Category Archives: Featured

David Cameron Tells Us Our Values Are Christian

dcameronAlastair Campbell famously said of Tony Blair’s labour government: “we don’t do god” and this sentiment seemed to summarise British politics at large, happily.  Unlike our American cousins, elected officials stating their religious convictions too loudly are likely to end up counting sniggers rather than votes.

Thatcher learned a lesson when she temporarily demoted herself to theologian, and crackpot demagogues spewing nonsense on the link between homosexuality and the weather are promptly shown the door.

Yet, David Cameron is committed to rubbing me up the wrong way on pretty much everything he has to say concerning religion.  There’s the constant pissing on our shoes and claiming it’s not Islam, to encouraging Christians to be more evangelical and divisively asserting we are a Christian country. This brings us to his Christmas message which includes some patronising spiel about the importance of ‘Christian Values1’.

From Sky News:

David Cameron has reiterated his commitment to “Christian values” in his Christmas message to the UK.

The Prime Minister said Britain should be proud of “giving, sharing and taking care of others” at home and abroad.

He also praised the work of the British military, aid workers and medical volunteers abroad. He said: “Among the joyous celebrations we will reflect on those very Christian values of giving, sharing and taking care of others”

You see – giving, sharing and taking care of others are “very Christian values”, and not simply human values.  These are all perfectly commendable values of course, worth encouraging –  but why does the Prime Minister of The UK feel it necessary to place them in such an exclusionary and divisive context? This is the moment where many would suspect it’s not religious sincerity on Cameron’s part, but rather an attempt to keep the Christian vote onside.

Perhaps that’s true, but is that wise? Data shows the majority of Brits believe religion and state should be kept separate. Recent data also reveals a huge decline in Christianity, yet an increase in Islam amongst the youthful.  Perhaps it would have been wise for Cameron to talk up ‘Islamic values’ in his Christmas address too. Perhaps not.

I look forward to the day when our leaders are unafraid to champion compassion, good will and empathy towards our fellow creatures without tribal rhetoric or so much as a nod towards a defunct superstition.  These values aren’t Christian, they’re human.  They’re no-one’s to own – but everyone’s to share.  Merry Christmas.

You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.

  1. Cameron Stresses ‘Christian Values’ In Message, Sky News http://news.sky.com/story/1397003/cameron-stresses-christian-values-in-message

One Final Push For The 2014 #GFGS Charity Appeal

https://www.justgiving.com/Godless-Spellchecker1/

https://www.justgiving.com/Godless-Spellchecker1/

Back in 2013, I decided to launch a charitable fundraising initiative named ‘Good For Good’s Sake’.  The idea behind Team #GFGS is a simple one; regardless of what you do or don’t believe about anything else, all that is needed to do good is to agree that doing good is worthy for its own sake.  Gods, scripture and ancient tablets are not required to appreciate the importance of our fellow primates’ wellbeing.

Witnessing the good will and compassion emanating from a large number of atheists & humanists I interact with online, convinced me that this shared camaraderie could be harnessed into achieving something good together.  And you’ve proved me right time and time again.

Our first fundraising drive for Comic Relief raised £10,930, which put us at number 6 in the top ten UK fundraisers.

We followed this up with another drive for WaterAid.  Surely we couldn’t better our last effort, could we?  Well, we did, raising an incredible £11,843.03.

This was accomplished without any media attention or corporate backing whatsoever. Furthermore, no attempts were made to indoctrinate or demand acknowledgement of a specific worldview. We simply just wanted to do something good.

This brings me to our third and current fundraising effort for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).  The target amount1 is currently set to £2,000.

We’re within touching distance of this amount, but the fundraising will end Christmas Day 2014.  If you’re yet to donate and wish to be a part of something good, now is the time to do it!  Any amount is welcomed, and you can donate a number of different ways.

Donations can be made via PayPal, Credit or Debit Card, or by Texting2 from your mobile phone.

Just giving

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Thank you for all your support for Team #GFGS over the last two years.  Your generosity and passion is truly astounding!

  1. Update 03/12/2014 – The original target amount has been reached!  Given we seem to like a challenge, I’ve increased it to £2,250. 10/12/2014 – The target has been smashed yet again! I’ve increased to £2,500. Update 17/12/2014 – The Target has been smashed once more.  The new target is £3,000 Fundraising closes on 25/12/2014
  2. Please see the texting FAQ to ensure your country and network is supported to avoid any unwanted charges

Ep#36 – Andrew Copson – Humanism

Joining me on this week’s #GSPodcast is the Chief Executive of The British Humanist AssociationAndrew Copson (@AndrewCopson).  We talk over the bonfire night fireworks to chat humanism, faith schools, the ‘Trojan Horse Plot’, the BBC, The Sunday Assembly and Assisted Dying. Also, Star Wars or Star Trek?

Also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Support the podcast at www.patreon.com/gspellchecker

#GSPodcast Theme by Dorian Silk & The MCH


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Ep#35 – Horus Gilgamesh – Awkward Bible

AKBTrans

The wonderfully talented Horus Gilgamesh of Awkward Moments Children’s Bible (@AwkwardBible) drops in on The #GSPodcast.  We talk his near death experience, working as a Pastor and the lost gospels.  Horus will also tell us about his well-publicised death threats.  Also, when does religious indoctrination become child abuse?  We’ll be hearing about RTS (Religious Trauma Syndrome). Buy the book here.

Also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Support the podcast at www.patreon.com/gspellchecker

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CJ Werleman Releases Plagiarism Nonpology

werlsat

I recently wrote two blog pieces on Author CJ Werleman. The first detailed some deeply unethical methods of operating and the second revealed an apparent catalogue of plagiarism throughout his work. Prompted by these articles, Michael Luciano with the help of Peter Boghossian have done a great job of uncovering even more instances of plagiarism (14 more at last count1).

After days of lashing out, excuses and potentially libellous claims2 levelled at other public figures, Werleman has released what he understands to be an ‘apology’. You can read it in full here3, but I’ll detail below my initial thoughts regarding some of it.

“Since my recent appearance on the Young Turks Network, my criticism of Sam Harris’ position, as it specifically pertains to the main driver of terrorism led many of his ardent fans to attack me. I have no problem with that – I made myself fair game”

This is the first attempt to deceive. ‘Ardent fans’ didn’t ‘attack him’ because he criticised Harris’s position, they ‘attacked’ him because he invented it. I’d like CJ Werleman to reference what in Harris’s works justifies saying: “[Harris] Has already said, that [he] would support, possibly, a nuclear first-strike on the Arab world”. This sentence is particularly troubling given Werleman so casually interchanges the word ‘Islamist’ with ‘Arab’. Do keep an eye on that CJ. Read more

  1. Now confirmed to be 14 additional instances
  2. Werleman publicly accused Sam Harris of plagiarism only to have said accusations dismantled with devastating precision here
  3. It seems given the negative response to this ‘nonpology’, Werleman has now deleted it

Ep#34 – Eiynah & Tommy Robinson

Image from www.nicemangos.blogspot.com

Joining me on the show this week is Pakistani-Canadian ex-Muslim Eiynah (@NiceMangos) & founder of The English Defence League Tommy Robinson (@TrobinsonNewEra). We have a conversation about extremism, The EDL, Multiculturalism, Quilliam, Interfaith Dialogue and Eiynah’s excellent book ‘My Chacha is gay’.

 Also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Support the podcast at www.patreon.com/gspellchecker

#GSPodcast Theme by Dorian Silk & The MCH


Direct Mp3 Download

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