Secular Sunday #70 – Civil Registrations and Civil Disagreements

No weekend would be complete without an issue of Secular Sunday, so here it is, full of all the most relevant information I could find.
If you are organising any events or have seen some news you think will interest our readers, let me know so I can share it.

– Derek Walsh, Editor


  • Discussions and disagreements are ongoing regarding the Civil Registration (Amendment) Bill and what it means for the non-religious in Ireland.  Dick Spicer, former chair of the Humanist Association of Ireland, has written an open letter to Atheist Ireland on the topic – or at least on what he believes the behaviour of members of each organisation should be when there are disagreements. We have published it here.
    This follows the open letter by Andrew Devine-Rattigan to members of the HAI, which we published a few weeks ago here.
    The comments on both letters show a wide range of opinions on the matter.
  • On Wednesday, Michael Nugent and Jen Keane were on 98FM discussing whether teaching children religion as fact amounts to child abuse. Listen here

Profile: Taslima Nasrin

Every week until the Empowering Women through Secularism conference, we’ll be profiling one of the speakers.

Taslima NasrinTaslima Nasrin (or Nasreen) is a Bengali writer and former doctor. An outspoken feminist, atheist and secularist, Taslima was exiled from Bangladesh in 1994 due to her writings which were critical of Islam. She has since lived in a number of countries, and currently lives in India. She has written more than thirty books including novels, autobiographies and collections of essays and poetry.
Taslima has been the recipient of numerous awards for her literary output and for her humanist and feminist activism.



  • Monday 29 April, 7:30 pm, The Roundy Bar, Cork (map)
    Cork Humanists Film Club. This month, the film is The Ledge (IMDB). Facebook event page
  • Saturday 4 May, 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm, GPO, O’Connell St., Dublin 1 (map)
    Brendan Maher and co. 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 5 May, 4:00 pm, Buswell’s Hotel, Molesworth St., Dublin 2 (map)
    Monthly meeting of the Humanist Association of Ireland. All are welcome. Facebook event page
  • Sunday 12 May, 12:00 noon, multiple locations
    Second Sunday brunches. Details soon.
  • Wednesday 15 May, 8:00 pm, Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry’s Mall, Limerick (map)
    The Mid West Humanists are meeting. As well as old and new attendees (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.
  • Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 June, O’Callaghan Alexander Hotel, Dubln 2 (map)
    “Empowering Women Through Secularism” An international two-day conference featuring some of the biggest names in atheism, skepticism, secularism and feminism. Buy tickets now


The moderate Christian has his or her cake and eats it. They get to be a part of the club, and get the full VIP treatment; they are at least morally higher in the food chain than them damn atheists, abortionists and lesbians. They get the name tag, but lack the conviction to act upon what their holy book teaches. After all, you can’t be full of vitriol and moral superiority all day long, eventually you have to do the food shopping. – Jason Murdock on why moderate Christians are going to hell

So far, in his opposition to equal marriage, Quinn has misrepresented one research paper, cited another by a discredited fraudster, and has refused to acknowledge the vast amount of research compiled over the decades which all conclusively show that the outcome for children reared by same-sex couples is the same as those for children of two biological married parents. Peter Ferguson continues the theme of pointing out David Quinn’s dishonest tactics

If we assume that God is good (and all-powerful) then the question is whether God, in fact, ordered those massacres. If this is to be a reasoned inquiry, we must begin with the idea that God may or may not have been responsible. We must begin with both possibilities on the table! The data must guide us–not preconceived doctrine. Which view best fits the data? Are these massacres of men, women and children more likely the work of a god who is morally perfect or a god who is morally defective? – HJ Foley on the faulty logic behind the defence of biblical massacres.

Secular Sunday