Author: Alex J. O'Connor

An Open Letter to Education Secretary Justine Greening

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Dear Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening, and anybody else whom it may concern,

My name is Alex O’Connor, and I’m a fervent advocate for political and educational secularism who has been lucky enough in the past year to amass a considerable following of like-minded individuals with whom I hope you don’t mind me sharing this letter. I’m also a citizen of the country over which your government presides who is deeply concerned with what may seem like a comparably unimportant section of its manifesto, but it is a section that I and many others in fact consider to be of a far greater significance than it may at first seem.

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A Note on Women in Bags

 

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Recently, perhaps due to Facebook’s overtly partial organisational algorithm, or perhaps due to the well-intentioned yet misguided efforts of those in my ‘friends’ list of a far left-wing or theocratic inclination, I have found myself continually stumbling across a particularly grotesque yet entirely unsurprising attempt by the obnoxiously prolific BBC Three to normalise that most egregious of crimes against the sound moral conscience: the monotonisation and deindividualisation of the female of the species.

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10 Timeless Hitchens Quotes

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Today, April 13th, would have perhaps marked Christopher Hitchens sixty-eighth birthday, had he not developed such a partiality for whiskey and cigarettes as he did in his younger years.

However woefully transient his life was, I am reminded of the quote oft-attributed to Banksy: “They say you die twice. Once when you stop breathing and the second, a bit later on, when somebody mentions your name for the last time.” I feel it will be a considerable while before Hitch’s second passing.

To mark the occasion, I decided to compile a short list of some of my favourite of his quotes, and after realising that almost anything he ever said or wrote could fit such a bill, I settled on no particular order.


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“I Only Teach My Children The Good Bits Of My Religion!”

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If you know anything about me, then you probably know that I’m not too fond of the idea of dogma, and I’m even less of a fan of bringing up children in any environment which parades it as a virtue. I don’t think I’m particularly alone in my view—in fact I’d wager that most people, upon being compelled to, would gladly denounce dogma and condemn those who are guilty of dispersing it. However, I’m also of the belief that a large number of these people completely misunderstand what it means to be dogmatic, and so are at risk of coming across as entirely hypocritical.

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7 Brief Lessons on Physics – Carlo Rovelli (Book Review)

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As anybody who specialises in the field will be enthusiastic to tell you, the study of the physical sciences is not exactly an undertaking which is graced with unexacting accessibility. Interesting and attracting as it may seem to the likes of me, a self-identified ‘science enthusiast’, I don’t doubt for a moment that I would be briskly floored by the overwhelming difficulty and arduousness of pursuing an academic career in the subject if I ever attempted to do so.

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Welcome to the Regressive Left in the Trump era: no “safe spaces” for those you oppose

Why Evolution Is True

I was saddened to hear about the violence in D.C. this weekend, with over 100 people arrested and substantial damage to property.  If a march is to succeed, it should be nonviolent, as was the case with the civil rights and Vietnam marches in the Sixties (yes, I know there was some violence).  If the Left is to keep the moral high ground, we simply can’t go around physically attacking those whose views we don’t like. In fact it’s ironic, because when progressives do this, they’re implicitly denying someone a REAL safe space: a space to be free to express your opinions and remain physically safe. “Safety” refers to freedom from physical attack or illegal harassment, not to freedom from hearing views you don’t like.

As a conscientious objector, I’ve always adhered to the nonviolent philosophies of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, for if you start violence, you lose credibility.

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