Secular Sunday #216 - Making History || 14 February, 2016
Secular Sunday - Atheist Ireland's weekly newsletter
Derek Walsh
While we at Atheist Ireland were making history in our own small way by joining with representatives of Muslim and Christian communities in a fight for human rights and against state-imposed religion (see News Section) a much more momentous interfaith event was also taking place.
Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church met with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, marking the first steps toward healing the Great Schism in Christianity that began almost a millennium ago. They used this occasion to - jointly - oppose secularism, reproductive rights, same-sex marriage and assisted dying.
Plus ça change!

- Derek Walsh, Editor


Historic Meeting

Last Thursday, Atheist Ireland, the Evangelical Association of Ireland, and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Ireland united to start a campaign for Separation of Religion and State.  Video of the event is below with more details here.



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.



Saturday 20 February, 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm, outside Brown Thomas, Patrick St., Cork (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. Event page

Saturday 20 February, 2:30 pm, Kudos Restaurant, Clarion Hotel, Lapp's Quay, Cork (map)
Atheist Ireland Lunch. A family-friendly social event. Event page


Sunday 21 February, 12:00 noon, Mount Errigal Hotel, Ballyraine, Letterkenny (map)
Atheist Ireland Brunch. Meet atheists in Donegal in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Event page


Wednesday 17 February, 8:00 pm, Pery's Hotel, Glentworth Street, Limerick (map)
General Election Candidates Debate on Women's Rights, organised by ROSA. Facebook event page
Please note: the Mid-West Humanists' meeting, due to take place at the same time, has been cancelled so that members can attend this event.




15 February

John Frum Day (Vanuatu). John Frum is a figure associated with cargo cults on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu. He is often depicted as an American World War II serviceman who will bring wealth and prosperity to the people if they follow him. Although the religion only began in the 1930s its origins are already obscure and it is uncertain whether John Frum is based on a real person.

20 February

World Day of Social Justice




15 February

1564: Galileo Galilei (d. 1642). Italian astronomer and physicist. Discovered four moons of Jupiter.

16 February

Francis Galton1822: Francis Galton (d. 1911). English polymath, anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, psychometrician, and statistician. He was a half-cousin of Charles Darwin, and was so gripped by the publication of The Origin of Species that he devoted much of the rest of his life to exploring variation in human populations and its implications.

1834: Ernst Haeckel (d. 1919). German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology.

18 February

1838: Ernst Mach (d. 1916). Austrian physicist and philosopher

19 February

1473: Nicolaus Copernicus (d. 1543). Polish mathematician and astronomer. He formulated a heliocentric model of the universe.


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

Opposing street thuggery in Dublin and incitement to violence

by Michael Nugent

Michael NugentThe peaceful protest against the planned Pegida rally in Dublin on Saturday was a positive demonstration of how citizens should respond when they believe that a political movement is threatening our democracy. The street thuggery that happened beside it does not reflect the aims or methods of the peaceful protesters, and it undermines the campaign against Pegida. Violence, and incitement to violence, cross a dangerous line for human rights and democracy.
A group called Anti Fascist Action Ireland has admitted responsibility for the thuggery, claiming it was organised by the AFA, Irish republicans, anarchists, socialists and football casuals. Football casuals are better known as football hooligans, not primarily known for their political or human rights expertise. But, while the pseudo military terminology of the AFA statement may seem comical, it is describing organised criminal assaults on the streets of Dublin. Read more

Not All Men

by Paul WS Bowler

Paul WS BowlerI have been trying to get my head around the concept of 'consent.' I don't mean to imply it's difficult to understand. More, I'm perturbed I've managed to get past 40 without having to give it much thought. I could probably go the rest of my life without thinking about it. But I live in the twitterverse, I like to read, I like to write and I like to reflect. Even then I might have avoided consent if my wife hadn't made me read a book called 'Asking For It' by Louise O'Neill.
A man, on reading that book, has but two options. He can either get to his feet and declaim in a clear steady voice, 'Not All Men.' Or he can reflect on the almost improbably large gaps in his education. Gaps that are searingly addressed in this heartbreaking book.
I chose the latter simply because I am a middle-aged man who is gradually getting better at being wrong about a lot of things. Read more

Media Watch

News and views from Ireland and around the world



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