Coventry & Warwickshire Humanist
Issued by Coventry & Warwickshire Humanists
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A self-governing voluntary association affiliated to the International Humanist and Ethical Union [IHEU] and to the National Secular Society [NSS].
freedom / happiness / virtue
The “Humanist Viewpoint” below was published in the Courier Series of newspapers (Kenilworth, Leamington and Warwick)on Friday 9th March 2018.
Reform of the House of Lords
Reform of the House of Lords is in the news again with the publication of a book about it and, like many others, Humanists are in much in favour of it being made democratic.
One glaring example of its lack of democracy is the presence of Anglican clergy. The United Kingdom is unique among Western democracies in giving Anglicans seats in its legislature. Two archbishops and 24 bishops of the Church of England currently have seats, as of right, in the House. Any serious reform proposals must address this unjustified privilege.
After over a century of decline in religious attendance in Britain the claim that Bishops speak for any significant constituency is clearly far off the mark. Less than 2% of the British population now attend Anglican services on the average Sunday. By 2050 this figure is forecast to drop to just 0.3% of the population.
In an increasingly secular society the role of religious representatives in our legislature has become irrelevant, and has in fact stood in the way of progressive legislation.
Humanists reject the implication that the archbishops and bishops somehow provide special moral insights denied to other members of the House.The idea that they or any other religious leaders have any monopoly on issues of morality is offensive to Humanists and other non-religious citizens. Humanists contend that those without religious beliefs are no less capable of making moral and ethical judgements.
In this connection, Humanists warmly welcomed the Queen’s statement when addressing the Church of England General Synod: “It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue and that the wellbeing and prosperity of the nation depend on the contribution of individuals and groups of all faiths and none”.
George Broadhead: Coventry & Warwickshire Humanists
In The USA Generation Z Is Less Religious Than Ever, and Evangelicals Don’t Know Why.
Earlier this year, the Barna Group, a Christian polling organization, released a new survey finding that Generation Z (born after 1999) was the least Christian generation ever. One of the biggest findings was that nearly twice as many teenagers in Gen Z (13 percent) claimed to be atheists than Millennials (7 percent).
It was a huge jump and evangelical Christianity has only taken a bigger hit since that survey was done thanks to white evangelicals’ overwhelming support for Donald Trump.
Jonathan Morrow of Fox News — and someone who worked on the survey — can’t believe these changes are happening. To him, they signal a problem with churches in that they’re not properly preparing children to enter the real world where their faith will inevitably be challenged.
So why is the fact that Gen Z is less Christian than ever good news again? Because we need to stop pretending and start living in reality.
We need to stop pretending that if we entertain teenagers then they will stick around after they graduate.
We need to stop pretending that if we protect them from everything they won’t question, doubt, or walk away.
And we need to stop pretending that a few minutes of a moralistic, watered down Bible lesson on a Sunday morning will prepare them to stand firm in their faith.
In short, teenagers need a grown-up worldview, not coloring book Jesus.
We can do better.
There’s obvious irony in people who believe Jesus was magic telling fellow Christians they “need to stop pretending and start living in reality.”
Finally living in reality is why so many members of Generation Z aren’t returning to church.
More importantly, the idea that young evangelicals are simply not strong enough in their faith is missing the point. They leave Christianity for a number of reasons, including evangelicals’ warm embrace of the Republican Party, their opposition to LGBTQ rights, their ignorance on the subject of sex education and science literacy, their hypocrisy on opposing both abortion and contraception, their treatment of women, and because Gen Z realizes the myths they’ve been fed are just not true.
Telling the same lies louder and more confidently won’t fix the problem. Whenever those teenagers learn to ask tough questions and think critically, the faith is bound to topple. And there are more resources available now than ever before to help them break the spell.
A message from the new president of the National Secular Society, to whom the group is affiliated, Mr Keith Porteous Wood.
It is my great pleasure to present the latest issue of the Bulletin for the first time as President of the National Secular Society.
Firstly, I’d like to thank all of you who have donated to our 2020 fundraising campaign, getting us closer to our target of raising £200,000 by 2020. As you will see in this latest issue of the Bulletin, your generous donations are being transformed into real and effective action. Since our autumn issue, your support has funded some significant successes in our campaigns. Our work led to Amazon withdrawing ‘training kits’ for infant genital cutting, a story that received international attention in the press and cast light on some of the shocking aspects of this practice. We convinced councillors in Lancashire to vote to stop supplying non-stun halal meat to schools.
Our research revealed that many children are forced to wear religious dress at school and found a systemic bias against secular schooling. We’ve also helped parents to resist faith groups’ attempts to take over their children’s education. We’re opposing plans to make faith school admissions more discriminatory. And we’ve made official submissions on: the way religion is taught – opposing a confessional approach; promoting secularism as part of citizenship; the need to legislate against ‘caste’ discrimination; and the protection of existing human rights post-Brexit.
The challenges for secularists are growing in number and complexity and religious lobbying is becoming more assertive. That’s why we’re preparing now and we need your help. Please go to where you can donate securely online. Alternatively, send a cheque payable to the “National Secular Society”. Finally, we’ve announced our shortlist for the Secularist of the Year awards reception, which will take place on 24 March. Now in its 13th year, Secularist of the Year, funded by an anonymous benefactor, gives us the opportunity to celebrate and reward inspiring activists and campaigners and to meet members from around the country, as well as honorary associates. Tickets are just £40 for members, £50 for non-members. I very much hope to meet you at this very special occasion. Thank you as always for your continued support, and I hope you enjoy this issue.
With all best wishes, Keith Porteous Wood – President
Bible contradiction and or inconsistency:
Exodus 34:7; “The Lord God …. visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”
Ezekiel 18:20; “The soul sinneth, it shall not die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither the father shall bear the iniquity of the son.”
Local humanist friends are invited, along with other green thinking and socially aware people e.g Friends of the earth, Greens, etc, to Green Drinks every 1st Wed evening of the month, 7.30 onwards, at The Engine, 8 Mill End, Kenilworth CV8 2HP. Next meeting Wednesday 4th April 2018. Look forward to seeing you. In case of re-arrangement and for any other queries contact Tracey Drew email@example.com or phone 01926 857782