A ComRes survey for the BBC that has been published today has implied that people who are religiously practicing are more likely to donate to charitable causes than those who are not. The study, carried out via telephone with 2,606 English adults, reports that 77% of those who claim to be religiously practicing gave to charity in the month preceding the study, compared to 67% of other respondents. However, the British Humanist Association (BHA) has questioned the nature of this giving, and noted that these recent findings are contradicted by previous research into volunteering. For example, a 2007 study undertaken by the National Council of Voluntary Organisations found that ‘religious affiliation makes little difference in terms of volunteering’, and that six sevenths of registered charities are not religious in nature.
A local historian has found the bodies of 800 babies buried in a mass grave in a septic tank at next to a home for unwed mothers and their children in County Galway, Ireland. The grave was first discovered in 1971, but has not been investigated since.
According to Liberty voice, this is yet another example of the Catholic Church’s treatment of what they called “fallen women” in Ireland. The last of these homes closed in 1996, after an estimated 30,000 women had passed through their doors.
Though nearly 800 skeletons were found in the mass grave, locals believe there could be more. Children were often sold to families for the US, or fostered without record. This shoddy record keeping could keep the actual number of dead children unknown. Records show that the children died of a number of causes, including starvation and tuberculosis. When the babies died, they were tossed into the unmarked septic tank on unconsecrated ground. The nuns would not even give them a proper Christian burial, and the mothers were often not told.
By Rory Fenton
For non-religious students on campuses across the UK, 2013-14 has been the most challenging year to date, with criticism of religion censored and religious rules enforced in lecture theatres. It has also seen the start of a significant fight-back.
Two members of National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS) at LSE wore t-shirts featuring the satirical Jesus and Mo webcomic: the cartoon depicted the two religious figures saying "Hey" and "How ya doin'?". At the request of their own students' union, the body surely set up to defend student rights, the university sent 10 security guards to surround the two students and their offending cotton, demanding that they remove the t-shirts or be removed themselves. All of this without any evidence of an actual student's complaint.
Racism doesn't have a grey area, and extremism is no different.
In the article by Independent, Jonatjan Russell describe that we have to start challenging Islamic extremism.
He mentioned the problem that Cameron’s cabinet have is a public disagreement about the best way to tackle extremism, in much the same way that Blair’s cabinet did after London bombings on 7 July 2005.
This is not about saying that all extremists are terrorists or about dividing the world into goodies and baddies. Rather, it is about identifying that all Islamist terrorists subscribe to an extremist ideology and a narrative that is a political distortion of an otherwise peaceful religion.
A major survey of the religious affiliations and sex secrets of adulterers is released today by AshleyMadison.com - and if you think religious types never stray, prepare for a shock.
AshleyMadison.com is a website for people who want to have affairs, offering 'discreet encounters' for all. Their subtle tagline is 'Life is short. Have an affair.'
Male and female members of the site responded to questions providing a snapshot of their behaviours; the results? Respondents were more than three times as likely to be Anglican or Roman Catholic than atheist.