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Secular Sunday #178 - Ireland Says Yes || 24 May, 2015
Secular Sunday - Atheist Ireland's weekly newsletter
Derek WalshWhen Ireland makes the news internationally due to social or human rights issues it's often not a good thing, but the resounding Yes vote in Friday's Marriage Equality Referendum is something we can be proud of. It's another step towards a fair and equal society, and away from the control of religion. And I know I said I wouldn't talk about it this week, but come on!

- Derek Walsh, Editor

 

News

 

IBKA Conference

Michael Nugent spoke earlier today at the IBKA International Atheist Conference in Cologne, on the theme of peaceful secularism. You can read a transcript of his speech here and we'll likely have more on this next week.
 

Calendar


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.


Clare


Sunday 31 May, 12:00 noon, Rowan Tree Cafe Bar, Harmony Row, Ennis (map)
Mid West Humanists Sunday Brunch. The Mid West Humanists are now on Facebook and Twitter.


Kerry


Sunday 14 June, 12:00 noon, Fels Point Hotel, Dan Spring Road, Tralee (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event page
 

Westmeath


Sunday 7 June, 12:00 noon, Radisson Blu Hotel, Northgate St,, Athlone (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event page
 

Observances


Douglas adams portrait cropped.jpg25 May


Towel Day, celebrated in honour of the work of the writer Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)
“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.” 
 

This Week in History

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


29 May


1919: Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity is tested (later confirmed) by Arthur Eddington and Andrew Claude de la Cherois Crommelin.
 

Birthdays


25 May


1968: Ivana Bacik. Irish Senator and Deputy Leader of the Seanad. Openly atheist, she has spoken at a number of Atheist Ireland events. Watch video of her speech at the World Atheist Convention 2011 here


26 May


1955: Sanal Edamaruku. Indian rationalist, president of the Indian Rationalist Association. He was charged with blasphemy in 2012 for discovering the cause of a purported miracle to be faulty plumbing and moved to Finland to escape prosecution and persecution. He visited Ireland in November of the same year as a guest of Atheist Ireland and gave a number of talks about blasphemy and related issues around the country. Video of the speech he gave in Dublin is here


29 May


1929: Peter Higgs, English-Scottish physicist. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013 after his predicted Higgs boson was experimentally established to exist.
 

Opinion


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


Should Surrogacy be Permitted in Ireland?

by Martin O'Reilly


In February the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, announcedthat the Cabinet are preparing new laws to regulate assisted human reproduction and surrogacy.  At present there exists a legal vacuum, but the proposed Bill for Assisted Human Reproduction and Stem Cell Research will work towards regulating surrogacy and associated practices for the first time in Ireland. It is understood that legislation will only permit altruistic surrogacy, but not commercial surrogacy. Other countries like Denmark and Britain already permit altruistic surrogacy, but ban commercial surrogacy, while France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal and Italy ban the practice completely. Read more


We’ve Made History

by Conor Farrell


TConor Farrellhe counting is still underway, but the results so far are clear: the Marriage Equality Referendum has passed.
There has been a very high turnout for this referendum, very possibly the highest since 1937, when the Constitution was established. The results are looking at approximately a 2:1 result in favour of Yes, with many outlets and commentators considering it a landslide result.
Today is a day Ireland can be proud.
We’ve come a long way over the last few decades and the result of this referendum affirms that change. We’ve matured as a nation, and we’ve learned to love and respect our brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues. We’ve grown to understand that while we’re all different, we are all equal. Love is love, no matter who feels that love. Read more

Media Watch

News and views from Ireland and around the world


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