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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Guiding lights in humanism

Not sure how long this site has been up there on the WWW, but take a look. It’s called The Really Simple Guide to . . . Humanism (not sure of the purpose of the ellipsis, but there you go; maybe it’s a kind of ta-da), and its front page tells us:

The really simple guide to . . . Humanism has been created to inform interested newcomers to Humanism. The series offers simple answers to the most frequently asked questions about Humanism and the opportunity to think about them and learn more.

There’s a short video there with the likes of A. C. Grayling and Polly Toynbee telling you why they think humanism is a good thing. But there’s plenty else on the site, so make up your own mind. And pass it on to friends who are curious about a life without a belief in sky fairies.

It’s a very attractive site, easy to use, and all the information you’ll need to see life from a humanist point of view is easy to find and eminently readable, without being patronising.

Friday, 12 August 2011

More travel firms cut links with homophobe organisations

It's good to see that quite a number of travel firms have now joined others in cutting their ties with a link referral site, run by Christians, that supports homophobic Christian groups – mainly American, of course.

Full story here.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

First to suffer under Muslim rule? Muslims!

Whether it’s gays or women, the first and primary victims of the medieval “law” they call sharia are Muslims.

As this story in The Australian points out – citing the UK and Canada – sharia threatens all that Muslim women activists have fought for.

“Many aspects of these laws are unpalatable to a society that has enforced equal rights for divorce, custody, inheritance and court testimony, and criminalised polygamy and forced, under-age marriage,” says the writer, Ada Lichter.

“Moreover, the experience with sharia in Britain and Canada is cautionary. It is estimated thousands of British Muslim men have taken advantage of a loophole in the law against bigamy to avoid official registration and seal polygamous marriages in mosque ceremonies.”

She goes on to quote a British think tank: “According to a report by British think tank Civitas in 2009, some rulings of sharia courts or tribunals advised illegal actions and others were incompatible with British law. Try these: polygamous marriage (two to four wives) is considered legal; there is no requirement to register a marriage according to the law of the country; a woman cannot marry without the presence (and permission) of a male guardian; a woman may not leave her home without her husband’s consent; a woman may not retain custody of her child after seven (for a boy) or nine (for a girl); and ‘severe punishments for homosexuals’ are recommended.”

We know not all Muslims wish to impose these barbarisms, but the fact that enough do, and that many of those are vocal and become self-appointed “community leaders” and often have the ear of government and other authorities, is worrying.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Surprise, surprise! Republican hopeful joins with the Christian homophobes

As if we needed more reminding of how homophobic the American Republican right is, we see that presidential hopeful attended a church service in Iowa on Sunday in which the pastor labelled homosexuality “immoral” and “unnatural”.

Why aren’t I surprised? The story is to be found here, in the LA Times, under the headline “Michele Bachmann woos Iowa Christians, attends anti-gay service”.