It’s a commonplace among the political commentariat that the events of the last twelve months, in the US, the UK and Europe, have exposed existential threats to the West’s post-war democratic consensus.
This matters to us as a movement, because Humanism holds itself up as embodying the bedrock principles on which an equitable, rational democracy rests.
But what are these threats? How serious are they? How imminent? Can they be confronted and countered? How? By whom?
We had trailed that we would look at the NSS’s recent manifesto with its 59 recommendations, available here, and we will, but this more wide-angle view seemed to your Committee to be more urgent.
Bedford 'Skeptics in the Pub' is going from strength to strength. Events are held monthly on the 3rd Thursday. Arrive at 7pm for 7.30pm start.
Please check for the latest information on the next meeting and to check the venue, see bedford.skepticsinthepub.org
Bedfordshire Humanists joined family and friends on 17th November 2015 to say goodbye to Peggy Simmons (3 December 1923 - 8 November 2015).
Peggy was a founder member of Bedfordshire Humanists.
It was fitting that the celebrant was David Brittain, a fellow founding member who said of her "She was ... surprising, shocking, thoughtful, funny, compassionate, kind, creative, amazing and wonderful, and all those qualities that mark out a well rounded and complete Human being. There was also a warmth about her, a sense of concern about her world, about society, and about the people in it. She will be remembered for her infectious sense of boundless enthusiasm – of a lust for life that would rival a twenty year old, and which never really expired until her last days."
One of our members, and local Celebrant David Brittain forwarded this touching item which we're delighted to publish. Be sure to click on Read More to see the whole piece.
In tribute to the late Chris Black, who's Humanist funeral took place at Bedford Crematorium on the 13th August 2014, his grandson (and Young Humanist) Jacob Shale, of Plantsbrook School in Sutton Coldfield composed this wonderful poem in his memory:
The Splendour of the Naked Sky
Tending out the beauty of a towering rose
That yet cowers before the wild flower,
Growing prouder and taller,
Magnificent without the Gardener's touch
But both in time,
Blacken and perish and blow away,
And though the silent wind will carry both off,
The wild flower owned itself,
The census results, of course, are deeply interesting to Bedfordshire Humanists… Well no, that’s a lie. We are deeply interested in one question, the one about religious affiliation. This is the census figure that the government has used in the past to justify their faith based polices, the ones that we oppose on the grounds of social integration, fairness, equality, democracy and not to mention plain old common sense. And we’ll leave for now the issue of whether the results actually measure what they claim to measure.
Here I’m focusing on those faith categories with the lower numbers of adherents.
We non-believers have a reputation for being against things.
We’re against Bishops in the House of Lords. We’re against faith schools. We’re against this and we’re against that. Boy, are we against a lot.
It is easy to think that we are against everything and not for anything. The truth is, we are for things, too. In fact, we’re for lots and lots and lots. Let’s list some of the things we’re for…
This extract from Anne Marie Waters was published by the National Secular Society.
Our newsletter, ‘The Bedfordshire Humanist’, is published by email most Fridays and contain news of the things we’ve done, information about the things we’re going to do, news, views and stories. If you are not currently on the distribution list and you would like to be e-mailed a free copy, please send your e-mail address to email@example.com
Members and Associates will be aware that since 2010 Bedfordshire Humanists have made numerous approaches to join the local SACRE (Standing Advisory Committee on Religious Education), which sets the Religious Education syllabus for schools in Bedford Borough.
Our approaches have been either ignored or rejected on every occasion and we are unclear how Bedford Borough Council can meet its obligations in this area as the SACRE has no Humanist voice at all, despite the fact that Humanism is now a part of Religious Education, which is legally required to be interpreted as part of Religion and Ethics.