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RE: [Central-London-Humanists] Today's amazing event - Saturday 18th September

From: Alan P.
Sent on: Monday, September 20, 2010 5:03 PM

I have just read both of your notes and feel you are being very unfair on
Josh.  For a start, it is clear that you didn't read carefully what Josh
wrote.  He wasn't suggesting that the Queen rules by divine right, but
rather the Pope himself.

The Protest the Pope Campaign was not initiated by Josh, but by others from
several groups including our own, reflecting the strength of feeling about
the papal visit and the views expressed by this particular Pope.  We have
had to accept that the Pope was responding to a formal invitation, but that
doesn't make it right that the UK taxpayer should be footing the bill. 

I don't think you attended any of the harrowing films shown at Conway Hall
by the NSS last week.  If you had, you might have shared the anger at the
outrageous cover-up of child sex abuse by the Vatican, and which still goes
on despite the Pope's apologies.  You must surely be aware of the Pope's
pronouncements against birth control, against the use of condoms to prevent
the spread of Aids, against homosexuals and against the right of women to be
treated equally to men.  I also think you missed the debate at Conway Hall
at which you would have heard some of the nasty views about humanists that
were expressed by Catholics - and the Pope's subsequent linking of Nazism to

The campaign was not against Roman Catholics, not against the Queen - it was
against this Pope and his visit.  It has received wide support
internationally from others who share our concern for human rights and I
believe it has done much credit to the humanist movement in this country.

Alan Palmer
Chair, Central London Humanist Group

PS:  Can I make the suggestion that in general discussion of this nature
should take place on the message board
http://www.meetup...­ rather than
through the mailing list which is automatically seen by everyone.

-----Original Message-----
From: [address removed]
[mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Ian Roberts
Sent: 20 September[masked]:21­
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [Central-London-Huma­nists] Today's amazing event - Saturday
18th September

Josh, I am deeply ashamed by this email and I want everyone to know this. It
is very clear to me and the entire nation that the BHA and its supporters
have played into the hands of the Religious Parties through its anger &
unrestrained hatred. This does not serve the Humanist cause. As for your
claim stating the Queen rules by divine right, this is incorrect. This idea
ended along time ago with the adoption of the 1689 Bill of Rights, 1701 Act
of Settlement and 1931 Statute of Westminster. HM rules for and on behalf of
the people of the UK and Commonwealth Realms. Yours sincerely, Ian Roberts.
Vicechairman British Monarchist League and Founder Member of the UK Armed
Forces Humanist Association.

On Sun, 19 Sep[masked]:24 BST Josh Kutchinsky wrote:

>Dear All,I think most of you would like to know that the event today
organised by the Central London Humanists in partnership with a number of
other organisations as part of the Protest the Pope campaign  has been an
amazing success with estimates of attendance ranging between 6 and 10 times
the numbers that had been expected. Estimates ranged between 12 and 20
thousand. But  numbers  are not  really all that important - so long as they
weren't embarrassingly small and they weren't!Ever­yone who came
attended, as you would expect, as an individual. They came with their own
orders of priority of concerns. Some were religious. I strolled along
chatting very amiably with a similarly bearded guy, even older than me, who
told me that he was CofE and would be telling his church congregation all
about the event. He wasn't anti-catholic but shared our concerns about
equality and human rights and of course about child abuse. I spoke with a
 Muslim who supported secularism and was totally opposed to stoning as a
punishment. But in the main people were free thinkers, atheists, agnostics,
Humanists, secularists, human rights defenders. All were angry but in a
positive and friendly way. They were angry about child abuse. They were
angry about homophobia and sexism and many other of the unpleasant, unkind
and disgusting attitudes, not least on secularism and the beliefs and views
of people like us, opined by this Pope in his rigid interpretation of
Catholic dogma. And, of course we were protesting the fact that his odious
views were, in effect, being honoured by this state visit. Later after we
had been moved on, by the police, from our original destination because of
larger than expected numbers a series of eloquent speakers addressed, or, at
times it seemed to me, conversed with the crowd. Do not be surprised that we
do not get the coverage in the media that we would like or that we reckon we
 deserve. Remember this is a well rehearsed nexus of state power,
establishments, political and economic forces which have plotted and
conceived this State visit. They sat in pomp and glory in Westminster Hall,
Blair and  Brown, Patton and all. I can just imagine the discussions with
private secretaries that the likes of atheist Clegg had. He would have been
informed of the pros and cons on diplomatic grounds of being seen not to be
showing the right amount of deference etc.  Speaker Bercow no doubt advised
as to just how far to go in  reminding the Pope of Parliament's­
historical independence to satisfy the Anglican as well as the political
establishment  The pomp was bound to be, and actually is, very photogenic
and media friendly. Seeing a medieval-style sovereign ruling by divine right
and being adored by so many who genuinely believe that a touch from his hand
or a gaze from his eyes is the next best thing to being in the presence of
 himself, makes for riveting television for many. However one might  expect
some of the speeches at our protest to have been covered for there were some
truly spine tingling moments: for example when we were addressed by a
Catholic priest who had come out as being gay and had set up, he said, the
first aids clinic in New York. He expressed his astonishment at the irony
that the only place that he could feel welcome and able to express his
religious belief freely was thanks to the secular nature of this society and
at a meeting such as the one we were providing. Then there was a call for
the police to arrest an international criminal and the police were told it
won't be difficult to find 'him'­ because we know exactly where
he will be very shortly. Richard Dawkins spoke brilliantly, as always. Calm,
forensic in his analysis and pitiless in his acute and reasoned
condemnation. I won't list all the others who spoke here.Back to our
 which has been continuing to grow apace, I must make special mention of
Marco Tranchino, who has very much been the driving force behind  the
protest events and without whom much of it may never have taken place. Today
he was the MC for the event, a difficult and streneous job, which he carried
out superbly. He introduced each speaker flawlessly with wit and style. I
would like also to note the tremendous media work of  Andrew Copson, Terry
Sanderson and Peter Tatchell,.Of course many other people have  worked hard
to make the whole Protest the Pope campaign possible and many CLHG people
have played their part. You can be proud of them all.With best wishes and
appreciation for your support, this has been a personal note from your
secretary,Josh Kutchinsky(n.b. please excuse any errors or omissions)
>Please Note: If you hit "REPLY"­, your message will be sent to
everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
>This message was sent by Josh Kutchinsky ([address removed]) from
Central London Humanists.
>To learn more about Josh Kutchinsky, visit his/her member profile
>Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York[masked] |
[address removed]

Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on
this mailing list ([address removed])
This message was sent by Ian Roberts ([address removed]) from Central
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To learn more about Ian Roberts, visit his/her member profile:
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Meetup, PO Box 4668 #37895 New York, New York[masked] |
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