Secular Sunday #83 – Swearing and Blaspheming

As regular as the workings of a slightly wonky clock, it’s time for this week’s Secular Sunday. You know the drill by now: we’ve got news, views and a list of upcoming events. Enjoy, and see you at a roughly similar time next week.

– Derek Walsh, Editor


  • Eamon GilmoreAtheist Ireland has written to Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, to remind him that tomorrow, as a member of the Council of State, he will become the first Irish person to be asked to swear a Constitutional oath in the presence of a god that he is publicly on record as not believing in. We have asked him to consider the implications of making such an oath. Read more
    According to the Irish Times, the Tánaiste has sought legal advice and intends to take the oath.
  • Atheist Ireland believes that that Civil Registration Amendment Act 2012 is based on prejudice and religious discrimination. We have been endeavouring to find out the basis on which decisions are taken in implementing the discriminatory aspects of this act. Jane Donnelly reports on our progress so far.
  • Our submission on blasphemy to the Constitutional Convention is now on the Convention’s website. Michael Nugent has written a column for The Journal on why it’s time to get rid of Ireland’s blasphemy laws


All events are free and open to everyone unless otherwise stated.


  • Saturday 3 August, 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm, GPO, O’Connell St., Dublin 1 (map)
    Brendan Maher and friends 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 4 August, 4:00 pm, Buswell’s Hotel, Molesworth St., Dublin 2 (map)
    Monthly meeting of the Humanist Association of Ireland. This month’s guest speaker is Rachel Moran, a Prostitution Survivor and the founding member and European coordinator of SPACE International (Survivors of Prostitution Abuse Calling for Enlightenment). Facebook event page
  • Sunday 11 August, 12:00 noon, Trinity Capital Hotel, Pearse St., Dublin 2 (map)
    Atheist Ireland’s monthly Second Sunday brunch. A family-friendly social event. Facebook event page
    There are likely to be similar events in other towns and cities. We’ll announce them by next Sunday.
  • Wednesday 21 August, 8:00 pm, Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry’s Mall, Limerick (map)
    The Mid West Humanists are meeting. They’ll be talking about life as an atheist or humanist in a religious world, as well as their plans to meet with local TDs concerning the Constitutional Convention.

Media Watch

Barbara Monea

Thanks to Barbara Monea (pictured) for spotting and collecting the above news items and many more which can be found at her blog, updated daily.

If you spot anything in the media that you think may be of interest to our readers, send us an e-mail about it.


I’m a white cis male. I have a naked lady fetish. There are no great numbers of folk out there who wish to oppress me, though I do experience a wrinkle of discontent from a small minority of Theists who don’t welcome my absence of belief.  – Geoff asks:  Where are the Women of New Atheism?

Without a doubt, the overwhelming reason why people are religious is that they were raised that way. It was their default setting so to speak. The vast majority of people are told from a young age that there is a God and never question it. God is unquestionably accepted like driving on the left hand side of the road. It is just the default option and many are surprised that a choice is even possible. – Robert Nielsen investigates why people are religious.

Secular Sunday


  1. Avatar
    c mcbrierty July 29, 2013

    I am keen to join up but I do not have a Paypal account and despite my best efforts I am unable to find a contact or postal address anywhere on the website. Sorry to use the comment box, but really, it ought to easier than this.

  2. Avatar
    John July 29, 2013

    Atheism and the Irish Language.

    As a teacher of Irish, it’s impossible to greet someone without mentioning God. There is no other salutation. This is because the Irish language is imbued with Christianity. Wondering if there are any Native Irish speaking atheists have any comment.

  3. Avatar
    Séasán Ó Riabhaigh August 03, 2013

    A Sheáin,a chara,
    I am not a native Irish speaker,but I have both seen and heard the expression “Haigh” used in Irish,e.g. “Haigh a Shéasáin,conas atá tú?” Other greetings such as “Maidin mhaith” or “Lá maith”,depending on the time of day,could also be used.
    Le Meas,

    Séasán Ó Riabhaigh
    (Jason Ray)