You 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. It’s the only way I’ll ever be a financier!
You may have read that the Pope, Eric Pickles MP, the Daily Mail, and many others are blaming atheists, Muslims, councils and various other killjoys for “banning Christmas” in the interests of not offending anyone – “PC gone mad!” – and are calling the festive season “Winterval” instead. Calm down. It’s not true. Kevin Arscott, who writes the Angry Mob blog, explains that the story is all due to bad journalism (and there’s a lot of it about) in an essay you can download as a pdf file.
Our new single-page website, A Good Life Without Religion, went live at the beginning of September to coincide with the distribution of our car stickers to members and others. So far, it’s been viewed 29,928 times. Many of the visitors may have come through search engines, some through our online publicity. The site is designed as an introduction to humanism for anyone whoâ€™s disillusioned with religion, or simply looking for like-minded people. It should appeal to anyone, anywhere. The language is simple, designed to be accessible to people of all ages, from early teens upwards. There’s a set of frequently asked questions, such as “What’s the purpose of life, if you don’t believe in an afterlife?”. It was a Suffolk Humanists & Secularists’ initiative, but it may lead to any humanist or secularist group, through the links.
We suggest that you add the URL to your email signature and any other humanist and/or secularist publicity.
Ekklesia reports on the results of a YouGov poll commissioned by ITV at around the time of the Pope’s visit. They show that a school’s religion doesn’t necessarily come top of their priority list.
Factors such as performance of the school, how easy it is to get into, the area the school is in, curriculum (which may of course have a religious influence), class sizes and facilities all seem to have been more important for parents.
The NSS Council has devised a new Secular Charter that seeks to be fair to everyone, to be achievable and to be benign. Seems good to me.
The Society promotes the separation of religion and state where law and the administration of justice are based on equality, respect for Human Rights and objective evidence without regard to religious doctrine or belief.
The Pope started his visit to Spain in much the same way that he greeted the UK; by blaming just about everything he disliked on atheists and rewriting Spanish history. Prime Minister Zapatero was more forthright in response, it seems, than our Prime Minister. The NSS reports,
The Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero reminded the Pope last week that Spain is a secular state after the pontiff attacked Government legislation on abortion, gay marriage and divorce.
European parliamentarians have set up a new website as a platform for secularism in Europe. The European Parliament Platform for Secularism in Europe (EPPSP) is a forum for Members of the European Parliament and civil society. Sophie in â€˜t Veld MEP, its chair, explains the purpose of the new website:
The nominees (from New Humanist) are…
- Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi
- Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed
- Baroness Warsi
- Cardinal Walter Kasper
- Lauren Booth
- Pastor Terry Jones
- Prince Charles
- Ann Widdecombe
It’s Armistice Day on Thursday, 11th November, when we remember British service personnel who’ve fought and died in the First World War and all the conflicts since. As usual, the contribution made by those who died without religion will largely be ignored at local remembrance ceremonies on Sunday, but this year it will be different in some British cities.
The UK Armed Forces Humanist Association has issued the following press release:
For the first time ever, Humanists will be included in the Remembrance Sunday service which will take place in Bedford, on the 14th November, and this year the wreath will be presented by David Brittain, who will not only be representing Humanists in Bedford, but also in his position as Humanist chaplain of the United Kingdom Armed Forces Humanist Association (UKAFHA).
â€œIt is of vital importance to the families of many service people, that in a ceremony which is fundamentally religious in nature, that the one in eight who are of no religion should specifically be remembered also. Everyone who fought and died for their country should be honoured, whatever their religion.â€
Equal Love is about a legal bid to overturn the twin bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships in the United Kingdom. They say, why shouldn’t heterosexual couples have civil partnerships, and homosexual couples get married?
We heard about this via the BHA’s regular e-bulletin. If you’d like to sign up for one in your inbox, click here.