November 2, 2018

My parents did not appear to be religious, even though I and my brother had been baptised into the Church of England as infants. They never attended a church and I had the impression that my father at least was an atheist. However my brother and I were sent to attend a primary school run by a Baptist clergyman in huts adjacent to his church. At some point, it was suggested that my brother and I attend the Sunday School…. Read more

November 1, 2018

An election flyer attacking the ‘reckless’ spending policies of Democrat Matt Lesser, a Jewish candidate standing for election to the Connecticut state Senate, has plunged his opponent,  Ed Charamut, into a row about anti-Semitism. As you can see, the flyer features an image similar to those that abound on anti-Jewish websites, but it was quickly scrapped after Charamut realised that it had “a serious unintended consequence.” So keen was Charamut to show he was no anti-Semite that he changed his Facebook… Read more

November 1, 2018

Last June Tanzania’s President, John Magufuli slammed human rights groups campaigning against homophobia in his country, saying that ‘even cows’ disapprove of homosexuality. Now it’s reported that God has been dragged into the picture by the Governor of Tanzania’s economic capital Dar es Salaam. On Monday Paul Makonda, above, vowed to launch a crackdown on gay communities. He said he expected criticism from abroad but added: I prefer to anger those countries than to anger God. Makonda, a fervent Christian and… Read more

October 31, 2018

Members of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP), a new political party dedicated to punishing blasphemy, blocked roads in Lahore and pelted police with stones after Pakistan’s Supreme Court struck down the death sentence for blasphemy handed down to Christian woman Asia Bibi. According to the Guardian the court, in a three-member bench led by chief justice Saqib Nisar, released the verdict this morning (Wednesday) in Islamabad, three weeks after they had reached a decision. The delay followed threats by blasphemy campaigners to… Read more

October 30, 2018

A row has broken out over the choice of rabbi to speak at a Republican rally in Michigan led by VP Mike Pence. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that Rabbi Loren Jacobs, above, a member of the Messianic Jews movement which is shunned by mainstream Judaism, appeared at the campaign event two days after a gunman who said all Jews should be killed shot dead 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue. It was the worst attack on Jews in US history…. Read more

October 30, 2018

While Muslims are complaining that the four prayer rooms allotted to them at the university are inadequate, Hindus are griping that they don’t have one at all. Spearheading a demand for a “permanent and dedicated” prayer room at the Anglican institution, Rajan Zed,above, President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said that such a space would be a step a positive direction given the of presence of a substantial number of Hindu students at Columbia. It was, he said, important… Read more

October 30, 2018

Halloween unleashes some very scary apparitions  – personified, in the main, by hellfire-and-brimstone Christian fundamentalists bellowing dire warnings about folk dipping their toes in dangerous demonic waters. Evangelist and foe of Satan John Ramirez is one: But Sam or Samantha need not attend Halloween gatherings dressed as ghouls, vampires, zombies, witches and wizards and the like. Nope, according the Church of England’s National Children and Youth Adviser Mary Hawes, kids can safely partake in the revelry dressed as angels – winged little… Read more

October 29, 2018

Just when you thought that Catholic League President Bill Donohue could sink no lower, along comes the cretin with a statement describing the mass grave found at Ireland’s former Bon Secours Mother and Baby home at Tuam as a ‘hoax’ – and  insists that that nuns should not be ask to contribute towards the cost of exhuming the bodies of babies dumped in the institution’s sewage system. Worse, he denigrates Catherine Corless, the historian whose work helped expose the scandal, by calling… Read more

October 28, 2018

This, again. Not in Pakistan or Nigeria or Russia but here in the United States, which prides itself – or used to – on its openness to the world, its tolerance, its generosity. That was always laced with irony, of course, given the dire facts of slavery, usurpation and genocide of the native populations, Jim Crow laws, waves of anti-immigrant hostility, but it was at least an ideal. Now? We seem to be all about the eye-bulging rage and hatred… Read more

October 28, 2018

LifeSite is the go-to site if your want to get reports of the zany things being done and said by right-wing lunatics. I visit it every day to seek out items that might be of interest to Freethinker readers. I find it a valuable resource – but not to the extent that I would donate to an urgent appeal it issued yesterday. I have better things to do with my money. When I visited LifeSite today, I discovered it was… Read more

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