We’re back on The Big Questions tomorrow at 1000 for perhaps one of the most important issues of our time – Human Rights.
Last Sunday, Phil Asburn from the AHS Society at UCLan and myself appeared on The BBC’s The Big Questions to discuss some very big questions indeed: Should religion stay out of politics; Is the death penalty ever justified; Should Sex and Relationship Education be Secular? The episode culminated in nothing less than Godless Spell Checker shouting “Dogma” and me being rather polite to a bishop… sort of! Watch the show aired on 03.05.15 here.
One viewer even pointed out that a few of us were the 4 Godless Gs of the Apocalypse, perhaps a good omen for reason? We’d prefer to call it non-divine intervention though.
Tune in on Sunday when Andrew Copson, Maryam Namazie, Peter Tatchell and others discuss the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Religious Rights. Iram Ramzan, Lejla Kurić Godless Spell Checker (Stephen), Phil Ashburn and I are also there!
Many activists including myself have signed this statement (and it isn’t the first time we’ve done so) condemning the treatment of Raif Badawi who is being imprisoned, lashed, and may even be executed for merely founding a website (Free Saudi Liberals), being critical of the regime, and “insulting Islam.” Condemnation of violence and atrocities is never enough. We need to put pressure on our government to take action against Saudi Arabia.
As a member of this electorate, our voices are more effective when we speak together, so if you sympathise with the plight of Raif – as well as many others who are the victims of systemic religious prejudice throughout the world, such as bloggers in Bangladesh – then please put pressure on your local MP to back this statement.
Theocratic nations like Saudi Arabia with its regressive religiously inspired penal code might not care what we think, but that’s only because no consequences for their actions are forthcoming. WE can be the motivators for such action and help to end these practices:
“Over the last few days thousands of people have written to their MPs to support the legalisation of humanist marriage, which is due to be voted on tomorrow or on Tuesday. Have you joined them yet?” – British Humanist Association. We are one of the most active organisations promoting marriage equality in the UK and around the world. We hope to one day be the best, and importantly, least prejudice provider of marriage services in the UK upon recognition. Marriage is for all, and no religious organisation should try to have a monopoly on the expression of love on the grounds of their particular tribal values, and sadly more often than not, their prejudices. Read the rest of this entry
For those concerned with recent events in Bangladesh with regards to the suppression of free expression and prosecution of atheist bloggers. Below is a letter I have sent to the High Commission of Bangladesh in order to help raise awareness of these events and others across the world. These individuals need our help to protect their freedom of expression and right not to believe. If you feel moved by, or feel that such a struggle represents your views, I implore you to take action in any way available to you such as sending a letter to their ambassadors or joining a local protest. The International Humanist and Ethical Union can provide resources for such a letter writing campaign. The demands of those that persecute the bloggers as well as Christians in the country (Muslims) can be seen here. Their justifications predictably come from God and their chants are savage including “one point, one demand, atheists must be hanged”. It is only through our action, that the values of a free, democratic, secular society can be protected.
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Last night I attended the Law Ball at the University of Central Lancashire which was a respectable and interesting affair. One guest speaker announced that Lawyers need to have a moral compass when practicing which elicited a slight giggle from those lawyers and aspiring legal professionals in the audience.
Today Mrs Justice Lang defended Boris Johnson’s ban on anti-gay banners ruling that Dr Mike Davidson’s anti-homosexuality adverts reading “Not Gay! Ex-Gay, Post-Gay and Proud. Get over it!” for display on London buses “cause grave offence” to those who were gay and was perceived as homophobic. This could “increasing the risk of prejudice and homophobic attacks”. Read the rest of this entry