Leap of faith [Holyrood Magazine article]

I was asked to contribute to this Holyrood Magazine article on behalf of the Humanist Society Scotland. http://www.holyrood.com/2014/07/leap-of-faith-2/ The article was prompted by the news that one of the people identified in an ISIS recruitment video was educated in Aberdeen, and also the issues raised in relation to religion in education in Birmingham. I would … Continue reading Leap of faith [Holyrood Magazine article]

Islamic radicalisation in Birmingham–A Scottish perspective

It’s always important when discussing ideological issues, such as Islam, to distinguish between the idea and the person. As a humanist I value the intrinsic worth of every person, regardless of their beliefs. However I also believe strongly that all ideas are open to criticism, and that in a liberal democracy, no ideology is beyond … Continue reading Islamic radicalisation in Birmingham–A Scottish perspective

Video of Time for Reflection address

The video footage of me leading the fourth humanist Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament; Full text is: "Members of the Scottish Parliament, I would like to tell you a story about a wee boy from a land far, far away. It was a wonderful land, made rich by the many different cultures and … Continue reading Video of Time for Reflection address

BBC Radio Scotland Discussion: Should there be a religious clause in a Scottish constitution

This is a 15 minute discussion which I participated in, following the news that an interfaith group had called for special protection for 'religious freedom' in any possible written Scottish constitution. Participating were; Right Rev Lorna Hood, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; Richard Holloway, former Episcopal Bishop of Edinburgh; Ronnie … Continue reading BBC Radio Scotland Discussion: Should there be a religious clause in a Scottish constitution

Religion in a Scottish constitution–How the Kirk failed the people of Scotland

I was invited to take part in ‘Sunday Morning with Richard Holloway’ on BBC Radio Scotland this Sunday, discussing the statement from a range of religious faith groups that there should be a specific religious clause in any possible future constitution. (Can be heard here). I was very happy to be asked to take part … Continue reading Religion in a Scottish constitution–How the Kirk failed the people of Scotland

Our citizens behind the veil

The use of the face veil is quite possibly one of the most depressing sights (Independent, Tuesday 17th Sept 2013).  The face veil symbolises the very essence of female subservience to the chauvinistic culture of monotheism. Of course, in a liberal democracy the choice of headwear is a free choice for individuals.  However, the principle … Continue reading Our citizens behind the veil

Secularism is no laughing matter

During the Edinburgh Festival I was invited to participate in Kate Smurthwaite’s comedy show; The News at Kate 2013: World Inaction at Canons Gait.  I was very excited, but a bit nervous; I’d never shared a stage with a comedian before. I prepared a little talk about secularism and the extent of religious interference in … Continue reading Secularism is no laughing matter