Secular Sunday #543 – Adam the Ape and Our Goddamn Wedding

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Adam the Ape and Our Goddamn Wedding


After partnering Kamila Dydna with her wonderful short movie Debutante, we’re highlighting two more artistic projects this week – a children’s book about called Adam the Ape by Wolfgang Wambach and an atheist film called My Goddamn Wedding by Jeff Jackson.

In Adam the Ape, young Kenny is the best player in online adventure games, where nobody realises he is unable to speak. In real life, the mute schoolboy is bullied and cannot find friends. Everything changes after he meets Adam, a circus ape who can talk through sign language.

Aideen Hamill, an Irish atheist in Secondary School, reviews Adam the Ape on our website today and compares it to Outgrowing God by Richard Dawkins. She concludes that while both books are wonderful, Wambach offers a carrot where Dawkins uses a stick.

Meanwhile Los Angeles-based filmmaker Jeff Jackson is fundraising to make a romantic comedy with a secular twist. It’s about a young bride who tries to hide her fiancé’s atheism from her Catholic mom until after the wedding, then the groom has a candid chat with their novice priest.

Jeff has already produced and directed a short film version of it, and raised about half of the money he need to produce it as a feature-length movie. You can read all about it on the film’s website:

As always, 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

Adam The Ape – A Book Review


Aideen Hamill, an Irish atheist in Secondary School, reviews Adam the Ape by Wolfgang Wambach
Richard Dawkins is probably the most famous evolutionary biologist in the world today. I recently read his book ‘Outgrowing God’, which is aimed at a younger audience. Having really enjoyed that book a lot, I was happy to have an opportunity to read ‘Adam The Ape’ by Wolfgang Wambach, which also introduces younger readers to evolution and humanism. While both books are wonderful, Wambach offers a carrot where Dawkins uses a stick.
What comes across most clearly from the non-fiction in ‘Outgrowing God’ is that Dawkins is an accomplished scientist. He leads the reader through the evidence in the field that he has mastered, to arrive at several unavoidable conclusions. For example, humans are a species of great ape and like other creatures we evolved from common ancestors, such that all animals on this planet are our cousins. Dawkins often uses fantastic metaphors and beautiful allusions, but the collection of evidence he gathers is a bit like a big stick, which is just as difficult to argue with as the real thing. That is, the effect of all the compelling evidence is to force some particular conclusions. Evolution is a fact that is as certain as any other, and reality does not allow us to pick our own truths.
In contrast, Wambach prefers the carrot of an adventure story, involving a young boy and a chimpanzee called Adam. The excitement of the narrative keeps the pages turning, so that the reader hardly notices the lessons being learned about evolution and the relationship between humans and our animal cousins. ‘Adam The Ape’ eventually teaches the reader many of the same lessons about humanity that Dawkins does, but Wambach’s setting is a fictional courtroom drama instead of the Dawkins science classroom. We can still realise that god is redundant, but in a very subtle way.
In his epilogue, Wambach reverts to a short summary of evolutionary science. The level of detail here is below what Dawkins provides, since ‘Adam The Ape’ seems to be aimed at a younger audience than ‘Outgrowing God’. I would recommend the Dawkins book for young adults who want to understand how science relates to religion and atheism. Dawkins provides a wonderful exposition of the evidence for evolutionary biology, without it ever appearing like school work. It is a joy to read and never a chore.
I would recommend the Wambach book for even younger readers, who may prefer an exciting narrative to non-fiction. The adventure story within ‘Adam The Ape’ offers a more gentle introduction to many of the same themes around evolution and humanism. I have no doubt that younger readers will enjoy it immensely, while also learning some important lessons along the way. You can buy Adam the Ape on Amazon.


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  $36,575 to 1277 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 1923 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 4,111 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




TD and Minister for Education clash over sex education rollout.


By Carl O’Brien


Minister for Education Norma Foley and Fine Gael TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill clashed over the rollout of reforms to sex education in schools during an Oireachtas committee meeting on Thursday morning. Read more…

Why havent more parents withdrawn children from First Holy Communion?


By Aoife Cassidy


Our family is unremarkable in all ways but one. Our children attend the local Catholic school but do not participate in religion, including the sacraments. There are probably families all over the country who, like us, have opted out of religious education but in our community, we are very much the exception to the rule. Read more…

Legal Advisers to the National Maternity Hospital Act For Roman Catholic Hierarchy and for A Majority of Ireland’s Religious Orders


By The Hotpress Newsdesk


Major new issues to do with ethics and disclosure have been uncovered by Hot Press, in relation to the deal to co-locate the National Maternity Hospital alongside St. Vincent’s Hospital, in its Elm Park campus. So serious are the issues that the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, must make a full statement as to what he knew and when – and why the issues were not openly discussed with the Oireachtas Health Committee. Report: Kate Brayden and Niall Stokes. Read more…

Two Green TDs suspended for voting against Government on maternity hospital motion


By Aoife Moore


Two Green party TDs have been suspended from the party after voting with the opposition on a motion on the new National Maternity Hospital, leaving the Government with the slimmest of majorities. Neasa Hourigan and Patrick Costello have been suspended from the Green Party for six months after voting with a Sinn Fein motion to locate the new National Maternity Hospital on state-owned land. They have also been stripped of the party whip. Read more…

Vatican/Vested interests 10: Women of Ireland 0. The people and process failures that created the St Vincent’s NMH débacle


By Peter Boylan


The ownership and governance arrangements for the new National Maternity Hospital (NMH) are fraught with risk for future generations of women in Ireland. The board structure of the new hospital makes it liable to capture and control by the 3/3/3 membership structure. Read more…



Prioritise RE reform not enforcement, NSS tells government


By The National Secular Society


The National Secular Society has warned the government that education about religion and belief should be reformed, rather than enforced, amid calls to compel schools to teach religious education. Religious education bodies are calling on the government to compel schools in England to teach RE amid concerns support for the subject is waning. Read more…

#JusticeForDeborah: European Union Mourns Sokoto Student Killed For Alleged Blasphemy, Calls For Justice


By Sahara Reporters


The European Union (EU) has expressed sadness over the gruesome killing of a Nigerian citizen, Deborah Samuel in Sokoto State. The union made this known via a tweet on Wednesday, saying that the body is “still saddened by last week’s gruesome murder of Deborah Samuel in Sokoto.” Read online…

Alliance No More


By The Freethought Prophet


Atheist Alliance International was formed as an alliance of national atheist groups from a wide range of countries across the globe. It was what the title of the organisation said it was. A set of Bylaws were accepted by the United Nations and the Council of Europe, to ensure that AAI could express views in an international forum that represented the democratic consensus of the alliance. However, AAI is no longer an alliance of groups. It is a corrupt little Boy’s Club that is controlled and operated by a handful for people, to serve the interests of those individuals. 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 Flag and the Cross
The Friendly Atheist Podcast – A Christian Letter to a Gay “Friend”

Media Watch

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




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