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The Dark Side

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45, gay, graduate in physics, theology and philosophy, formerly a methodist lay preacher for 18 years, and now non-religious. That's probably as much as you need to know to understand my answers :) Oh, and I'm British. Most of that that relates to Religion and Spirituality but I answer questions elsewhere too - particularly in Royalty (I DO know British history and am an enthusiastic monarchist!), Politics, Philosophy, Physics, Astronomy, LGBT, Immigration... well, just the areas I happen to know something about.

  • If Labour lose on Thursday 6th May, who should be their new leader?

    In recent general elections, it seems to be becoming "the done thing" for the leader of a major party to go if he or she leads them to defeat. So very possibly, if the Conservatives actually get a majority on Thursday, Gordon Brown may be pressured to resign and Labour will have a leadership election. Who do you think should take over?

    Boris Johnson, Mayor of London (Conservative) (you know, floppy hair, acts like a buffoon) has produced his own analysis and it's at . I suspect that there might be a little attempt at party political sabotage here, as Labour wouldn't be daft enough to have a leader in the House of Lords. There's no law against it, but it's just unthinkable to have a Prime Minister or potential Prime Minister who isn't in the Commons. That rules out Lord Mandelson. Of course one of the things that got dropped in the last few days of the last Parliament was the bit of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act which would have enabled him to resign and be a candidate for MP again, so it might happen... but certainly not under a Tory government.

    Boris is of course just being Boris, so don't take the whole article seriously. The wonderful thing with Boris is you never quite know when he's being serious. My own personal view, for what it's worth, though, is that as he says, the current deputy leader, Harriet Harman, is indeed bossy, bullying and nannying, and if she is chosen (this is the woman who said that out of the leader and deputy leader posts, one at least has to be held by a woman because you can't trust men to run things - I'm NOT kidding), one may well conclude that Labour has lost its collective marbles.

    And then there's Ed Balls, who is in very real danger of losing his seat. A potential voter told him the other day that they hadn't seen him around much. He replied, "Yes you have". Telling a voter to their face that they're lying doesn't sound like good tactics to me.

    Anyway... what do you think?

    10 AnswersElections1 decade ago
  • UK general election: Would you like to see John Bercow, the Speaker, lose his seat?

    The Speaker of the House of Commons is its presiding officer and chairman. When the Speaker is elected, they give up any connection to a party so they can be an impartial chairman. Because he is impartial, the Speaker is traditionally not opposed at elections so there isn't an election in his or her constituency and they call themselves "The Speaker seeking re-election" instead of standing under a party name.

    John Bercow was a Conservative, but his political views have changed radically over the years and he's probably happier with Labour now. (His wife Sally is standing in a London borough at the local elections on the same day for election as a Labour councillor!) No wonder he got voted to be Speaker when Michael Martin had to resign over the expenses scandal, and anyway he's been after the job for years. So he's not very much liked from all sides.

    Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party is breaking tradition by standing against him. He may well even win as the majority of voters in the Buckingham constituency always vote Conservative and there isn't a Conservative to vote for.

    Do you think that should happen to teach the slimy bastard a lesson?

    7 AnswersElections1 decade ago
  • Why are Americans on this site unable to distinguish between Democrat and Liberal Democrat?

    One is an America political party, the other is a British political party. There is a whole word difference between them.

    10 AnswersElections1 decade ago
  • Why does the USA imprison so many of its population?

    Just over 1% of the entire US population is in jail, a larger percentage than any other country in the world. "Three strikes and you're out" laws exist in about half of the US states, and these are mainly responsible for this as they often result in very long sentences for comparatively minor offences. Does this policy make sense and does it justify the huge extra costs of keeping so many people in jail?

    An example case: Leandro Andrade was convicted, in California, in 1995, of shoplifting video tapes worth $1.60. Because he had a previous record of burglary and marijuana possession, he was given a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life under the "three strikes rule". The normal maximum sentence for petty theft would have been six months.

    18 AnswersLaw Enforcement & Police1 decade ago
  • Why do some Christians think it is moral to commit murder?

    Dr Warren Hearn will perform abortions up to 34 weeks of pregnancy where he feels it is medically justified. However, his surgery is guarded by armed US marshals to guard against anti-abortionists who want to kill him. Dr George Tiller, another doctor who perfomed the same kind of procedure, was gunned down in his church. Ex-pastor Paul Hill was executed for killing Dr John Britton, whom he shot solely because John Britton performed abortions.

    If you believe it is wrong to kill unborn babies, why do you think it is right to kill abortion doctors? Is it because you believe it is justified execution? And if so, why do you believe that is right without due process of law?

    14 AnswersReligion & Spirituality1 decade ago
  • Is it bad for Christians to be educated?

    The Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, the Bishop of Lancaster, has claimed that graduates are spreading scepticism and sowing dissent. Instead of following the Church's teaching they are "hedonistic", "selfish" and "egocentric", he said.

    In particular, the bishop complained that influential Catholics in politics and the media were undermining the Church.

    Bishop O'Donoghue, who has recently published a report on how to renew Catholicism in Britain, argued that mass education has led to "sickness in the Church and wider society".

    "...every human endeavor has a dark side, due to original sin and concupiscence. In the case of education, we can see its distortion through the widespread dissemination of radical scepticism, positivism, utilitarianism and relativism.

    "Taken together, these intellectual trends have resulted in a fragmented society that marginalizes God, with many people mistakenly thinking they can live happy and productive lives without him."

    And no comments please that catholics are not Christian - the argument applies to any kind of religion.

    13 AnswersReligion & Spirituality1 decade ago
  • Is there anybody in this section actually asking serious questions?

    ... or are you all just here to troll or make fun of religious belief? It's all getting so repetitive... I think we should have some FAQs covering, e.g.,

    Q. Why don't atheists believe in god?

    Q. What is the difference between catholics and christians?

    .. as those get asked all the time.

    19 AnswersReligion & Spirituality1 decade ago