August 2006

As people on my friends list already know, Premier Christian Radio asked me to take part in their Unbelievable programme, a weekly feature which usually involves a discussion between a Christian and a non-Christian. I’ve agreed, so I’ll be on this Saturday between about 12.15 and 1.30 pm, BST (that’s GMT + 1 for foreigners).

From my email exchange with the presenter, it sounds like the topics of the discussion will be the issues raised in my Losing my Religion essay, namely whether facts are sufficient to lead to Christian belief; the role of faith and the idea of a relationship with God; and probably some of my specific problems with evangelical Christianity. My opposite number will be Paul Clarke, someone who works with students at a conservative evangelical church in London, which sounds quite similar to my old church. It should be interesting. There’s also a phone-in part of it, apparently, to which any of you lot are welcome to contribute.

Premier broadcasts to Greater London on MW 1305, 1332, 1413 in London; and nationally on Freeview Channel 96, Sky Digital 0123, NTL 886. You can also listen on the Internet.

Edited to add: looks like the start time will be nearer 12.15 than 12.30.

Bruce Schneier rightly points out that defending against what happened last time isn’t a good way to make yourself secure against an enemy that can easily switch tactics. That said, I think I’ve got the answer. iPods, liquids and shoes don’t blow up airliners; theists do. Rather than attempting to second-guess what tactic they might try next, theists themselves should either face an outright ban on flying or more stringent searches and restrictions, depending on the current threat level. You might argue that this discriminates against the majority of theists who don’t want to blow up airplanes. However, we must remember that all this means is that they don’t want to blow up airplanes at the moment. Once a person begins to believe that they have an infallible invisible friend who tells them what to do, they might do anything. As Winston Churchill said, “We’ve already established what kind of woman you are. Now, we are merely haggling about the price”. Anyway, inspired by this, I give you: <lj-cut text=”Theists On A Plane”>

Edited to add: for the benefit of the huge influx of new readers I expect to get real soon now, I’d better point out that this is a wind-up, or “troll” as we say on the internets. My real feelings are more like these, although I’ll probably mutter something about theists to myself the next time I’m parched on some budget airline flight.