Secular Sunday #153 - Cross Purposes || 30 November, 2014
Secular Sunday - Atheist Ireland's weekly newsletter
Derek Walsh
"To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue unto the rainbow, or with taper-light to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, is wasteful and ridiculous excess." To his list, Shakespeare might have added putting a cross on top of a mountain, although such a visually unappealing adornment as that on Carauntoohil would scarcely even qualify. 

- Derek Walsh, Editor



Cross Talk

Following the recent vandalism of a cross on the peak of Ireland's tallest mountain, Carrauntoohil in County Kerry, Atheist Ireland were asked by the media for our response. Peter Hinchcliffe spoke to Radio Kerry, condemning the vandalism and discussing the wider issues raised. Michael Nugent debated the issue on Newstalk Radio, Kildare's KFM and Cork's RedFM. Michael also blogged about it.


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.


Sunday 14 December, 11:00 am, Deli Lites, 24 Lombard St, Belfast, BT1 1RD (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event page


Saturday 6 December, 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm, GPO, O’Connell St., Dublin 1 (map)
The Atheist Ireland Information Table will be outside the GPO providing information about Atheist Ireland and atheism and secularism in general. Pop along to say hello if you're in the area or email Brendan Maher if you want to help or for further information.

Sunday 7 December, 12:30 pm, Trinity City Hotel, Pearse Street, Dublin 2 (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event.

Sunday 7 December, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm, Buswells Hotel, Molesworth St., Dublin 2 (map)
Monthly meeting of the Humanist Association of Ireland. Facebook event page

Saturday 13 December, 7:00 pm, Third Space, Smithfield, Dublin 7 (map)
Atheist Ireland Christmas Party. A night of festive fun. The party is free for members of Atheist Ireland and €10 for non-members, but you can join on the evening.. There will be platters of finger food on the night. The cafe sell beer and wine or you have the option of bringing your own. There will also be a raffle. Meetup event page. Facebook event page


Sunday 28 December, The Cottage Bar, 76 Salthill Road Lower, Galway (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event page


Wednesday 17 December, 8:00 pm, Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry's Mall, Limerick (map)
The Mid West Humanists will meet. (Ask at the hotel reception for a card key to get up the lift to the meeting, which is usually on the third floor.) The Mid West Humanists are now on Facebook and Twitter.


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


General celebrations, commemorations, festivals and calls to action likely to be of interest to ethical atheists.

1 December

World AIDS Day

2 December

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

3 December


5 December


This Week in History

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


30 November

2008: A few dozen people, primarily members of the forum met in the Central Hotel in Dublin with the aim of forming an atheist group. They named the group Atheist Ireland, wrote a constitution and elected a committee. Atheist Ireland has been campaigning for an ethical secular state ever since.

1 December

1955: American Civil Rights Movement: In Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city's racial segregation laws, an incident which leads to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

5 December

1979: Sonia Johnson is formally excommunicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for her outspoken criticism of the church concerning the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.




30 November

1835: Mark Twain (d. 1910), American author and humourist. Although a believer in a god, Twain (born Samuel Clemens) was highly critical of religion. Many of his most irreverent and heretical works were only published posthumously, and some were withheld from publication by his family for many years. Most of them can now be read online for free. (Letters from the EarthThe Mysterious StrangerChristian Science)

1 December

1969: Richard Carrier, American historian, philosopher, and atheist activist. Carrier has written extensively on the origins of Christianity, and has appeared on television and radio around the world defending sound historical methods and the ethical worldview of secular naturalism. He was Editor-in-Chief of the Secular Web for several years. He currently blogs on FreethoughtBlogs.



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

The Inconsistency of David Quinn

by Peter Ferguson

Peter FergusonDavid Quinn has recently authored a post on the Iona Institute website where he discusses, what he calls, the child-centred vs adult-centred view of marriage.
Bishop Kevin Doran said at a talk on Thursday night organised by The Iona Institute that if we permit same-sex marriage, the link between marriage as an institution and procreation will have been destroyed. This is the child-centred view of marriage.
Brian Sheehan of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) responded by offering a very adult-centred view of marriage thereby proving Bishop Doran’s point.
Read more


Media Watch

News and views from Ireland and around the world



Copyright © 2014 Atheist Ireland, All rights reserved.