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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”).


Nov
10
comment What is the basis for the idea that marriage requires a ceremony?
@Hello. Please don't.
Nov
6
comment Why does transubstantiation refer only to communion?
Would accept be a better word than assume?
Oct
31
comment What is the case in favour of adelphopoiesis as a form of civil union?
Since it's a religious ceremony, in what sense could it possibly be a civil union?
Oct
31
comment How are patriotic songs used in US churches?
Related: everydayimpastoring.tumblr.com/day/2014/08/21
Oct
29
comment Anglican Minor Orders?
@DJClayworth Strange accident.
Oct
29
comment Is the intent of Jehovah's Witnesses to remove Christ from their scriptures?
@Bubbles Considered by whom to be one of the best translations? The specific example you chose was a poor one, as the name Jehovah occurs many times without a good justification.
Oct
27
comment Is the intent of Jehovah's Witnesses to remove Christ from their scriptures?
I've downvoted this, not because it's necessarily a bad question, but because it's badly asked. You provide no examples, nor do you explain clearly what you're talking about. Furthermore, your grammar is terrible.
Oct
17
comment Question about the PCUSA treatment of Scriptures
Are you trying to ask about the general principles the PCUSA (and yes, you should edit your question to define that acronym, as @robertbristow-johnson says) uses to interpret scripture? Are you asking what the PCUSA believe about homosexuality, and how they support that belief with scripture? Are you asking about how the Bible should be interpreted (on either or both of the above points)? Or are you asking all of these things at once? Basically, I think your question is unclear, and hence not useful.
Oct
17
comment Question about the PCUSA treatment of Scriptures
You define inerrancy twice and infallibility not at all. I suspect that's a typo.
Sep
6
comment What is the Difference Between ROCOR-MP and ROCOR-A (ROCA)
The first sentence is off too, as it doesn't attempt to answer the question, merely to point out that an answer has been put together in the comments.
Aug
19
comment Looking for red letter bible in database format
@bracketsage. I believe that format is a form of SGML, once memorably described as "XML's weird older brother".
Aug
19
comment Looking for red letter bible in database format
I'm not sure what that last link is supposed to be. It appears to be a DDG search result page for the Polish character Ł. Besides the fact that "the third search result" is unlikely to be stable over time, I'm not sure why we're supposed to be looking at a search for Ł. I suspect you copied and pasted the wrong link. Why not link to the article directly, rather than to a search results page?
Jul
23
comment What do Christians mean by “holy”?
Related: english.stackexchange.com/q/84837/1696.
Jul
21
comment Do people who commit “major” sins after accepting Jesus go to Heaven?
What the flip is a "heart sin"?
Jul
16
comment How comparable are the concepts of the Teaching Magisterium in the Catholic Church and the Jehovah's Witnesses view of their Watch Tower society?
Oooh. Interesting. And I'm afraid I don't have an answer.
Jun
25
comment Why do JW think other faiths are unbelievers?
Put simply, they teach that God always directs teaching through an organization, so those outside that organization have rejected it. They simply do not recognise any other groups as valid Christians. @curiousdannii.
Jun
24
comment Why do JW think other faiths are unbelievers?
I'm not sure where they got #47 (Man does not have a spirit) from, @gerdi. They don't source it, and it doesn't gel with my own memory of Witness theology.
Jun
24
comment Does the theology of Arians and Jehovah's Witnesses admit that God was at one point ἄλογος?
@H3br3wHamm3r81. I've edited your question quite thoroughly, including swapping out one quote for another. Please review my edits, and revert if you're unhappy with them.
Jun
4
comment Why are most Christian beliefs match with the spiritual practices of the Ancient Egypt?
Here, have a downvote from an atheist. I'll be happy to remove that once you edit your question for clarity, as also recommended in many other comments.
May
10
comment What is the protestant's view on cybersex?
There isn't really such a thing as "the Protestant church", I'm afraid.