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HAI Meeting Sunday

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:19 pm
by mkaobrih
Here’s a very brief summary of the last HAI meeting last Sunday.

The guest speaker was David Pollock President of The European Humanist Federation.
The meeting was well attended. He talked about levels of separation between church and state in the EU.
First up (and I’m remembering this as I took no notes – so if you were there please correct me if I’m wrong), He talked about the EHF and the funding of it.
It’s annual budget is €34k of which 80% comes from Belgium humanists (as the humanist there are on equal Government funding to religious). So the Belgium Humanist are mostly funding the EHF. Volunteers staff it.

Next up were the deep problems that there having with the French. As the French humanists don’t want any dialog for religious organisations with State where as the English want religious and non-religious non government bodies to be treated the same with no special dispensations given to the religious.

Thirdly he talked about the level of church and state separation within Europe and what struck me here is that the Religious organisations get Government funding in every country even France, Finland, Norway - places that I thought were secular are in fact not at all. Taxpayer’s money still goes to Church’s in some shape or form. He talked about the problems in the east European countries as well.

Mr Pollock then mentioned the situation in Australia – which shocked me. Religious organisations there can act as businesses so not only do they get government funding and tax breaks but also they don’t have to be regulated either. So for example a religious insurance co can compete with a private sector one but they don’t have to be regulated. It had something to do with the Humanists losing a court case a few years ago.

He talked a lot about the politics of trying to stay on the MEP’s radar. Lots of acronyms and abbreviations were used so I can’t remember the details. But it sounded as if they were scooping out a breached boat with a spoon..

The talk lasted for 90 min and there was a Q&A afterwards.

Re: HAI Meeting Sunday

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:12 pm
by bipedalhumanoid
mkaobrih wrote:
Mr Pollock then mentioned the situation in Australia – which shocked me. Religious organisations there can act as businesses so not only do they get government funding and tax breaks but also they don’t have to be regulated either. So for example a religious insurance co can compete with a private sector one but they don’t have to be regulated. It had something to do with the Humanists losing a court case a few years ago.
Jeez I didn't know that. I knew it was the case in the US. Both our PM and opposition leader are Baptists and hell bent on introducing as much religion as they can get away with into government policy. This is despite the fact htat 23% of people claimed to be 'non-religious' (or incorrectly wrote words like 'Atheist' and 'Agnostic' into the 'other religion' box) in last year's census.

They're copping out state/church separation in similar ways to the Irish government... by giving money to religious organisatins and claiming it's ok because they don't run/own/operate said organisations. Religious schools get gov. funding and because it is illegal for state schools to teach religion, they have a chaplaincy programme where they offer grants to religious organisations to cover the costs of sending church representatives to the school to teach a religion class once/week. Because we have a diversity of religions this meant our normal classed being split up into our various religions. Of course this is all subject to parental consent. Currently the whack job young earth creationist type protestant religions are seriously milking this to push their anti-evolution agenda. They've been known to walk around the schoolyard handing out flyers claiming that evolution is wrong in some isolated cases.

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:25 am
by Martha
It seems to me that it all boils down to one thing. One half (%) of the general population are basically sane and the other half are insane.

In other words, the former make the best of their own resources, and thereby contribute to the community/society, whilst the latter have no resources of their own and are therefore driven to invade (manipulate and exploit) their fellow human beings, contributing nothing to the community/society - precisely because they are not part of Humanity as a whole.

Humans survive on plants, and other animals. Its not natural for them to devour their own kind!

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:46 pm
by bipedalhumanoid
There has been another development with regards to the situation in Australia recently...

The federal court has now ruled that no businesses that are owned by religious organisations have to pay tax.

The gravity of this decision is enormous given that there are a number of religious owned companies in direct competition with private companies. And not all of these coprorate entities are involved providing the types of services you'd normally assiciate with religions. Sanitarium, a company owned by the 7th day adventist cult manufactures breakfast cerials and soy milk products for fucks sake.

I wonder if this move will force the Australian public, who are mostly indifferent to religion, to stand up and do something or if they will be happy to sit back and take it up the arse.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/ ... 68957.html