Secular Sunday #48 – Road Trip

Wakey wakey, rise and shine! It’s obscenely early but here’s this week’s Secular Sunday!

In this issue:

  • Sanal Edamaruku
  • Other Upcoming Events

Sanal Edamaruku

Indian rationalist and fugitive Sanal Edamaruku is in Ireland as part of a speaking tour of Europe. Since arriving on Thursday, he has already met with a number of TDs and Senators, given a press conference, spoken publicly at a meeting in Dublin, and had his story featured in The Guardian. Over the next few days he will be touring Ireland, along with Atheist Ireland chairman Michael Nugent and Education Officer Jane Donnelly, all of whom will be speaking on the topic: Separate Church and State Now
I’ll be with them in Cork and Galway in my capacity as Regional Officer (hence the early and truncated newsletter).

Here’s the itinerary:

Other Upcoming Events

  • Today, Sunday 25 November, 12:00 pm, Quay Co-op, Cork (map)
    Cork Humanists present “Pathways to Humanism”. Facebook event page
  • Today, Sunday 25 November, 12:00 pm, Galway Lawn Tennis Club, Galway (map)
    Humanists West, Galway will be holding their monthly meeting. Facebook event page
  • Wednesday 28 November, 7:00 pm, The Munster Bar, Waterford (map)
    Waterford Skeptics in the Pub. Geoff Lillis of Geoff’s Shorts will be talking about his encounters with street preachers in Dublin. This will be an extended and updated version of  a talk he gave at Dublin Atheists in the Pub. Facebook event page
  • Saturday 1 December, 12:00 – 2:00 pm, outside the GPO, O’Connell St., Dublin 1 (map)
    Brendan Maher will be at his stall promoting atheism, secularism and humanism. If you want to help, you can email Brendan or if you’re in the area, just pop by to say hello.
  • Saturday 1 December, 6:00 pm, The Lord Edward, Dublin 2 (map)
    Dublin Skeptics in the Pub – The “It’s almost the end of the world” edition. Facebook event page
  • Sunday 2 December, 4:00 pm, Buswell’s Hotel, Molesworth St., Dublin 2 (map)
    Monthly meeting of the Humanist Association of Ireland. All are welcome.

That’s all for this week. Normal service should be resumed next week.

Derek Walsh
Editor, Secular Sunday
Atheist Ireland

Secular Sunday


  1. Avatar
    John November 30, 2012

    I hope you will have a pleasant time on Sunday discussing today’s MRBI poll in the Irish Times:

    95% of people in Ireland claim membership of a religion (90% Catholic)

    only 5% claim to have no religion

    Indeed, the MRBI poll results are very similar to the census results, which were so bad from the atheist point of view, that they have repeatedly attacked their credibility.

    On specific issues:

    92% of Catholics in Ireland believe in God

    84% of Catholics in Ireland believe Jesus was the Son of God

    82% of Catholics in Ireland believe in Heaven

    80% of Catholics in Ireland believe God created man

    78% of Catholics in Ireland believe Jesus died and rose from the dead

    76% of Catholics in Ireland believe God created the universe

    These results are very bad for the atheist movement in Ireland (all 10 of them). In fact, they are so bad that the loony-liberal Irish Times has stuck them away on page 7, with no reference to them on the front page (their normal practice with polls of this type is to have a front-page story, with the poll details on an inside page).

    A Happy and Holy Christmas to you all.


  2. Avatar
    Derek Walsh November 30, 2012

    Hi John,
    Thanks for bringing that to our attention. I think you’re right that this should be on the front page of the newspaper. Personally I’d love to see the headline: “One in Twelve ‘Catholics’ is an Atheist”.
    The details are even more extraordinary. As you point out, one in six Catholics does not believe Jesus was the Son of God, the central tenet of Christianity.
    Almost a fifth do not believe in heaven, the supposed residence of God, His angels, myriad saints and the hoped-for reward for good Catholics.
    One in five do not believe God created man. Perhaps there the question is ambiguous and some people are simply denying the literal truth of Genesis. No big deal there as the Church currently teaches (or at least allows) that the Biblical creation myth is allegorical.
    More than one in five deny the resurrection making whatever faith they do have worthless (1 Corinthians 15:17).
    And, staggeringly, almost a quarter do not believe in a God who created the universe. A god who did not create the universe is not in any sense the God of Catholicism. So, at least with respect to the God the Catholic Church believes in, almost one in four of its members in Ireland are atheists.
    These figures are jarring for those who haven’t encountered them before, but they’re not surprising for those of us in Atheist Ireland who have long since recognised that people are quite happy to tick a box marked ‘Catholic’, even though their beliefs regarding the central dogmas of Catholicism could lead to them being excommunicated, and if the Church was still in charge, tortured and killed.
    We’ll certainly be highlighting these statistics. Thanks again for letting us know about them.

    Happy Holidays,

  3. Avatar
    dermopt lynch December 06, 2012

    Hello, I’m sixty seven and all my life I have argued for atheism. I argued that we are supposed to be a democratic state that recognizes all opinions, especially freedom of belief, freedom to practice religeon that we wish, yet religeons do not reciprocate. They criminalize me by insisting on catholic politicions legislating to ban what catholics believe to be wrong. We know how selective this can be when we consider this notion. In all the sorry mess of clerical child sex abuse, Cardinal Brady committed the most cynical act by making two young boys swear an oath of secrecy in the case of Father Brendan Smith. This allowed Smith to freely go on his way as one of the most hideous and disgusting perverts among a battalion of his brothers of the “cloth”. Should these legislators consider bringing in a law to criminalize Brady? Now Brady is at it again; urging his “flock” to criminaliz abortion. Yours Dermot Lynch