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From comments that have been made recently in online discussions and at meetings, it seems that some members and supporters don’t fully understand how the ceremonies that we provide relate to humanism in general. Someone wrote, “They’re just about making money”. This is my blog about death and funerals. It might help anyone who doesn’t understand why we do what we do, and it isn’t about making money; our fees have to cover all our expenses, as we’re not salaried like clergy.
Today is Armistice Day. This is an extract from a recent humanist funeral ceremony; a poem chosen by a daughter for her father, who’d served in North Africa and Italy.
George Fraser Gallie wrote a number of poems whilst serving in Italy and North Africa with the Royal Engineers around 1943, when he was twenty-one. They’ve recently been discovered amongst his papers by his son. This is one –
It’s Operation Christmas Child time again, when well-meaning people are encouraging their children to fill shoe boxes with gifts for needy children overseas. But Operation Christmas Child, run by the evangelical American organisation Samaritan’s Purse, has a destructive agenda. Please don’t support them. Click here to read about “Mad Missionaries and Toxic Gifts”.
The BHA has some suggestions for alternatives to Samaritan’s Purse – click here to see their website.
There is a Campaign against Operation Christmas Child, that describes OCC as “Racist & Poisonous”:
What most people don’t know is that the organisation behind it – Samaritans Purse – is run by that well known islamophobe Franklin Graham – who calls Islam “a very wicked and evil religion”. It’s the same group that rode with Israeli army convoys into Lebanon during Israel ‘s 1982 invasion, and again followed US troops in to Iraq to claim Muslims for Christ.
In 1990 they sent 30,000 arabic bibles for US troops to hand out to the defeated Iraqis – literally at gun point. In Afghanistan their 2003 report proudly declared that with help from the Canadian military; they got “MUSLIM children in the capital city of Kabul to celebrate Christmas for the first time”.
Their stated aim is the “advancement of the Christian faith through… the relief of poverty”. Christian leaders in the UK have condemned this version of Christianity as “racist” and “poisonous”.
Their poison isn’t just directed at Muslims, they refer to Hindus as being “bound by Satan’s power” and were caught preying on Catholic earthquake victims in El Salvador in 2001- refusing them temporary homes provided by US AID unless they first attend a half hour evangelising “prayer” session. Afterwards Frankilin Graham gloated that in one village they converted 150 Catholics.
You can be sure that Samaritan’s Purse has an equally bigoted view of atheists.
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Here’s our latest newsletter – click here to download it (pdf).
It contains detailed maps and directions to our new meetings venue at University Campus Suffolk, so keep it for future reference if you’re planning to come.
There’s also a blog post from Ghana, details of the Mayor of Ipswich’s Celebration of Community, and our programme for the next few months.
They’ll be at the Brewery Tap again, upstairs this time – details to be announced.
Mayor Councillor John Le Grys (who’s an agnostic) has chosen the theme of social inclusion for this years’s Celebration of Community that will launch Inter-Faith Week 2011. He’s being helped by Suffolk Inter-Faith Resource (SIFRE).
It will take place in the Council Chamber at the Town Hall, where humanist celebrant Margaret Nelson will act as MC and one of our members will sing with the multi-faith choir. Everyone is welcome.