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More press contacts

Since 09/01/2013, the Clare Champion interviewed 2 County Clare humanists by telephone. We await the printed article.

On Tuesday 15/01/2013 Clare FM’s Morning Focus interviewed me about Humanism and the Mid West Humanists.

Update on getting the press to contact us

As planned at the meeting on 19 December 2012, I sent the general information document for the press on 08 January 2013, to local newspapers and to local radio stations. It describes the group and its aims, and provide a contact number and email for any paper or station who want a secular, humanist, or atheist view on any news items in the Mid West region.

Late on 08 01 2013 the Clare Champion telephoned and asked for some humanists in Clare that they could telephone. I got agreement from 2 of our members and gave their phone numbers to the Champion early on 09 01 2013.

Late on 08 01 2013 the Tipperary Mid West Community radio station phoned me, and I spoke on their Morning Call program with Joe Pryce on the morning of 09 01 2013. Early on 09 01 2013 Tipp FM radio phoned me and I spoke on their Tipp Today program with Seamus Martin the same morning.

The Limerick Post emailed me on 09 01 2013 and I am to speak to them on 10 01 2013 for a story about people moving away from Christianity.

This is all good news and good results from the press information pack. I hope that at times stories arise in the news here, we the local group will put input into local radio or newspapers.

What the Mid West Humanists sent to the press and radio on 08 January 2013

As planned I sent the following to 13 local newspapers and 4 local radio stations by email on 08 01 2013, and later by post. I sent this information document to those on the email and phone lists on 20 12 2012, and again on 07 01 2013.

—————————————————————–

Mid West Humanists

(People without religion)

General Information about the Mid West Humanists

The Mid West Humanists are a group of people (from Limerick, Clare, and Tipperary) with no religion, or leaning that way (since 2008).

The Mid West Humanists meet monthly in Limerick, at present in the Absolute Hotel, 3rd Wednesday of the month at 20:00

The Mid West Humanists seek social and political changes, that society and the state should – (1) be secular; (2) treat equally people who have religion and people who have no religion; (3) be more open to people who have no religion.

How to contact the Mid West Humanists

Peter O’Hara is contact person for the media on Humanism, Secular society, or any connected matters.

Website                midwesthumanists.com

The contact person can speak (and obtain further people to speak) both on people’s personal experience of humanism and the change from religion, and also on government and non-government structures that create difficulty for or are unfair to people who have no religion (and the changes needed). Continue reading

Decemeber 2012 meeting: plans to encourage the press to contact us

Although the Mid West Humanists have met every month since 2008, at times stories arise in the news here, and we the local group have not put input into local radio or newspapers.

From the meeting in September 2012 the members have wanted to encourage the local press and radio to take input from us on  stories affecting humanist, atheist, and secular people, including cases of discrimination against them.

At the meeting on 19 December 2012 those present edited an information document for the press, and a press release which is due to be sent when the Constitutional Convention starts to look at the Blasphemy provision.
We plan to send the general information document to local newspapers and to local radio stations in the second week of January 2013. It will describe the group and its aims, and provide a contact number and email for any paper or station who want a secular, humanist, or atheist view on any news items in the Mid West region.

We hope this will mean that the local media will give our point of view some airing. We hope this will contribute to changes in society, towards a secular society.

Militant Atheism

For my first post I thought I would comment on our meeting last weekend.  At some point in the discussion the position of the HAI (who were visiting guests) was questioned, regarding the embryonic Atheist Ireland Association.  What followed made me question the motives of the HAI.  I was mystified at HAI’s seeming dismissal of any potential affiliation between the Humanist Association and Irish atheists.  It struck me that they were desperate to avoid the stigma of being labelled Atheists.  They had genuine reasons for this, and this is where the term ‘militant atheist’ entered the conversation and this is a where it rankled.  The term militant, when referencing atheists appears to have become a homonym.  The meaning of the word changing when referencing religion such as the Christian variety:

Or our friends in the ‘religion of peace’

For these militants, the word seems to have disturbing and dangerous connotations – rightly feared.  However, the second meaning of the word, when discussing atheism appears to involve those with the temerity to not sit in the corner and be silent.  I am sure I am not alone in my disdain for people using this method of assigning a pejorative to us, when none obviously exist.  The motives of militant religionists are clear, bizarre and well documented – those for atheism usually involve the writing of a book or criticism of dogmatic and irrational viewpoints.  To emphasise the point, in the Apologetics Press recently the following was written.

Dawkins, who is perhaps the most celebrated evolutionist alive today, was one of the most militant atheists at the conference. He stated: “I am utterly fed up with the respect we have been brainwashed into bestowing upon religion,” i.e., God (p. 9; cf. Ecclesiastes 12:12-13). Passive atheism apparently should not be tolerated. Dawkins is “ready to mobilize” his “big…enthusiastic choir” of evolutionary colleagues. He said: “There’s a certain sort of negativity you get from people who say ‘I don’t like religion but you can’t do anything about it.’ That’s a real counsel of defeatism. We should roll our sleeves up and get on with it” ( emp. added). Dawkins even compared evolutionary scientists’ position in the 21st century to that of homosexuals in the late 1960s: everyone needs to be “willing to stand up and be counted,” so that “they could change things” .

So the good professor expresses his clear militancy by ramming home just how ‘utterly fed-up‘ he is – shocking stuff!  ‘This is the most feared standard-bearer of ‘militant atheism’?

We should confront this whenever we can – it is a (rather successfull) attempt to denegrate our efforts before they get started.  As long as any Irish association of atheists limit their discourse to ‘raising the conciousness’ of the religious they will have my support and i believe they deserve the support of free-thinkers, regardless of their association with any other ‘free-thinkers’ group.

What is Humanism and who are we?

Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.

from – www.iheu.org

The Mid-west Humanists are a group of Humanist Association of Ireland members living in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary.

Currently we hold meetings on the second Sunday of each month. If you’re a Humanist, Atheist, Agnostic, or Sceptic living in the Mid-west (or willing to travel) and are interested in meeting like minded people please leave a comment below and we’ll get in touch with details.

You may also like to visit the HAI website and consider joining.