January 6, 2016

Happy new year. If you’re still reading this blog after my extended hiatus, thank you so much. I’m back. Now to rebuild my audience. Today a friend shared Cult Status on Facebook. It’s an article from 2001 by Kirsten Marcum, a former member of Vistar, a business cult that promised its members limitless success. I have the microphone now. I’m trying to speak, but the trainer keeps interrupting. “You’re coming from your head,” he says. I’m supposed to come from my heart. I… Read more

July 13, 2015

In my last post, I talked about how Christianity taught me to be a Nice Guy. Here’s how that ended. Towards the end of my degree, I became friends with a woman who still went to an evangelical church. At this point I wasn’t really sure what I believed. I knew most of what I’d believed all my life was rationally untenable, but those ideas just wouldn’t die. My friend lent me a book, John Eldridge’s Wild At Heart, which she loved. Here’s the… Read more

July 6, 2015

I’ve been thinking about Nice Guys. I used to be a Nice Guy. I like to think I’m still a nice guy, but I think I’ve done enough to ditch the capital letters. Nice Guys, for those of you who never go on Tumblr, are that species of male who… well, let me show you with an illustration from when I was at music college… It’s about 2:30am on a Friday morning and I am wasted. I’d agreed to meet my friends in… Read more

June 29, 2015

My Patheos colleague (if I can call her that), Bristol Palin, is pregnant again, and I don’t like any of the reactions I’m seeing. I loathe the choruses of schadenfreude from my fellow atheists and ex-Christians, jeering her hypocritical advocacy for abstinence, for which she reportedly earned close to $1 million. I hate the rush to judgement from those who think she’s a sinful slut, and I hate the head-in-the-sand wilful stupidity of those purity culture advocates who will not… Read more

June 24, 2015

The head of an organisation which vigorously opposed the Third Reich by providing no official resistance has criticised the Allies for failing to stop the Holocaust. “Why didn’t you bomb the railway lines to concentration camps?” asked Pope Francis, adding “The Holy Roman Church made an uncompromising stand by sending birthday greetings to Hitler in 1939 in the name of all German Bishops.” The Pontiff conceded that, following the war, Nazis were not excommunicated from the church but pointed out, “Automatic… Read more

June 17, 2015

The Bridge Schools Inspectorate (BSI), which allowed some private Christian and Muslim schools to choose their own inspectors, has ceased to be. It is an ex-inspectorate. The writing was on the wall after Ofsted’s chief inspector totally slated it at the end of last year, although I’d written about it before. Reporting on the demise of the Britain’s most obviously indefensible inspectorate, the Telegraph includes some quotes that undercover reporters had recorded teachers saying in schools inspected by the BSI. This… Read more

June 15, 2015

Today the BBC reports that former Education Secretary Charles Clarke is calling for an end to compulsory worship in schools. The first reason given in the BBC’s article is that the current requirement is, in practice, not enforced, but that doesn’t actually tell us whether or not compulsory worship is a good thing. I don’t think any regular readers of this blog will find it controversial for me to say that compulsory worship in schools is a bad thing, but… Read more

June 8, 2015

Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Growing up, I was always taught that the blood of Jesus washes away our sins. It was not simply that we were forgiven—God actually made it so that it was as though the sin never happened. On top of that, once we were Born Again, the Holy Spirit began a transforming work in us. Unbelievers were in… Read more

May 29, 2015

This is a guest post by R.L. Stollar, Homeschoolers Anonymous Community Coordinator. It is reposted with permission from Homeschoolers Anonymous. “Jim Bob just radiates Christ.” ~ Doug Phillips at the 2009 Men’s Leadership Summit Rick Boyer, board member of Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) and recent partner with HSLDA (what’s that?) for HEAV’s March 2015 Leadership Conference, has publicly defended Josh Duggar, the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar who was accused of (and has somewhat admitted to) child sexual… Read more

May 29, 2015

In the state of Arkansas, where the Duggars reside, it is illegal to homeschool if there is a sex offender present in the home. Yes, it turns out Arkansas has at least one very sensible home schooling law. The Act in question is No. 1787 of 2001 — passed one year before the reported start of Josh Duggar’s crimes. It is alleged that Josh began molesting girls in 2002. The crimes were not investigated until more than three years later, after the… Read more

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