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Three Cheers for Us!

Apparently, we’ve won an award from the British Humanist Association for The Best Group Website, with a certificate and everything! Hooray! Denis Johnston, our secretary, collected it at yesterday’s Groups Annual Meeting (GRAM) in London. Thank you Denis.

No acceptance speech from me, but a big thank you to our webmaster, my son Nathan Nelson, who keeps the technical show on the web, as it were.

Today is Blasphemy Day

Today is Blasphemy Day, a day to promote free speech and to stand up in a show of solidarity for the freedom to challenge, criticise, and satirise religion without fear of murder, litigation, or reprisal. Find out more on the New Humanist Blog, then blaspheme away!

Soul music on Radio 4

StraussIn case you didn’t hear it, I was on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Soul Music’ yesterday, talking about a piece of music by Richard Strauss from Four Last Songs. I was introduced to it by a funeral client.

You can listen again on the BBC’s i-player for the next week or so, or it’s repeated on Saturday at 3.30pm. Be warned; several people have said it made them cry, so have a tissue handy.

An Atheist’s Guide to Christmas

Atheists GuideAn Atheist’s Guide to Christmas is in the shops now (and if it isn’t, it jolly well should be). Edited by the lovely Ariane Sherine, of Atheist Bus fame, a whole bunch of atheists, including some very funny ones, have contributed their thoughts about the festive season, including how to avoid it.

The royalties will go to the UK charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust, which seems particularly appropriate now that Pope Benedict, that homophobic old goat*, is about to visit the UK with his message that condoms shouldn’t be used in countries where AIDS is rife.

You can buy the book now at Amazon, or take a trip down to your local bookshop and demand that they put it in a window display.

*Actually, I take the goat insult back – I like goats.

More Islamic bigotry at the UN

The Islamic states and their allies at the UN, including China, want to censor and condemn free expression, usually on religious grounds. Read more on the IHEU website:

In a brave attempt at the Human Rights Council to re-establish their credentials as a team player on the world stage, the United States is co-sponsoring a resolution with Egypt on Freedom of Expression. The intent of the resolution is, in the words of the Egyptian delegate, to bring the Human Rights Council “to a point of convergence” on what has become the most divisive and contentious issue in the short history of the Council.

Meanwhile, gay Humanists have issued a press release about the “homophobic public pronouncements of Mr Ali Abdussalam Trekki, the new Libyan President of the UN General Assembly”. Ali Abdussalam Treki opened the Assembly session stating that homosexuality “was not acceptable for most of the world”.

Brainstorming session

Regular group meeting in Ipswich. Bring your brains! We’ll be planning what to do over the next few months, including choosing a slogan for our car stickers and any other ways we can promote ourselves and Humanism in general.

Even if you haven’t got any bright ideas yourself, come and see what you think of other people’s.

We’ll be in the lounge in Pinewood Community Hall, as usual. If the door is locked, buzz the buzzer.

Cloud-spotting

SkyHow often do you look up at the sky and think, “It looks like rain”? Apart from that, and noticing when the sky is a boring blue with no clouds in sight, do you pay it much attention?

Norfolk Secular & Humanist Group Concert

Rachel GoodchildCome and hear Soprano Singer Rachel Goodchild perform. Enjoy an evening’s entertainment, including raffle, light refreshments, a programme of singing with commentary, and a FREE glass of wine or hot drink! The Norfolk Secular and Humanist Group would greatly appreciate your company. Please feel free to tell a friend! Tickets are £2 per person on the door to cover costs.