Why May and Fallon are wrong about gay sex.

In recent TV interviews, Theresa May and Tim Fallon were each asked, “Is gay sex a sin?” They both replied that it was not.

However, if we look at the OED definition of what a sin is, it says ‘an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law’.

If we then look at Leviticus, which is a book of Laws believed to be handed down by God to Moses, then 18:22 says, ‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.’

Therefore it seems fairly unarguable that gay sex is not a sin. People may not view it as a secular crime, but a sin is defined in a religious sense. Of course, some will highlight that word ‘immoral’ in the OED definition, and argue that gay sex is not immoral. The answer to that, of course, is that divine law (as demonstrated in Leviticus) clearly identifies gay sex as against divine law; hence it must be, de facto, be  immoral according to the Jewish/Christian sense of morality. Morality in the Jewish and Christian sense is defined by what God says is moral and immoral.

Some Christians would argue that Jewish Law does not apply to Christians. Jesus, however, states that never will one jot or tittle pass from the Law; the reason we are free from the consequences of this law is because of God’s grace through the sacrifice of Jesus. It does not mean that things have ceased to be a sin; it simply means that we have been saved from the consequences of our sins.

Gay sex is therefore a sin. You may not believe in God, you may not believe in sin, you may regard this religious argument as a complete waste of time and irrelevant, but nonetheless you cannot deny that according to the Bible, which as Christians May and Fallon should adhere to, gay sex is a sin. It is a bizarre world in which politicians are forced to choose between their faith, and their career.

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Give hope to the children of Pakistan

THE CHALLENGE: £500 in 6 months

THE AIM: to give hope to the children of Pakistan

In July 2014 Al Jazeera reported that in Pakistan an estimated 2 million children work for 14 hours a day, six days a week in brick kilns, Sadly this is the only future most of them will have; bleak and back breaking work making bricks.

Working with Starfish Asia, a Christian charity, I have set a target of raising £500 by the 1st September 2015 by selling 250 copies of my novel ‘The Bunker’. This would fund school places for 10 children for a year and give them the future that so few of their peers can have. Every penny (or cent) I make from the sales of ‘The Bunker’, reviewed as the lovechild of Stephen King and Ramsey Campbell, will go straight to Starfish Asia, so please help these children by visiting http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006XW9OMO

For updates about how the challenge is progressing please go to http://www.markbarham.wordpress.com. For more information on Starfish Asia please go to www.starfishasia.com.


 Starfish Asia

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Welcome to ‘Where Fear, Faith and Fact Meet’. This the place where we have to overcome our fear in order to the boundaries of our reality where fact meets faith. Sometimes these voyages of discovery take the form of reasoned, articulate argument; sometimes when we push beyond the edges of our reason only art, in the form of fiction, can express what we try to grasp but which slips through our fingers.

Some of this work is my own; some of it is shamelessly borrowed. Where the work is that of others, it is duly credited.

I hope you enjoy these pages. Guests are encouraged to comment, especially if they disagree!

Have fun and keep on rocking!!!!


James Rawbone has, (in no particular order), spent significant parts of his life; being mugged in Johannesburg and Maputo, sleeping on the temples at Tikal, building a ranger’s post in Belize, losing cheques for Barclays International, working with drug addicts in Manchester, tomb-stoning in Jersey, learning Spanish in Guatemala, being beaten up by Hell’s Angels in Sheffield. accidentally joining a brainwashing cult and spending subsequent months ‘kulking´ around Denmark, working in a Street Children’s Orphanage in Mozambique, being a special needs teacher and owning two very spoilt ginger cats. He is 37, still not dead and lives with his wife and children in the rolling countryside of the North Downs.

He has also had a number of short stories published in magazines and on the web. Please contact him at jrawbone@hotmail.com


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Is science rediscovering God?


In today’s secular western world, science is commonly held to be the ‘truth’. Anything that contradicts it is therefore held to be false, and so the atheistic views of well known scientists such as Richard Dawkins are held up as proof that science and God are at odds. Science is perceived to be reasonable, empirical and verifiable and therefore it is a generally held view that any educated and intelligent person cannot help but follow the prevailing scientific view of the world. Religion and faith, on the other hand, are seen at best as blind faith and at worse a mixture of ignorance and barbarity.  Yet if we ignore the hype and the hysteria, there is a fair amount of scientific evidence that points to the existence of a spiritual dimension to the world. Quantum, has pointed to the existence of a supernatural, intelligent, conscious observer which (who?) exists outside of the universe. This would be, in most people’s book, be God, or at least a god. The experiment which points to this external observer is, of course, the infamous double slit experiment.

For those who are unfamiliar with this, Jim Al Khalili (an atheist and President of the British Humanist Association) has a very good video briefly describing this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9tKncAdlHQ). One of the conclusions he draws from the experiment is that an electron choses to behave as a wave or a particle depending on whether it is observed. In fact, some interpretations state that the electron does not really exists, but is instead a wave of probability until it is observed, at which point it decides how and where to exist. This is known as collapsing the wave function. ‘The electron seems to spring into existence as a real object only when we observe it!’ Heinz Pagel, 1981. This is part of what is known as the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum physics.

All well and good, you might say, but what has some esoteric experiment got to do with the real world in which we live. Well of course, the experiment is very much part of the outside world. Everything is made up of atoms, all of which have electrons. We, as people are made of, among other things, electrons. If the existence of electrons is dependent upon an external observer, how are we then called into being? Presumably interactions with the world outside the observer. And what makes the world outside the observer real? Presumably the universe observing the world. Take the Copenhagen Interpretation literally, and you can state that a single speck of dust exists because the entire universe is observing it.

But what makes the universe real? Some cosmologists, including Stephen Hawking in his book, A Brief History of Time, worry that this implies that there must be ‘something’ outside of the universe observing it in order to collapse it’s probability wave function. As I have mentioned earlier, this ‘something’ sounds an awful lot like what most people would call God.

Quantum theory is also based upon Heisenberg’s principle of indeterminacy. This contradicts the old materialistic Newtonian view in which the universe ran in accordance  with absolute laws of nature along predetermined grooves that could be predicted with certainty and precluded the possibility of any non physical ‘interferences’, and if taken to its logical conclusion, the concept of free will. Heisenberg, however, essentially says that at a quantum level nature is ‘open’; that there are many potential paths the universe can take and often nothing physical determines which one is taken.Vacuum fluctuations are an example. In a vacuum subatomic particles such as quarks will appear and disappear (which is impossible because by definition a vacuum is empty) with no apparent logic or pattern. The question therefore is, unless we accept that such particles are conscious and are able to manifest themselves at will of their own volition, what does influence them? What (or who) is the Prime Mover (with apologies to Thomas Aquinas rather than Aristotle)?

Moreover there is the principle of non locality. This essentially says that two subatomic particles at different ends of the universe will instantly respond each other’s behaviour. That’s instantly. Not very, very quickly, but instantly. It is as if they were joined by something, but since nothing physical can travel faster than the speed of light, and we know it would take many light years for anything to travel to the nearest galaxy, the question is, by what? Science would seem to imply, if not require a non physical (or spiritual) realm in order to make sense of this. In essence, science, a materialistic philosophy, is leading us to a non materialistic view of the world. This isn’t so much God being invoked to explain the holes in knowledge or understanding, but literally because materialistic concepts are unable in principle to make sense of ideas like quantum.

There is, of course, rational thinking behind the polarised worlds of materialism and atheism, and faith. Evidence can be produced for both. It is a fallacy to say that a materialistic view of the world is based on reason, whereas religion is based on blind faith. The role of reason is to assess and present the evidence for different viewpoints. The evidence for God would be those experience which point to a transcendent source of intelligible order in the universe (such as the Big Bang, which by its very nature can only be described as a supernatural event).

The more we learn, the more we realise how much we don’t know and what lies beyond the borders of human knowledge is always fascinating, even as we grab tantalising glimpses of what may be. As Hamlet said, ‘There is more in heaven and earth than your philosophy can even dream of, Horatio’. For myself, the question is whether human knowledge can, or indeed does, ever move forward to solving the great, immortal problems that have always faced us if we are forced to continually recycle concepts that sit within the limits of our understanding, and do not have the courage, or indeed the ability, to look outside these parameters. Although science has brought great benefits to mankind (as well as great horrors), to be trapped into a purely materialistic view of the universe means limiting our own ideas and our own knowledge to our own detriment.


When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
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