When we look at the news and we see incident after incident of discrimination, antisemitism and vigilante justice. Whether that's Jewish shops being targeted in Paris or a woman being assaulted for displaying an Israeli flag in Amsterdam, we are surrounded by acts of baseless hatred.
Since 9/11 and the subsequent terrorist attacks which have taken place in the West, Muslims have been entrapped in a vicious circus show called "Not in my name". This circus show entails guilt by association of faith, and the never-ending apologies and condemnations that Muslims are forced to make for crimes allegedly committed in the name of Islam.
I am gay and I am Christian, and to most people, that's okay... But the problem I've faced is telling Christians. In theory this should be fine: you go on classic theology and teaching to "love your neighbour as yourself", feed the hungry, care for those in need. The list goes on. In reality there have been times where the teachings I've heard have felt like a condemnation.
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.
I am a skeptic. Some years ago, my mother 'blamed' this on my education in science. And it's true, over the years of analysing molecules and ideas I have become extraordinarily critical. I challenge most things I read in the news; doctors' diagnoses and marketing campaigns
Indeed, so magnanimous have some seen this spiritual Love to be, that an early follower of Jesus once said (emphasis added): "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
Being spiritual is easy if you spend your life meditating on a mountain top with intermittent breaks for yoga and energy treatments (I actually know people who pretty much live like this) but for most of us attempting to live a spiritual life of sorts we simply don't have the pleasure or privilege of living in this way.
The inconvenient truth is that the collective punishment of the Palestinian people in Gaza is a collective endeavour in its own right - led by Israel, enforced by Egypt, endorsed by Saudi Arabia. Pity the poor Palestinians. Their territories are occupied by the Jewish state; their cause is abandoned by the Arab world.
In Iraq, right now, an ancient culture is being exterminated, wiped from the face of human history. The Yazidi minority had, until recently, found relative safe haven in Kurdish-controlled areas... However, recent reversals have forced both the Iraqi and Kurdish governments to withdraw their forces from the region, as ISIS continued its murderous advance across the north and west of the country.
1000 humanists from over 60 countries are assembling in Oxford today for the 2014 World Humanist Congress. This triennial gathering of members of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) unites men and women from across the globe who believe that we can live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity alone, without religious beliefs.
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.
One major objective of secularism is to balance everyone's religious rights and freedoms fairly. This naturally includes the rights and freedoms of the non-religious and those of minority religions. Yet Mr Pickles chooses to portray this as secularists trying to "impose" their "politically correct intolerance" on others.
The grave must have lain untended and forgotten for more than 70 years. And now, just three days after honouring my grandmother Ilse at the scene of her death, here I am in the cemetery, honouring her husband, my grandfather. This is truly a journey back to my family roots.
The first amendment in the United States is a wonderful thing. It means you can say whatever you like about anything... But with the increasing popularity of Facebook comment section fights, and chatroom brawls, I'm seeing more and more often that people seem to forget that freedom of speech goes both ways.
Nothing should be off limits to discussion. No, let me amend that. If you think some things should be off limits, let's sit down together and discuss that proposition itself. Let's not just insult each other and cut off all discussion because we rationalists have somehow wandered into a land where emotion is king.