Pride platform for N Ireland atheists

Pride platform for N Ireland atheists

LAST December, Michael Nugent, of Atheist Ireland, welcomed the formation of a new Northern Ireland group – Atheist NI – pointing out that the new mission of the group was to:

  • Advocate an ethical and secular country where religion is not given privilege, support or endorsement by the State.
  • Seek a rational and evidence based society without superstition and supernatural belief systems.
  • Erase the negative global image of Northern Ireland by combating religious fundamentalism and all its nonsensical ideas and dangerous effects.

Well, this coming Sunday, July 26, Atheist NI is staging its first public event in Belfast.

The Hotdogs, not Dogma BBQ event takes place at the Duncairn Cultural Arts Centre, Duncairn Avenue, Belfast, County Antrim, BT14 6BP from 1pm to 9pm (entry fee: £3.00) and will form part of the Gay Pride celebrations in the city.

Atheist NI Chair, Boyd Sleator said:

We are excited to be putting on our first official event, and for that first event to be part of Pride Belfast 2015 is perfect.

Atheist NI support equality across the board. We will stand by the LGBT community no matter what their religious or non-religious preference.

This event is for the whole family and we hope the guests we have for you will entertain and push your critical mind.

The barbecue will have a theme of Equality and begins at 1 pm, with family entertainment until 5 pm featuring performers such as Manouche, an authentic Gypsy Jazz band, physics lecturer Solveig Felton and local artist Sonja Sleator.

Guest guest speaker is Gita Sahgal, founder of the Centre for Secular Space, which opposes fundamentalism, amplifying secular voices and promoting universality in human rights. She is also former head of Amnesty International’s Gender Unit.

Panel discussion will begin at 7pm with panelists including:

Lyra McKee – freelance journalist, researcher & writer, who is currently finishing her first book whilst writing for publications including the Belfast Telegraph and Mosaic Science; Gita Sahgal; Boyd Sleator, an advocate of science and reason whose work has brought both Richard Dawkins and Prof Lawrence Krauss to Northern Ireland; and Dave Powell (aka Bob Bobbins) who is a juggler, comedian and skeptic.

Dave has performed as part of the street circus double act Babcock and Bobbins for the last 17 years and is the chairman of Streetwise Community Circus, a social circus group who aims to make circus skills accessible to people throughout Northern Ireland, irrespective of gender, age, disability, or economic, religious or cultural background. He also runs Belfast Skeptics, a pro-science advocacy group.

• The top photo was taken at Belfast Pride in 2013 (Photo Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye)

3 responses to “Pride platform for N Ireland atheists”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    Good luck to them! An excellent and well-articulated set of ambitions that could only be seriously objected to by bigoted, blinkered individuals who thrive on division and dogman and aren’t in the least bit interested in people living together in an enlightened and harmonious community. Hmmmm. But then, this is Norn Iron. As I say, good luck!

  2. dennis says:

    I have the establishment clause in the Constitution that coincides with the Atheist NI wonderful mission statement, but what is in the hearts of elected officials is more important. I have to deal with a ted cruz (who’s dad thinks ted is the second coming of Christ) and the counter girl at local store that would discriminate against me because she is a proselytizing Christian. as AgentCormac says “good luck” Northern Ireland.