Sunday School

Sunday School June 3rd 2018

This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 7 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    Good morning everyone. I hope you had a great morning routine without Jesus.

    On being Christian in Western Europe with further commentary from the Atlantic.  The new prime minister of very Catholic Spain is sworn in without a book or magic stick. It would be great if a gay atheist was to become President of Catholic Poland too. Ireland takes another step towards not allowing the education of its children to be controlled by a foreign state.

    Sometimes it all looks just too Catholic for the Baptists and sometimes it is all too gay for the Catholic Church itself. But no money will ever atone for the crimes of Catholic clergy.

    Is Turkish Secularism under threat?

    An easy one this week – can you spot the flaws in this article? I agree with most of this one, except for the first part of the last line.

    Should we even bother arguing with fundamentalists? Would they believe you if you said they were way off the mark about the Gospel? Would you believe it if a lair for Jesus gave up his earthly possessions and rode around on a donkey?

    This weeks’ Woo: A look at Vitamin supplements

    Climate Change: World hunger is again on the increase.

    Who is invading your personal space?

    Deductive vs Inductive Reasoning and making smarter arguments.

    There is a possibility that evidence for a new fundamental particle has been detected.

    Some lost in translation jokes about Flat-Earthers are going around?

    What can politics and religion could learn from Science?

    To live in a world of sovereign powers is to live in a world of contending powers. How do nations stay together?

    You don’t have a right to believe whatever you want. (See book review below) but truth is not determined vox populi.

    Deductive vs Inductive reasoning and how to make smarter arguments.

    This week I am reading this book: Understanding Ignorance.

    Some photographs taken last week, some of Mars and some more from a long time ago.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil…..

    Coffee Break Video:  TedTalk on the Puzzle of Personality.  Quantum Mechanics and the world of biology. Sam Harris on Donald Trump.


    Have a great week everyone!!

    “Religion, a medieval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.”

    Salman Rushdie.


    In the Atlantic article on the Pew report, Prof Linda Woodhead is quoted as saying: “So it’s not that we’re seeing straightforward secularization, where religion gives way to atheism and a rejection of all aspects of religion.”

    That is not what secularism means. Secularism is inclusive of all religious people and equally too of the non-religious. Christians can be secularists while some atheists may not be. In a secular society all citizens are free to hold beliefs about any god of any faith. It means that no one faith group has any religious privilege over those not part of it. It means that the government does not show any particular bias or favoritism towards any one faith group or to any citizens that are “nones”. The State should act as an independent referee to ensure that no group is forced into complying with the demands of another group.

    As an atheist I wish to live in a secular society. I will be the first to stand up for the rights of any person to ensure they can participate fully in their religion. The problem I have is when religion gets political and tries to influence or change the civil laws of a country to reflect a particular religious sentiment not held by others.

    To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens; “I’m perfectly happy for people to have these toys, and to play with them at home, and hug them to themselves and so on, and to share them with other people who come around and play with the toys.  So that’s absolutely fine.  They are not to make me play with these toys.  I will not play with the toys.  Don’t bring the toys to my house, don’t say my children must play with these toys, don’t say my toys might be a condom – here we go again – are not allowed by their toys.  I’m not going to have any of that”.



    Reading today’s articles to this ambient track….

    After all, any decent church knows how to crank up the intensity with bellowing pipe organs, choirs, incense, and filtered light beaming through stained glass window. I am not however wearing flowing robes or a great pointy hat at the moment.



    Thanks, Reg!



    My Sundays are the same as the other 6 days… jeezzuzz, gawd, bybull, prayer, or leaving the house to go to a building of worship.



    @jadeblackolive I just overheard my stepdaughter commenting on the phone with my wife, on discovering SSI offices are closed today, “Fuck this god day” and this makes me smile 😊



    Hahaha……yeah, Sunday closings drive us nuts at times.

    We’re in a small city not particularly religious, but the damn sidewalks seem to get rolled up, & it looks like a ghost town.


    For the first time in my life Irish bars were legally allowed to open on Good Friday this year. A Catholic asked me if I went for a beer that day because she and her Catholic friends all did. I said “no” and she was surprised because “you atheists had gotten the law changed” and was curious as to why I did not. I just did not want Catholic based laws telling me I could not go. Now everybody has the choice. I did not go because I had no interest in going but was surprised to hear that so many Catholics did go. “Was it to celebrate Jesus dying for you sins that you all went?” 🙂


    Simon Paynton

    Should we even bother arguing with fundamentalists?

    – this is a heart-warming story about someone changing their previously-impenetrable world view through exposure to strange ideas in an environment of kindness.

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