I was a Christian for 25 years. In that period, I believed some of it for some of the time. I probably never believed all of it; I don't think any Christians do, in reality, other than those who habitually blur the distinction between reality and fantasy. My faith gradually declined until in the few years leading up to my Big Surprise - the mid-life crisis...
Kamal's story, and many others, makes it clear that the seizure of Mosul by the IS has manifested into a threat on human rights. This includes the right to practice whichever religion one chooses, should one choose to practice religion. Now, many hope that the new regime in Iraq will follow a path of statesmanship and pluralism, and not mindless sectarianism.
It is not good for society to ghettoise its future citizens so that they grow up segregated. It is not good for the children who grow up in an "us and them" culture; and in the very place where they should be learning about tolerance and respect. It is not good for faith - because it becomes tarnished by discrimination and is seen as divisive.
I had been pondering how the media - and the BBC in particular - treat Christianity both in this country and worldwide and shortly afterwards a slightly bizarre question came to me: How would the devil use the media to undermine the Christian faith?
The Kurdish proverb 'we have no friends but the mountains' has proven that the Kurds do have friends, not only the diaspora but everyone who is against IS/ISIS.
This group who claims to be speaking for all Muslims, truly isn't. They don't speak for me. And I have given them no right to represent me, I have given no approval, in the actions of what they're doing. None of what they do, is complacent to the rules of Islam, none of what they do, signifies Islam in any way. In short - THEY. ARE. NOT. MUSLIMS.
Why has the US not committed to airstrikes on Boko Haram like they have on the Islamic State? Surely the value of the hundreds of thousands of Christians in harm's way at the hands of Boko Haram, are just as important as the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians?
The first time I met Richard Rohr, I disgraced myself. It was at the wonderful Greenbelt festival, where Father Richard was a speaker.
The Guarani's land rights are protected - on paper - under the Brazilian constitution, but loss of territory caused by big business and urban expansion not only threatens the roofs over their heads, but disrupts the traditional Guarani relationship with the physical and spiritual world.
For violent religious extremism, what ISIS is doing, what Boko Haram is doing, what some Theravada Buddhists are doing to the Rohingya in Myanmar, is not only the enemy of Buddhists, Christians and Muslims in Iraq, Syria, Myanmar and Nigeria but the enemy of our common humanity.
The Church of England once used to be described as the Conservative party at prayer. It's been a week where both institutions have made welcome strides towards equality, whether long overdue or not. Elizabeth and Emmeline would be proud.
Last week, we had the opportunity to sit down with a wrestling hero, Al Snow. Here in London for the Film and Comic Convention, we found him to be thoughtful and engaging. He spoke to us about a range of topics from business to relationships, showcasing his forensic knowledge of the profession. We left, having been thoroughly schooled by the head-master.
Removing the collective worship requirement is not a call to jettison all trace of religion from schools... Legally imposing a daily act of worship, in which pupils by law are required to "take part", goes beyond the legitimate function of the state and violates the human right of freedom of belief for children and young people.
In Ireland, news not involving Garth Brooks has ceased to exist... Vanessa Feltz told of the time Rolf Harris sexually assaulted her... Christian bakers refused to heed a customer request for a cake with Bert and Ernie icing advocating marriage equality...
The hitmen allegedly hired by Henry II to sort out Thomas Beckett may be back in business if the current Archbishop of Canterbury continues to make waves over the plight of those exploited by exorbitant APRs. But they won't be hired by the Crown this time, more likely by the loan sharks.
Away from the obvious tourist attractions - the remarkably imposing Christ the Redeemer, the picture-perfect Copacabana beach and the enormity and elegance of Parque Ibirapuera in São Paulo, to name but three - it is this admirable attitude, one of determination to enjoy life and of encouraging others to do the same which will stay with me.