Secular Sunday #82 – The Young and the Godless

If you’re a Catholic, the Vatican has announced that you can reduce the amount of time spent in Purgatory (“a sort of divine Ellis island” in Richard Dawkins’ memorable description) by following Pope Francis on Twitter. As you’re reading this, it’s overwhelmingly likely that you’re not a Catholic, and you’d probably get more satisfaction out of following Atheist Ireland. Unfortunately, we can’t offer any reduction in the time spent in the afterlife. You’ll still be non-existent for all eternity. But until then, at least you’ll have the latest news about our events and activities. We also do Facebook. And this newsletter, of course.

– Derek Walsh, Editor

News

  • Atheist Ireland has made a submission to the Irish Constitutional Convention, seeking the removal of the offence of blasphemy from the Irish Constitution.We campaign internationally against the use of blasphemy laws to infringe the human rights of religious minorities and atheists, including by hosting an event at the 2012 OSCE human rights meeting in Warsaw. We have opposed the Irish blasphemy law since it was first announced, including by lobbying Irish politicians and international regulatory bodies. Read more
  • The biggest ever international gathering of Young Humanists (aged 18-35) is taking place in Brussels at the ‘European Humanist Youth Days’ (2-5 August 2013).
    There will be talks, workshops, chocolate making, free beer, a ‘freeze’ protest, and a chance to meet Humanists from all over the world. The funding that pays for the event (including accommodation and meals) is available for up to 20 people coming from the UK and Ireland, so all you would have to pay for is transport! For more information check out the website, or email the British and Irish representative Nicola,  or the main organiser. Registration officially closes today (21 July) so you need to hurry!

Media Watch

Barbara Monea

Thanks to Barbara Monea (pictured) for spotting and collecting the above news items and many more which can be found at her blog, updated daily.
  • Jerry deWitt, atheist author and former Pentecostalist pastor was interviewed on Newstalk Radio by Sean Moncrieff on Friday. You can listen to the interview here (starts at about 8:30 and runs about 13 minutes). Thanks to Dave Kiernan for telling us about that.
  • Newspaper clipping: "LAPSED ATHEISTS. The recently-formed North Meath Lapsed Atheists' Group will hold a get-together in the Muldoon's, Drumconrath on Thursday, July 18th, starting at 9pm. There will be informal discussions on religious matters and anyone from any part of the north-east with contributions to make or just listen are welcome to come along on the night . The group wishes to state that the founders are not extremists and have a very open mind on Christian issues."Sean O’Shea spotted this notice of a meeting for  “Lapsed Atheists” in his local newspaper. It’s not entirely clear to us what a lapsed atheist is: whether it’s someone who  used to be an atheist, but has lately begun believing in gods, or someone who has lapsed into atheism from another belief system. Nor is it clear whether the purpose of the group is to encourage or discourage whatever sort of lapse it is. If anybody knows, please enlighten us.

If you spot anything in the media that you think may be of interest to our readers, send us an e-mail about it.

 

Calendar

  • Wednesday 24 July, 8:00 pm, The Sunflower Bar, Belfast (map)
    Belfast Skeptics in the Pub. The speaker will be Matthew Collins, a stand-up comedian and resident geek on BBC NI’s Great Unanswered QuestionsFacebook event page
  • 25-28 July, various locations, Dublin
    The Festival of Curiosity, Dublin’s first annual festival of science and culture, with lots of free day-time events for families and children, accompanied by an evening programme of  interactive science debates, discussions and shows. Find out more
  • Saturday 27 July, 6:30 pm, The Lord Edward, Dublin 2 (map)
    Dublin Skeptics in the Pub will be gathering in the Lord Edward for chats, pints, and the possibility of a plate of chips. Facebook event page
  • Saturday 3 August, 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm, GPO, O’Connell St., Dublin 1 (map)
    Brendan Maher and friends will be outside the GPO with a stall promoting atheism, secularism and humanism. Email Brendan if you want to help or for further information.
  • Sunday 4 August, 4:00 pm, Buswell’s Hotel, Molesworth St., Dublin 2 (map)
    Monthly meeting of the Humanist Association of Ireland. All are welcome.
  • Sunday 11 August, 12:00 noon, various locations
    Second Sunday brunches will take place in Dublin, Sligo and possibly a few other towns and cities around the country.
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