Government of Pakistan provides active support for sexual minorities

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 30 April 2011 by Michael Hampson

The government of Pakistan is providing active support to the transgender Hindu Hijra community by recognising their gender and by actively promoting their welfare through government employment.

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Derren Brown exposes faith healing as mass hysteria, adrenalin, hypnotism and fraud (“Miracles for Sale”)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 26 April 2011 by Michael Hampson

Illusionist Derren Brown’s latest television spectacular exposes the american faith-healing industry as a fraud by turning a reality-TV wannabe into a faith healer for a night.

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New Scientist: atheism is irrational and culturally conditioned

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 13 April 2011 by Michael Hampson

Jonathan Lanman lectures in anthropology in Oxford.

His article in the New Scientist last week analysed atheism from an anthropological and sociological perspective, and far from finding it to be the coolly rational phenomenon that it claims to be, found its main public manifestations (“strong atheism” or anti-theism, as opposed to the meek and largely silent non-theism) to be both irrational and culturally conditioned.

There is a good review and summary here.

Also this week, promoting his book Divinity of Doubt, Vincent Bugliosi lays into the poor reasoning – the irrationality – of most atheism:

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“Five a day” for a healthy soul

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 11 April 2011 by Michael Hampson

Five-a-day for a healthy soul:

  • be physically active
  • connect with others
  • take time to notice your surroundings
  • learn something new
  • do something for your neighbours or community

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Atheist, liberal and fundamentalist conspire together to misrepresent the faith

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 11 April 2011 by Michael Hampson

Atheist and fundamentalist conspire together to misrepresent the faith, insisting that Christianity demands a God who is a wrathful king, and a bible that is an infallible oracle.

The atheist rightly mocks, and the fundamentalist defends the indefensible.

Most liberals commit the same offence, maintaining the fundamentalists’ notion of an angry God. God is just angry (and you are required to feel guilty) about different things, like global warming and poverty.

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New report: ordinary catholics are more supportive of gay rights than the general population

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 29 March 2011 by Michael Hampson

A new report from the American Public Religion Research Institute finds that ordinary lay catholics are more supportive of gay rights than the general population, for example:

• 74% support legal recognition of same-sex civil unions
• 71% support gay civil marriage, “like you get at city hall”
• 73% support legislation against discrimination in the workplace
• 63% support gays in the military
• 60% support gay adoption
• 70% fear that messages from America’s places of worship contribute to higher rates of suicide among gay and lesbian youth
• 43% support gay marriage without further description or restriction (rising to 71% for “civil marriage, like you get at city hall”)

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Official catholic doctrine: everybody goes to heaven, nobody goes to hell (universalism, purgatory, and the Rob Bell ‘Love Wins’ controversy)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 29 March 2011 by Michael Hampson

Rob Bell has caused a huge flurry of controversy amongst his fellow evangelicals with his suggestion that hell may be empty.

What he is presenting is universalism, a respectable Christian theological position for centuries, and the official doctrine of the catholic church, as set out in detail in the catechism.

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