More bus campaign news

The British Humanist Association recently received public monies. It’s unclear if this has anything to specifically do with their recent bus campaign (maybe a Brit can clarify). At any rate, this is all fine and dandy, but the response has been interesting, if a tad predictable.

Critics say it is wrong for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to give taxpayers’ money to a controversial organisation whose stance would be found objectionable by many members of the public.

Most people vary on the details of their particular religious beliefs – and England still has an official church. Yet I presume “many members of the public” find its beliefs objectionable. But that really shouldn’t be the main point. Public funding isn’t done in simple interest of the majority. Minorities have those pesky “rights”, too.

Neil Addison, a Roman Catholic barrister who specialises in religious discrimination, said: “It’s a bit like paying the Taliban to lecture on women’s rights.

This is astounding. These two things are nothing alike. The Taliban holds no rational views on the role of women in society…on the basis of religion. The British Humanist Association seeks to explicitly denounce the undue respect we give to these sort of beliefs. It is only through rationality and reason that we can improve our societies. Defaming atheists, agnostics, and humanists does no one any favors. It is to these voices that we need to listen.

Ad company offers bigotry instead of ad space

The Atheist Foundation of Australia has recently been given a blow. Following in the footsteps of other atheist and humanist organizations, the AFA sought to place ads on the sides of buses, hoping to get their message out to the general public. Unfortunately, one ad company simply refused to allow them ad space without comment.

President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc, David Nicholls said: “I am flabbergasted. This is extremely disappointing and a severe blow to freedom of expression in Australia. We are witnessing the result of seemingly paranoid executives interfering with pertinent social comment. This action has thwarted the right to state peacefully and openly a legitimate and timely message without violence.

Australia is going to look provincial and narrow in outlook to the rest of the world because of this decision. The planet is moving to a more enlightened era but apparently, public transport advertising agents in Australia have missed the bus. Isn’t that ironic”

Of course, this is blatant discrimination. The message was in no way profane. It did not violate any regulation of the company, which has been known to publish verses from the Bible. They simply want to quash free speech because, well, they can. I hope Australia has the appropriate laws in place to prevent this stupid biogtry.

One of the possible messages? “Atheism – Celebrate reason!”

Oh no! That’s Thor’s/God’s/Zeus’s/Allah’s Achilles’ heel!

Hubble captures another great image

With such a large and spectacular Universe, doesn’t it seem a tad arrogant for humans, such a small piece of a small planet next to an average star, to believe it to have been made entirely, or even in part, just for us? Surely we aren’t so grand.

The Hubble telescope has captured a spectacular image of a pair of colossal stars, WR 25 and Tr16-244, located within the open cluster Trumpler 16. This cluster is embedded within the Carina Nebula, an immense cauldron of gas and dust that lies approximately 7500 light-years from Earth.

Hubble image