glasgow and this brief post of mine is mainly intended to bring his a few more viewers. But if I can offend a few bigots myself along the way, that’ll be a bonus. Continue reading
It was good to see people enjoying themselves and celebrating diversity with such enthusiasm at London’s Gay Pride yesterday.
These guys on the right gave a great performance. They’d obviously been rehearsing a long time and — it may be a cliché — but they lived the part.
I was at the Pride by accident. I’d forgotten it was on but I emerged from Charing Cross station into Trafalgar Square and found myself in the middle of it. I didn’t stay long because I wanted to catch the last few hours of the nearby summer science exhibition, which was fab, by the way.
I was sorry I missed the parade through Central London an hour earlier but was delighted to catch this piece of street theatre by a small group of players, mainly old men and a few women wearing strange hats. Continue reading
Compassion and self-sacrifice are completely futile on atheism because unless there is a moral payback, unless there is a return, a dividend, it makes no sense to risk your own life for another.
So said Muslim missionary, Adam Deen, in a recent “debate” with Andrew Copson of the British Humanist Association, at Birkbeck University in London.
Do you consider yourself a good person?
Have you ever told a lie?
Have you ever stolen anything?
Have you ever used God’s name in vain?
Have you ever coveted anything?
You need to answer ‘yes’ to all of the above to hear 13-year-old Deborah Drapper say, in all seriousness,”So you’re a lying, thieving, blasphemous, coveting person. Do you still think you’re a good person?”
BBC documentary, Deborah 13: Servant of God, which aired on Tuesday 11 March 2009, was a programme that changed the way I think. Continue reading