Saturday, 3 September 2011

Good news and inspiration

As nothing in the Isle of Man seems worthy of ridicule (or even note) this week, and what passes for UK atheism still seemed as irrelevant and up its own Little Englander backside as it was when I went off on holiday I wasn’t going to blog today.
Then I checked out the Pink Triangle Trust blog and read something positive, about an organisation and individuals whose boots British humanists will not be fit to lick for decades.
The PTT (see ) has just donated £1,000 towards the cost of a conference being arranged by the Nigerian Humanist Movement.
I don’t recall now how I first came across the work of the brave and inspirational Leo Igwe, head honcho at the NHM, who has faced everything (libel actions and death threats from the powerful quacks and charlatans of Nigeria’s infamous, US-backed evangelical industry, beatings of family members and arrest courtesy of that country’s equally dishonest and unhinged police and politicians....) yet continues to talk sense, act for change and, in general, be everything a civilized human being could aspire to be. I only know that discovering his work, and just seeing e-mails with his name on, lifts and inspires me on even the worst day.
The blog quotes from the NHM website, which tells us that: “The Nigerian Humanist Movement was founded in 1996 to promote Humanism, defend secularism and provide a sense of community to all non-religious and freethinking Nigerians – atheists, skeptics, rationalists, agnostics and freethinkers. Nigeria is a deeply religious society. And in most cases people relate, interact and marry along religious lines. Religious affiliation becomes a decisive factor when one is seeking employment, doing a business or wants to be admitted into a school or university. Those who do not profess any religion are treated as second class citizens. So in Nigeria most non-religious people are in the closet. They lack any association or community they can call their own. The rights of non-religious people are not recognized. The voice and interests are not represented at public debates and discourse. So NHM was formed to fulfill this important need – to defend the rights and interests of Humanists and the general public and to realize a Humanistic society.”
As the website (see ) also says:” In a country plagued by poverty, ignorance, religious fanaticism and superstition, NHM will continue to work and campaign for intellectual awakening, social reform, cultural rebirth and renewal.”
As should we all, in countries perhaps less plagued by extreme poverty but equally riddled with other stuff and nonsense that none of us should have to abide.

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