We're doing it again! This time we are biking from Petra in Jordan up to Nazareth in Israel, to raise money for the Nazareth Hospital CT Scanner appeal. Last year we raised over £50,000 for the Children's Unit! Nazareth is the largest Arab town in Israel; the people are lovely, and the kids are awesome. Nazareth also treats kids in the West Bank of Palestine who have very limited access to healthcare. They need your help! Go to my sponsorship page to find out more and see what you can do! Maybe even join us..?

30 December 2011

Atheists at Christmas - a view

I think Alain de Botton is on to something here - something that
chimes with Atheistic Christianity in a big way. I'd be interested in
your comments, either here or over at the Church of Jesus Christ

If you're on Twitter (I'm @shanemuk of course), you should also
consider following @thechurchmouse for somewhat intelligent religion
tweets, as well as @revrichardcoles for a breath of fresh air.
De Botton line (see what I did there?) is that you don't have to
believe in gods to enjoy many aspects of religion, and I rather think
that Richard Dawkins would probably agree, although he might draw the
line at a different point.

Indeed, Dawkins has been quite specific on this issue - he loves
Christmas carols, and likes the benign machinations of traditional
Anglicanism. He's quite happy to be a "Cultural Christian" (yes, I
need to find you the link, don't I?). However I feel we might be able
to go one step further, and remove "belief" altogether, and be quite
open about Atheistic Christianity - a worldview that we know we humans
have constructed, one which affirms tradition and the place of the
biblical texts in where we are now at, but isn't afraid to revise
aspects that turn out to be wrong, objectionable, or even just plain

And indeed to borrow from other traditions - to be syncretistic, but
grounded, and not to be afraid to clear out the trash from time to
time. To be freethinking, but never dogmatic. To be willing and able
to engage with others who don't share our views - to celebrate and
mourn alike with them.

Is it possible to hijack this jumbo jet called Religion, and set it on
a path to where it actually builds community and makes life better for
people, or is it better to find a nice safe place to land, evacuate
passengers and crew, and blow the mofo to smithereens? I think that
would be a loss.

I merely ask.


  1. "Is it possible to hijack this jumbo jet called Religion, and set it on a path to where it actually builds community and makes life better for people?"

    Scientology surely proves that (almost) anything is possible - if you don't mind lying to people.

    "Every religion starts with a lie".