January 20, 2020

BELIEVERS in imaginary gods do incredibly stupid and dangerous things. A Pennsylvanian woman – Nadejda Reilly, 31 – escaped uninjured after deliberately crashing her car into an oncoming vehicle to test her faith in God – and, according to police, expressed no remorse for the injuries cause to the people in the other car. An investigator said Reilly told him she had been driving around for a few hours, waiting for “a calling from God”. When the Almighty failed to provide… Read more

January 19, 2020

THERE’S no keeping a a good vandal down.  Alexander Tschugguel, who became a poster boy for Catholic traditionalists when he and some cronies removed Amazonian idols from a church in the Vatican and dumped them in the River Tiber, pitched up in Munich at the weekend  to join zealots who believe that German cardinals and bishops have ‘gone round the bend.’ He was one of an “international coalition of lay Catholics” who gathered to pray in “firm protest against the German… Read more

January 18, 2020

FEBRUARY 1 marks my 73rd birthday. It’s also the day on which the UK will have officially exited the European Union, thanks to xenophobic, racist and downright stupid Brexiteers who want church bells to ring out across the UK to celebrate Britain  being freed from the shackles of the EU. But Rev Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, has spoken against the idea. Two thirds of the population never voted for Brexit in the first place. It’s deeply divisive to ring… Read more

January 17, 2020

WHEN Harrison Mumia, above, President of the Atheists in Kenya Society, learned that a high-scoring student might have to stop attending school because his mother could not afford the fees for his secondary school education, his organisation came to the rescue. The response of Idriss Saidi Lutta mother was “God is real” when she learned that the money she needed for his school fees – around $525 – had been donated. To be fair, Lillian Ayabei wasn’t aware at first… Read more

January 17, 2020

TEN members of a Christian sect  known as The New Light of God were arrested this week after seven members of the Ngabé Buglé indigenous group – mostly children – were killed in a religious ritual by about ten lay preachers. They had been tortured, beaten with  Bibles and wooden cudgels, burned and hacked with machetes to make them ‘repent their sins.’ According to the Guardian, 14 members of the Ngabé Buglé – held captive by the preachers – were… Read more

January 16, 2020

IF pastor John Gray, who heads South Carolina’s Relentless Church has one talent it’s to get himself into all kinds of pickles. Gray, who is facing eviction from the church, is now being sued by former employee, Travis Hayes, who alleged in a lawsuit this week that Gray has refused to pay him thousands of dollars in wages earned before he resigned. Hayes, inset above, who resigned last December 5, claimed in the lawsuit filed in Greenville County that Relentless Church… Read more

January 15, 2020

AFTER a picture was posted on social media showing Kayla Kenney celebrating her 15th birthday with a ‘rainbow’ cake, faith-based Whitefield Academy in Louisville, Kentucky, decided that the photo demonstrated ‘a posture of morality and cultural acceptance contrary to that of Whitefield Academy’s beliefs’ – and last week it expelled the girl. The girl’s mother, Kimberly Alford, above, who posted the picture on her Facebook page, then received an email from the private academy’s head, Bruce Jacobson, explaining that her daughter was… Read more

January 14, 2020

IN November I carried a piece about a friend – Cliff  James, above – who was just about to publish a book in which he wrote about the abuse he suffered at the hands of Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes, then Gloucester, who was jailed for 32 months for preying on young men.    James, author of Life As A Kite, subsequently informed me that he was to be featured in a BBC2 two-part documentary entitled Exposed: The… Read more

January 13, 2020

DOMINATING religious and secular media outlets today is the ‘shocking’ news that Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has co-authored a book in which he insists that priestly celibacy must be retained by the Catholic Church. Joshua J McElwee, writing for the National Catholic Reporter, says of the book – From the Depths of Our Hearts (Des profondeurs de nos cœurs): Although the volume is yet to be seen in full, it appears to signify something as yet unexperienced in the two… Read more

January 12, 2020

THE brouhaha in Brazil over Netflix’s The First Temptation of Christ took a new turn on Thursday when the Supreme Court has overturned a ruling the previous day against the streaming service. Netflix was ordered to remove the Christmas special that depicted Jesus as gay by judge in Rio de Janeiro who said in effect that he’d acted to unruffle the feathers of hordes of outraged Christians, more than 192,000 of whom have signed a petition demanding the film’s ban…. Read more

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