Category: Diary

End compulsory worship in schools – petition

Though an increasing proportion of the UK population has no religious faith, or has a faith other than Christianity, children are still expected to participate in collective worship that is “broadly Christian” at their morning assemblies. Successive education ministers have said that they’d review the situation, yet done nothing about it. Now even the National Governors’ Association has said that a religious assembly every day should be scrapped because they are “meaningless”...

Great blasphemies

The BHA is sharing cartoons by Martin Rowson on the theme of blasphemy in the run-up to the World Humanist Congress next month. This one’s about Socrates. Tickets for the congress, beginning on 7th August, are sold out. Look out for YouTube videos of the speakers.

Caliphate? Get real!

The ISIS fighters in Iraq who’ve declared a new “caliphate” are ignoring history. Channel 4 News explains why it won’t work – “… their vision of a medieval-style religious state is based on false view of early Islamic history, according to experts.” Click here to read more. Harun al-Rashid (763 – 809) was Caliph in the 8th century. He was known as “the just”, and his reign coincided with the Islamic “Golden...

The Young Atheist’s Handbook in every Suffolk school

Copies of Alom Shaha’s book have been distributed to every secondary school in the country, including Suffolk schools, by the BHA. The book’s blurb says, This is a book for anyone who thinks about what they should believe and how they should live. It’s for those who may need the facts and the ideas, as well as the courage, to break free from inherited beliefs. In this powerful narrative, Alom...

New BHA videos

“How can I be happy?” is one of four short videos, narrated by Stephen Fry, released by the BHA to explain what Humanism is.

UN Celebration of Human Rights 2013 – Article 4

On 10th December we took part in the annual Celebration of Human Rights organised by the Ipswich UN Association. This year the theme was based upon Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. The meeting was hosted by the Ipswich Society of Friends (Quakers) at their meeting...

New Humanist, new editor

The Rationalist Association’s magazine New Humanist has a new editor, Daniel Trilling. When he introduced himself in August, making it clear that he didn’t share an anti-religious, hardline atheist point of view, he attracted (predictably) some strong criticism from those who did. In the winter edition of the magazine he’s written, As anyone who’s ventured online knows, to many people “atheist” has become a badge of identity, and an aggressive,...

Gove’s latest crazy idea; hand community schools over to the church

Michael Gove is the worst education secretary we’ve had for some time – perhaps all time. I’m not being party political, as I don’t think much of Labour’s record either – specialist schools and academies were their bright ideas, leading to the gradual, now accelerating, destruction of the state system under local authority control. Since Gove took over at the Department for Education, he’s introduced one crazy idea after another,...

PM sucks up to religious big-wigs

The NSS reports that David Cameron had a reception for religious leaders at 10 Downing Street this week. He told the religious big-wigs: “This government does care about faith. It does care about the institutions of faith, and it does want you to stand up and oppose aggressive secularisation.” Aggressive secularisation? The PM betrays his ignorance. There’s no such thing, and secularism benefits the religious, though they don’t appreciate it.

Red noses or red faces

The BBC’s bi-annual Red Nose Day broadcast, when “doing something funny for money” videos were interspersed with videos about people who need help, in the UK and Africa, included comedian Rowan Atkinson in a dog collar as a faux Archbishop of Canterbury. It’s no longer possible to see Rowan’s video on the Comic Relief website or on You Tube, thanks to 2,000 complaints from people who found it “offensive”. One...