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Monthly Archive: July 2012

Jul 31 2012

Going Soul-o: one young atheist’s week at Christian camp (Day Six)

Today will be my last day at Soul Survivor. Having witnessed the main meetings at this festival, with their cheering, praying and orgies of guitar-led worship, I’ve decided I don’t need to see tonight’s – and perhaps I’d enjoy the Where’s Wally-themed party if I’d come with friends, but as it is I’d likely end up …

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Jul 30 2012

Going Soul-o: one young atheist’s week at Christian camp (Day Five)

The tallest building in Germany, the Fernsehturm or TV tower, stands next to Alexanderplatz in the centre of Berlin. It’s impossible to miss, having been built by East Germany’s secular government to tower above the capital’s churches, a feat it still accomplishes today. Unfortunately for them, and to the churches’ great delight, the spherical structure half way …

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Jul 29 2012

Going Soul-o: one young atheist’s week at Christian camp (Day Four)

As the festival’s third day starts, I’m better rested than the previous morning – the boys camped next door seem to have quietened somewhat – and decide for the sake of my blogs to catch the end of the morning meeting. I walk in as the last half hour commences, and am greeted by another …

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Jul 28 2012

Going Soul-o: one young atheist’s week at Christian camp (Day Three)

My first night’s sleep at camp is less than adequate. After witnessing conversion en masse at the evening’s meeting and falling back to my tent to blog, I pull my sleeping bag around me, now regretting that I didn’t bring a mat as heat is sucked out of my body; for late July, it’s a …

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Jul 27 2012

Going Soul-o: one young atheist’s week at Christian camp (Day Two)

Right now I’m lying in my tent. It’s shortly after nine; I’ve just returned from the very first “main meeting” of Soul Survivor, which lasted two hours. These take place twice every day, and all other venues are shut while they’re in session. (“We don’t want there to be any other distractions”, the programme reads, …

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Jul 26 2012

Going Soul-o: one young atheist’s week at Christian camp (Day One)

This time tomorrow, I will be wearing a wristband: not a brightly coloured rubber one with a slogan on it, like the kind which were fashionable during my GCSEs, but a thin paper one with an adhesive end – the sort you might be given at a theme park or a music festival. It’s not …

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Jul 24 2012

Karma chameleon: the many voices of Alom Shaha

Alom Shaha is everywhere. His hardback The Young Atheist’s Handbook launched several weeks prior to the time of writing, and it’s been heralded with press attention, TV interviews and talks – as he puts it – ‘for every Skeptics in the Pub group in the country’. When we meet in the café at the National …

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Jul 20 2012

Creationism at the Keswick Convention

Update: the 2013 edition! Every year in July, the Keswick Convention takes place in my hometown. It’s a meeting of Christian evangelicals known around the world, and regularly floods the town with visitors. My Christian stepdad, who attends events each year, estimated around 12,000 people are there this year. This afternoon, out for a walk, …

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Jul 19 2012

Foes of Dorothy: queerphobia, bigotry and The Wizard of Oz

In LGBT culture, The Wizard of Oz is practically scripture. From celebrating gay men as “friends of Dorothy” to idolising Judy Garland, from associating pride flags with “Over the Rainbow” to referencing the dialogue in modern works – Alexander’s “Fly, my pretties!” in Queer as Folk is a personal favourite – the reverence we show it at times seems …

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Jul 14 2012

To Paula Kirby: on ‘The Sisterhood of the Oppressed’

Paula Kirby’s open letter from a couple of weeks ago, ‘The Sisterhood of the Oppressed’, has generated various responses (googling it will bring these up), some of them fairly snarky – and while I know that sarcasm is a staple of atheist writing, Paula’s and mine included, I want to be as calm and clear …

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