Holy Smoke

An atheist goes on a Christian pilgrimage. What’s the point?

6 July 2018 17:25

The young writer Guy Stagg threw in his job a few years ago to undertake a pilgrimage to Jerusalem via…

Podcast: Pope Francis, homosexuality and the spectre of schism

31 May 2018 10:54

Only one pope in the history of the Catholic Church could have uttered the following words: ‘Juan Carlos, that you…

Podcast: Why do we insist on worshipping the NHS?

15 May 2018 10:35

Nigel Lawson once wrote that ‘the National Health Service is the closest thing the English have to a religion’. It’s…

Could Dublin’s preachy liberals save Ireland’s abortion ban?

23 April 2018 13:47

Could there be a Trump-style upset when the Irish vote next month on whether to repeal the country’s ban on…

The waffler and the thunderer: why Anglicans and Catholics will never unite

6 April 2018 17:29

Last week The Spectator published a fascinating and mischievous piece by Ysenda Maxtone Graham entitled ‘A tale of two Sarahs:…

Holy Smoke: The strange death of liberal American Christianity

23 March 2018 20:10

What rubbish we British talk about American Christianity. For example, we’re still convinced that hardcore fundamentalist evangelicals can swing elections.…

Is social media doing the Devil’s work?

17 January 2018 10:47

Twitter brings out a mean streak in some people that can take the breath away. And I should know. I…

How the music of Bach can teach us how to die

28 November 2017 15:35

Imagine if we had access to over a hundred Shakespeare plays in which the Bard was at or near the…

The Protestant passions of Queen Victoria: her biographer A.N. Wilson reveals all

6 October 2017 16:07

Our guest on today’s Holy Smoke podcast is A.N. Wilson, author of a hugely admired biography of Queen Victoria and…

If Jesus Christ was on Twitter, would he be attacked by malignant trolls?

20 September 2017 16:51

You must listen to the feisty new episode of the Holy Smoke podcast, in which Cristina Odone and I ask…

Is the Church of England dying in the countryside?

22 August 2017 13:05

English country churches: everyone loves them, no one wants to actually pray in them. ‘People have a massive sentimental attachment to…

Pope Francis is behaving like a Latin American dictator – but the liberal media aren’t interested

12 July 2017 16:01

At the end of June, Pope Francis dismissed Cardinal Gerhard Müller from his position as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of…

Is the British government about to be held hostage by head-banging biblical fundamentalists?

19 June 2017 13:31

Forgive the inflammatory headline, but that’s the conclusion that millions of Britons have drawn from media descriptions of the DUP.…

The Christian views of Theresa May and Tim Farron are way below the radar. And that’s how they like it

5 June 2017 14:58

There’s a mischievous, not to say malicious, Twitter photograph of Theresa May circulating this morning. It shows her sporting shoulder…

Britain’s loss of religious faith: how should we interpret shocking new statistics?

8 May 2017 13:10

Just 30 per cent of Britons feel that their religion or faith is important to them, according to the 2017 Ipsos MORI survey…

Pope is planning to retire, say allies – but only once he’s appointed enough liberal cardinals

21 April 2017 11:42

Allies of Pope Francis are saying that he’s planning to follow the example of Benedict XVI and retire. But he’ll only…

Are you scared to talk about your faith at work?

7 April 2017 14:33

Religious believers feel nervous about expressing their faith at work – either by wearing symbols or talking about religion. They’re worried they’ll…

Are Christian MPs being silenced by the ‘secular inquisition’?

10 March 2017 15:26

The BBC and the secular establishment don’t make life easy for Christian MPs. When Carol Monaghan, a Catholic Scottish Nationalist…

Is Trump turning Islam into America’s ‘Great Satan’?

3 February 2017 13:24

President Trump has a ‘dark vision’ of America under siege from radical Islam, says the New York Times – and…

Holy Smoke podcast: Are evangelical Christians being sucked into the cult of Trump?

20 January 2017 12:42

Some Christians on the fundamentalist fringe think President Trump is ‘the new David’ who will turn the United States into a godly kingdom.…

How mass immigration is turning London back into a religious city

6 January 2017 13:36

The bewildering influx of immigrants into London has had one effect that no one could have predicted 20 years ago:…

Murdered Christians are 2016’s least fashionable minority

16 December 2016 13:15

The murderers and persecutors of Christians have had a good year. With one exception – the killing of Fr Jacques Hamel…

Why do church leaders suck up to Marxist regimes?

2 December 2016 10:46

When Fidel Castro died, Pope Francis ‘grieved’. That’s right: he grieved for the man who – in addition to murdering…

Brexit, Trump and the pious rage of the liberal clergy

18 November 2016 12:27

Here are some statistics you’re unlikely to hear on Thought for the Day. Churchgoers in America backed Trump by 56…

Secularism is wiping out Christian America. That’s why Trump could win

4 November 2016 10:49

We’re four days away from the presidential election, and America’s evangelical Christian leaders are still supporting a thrice-married man who boasts…