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Tag Archive: Family

Apr 19 2014

Sexual identity, secularity and politics: Alex Gabriel and Greta Christina in conversation

Greta Christina’s latest book hit shelves this week. She and I sat down to talk atheism, (bi)sexuality and politics. Here, in full, is what we said.

Mar 29 2014

On the marvellously pathetic death of Fred Phelps, 1929-2014

Fred Phelps, who for decades railed against fags like me, isn’t in Kansas any more. The pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church, whose followers (blood kin or not) knew him as Gramps, was declared dead just over a week ago; no funeral was organised. ‘We do not worship the dead’, his daughter Shirley told the …

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Mar 03 2014

Hunger games: food, money and how I grew up feeling fat

Twice in my life, I’ve been a bit rotund. Both times, it was a common enough experience. At eleven I gorged on pizza, chocolate bars and caramel ice creams, more available at secondary school than in our previously welfare-dependent house, and stayed a slightly tubby teenager till added height changed my proportions, though it may …

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Jan 11 2014

99 ways I’ve personally been victimised by religion

How many of you have ever felt personally victimised by Regina George religion? Various articles have circulated recently attacking ‘new atheism’ and trotting out familiar ‘don’t be a dick’ arguments: Alom Shaha’s and Ariane Sherine’s at the Rationalist Association, Martin Robbins’ at Vice. Marianne Baker, on her own blog, has weighed in. I’ve already responded to Alom’s, …

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Dec 24 2013

Class dismissed: how I went from homelessness to Oxford, and what Richard Dawkins has nightmares about

Say this city has ten million souls Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes * * * A letter in a too-large envelope came five years ago this week. The paper had shifted in the excess space so the plastic window meant for the address showed its initial lines of text instead. …

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Aug 19 2013

Polyamory: our partners may be countless, but they still count

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Remember Craigslist Mom from earlier this summer, who sought a ‘sugar baby’ for her son through an online ad? I wanted at the time to write an open letter to her. So much was wrong with her advert that I ultimately struggled. We need to lose virginity as a concept - having sex doesn’t involve losing anything, or …

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Aug 15 2013

Secular synthesis and why we need it – or, Hello Freethought Blogs

You already know that I’m a #FTBully. Of all the letters after my name (admittedly, there aren’t very many), those are the ones I’m proudest of. My feeling is, that tells you all you need know about me. Keep reading though. I’m 22, secular, British, poly, queer, tall, ex-Christian, “left wing and long-winded”, a nerd, a graduate …

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Dec 23 2012

More sexist religion from my family’s bookshelves

Remember Leadership is Male, the book I posted about at the start of June? As Christmas Eve approaches, another gem has revealed itself on my relatives’ bookshelf. What’s the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible is a similar volume by John Piper, and like Leadership is Male has a foreword by Elisabeth Elliot. (Because, …

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Jun 01 2012

My sister’s four-year-old, and her Jesus-belief

‘I taught English to a supermarket manager abroad’, says my sister. We’re eating, and each remembering time spent overseas. ‘No you didn’t!’ Her four-year-old sits between us, incredulous. ‘Before I had you’, my sister explains. ‘When I was in your tummy?’ ‘Before that.’ ‘When I was with Jesus?’ An hour or two later, and again …

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Jun 01 2012

Religious sexism from my family’s bookshelves

Today I found a book on my brother-in-law’s shelf, with his name inside the cover: Leadership is Male (a clear, concise look at what the Bible teaches), by J. David Pawson. I’ve just read it, cover to cover. Here, with the author’s original italics and phrases underlined as they were with pencil in the book, …

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