Category: Diary

Caliphate? Get real!

The ISIS fighters in Iraq who’ve declared a new “caliphate” are ignoring history. Channel 4 News explains why it won’t work – “… their vision of a medieval-style religious state is based on false view of early Islamic history, according to experts.” Click here to read more. Harun al-Rashid (763 – 809) was Caliph in the 8th century. He was known as “the just”, and his reign coincided with the Islamic “Golden...

The Young Atheist’s Handbook in every Suffolk school

Copies of Alom Shaha’s book have been distributed to every secondary school in the country, including Suffolk schools, by the BHA. The book’s blurb says, This is a book for anyone who thinks about what they should believe and how they should live. It’s for those who may need the facts and the ideas, as well as the courage, to break free from inherited beliefs. In this powerful narrative, Alom...

New BHA videos

“How can I be happy?” is one of four short videos, narrated by Stephen Fry, released by the BHA to explain what Humanism is.

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,...

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...

Douglas Adams – “We don’t have to save the world”

“We don’t have to save the world. The world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about is whether or not the world we live in will be capable of sustaining us in it.” — Douglas Adams, Speech at The University of California. If Douglas had lived, he’d have been 61 today. This is a speech he made in 2001, only days before his...

Become a founder member of the Rationalist Association community – free!

The Rationalist Association is aiming to set up a new online community. Caspar Melville of the RA writes: We do not think that irrationalism, intolerance, special interests and dogma should go unquestioned or unanswered. We are building a community that can offer questions and better answers. We want to invite you to our own “raising bee”. You’ll need to register, that is give us your email (and choose a password)....