Tag secularism

Scout Association amends vow to God in bid to appease atheists and other faiths

As I reported the other day, the Girlguides have dropped the pledge to God from their vow. Now it appears that the Scouts are doing similarly, as the Telegraph reports:

The movement has bowed to pressure from atheists and, from later this year, will offer an alternative promise for those joining without a religious faith.

Currently, all Scouts are expected to promise to “do my duty to God” – with alternative wording for Muslims, Hindus and people of other faiths. Those who cannot do so as a matter of conscience are able to join only as associate members.

God vow dropped from Girlguiding UK promise

The Telegraph and Daily Mail are predictably up in arms about this great news (something I have reported before). The BBC reports:

Girls will no longer have to pledge their devotion to God when they join the Guides and Brownies in the UK.

It comes after a consultation found a new Girlguiding UK promise was needed to include “more explicitly” the non-religious and those of other faiths.

They currently vow to “to love my God, to serve my Queen and my country”.

The threat to Turkey is SERIOUS

The shitstorm going down in Turkey deserves more attention. I mean that our governments should be coming out and decrying the Turkish conservative government’s attempts to drive out secularism in the historically secular country. I get enraged when I read about what is going on there. Here is an ostensibly Muslim country which has remained, against all odds, secular in nature. The tide is turning, though, and outrageous things are taking place. This argue makes me bristle with the injustice of the world. Over to the Guardian.

Is Turkey’s secular system in danger?

Those who founded the Republic in 1923 might well be turning in their graves: their vision of Turkey as a strictly secularist and nationalist state – not just a separation of state and religion, but also the removal of religion from all aspects of public life – is being questioned.

In the lead-up to the 89th anniversary of the Turkish Republic on 29 October, political values have never been more openly debated, thanks to a public consultation process, initiated by Turkey’s parliament, for a new constitution.

Islamic ‘inspired’ stabbing; government approves 25 faith schools; exclusivist policies abound

So a British soldier was stabbed to death in public, the atrocity being caught and shared on social media. They stayed around to be arrested, not afraid of the consequences, and this is the scary thing. Now there is a widespread Muslim backlash. To make matters worse, the government has admitted that “thousands are at risk of radicalisation” in the UK.

So what do we do to unite society? What do we do to make it more inclusive and less exclusive? How do we break the in-group / out-group psychology which fuels the fires of societal discontent and fear? How to we pull down the walls of separation of ‘us’ and ‘them’?

Factfile: Hypatia of Alexandria

Due to the fact that wiki has some great starter articles, and I don’t necessarily have the time to write some of my own, but feel that there are some people who deserve greater notoriety. As a result, once in a while, I will randomly copy over an interesting wiki article and perhaps promote discussion on these people.

The first subject is someone important to our network here at SIN. Hypatia of Alexandria is our figurehead and is incorporated into our logos. She is an iconic role model for secular female intellects, and for all humanity. Here is a little more about her: