Stand Alone: A UK Charity

Recently, I was interested to learn about Stand Alone, a UK charity devoted to the issue of estrangement.  On the Stand  Alone website, they state:

We support people who are estranged from their family or children. Our primary objective is to break down the stigma around estrangement and support estranged people in their daily lives.

The group appears to be very new and taking a very focussed approach to serving the community.  I like the fact that they are focussing on providing coping and independence services and strategies to people.  I agree with their perspective that the typical first advice given to people when in an estrangement situation is to attempt a conciliation or repair of the relationship.  They are challenging this perspective and instead offering the idea that sometimes walking away is the right choice.

I was particularly struck by the story of Shaheen Hashmat, given the religious underpinnings of her estrangement.  Is it right to walk away from the possibilities of forced marriage and/or honour abuse/killing? It is, in my opinion.

Estrangement is clearly linked to shunning which some religious groups use as a tool to manage dissenters.  Shunning has often been discussed at Living Without Religion groups conducted by CFI Canada.

Like Canada’s Dying With Dignity, it is interesting to observe how a single-issue organization might be effective in identifying and addressing their issue – and how that specialist work can intersect with the work of organizations with a different – and sometimes more broad mandate.

Recommended Reading: Graeme Wood On The Islamic State

The best article I’ve read so far about the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, ISIS or Daesh, is a long but very worthwhile piece by Graeme Wood in The Atlantic. Wood not only delved into the State’s public pronouncements but also spoke to Bernard Haykel, a Princeton academic who … Continue reading

“News Media Have a Duty to Publish Controversial Cartoons”

Today, Atheist Freethinkers published a press release explaining why the media should publish the controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons: For immediate release News Media Have a Duty to Publish Controversial Cartoons Montreal, February 24th 2015 — Atheist Freethinkers (LPA-AFT), an association which promotes secularism and supports the rights of atheists, denounces … Continue reading

Emerging Adults

The Mental Health Commission of Canada has issued an Executive Summary report under the title Taking the Next Steps Forward: Building A Responsive Mental Health and Addictions System for Emerging Adults. It’s not unusual to see these kinds of reports floated by various government arms in advance of an election.  Sometimes they … Continue reading

Queen’s University Acts Swiftly and Appropriately to Prevent Scientifically Unsound Teachings

Queen’s University has investigated a claim of dubious science teaching and taken swift and appropriate action. Melody Torcolacci, an adjunct professor with the school of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University, faced criticism recently when students complained about an anti-vaccination message in her course material. According to CTV News, one … Continue reading

“Charlie, Copenhagen, the Niqab & that Odious Francis”

“Blog 051: Charlie, Copenhagen, the Niqab & that Odious Francis” by David Rand and posted on the Atheist Freethinkers website, is recommended reading. Rand is saddened and outraged by the killing of two people in Copenhagen on the 14th and 15th of February 2015: all available evidence indicates that we … Continue reading

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