When I wore the hijab there was nothing unusual that happened to me and nothing very different that I experienced while going about my day - most of the time I forgot it was there. I realised that it was more of an experience for myself, rather than an experience to judge the reactions of other people towards me.
It breaks my heart to think that if she finds out Santa is made up then God and Jesus will go with him. I couldn't handle that because my jaded, patchy grown-up's faith is so strengthened by her perfect child-like one. At this time of year I need that more than ever; I honestly don't know how people survive Christmas without Christ.
As a church we can't teach how bad sin is, to love your neighbour as yourself, to live in Jesus' example; then attach 10 asterisks at the bottom of the page with our 'terms and conditions'. I'm sick of feeling part of a faith that, in part, will charitably give with one hand and damage with the other. Its literal hypocrisy, and its nothing like the religion that I believe in...
Being a Christian doesn't dictate my political position in the way that you might stereotypically think. I don't believe in a theocracy! I am a liberal in my politics so naturally I'll vote differently from my colleagues in other parties. But it does shape what I get passionate about - housing for those in need, compassion and dignity for those claiming asylum, tackling poverty. What is more, realising that you are part of a religious (and political!) minority tends to heighten my liberal instincts to protect freedom of speech and association, and to defend those on the margins whose worth is undermined, ignored or misunderstood in a rush to appeal to the majority.
One of my earliest memories is as a 5 year old singing 'Hark the Harold Angels sing' during Christmas 1964. I sang 'Harold' partly because I'd never heard of a herald, but also because I thought it referred to Harold Wilson. With dad being a local councillor, and mum also politically active, names of political figures were regularly mentioned at home. ..
Equality is a human right that cannot be 'exempted away' - especially when this means providing cover for the multi-faithist ideology of a political class that is so much about faith and so little about basic human rights, including the right to practice one's religion without being subject to gender discrimination.
As a Christian I am always pleased when someone comes out of the closet and admits that they are a Christian, but it was with very mixed feelings that I read David Cameron's admission of faith. He seems rather muddled about what Christianity means and there are reasons to think that his declaration has a rather different motive.
It is this debate that secularists, both religious and otherwise, are fighting for. The movement doesn't aim to destroy or dismantle religion, but to create a society where no one group is granted special privilege or power. A society which ensures that all beliefs are protected and welcomed equally. But this debate can only be had once you stop using "secularism" as a slur.