2) You were baptized a Catholic in the traditions of your Irish father and you later attended a catholic school. Does your fathers Irish Catholic roots form any part of your personal identity? Would you for example consider yourself an Irish American?
3) The overwhelming percentage of schools here in Ireland are still run by the roman catholic church with state funding. Having attended a catholic school, what is your opinion on religious groups running educational schools?
Do, for example, parents have the right to receive religious education for their children from the state?
If one feels the need for religious ed, send your kid to private school. I still don't like it, but whatever. I don't pretend we can eliminate indoctrination while preserving freedoms.
4) American religiousness is sometimes viewed as an oddity and a strange reversal of the western trend towards secularization. Do you think Americans are more religious than Europeans? If so, any theories why this is so?
5) Do you see yourself as part of a wider atheist/skeptic political movement?
We may be a movement online. There is little to no "brick and mortar" American atheist movement. It's a problem of organization that I don't really consider a problem. The only thing that unites us is a rejection of a common myth. Outside of this fact, atheists trend too skeptical and nonconformist to agree on much else without kickback. This is fine with me. We should unite for big issues, say, protesting violations of the separation of church and state, but I'd rather we operate as individuals in spreading the "good word" of atheism. I'm a movement of one.
6) Do you have any other strong political viewpoints or philosophical interests?
I've never been all that political. I'm liberally minded on most social issues and pretty moderate on fiscal issues. I figure I'm already outspoken on one of the two most heated conversational topics, religion, so taking part in the other is just asking for trouble. Also, government matters have so many moving parts and unintended consequences, I could never be as sure the position I stand for is as correct as my position in regards to religion.
I consider myself a skeptic on matters other than the existence of gods, but my opinions on pseudo-science,
alternative medicine and cryptology don't fit into the scope of my blog. I'd start a new blog, but I just don't have the time.
7) Blogger's profile lists your industry as 'advertising'. I've long felt that religious evangelicalism is text book advertising. Witnessing is the same as product testimonials; religious identity is product branding; evangelicalism is emotional anchoring: first convince people there is something missing from their lives, then offer the solution. Would you agree with this?
Absolutely. Here in America atheism has a major branding problem. Gullibility is called "faith" and is considered a virtue. I just had a conversation with an apologist who took issue with someone calling what Jesus does in the Bible magic. He said it wasn't magic, it was miracles. It's all semantics, but they twist anything that applies to their belief system as a positive. It's a hard mindset to overcome. I've worked with some good ad agencies in the past, but none as good as the Church.