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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

Secularism in the UK and Europe.and all those lucky places that doesnt have Trumps as its leader

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Secularism in the UK and Europe.and all those lucky places that doesnt have Trumps as its leader

To show that Secularism and Freethought are alive and well in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Members: 14
Latest Activity: yesterday

Discussion Forum

Did Europe's centuries of religious war result in its secularism?

Started by May the Big Bang RIP. Last reply by Chris Jul 30, 2016. 8 Replies

Did long-term monarchs impose their religions?In the US, with presidents' terms limited to eight years, religions might be imposed by majorities in state legislatures or Congress or by majorities on state supreme courts or the US Supreme Court.Continue

Tags: state., church

Firms 'place asylum seekers in sub-standard housing'

Started by Stephen. Last reply by Mrs.B Jan 20, 2016. 1 Reply

Private security firms G4S and Serco have placed asylum seekers in sub-standard properties, according to a report by the National Audit Office.…Continue

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Nice Comment

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Comment by Stephen on May 20, 2018 at 6:40pm

Call to shut down Islamic school that warned girls not to use tampons

Birmingham's shadow education chief has called for an Islamic faith school to be shut down following a catalogue of failure and negative headlines.
Conservative education spokesman Matt Bennett described the Al Hijrah School in Bordesley Green as a "damaged brand" after it was reported girls were warned not to use tampons .

It has been run by a Birmingham City Council interim executive board (IEB) for four years since the school first ran into trouble amid claims of financial mismanagement.
But no permanent trust or organisation has offered to take on the school.
Cllr Bennett (Edgbaston) said: “No one wants to do it. There’s been a catalogue of problems here over many years and the school has a reputation for trouble.
“This is of course a school whose improvement was closely overseen by the city council for several years.

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/call-shut-down-...

Comment by Stephen on May 20, 2018 at 5:57pm

Beware the bad language 

Britain divided by those who hear ‘Tory’ and those who hear ‘Cunt’ 

Britain has been split down the middle by an audio illusion that causes some people to hear the word ‘Tory’ whilst others hear the word ‘Cunt’.
A massive online war has broken out between those who swear they hear ‘Tory’ and those who can’t hear anything but ‘Cunt’.

‘I can only hear “Tory”. I think anyone who hears “Cunt” is someone who doesn’t contribute a lot to society,‘ said Laurel Bush, an unemployed mother-of-seven.
‘I’ve listened to that clip over and over and I can’t even begin to understand how anyone gets “Tory” from that. It’s definitely “Cunt”,’ said Yanny Olive, who welds metal underwear for a living.
According to audiologists, the reason some people hear one word and others hear another is down to how their mind works.
Mike Rophone, an audiologist from Kent, told us: ‘People who tend to be easy to brainwash hear “Tory”. Everyone else hears “Cunt”, it’s as simple as that.’

Comment by Stephen on May 18, 2018 at 1:50pm

Albert Pierrepoint: a ‘haunted hangman’ and the death penalty today 

Gallows legacy. Albert Pierrepoint and the nature of the executioner

Fifty years ago this Sunday, Britain passed a law which brought an end to the death penalty for murder and consigned the noose to history. One executioner, though, did not simply recede into the shadows. Albert Pierrepoint was not the last British hangman, but he was certainly the most famous. His legacy lives on as a symbol of the terrible responsibility of those charged to do the state’s killing and a benchmark for our understanding of the job.
The 1965 Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act was a trial measure, with abolition finalised in 1969. But parliamentary votes on reintroduction continued into the 1990s, and it was only relatively recently that the last remnants of the death penalty were definitively removed from UK law. Only in 1998 did treason and piracy cease to be capital offences.

Read more =  http://theconversation.com/albert-pierrepoint-a-haunted-hangman-and...

Comment by Stephen on May 14, 2018 at 9:20pm

They are using my old Church to make music recordings. Any way to make extra money. Concerts are held there more and more whereas the pews on a Sunday service are becoming more emptier every year.

Comment by Stephen on May 10, 2018 at 8:04pm

NSS criticises Surrey Police for ‘engaging in evangelism’

The National Secular Society has criticised Surrey Police for engaging in evangelism after it accepted 1,000 branded bibles for distribution amongst officers and staff.
This week David Munro, the police and crime commissioner for Surrey, was pictured on Twitter brandishing a bible emblazoned with the force's badge. The book was one of 1,000 which have been made available in a joint initiative between the force's Christian Police Association and Gideons International.
The Gideons is an evangelical Christian organisation famous for leaving bibles in hotel rooms

https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2018/04/nss-criticises-surrey-po...

Comment by Stephen on May 10, 2018 at 7:57pm

Christian groups coordinating anti-rights campaigns across Europe

A coordinated effort by ultra-conservative Christian groups to restrict LGBT+ and women's rights across Europe has already had some success, a report has revealed.
The report from the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF) outlines the strategy of a group called Agenda Europe, a Vatican-inspired professional advocacy network.
EPF cites recently revealed documents which show the group has "a detailed, extremist strategy called Restoring the Natural Order: an Agenda for Europe".
The strategy seeks to overturn existing human rights related to sexuality and reproduction, including: the right to divorce; women's rights to access contraception, assisted reproduction technologies or have abortions; equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex people; and the right to change one's gender or sex without fear of legal repercussions.
EPF's report says the strategy "is producing concrete results". It cites bans on same-sex marriage in "several central European countries", "over a dozen comparable acts at national level and in European institutions aiming to limit women's and LGBTI rights" and a bill which attempted to ban abortion in Poland.
According to the report Agenda Europe has attracted over 100 anti-human rights, anti-women's rights and anti-LGBT+ organisations from over 30 European countries since 2013. Its members meet in secret.
Restoring the Natural Order says it is based on "a natural law, which human reason can discern and understand, but which human will cannot alter". It adds that "the task and purpose of all positive legislation" is "to transpose and enforce" this law.
It identifies three major areas for campaigners to target: "marriage and the family", "the right to life" and equality and anti-discrimination law. It also says they should "not be afraid to be 'unrealistic' or 'extremist' in choosing our policy objectives".
The group is aiming to ban same-sex marriage, divorce, gay adoption, the pharmaceutical sale of contraceptives, ante-natal diagnostics and IVF. It aims to introduce anti-sodomy legislation and bans on "gay propaganda" alongside international bans on abortion, stem cell use and euthanasia. And it is seeking the abolition of equality legislation.
It has also identified non-legislative actions including the revision of sex education classes, introducing government-funded 'pro-life' abortion counselling and supporting resolutions against surrogacy.
The strategy says campaigners should aim to "debunk the opponents' claim to 'victim status'", malign opponents and non-conducive institutions and build international networks.
It also says they should be prepared to frame their arguments in terms of rights. For example, it says proponents of "conscience clauses", which allow medical professionals to refuse to provide care on religious grounds, should argue that they be considered "a minimal human rights standard".
EPF says Agenda Europe is led by the Vatican but has "managed to forge consensus among all conservative, traditionalist Christian actors across Europe, spanning all denominations".
In the conclusion to its report EPF calls on "progressive actors" to "take heed that this fight is engaged and that social progress is not necessarily inevitable". It says the "next phases of this fight" are likely to be in the Austrian parliament, where Agenda Europe organiser Gudrun Kugler was elected in September 2017, and the European judicial and quasi-judicial adjudicatory mechanisms.
Agenda Europe's litigation infrastructure has expanded in Europe, with the Alliance Defending Freedom, an American Christian advocacy group, recently opening offices in Brussels, Geneva and Strasbourg.

Comment by Stephen on May 10, 2018 at 7:51pm

NSS: investigate Christian campaigners’ role in Alfie Evans case

The National Secular Society has urged the legal regulatory authorities to investigate the conduct of a Christian campaign group in the recent case of the toddler Alfie Evans.
The NSS has written to the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) about the conduct of the Christian Legal Centre (CLC). The CLC purported to give Alfie's parents legal advice during their campaign to be allowed to take their seriously ill child out of Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool.
In February a judge ruled that it was lawful and in Alfie's best interests for his ventilation to be withdrawn and for further treatment and palliative care to take place at Alder Hey. Alfie's parents challenged the ruling through a series of appeals.
In one instance the CLC's Pavel Stroilov told Tom Evans, Alfie's father, it would be lawful to remove Alfie from the hospital and take him elsewhere. That advice contradicted previous court decisions. If Alfie had been removed from the hospital both those removing him and the hospital would have breached a court order.
When it ruled on the case on 16 April the Court of Appeal said the letter was "misleading to the extent of giving the father false advice" and had "led to a confrontation" in which Alfie was involved and the police had to be called. The court also expressed "dismay and concern" that staff had been harassed and patients and family members scared at the hospital.
At a further hearing of the Family Division of the High Court Mr Justice Hayden described Stroilov as a "fanatical and deluded young man" whose 'legal advice' had come close to contempt of court. The judge said his submissions to the court were "littered with vituperation and bile" that was "inconsistent with the real interests of the parents' case".
The court also heard that Stroilov had been party to Tom Evans's attempt to bring a private prosecution for murder against some of the hospital doctors.
The Court of Appeal also said Paul Diamond, a barrister for the parents who appeared in CLC press releases, had made the "startling proposition" that Alfie's best interests were irrelevant. The ruling said it was "wholly wrong to suggest that the parents' own views can trump the judicial determination made in this case".
At an earlier hearing Mr Justice Hayden said Diamond had made a misconceived argument which had been "comprehensively rejected by the Supreme Court".
In the NSS's letters chief executive Stephen Evans and Sadikur Rahman, the chair of its Secular Legal Forum, said the CLC had "flagrantly breached" the legal bodies' code of conduct, along with the Legal Services Act of 2007, "on numerous occasions".
Mr Evans and Mr Rahman said the CLC had implied it was acting for its clients despite not being a regulated body capable of representing parties in court proceedings. They said the CLC had issued court proceedings, applications and appeals when it had no standing to do so and illegitimately claimed to instruct counsel on behalf of Alfie Evans's parents. And they said a number of individuals had claimed to act as lawyers for the parents without having appropriate registration or qualifications.
https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2018/05/nss-investigate-christia...

Comment by Stephen on May 9, 2018 at 11:59am

Funny you should say that Tom but we had a story from north London where the local Tory council was seen paying for free bus rides for all the Muslim kids but not the other non-religious schools. The National secular society took them to court on the grounds that it was discriminatory and won.

Comment by May the Big Bang RIP on May 9, 2018 at 11:43am

Stephen, do buses taking kids to the secular schools also take kids to nearby faith schools?

This wasn’t done when I was in RC schools. As kids walked two miles from their homes to the school—in Spring, Fall, and Winter—buses carrying kids to the nearby public school passed them. (I wanted to go to the public school because it had a woodshop class. It was also closer to my home.)

You perhaps heard of the recent SCOTUS ruling that using tax money to pave a play area for kids in religious schools helped the kids, not their schools’ religious mission.

Comment by Stephen on May 9, 2018 at 11:00am
 

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