Posts in March 2011
New commenting system and other changesWednesday, Mar 2, 2011Here at SHS Towers, our highly trained web monkeys have been labouring over a few changes to the site, and we’re a little bit excited. We’ve scrapped our entire registration and sign-in system, and replaced it with a new system designed to make it easier for you to share posts, comments and discussion on the Suffolk Humanists and Secularists site. Now, when read any story on the SHS site, you’ll see easier options for sharing it under ‘Share’, and easier options for adding your comments under ‘Respond’ – allowing you to sign in with Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo!
BlameWednesday, Mar 2, 2011We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.
Study of healthcare trusts shows hospital chaplains cost NHS 29 millionWednesday, Mar 2, 2011You may have read in the Mirror that the NHS could save 18.5 million a year, if it stopped funding hospital chaplains. The NSS has been campaigning on this issue for some time. Many people dont appear to realise that the chaplains salaries come out of NHS funds; in other words, its public money, not church money. They assume that the church pays for them. With all the cuts, isnt this a saving that ought to be made?
Ipswich high school becomes an academy, but not a church schoolThursday, Mar 3, 2011Holywells High School in Ipswich has become an academy. At one stage, it looked as though the Church of England might take over the school, which has had problems for years and was placed in “special measures” by government Ofsted inspectors from 2001-2004, but the Swedish organisation Kunskapsskolan made the successful bid. The school will now be called the Ipswich Academy. Students campaigned against the change of status as the Holywells SOS (Save Our School) group with leaflets delivered door-to-door and a petition signed by 600, while teaching unions have been critical of the change.
The NHS chaplaincy funding debate on BBC Radio SuffolkThursday, Mar 3, 2011Margaret Nelson from Suffolk Humanists & Secularists will be on BBC Radio Suffolk with Rob Dunger, who’s keen to talk about the NSS’s campaign to stop the NHS paying for hospital chaplains. There’ll probably be a cleric too, but we don’t know who that is yet. If you’re not local, you can listen online. Read more on the NSS website.
March newsletter, out nowFriday, Mar 4, 2011Our March newsletter is out now for you to download. Articles on the census, the BHA’s groups consultation, Lord Richard Harries on Islam, and the acronyms that some of you don’t understand. [Click here to download the newsletter](http://www.suffolkhands.org.uk/files/1/SH&S News Mar 2011.pdf “SH&S News March 2011”) (pdf). For help with pdf files, click here.
The census make yourself countMonday, Mar 7, 2011Most people will have received their census forms in today’s post. You might think that theres a supernatural side to life, or that there is a god of some kind, but if organised religion isnt for you, how you answer the religion question is important. Please help to ensure that the census gives an accurate and honest picture of the religious/non-religious balance of the UK. Dont ignore the question and leave it blank, or you wont count.
The right to affirm, in court and elsewhereWednesday, Mar 9, 2011At our meeting last night we were talking about Charles Bradlaugh, founder of the National Secular Society, and how he was prevented from taking up his seat in Parliament because he wouldn’t swear an oath on the Bible. In 1880, after three unsuccessful earlier attempts, Bradlaugh was elected to Parliament for Northampton. When he asked to affirm instead of taking an oath before taking his seat, a parliamentary select committee declared that the right freethinkers had to affirm in law courts didn’t extend to Parliament.
The Pod Delusion, 11th March 2011Friday, Mar 11, 2011The Pod Delusion is a weekly news magazine podcast about interesting things. From politics, to science to culture and philosophy, it’s commentary from a secular, rationalist, skeptical, somewhat lefty-liberal, sort of perspective. A bit like From Our Own Correspondent but with more jokes. This edition includes: Ex-Daily Star Rich Peppiatt Interview (1:54) by Sean Ellis; Shadow Business Secretary John Denham Interview (8:59) by James OMalley; The New Defamation Bill (16:03) by James Thomas (ft Naomi MacAuliffe, Simon Singh and Julian Huppert MP); The BHA Census Campaign Poster Row (22:59) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Bob Churchill); Green Party Science Policy (28:35) by James OMalley (ft Jim Jepps); Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture 2011 (36:21) by Jon Treadway (ft Prof Brian Cox and Robin Ince).
NSS says majority of Britons think religion should stay out of politicsSaturday, Mar 12, 2011Of interest to the Census Campaign, a new survey from the Searchlight Educational Trust indicates that “only 54% of people in this country define themselves as Christian,” the NSS reports. The survey had over 5000 respondents, which is larger than most.
Ipswich Science in the PubMonday, Mar 14, 2011Ipswich Skeptics in the Pub is now Ipswich Science in the Pub. Organiser John Benton says, “There’s no real difference, but it’s a title that’s easier to explain to people.” The next meeting is described as a “get-together”.
Suffolk astronomer at the Edinburgh Science FestivalSaturday, Mar 19, 2011Never mind the poster boy of physics, Prof. Brian Cox, Suffolk’s got its own super-astronomer, our member Tom Boles, who has an observatory at Coddenham. Tom (who is a Scot, by the way) will be one of the speakers at the Edinburgh Science Festival, together with The Astronomers Royal, Lord Rees and Professor John Brown, Sheffield University’s Professor Hughes, and others. The event is free. We’d like to organise an outing to Edinburgh, but we’ve already had a private presentation from Tom, and it is a long way.
Can you be good without God? Discussion on BBC Radio SuffolkMonday, Mar 28, 2011What a silly question – of course you can. Whether or not you’re religious has nothing to do with it. Some religious people are bad, some are good. Likewise with atheists. However, there are still many who imagine that if you don’t believe in a god (usually a Christian or Muslim one), you’re a bad person, and everyone who does believe is morally superior. James Hazell has invited Margaret Nelson and a cleric (not sure who) to debate the question on his radio programme on Wednesday (times may vary).