Leveraging Greed and Vanity for Good
17 May 2015
I’m not very good at subscribing to Christian orthodoxy. One thing in particular that’s annoyed me for a few years and I now have discarded entirely is the oft-repeated idea from the Bible that thinking about doing something evil (say adultery from Matthew 5:28) is as bad or somehow equivalent to actually doing it. This is harmful nonsense. It vindicates actually evil acts by implying that we are all on a spectrum where we’re capable of them and it makes people wallow in guilt about their lack of self-control when ironically their self-control is the reason they are thinking rather than performing an “evil” act. Instead of making everyone feel guilty about their thoughts I suggest we accept them and try and work out how to make our actions not negatively affect others.
20 February 2015
It’s hard to place where religion and morality intersect, inform and interfere. Living in the age of ISIS, gay marriage, Je suis Charlie and new female bishops it’s obvious that the tectonic plates of religious tolerance, expression and interpretation are building tensions which explode into violence, intolerance and isolation. Many of Dawkins’ followers started arguing a few years ago that science and religion were fundamentally incompatible. This seems to have further polarised debates as people sink into their existing positions (or at least are increasingly being painted as doing so). There’s little room in this new order of BBC balance (two equally blinkered fools bickering) for people to have multifaceted identities in which their politics, morals, religion and role in society contradict each other. No, you must go into your box with Others Like You.
Waiting for independence
24 November 2014
It ended up taking me a while to elaborate on why I supported independence. In that time a referendum bill went through Holyrood, a question was decided (“Should Scotland be an independent country?”) and Scotland decided it should not become independent (for the moment, at least) with the highest turnout in a UK election or referendum (85%) since universal suffrage.
No more Clegg love or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the SNP
07 May 2011
As some of you may remember, I was very positive about Clegg’s election to the Lib Dem leadership in 2007 and less positive about his role enabling Conservative cuts but still remained a member of the party. On Thursday I voted SNP in the Scottish elections and saw with delight as the Lib Dems lost more than 70% of their seats. I was prompted my a friend to examine quite what prompted my dramatic turnaround.
26 September 2010
It’s been over 4 months since the 2010 UK elections, the first election I’d say I researched to a significant level and followed closely. I watched many of the debates, interacted in many political discussions in person, on Facebook and on Twitter and consumed huge quantities of mainstream and social media discussion. It was a very strange election for a Liberal Democrat member; my party was thrust into the mainstream far more by the televised debates and ended up deciding who would form a government; finally deciding on forming one with the Conservatives.
14 March 2009
Some of you may have read about the protests of returning troops to England from Iraq last week. They were greeted by a friendly welcome by the majority with a minority holding signs describing them as “Butchers” and “Terrorists”.
I have Obamania!
04 March 2008
I’ve got a fever and the only prescription is Barack Obama.
The Golden Compass - what's all the fuss about?
08 December 2007
The Catholic League in the US has called for a boycott of The Golden Compass, the film based on Philip Pullman’s novel Northern Lights.
Missing the point
28 October 2007
I just had a great but unexpected evening of discussion with new friend. He’s a Catholic and was also at boarding school so we have a fair amount in common to discuss.
23 October 2007
I had the fortune of seeing Rendition on Friday night. Rendition is a film about the US extradition of suspected terrorists to prisons outside of the US where they can be legally tortured.
Unity against terrorism
04 July 2007
Britain again came under fire from Islamic extremists last week with attempted bombings in London and Glasgow. Thankfully no-one except the one of the perpetrators were hurt and their fairly inept attempts to disrupt and terrorise failed.
07 July 2006
I’ve been a Christian 4 years. It’s without a doubt the best thing to ever happen to me, and was followed a week after to the second best thing to happen to me, Lindsay, but that’s another story…