This is the blog of the manicstreetpreacher.  I am principally interested in the effects of religion upon world history and current affairs, but I also mix it up with non-religious issues.

My main inspirations are the “Four Horsemen”: Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris.

The content of this blog mainly comprises my thoughts on books and articles I have read, films, lectures and debates I have watched, and most importantly conversations and debates I have had.

Feel free to post on a thread and start a fight!

9 Responses to “About”

  1. Birdieupon Says:


    This is Birdieupon (as known on youtube). I thought it worth dropping you a message to say hello because I’ve only just recently discovered that you were at the “Atheist Fundamentalist” debate too (it was I who asked Dawkins why he wouldn’t debate Dr Craig, and also I who asked Widdecombe what the big deal was with women priests at the “Catholic” debate – I like to make life hard for both parties)!

    I discovered who you were by listening to a couple of Unbelievable podcasts (the one about Dawkins’ forums and also Justin’s analysis of the Berkshire debate). How weird is that? People can become loosely familiar over the net but then still appear in the same room without knowing it! Had I known that was you I should have tried to catch you for a chat!

    Before discovering this, however, I should also note that your question (in the atheism debate) stood out in my memory long before I found out who you were. It feels good to get applause after a question doesn’t it; I was rather buzzing after asking Anne my question (I knew I wouldn’t get any for grilling Dawkins on Craig). I must also say I am happy to see my questions made an impact on your blog, that you commented on Anne’s pathetic reply and also Dawkins’ reply; while Justin Briley thought I was a Christian, I should say that, even though I’m closer to theism than atheism, I haven’t actually got that far; I wanted to ask Dawkins about Craig because this seemed a question that was burning throughout the forums and youtube pages, and I wanted an answer from him too. I must say I wasn’t impressed, really. Craig is more than a “professional debater” (a philosopher like A C Grayling) and I feel very disappointed that I will never see their intellects engage – I feel it would be educational at least.

    Not sure where I’m going with this. I guess it’s mostly just friendly drivel, but I wanted to say hey and that I have been interested in your blogs for a while. Also apologies if I have ever written a brash comment to you on youtube without knowing who you are, it’s an easy trap to fall into sometimes.

    All the best man, looking forward to further developments!


    • manicstreetpreacher Says:

      Hello Birdieupon! Well, I thought you asked two very pertinent questions at those I2 debates and received rather curt and mocking answers on both occasions!

      At the Hitchens/ Fry debate Ann Widdecombe defended the Pope’s decision to re-admit Holocaust denying Bishop Richard Williamson, claiming that he had been made to recant his views either before his readmission in the Church or as soon as they became known (I wasn’t sure exactly when she alleged this to have happened!) I recently did a blog post on the matter and my research showed that Williamson’s apology was rather half-hearted and he is still standing by his appalling views. I emailed the piece to Miss Widdecombe and received a very narky reply! I’ll avoid cheap remarks about the woman’s love life…

      Again, asking Dawkins why he refuses to debate WLC was a very good question, and while I guessed more or less accurately at the reasons for doing so, it was good to hear it from the Dawk’s mouth. Hopefully the matter can now be laid to rest. I did a separate blog post on that issue, but what Dawkins did not hint at was Craig’s rather pathetic attempt to slander his views on religious child abuse in The God Delusion.

      I noticed on YouTube that one or two commenters had irately asked why you weren’t stopped from appearing at two debates in a row! I get that a lot. I’ve been on Unbelievable? five times in the last 18 months, and have had numerous emails and blog posts read out, including my question on Justin Brierley’s report of the atheist fundamentalism debate.

      It gets people’s backs up when you have more than your 15 minutes!


  2. jim jacoby Says:

    To not see a fetus as nothing more than a acorn is turning your eye’s away from reality so not to offend one’s philosophical nonsense.Hitchen’s is right about abortion . But he’s lost on purpose. I went down that road of freethinking. Yeah, it’s free alright. That’s why it’s worthless. A life dedicated to prove one’s right without understanding the consequences is doomed to humiliation after death. I believe in Christ, now. I understand what He’s saying. I had to humble myself to learn. I had to realize that non of us have all the answers. Hitchen’s demands answers. If he doesn’t have them, he falls into the pit of vulgarity. Watch his debates and how he attacks when he has NO ANSWER! Dawkins is a great example of a man who see’s himself as a apostle for atheist. Fact is……he never says anything with an ounce of provability….yet we believe him and quote him. Just like Gould searching for answers. So what does he do? Create’s PE. An attempt to modify his own reasoning because his original thoughts and teaching were WRONG! So be it little one’s. Sail your own ship and be your own master. I did. Then all the sudden a wave destroys your ship. If it hasn’t happened yet,it will, just as sure as the day is long. Folks keep on trying to sound smart and use a fancy word they learned yesterday to impress us. I learned that the smartest of all are those who write and speak plainly for most to understand and to be what I was made to be. A created human being..nothing more or less. Perhaps Dawkins, more than any other ranting atheist, should unlearn his ”facts”. Then he might laern about humility……..No apologies from me about my message. I made it simple so even the atheist could understand. Good day……..J

  3. Ray Meloche Says:

    Love your articles

  4. Ray Meloche Says:


  5. fjanusz2 Says:

    I picked up this link from Robertson’s Weeflea blog (strange but true).

    I too miss the Unbelievable forum. The Facebook page is a pale imitation of the old forum.

    Have you seen DR’s assessment of his debate with Matt Dillahunty on the Weeflea blog? LOL – deluded or what?

    I’m still waiting to see if he will post my last response – I’ve an idea I’m being “moderated” out.

    • manicstreetpreacher Says:

      Thanks for your comment, fjanusz2. Good to catch up with a fugee of the old Premier Christian online debating forum, R.I.P.

      I see Robertson’s one and only convert from atheist, Richard Morgan, is also following your blog, bless him.

      Yes, I have been following Robertson’s new-ish Wee Flea blog over the last couple of months and hauling him up on his misuse of historical authorities, as well as his appallingly bigoted views on homosexuality and paedophilia.

      I also did a response to his whining about persecuted Christians in Pakistan.

      I’m in the middle of drafting a lengthy response to his essay “Why I Am Not An Atheist” and have just finished reading his latest book, Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus Is Great. Review to follow.

      I haven’t bothered listening to his latest clashes on Unbelievable? against Matt Dillahunty.

      Robertson’s previous appearance against Terry Sanderson of the NSS on religion in education in schools did him few favours and consisted of him ranting over his (very polite and reasonable) opponent, firing off childish insults such as, “This is a stand up comedy routine!” and “You people are living in a fantasy world!” before changing the topic complete and not responding to his opponent’s last comment.

      The comments on the Unbelievable? Facebook thread and Robertson’s blog indicate that more of the same went down.


  6. Frances Janusz Says:

    I’m thinking of starting a blog called “the wee flee” to report DR’s evasions and misuse of his moderator’s privileges to censor critics. Tagline: “the truth must be moderated – and suppressed”

    Richard & I get on pretty well, although I’m not sure what he’ll think of my attack on DR. As Richard isn’t much into apologetics we tend to talk about other things, where we have a surprising amount in common.

  7. D Dempsey Says:

    Reading – or trying to – They Walk Among Us by Emma Heathcote-James, 2013 paperback version published by Metro/Bramber.

    Written in mangled English and with so much waffle it is hard to see how this “writer” gained as much as an “O” level never mind any sort of degree. Even on the internet it is hard to establish exactly her academic qualifications (did she complete her PhD or not?) and if so in any discipline relevant to her subject? Does Theology extend to quantum physics? Or require enough coherency to conform to the methodological rigours of even a social science?

    Ok so I bought this in a remainder store but the cover blurbs made it sound at least a reasonable attempt to sort the chaff from the wheat in some far-flung field in Fantasy Land.

    Perhaps with some professional editing and more attentive proof-reading it would be bearable. If not convincing. As so many years of research (and expenditure – hopefully not grant aid) for such a load of anecdote, conjecture and pseudo-scientific gobbledegook makes me question the “writer’s” judgement. And my own for expecting any sort of answer. Waste of time, money and good paper.

    I don’t believe in angels…..

    So there!

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