Saturday Supplement

I've written a couple of pieces on chaplaincy recently (here and here) and so it was interesting to have this piece on hospice chaplaincy brought to my attention by a former intern.
Meanwhile, reflections on Fabrice Muamba and his ongoing recovery have continued in various corners of the interweb, but the most interesting for me was Kevin Hargaden's comments on the ill-conceived challenge of a group of cross-party MPs to ASA ban on advertising faith-healing. Their particular crusade (and I use that word advisedly) is part of the developing war between conservative Christians and militant secularists... Hardly a day goes by without coming across a link concerning the "persecution" of Christians in secularist Britain, usually via the Daily Mail or the Christian Institute/Voice and featuring some quote or other by George Carey, or, on the other hand, some campaign by Dicky Dawkins and his merry band of fundamentalist atheists. Indeed I could include many of them in this round-up every week, but I don't, because I am frankly bored of the whole thing. There are times when I'm not sure which side I want to cheer on in this war of words (I wouldn't dignify either side by calling it a war of ideas)... indeed I generally want to cry with Mercutio "A plague on both your houses." That was one of the reasons I didn't include this next link in last Saturday's round-up. It appeared just as I was putting the finishing touches to that post and initially I dismissed it, but on a second reading I found  Melvyn Bragg's critique of the so-called New Atheists quite interesting... Although Bragg's own position, which is similar in tone to Alain de Botton, is a bit patronising... akin to telling Dawkins and co to stop being nasty to the Christians because they don't know any better... 
Kim Fabricius also makes reference to Dicky Dawkins and de Botton, in his recent set of Theological Doodlings over on Faith and Theology... saying:
"Richard Dawkins and Alain de Botton: bad cop, good cop. The one would have the church executed, the other given a life sentence of community service, ushering in a museum or concert hall. I’d rather take the needle than become a cultural asset."
There's plenty of other gems there too, as well as a few that might make you spit your Saturday morning coffee all over the cat...


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