Thursday, February 22, 2007


Platitude For The Day

If you're reading this the chances are you're not a big fan of Thought For The Day — the anachronistic little god slot that persists in interrupting the perfectly good news and current affairs delivered to us each morning via the Today programme on R4. From Anne Atkins sanctimonious sermons to Rabbi Lionel Blue’s rather warmer and much more welcome pearls of wisdom, there's plenty for us godless to get worked up about, particularly since the BBC have declined numerous polite requests to include some more secular and humanist voices to their list of chosen speakers. Seems downright bloody rude, if you ask me, and tantamount to saying that you can't lead a moral, ethical existence unless you've read about how to do it in some old book or other or had it spoonfed to you via a pulpit (or faith school).

Given that the BBC don't look like they're going to be changing their minds any time soon, a couple of initiatives have been set up lately which might be of interest…

The first is the Think Humanist Thought For the Day — set up by the Humanist Society of Scotland. I'm a bit late in twigging on to this — they ran a series of podcasts from 12th to 17th February, coinciding with 'Darwin week' but relieved that they have a play again facility on the website.

The second is the excellent Platitude For The Day. Check it out.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


A Sad Day

Having been an avid reader of Muriel Gray's columns in the Sunday Herald for some time, my first click on a Monday morning has usually been onto the OP-ED section on the paper's website. Recently, however, my clicks have been more in hope than anticipation. Although my mum kept assuring me that the legend 'Muriel Gray is away' was still regularly appearing at the foot of each column that replaced hers in the print edition, implying that she would return one day, I was concerned.

Alas, it is not to be. Having popped up as a guest on Radio 4's Saturday Live a couple of weeks back, Muriel told Fi Glover that some bod at some function or other had had the cheek to refer to her as simply a journalist, failing to take into account all the many other strings she has to her bow, so she promptly rang up her editor at the Herald and resigned.

Well, whoever the bod was, I'd like to get my hands on him. And Muriel, please reconsider. I know you've got a lot on your plate, but your wise words and forthright common sense are sorely missed, by me and many others.

Good for this guy. So much for the separation of church and state in the US, when a kid has to take the school to court to stop teachers from prosetylising. Makes me think of all the times my kids have had to put up with stick in the playground, just for being open about their lack of religious belief. Let's hope Matthew gets all the support he needs to sock it to the school board.

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