Three New Bloggers

Update: I have no idea why I though Aoife was an ex-Muslim but she’s not. My apologies to her for getting her history wrong.

So now that the redesign is done, we can get back to adding new bloggers and the first set is very exciting because all three are ex-Muslim women. I’m really looking forward to hearing their perspective on a whole lot of issues because they surely come at it from a different set of experiences than I possibly could. So please join me in welcoming Heina Dadabhoy, Hiba Krisht and Aoife O’Riordan.

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  • Akira MacKenzie

    I can hear the Dawkins/Thuderf00T/Pat Condell wing of atheism still demand “if you’re so atheist, WHY DON’T YOU POST ANYTHING AGAINST THE MOOS-LIMS!!!”

  • AsqJames

    Aoife O’Riordan’s take on being an ex-Muslim in small-town Ireland will be particularly interesting!

  • Nemo

    Are you sure about O’Riordan? I’m not seeing any reference to that on her blog…

  • sh3baproject

    if they see this post, then im gonna say welcome and hope they do! 🙂

  • Wait, the redesign is done? Does that mean that making it more difficult to find new posts is a thing that’s here to stay?

  • No, we’ve got a whole bunch of changes coming, including multiple front pages that will allow you to browse the site the way you prefer. By “done” I just meant it was launched with the new design.

  • Phew! Thank you, that’s good news.

  • Aoife

    Er… *raises hand*

    A slight little correctionlet- I have been many things in my life, but Muslim isn’t one of them. Ex-Catholic is more accurate (and I have the apostasy certificate to prove it) 😉

  • Aoife

    (but damnit, someone with a take on being an ex-Muslim in small town Ireland WOULD be really interesting. Might be time to go lookin’ around for people here with stories to tell!)

    I did live in a largely Muslim country for a bit when I was a kid, though. And sometimes I go eat at the local mosque kitchen ’cause dammmmmmnnnn do they make some tasty-ass shwarma. But I’m afraid that’s as close as I’ve gotten.

  • moarscienceplz


    Ehhh, ex-Muslim, ex-Catholic, unless you celebrated communion with cubes of Wonder Bread and shot glasses full of grape juice like proper Protestants (no, Lutherans and Anglicans don’t count), you were just a heathen.

    (I’m kidding, of course!)

    Welcome Aoife!

  • Aoife


    Nyaaaaah, we just had the little discs that tasted of polystyrene and disappointment. Cause y’know, you tell a 7-year-old that they’re going to be eating GOD FLESH, they expect something more exciting than sticky-yet-dry tastelessness.

    Also, I’ve never heard of this Wonder Bread? Is it a Murrican thing?

  • moarscienceplz

    Yeah, Wonder Bread is the best known brand of tasteless white bread.

  • Aoife

    Some day I’m gonna have to grab me some RCC wafers and some of this Wonder Bread and have a bland-off.

  • Chiroptera

    When I was a Protestant (“and proud of it!”), we used broken pieces of name-brand soda crackers. Oh yeah, and grape juice. No wine. Devil stuff and all that.

  • moarscienceplz

    When I was a kid, communion wafers were cool, because that’s what you used to fight Dracula (not that I ever saw a wafer in real life).

  • moarscienceplz

    We’re probably going to have to explain soda crackers, too. They are also called Saltines, although I think that was a brand name at one time. They are white squares about 5cm on each side, with tiny holes punched in them to prevent the cracker from puffing up too much when they were baked, and they were sprinkled with salt before they were baked at the factory.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Aoife @ # 13 – Just don’t stick any nails in those wafers or you’ll never hear the end of it.

  • Aoife

    I googled ’em and we have something really similar here. Of course I’ve no idea what they’re called, but I do know that they’re a very handy thing to dunk in hummous or cheese or guac. If we’d gotten them at church (and grape juice?! You guys got to actually drink something? We just had to swallow the wafers dry. And no chewing allowed!) I might have actually stuck around a bit longer.

  • moarscienceplz

    And no chewing allowed!

    I didn’t know that. I guess Jesus having bits of his body chewed up makes resurrecting harder.

    Nothing to drink? On TV, I usually saw the priest holding a gold chalice that everybody took a sip from. Maybe they stopped doing that to avoid spreading diseases?

  • Aoife

    #13 –

    Yep! Apparently, right, God really wants to get swallowed but getting chewed is just Not Okay.

    And I don’t think there’s anything specifically against people having a sip of wine, but it just wasn’t done in churches. When my cousin (who was a priest) said mass at home, though, everyone got a sip of wine, so I’m pretty sure it’s not doctrine or anything.

  • Trebuchet

    A Catholic friend told me he’d been taught that if you chewed the wafer blood would spurt forth and drown you. He’d tried it. It didn’t. Welcome Aoife. And Heina. And Hiba.


    No, we’ve got a whole bunch of changes coming, including multiple front pages that will allow you to browse the site the way you prefer. By “done” I just meant it was launched with the new design.

    That’s a relief. Frankly, the current setup sorted by topics doesn’t work AT ALL. The previous arrangement was better, but to me, ideally you’d have it divided by blog but sorted so that the blogs with the newest comment are at the top and the moribund/closed ones at the bottom.

  • efogoto

    @1 Akira MacKenzie: Moose limbs? aren’t they all legs?

  • Aoife: They gave you an Apostacy Certificate?! That’s not fair, I never got one when I became a Communist! Or maybe they just didn’t give out certificates back then…

    Yep! Apparently, right, God really wants to get swallowed but getting chewed is just Not Okay.

    Um…what part of God were they putting in your mouth again?

  • Some day I’m gonna have to grab me some RCC wafers and some of this Wonder Bread and have a bland-off.

    And the applause you get will be even blander than the applause at a golf tournament.

  • dingojack

    Heina Dadabhoy, Hiba Krisht and Aoife O’Riordan, welcome.

    (You’ll have to put up with me popping up now and again, but I’m sure you can handle that.)



    Ed – Ex-Muslims (ex-Catholics) but no ex-Ex-Gays, how disappointing ! 😉

  • Aoife

    #23 Raging Bee: They did! Me and my mum managed to get in (out?) before they changed the rules. TBH it was less an ‘apostacy certificate’ and more a letter from the parish confirming that they’d struck us off the records, but that didn’t make me want to frame it any less 🙂

  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Thanks Ed Brayton – I look forward to checking these new blogs out.

  • inquisitiveraven

    moarscienceplz@19: Actually, the thing about laypeople not drinking the communion wine predates germ theory and is more of a class thing than a sanitation thing. Seems they thought the peasants wouldn’t know how to handle a wine goblet.

  • GRAPE JUICE!! Unfermented?!?


    How horrible! How un-Christ like(1)


    I once taught in an originally Catholic College in Upstate NY, They still had nuns(2) and they had wine flowing at meetings like there was no such thing as a hangover! If my pay scale hadn’t have been based on the assumption that I was a nun I’d be there still.



    (1) Wasn’t wine-making how what’shisface is supposed to have started his carreer? I know it’s not that hard to turn water into wine: add a bit of sugary fruit, the right sort of yeast, and wait about for a while. The only hard thing to believe about that ‘miracle’ is how long the wedding reception must have been going on, for him to do it before the happy couple left on their honeymoon. Wow! Wine while you wait!


    (2) I nearly wrote ‘an infestation of…’ but I’m sure that isn’t the correct collective for nuns.

  • Sunday Afternoon

    @Ed in #6:

    Could we have a (short term?) dedicated blog for the technical side of things so there is one location to go for info on the work in progress? I was fortunate to see your comment, but with the plethora if “give us your comments” posts on various blogs it is hard to keep up with who said what regarding the plans that are in the works.

  • dingojack

    “More nervous than a very small nun at a penguin shoot”.

    Not relevant to anything, but worthwhile quoting.

    Carry on.

    😀 Dingo

  • Synfandel

    I just clicked through an ad for, because I like the idea of ad revenue going from there to Free Thought Blogs.

  • eric

    Some day I’m gonna have to grab me some RCC wafers and some of this Wonder Bread and have a bland-off.

    I’ve had both. Wafers ‘win’ (by which I mean are worse). The bread at least doesn’t suck the moisture out of your tongue.

    There was one church I went to that tried to ‘get back to early christian ceremonies.’ They didn’t just have bread and wine, they also included symbolic tastings of water, milk+honey, fruit, cheese, and a couple of other things. I never bought that it was historically accurate, but I have to admit, it made the service pleasantly more like a sunday brunch than church. 🙂