Posts in January 2011
A Humanists view of Christmas celebrationsSunday, Jan 2, 2011Penny Binsted wrote the following article for the Lawshall (Suffolk) village newsletter. She says, “It has been very well received and I have had many positive comments! Maybe there are more closet Humanists than people like to admit.” As Christmas is meant to be a celebration for Jesus’s birthday it is obvious to me that I have nothing to celebrate as I am a humanist. Humanism is the conviction that we can make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared human values and that we can all lead good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs.
Suffolk Humanist astronomer on BBC Look EastWednesday, Jan 5, 2011Suffolk Humanists & Secularists newest committee member Tom Boles was on BBC Look East yesterday, filmed at his Coddenham observatory with BBC presenter Richard Daniel. They were there to talk about the partial eclipse of the sun but there was too much cloud cover to see it, so they talked about Tom’s achievements instead. Tom set a world record last year for spotting more supernova than anyone else. You have a few hours left to see the interview, about 22 minutes into the programme, if you click here.
Ipswich Skeptics in the Pub Beer at McGintysWednesday, Jan 12, 2011Ipswich Skeptics in the Pub’s first meeting of the year is described as “Beer at McGinty’s”, but of course beer isn’t compulsory; conversation is.
February meeting Machines that TalkWednesday, Jan 12, 2011A presentation by group secretary Denis Johnston.
March meeting A history of British Humanism from the 19th century, including the local storyWednesday, Jan 12, 2011A presentation by Margaret Nelson, founder of Suffolk Humanists & Secularists. This may be of particular interest to newer members. How and why did Humanism develop in Britain from the 19th century? Who was involved? Where do we go from here?
Annual General MeetingWednesday, Jan 12, 2011Reports on our activities, plans for the coming year, and the election of officers and committee members.
From Lancashire Humanists, on the Census CampaignSunday, Jan 16, 2011“For God’s Sake, Say So” seems to have confused some people. Apart from that…
Financial Independence Through EntrepreneurshipSaturday, Jan 22, 2011You may already have heard of Kiva. You may already be a Kiva lender. But if you haven’t, this video explains how you can help women around the world, not with charity or gifts, but with a small loan. When it’s paid back (I’ve been lending a while now, and none of my entrepreneurs has defaulted), you can re-lend the money to someone else. A minimum of $25 at a time, adding more as you go on, and eventually you may have a portfolio of several $100.
Funerals: almost anything goesMonday, Jan 24, 2011The first time I conducted a funeral for a biker whose hearse was a motorcycle and side-car, a long procession of his fellow bikers roared through the town behind it. The conductor (the person in charge from the Co-op) rode pillion, wearing his top hat. The chapel filled with men and women in motorcycle gear and the sound of leather creaking as they moved about. Such events are no longer unusual, and the people who provide the motorcycle hearses are kept very busy.
In Sweden, is it illegal to teach religious doctrines as if they were true?Sunday, Jan 30, 2011The trouble with RE (or one of the troubles with RE – there are several) is that it attracts teachers who think religion is a good thing, and consequently are less inclined to encourage any sort of criticism. There is bias in the way that they teach the subject. You might argue that an atheist RE teacher (and yes, there are some) could show bias against religion, but any teacher who is doing the job properly should avoid personal bias.
Murdered Ugandan gay activist David Katos funeral marred by pastors rantSunday, Jan 30, 2011Mourners at murdered Ugandan gay activist David Kato’s funeral were shocked when the presiding Anglican pastor, Thomas Musoke, called on homosexuals to repent, or “be punished by God”, but maybe it’s impossible to find a Ungandan pastor who isn’t ignorant and prejudiced?