Tag Archives: Religion

‘I’m a believer’: Psychic Sally isn’t in it for the money

[SL: This is my first column for British magazine ‘The Skeptic’; I share ‘Skeptic in the Courtroom’ column-writing duties with Manchester barrister Geoff Whelan, which means my duties aren’t too onerous (two or three times a year) and, I figure, once the magazine has been on the newstands for several months, I’m probably pretty safe […]

The taxman cometh (but only for what he can see)

There have been two great transformations in human affairs. One is the Neolithic Revolution, the transition from foraging to farming. This is a transformation which is still going on, as there are still some foraging groups around the planet (though it is a vanishing way of life). The second is the Industrial Revolution, the shift […]

Humanising law

One of the standard complaints against giving queers (by ‘queer’ I mean any person who does not conform to being definitively male-or-female and heterosexual: i.e. same-sex oriented, same-sex attracted, intersex, transgender people) equal protection of the law is that it is an offense against the Christian, or Judaeo-Christian (if Christians want to include Jews rather […]

Suffer the little children: the burden of God

Just when I thought I had a full grasp of the moral depravity that is suicide bombing, another level of horror is revealed. Al Qaeda’s preferred target group for recruiting suicide bomber is—orphans. As one Pakistani political activist writes: We have observed that most of the suicides bombers are orphans who are less than 17 […]

Review of ‘Freedom of Religion & The Secular State’

On 2 February 2012, I attended the launch of Russell Blackford’s new book, Freedom of Religion and the Secular State. I’ve finished the book so I thought I’d write a brief review as well as some comments on the visible move to secularism in one of my areas of study, trusts law. Blackford’s central thesis […]

God in the classroom

As many know, my daughter is in Prep this year. I got a note home asking me to nominate which brand of Religious Education I would like her to attend: Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Ba’hai. Fortunately I was spared the difficulty of making a choice this year, as RE classes do not start until Grade […]

By Toutatis! Druidry recognised as religion deserving of charitable status

People sometimes ask me what I teach in Trusts law. Among other things, I teach about charities and the requirements for establishing that a charitable trust has an allowed “charitable purpose”. One of the four charitable purposes under the common law is advancement of religion. Generally, the common law assumes that some religion is better […]

Ethnic identity and the law

A long time ago, I was having a debate with some Jewish friends as to when a person could be entitled to call themselves a Jew. One friend claimed that the important factor was self-identification as a Jew. The other claimed that the important factor was recognition of one’s status as a Jew by other […]

Facebook and friendship

In some ways, Facebook is very good for friendship. Via Facebook, I’ve managed to get back in contact with various childhood and school friends, which has been lovely. I am the kind of person who takes friendships seriously. I’m still friends with three people from Primary School, for goodness sakes, let alone numerous people from […]

Protect teh Kiddies

I attended a religious school for the first three years of High School. I’m afraid that it went in one ear and out the other, because I didn’t even realise that Jesus was God according to Christian doctrine until I was about 25. I have a fantastic ability to be able to switch off during […]