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Coventry & Warwickshire Humanist

September 2017

Issued by Coventry & Warwickshire Humanists

4 Collett Walk, Barrowfield Lane, Kenilworth CV8 1GZ

Website: cwhumanists.org Twitter: @CWHums

FB and Newsletter Editor: Derek Franklin

Tel: 01926 258413

Email: cwhumanists@gmail.com


A self-governing voluntary association affiliated to the International Humanist and Ethical Union [IHEU] and to the National Secular Society [NSS].

freedom / happiness / virtue
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 24 August 2017 Latest issue of the Pink Humanist

The Pink Humanist is an online magazine published by the UK LGBT Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT). It features topics of special interest to those who identify as atheists, freethinkers, humanists, secularists and sceptics in LGTB communities and those who support them. The magazine’s editor is Barry Duke who also edits the UK Freethinker (the Voice of Atheism since 1881).

In the latest issue PTT Secretary George Broadhead vigorously supports the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s participation in Pride in London 2017, and insists that the CEMB should not be barred from future Pride events. 

The CEMB was accused by the East London Mosque and other Muslims organisations of promoting “Islamophobia” by marching with placards condemning Islamic homophobia. Broadhead dismisses their complaints as “baseless nonsense”.

In “The tragic tale of Michael Glatze”, Barry Duke describes the harm done to LGBT communities by an American who went from being a gay activist to a married “ex-gay” Christian preacher who began promoting quack “gay cure” therapies.

After Glatze became the darling of the religious right, a bio pic, I am Michael, was made about Glatze. Glatze, who now describes himself as bisexual, has apologised profusely for attacking homosexuals.

Other items in the latest edition include an examination of gay life in India, a report about Lebanon’s first Pride event and a feature detailing the persecution of Palestinian apostate and blogger Waleed al-Husseini, now living in exile in France.

The rampant homophobia of Stephen Green, of Christian Voice UK, is exposed in “Brickbats and bouquets as UK celebrates the decriminalisation of homosexuality” – a feature about the BBC’s coverage of the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 which partially decriminalised homosexual acts that took place in private between two men over the age of 21.

Additionally, individual articles can be accessed directly from the site’s home page. 

https://thepinktriangletrust.com/

Compelling evidence that these policies are wrong

Here is the latest Humanist Viewpoint published Friday 1 September in the Courier series of newspapers (Kenilworth, Leamington and Warwick).

New evidence has been published about the continued decline in religious belief in England. The latest British Social Attitudes Survey showed that 53% of the population now describe themselves as having no religion. Forty-one per cent are Christian but Anglicans (the established church) are only 15%.

We are not a Christian country in anything other than a narrow constitutional sense.

These figures confirm that the Government, led by an avowed Christian, is going entirely against popular opinion in persisting with the policy of official support, and almost total funding, for faith schools and scandalously planning to allow them to take in only children of their own religious persuasion.

It is obvious to most people that the policy is wrong on two grounds. First what is needed in our divided country is integration not segregation. This should start in schools. Second if you wish to teach moral behaviour it is no longer helpful to turn to religions which base their premise on a belief in God that no longer resonates with the majority and particularly younger people.

From a Humanist point of view we would like to see schools teaching ethical and moral behaviour which is not based on faith in a non-existent being but on human experience. Over the millennia we have learned what furthers the progress of mankind. We know that pleasure is better than pain, that cooperation is better than conflict, that kindliness is better than hostility and that all humans must be treated equally irrespective of characteristics such as gender, race, and colour. Children will respond to this with understanding . Requiring a belief in God only gets in the way.

Dr Brian Nicol, Coventry and Warwickshire Humanists.

VICTORY FOR HUMANISTS: NHS ENGLAND TO CONSULT ON ENDING HOMEOPATHY SPENDING 

July 21st, 2017

 
NHS England has announced that it wants to cease funding homeopathic remedies and other treatments proven to have no efficacy, and has launched a consultation on the matter. The announcement is warmly greeted by Humanists UK, which has campaigned for an end to state funding of homeopathy for many years.  

In announcing the historic change of policy, NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens described the homeopathy as, ‘at best a placebo and a misuse of scarce NHS funds.’ The change means that homeopathy will no longer be funded through the NHS in England, as is already the case in Northern Ireland and Wales. However, it will not impact the funding of homeopathy in parts of Scotland, or through Steiner schools in England which are funded by the Department for Education.

Homeopathy is a pseudoscientific medical concept invented by Samuel Hahnemann in 1796, which is based on the idea that ‘like cures like’. Homeopaths dilute substances thousands of times beyond the point of containing any of the original substance whatsoever, and then sell the resulting products in sugar pills as ‘cures’ for various diseases and ailments. In well over 200 years, no rigorous scientific test has ever shown efficacy for homeopathic remedies beyond that of a placebo.

Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson commented, ‘We applaud NHS England for taking this evidence-based decision, whose consequence will be greater funding for important things like patient care, staffing, and medicines that really work. We very much hope to see these new guidelines brought into full effect before too long… undiluted!

‘For several years now, homeopathy funding has been steadily reduced as more and more local NHS trusts saw to apply rational thinking and common sense to their funding choices. However, the piecemeal nature of these decisions meant that many thousands of pounds were still being poured down the drain. We’re glad to see that, subject to consultation, the waste will now end in England as a whole, and we congratulate the Good Thinking Society and other campaigners who helped make this happen.

‘We’ll now be looking to intensify the pressure on NHS Scotland to follow the positive example set by Northern Ireland, Wales, and now England, and bring an end to this state-funded pseudoscience in the UK once and for all.’

For further comment or information contact Richy Thompson, Director of Public Affairs and Policy at richy@humanism.org.uk. 

Our campaign on homeopathy: http://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/ethical-and-scientific-issues/homeopathy/

Recent years have seen a dramatic reduction in the availability of state-funded homeopathy. According to research by the Good Thinking Society, state funding of homeopathy has previously ended in Northern Ireland, Wales, Shetland, and the Western Isles of Scotland, as well as many parts of England. State-funded Steiner schools in the South West of England also promote homeopathy.

This consultation invites submissions from the public and patients, as well as Clinical Commissioning Groups and any relevant interest group or body. Read the NHS England consultation document: https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/items-routinely-prescribed/

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

Another bible contradiction or inconsistency

Genesis ii, 17: But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt SURELY DIE.

Genesis v, 5: And all the days that Adam lived were NINE-HUNDRED AND THIRTY YEARS and then he died.


Green drinks

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 October. Look forward to seeing you. In case of re-arrangement and for any other queries contact Tracey Drew tracey@wildflower.plus.com or phone 01926 857782