Category: Diary

BHA – Bishops must go in Lords reform

Responding to the Ministry of Justice White Paper, the British Humanist Association (BHA) has urged the Government to ensure that there will be no reserved places for Bishops in a reformed House of Lords.

Latest ‘New Humanist’ out now

July New HumanistThe July edition of New Humanist magazine is on sale, containing articles on the following:

Torch bearers – Politics, religion and money may be wrestling to control the Olympics. But, argues Paul Sims, they’ll never be a match for the sheer drama.

Gender traitors – From 19th century anti-suffragists to today’s anti-feminists, Sally Feldman finds a common link between women who turn against themselves.

The genius myth – Lisa Jardine tells Laurie Taylor why she believes in doubt, precision and uncertainty.

Inside the global rebellion – The 21st century has seen the world rocked by a variety of religious challenges to the secular state. Mark Juergensmeyer went in search of common features.

Mistaken identity – Obsessing about culture traps people in their own history, argues Kenan Malik.

Devon Humanists campaign against council prayers

Further to our earlier report on Babergh District Council’s position on council prayers, Devon Humanists have issued the following press release:

Campaign to end the discriminatory practice of having prayers at Council meetings

Do you know that your local Council starts its meetings with prayers? If you say that to most people nowadays they think that you are joking.

Devon Humanists today announce the launch of a campaign to end the discriminatory practice of having prayers at Council meetings. Spokesman for Devon Humanists, Keith Denby said “The history of local Councils in Britain goes back to Saxon times and in the distant past the Church was very much a part of local administration, so to begin a Council meeting with prayers would have been very natural. But now in the 21st Century, Council taxpayers come from many cultures and belief systems and a large proportion of them do not think that religion should have influence in politics.

Prayers before council meetings

Like many local authorities, Babergh District Council has Christian prayers at the beginning of full council meetings. It’s assumed that all the members will participate. Together with humanists and secularists in other parts of the country, we regard this practice as archaic and discriminatory.

Report on faith schools ‘fails to address issues of inclusion’ | Ekklesia

The British Humanist Association (BHA) and the religious thinktank Ekklesia are amongst those who have today criticised as ‘misguided’ a report published today by the Centre for Policy Studies, written by Christina Odone, which seeks to portray the UK’s state-funded faith schools as inclusive and ‘under attack’ from hostile secularists.

How Darwin won the evolution race | Science | The Observer

A546511058_636249_9985In early 1858, on Ternate in Malaysia, a young specimen collector was tracking the island’s elusive birds of paradise when he was struck by malaria. ‘Every day, during the cold and succeeding hot fits, I had to lie down during which time I had nothing to do but to think over any subjects then particularly interesting me,’ he later recalled.

NSS – First Woman To Address European Parliament On Religious Matters

A historic precedent was set at the European parliament today [18 June]. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Mrs Asma Jahangir, addressed the European Parliament, much as religious leaders such as the Pope and the Grand Mufti of Syria have done.

NSS – Darwin’s birthday challenge to creationism

A546511058_636249_9985Darwin’s 200th birthday has become a rallying point for scientists opposing creationism as the 18 month long celebrations of his birth and the 150th anniversary of his theory started this week.

Four out of ten Britons now believe either in Creation or in its watered-down cousin Intelligent Design, and Creationism is being taught in state-approved schools.

Indian Summer Mela 2008

The Ipswich & Suffolk Indian Association says, “If the Bollywood beat moves your feet, then bring yourself, your family and friends to the sixth Indian Summer Mela hosted by the association. ‘Mela’ means ‘to meet’ and describes community celebrations and festivals in the Indian subcontinent. It is open to all and admission is free. Experience the world of South Asian arts, culture and music. Performances on the covered stage feature local, national, established and up-and coming artists.