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March meeting – Religion for Atheists?

Do we want it or need it? Alain de Botton has written a book about it, our member Michael Imison has heard him talk about it, and Michael’s going to tell us about it.

Usual place – the Inter-Faith Centre, West Building, University Campus Suffolk.

Militants

Militant atheistFound on Facebook – source unknown.

What passed for a “discussion” on BBC Radio Suffolk

I was asked to contribute to a discussion on James Hazell’s Saturday Show on BBC Radio Suffolk. James introduced the slot on Facebook as follows:

The Warr Zone at 11 – Are we losing our religion? Rows over prayers at council meetings, falling church attendences and an MP who says Europe needs to ‘get comfortable’ with christianity. Do you need religion in your life?

The “Warr” in the title is Simon Warr. I’d never heard of him before but apparently he teaches at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook (he isn’t the headteacher, as some have described him), and he writes a column for the East Anglian Daily Times as well as being on Radio Suffolk. If you listen to the broadcast, from about 2 hours and 10 minutes in, you’ll find that Mr Warr isn’t strong on listening skills and shouts a lot. Click here for his website, and see below for his appearance on The One Show, where he advocated beating children.

You have about a week to hear it on iPlayer – click here to listen. I don’t think that it will have enlightened many of those who are confused about the “militant secularism” claims.

Margaret

Carpe Diem

Sapias, vina liques, et spatio brevi spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.

Be wise, strain the wine; and since life is brief, prune back far-reaching hopes! Even while we speak, envious time has passed: pluck the day, putting as little trust as possible in tomorrow!

Warsi’s speech on “militant secularism” to the Vatican

Click here to read Baroness Warsi’s speech to the Vatican today, in full. You might want to pour yourself a stiff drink first. You’ll need it.

A sample:

Europe needs to become more confident in its Christianity.

Let us be honest – 

Too often there is a suspicion of faith in our continent, where signs of religion cannot be displayed or worn in government buildings, where states won’t fund faith schools, and where faith is sidelined, marginalised and downgraded.

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” – Charles Darwin

Darwin and his cousin

The naturalist Charles Darwin was born 203 years ago today, Darwin Day.

In his book, On the Origin of Species, Darwin set out what is probably the most important idea in the history of science. He reasoned that plants, animals and all living things are not static and unchanging, remaining as they were made by a divine creator; instead they change subtly from one generation to the next and those that are better suited to whatever environment they find themselves in prosper and reproduce more, while those that are less well suited don’t. In this way, plants and animals gradually change, eventually developing into new species and producing the huge variety of nature that we see today. Darwin’s theory, evolution by natural selection, is at the root of our understanding about life on Earth: it explains why there is such diversity in nature, why we are here, and why we are as we are.

On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, yet there are still many who reject evolution as an explanation for how we came to be here, prefering the Biblical story of Genesis or another creation myth – there are many – and there are still too many children leaving school ignorant of the theory of evolution.

For more on evolution and ‘Intelligent Design’ (Creationism in another form) click here for our article, We’re all Monkeys.

The sharpest young opinion-formers are atheists

… the sharpest young opinion-formers are atheists. This is a development that seems to have been missed by the old boobies who pass for bishops in the Anglican and Catholic Churches. It’s a rapid and startling change in our religious landscape and not one that is going to be reversed.