Secular Sunday #81 – A Ray of Sunshine

While you’ve all been enjoying the sunshine, I’ve been slaving over a hot laptop to bring you this week’s newsletter. Actually that’s not entirely  true, which is why you’re only getting this long after the sun has gone down. Anyway, it’s the usual mix of news, upcoming events and the best of Irish atheist writings for the week. Enjoy, and if you’re out, make sure to wear sunscreen.

– Derek Walsh, Editor

Atheist Ireland News

Photo: Today's Atheist Ireland Secular Sunday brunch at the Trinity Capital Hotel in Dublin
Today was our sixth Second Sunday brunch in Dublin. These events take place on the second Sunday of every month, in Dublin and other towns and cities around the country. They’re a great opportunity for our members and friends to get to know each other. We’ll be making a big effort to expand next month so if you’re interested in having a brunch in your area, let us know and we’ll help you organise it. If you haven’t been to one, try to make it to one next month. Or next week if you’re in Sligo where this month’s event has been rescheduled.





  • Monday 15 July, 8:30 pm, McSwiggans Bar and Restaurant, Woodquay, Galway (map)
    Galway Skeptics in the Pub #61. More science and skepticism in the pub. Facebook event page
  • Wednesday 17 July, 8:00 pm, Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry’s Mall, Limerick (map)
    The Mid West Humanists are meeting. All are welcome.
  • Sunday 21 July, 12:00 noon,  A Casa Mia, Tobergal Lane, Sligo (map)
    An irregular Second Sunday brunch, taking place as it is on the third Sunday of the month. A family-friendly social event. All welcome. Facebook event page
  • Wednesday 24 July, 8:00 pm, The Sunflower Bar, Belfast (map)
    Belfast Skeptics in the Pub. The speaker will be Matthew Collins, a stand-up comedian and resident geek on BBC NI’s Great Unanswered QuestionsFacebook event page
  • 25-28 July, various locations, Dublin
    The Festival of Curiosity, Dublin’s first annual festival of science and culture, with lots of free day-time events for families and children, accompanied by an evening programme of  interactive science debates, discussions and shows. Find out more
  • Saturday 27 July, 6:30 pm, The Lord Edward, Dublin 2 (map)
    Dublin Skeptics in the Pub will be gathering in the Lord Edward for chats, pints, and the possibility of a plate of chips. Facebook event page

News Highlights

Barbara Monea

Thanks to Barbara Monea (pictured) for spotting and collecting relevant news items. You can read more at her blog which is updated daily.



The science denialism of equal marriage opponents centres around the outcomes of children. Many claim that biological heterosexual parenting is uniquely beneficial to children. They argue that same-sex marriage should not be legalised until it is shown that children of same-sex parents have the same outcomes as their heterosexual parented counterparts. – Peter Ferguson details the science denialism of opponents of equal marriage.

Censorship of books and magazines has been a feature of the Irish state ever since the Minister for Justice established The Committee on Evil Literature in 1926, to report on the need for more censorship.
In 1987, the less-comedically-named Irish Censorship Board renewed its ban on The Joy of Sex by Dr Alex Comfort, which they had first banned in 1974. For good measure they also added a new ban on a scholarly book about Hindu erotic sculpture. 
 – Michael Nugent explains whythe Irish Censorship Board did not ban the Bible.

Now if a God wanted humans to live on Earth why would he cover it with a substance that humans cannot live on? If anything it implies that Earth is designed for marine life, with land life being a small sideline affair. Furthermore, not only is Earth covered in uninhabitable (to humans) water, but it is not even the water we need for life. It is almost as though someone was trying their best to prevent humans from living on Earth when they filled the ocean with saltwater. – Robert Nielsen provides considerable evidence that God did not create the world for us

Secular Sunday