So Mary was not sleeping rough. Jesus was not born in a shop doorway. But was there a decent lock on the door of the stable? Was there decent sanitation - even for that time? Were Mary and Joseph alone or were there other people staying in the stable and if so what were they like? Were they drunk? Were they pushing drugs?
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.
Forgiving may seem marginal to the seasonal celebrations but if it isn't done then any Christmas spirit is going to be contaminated and you may find that (pun intended) your past poisons your present.
The Cruiser had some of those tasteful elements admired by many writers, myself included. The consummate internationalist, he believed that people understand one another if they want to, no matter how great the language barrier.
This must not be mischaracterised as an issue of freedom of speech. The right to free speech must be balanced with the right for women to seek advice and treatment in confidence and free from intimidation. Anti-choice campaigners are free to protest in public spaces, but it is unacceptable for them to be positioned outside clinics where women are trying to enter. These are not political protests. The campaigners' tactic is now to make women feel so scared, ashamed and insecure that they refrain from accessing a service they are perfectly entitled to.
Although there are an infinite number of stupid answers there are far fewer stupid questions and sometimes the most childlike questions are actually vitally important. Asking the question, 'What does God want at Christmas?' is therefore not as childish as it sounds.
History has given us a colossal record of deceit, manipulation of the many by a resourceful and shrewd few, and the sustained distortion of public perception so robustly at any one time, it is imperative we review the model of society we have inherited. Power derives its life-force from control.
Today The Huffington Post UK launches a unique series of in depth interviews exploring the lives of remarkable Britons whose devout faith has pushed them to go beyond the traditional teachings, and in some cases, take on the very establishment that has helped foster their beliefs.
What is the relationship between the teachings of a religion and the actions of its followers? What is the relationship between the text and the act? When, if ever, a religion, in this case Islam, can be credited with the acts, good or bad, of its followers?
Who, in an age of the Internet, online gaming, Facebook and 3-D televisions would want to move a pointer around on a board in the hope of getting messages from the spirit world? The astonishing answer is, quite a lot of people!
Hello again. Still super connected?! I thought so. It's funny. When you take the time to stop and think about your life, you might not like what realisations occur. What if, for example, answers to the questions 'what do I want?' 'what makes me happy?' 'what is my life's purpose?' remain unknown?
I wanted to do a religious game that showed religion in itself could be benevolent, it's just the application and interpretation that's problematic. Yet this gets stale quickly. The usual dividing lines in this argument run similar to those of gun control in the US: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people". Therefore, religion doesn't kill people, people with religion kill people. Drunk drivers don't kill people, drunk drivers who hit people and kill people, kill people... It's a facile argument that gets meaningless very quickly. The thing is, if religion really is so intoxicatingly corruptible, then it doesn't matter how great it is on paper, it's never going to have a happy ending.
It's not the Muslim Hajj, or the Hindu Kumbh Mela.. Known as Arbaeen, it is the world's most populous gathering and you've probably never heard of it!
We can certainly commend all health officials working on the ground level to abolish these cruel rituals in countries such as Egypt but it really is up to the religious leaders of the world to unite with great determination to help abolish this cruel practice; a practice that has no solid historical evidence to suggest that this can be done in the name of the name of God.
Israelis need to confront a truth that too often is ignored: they too have their zealots, and their murderers. They too have spokesmen who glorify mass murder. When they recoil in horror from the triumphalism of some Palestinian groups, they need to remember - just occasionally - to look in the mirror... the sad truth is that Israelis have grown far too confident that their overwhelming firepower - and the continued support of the US Congress - makes them invincible. It does not.
Precisely because it is such a frequently used criticism of religious faith, the argument that war is a product of religion is worth considering. After all, we have recently had some horrific imagery from the Middle East that seems to suggest that religion is a bad thing. Nevertheless a number of points strike me.