Secular Sunday #263 - Protecting the rights of atheist, secular and minority faith teachers || 8 January, 2017
Secular Sunday - Atheist Ireland's weekly newsletter



Protecting the rights of atheist, secular and minority faith teachers


Atheist Ireland News

Atheist Ireland's '' is a place where people can publically renouce the religion of their childhood. Currently there are 582 symbolic defections. Many share their reasons for making a public symbolic defection which you can read here

Be Good without Gods

Atheist Ireland 'Good Without Gods' Kiva team members have made loans of over $17,700  to entrepreneurs in the developing world. You can join the team here.



Petitions on Blasphemy and Schools Equality PACT 

Atheist Ireland continues to run two petitions; one for a referendum to remove blasphemy from the Irish Constitution and the other, the Schools Equality PACT seeks to reform religious discrimination in state-funded schools. Please sign and share if you haven't already done so. Thank you.

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Atheist Ireland is an entirely volunteer run organisation. We receive no grants or government funding to continue our campaign work. We rely entirely on membership fess and donations.

Annual membership is nominal; €25 waged and €10 unwaged/student. Please consider becoming a member. Membership means:
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Atheist Ireland Committee

Places and Faces

Photos from Atheist Ireland events around the country.

First Dublin Information table of the year outside the GPO

Atheist Ireland Events

All events are free and open to everyone to attend unless otherwise stated.

All Atheist Ireland events are listed below as well as on our website


Sunday  8th January, 1-3 p.m. Irish Film Institute, Temple Bar


Saturday 14th January, 7:30-11:30p.m. Thomas Moore Tavern, Wexford
Atheists in the Pub

Saturday 28th January, 1-3p.m. Bullring, Wexford
Information table


Other Events of Interest

Monday January 16 08:00 Engineers Ireland Ballsbridge
The Future of Renewable Energy

Thursday January 19 18:00 Trinity College Dublin
RED ALERT: Designing public health

Thursday 26th January 18:30 Trinity College Dublin 
Personal Data: Weapon or Defence?

Saturday 22nd July - Sunday 23rd July 2017, Venue TBC, London
International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression in the 21st Century


Opinion and Media

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

If you are a blogger or vlogger writing or talking about atheism, secularism, ethics, skepticism, human rights etc. and would like us to include your work here please email the link to




The Likely Reason Why Zuckerberg Denounced His Atheism — HINT: It’s Not His Daughter

by Kevin Davis

Unless you turned a blind eye to all social media and news outlets over the holidays, you might have noticed headlines about Mark Zuckerberg denying his atheism.  On Christmas Day, he posted the following on Facebook. Note the first comment and Zuck’s response:


Widespread speculation on the interwebs suggested that Zuck’s change of heart is likely due to his daughter’s arrival in late 2015 and the religious customs that coincide with childhood and early development.  But now there’s another theory floating around. Read More

The SC Dept. of Public Safety Will No Longer Send Christian Propaganda to Grieving Citizens

by Hemant Mehta

Just days after the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to South Carolina’s Department of Public Safety, telling them to stop sending Christian propaganda to grieving residents, state officials say they will end the practice.

The letter was sent after an atheist received Kenneth C. Haugk‘s book A Time to Grieve, unannounced and never requested, from the state department. While the book is designed to help people cope with dead, it’s also a tool to promote Christianity, and for that reason, the state never should have sent it out. Read More

Secular Celebrants Will Be Allowed to Solemnize Marriages in Illinois After Atheist Wins Lawsuit


 by Hemant Mehta

More than four years ago, the Center For Inquiry sued Indiana over its marriage laws. The state permitted people of faith to be married by their religious leaders… while denying that same option for non-religious people who wanted their marriages performed by a “Secular Celebrant.”

This wasn’t a trivial thing. Atheists had the options of having a judge do it, or using someone certified by an online church, or having a Celebrant present for the ceremony even though it wouldn’t “count” unless a judge or online-certified priest signed the paperwork. But Secular Celebrants alone? Not allowed. Read more



Podcasts, Videos and Interviews


Do you host an Irish-based podcast on atheism, secularism, science, skepticism, human rights etc.? Let us know and we will link to it here.

Atheist Ireland: One from the Vaults

Michael Nugent discusses blasphemy laws and Charlie Hebdo on Today FM.


The Free Thought Prophet - An Illustration of Apostasy


Media Watch

News and views from Ireland and around the world. Sharing is not an endorsement. 






16 January

National Religious Freedom Day (United States)


This Week in History

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

8 January

1642 – Galileo Galilei died, Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher (b. 1564)

1697 – Last execution for blasphemy in Britain; of Thomas Aikenhead, student, at Edinburgh.

1823: Alfred Russel Wallace (d. 1913). British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist, and biologist. Best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution through natural selection.

1942: Stephen Hawking, English physicist. Author of one of the biggest-selling popular science books ever, A Brief History of Time.

    "We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."


11 January

1787: William Herschel discovers Titania and Oberon, two moons of Uranus.

1922: Insulin is used for the first time to treat diabetes in a human patient.

14 January

2005: The Huygens probe lands on Saturn's moon Titan.



14 January

1944: Marjoe Gortner. A child preacher in the Pentecostal Revivalist movement from the age of four, Marjoe became disillusioned with the religion in his teens. In his twenties, he returned to the preaching circuit purely to make money, which he was easily able to do. A crisis of conscience led him to make the Oscar-winning documentary Marjoe which followed him on one final tour, and showed the details of how he and other ministers operated.

16 January

1931: Robert L. Park. Scientist, University of Maryland professor of physics, and author of Voodoo Science and Superstition.

1932: Dian Fossey (d. 1985). American zoologist  who undertook an extensive study of gorilla groups over a period of 18 years, until her murder.



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