Kia ora:

The 2013 October/November issue of Free Inquiry features articles on Religious Humanism. “Is it Dead, Alive or Bifurcating?” Editor Tom Flynn writes an Introduction to the five articles which discuss this issue. Tom Flynn suggests that the Humanist movement, which had been thought to have two strands (religious and secular), has now developed a third strand (congregational). Tom defines secular humanists as those who reject supernaturalism and spirituality of any type. They tend to be strong individualists animated by Enlightenment principles. Often, they disdain traditional congregational practices, cherishing their emancipation from any former faith community. A religious humanist is defined as a humanist whose views embrace a metaphysical or transcendent element. The third strand, the newcomer, the congregational humanist are those who reject supernaturalism, yet enthusiastically embrace forms and rituals from the community life of the church, synagogue, mosque or temple. At the end of the newsletter I have included an article which describes the development of congregational humanism in Britain. The five articles in Free Inquiry also include one describing a similar development in the USA.

Monthly Meeting: Monday 28 October 2013

Open to the public – All interested people are welcome – bring a friend

Population Issues

This will be a discussion evening on population issues covering both total world and national populations.
Where do people live?
How fast is population growing?
What drives migration?
Are some countries overpopulated and some under-populated?
Is there such a thing as an optimum or sustainable population?
Is population linked to climate change?
Will population growth lead to calamity?
What are the attitudes of various nations and political and religious philosophies to population issues?
These and more issues will be open for discussion.
Your input is welcomed.

All interested people are welcome, Society members and members of the public – bring a friend.
We meet from 7.30 pm until 9.30 pm
*** Please note the day and venue ***
Tararua Tramping Club, 4 Moncrieff Street, Wellington.
Moncrieff Street is off Elizabeth Street, which is off Kent Terrace, Wellington – a short distance from Courtney Place on trolley bus routes 1 & 3.
2013 meetings are on the 4th Monday of the month at the Tararua Tramping Club rooms, 4 Moncrieff Street.
Remaining meetings are: Monday 23 September, 28 October, and 25 November

Radio Access:Humanist Outlook, 10.30 am, 783 kHz Wellington, on Saturday 12 October, 9 November, 7 December, and 4th January.
Humanist Outlook is broadcast at 10:30 am on Access Radio, Wellington, 783 kHz, every fourth Saturday.

If you are outside the Wellington area, go to to listen or to download as a pod cast after the event.Last Months Meeting Pamela Mace recently attended the Atheist Alliance of America Convention convention in Boston, Massachusetts, 30 August to the 2 September. She told us about her experiences there and shared ideas and discussion that came from the convention. She concentrated on some of the speakers in more detail. She gave an example of the video work of Seth Andrews before telling us about one of the speakers, Rebecca Vitsmun, a young mother who with her child survived a Tornado that destroyed her home and 1200 homes others in 30 minutes. When pressed on a CNN interview to thank god for her survival, Rebecca replied that she was an atheist. This interview went viral on YouTube – look for it on YouTube. Pamela then told us about another speaker, La Donna York, who once lived on the street but now as an atheist runs a charity that supports about 300 homeless people. Pamela showed us some of the information that she had presented on charities in the USA. Finally Pamela talked about C J Werlman, the dinner speaker. He described how the Christian Right is now the Tea Party, Republicans who believe the Constitution was written by Jesus. Thirty States are now controlled by Republicans, North Carolina has made the State a Christian State, passed anti-abortion laws, and allowed hunters to use silencers on guns. A hundred and fifty anti-abortion laws have been passed by State legislators. If evolution is real, they ask, why are there still monkeys? Well, education is real, but there are still morons! Atheists, he concluded, are the most discriminated against minority.

AGM: At our recent AGM on 12 October the following office holders were elected: President, Mark Fletcher; Vice-President, Iain Middleton; Secretary, Gaylene Middleton; Treasurer, Lachman Prasad; Committee members, Rochelle Forester, Pamela Mace, Cormac Maguire, and Mark Honeychurch.
We welcome Mark Honeychurch and Cormac Maguire to our committee and look forward to the new perspectives that they will bring to our Council.

Thank You. After 10 years of working on the committee Kent Stevens has decided to step down. Kent has spent time in most roles of the Council, as President, Vice-president, Treasurer and a committee member. Kent will continue his work with Jeff Hunt on the Access Radio Show. Kent worked hard in preparing submissions including our submissions on Stem cell research, Section 59 of the Crimes Act, Civil Union legislation, and most recently supporting Gay Marriage.

2013-2014 Subscriptions: Subscription rates remain the same as for 2012/2013. A separate letter or email giving details will be sent out to all members shortly.

Obituary: Sadly, Jean Dakin has died. Jean was the wife of the late Jim Dakin, a former president of the Humanist Society of NZ.

Alert from Nigeria regarding the visit of Pastor Enoch Adeboye:
Leo Igwe, the founder of the Nigerian Humanist Movement, has alerted us to the visit to Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific, of Pastor Enoch Adeboye during November: Pastor Adeboye from Nigeria, ‘General Overseer’ of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, is touring Canberra (November 10-11th) , Melbourne(12-13th), New Zealand (14-15th), Fiji(16-17th), Solomon Islands (18-19th), Papua New Guinea (20-21st), Sydney (22-23rd), and Perth (24-25th). The aim of this tour is to establish branches of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Pastor Adeboye openly uses his sermons and preaching to rally public support for the anti same sex marriage bill which was recently passed by lawmakers in Nigeria. Earlier this year he told a local Christian gathering that ‘Same sex marriage is anathema’ and an ‘evil’ that would lead to the end of human race. As a result of such homophobic sermons from Pastor Adeboye and others, there is a growing trend of attacks and violence against homosexuals in Nigeria. The NZ Humanist Society is concerned about this visit and plan to initiate some protest action. The full text of Leo Igwe’s letter and further information may be found on our website and Facebook page.

Like us on Facebook Look us up on Facebook, add your views, see Humanist–Atheist–Secular items of interest.

2013 Dates This year our monthly meetings will be on the fourth Monday of the month. The last two meetings this year are planned for Monday 28 October and Monday 25th November.

Gaylene Middleton

This newsletter was accompanied by a reprint of an excellent article (here) about Humanists as a congregation by Becky Garrison

NZ Humanist Society Subscriptions for 2013/2014: Subscription rates for this year remain unchanged.

1. Invoices were posted to members and an email sent to members and email subscribers giving details of how to pay for the August 2012 to August 2013 year.
A reminder notice was also included with the New Zealand Humanist magazine for those who have not paid.
2. If you have not yet paid for the previous year, 2011-12 year, your payment will be appreciated.
3. If you have already paid for the 2012-13 year, please do not pay again.
4. If you have not paid yet, your payment will be appreciated.

There are three ways to pay:
1. Internet banking: is available for those who wish to use it. Details were provided in an email on 27th January 2012.
Please ensure that you include your name and other required details as outlined in the email.
2. Direct Credit: direct credit the bank account detailed in the email of 27th January 2012.
Please ensure that you include your name and other required details as outlined in the email.
3. Mail: post a cheque with the return slip – be certain to provide us with relevant details.

Books for Sale
Realising Secularism –
Australia and New Zealand

The new book, Realising Secularism, is a look at the secular history and future of Australia and New Zealand. Contributors to the book include: Bill Hastings, John Kaye, Muriel Fraser, Helen Irving, Bill Cooke, Lloyd Geering, Max Wallace, Nicky Hager, Jane Caro, Iain Middleton, Jim Dakin, Ken Perrott, and Lewis Holden.

Copies of Realising Secularism may be purchased at wholesale price from the Humanist Society of New Zealand for $25 plus $4.50 for postage and packaging. Make cheques payable to the Humanist Society of New Zealand.

The Humanist Society of New Zealand promotes: ethics, science and rational thought, democracy and universal human rights, personal liberty combined with social responsibility, and public benefit, while not having allegiance to any political party and does not support any political party’s policy as such or subsidise any political party.

The Secular Trend in New Zealand

The late Jim Dakin, formerly Associate Professor, Department of University Extension, Victoria University of Wellington, wrote extensively on Adult Education. After retiring, he became interested in Humanism and Secularism in New Zealand and was for a period President of the Humanist Society of New Zealand. His investigations into the secular history of New Zealand led to book that was originally serialised in New Zealand Humanist in eight parts beginning with issue 146 in June 2000. The Secular Trend is now available in Book form and includes a bibliography of Jim Dakin’s writing. A limited number of copies are available.

Order your copy of The Secular Trend by Jim Dakin, published in 2007. Send $10 plus $4.50 postage ($14.50) to Humanist Society of New Zealand (Note; this postage price applies to New Zealand only).