Secular Sunday #223 Make Sure You Count: Census 2016 || 3 April, 2016
Secular Sunday - Atheist Ireland's weekly newsletter
Andrew Devine-RattiganI will be guest editing Secular Sunday for a few weeks whilst Derek is away. 
This has been a momentous week for Atheist Ireland with our Chairperson Michael Nugent and Human Rights Officer Jane Donnelly, travelling to Geneva where they briefed United Nations delegates on how Ireland's constitution is incompatible with our obligations under UN human rights treaties in relation to freedom of religion, blasphemy laws, religious discrimination in schools and the persistence of religious oaths for public office.

Don't forget the census on April 24th and to make sure that you tick the no religion box. Our efforts at achieving a truly secular state are advanced by the more people who identify as non-religious.

Please come along to any of our brunches or lunches we organise around the country. The details are below. We always welcome new faces. You can even bring along well behaved theist friends, but if they start to claim Jesus has appeared in their toast or waved out at them from a centre of their grapefruit then we might move them to another table. 

Andrew Devine-Rattigan
Acting Editor


Individual Census Forms

Do you live in a household where you are not openly non-religious? Do you still live with your parents and are concerned they will mark you as belonging to the religion you were brought up in? If so, here is a guide to obtaining individual census forms to ensure that you can privately have your non-religious status acknowledged.
Read more

Atheist Ireland at the UN

Atheist Ireland were in Geneva this week, to brief UN Human Rights Council members, as all UN countries prepare to question Ireland in May about Ireland's human rights obligations under all UN treaties. 
Read more


Upcoming Events

All events are free and open to everyone unless otherwise stated. Listing is not necessarily an endorsement. Listings sorted alphabetically by county, then chronologically.
Major international events in 2016 can be found at the World Secular Calendar.


Sunday, 10th April, 12.00 noon - 2.00 pm, Trinity Court, Pearse Street, Dublin (map)
Atheist Ireland Brunch. Meet like minded Atheists for a friendly and relaxed lunch.

Sunday April 3rd, 4:00 pm, Ashling Hotel, Dublin 8 (map)
Humanist Association of Ireland monthly meeting. Facebook event page



Sunday 10th April, 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm, Gally's Bar and Restaurant, Tralee (map)
Atheist Ireland Brunch. Meet like minded Atheists for friendly and relaxed lunch.


Saturday 9th April, 12.00 noon- 2.00 pm, Thomas Street, Limerick (map)
Atheist  Ireland Information Table. Feel free to drop by if you have any questions about atheism or on the work Atheist Ireland do. Anyone who is interested in volunteering at the table is also more than welcome.

Saturday 9th April, 14.30-16.30, George Hotel, Limerick (map)
Atheist Ireland Lunch.  Meet like minded Atheists for a friendly and relaxed lunch

Wednesday 20th April, 20.00, Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry's Mall, Limerick (map)
Mid West Humanists Meeting



Sunday 10th April, 13.00-15.00, A Casa Mia, Sligo (map)
Atheist Ireland Lunch. Meet like mined Atheists for a friendly and relaxed lunch




7th April

World Health Day

This Week in History

Anniversaries of momentous events in atheism, science, skepticism, secularism and human rights, plundered shamelessly from Wikipedia and other sources.

7th April

1994:  Beginning of a genocide in Rwanda of the Tutsi minority that lasted around 100 days and saw the slaughter of as much as 20% of the country's population, or up to a million people.


9th April 

1967: Sam Harris. American author, researcher in neuroscience, author of The End of FaithLetter to a Christian Nation and The Moral Landscape.


Material collected from the Irish atheist blogosphere and beyond; used without permission, compensation, liability, guarantee or implied endorsement.

Irish Blasphemy Law: A Discussion with Michael Nugent

by AR Devine

One of the issues that Atheist Ireland briefed UN delegates in Geneva on this week was the persistence of Ireland's blasphemy legislation. Here's a discussion that I had with Atheist Ireland's Michael Nugent on the topic back in 2012:

"Since January 2010 it has been a criminal offence in the Irish Republic to make blasphemous remarks about any religion.Should you be prosecuted under the law you can face a fine of up to twenty five thousand Euros. The law defines blasphemy as publishing or uttering: "matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion." 

The law has been condemned widely by human rights groups, writers, journalists and artists as a retrograde step that seeks to prohibit freedom of speech and expression. The fact that the wording of the Irish law has been applauded by the Organisation of Islamic Co-Operation, a body that has as its members some of the most repressive and illiberal countries in the world, such as Iran and Pakistan, gives further credence to the charge that this law is not compatible with the values of a western liberal democracy.I spoke to Michael Nugent, the chairman for Atheist Ireland, an advocacy group that has been campaigning against the law, on his views on this legislation." Read more...

Media Watch

News and views from Ireland and around the world



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