Sheela-na-Gig aka Jeanne Rathbone

Humanist Association of Ireland, Humani, Northern Ireland and Atheist Ireland

Posted in Atheist Ireland, Humanist Association Ireland, Northern Ireland by sheelanagigcomedienne on June 22, 2014

Here is a piece for the London Irish Feminist Network about the Humanist/Atheist scene in Ireland now and the challenge to the power and influence of the Catholic church on Irish life.

 

I have been a member and celebrant of the British Humanist Association for 18 years. I have been keenly observing what is happening in Ireland about the challenge to the power and influence of the Catholic Church both in the reduction of mass attendances, in those declaring themselves of no religion or atheist and in the rise of organisations campaigning for change.

 

In 2011 I was invited to speak at two student organisations in Ireland as a Humanist and atheist. In Cork I addressed UCC Atheist Society. (Out of this was born Cork Humanists) but in Dublin it was the UCD Humanist Society and I noted that in Galway they have a NUIGalway Sceptics Society. There is, no doubt, that things are changing. There are city and regional groups of Humanists and Atheists as well as social occasions like Secular Sunday brunches in Galway, Sligo, Tralee, Kilkenny, Monaghan etc.
There are two main organizations in Ireland challenging the power and influence of the Catholic Church and its privileged position within the state. The Humanist Association of Ireland Humanist Association of Ireland HAI and Atheist Ireland .

Humanist Association of Ireland

hai

About Us

Untitled-3The Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI) is a national organisation that promotes the ideals and values of Humanism, working for people who choose to live an ethical life without religion. The HAI grew from and replaced the Association of Irish Humanists (AIH), which was founded in 1993 and renamed in 2004.

 

If you live in Ireland and are an atheist, agnostic, freethinker, rationalist, secularist, sceptic; do not believe in a god, are non-religious and/or have no belief in the supernatural – Humanism may just interest you!

– See more at: http://humanism.ie/about-us/#sthash.1xOZsqz6.dpuf

About Us

Untitled-3The Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI) is a national organisation that promotes the ideals and values of Humanism, working for people who choose to live an ethical life without religion. The HAI grew from and replaced the Association of Irish Humanists (AIH), which was founded in 1993 and renamed in 2004.

 

If you live in Ireland and are an atheist, agnostic, freethinker, rationalist, secularist, sceptic; do not believe in a god, are non-religious and/or have no belief in the supernatural – Humanism may just interest you!

– See more at: http://humanism.ie/about-us/#sthash.1xOZsqz6.dpuf

The Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI) is a national organisation that promotes the ideals and values of Humanism, working for people who choose to live an ethical life without religion. The HAI grew from and replaced the Association of Irish Humanists (AIH), which was founded in 1993 and renamed in 2004.

 

If you live in Ireland and are an atheist, agnostic, freethinker, rationalist, secularist, sceptic; do not believe in a god, are non-religious and/or have no belief in the supernatural – Humanism may just interest you!

– See more at: http://humanism.ie/about-us/#sthash.Nvkm1lUr.dpuf

The Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI) is a national organisation that promotes the ideals and values of Humanism, working for people who choose to live an ethical life without religion. The HAI grew from and replaced the Association of Irish Humanists (AIH), which was founded in 1993 and renamed in 2004.

 

If you live in Ireland and are an atheist, agnostic, freethinker, rationalist, secularist, sceptic; do not believe in a god, are non-religious and/or have no belief in the supernatural – Humanism may just interest you!

– See more at: http://humanism.ie/about-us/#sthash.Nvkm1lUr.dpuf

The Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI) is a national organisation that promotes the ideals and values of Humanism, working for people who choose to live an ethical life without religion. The HAI grew from and replaced the Association of Irish Humanists (AIH), which was founded in 1993 and renamed in 2004.

 

If you live in Ireland and are an atheist, agnostic, freethinker, rationalist, secularist, sceptic; do not believe in a god, are non-religious and/or have no belief in the supernatural – Humanism may just interest you!

– See more at: http://humanism.ie/about-us/#sthash.Nvkm1lUr.dpuf

The Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI) was founded in 1993 to promote Humanism which they describe as: an ethical philosophy of life, based on a concern for humanity in general, and for human individuals in particular. This view of life combines reason with compassion. It is for those people who base their interpretation of existence on the evidence of the natural world and its evolution, and not on belief in a supernatural power.

Irish Census 2011 ¦ A Humanist perspective YouTube

 

 

The HAI is working towards a secular state and the equal treatment of people of no religion in the Constitution, in legislation and other practices of the State and its agencies by campaigning on behalf of the non-religious in Ireland in a number of areas. On an ongoing basis, the HAI seeks to have a secular Constitution and has identified the need for change in the following areas:
The Constitution itself by deleting:
the religious preamble
the requirement for religious oaths/declarations for judges and holders of high office
its concept of blasphemy
Changes in State practices relating to:
ceremonies
Oireachtas prayers
religious oaths for jurors and witnesses
the use of State property for religious purposes
primary and secondary education (including primary teacher training, school chaplains and the religious curriculum)
medical care
religious symbols in public places
the national Census
the use of State employees for religious purposes
These and other topics are more fully described in the HAI publication Equality for the Non-Religious.

It produces a monthly magazine.Hum 2

hum3humi

 

The humanist association of Northern Ireland: Humani

secular schoolsjpg

Humani coverAtheist Ireland

 

Atheist Ireland | Building a rational, ethical and secular

The group was initially founded by members of Atheist.ie, an online community which had been set up by Seamus Murnane in June 2006.

Its current chairperson is writer and activist Michael Nugent. Atheist Ireland is a member of the Atheist Alliance International.

Atheist Ireland is an Irish advocacy group. We promote atheism and reason over superstition and supernaturalism, and we promote an ethical, secular society where the State does not support or finance or give special treatment to any religion.

Atheist Ireland is a member of Atheist Alliance International, an umbrella organisation of groups and individuals in the United States and around the world committed to promoting and defending reason and the atheist worldview.

 

 

It has a network of groups around the country.   Secular Education in Ireland 3, CorkHumanists YouTube
Atheist Ireland promotes an ethical secular Ireland, where your child can attend school without religious discrimination and indoctrination, and can grow up to aspire to be Taoiseach or President or a Judge without having to swear a religious oath. You can also take part in informal social events where you can meet likeminded people.
As a member your subscription will be used to:
Further our campaign to have an ethical secular State in Ireland, that favours neither religion nor atheism.
Persuade the Irish government to not educate non-religious children in schools run by the Catholic church
Stop the Catholic church from excluding non-religious children from primary schools
Keep the pressure on the government to urgently remove our blasphemy law, which has an impact internationally.
Promote freedom of conscience and equality before the law for all citizens, regardless of religious or non-religious beliefs.
Enable us to work with organisations worldwide to help us with all these campaigns and human rights.
The origins and emphasis of the two organisations are different but complementary, mostly. Humanism is a philosophy of life and ethics based on human nature and the natural world. Most Humanist organisations have a network of trained ceremony celebrants to respond to the demand for non-religious celebrants to conduct the hatchings, matchings and dispatching ceremonies of funerals, weddings, civil partnerships and baby namings. Increasingly, representatives of Humanist organisations serve as chaplains and on bodies that used to only represent the religious.
HAI celebrants in June 2013, following years of campaigning, have achieved legal status for Humanist marriage ceremonies. Following the passing of the Civil Registration Amendment Act last December by the Dáil and Seanad, the General Register Office added all current HAI-accredited celebrants to the list of solemnisers. Scotland had already recognised Humanist celebrants as registrars but in the rest of the UK the negotiations for such recognition are still ongoing. It is envisaged that this will happen in 2015/16.
However, the legislation was discriminatory and flawed in the way it was framed.
“45A (1) For the purposes of this Part, a body shall, subject to subsection (2), be a secular body if it is an organised group of people and –
(2) None of the following is a secular body for the purposes of this Part:
(b) a body that promotes a political cause;”
It is this clause stating that it precludes any secular body that promotes a political cause that has created the contradiction and which was challenged by Atheist Ireland as unworkable as HAI is, without a doubt, promoting and advocating changes in policies, laws and the constitution in Ireland.

 

 

Atheist Ireland are, undoubtedly more militant than HAI. The emphasis of the two organisations are similar in that both are adamantly secularist and have many of the same aims. However,  Humanism is a philosophy of life and ethics based on human nature and the natural world whereas Atheist Ireland is more of a campaigning group although it has developed a social side with Secular Sunday Brunches which are posted in SECULAR SUNDAY the weekly newletter of AI edited by Derek Walsh. Links to it are found on the Atheist Ireland website and interested folk can sign up. It has a media watch section of relevant items from Ireland and worldwide as well as interesting links to guest blogs. AI has has a forum and a section on the various submissions it has made to the UN, Europe and the Irish Government.

 

It has plenty of interesting videos. Atheist IrelandYouTube

Atheist Ireland responds to abortion law YouTube  Senator Ivana Bacik greets Sanal Edamaruku at Atheist

Michael Nugent debates the right to assisted YouTube  Teaching about atheism in Irish schools YouTube

Ireland’s government trying to produce Irish solutions to Irish problems will continue to cock up especially while men are predominantly in charge, with exceptions like Labour’s Ivana Bacik who is backing Joan Burton’s bid for the leadership of the Labour Party.
I guess we need to keep an eye on what’s happening in Ireland around all this and we have a right to influence changes on this as, far many of us, it was the Catholic ethos and restricted role for women that caused us to emigrate.

 

 

 

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