October 1, 2007

“Bugger me,” puffed Mohammed, rapidly running out of rod. “I wish I’d brought more Viagra when I took this job testing models down at the Mecca Outdoor Inflatable Male Emporium!” THE winner of our August placard contest is Marcus, who suggested the caption above. He wins a year’s free subscription to the Freethinker. Today, we have a caption contest for the picture below, the source of which is unknown. The deadline for entries is October 31, so get creative now!… Read more

October 1, 2007

It’s ultimatum time. The nuttier end of Christianity is once again on the warpath, and the enemy is . . . you’ve guessed it: gays. Again. This time the loony evangelical group Reform – who claim to represent a thousand British parishes – are, according to the Daily Telegraph, about to “throw down the gauntlet” to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Dumbledore Williams, urging him to make it clear that, in no uncertain terms, unequivocally, unambiguously, unmistakably, explicitly, indisputably and undeniably, he hates poofters. Sorry,… Read more

October 1, 2007

The Racial and Religious Hatred Act comes into force in the UK today. Fortunately, however, it was somewhat watered down as it went through its various legislative stages, thanks to some campaigning, notably by the rubber-faced comedian and Mr Bean actor Rowan Atkinson. From today, it’ll be illegal to stir up religious hatred against people, intentionally, on religious grounds. The new legislation doesn’t outlaw “expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule, insult or abuse of particular religions”. Amen to that, then. Let’s… Read more

September 30, 2007

It’s not hard for government ministers to upset secularists these days, given their religiosity, but Stephen Timms (pictured) has really got up the National Secular Society’s nose - specifically that of its president, no less. This Labour Party vice-chair, former financial secretary to the Treasury and currently Minister of State for Competitiveness at the newly created Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, and MP for East Ham, seems to think that social work is a good thing (no argument there), but, if it’s… Read more

September 28, 2007

  It’s the Last Supper as you’ve never seen it before. The participants aren’t much interested in eating, more how macho they look in their leathers and other assorted gear, with a gorgeous red dildo on the table in front of them (as well as other assorted, well, things that polite people don’t talk about). What it is is an ad spoofing Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, not, as some critics would have it, taking the mickey out of the Last… Read more

September 27, 2007

An English diocese has said it won’t appeal against a tribunal’s ruling that its bishop discriminated against a gay job applicant. Hereford’s bishop, Anthony Priddis, turned down an applicant for a youth officer’s job after questioning him about a past relationship with another man. But the applicant, 42-year-old John Reaney, had looked set to clinch the job after he had impressed an eight-strong panel. In July, an employment tribunal found that Mr Reaney had been discriminated against. Now, according to the… Read more

September 27, 2007

A Muslim dentist in Greater Manchester has been admonished by the General Dental Council (GDC) because he told a woman patient to wear “appropriate Islamic dress” – a headscarf – before he would treat her. Omer Butt was found guilty of serious professional misconduct after a three-day disciplinary hearing, according to the Yorkshire Post. Stewart Goulding, chairman of the GDC’s professional conduct committee, told Dr Butt his conduct had fallen short of the standard expected of a dentist in that he… Read more

September 26, 2007

The British government has finally issued its promised guidelines regarding the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in science class. The verdict: they are not science, and they have no place in the curriculum. From a government obsessed with creating “faith schools”, this is a welcome breath of fresh air. These guidelines from the Department of Children, Schools and Families are a model of clarity and reason. On the meaning of the word “theory”: The use of the word ‘theory’… Read more

September 26, 2007

Barbaric methods of killing animals are set to become big business, according to a story in the Australian newspaper The Age. More than 200 food manufacturers in Victoria are gearing up for a big project to establish a premium brand for halal products to cater to the world’s 1.9 billion Muslims. Halal, like the Jewish shechita, involves killing animals without prestunning. It’s reckoned to be barbaric by many experts and animal-welfare campaigners. And it’s done in the name of religion. Four years ago,… Read more

September 26, 2007

Is anyone any the wiser about where the Episcopalians stand on the Gay Issue? Take this one passage from the Ekklesia website: The Episcopal Church’s decision has produced very different interpretations in the media. The Guardian’s Stephen Bates has “US bishops offer lifeline in effort to keep world Anglican church intact”. Telegraph reporter Jonathan Petre says “For now, US Anglicans give in to Archbishop”. The Times’s Ruth Gledhill writes “Bishops reject same-sex blessings”. But the New York Times’s Neela Bannerjee… Read more

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