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Religious Instruction in State Schools.

Should religious instruction be permitted in New Zealand State Schools?

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The vote is already over! It ended on Wednesday, 30.April 2014 (00:00).

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The NZARH is not simply a venue for atheists, rationalists and humanists to come together and discuss the issues we face. This organisation has a long history of standing up for our principles, and for taking action. Over the last three years we have driven the establishment of the Secular Education Network. We helped fund the film 'Pennies From Heaven'. When the Census came we conducted a major radio advertising campaign to tick /No Religion' if you don't believe. We have begun the Reason and Passion meetups. We hosted Sean Faircloth who spoke up and down the country. A few years ago we supported Clive Solomon oppose prayer in council chambers.

Our efforts continue. This year we will see a National Conference in the Hawkes Bay and visits by Matt Dillahunty of The Atheist Experience and AronRa, YouTube science personality. There are many challenges still remaining, from end of life choices, where we would like to have our rights respected at the end of our life, to free speech, where we promote striking down Blasphemy law in New Zealand. The efforts in education to maintain separation of church and state have made progress, but we must maintain the pressure. We oppose the special status of tax exemption simply for promoting religion.

But the reality is that our strength and influence will depend on getting healthier as an organisation. The reality is that the above projects have been funded from bequests in the past from those who cared passionately enough to make large donations. We are not just a discussion forum; it is our role to actively promote and educate about rationalism and science, to promote a world view that is compassionate, not violent. But to succeed we need people to do more than 'like' us.  We need people who hold to rationalism to help us achieve our goals. We need to you join us.

The NZARH will be holding a national conference in February. Titles 'Future Directions of Rationalism and Humanism' it will feature professors from New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It will be held between Friday 13th of February to Sunday 15th in Havelock North, Hawkes Bay.

There will be speakers from various New Zealand free-thought and science groups.The Conference will be held in the Hawke’s Bay. It will be at Duart House, 51 Duart Road, Havelock North.

While the conference is hosted by NZARH Hawke’s Bay we look forward to good representation from The Humanist Society of New Zealand and Skeptics New Zealand. We hope that the conference will result in positive dialogue between representatives of the three organisations.

The timing of the conference will allow participants to remain in Hawke’s Bay if they wish, for Art Deco weekend on the 19th to 22nd February, 2015. MC for the conference will be NZARH Life Member and past President, Ngaire McCarthy.

The conference will be moderated by Sara Passmore, current Head of Education and Promotion British Humanist Association. Speakers at the conference will include representatives from the NZ Association of Rationalists & Humanists, the Humanist Society of New Zealand and Skeptics New Zealand as well as: Professor Martin Manning, University of Victoria - represented New Zealand on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Professor Guy Standing, University of London whose recent work has focused on the emerging precariat class and the need to move towards unconditional basic income and deliberative democracy. Russell Wills, New Zealand Children’s Commissioner – Discussing future issues of young people in New Zealand.

There will also be a panel discussion from the three free-thought organisations, titled 'Future Directions of Rationalism and Humanism.'

Registration is now open and we recommend that participants REGISTER and reserve accommodation as soon as possible as demand is strong in Hawke’s Bay at the time of Art Deco and a concert at Black Barn on Friday 13th February. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD REGISTRATION FORM

Tongiht Phil Broderick appeared on TV3 talking about the right to die. Phil has a incurable brain tumour. He wants the option when the time comes where the quality of life is no longer there to end his life on his own terms. Currently New Zealand law does not permit anyone to aid in ending a life.

The New Zealand Association of Rationalist and Humanist [NZARH] consider the time is overdue for the citizens of New Zealand to claim their democratic right of ‘legal equality’ back from the dogmatic theologies that have perverted the governmental laws of the country. These freeloading religious institutions have received favoured treatment in the form of tax exemption on both income tax and Local Body rates, at a cost to the general tax payer who is required to pay extra to make up for the taxation freeloaders share. The NZARH is spear-heading an inquiry into this economic and ethical injustice on behalf of the near 50% of the population that voted ‘no religion’ in the latest census. As this will most likely require expensive legal procedure the NZARH is asking the thinking public’s help with both moral and financial support to achieve this goal.

Read more: Regarding Democracy; Why We Must Ask Why

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