AHS+ Daily (12 May 2021)

Welcome to your AHS+ Daily briefing on news, views and issues related to atheism, humanism and secularism in the UK and internationally. Every weekday we highlight ten articles, news stories or other pieces of content we hope you’ll find interesting.

#01. Another Christian claims they are being discriminated against because they can’t be homophobic at work

A former chaplain at a private college in Nottingham is claiming religious persecution after being disciplined for calling same-sex marriage and gay sex is “morally problematic” as part of a wider criticism of the school’s support of LGBT rights.

#02. Bad sociology: religion doesn’t improve charitable giving

The Tippling Philosopher explores the claim that religion makes people more likely to support charity and the mountains of sociological evidence that either counteracts or undermines this.

#03. Could an epidemiology for viral ideas end the culture war?

Should we be ‘treating’ the manifestations of bad beliefs or their causes? A little bit of false equivalency between the alt-right and ‘neo-puritans’, but an interesting read. I have my doubts about how far the epidemiology analogy can be applied, but atheists, skeptics and rationalists of all types should learn that proving a belief false is not always the best way to address a flawed belief system.

#04. Canadian church fined $74k for ignoring Covid restrictions

Another day, another religious institution crying persecution when they don’t get special exemptions from Covid restrictions.

#05. My fifth post

We’ve been continuing our regular weekly articles. The latest explores the 2018 theocratic dystopian novel Vox, written by Christina Dalcher.

#06. Six pseudoscience promoters aiming to be the next mayor of London

This piece is a couple of weeks old, but well worth a read now as we digest the results of last week’s elections. It’s the article I wish I’d written, from The Skeptic, and focuses of six of the pseudoscience promoting and conspiracist also rans in the London Mayoral election. The London Mayoralty is the biggest election in the UK and it sometimes seems that any politician at a loss of what to do next or with dreams of skipping the ranks wants to give it a go.

#07. Exploring the seven types of atheism

Beyond Atheism has fast become one of the best and most enriching atheist podcasts in my library, I’ve just listened to their episode on John Gray’s Seven Types of Atheism.

#08. Banning conversion therapy, apart from the religions that actually practice it?

In yesterday’s Queen’s Speech, the government finally committed to banning anti-LGBT conversion therapy. But there are concerns that there could be loopholes for religious groups.

#09. Exploring the early history of secularism in episode forty-nine of the NSS podcast.

This episode of the National Secular Society’s podcast explores the role of freethinkers and atheists in the radical reform movement of the nineteenth century, before and after the founding of the secularist movement.

#10. Finally, dying matters

It is dying matters awareness week. A non-religious humanistic worldview really allows us to demystify and come to terms with death. Humanists UK are encouraging people to discuss their funeral wishes in advance and explore some of the many ways that humanists and non-religious people think about death and dying.

Thanks for reading

AHS+ Daily is a new feature we are adding in addition to our weekly articles (Mondays at 10.00) and we’d love to hear your feedback. You can always contact us with any suggestions of what you’d like to see included.

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