Posts in September 2011
Ipswich Science in the PubMonday, Sep 5, 2011John Benton says, “Bring an experiment. Also, news on a confirmed speaker for our upcoming season of talks.” What sort of experiment? You’ll have to be there to find out.
The Christian National Registry of AtheistsTuesday, Sep 6, 2011“Pastor” Michael Stahl from Florida, who doesn’t actually have a church and probably assumed the title himself, is clearly a very ignorant and prejudiced man. A year ago he wrote in his blog that he was going to start a grassroots organization to keep a database of atheists called “The Christian National Registry of Atheists.” He wrote, I mean, think about it. There are already National Registrys [sic] for convicted sex offenders, ex-convicts, terrorist cells, hate groups like the KKK, skinheads, radical Islamists, etc… This type of ‘National Registry’ would merely be for information purposes.
The Brewery Tap, IpswichWednesday, Sep 7, 2011The Brewery Tap is a pub and restaurant right next to the old Tolly Cobbold brewery in the heart of Ipswich docks.
Charity event in aid of the DEC East Africa Appeal at the Brewery TapWednesday, Sep 7, 2011We’ve had an email from Sophie Wainwright, who’s organising a charity event on September 16th at The Brewery Tap, Ipswich, in aid of the East Africa Crisis Appeal. Sophie wrote, Money being raised will go to the DEC to help those affected by the famine in East Africa. I was interested to read your blog posts on your site about the DEC appeal and more recently about the situation with LGBT Africans, and thought you might be interested in this event.
9/11, abortion, cryonics, faith in politics, Hypatia and mobile phonesThursday, Sep 8, 2011Here’s some stuff I’ve found on the Internet recently. Stephen Howe wrote about the “reinvention of Islam” since 9/11 in New Humanist magazine. People have become defined by their religion, rather than their ethnicity, he says. He ends: The caveat that all collective identities are potentially oppressive and dangerous, not just religious, and not least national, ones, surely requires little reiteration. Even so, personally, Id quite like to see the past decades wave of ethnic cleansing reversed.
Michael Gove advises Catholic schools to avoid meddling by secularistsWednesday, Sep 14, 2011Further evidence, if any were needed, that Education Secretary Michael Gove is determined to destroy our secular (i.e. comprehensive) education system, a process that began under the last government, and favour faith schools. The Catholic Herald reports that he advises that Catholic schools can avoid unsympathetic meddling by secularists if they take up the Governments offer of academy status. Read the report by clicking here.
Bus missionariesThursday, Sep 15, 2011Seems you can’t even get on a bus these days without risking some god-botherer trying to convert you. Mormons have been targetting passengers on Stagecoach buses in Lancashire. The Guardian reports, Robert Preston, England Manchester Mission President for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church, said he considered the 140 young people in the north west of England actively engaged in trying to convert people as “persistent and courageous”.
New books: God as a teenage boy, and making science magical for young peopleThursday, Sep 15, 2011Have you noticed how people who believe in God are always telling us how he/she/it wants us to behave, while God (the one in the Bible, anyway) behaves rather badly? What if he isn’t an old man on a cloud but is, in fact, a teenage boy? That might explain the behaviour. Mariella Frostrup interviewed author Meg Rossof on BBC Radio 4 today about her new book, ‘There is no Dog’, which imagines what the world would be like if God was a petulant teenage boy called Bob, who spends the majority of his time sleeping or having sexual fantasies about the human women he has created and causing floods, geological disasters and much suffering in his wake.
More bad news about African gay men Cameroon locks them upThursday, Sep 15, 2011In the last two weeks, Cameroon gay men have been thrown in jail just for being gay. The situation is approaching a crisis and Alice N’Kom, an attorney, is ready to confront the President to demand the release of those arrested and an end to laws that make being gay a crime. Please click here to support Alice by signing a letter to the President of Cameroon.
Feeling connected not only does you good, it makes you good, apparentlyThursday, Sep 15, 2011Recent research by academics from Britain and Austria has indicated that when people feel connected to others, they’re more likely to act altruistically. The report showed that “Nearly half of the participants who had been reminded of their social connections donated to the Red Cross, whereas fewer than 20 percent of the other participants did.” Click here to read more.
Update on Ugandan gay Robert Segwanyis claim for asylumSaturday, Sep 17, 2011As previously reported, Robert Segwanyi was about to board a plane to Uganda when there was a last minute decision to cancel his deportation. He has now been allowed to submit a fresh claim for asylum. The hearing will be on 2nd October.
Science in the PubThursday, Sep 29, 2011The Pub people are doing experiments at their next meeting. This is what they wrote on Facebook: Our next meeting will be at the new venue of the Brewery Tap. It has the advantage that we can use a side room so any bubbling experiments can be more easily contained We’ll either be in the room immediately on the right as you go in, or upstairs. Then, as an afterthought:
Otley, SuffolkThursday, Sep 29, 2011Village a few miles north of Ipswich.
Otley GreenThursday, Sep 29, 2011Suffolk Humanists & Secularists member Tony Barrett is chairman of Otley Green, and has sent the following urgent message (Otley Green has until 5pm today, Friday 30th September, to find more Energyshare supporters): OtleyGreen’s Community Turbine project has successfully reached Energyshare’s second round. We need yet more supporters to get into the third round. If you haven’t yet become a supporter we would be very grateful if you would sign up.
Humanistic Jews in the USFriday, Sep 30, 2011An American friend has drawn my attention to the website of the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism of Fairfield County. I know of no similar organisation here, though we’ve had high profile Jews in the British Humanist Association, including its former president, the late Claire Rayner, and the actor Warren Mitchell. I imagine that many people don’t know that there are Jews who aren’t religious. Wikipedia on secular Jewish culture.