Author: Margaret

Coronation Street’s Humanist funeral

The TV funeral of Coronation Street character Hayley Cropper on Friday 31st January may bring back memories for the thousands of Suffolk and N E Essex families who’ve arranged something similar for a loved one. Since 1991, the Suffolk Humanist Ceremonies Team – David Mitchell from Pettaugh, Sue Hewlett from Stutton and Sophie Lovejoy from Brightlingsea – have helped Margaret Nelson from Elmsett, near Hadleigh, to meet increasing demand for...

UN Celebration of Human Rights 2013 – Article 4

On 10th December we took part in the annual Celebration of Human Rights organised by the Ipswich UN Association. This year the theme was based upon Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. The meeting was hosted by the Ipswich Society of Friends (Quakers) at their meeting...

New Humanist, new editor

The Rationalist Association’s magazine New Humanist has a new editor, Daniel Trilling. When he introduced himself in August, making it clear that he didn’t share an anti-religious, hardline atheist point of view, he attracted (predictably) some strong criticism from those who did. In the winter edition of the magazine he’s written, As anyone who’s ventured online knows, to many people “atheist” has become a badge of identity, and an aggressive,...

October/November newsletter

Our latest newsletter is ready. Only 2 pages (sorry), but there’s a book review as well as details of meetings.

On nothing, and on what Darwin did, apart from go on a sea voyage

If you didn’t come to our meeting on 9th July, you didn’t miss much. We were going to watch a video of a lecture by physicist Lawrence Krauss, about how everything comes from nothing, but unfortunately Denis’s laptop ate it. Instead, he found a video about Charles Darwin’s life story. Later, I was surprised to hear someone say that he hadn’t realised what Darwin had done, apart from his trip...

Gove’s latest crazy idea; hand community schools over to the church

Michael Gove is the worst education secretary we’ve had for some time – perhaps all time. I’m not being party political, as I don’t think much of Labour’s record either – specialist schools and academies were their bright ideas, leading to the gradual, now accelerating, destruction of the state system under local authority control. Since Gove took over at the Department for Education, he’s introduced one crazy idea after another,...

PM sucks up to religious big-wigs

The NSS reports that David Cameron had a reception for religious leaders at 10 Downing Street this week. He told the religious big-wigs: “This government does care about faith. It does care about the institutions of faith, and it does want you to stand up and oppose aggressive secularisation.” Aggressive secularisation? The PM betrays his ignorance. There’s no such thing, and secularism benefits the religious, though they don’t appreciate it.

Red noses or red faces

The BBC’s bi-annual Red Nose Day broadcast, when “doing something funny for money” videos were interspersed with videos about people who need help, in the UK and Africa, included comedian Rowan Atkinson in a dog collar as a faux Archbishop of Canterbury. It’s no longer possible to see Rowan’s video on the Comic Relief website or on You Tube, thanks to 2,000 complaints from people who found it “offensive”. One...