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visits member for 3 years, 7 months
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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”).


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.
Dec
2
comment What is the biblical basis for the belief held by Jehovah's Witnesses that Jehovah and Jesus Christ are separate entities?
Less of your opinion (which wasn't asked for) and more of theirs (which was) would make this a more focussed answer to the question.
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 relationship akin to marriage?
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
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.