The Road to a Christian Iran
By Willem Sander van Boxtel
In the early hours of November 10th 2016, many of us atheists woke up to the dawn of at least another four years of religious rule in the world’s most major powerhouse. But for secular non-believers, Donald Trump is not the real danger. The real threat to the atheist democracy as intended by the American founding fathers, and as enshrined in the US Constitution, comes from the well-known evangelical heavyweight now known as Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
Continue reading “Mike Pence and the Evangelical Vote”
Schools Week report that more than 125 schools have opted-out of Collective Worship in the past 3 years. These schools have applied to be exempt from the legal requirement to hold Collective Worship of a “wholly or broadly Christian character”.
Continue reading “125 Schools opt-out of Collective Worship”
Atheism UK Distinguished Supporter Dr Sue Blackmore recently attempted to deliver a lecture to a group of 17-18 year olds in Oxford.
What followed was a prime example of how religions poison minds!
Taken from the Richard Dawkins Foundation Website
Public lecture: Middlesex University, Tuesday 13th May at 4pm Continue reading “A cognitive theory of religion”
The Atheist Alliance International are supporting the Critical Thinking and Secular Ethics programme in Cambodia, run by the Cambodian Children’s Trust. Its aims are to provide vulnerable children a secualr education and teach them critical thinking skills within a culture that is saturated with supernaturalism, ghosts, gods, spirits and sorcerers.
From the funding appeal site:
Our mission is to teach children not what to think, but how to think.
If we teach children everything we know, their knowledge is limited to ours. If we teach children to think, their knowledge is limitless.
At The Cambodian Children’s Trust (CCT) we strive to give vulnerable Cambodian children the best chance at leading a happy, fulfilling, and successful life. Succeeding in life depends on our ability to solve the problems we encounter along the way.
Theravada Buddhism is (supposedly) practiced by around 95% of the Cambodian population. In reality however, behind the doors of Khmer Temples there lies belief in superstitions, with rituals, spirits, ghosts, gods, and sorcerers, which, it can be argued, injects immeasurable stress and fear into the lives of most Cambodians. In a country where corruption is widespread and 40% of the population live below the poverty line, it is vital that Cambodia’s children, its future leaders learn how to think for themselves, how to reason and how to be ethical and moral citizens. The future of Cambodia depends on it.
We will teach them to question. We will show them how to work out what is ethical or unethical (or somewhere in between). We will teach them to be able to identify flaws in arguments. We will educate them about the major religions and, with the skills they develop in this course, enable them to make up their own minds.
Studying ethics and philosophy will give children skills to use good thinking as the guide by which they live their lives.
You can find out more about the project and to keep up with what we’re doing, including the latest blog posts, on the website at welearn2think.org
However the project needs funds so AAI have set up a crowd sourceing intiative with “Startsomegood.com, but we are short $900 with only 6 days to go (at time of writing)! If the funding minmum is not reached in time none of the money gets paid to the project.
Please click this link and donate to this very worthwhile cause, but please this appeal is urgent otherwise the project will not get its funding.
Free online courses from leading universities. Continue reading “Coursera”
A complaint about the admissions policy of a Catholic school in South Croydon has been partially upheld.
They key point of the complaint is that as an oversubscribed school it had a points system for admissions that put an emphasis on early baptism and activity within the church as oppososed to geographical location (i.e. how close they live) of potential applicants.
This ruling will have a knock on effect on the selection policies of other so-called “faith” schools.
Best bet get rid of the “faith” element of all state schools and let’s make all schools truly community schools serving the local populations.
Full story on the BBC Website
An evangelical church running a session in a state funded (although admittedly CofE) school, made children write an apology for their “sins” on a piece of paper and then swallow it.
This is unacceptable and the response from the church was a textbook non-apology!
Full story from the Herald Scotland.
An atheist living on a Scottish island has been awarded £1000 compensation from his local council after a protracted wrangle over religious education at his eight-year-old son’s primary school.
Apparently he was concerend over religious elements in lessons, so he decided to withdraw his son from the RE lessons and the school tried to dissude him from doing so stating that his son would have to be withdrawn from other school activities.
He won an out of court settlement and has donated it straight back to the school. How about that for principles!
Many people will have noticed that a question on the Biology GCSE paper from 2009 recently surfaced which apparently gave equal weight to Natural Selection, Lamarkianism, Intelligent Design and Creationism.
This is something that the exam board, AQA, were heavily criticized for at the time; however they have confirmed that the 2010 paper did not contain such such a question. They have also stated that “the subject team has confirmed that future exam papers will not contain any questions on creationism or intelligent design.”
It’s great that the exam board realized their mistake and corrected it (something that we encourage!), but it shows just how careful and vigilant we have to be to protect children from misleading and disproven “theories” from the science curricula!
Extract from the New Humanist blog