A Christmas message from the Humanists

SIR - A Christmas Message from North Devon Humanists Traditionally, religious leaders in Devon have been invited to contribute a Christmas Message for publication and broadcast. Some commentators have even suggested that only those of the Christian faith should celebrate Christmas.

However, around a third of people in Devon have no religious beliefs and fewer than 10 per cent regularly attend any church service.

Humanists believe that all those in our county - whether they have a faith or not and regardless of where they live - are entitled to be involved in festivities at this time of year. All should be treated equally and no-one should feel excluded whatever their beliefs are.

Therefore, North Devon Humanists have written the following Christmas Message which we believe may go some way to redress the balance between those of faith and no faith during the Christmas holidays:

What is Humanism?

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Humanism is the conviction that we can all lead good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs. The number of people choosing non-religious humanist ceremonies for births, marriages and deaths is growing rapidly, as is the membership of the British Humanist Association.

Well-known Humanists include comedians Stephen Fry, Ricky Gervais and Rowan Atkinson, the actors Woody Allen and Jodi Foster, the authors Philip Pullman and Terry Pratchett, Professor Richard Dawkins, politicians Roy Hattersley and Ken Livingstone, and rock star Bob Geldof. Polly Toynbee, journalist and presenter, currently chairs the British Humanist Association. All three main parties in the House of Commons have Humanist groups.

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Devon Humanists aim to represent the interests of the non-religious, agnostics and atheists in the county.

For further information, contact Keith Denby of Devon Humanists on: 01598 763455 or go to www.devonhumanists.org.uk

Keith Denby,


Editor’s note: Isn’t a Christmas message from Humanists a contradiction in terms? Discuss.

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