Symon Hill's blog

Not Guilty: Waiting for my trial next week

Not Guilty: Waiting for my trial next week

There are many things I have done in my life of which I am ashamed. I am guilty of failing to love my neighbour on numerous occasions. There are many sins for which I seek forgiveness from God and others.

Bad arguments in favour of war (Number One): The hypothetical murderer

Bad arguments in favour of war (Number One): The hypothetical murderer

The more I read about the history of World War One, the more I understand how we repeat our mistakes. Nearly every war is justified with claims that the situation is unique. Every time, the arguments made in favour of war are depressingly familiar.

If you think UKIP's members are extreme, read its official policies

If you think UKIP's members are extreme, read its official policies

Nigel Farage has thrown out the latest UKIP member to provoke controversy through bigoted opinions. Farage says he wants to get rid of candidates with "extremist, barmy or nasty" views. But it is not individual candidates who are the problem. UKIP's official policies are extremely nasty, based as they are on an ultra-Thatcherite free-market extremism.

UKIP, homophobia and the real sin behind the floods

UKIP, homophobia and the real sin behind the floods

UKIP councillor David Silvester believes that Britain’s recent floods are the results of sin. You may be surprised to learn that I agree with him. There the agreement ends, for we have very different ideas about what the sin is and how it has affected the weather.

Gates is wrong: We need more cuts to military spending

Gates is wrong: We need more cuts to military spending

My radio alarm clock woke me this morning with the news that the USA’s former defence secretary, Robert Gates, has criticised the cuts that are being made to military spending in the UK.

Royal Mint responds to Kitchener coin petition

Royal Mint responds to Kitchener coin petition

This morning, I received an email from a polite and friendly public relations manager at the Royal Mint. This follows my petition calling on the Mint to withdraw a £2 commemorative coin featuring Horatio Kitchener and his recruitment slogan “Your country needs you”. Last night, the petition – asking for the coin to be replaced with one that commemorates the millions who died in the first world war – passed 20,000 signatures.

New £2 coin glorifies war

New £2 coin glorifies war

The Royal Mint have revealed the design of a special £2 coin to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the first world war (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25558632). It is described as a “commemorative” coin, but it does not commemorate the millions of people who died. Instead, the coin's design glorifies war and celebrates a leading warmonger.

Bible-reading notes for questioning Christians

Bible-reading notes for questioning Christians

When I became a Christian, I read daily (or almost daily) Bible reading notes, each exploring a particular Bible passage. They were helpful, at least in terms of assisting me to be disciplined about reading the Bible. They were less helpful in that they frequently jumped around the Bible and often implied that there was only one interpretation of a particular passage (to be fair, some did this more than others). They tended to assume that the reader had a rather straightforward view of biblical authority and they almost never drew any explicit social or political meaning out of the passage in question.

Celebrating revolution at Christmas

Celebrating revolution at Christmas

Last night and today, 24 and 25 December, millions of people will gather in churches to tell each other a truly subversive story.

Alcohol and Islamophobia

Alcohol and Islamophobia

As a teetotal Christian, I would not want to sell alcohol. If I worked at Marks & Spencer, and had politely asked a customer to pay another member of staff for her champagne, I doubt that it would have led to a national media story. Marks & Spencer’s policy on this issue has hit the headlines because of a staff member who made such a request – and who is a Muslim. This conveniently suits the agenda of the right-wing media, obsessed as they are with portraying Muslims as weird.