Posts Tagged ‘church’

Hallgrímskirkja church

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016 | Photos, Travel


Hallgrímskirkja church is a Lutherin church that forms the focal point of Reykjavik. It is one of the tallest buildings in Iceland and situated on the top of a hill, can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.


Caught in the Pulpit

Thursday, July 9th, 2015 | Books

Not only does the audiobook of Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind feature Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola reading their work, but it also includes a foreword by Richard Dawkins, also read by the man himself. I was hard before it had even finished downloading.

The book itself is about a study by Dennett and LaScola on ministers who have stopped believing. Most of them are trapped in this difficult situation – their family, friends, and livelihoods are tied up in church ministry, so admitting their non-belief is typically not an option.

Yet it is apparently widespread. Many of the people they interviewed share a common desire to help people, but think that the stories contained within their holy texts are nonsense.



Friday, September 12th, 2014 | Life

A few weeks ago I went to a friend’s christening. Well, a friend’s son’s christening.

That was all fine though it did get a bit weird as in the middle of the service the vicar went into a massive rant about how he hates atheists because we insist that he isn’t allowed to teach his kids about religion (as we do). I seemed to get quite a lot of eye contact during that section…

Collegiate Church of St Mary

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 | Travel

On our way to Cardiff we dropped by Warwick to see Collegiate Church of St Mary. It is a pretty cool church, most notable because you can go up the church tower and get a great view over Warwick from the top. We also had chance to grab lunch with Kat while down there and it was great to catch up. Oh how fast life moves these days…

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The Purpose Driven Church

Friday, July 25th, 2014 | Books

Rick Warren is probably a bad man. He doesn’t like gay marriage. It doesn’t support gay rights. He doesn’t like the idea of two men having anal sex with each other, even though he has never tried it. But my god (pun intended) does he know how to run a church.

The Purpose Driven Church talks about grow to run a church, which a specific reference to how we started Saddleback Church in California – that now has 20,000 a week attending. It is a gold mine of information. A lot of the strategies he discusses are things I found very effective in running Atheist Society, and there is so much more besides that.

There is a lot of stuff about Jesus in there, as you would expect, but still a useful book for anyone running a Humanist group, Sunday Assembly, etc.



Thursday, November 8th, 2012 | Photos

Turns out, it’s reasonably easy to remove windows, in Photoshop.

Guilt tripping

Friday, July 27th, 2012 | Thoughts

A few months ago, I wrote about how one of religion’s most insidious evils is the way it controls its own members through guilt. Since then, I’ve referred to what I call guilt culture in several blog posts. However, I can’t remember where I wrote the original post. It doesn’t seem to be on my blog. Or on my computer. I just don’t know where it is. So I’ve decided to re-write my thoughts again, albeit it in a shorter form.

The most successful religions maintain an absolute grip on their adherent’s lives. A believers whole existent revolves around the faith they follow. This is often associated with cults but can equally be observed in the practising mainstream followers as well.

To maintain this grip, they really have to get you over a barrel. Luckily (for them, not for us), they found an extremely effective way to do this – buy attacking us for just being who we are. There are lots of examples of this, but the best one is the way they try to control our sex lives.

We’re biologically wired to want to have sex. That is just who we are. It’s not just us – all animals are. We couldn’t survive through evolution by natural selection by any other means. We are attracted to other human beings and natural driven to procreate so that our genes can further their own selfish ends.

But the Church says no! You shall not be free to go to bed with whoever you want. You must only do it in accordance with our rules. These rules are as follows: 1. No sex before marriage (our special concept of marriage that is, in our Church). 2. No sex with members of the same sex, even if you’re attracted to them. 3. No enjoying sex, it’s only for creating children to further the religion.

So lets recap. We’re expected to deny ourselves our basic, biological urges and if we should fail to fight human nature, then we’re guilty of sin. That seems quite hard to avoid.

But it gets better (I use the term better very loosely). It turns out that just having the thought, it just as bad as doing the act itself! Not only are you not allowed to go to bed with who you please, when you please, just thinking about doing something naughty with someone else you find incredibly attractive is a sin too!

Inevitably, the believer commits a sin they don’t have a choice about it, they’re a human, they find other humans attractive, they’re biologically wired to want to procreate. They sin.

At this point, the Church is on hand to remind them that they are a bad person and should feel guilty for letting God down. You know, the all-knowing God that made them and knew they were going to do exactly that. Luckily, there is a way to redeem yourself. You can buy your way out of sin – and of course, there is only place in town selling it…

So the Church keeps its followers in a state of perpetual guilt, feeling that they have left a non-existent man in the sky down for just being who they are, and that the only way to redeem themselves is to band over thousands of pounds a year to the Church.

If anyone other than a religion tried to enforce such torture on a person, the United Nations Human Rights Council would be screaming from the rooftops.

Religion and sex

Monday, July 16th, 2012 | Photos

Google results

Apparently, google thinks that pornography and church go rather well together.

Hope City Church

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 | Life, Religion & Politics

Last Sunday, myself, James and Elina headed down to Hope City Church.

Officially I think they come under the label of a “charismatic” church, which means they are hip, young and evangelical. They were founded twenty years ago by a mysterious figure that everyone refers to as Pastor Dave and has now spread to six different cities – one of which is in Africa.

Their new “Megacentre” is located in a former warehouse, which seems to be the trendy place to put a church these days and as we went in, we made or way to the brand new auditorium complete with an iMac controlled technical set-up, full band on stage and video link-up facilities so they can broadcast the news from across the Hope City Church family.

After the service, Joel very kindly sorted us out with tea and coffee (actually, I somewhat threw them when I asked if they had any cold drink) and we hung out in the “Impressions Cafe” on some very comfortable sofas. The biscuits were good but not quite up to the standard of York Rock Church which even had branded cups!

We came away with a welcome pack of goodies which included Hope City Church magazine, which was incredibly glossy and well printed, and featured a story on 20 years of Hope City Church. It was interesting to see that they had tried to start a number of satellite churches over the past two decades, some of which had worked out, others apparently hadn’t. It was interesting to see that they have become a success story – expanding into Frankfurt this November – by sheer force of will and not giving up. It may not be our cause, but it could certainly be good inspiration.

The art of good Word Art

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 | Photos


The secret is, it never looks good.