Secular Sunday #4 – You Gotta Fight For Your Rights
It’s time for another Secular Sunday, the online weekly newsletter of Atheist Ireland.
In this issue:
- Upcoming Events
- Young People These Days
- Five Steps to Civil Rights in a Secular Ireland
Atheist Ireland wants a secular Irish State, where we each have the right to our religious or non-religious philosophical beliefs, and where the state remains neutral on these beliefs. To that end we have drafted a document to send to all TDs and Senators. Read the latest draft and join in the discussion on our forum.
- Saturday 28 January, 6:30 pm, The Lord Edward, Dublin 8 (map)
Skeptics in the Pub – New Year Edition
The monthly meeting of Dublin Skeptics takes place upstairs in the lounge of the Lord Edward. Facebook page.
- Sunday 29 January, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, O’Callaghan Alexander Hotel, Dublin 2 (map)
“Is Anything Sacred?” Austin Dacey Ph.D. and Professor David Nash will be speaking at a public discussion of Irish and international blasphemy laws. Facebook page.The event will be live streamed so if you can’t make it in person you can still get involved. And if you aren’t available at the time, you should be able to view it later on our Youtube channel.
- Sunday 5 February, 4:00 pm, Buswells Hotel, Dublin 2 (map)
This month’s Humanist Association of Ireland meeting will be a tribute to and discussion about the late Christopher Hitchens. Details
- Tuesday 7 February, DIT Aungier Street, Dublin (map)
Michael Nugent will be debating with Hamza Tzortzis of the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA). The topic will be “This house believes the world would be a better place without religion.” Michael and Hamza have previously debated with each other in NUI Galway, UCD and RCSI. Video extract from RCSI debate
- Thursday 9 February (tentative), Dublin
Atheists in the Pub will be hosting our first speaker of the year, Vanessa Lacey from Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI). More details will be available soon.
- Friday 24th February 2012, 7:00 pm, Trinity College, Dublin 2
The annual Darwin Day Lecture, as arranged by the Humanist Association of Ireland, will be given this year by Dr Stephen Oppenheimer, on the subject: “Tracking Migrations with DNA: relevance to Britain and Ireland”.
- February (date to be arranged), Galway
Michael Nugent will be debating at the NUI Galway Law Society on a Wednesday to be arranged during February, and not on the tentative date of 25 January that we published last week. If you would like to talk to Michael and Jon Pierson before or after the debate, about helping to start a local Atheist Ireland group in Galway, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 25-27 May, Cologne, Germany
The European Atheist Convention is a few months away but if you’re thinking of going, it might be time to start planning. Facebook page
Young People These Days
Two teenage atheist activists have appeared in the news recently, for standing up to religious oppression. Their passion, bravery and enthusiasm deserve commendation and remind us that people of any age can make a positive difference.
- Jessica Ahlquist, a 16-year-old from Rhode Island, USA won a legal battle to have a religious banner removed from her school. A court ruled that the banner violated the First Amendment. Jessica has since received death threats and was called “an evil little thing” by a state representative.
- Rhys Morgan, a 17-year-old from Wales, was threatened with violence and expulsion from school for posting a picture of webcomic Jesus and Mo on his Facebook page. Rhys has a history of upsetting purveyors of nonsense, having previously received legal threats from representatives of the Burzynski Clinic for highlighting the ineffectiveness of the clinic’s cancer treatment.
That’s it for this week. Remember, if you want to get involved at any level, just drop us a line. You don’t have to wait for a group to be formed in your area, you can help to set it up. And even if you find yourself an island of atheism in a sea of conservative Catholics, you can still help by keeping an eye on local media, and writing letters to newspapers or calling in to radio shows to give an atheist point of view. Even just letting us know when any relevant news happens in your area can help, and we can highlight it nationally if appropriate. Lobbying politicians is also something that can be done on an individual level and as we roll out campaigns we’ll need people to get in touch with their own TDs and local government. There’s a guide to lobbying on our website.
Editor, Secular Sunday