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No monthly meeting in August

As so many people are away in August, there won’t be a meeting at the university as usual. We will be having a pub lunch at the end of the month though – see calendar.

Pink Humanist

Pink HumanistThe latest issue of The Pink Humanist, the only LGBT magazine for Atheists, Humanists, Sceptics and Freethinkers, is out now. This issue has a strongly international flavour, with articles on Christianity and Fascism in the Ukraine, The Exemption of Gays in Turkey from Military Service, and Religious Law, Democracy and Human Rights in Africa – the last by the courageous Nigerian Humanist Leo Igwe.

Call on the Catholic Archdiocese of Bombay to withdraw their complaint against Indian Rationalist Sanal Edamaruku

Sanal EdamarukuSanal Edamaruku, President of the Indian Rationalist Association, is a tireless campaigner for science and against superstition. He is widely known for his exposure of the tricks used by self-professed ‘God-Men’ and gurus and has often been on Indian television explaining the everyday science behind supposed miracles. After one such exposure – he pointed out that the “blood” oozing from a statue of Christ at the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Velan Kanni in Vile Parle, Mumbai was in fact water from a leaky pipe – the Catholic Church of Mumbai made a formal complaint about him to the Mumbai police. He stands accused of “deliberately hurting religious feelings and attempting malicious acts intended to outrage the religious sentiments of any class or community”, an offence under Section 295(a) of the Indian Penal Code. No arrest warrant has been issued but the case is “cognisable” meaning the police can arrest without warrant at any time. He has been denied ‘anticipatory’ bail which means if arrested he faces a long term in prison merely for explaining the science behind an apparent mystery.

The Rationalist Association of the UK has begun a petition addressed to the Catholic Archdiocese of Bombay to withdraw their complaint against Sanal Edamaruku. Please click here to sign it.

Readers’ Digest, or stuff I read on the Internet

Here’s some stuff I read on the Internet, to save you the bother of looking for it – just click on the links for more. If you’ve read anything you’d like to share, you could tweet us. You don’t tweet? Well, there’s Facebook (see link right), or just contact us via this website.

In the latest edition of Humanist News, Alom Shaha writes about his book, and how some publishers rejected it because it was about a rejection of Islam. He asks,

So what is this terrible tome I have written? At this point, if you haven’t read my book, you might be forgiven for thinking that, to have struck such fear into the heart of Britain’s literary elite, I must have written a pornographically blasphemous account of the life of Muhammad. But I have done no such thing. My book, The Young Atheist’s Handbook, simply tells the story of my personal journey to becoming an atheist.

FSMYou’ve heard of the ten commandments. Hasn’t everyone? Awfully prescriptive, aren’t they? However, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is much less demanding. I came across a site that reminded me of its eight “I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts”. They begin:

I’d really rather you didn’t act like a sanctimonious holier-than-thou ass when describing my noodly goodness. If some people don’t believe in me, that’s okay. Really, I’m not that vain. Besides, this isn’t about them so don’t change the subject.

You’ve never heard of his great noodly goodness? Where have you been? Click here to find out about Pastafarianism.