"Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest"
Do you agree? (though not with the violence we hope!)
Given the parallels for irrational deference, privileges in law, and sycophancy (for a start), it is not surprising that a huge percentage of atheists are republicans . So though at first glance the relationship between monarchy and the state sponsoring of superstition (religion!) isn't obvious to many, there is no doubt that our current constitution is what holds Britain back as the only country (besides Iran!) where unelected religious officials are part of the government. Why is Britain is the only developed non secular country? Perhaps we can ask our speaker this month...
We're pleased to welcome Graham Smith, CEO of 'REPUBLIC', as our speaker this month to put the case for abolishing the monarchy.
Republic are not an atheist organisation, yet apart from the atheism angle for us, there is also the issue of just why we continue with allowing an unelected hereditary feudal overlord system.
"With Prince Charles up to his neck in political lobbying, the royal family must be subject to freedom of information rules" Graham Smith, Chief Executive Officer, REPUBLIC
Here's a video from Republic, with Peter Tatchell talking about the monarchy issue.
And those that were at our July meetup about superstitions in the NHS, will recall Dr. Ed Presswood telling us that homeopathy being available on the NHS is largely as a result of meddling by Woo Woo Charlie.
ABOUT OUR SPEAKER:
As you can see, Republic is an activist organisation. Another affinity with LAAG. Lots of articles about the issues in the link here from The Guardian
A democratic Britain with an elected head of state
Republicans campaign for the abolition of the monarchy, an elected head of state and a new democratic constitution that really puts power in the hands of voters.
- We want to reform Britain's politics so it is genuinely democratic.
- We want a new constitution - a new set of rules for our political system - that puts power in your hands.
- We want voters to be able to elect their head of state - instead of having a 'job-for-life' monarch.
- We want to give voters more power over parliament and parliament more control over government.
- We want a head of state that has a meaningful role and who can be held to account on their record in office.
- We want Britain to be a republic.
More about the event below....
£5 non members/ non RSVP'd
£3 LAAG/CLHG members, £2 NUS (RSVP'd)
- People who are no shows more than twice in a year (from now on) will not be eligible for discount, so please update RSVP's ;-)
- RSVP facility will close automatically, at 17:00 on the day of the event. ★★ If you have a genuine issue after that time, or are a 'maybe' for some reason, just comment in the boxes below & that'll be just fine.
- This is guide only & we won't be draconican, but it is a courtesy that shouldn't need to be asked for, especially when it possibly denies others from attending fully booked events.
19:00- 19:20 General arrival upstairs (please get drinks and order any food DOWNSTAIRS first)
19:30 Discussion /Talk starts PROMPTLY, till latest 21:30 (but flexible)
Social time, drinks & nibbles, till 22:30
MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT:
Why get rid of the monarchy?
Hereditary public office goes against every democratic principle. And because we can't hold the Queen and her family to account at the ballot box, there's nothing to stop them abusing their privilege, misusing their influence or simply wasting our money.
Meanwhile, the monarchy gives vast unchecked power to the government, shutting out the people from major decisions that affect the national interest.
Expensive, unaccountable and a drag on our democratic process, the monarchy is a broken institution. A head of state that's chosen by us could really represent our hopes and aspirations - and stop politicians exceeding their powers.
And of course, from an atheism point of view:
- What's holding us back from separating Church and State?
- Why do we still have bishops in the House of Lords?
- Could monarchy have something (major!) to do with it?
"The Divine Right of Kings" "Defender of the Faith" "Head of the C of E"
A big whiff of kneeling down servitude....
Is fear of change being just one of the factors holding both secularism and republicanism back?
Is secularism dependent upon republicanism, or at least, a reform to monarchy? Here's the current position:
Two Archbishops and 24 senior diocesan Bishops of the Church of England have seats in the House of Lords (the Lords Spiritual) and they can and do participate in debates and vote in divisions, which involve decisions affecting the entire United Kingdom. Parliament is opened with prayers, in the House of Lords usually led by one of the Lords Spiritual and in the Commons by the Speaker's chaplain. The full term for the expression of the Crown's sovereignty via legislation is the Crown-in-Parliament-under-God. At the coronation, The King or Queen is anointed with consecrated oil by the Archbishop of Canterbury in a service at Westminster Abbey and must swear to maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel, maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law and to maintain and preserve inviolable the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England. Thus though the Church of Ireland is no longer established and the Church of England has been disestablished in Wales to the Church in Wales, the Crown is still bound to protect Protestantism in general in the whole of the United Kingdom by the Coronation Oath and the Bill of Rights, and to protect the Church of Scotland by the Act of Union. All Members of Parliament must declare their allegiance to the Queen in order to take their seat, although it is for the individual MP to decide whether to do so by swearing a religious oath or making a solemn affirmation.
- Feel free to add your own questions or comments in the comments boxes below (these comments boxes are for pre and post event discussion TO DO WITH THIS PARTICULAR MEETUP - please use the forum to start discussions about anything else)
- Though these midweek events are usually structured talks/debates/discussions, they are nevertheless fairly informal; so the bar is usually open upstairs in the break and feel free to order food and have it during the event (simple but pretty good we've been told).
- We start the discussion promptly at 19:30. As a courtesy to others, please try to turn up by 19:20 ... if at all possible :-) If a late arrival can't be helped, no worries, just come in quietly :-)
- The usual end time for discussion is 21:30pm, but this is flexible if people want to continue with the discussion, and usually we have some social time afterwards until 10:30pm (or until the pub closes!)
The meetup fee either goes towards costs of running the group, including equipment, room, prizes, nibbles etc, or towards specific campaigns and causes when we can cover other costs. The latter are specified on the appropriate events page.