Belfast Pride 2011
The activities of the Belfast Humanist Group are many and varied. The monthly meetings include talks, quizzes, correspondence, campaigns and other events. Members of the public are welcome to attend meetings and to join in the discussions. For samples of posters for past meetings, click here or here or here. To see photos of a recent BHG outing to Glenarm Forest click here.
Remembrance Ceremony, Belfast City Hall, November 2011. Humanists included for first time in 2010. Photos here. See Correspondence for letters to Lord Mayor and Royal British Legion.
Debate 2011. "Religion has Poisoned Politics on this Island". Proposition: Malachi O'Doherty (writer) Michael Nugent (Atheist Ireland) Jon Dickinson (Queens Humanist Society). Opposition: Dr Leon Litvack (QUB) Rev Chris Hudson (Elmwood Church) Paul Shannon (Queens Literific Society). Chair: Dr John Barry. Monday 5 December, in PFC, Queen's University. Poster here. Motion carried by overwhelming majority!
2010 Debate: "Belief in God Brings Order and Discipline to Sexual Relationships." Proposition: Dr L Litvack (QUB), Jude Collins (journalist) and Hassan Mansour (Islamic Centre). Opposition: Dawn Purvis MLA, Audrey Simpson (FPA) and Les Reid (BHG). Chair: Steven Agnew (Green Party). Poster here or here. Motion defeated. For details of debates from previous years, see here.
Charity Quiz Click here for a poster. Fund-raising for charity.
Video clips on YouTube: members have recorded short video clips for the internet. See here
Darwin Bicentennial Debate: The Science of Evolution has rendered Genesis obsolete. Click here for details.
The BHG was instrumental in getting a Humanist Chaplain appointed at Queen's University, Belfast, as of summer 2007. The first Humanist Chaplain there is Ruth Yeo, past Vice-Chair of the BHG. You can see a short video introducing the Chaplain here. Following that, a Humanist Society for students at Queen's University has been established. The contact number for the Humanist Chaplain is 028 9061 7919. Read a newspaper interview here.
There is a Summer School in Carlingford at the end of August each year. The Summer School includes talks by established speakers, open discussions, workshops, leisure events and a dinner. To date, the Summer Schools have been held in the Heritage Centre, Carlingford. Past speakers have included Julian Baggini (philosopher) Ray Brown (IHEU) Newton Emerson (satirist) Malachi O'Doherty (journalist) Eamonn McCann (journalist) and Professor Justin Keating (former Minister in the Dail). You can see a short video about the Summer School here. The Summer School for 2011 will be held on the week-end of 2 - 4 September on "Humanist Morality". Click here for details.
The Belfast Humanist Group has conducted opinion polls in the streets of Belfast on topics such as Evolution versus Creationism. Photos of the 2006 poll are available here and a video of vox pop interviews from 2007 can be seen here. The results of the 2007 poll are given here. The opinion poll findings have been discussed at length on the BBC website "Will and Testament", which is a weblog maintained by William Crawley in conjunction with his radio and tv programmes. The discussion can be accessed here.
Recent campaigns have included representations to DENI concerning the need for a liberal subject, Religions and Beliefs, to replace the traditional RE which is exclusively Christian. The Belfast Humanist Group has also raised the possibility of a new group forming in Derry in the local media there. The Group has been involved in 'green awareness' activities and in fund-raising for charities.
The Humanist Council of the Isles is a quarterly meeting of representatives from England, Scotland, IoM, RoI and N Ireland. The Belfast Humanist Group usually sends one or two members to participate in the Council meetings. The purpose of the meetings is to exchange good practice and to learn from each other's experience.