Friday, 22 October 2010

In the Local Press

There are two items of interest to our group in today's Hastings Observer.

Civic Service:
On page 7 is a letter to the Editor from me about the exclusion of Humanism from the Civic Service, as reported in the previous posting here. (A News Item I sent the previous week was not published.) I've suggested that if a ceremony is needed it should be representative of the whole community.

Alan Turing:
On page 17 is a news item reporting that Dean Morrison's campaign for a blue plaque to commemorate Alan Turing's connection with Hastings has been successful. It has not yet been decided where it will be placed. The article also states that Turing made "interesting studies into DNA" towards the end of his life (he died in 1954). I hadn't heard of this before. (Crick and Watson published their famous paper in April 1953.)

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Mayor Vetoed by Clergy

The invitation that I received to give a reading at the Civic Service this Sunday morning came to nothing, since the Vicar and Bishop ruled that no Atheist is allowed to speak in a Christian Church.

I was only informed when I got there for the start of the Service. The programme included an interval for statements by Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist speakers, but Humanists it appears are taboo.

Mind you it was difficult to think of something I could read that would not be found offensive to people of faith in some way, and sandwiching it between two hymns in praise of the Almighty would have seemed incongruous no matter what I said.

I've written a longer account that I hope may be accepted for HumanistLife.

The purpose of the Civic Service it seems is to affirm that the traditional hold of the Church over the Secular Authority is maintained.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Our October Meeting

The next meeting of Hastings Humanists on 14th October will be a social gathering at the Dripping Well public house to discuss whatever members want to bring up. There have been a lot of topics in the news. If I have the time I will produce a Newsletter for distribution. The BHA provided ten copies of their Newsletter (unfortunately they arrived just after our last meeting). These can go to whoever asks for them first.

The venue for our AGM in November has not been settled yet. I'm also thinking of changing the date to 18th November to avoid the clash with Remembrance day. I would like to see more people getting involved in the organisation of meetings. Perhaps a committee of six might be workable. We may also be able to do away with charges for meetings and instead ask for an annual subscription and voluntary donations, which is what the Brighton group does.