Secular Sunday #49 – News, Views and Atheist Shoes

It’s time for this week’s Secular Sunday.

In this issue:

  • News
  • Upcoming Events
  • Blogroll


  • Atheist Ireland recently played host to Sanal Edamaruku, president of Rationalist International, and organised events in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast to highlight Sanal’s case and those of the many other victims of blasphemy laws worldwide. We now have video of Sanal’s speech in Dublin, and we’ll have more up soon, including more from Sanal, Atheist Ireland Chairperson Michael Nugent talking about blasphemy laws and secularism, and our Education Officer Jane Donnelly on the pressing need for a secular education system.
    While in Cork, we paid a visit to Ballinspittle,  site of a grotto where many Catholics claimed a statue of  Their Lady moved. We did some tests to see if there was any truth in it and made a video of the result (subtitles available).
    In Belfast, we met with some like-minded groups based north of the border (subtitles available). We also have a video of Pat Buckley, an “independent bishop” who supports our campaign for a secular constitution, a good reminder that a lot of religious people are also secularists.
  • The makers of Atheist Shoes are taking part in a pop-up shop for 12 Irish Designers until the 23rd of December, at The Little Museum of Dublin. It’s a rare opportunity to try the shoes on. So throw away your old Catholic shoes and buy a pair of these! Official launch is on Tuesday (see below).

Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday 4 December, Little Museum of Dublin, 15 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 (map)
    Official press and public launch of Irish Design Winter Showcase and an opportunity to meet the people behind Atheist Shoes.
  • Thursday 13 December, Dublin
    Dublin Atheists in the Pub (or Restaurant or Hotel). Venue and details to be announced shortly.
  • Wednesday 19 December, Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry’s Mall, Limerick (map)
    The Mid-west Humanists will be meeting. As well as old and new attenders (new people always welcome) getting to talk about life as an atheist or humanist in a society with a religious-biased culture, they are continuing their plan to meet TDs in the region, on the Constitution, starting when the Blasphemy article arises in the Convention, and considering their views on the need for legislation on abortion.


  • My skepticism is based on valuing truth and empathy together. It is based on an empathy informed by truth, an honesty about the world, and a belief that we are at our most honest when we are also compassionate. And an understanding that honesty requires that we accept who and what we are. Sometimes, that means that we accept being brains that do things that aren’t logical.Aoife considers mortality and irrationality.
  • Atheism is the absence of belief in gods, nothing more, nothing less. Being both an atheist and opposed to legal access to abortion is not an incoherent position, though it would be inconsistent for an atheist to advance a religious argument against abortion.Geoff does some digging on “ProLifeAtheists”.
  • Indian superstition is worthy of mention in its own right simply because of the flight of westerners, who are rightly sceptical of their own local merchants of superstition , but believe that they can drink from the same cup abroad and not be a victim to the same exploitation they experience at home. – Inspired by Sanal Edamaruku’s visit, Cyril recounts his own experiences in India and examines the claims of some of the subcontinent’s most notorious fakirs and fakers.

That’s it for another week. Keep up with what we’re doing via our website, Facebook page and group, Twitter feed, and  YouTube channel

Derek Walsh
Editor, Secular Sunday
Atheist Ireland

Secular Sunday

1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Sarah Boland December 03, 2012

    Well done Derek. Lots of news this week.