Secular Sunday #538 – Have a Happy Secular Easter

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Have a Happy Secular Easter


Atheist Ireland wishes everyone a happy secular Easter. For thousands of years, people have celebrated the coming of Spring with fertility symbols including hares, rabbits, and eggs. Like Christmas, Easter long predates the strategy by Christians of hijacking older traditions, by adding their own god myths onto ancient celebrations of the change of season.

Ireland has ten public holidays, with a new one to be added from next year. Five of them are or will be named after Christian characters or stories: Brigid, Patrick, Easter, Christmas, and Stephen. The others are simply named after the New Year or the month they take place in.

The addition of Christian names or stories to these public holidays is part of the background noise of State-supported Catholicism since the foundation of the Irish State. Other examples are the free advert that RTE gives to the Catholic Church before the evening news, and our politicians starting their day asking the Christian God to direct their work.

This religious discrimination and privilege extends upwards into having to take religious oaths to be President, a Judge, or Taoiseach, and to the State giving the Catholic Church control of our schools and hospitals. But Ireland is no longer a Catholic country. We are now a pluralist country gradually dismantling anachronistic Catholic laws.

Obviously Christians should celebrate Easter in accordance with their beliefs, but the State should stay neutral on such issues. We in Atheist Ireland will enjoy another secular break today, then return to our work of creating an ethical, secular State that treats everybody equally regardless of their religious or nonreligious beliefs.

You can help Atheist Ireland to continue our work on secular issues by joining Atheist Ireland as a member, or by asking anybody who you think may be interested in joining us to do so. We are an entirely voluntary body with no paid staff, and we depend on our members to continue our work. You can join Atheist Ireland here.

– Secular Sunday Editorial Team

Éire Aindiach

Éire Aindiach


Chun ár gcuid feachtais a leathnú agus a neartú, tá sé beartaithe ag Éire Aindiach níos mó úsáid a bhaint as an Ghaeilge.
Ba mhaith linn meitheal a eagrú, chun cuidiú le:
  • Polasaithe agus feachtais Éire Aindiach a phlé ar an raidió nó ar an teilifís
  • Cuidiú le doiciméid ghaeilge a scríobh
  • Bualadh le polaiteoirí chun stocaireacht a dhéanamh
Táimid i mbun aistriúcháin a dhéanamh ar dhoiciméid polasaí faoi láthair, agus teastaíonn cabhair uainn le aistriúchán agus profáil.  Más maith leat bheith páirteach san iarracht seo, cur ríomhphost chugainn ag

English translation:

To broaden and strengthen our campaigns, Atheist Ireland have undertaken to make more use of the Irish language.
We are looking to assemble a group of volunteers, to help with:

  • Discussing our policies and campaigns on radio or tv
  • Helping to write documents in Irish
  • Meeting with politicians to lobby them
We are in the process of translating policy documents at the moment, and we need some help with translating and proofreading.  If you would like to assist with this effort, please email us at

Atheist Ireland News

Atheist Ireland continues to work on campaigns over the break.

Film project – Interviewee request


A filmmaker, Dave Thomas, is hoping to get a commission from Virgin Media TV and make a short documentary sometime over the summer. He is looking to interview people.
The topic is on why some people wish to ‘officially’ leave the Catholic Church and how they have gone about it.  If you are interested in this project, please email Dave at or respond to this email. If you are aware of anyone else that is interested, please share this information with them.

Calling concerned teachers

If you are a teacher and concerned about unwanted religious influence contact Chris at

List of Atheist Ireland Submissions

Buy this book “Is My Family Odd About Gods?”

**Schools Special Offer**
Atheist Ireland are offering the book ‘Is my family odd about godsfree (excluding postage and packaging).  This means that you can get this book for the total price of 10 euro. This offer is aimed at families with school going children, who would like to read this book. This offer is limited to one book per family unit and for postage within Ireland only. Read more…
Have you noticed that your school and your teachers may tell you one thing about religion, while some of your friends and family may have different ideas about god?
If you think that this is a little odd, then this book is for you. Buy this book here.

Lessons about Atheism

Atheist Ireland has published a set of free lesson plans about atheism for children aged 8 and up. We welcome feedback, which we will use to develop the lessons. You can download the lesson plans

Be Good without Gods

Atheist Ireland ‘Good Without Gods’ Kiva team members have made loans of  $36,075 to 1256 entrepreneurs in the developing world. You can join the team here. Before you chose a loan, make sure you do not support religious groups. You can check the loan partner’s social and secular rating here.

Atheist Ireland’s ‘‘ is a place where people can publicly renounce the religion of their childhood. Currently there are 1917 symbolic defections. Many share their reasons for making a public symbolic defection which you can read here

Petition on Schools Equality PACT 

Atheist Ireland currently runs one petition – The Schools Equality PACT. This seeks to reform religious discrimination in state-funded schools. Currently this stands at 4,112 Help us reach it’s target of 5000. Please sign and share this petition if you haven’t already done so. Thank you.

Tell us what you think

Have you any feedback that you would like to give us on the Secular Sunday newsletter. What are we getting right? What could we improve on? Is there something you would like to see included? Drop us an email at

Please consider joining or re-joining Atheist Ireland


Atheist Ireland is an entirely volunteer run organisation. We receive no grants or government funding to continue our campaign work. We rely entirely on membership fess and donations.

Annual membership is nominal; €25 waged, €10 unwaged/student and €40 for family membership. Please consider becoming a member. Membership means:

  • You can help to build an ethical and secular Ireland.
  • You have a say in determining policy and electing officers.
  • You can attend members meetings and our AGM.
  • You will have access to our members only Facebook group
  • Your membership fee will go towards supporting our many campaigns.

You can join Atheist Ireland here.

Thank you for your continued support

Atheist Ireland Committee

Opinion and Media

Material on atheism, secularism, human rights,politics,science etc. collected from media and the blogosphere from Ireland and beyond; used without permission, compensation, liability, guarantee or implied endorsement. We aim to include a variety of diverse opinions and viewpoints.


Blogs & Opinions




People are dying before they get justice: Another member leaves Mother and Baby Home forum


By Órla Ryan


ONE OF THE remaining members of the Collaborative Forum of Former Residents of Mother and Baby Homes has stepped down from the group, saying survivors’ views on redress are being ignored by the Government. Conrad Bryan, a trustee of the Association of Mixed Race Irish, resigned from the forum in recent weeks. Read more…


National Maternity Hospital petition delivered to Taoiseachs office


By Maeve Lee


A petition signed by thousands of people calling for the new National Maternity Hospital to be publicly owned has been presented to Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s office in Cork. The petition, which has received over 10,000 signatures, states that the new National Maternity Hospital must “be a fully owned public hospital built on publicly owned land”. Read more…


Will you go to a church over Easter? ‘No, eating chocolate eggs instead’


By The Irish Times Poll


Readers have responded in droves to our question on Monday: “Will you attend religious services this Easter?” Some said they will go to a church to feel a sense of community; others for the moral lessons. Others want nothing to do with religion and would like it out of their own lives and out of the Irish education system. Here is selection from the 80-plus submissions that had arrived at time of publication. Read more…

It’s refreshing that no religion is acknowledged on the census


By Suzanne Harrington


I know you’re never meant to talk religion, but the census is making me do it. We had to fill it out, on account of being on a visit to Ireland last Sunday night, in a hotel with the fam – an atheist, an undecided, a haven’t-a-clue, a secular Jew, and myself, a Catholic by birth. I chant Om at yoga, but couldn’t find a box for that. Instead we all ticked the no-religion box. That this box topped the list felt significant. Read more…



Polish coalition party proposes three-year jail terms for insulting church or interrupting mass


By Daniel Tilles


A junior partner in Poland’s conservative ruling coalition has proposed toughening the country’s blasphemy law to allow anyone who “publicly insults the church” or interrupts mass to be jailed for up to three years. Read more…

How the Right Is Bringing Christian Prayer Back Into Public Schools


By Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern


On April 25, the Supreme Court will hear Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, a case that was carefully engineered to return prayer to public schools. Kennedy marks an effort to overturn nearly 60 years of precedent protecting schoolchildren from state-sponsored religion by flipping the First Amendment on its head. Read more…

Priests’ access to crime scenes: Police must weigh priorities


By The National Secular Society


Police have been told to ‘balance priorities’ when asked to allow priests on crime scenes, following advice from the National Secular Society. The College of Policing has updated its guidance after parliamentarians attempted to enshrine the right of religious clerics to access crime scenes in law, following the murder of David Amess MP in October. Read more…

Atheist expelled by Christian college wins discrimination case at Polish Supreme Court


By Ben Koschalka


An atheist who was expelled from a private Catholic college founded by influential priest Tadeusz Rydzyk after failing to produce a letter from his parish priest has won a long-running discrimination case. The prosecutor general, Zbigniew Ziobro – who, like some others in the government, is seen as being close to Rydzyk – had lodged an appeal after the expelled student was awarded compensation. But his action has now been dismissed in a final ruling by the Supreme Court. Read more…

Mubarak Bala’s Jail: Human Rights Lawyer, Obono Petitions National Assembly, Wants Blasphemy Law Amended


By SaharaReporters


Human rights lawyer, Mbasekei Obono, has asked the National Assembly to remove sections of the states’ criminal and penal codes that outlaw blasphemy.Obono made the appeal following the sentencing of one Mubarak Bala, an atheist, by a court in Kano for making a post on Facebook considered to be blasphemous against Islam and Prophet Mohammed (SAW). Read more…

Time to follow Northern Ireland in ending religious discrimination against teachers


By Ella Sen


Religious discrimination against teachers in Northern Ireland is slowly coming to an end. By 2024, the Fair Employment (School Teachers) Bill will remove the blanket exemption from the Fair Employment and Treatment Order 1998 (FETO) allowing schools to select teachers according to religion. Read more…

Compulsory religion class violates ECHR, Constitutional Court rules


By BIA News Desk


Turkey’s compulsory religion classes violated the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the Constitutional Court has ruled. The ruling comes after the 13-year long legal struggle of Hüseyin El, who wanted her daughter, Nazlı Şirin El, to be exempted from religion classes. Read more…
If you are a blogger or vlogger writing or talking about atheism, secularism, ethics, skepticism, human rights etc. and would like us to include your work here please email the link to

Podcasts, Videos and Interviews


Do you host an Irish-based podcast on atheism, secularism, science, skepticism, human rights etc.? Let us know and we will link to it here.


Freethought Radio – The Agenda
The Friendly Atheist Podcast – A Georgia Republican’s Top 3 Priorities

Media Watch

News and views from Ireland and around the world. Sharing is not an endorsement. 




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