January 2016 e-Newsletter

Read the latest news from the HAI:

In this issue:

Happy New Year and Happy Campaigning in 2016!
First Sunday Meeting 3 January: A Time to Remember
HAI Stand at the GPO
Equality in Education Campaigns Gather Pace!
Chaplaincy Conference in Utrecht
Jimmy Carter Leaves Southern Baptists for Equality for Women
First Sunday Meetings: Are You Happy with the Ashling?
News Bytes
HAI Strategic Plan 2016-2020
Local Humanist Groups
Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation
Contributions from Members
Living Wills

Happy New Year and Happy Campaigning in 2016!

 YearEnd2015

First Sunday Meeting 3 January: A Time to Remember

For our January 2016 meeting, we invite everyone to join us in remembrance of loved ones and to experience how we as humanists support people in loss, grieving and death.  The programme will consist of readings and music, and our  celebrant and chaplaincy services will be there to give support.  Everyone welcome!
timetorememberFSM2016

HAI Stand at the GPO 

The next outing of the new HAI stand at the GPO will take place on Saturday, 16 January from 12 pm to 2 pm. All members who would like to lend their support would be most welcome!
GPO StandUpdated

 

 

 

Equality in Education Campaigns Gather Pace! 

The momentum to change the education system which discriminates against the non-religious is gathering pace with the launch of three campaigns in December.On 9 December, the umbrella group, Equate, was officially launched.  This group is directed by Michael Barron, founder of the LGB

 

T youth group Belong To, who also played a key role in the successful same-sex marriage camequalityEducationJan064-Newsletterpaign.

Equate commissioned a poll of 1,000 people to find out their views on religion and education. Almost 85 per cent of people believe the education system should be reformed to ensure no child is excluded on the basis of their religion.  A large majority (77 per cent) said they did  not think a school should have the right to refuse admission to a child who has a different religion to that of the school’s patron.
The poll found that almost half of people (47 per cent) would not choose a Christian school for their child if they had a choice locally. Another one in five respondents said they were aware of someone who had baptised their child just to get them into a local school.

In January, Equate  will be launching a national public awareness campaign that will empower parents, young people and the general public to believe that changing our education system is possible and is the right thing to do. You can follow their campaign on Twitter @equateireland

On International Human Rights Day, 10 December, HAI members Roopesh Panicker and Fachtna Roe organised a protest at Leinster House as the Equality in Education Alliance, and sent letters to the Ministers for Justice and Education calling for an end to religious discrimination in schools admissions.

They also delivered letters to every TD and Senator to mark International Human Rights Day, asking them to state their position on discrimination in schools.  Their responses can be tracked here  VoteForEquality.ie

On 14 December, Education Equality launched its campaign which is calling for equal access to all State-funded schools for all children regardless of beliefs, and for faith formation to be confined to a distinct period of time, at the end of the school day and outside of core school hours, so that one religion is not imposed on children who do not share the school patron’s religion. Chairperson April Duff said “We have gathered 30 personal stories written by our members who are affected by religious discrimination in the school system – eye-witness accounts of the discrimination, written in the first person, from many different angles. We will release these stories, one a day, on our website and social media each day for the next 30 days to open people’s eyes to the real human effects of the discriminatory system”

You can follow these stories on Education Equality’s website here

Chaplaincy Conference in Utrecht

On 18th – 22nd November 2015, An All-Ireland Humanist Group from HAI and HumaNI attended a conference on Humanist Chaplaincy in Utrecht, The Netherlands.The aim of the conference was to exchange and enhance knowledge on Humanist Chaplaincy and to learn how to set up Humanist Chaplaincy within organisations such as Health Care, Military and Prisons.The HAI participants were Síle Headen, Willie Collins,  Mairéad Doyle, Terry Saunders and Oisín Carey.The group benefited from valuable opportunities to listen and confer with people who were at various levels of development within their particular country, and, importantly, to learn how these processes developed within the public services and community settings. Our connection with the University will certainly be of interest to us in the future in order to provide recognised qualifications for professional Chaplains within the HAI.

One key result of the seminar was the setting up of a European strategic group at Board Level to progress a Master’s Level Humanist Chaplaincy Training Programme facilitated by the Dutch University of Humanistic Studies. Willie Collins and Robert Sullivan were identified as HAI representatives for this initiative. Ruth Yeo is the HumaNI representative.

Oisín Carey

UtrechtConfJan06e-Newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Carter Leaves Southern Baptists for Equality for Women

JimmyCarterJanenews2016Former US President (1977-1981) Jimmy Carter has announced that he’s leaving the Southern Baptists after six decades because of its attitude to women.  In an essay published online in The Age, Jimmy Carter repudiates the view that women must be subservient to men which is a cornerstone of the Baptist and many religious faiths.  He goes on to say that this view of women “has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries.”   In an extremely strong statement, Jimmy Carter concludes that:

The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

First Sunday Meetings: Are You Happy with the Ashling?

It was agreed to review the Ashling after six months , and we have received a small amount of feedback  – very positive from those travelling from outside Dublin, less positive from those travelling from South and North Dublin by public transport.If there is any further feedback, please email your views to admin@humanism.ie

News Bytes

Irish Times
Jan O’Sulllivan calls for new laws for unbaptised pupilsLetters responding to the Minister’s statementsCarl O’Brien reports that demand for school equality is growing!Éamonn Maher of Trócaire writes that Ireland must make good on the Paris AgreementNational Secular Society News
Icelanders turn to the ancient faith of Zuism to escape religion tax!

HAI Strategic Plan 2016-2020

Work continues on the new 5 year strategic plan for the HAI, which will be launched in February.  Drawing on feedback from the membership through the online surveys and the strategic planning workshops, the detailed plan is currently being finalised by the Board with the help of consultants, Quality Matters. 

Local Humanist Groups

South Dublin Humanist Community
The next meeting will be held on Monday, 18th January in the Royal Marine Hotel.  Ruairi Quinn will speak on the question: A Secular Ireland – when?  Please come at 7.30 pm for an 8.00 pm start.  There will be plenty of time for discussion. Please let Brian Whiteside know if you are coming by emailing him at humanistbrian@gmail.comWaterford
Monthly meetings are held on the third Wednesday of every month in the Reference Room, Waterford City Library, Lady lane at 6.00 p.m.  Contact Teresa Graham on grahamt22@gmail.com for details of further meetings.West Cork
Please email westcorkhumanists@gmail.com for details and directions.Westport
Monthly meetings are held in the Cobbler’s Bar of the Wyatt Hotel at the Octagon in Westport at 12 o’clock on the second Sunday of every month.  The group has a facebook page. Contact Séamus O’Connell on 087 245 35 36 or email shayoc37@gmail.com for further details.North-West Humanists have changed their meeting place to Café Paradiso @Carrick Cineplex (behind Supermac’s), Sligo Road,Carrick on Shannon,Co. Roscommon.
The meeting time has been slightly extended, now 2.30pm to 5pm, still on the third Sunday of every month. The new venue is comfortable and quiet, with quality tea, coffee, snacks (including popcorn!) and a selection of wines. It is closer to the train station than the town-centre. For more information, directions and enquiries, please e-mail isoldecarmody@gmail.com, text or phone 086 8820445.
Members from Laois, Offaly, Carlow, Kilkenny and Kildare meet on the second Friday of the month at 8.00 p.m. in the Kilford Arms, John Street, Kilkenny.  Contact Fachtna Roe on fachtna@fachtnaroe.ie for further details.  Please note change of location!Details of Cork Humanists’ meetings are on http://corkhumanists.weebly.com/ or you can contact Geraldine O’Neill on 086 812 8892.

North Coast Humanists meet every second Tuesday of the month at 6. 30 pm in the foyer of Lodge Hotel, Coleraine. New faces are welcome. For more information, contact: jennifer.sturgeon@btinternet.com  or 07818036404.
The Mid-West Humanists group includes people from Limerick, Clare, and Tipperary who meet on the third Wednesday of each month at 20:00 in Limerick – the Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry’s Mall, Limerick. Meeting notice at www.midwesthumanists.com. For more information contact Peter O’Hara on 086 8155102 or email info@midwesthumanists.com.

Serving Humanists in Galway and surrounding areas, Humanists West meet in Galway city on the last Sunday of each month. Please note the change of venue: we are now meeting in the Anno Santo Hotel, Threadneedle Road, Salthill, Galway.  The meetings start at 12 noon. For more information contact Garry O’Lochlainn on garryol@hotmail.com or 087 2222726.

Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation

Eamon Rafter, Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, contacted Alan Tuffery via the HAI website in relation to a project on the role of religion in violence. This project is at the ‘scoping’ stage — trying to get a general sense of the different views.In a 30-min telephone conversation, they discussed, the role of religion as a badge for embattled communities and its invocation in support of violence. Also mentioned was the role of individual religious in conflict resolution, often in contrast to the higher religious authorities.Alan Tuffery pointed out the key humanist principles of compassion, reason and ethics and the reliance on documents such as the Untied Nations Declaration of Human Rights.- Alan Tuffery

Contributions from Members

If you have constructive comments or feedback on this e-Newsletter, Board meetings, the organisation in general, and/or are able to contribute to the goals of the HAI in any way, please let us know.And if you have news items or links you would like to share with other HAI members, please send them for possible inclusion in the e-Newsletter by the 27th of the month.We would very much welcome your contributions!The email address is admin@humanism.ie

Living Wills

Advanced Healthcare DirectiveAdvance directives are written legal documents by which patients express their wishes about the kind of health care they want to receive in the event they become unable to make their own treatment decisions. This usually means if he or she is physically or mentally incapacitated or otherwise unable to makes these desires known. They are designed to allow competent patients the opportunity to guide future health care decisions. Advance directives include living wills and medical powers of attorney, sometimes called durable powers of attorney. It takes the decision away from family members, thus reducing their stress at a vulnerable time.More information is available from http://www.worldrtd.net/organization/living-wills-trust-lwt or contact Daphne Wynne, 01 2802879, for further information.