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I’m Irish, of English parents. I was brought up as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but am now an atheist. I remain fascinated by religion, both those similar to the one I left, and those very different, though I am more interested by the cultural context and the way people approach their beliefs than I am in the actual theology. (From this angle, Liberal Christianity and Liberal Islam are quite similar, and Conservative Christianity and Conservative Islam are quite similar.) Because I am interested in the social context and the interaction of religion and society, I often see religion at its worst, when it is trying to impose its rules on others, being intolerant and sometimes frankly bigoted. As an antidote, to remind myself that religious people are not necessarily evil, I hang around slacktivist (whose writings often attempt to answer the question, Why does the religious right tell lies all the time?) and The Slacktiverse (where people of many religious backgrounds have very civilised arguments, often about literature).

I might describe my own views as empirical materialist (see Tim Minchin: “Storm”), and my philosophy is probably secular humanist (see Tim Minchin: “White Wine in the Sun”).


2d
comment What exactly is monster seed?
Hi Jay. You can get the question reopened if you edit it to add the clarifications requested in the comments above: notably the denomination & location of the priest concerned. Also mention the language used: did he say "monster seeds" in English, or is that your translation from another language. Or, as @ThaddeusB suggested, might they have been mustard seeds?
Jul
22
comment I know we're not perfect but, I see Gods wishes deliberately ignored
@LindaBruton. This is an interesting site, but it operates very differently to most other Christian sites. It takes a while to get the hang of it. Stick around, read a bit. You may find it interesting and even useful.
Jul
9
comment Without Hell, from what does Jesus save?
There are some suggested answers in those comments too, from which an answerer may wish to draw.
Jun
28
comment How does the Catholic Magisterium advise the married laity to defend the institution of marriage?
@PeterTurner What you want to do (and your reasons are your own) is to denigrate same-sex marriage. Why cloak this under the euphemism of "supporting traditional marriage"? That just makes you look like, not only a jerk, but a duplicitous jerk.
Jun
28
comment How does the Catholic Magisterium advise the married laity to defend the institution of marriage?
Start by saying what you mean, rather than talking in code.
May
10
comment What are Anglicans' opinion about Muhammad (founder of Islam)?
@curiousdannii I read somewhere recently (ELL SE, perhaps), that using alphabet to mean letter is a feature of Indian English.
Mar
16
comment Why do some Christians think it's not a sin to charge interest?
Age is just a number! Though, actually, they were less strict about question quality in those days. I should probably spruce up the question a little bit. Welcome to the site and see you around.
Mar
16
comment Why do some Christians think it's not a sin to charge interest?
It's very interesting to see that this view is still extant, but I don't think this post truly serves as a response to the question asked.
Feb
10
comment How do YECs respond to the lack of non-Christian buy-in to their “creation science”?
@davidbrainerd. You are aware that that "documentary" edited its interviews in a very misleading way, aren't you?
Jan
11
comment Was Bible Revealed to Jesus? (Christian Perspective)
@mojo I don't see much here that an average Christian would have much disagreement with, though.
Jan
2
comment How does the Catholic Church explain passages that seem to use culturally specific logic?
Does it matter, @DoubleU? The KJV was just the first that came to hand, but I really don't think this is a verse on which translations will greatly differ.
Dec
30
comment Did Matthew the Tax Collector author the Gospel?
I do try to be a descriptivist, but the use of author as a verb still annoys me. What's wrong with write?
Dec
28
comment What is the basis for the idea that God is highly involved in human lives?
I think this is mainly an American phenomenon, yes.
Dec
17
comment Do Jehovah's Witnesses object to praying with other Christians?
Just a note that I've expanded my answer since you accepted it.
Dec
15
comment How do Jehovah's Witnesses interpret verses like Isaiah 9:6 which call the messiah 'God'?
@Bubbles And the Bible also says that some men's god is their bellies. Yes, Witness theology admits of many gods, with the caveat that words may have different meanings in different contexts.
Dec
11
comment How does Oneness Pentecostalism interpret Matthew 3:17?
This doesn't address the passage in the question, and hence is not, really, an answer.
Dec
9
comment How did the phenomenon of “Megachurches” come about?
Related: christianity.stackexchange.com/q/8553
Dec
5
comment What is the biblical basis for the belief held by Jehovah's Witnesses that Jehovah and Jesus Christ are separate entities?
This is very slim, but it does hold the kernel of a very good answer: namely, that the Witnesses would hold that the burden of proof lies the other way.
Dec
2
comment What is the biblical basis for the belief held by Jehovah's Witnesses that Jehovah and Jesus Christ are separate entities?
I have no idea how to respond to that remark.
Dec
2
comment What is the biblical basis for the belief held by Jehovah's Witnesses that Jehovah and Jesus Christ are separate entities?
As another ex-JW, I wasn't asking for an apology, I was suggesting/recommending an improvement.