There is even more of a reason to love Ben & Jerry’s ice cream now since they have renamed their apple pie flavour ice cream “Apple-y Ever After” to show their support for Stonewalls’ Equal Marriage Campaign. I love the idea!
Today the British Government have launched a ‘consultation’ on equal marriage for the UK. I am totally in support of the proposed changes, but I can’t help but think they do not go far enough.
They have said same-sex couple can have a ‘civil marriage’ or a ‘civil partnership’, but not a religious ceremony. Religious groups will not be allowed to conduct same-sex marriages (even if they are willing to) and opposite-sex couples can not get a ‘civil partnerships’.
To me, this is silly. It’s not true equality, no matter what they say. True equality would be for ANYONE to have a choice of a ‘civil marriage’, ‘civil partnership’ or a ‘religious marriage’ depending on their personal beliefs and REGARDLESS of the gender of their partner.
It’s about love ya know, not sex 😉 Read More…
PZ Myers on his wonderful Pharyngula blog has been asking for essays on why people are atheists, so I thought I’d write my own. Below is what I wrote originally, but it went on a fair bit so I’ve submitted a heavily edited version to him. If it gets put up on his blog I shall let you all know! Apologies in advance for the length of this post!
Why I am an Atheist
I realise that I am incredibly lucky. I am a college-educated, very well-travelled Western woman from a nominally middle-class family, born into a society where religion is rarely mentioned in polite (or even impolite) company. My parents didn’t go in for religion in a big way, but did try and thrust some Christian beliefs onto me. I have vague memories of Sunday schools, of being Mary in a Nativity and of attending services as Brownie where they let me ring the church bells (while being carefully watched to make sure I didn’t disappear up into the belfry), but I don’t recall having any strong religious convictions. To me, God was just the nice man in the sky who you sent your wishes to. A bit like Santa Claus, but at least you got presents from him at Christmas; God never seemed to grant my wishes (and if Santa couldn’t get me a pony then what hope did God have?!).
I had a minor ‘crisis of faith’ when I was nine and my beloved hamster Shadow fell sick. I spent a worried night praying that she would be ok, but alas in the morning she was dead and I was heartbroken. I thought it unfair that God had ignored my prayers and had taken something precious from me. I didn’t understand what I’d done to deserve her death, falling in to the (rather arrogant) trap that somehow it was my fault she had died. I clearly hadn’t been religious enough to warrant God saving her. But as children do I bounced back and forgot my little waver of faith.
From a young age I was a voracious reader and one of my most treasured books (which I still have to this day) was an encyclopaedia of Gods, Goddesses and Heroes from around the world – from the Classical Mediterranean and the Norse, to the exotic; Central American, African, Asian… complete with their myths and legends. Already I was aware that not everyone had always believed in ‘my’ God, and some people in the world still didn’t.
When I was ten my father’s job took us to Cyprus, which is a fascinating country for those that know anything about its history, and a perfect place to visit the nearby Middle East from. My parents were very keen on encouraging us to travel and two trips in particular changed the way I viewed the world. Read More…
I am fully aware of the hypocrisy of so-called ‘peaceful religions’. And though I do get mad, on the most part I tend to ignore them. I don’t have to read the comments sections of online newspapers or of blogs of atheists that I enjoy reading to know of the idiots out there. I tend to avoid them because they make me angry and life is too short to have strangers online make me mad.
But there have been a few recent events that I haven’t been able, nor wanted, to ignore, and I just wanted to speak up about them. Before I do begin, I want to iterate that comments of “but these aren’t real *insert religious follower here*” or “but that’s not what *insert holy book of choice here* says” because honestly, that’s the “No True Scotsman” fallacy (look it up, educate yourselves) and I won’t have any of that here. For starters, I am perfectly aware of the contents of some of the ‘main’ holy texts, and secondly people like the ones I am about to talk about seem to be the rule rather than the exception. In fact the quote below taken from the comments section of JesusFetusFajitasFishsticks has probably the best description of it I’ve ever read:
Anonymous Jan 13, 2012 08:28 AM
@Jack: You misunderstand the fallacy. It is a fallacy *because* there is no such thing as an ideal “scotsman” that one can compare anyone against. The “true scotsman” always happens to be the person speaking. If there were such an ideal, you could always measure the closeness of an individual to being a “true scotsman”, and hence there would be no fallacy.
If someone calls themselves Christian, and claim at least the basis of Christian belief (Jesus as the Son of God, the Resurrection, etc…), then they are Christian, whether or not they match yours or anyone else’s ideal of what being a Christian means. So for someone to claim another person is not Christian because they don’t match their specific ideal is a fallacy; if it weren’t, no two Christians could ever recognize each other as being members of the same religion. Read More…