Secular Sunday #28 – Blogs and Plugs

Welcome one and all to the latest Secular Sunday! We have quite a full issue this week, with some exciting news, lots of blog posts and a competition.

In this issue:

  • News
  • Upcoming Events
  • Competition Time
  • Blogorrhea
  • Shameless Plugs


  • Atheist Ireland is organising an international Women in Secularism conference in Dublin next year. It will discuss how religious influence in society affects women’s rights, and how to make secular groups welcoming to women who want to influence change. We will have speakers from Ireland, Britain, Europe and beyond.
    We want the event to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible, discussing the different perspectives that secular women have on relevant issues, and working together to influence positive change. If you would like to get involved in any way, please let us know, as we’re now starting planning meetings and fundraising events. You can email us or contribute to the discussion on our forum or on Facebook.
  • We are starting a community outreach group to do good things for the community without religious influence. We’ll be organising charity events, visiting people in institutions, responding to requests for help where we can provide it, and generally being good without gods! Please let us know if you want to take part in our activities. Also, as this initiative is still in the planning stage, please let us know what type of things you think we should or should not be doing. Email or share your thoughts on the forum or Facebook.
  • We’re also planning to set up local Atheist Ireland groups around the country over the next few months, to organise local social events, monitor reports in the local media, and contact local TDs. If you would like us to arrange a meeting in your area, please suggest a good location where we could book a small room to host a first meeting. We’ll do the booking and send someone to attend the meeting. As above, email, forum or Facebook.

Upcoming Events

  • 11-13 July, 6:45 pm, Kudos Bar, The Clarion Hotel, IFSC, Dublin 1 (map)
    Alchemist Aperitifs, three evenings of open conversation and debates with speakers who are taking part in the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF), including Lone Frank, Alaa Ibrahim, Melissa Anderson, Sara Tegami and many more scientists you’ve probably never heard of but would be interested in listening to. Admission is free and there will be complimentary food. Read more
  • Thursday 12 July, 7:30 pm, The Bankers, Dublin 2 (map)
    Dublin Atheists in the Pub. Our speaker this month is Aoife McLysaght from the Molecular Evolution Lab in TCD. Facebook event page.
  • Friday 13 July, 1:15 pm, Edmund Burke Theatre, Trinity College, Dublin 2 (map)
    The Age of Reason: How Logic Can Save Us…Again with Dara Ó Briain and a panel of thinkers. Admission €10. Read more
  • Saturday 14 July, 8:00 pm, Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork (map)
    Dr. Stephen Makin and Ben Makin of the Edinburgh Skeptics will deliver a talk on the anecdotes and evidence surrounding alternative medicine. Read more
  • Monday 16 July, 8:30 pm, McSwiggans Bar and Restaurant, Woodquay, Galway (map)
    Galway Skeptics in the Pub are meeting again. Facebook event page
  • Wednesday 18 July 8:00 pm, Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry’s Mall, Limerick (map)
    The Mid West Humanists will be meeting to discuss secularising the Irish Constitution and their plans to lobby TDs.
  • Sunday 29 July, 12:00 noon, Galway Lawn Tennis Club, Galway (map)
    Humanists West, Galway will be having their monthly meeting. Facebook event page

Competition Time

This week we have a copy of Dylan Evans’ new book Risk Intelligence to give away. It’s signed by the author and by Nick Leeson of Barings Bank infamy. To win, simply answer the following question: Dylan Evans was once accused of sexual harassment for showing a colleague an article about the sexual habits of which animal? Answers by email please.
The winner will be randomly chosen from all correct answers received before noon on  Saturday 14 July.


  • “The modern scientific interpretation says that 60 million years ago molten basalt was forced through chalk beds, forming the distinctive columns we see today at the Giant’s Causeway. Let me state that this is a perfectly fair interpretation of the facts if you come to the matter from an agiantist perspective. Indeed, the giant rock hurling hypothesis does not require any significant modification to the existing scientific model.” – Geoff Lillis appeals to the National Trust to teach the controversy about the Giant’s Causeway.
  • “Not only are the ads incredibly misleading, they are also emotionally manipulative and factually inaccurate. And that is exactly the idea behind them; shame and scare. Now, I am prochoice but I respect the right of anyone to be against abortion on ethical or personal groups. But I reserve huge levels of fiery, dripping, biologically hazardous contempt for anyone who tries to justify their ideological position with bald faced lies and tries to bend science to fit their agenda, rather than the other way around” David Robert Grimes follows up on his Irish Times piece about the Youth Defence billboards.
  • “From an early age my dad made it perfectly clear that he considered god to be in the same group as Thomas the Tank Engine and Winnie the Pooh. If we asked what he thought happened after you died his answer was that you rot in the ground – he also referred to graveyards as ‘bone orchards’.” Harry Guinness tells us why he is an atheist.
  • “So what happened to the foreskin when it became detached from Jesus? Well it disappeared until the middles ages when several popped up all over Europe: Cathedral of Le Puy-en-Velay, Santiago de Compostela, the city of Antwerp, and churches in Besançon, Metz, Hildesheim, Charroux, Conques, Langres, Fécamp, Calcata, and two in Auvergne.”Peter Ferguson discusses some astonishing mediaeval hypotheses about the fate of the Holy Prepuce. An incredibly busy blogger, Peter also has new posts this week on the Giant’s Causeway controversy, religious racism in the USA, marriage equality in Ireland and just what it takes for a Catholic bishop to get fired.

Shameless Plugs

Two of our frequent contributors have non-atheist related stuff going on this week, which we’re sharing because it’s nice to be nice. Aoife wants us to consider funding her girlfriend’s ukulele album, while Geoff wants us to watch him get repeatedly punched in the face (in a good cause, of course).

That’s it for this week. Keep in touch with our goings on via our website, forum, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Derek Walsh
Editor, Secular Sunday
Atheist Ireland

Secular Sunday


  1. Avatar
    Gavin Tobin July 09, 2012

    When will Atheist Ireland be organisng a “Men in Secularism” event?

    …or am I being sexist for even asking?

  2. Avatar
    TomK July 10, 2012

    Gavin, I don’t really know what you mean, from a male perspective I see religion as teaching girls in school as inferrior to males, to be submissive in their role within the church (every girl should aspire tobe like the virgin Mary) and then the church-law puting women below equal footing. This being taught/indoctrinated to children of both sexes.

    Nevermind that the property valve of women from the original commandments is below the value of Oxen & slaves.

    Sexism is taught to kids in christian schools, the segregation of kids into seperate groups/sex is almost like from the past, the segregation of black people from white people in S.A.

    Just a few CC points without explaination:
    -A woman cannot become a priest, instead a ‘devoted’ submissive Nun.
    -A woman can’t marry a priest, doesn’t have the same value to take an active role in the church.
    -Contraception, cases of Irish doctors refusing to give contraception injections to women.
    -Divorce is against the catholic law, in most cases of abusive relationships, it’s against women, but a sin for them to seek a divorce.
    -That case of a female teacher getting the sack for being pregnant by a seperated married man, because it was against the catholic schools’ ethos.

    As a male I would like to hear the female perspective as well as the male perspective on the effects of religious sexism within our culture.

    As rationlists there’s no denying that the Majority voices within Atheism in the past has/is male, even attendances at atheist events is rarely if ever less than 3to1, we’re a 50/50ish population.