Trinidad and Tobago Humanist Association

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Members' Letters to Press

Topic Title Date

Religion "Rejecting fundamentalism" 13 November 2006
  "I am a Humanist, the bane of religious fundamentalists everywhere, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu or whatever. How so? Because I do not accept that religious dogma and religious indoctrination are necessary for human progress. Indeed, it seems to me that, in developing countries especially, there is a negative correlation between the former two and the latter • See Letter by Geoffrey Frankson
Secularism "Leave 'beliefs' out of public office!" 04 April 2006
  "Do we not expect the same standard of debate from our Parliament as we expect from the Hall of Justice? As far as I know, the only deliberation in a court of law is that of the process of enquiry and evidence, reason and ethics and hopefully compassion in the decision. Beliefs, emotions and hearsay are not admissible." • See Letter by Shane Collens
Religion "Witness? Or eyes wide shut!" 18 December 2005
  "The disbelief of Jehovah's Witnesses in blood transfusions is based on their belief that the Bible is "God's" words. But, since a baby's life was involved in this particular matter, there are some fundamental questions that citizens and our leaders should ask about the relationship between religion and the state. I have six ..." • See Letter by Shane Collens
Religion "A religious song and dance routine!" 07 July 2005
  "the interruption of the ASJA students’ Graduation Dance was a denial of the students’ rite of passage. It was a denial of their right to choose how they celebrate a most important landmark of their life for which they can never revisit" • See Letter by Shane Collens
Sexuality "State sponsored abstinence abuse! " 23 June 2005
  "In their zeal for populist approval, the authorities have blatantly disregarded the right of young people to information, free of political and religious interference, and have put them clearly in harm's way" • See Letter by Shane Collens
Execution "No hangings in my name, please" 17 June 2005
Every time someone is hanged I feel very sad and ashamed, even guilty, that I didn’t speak out to try and stop it. So I’m saying it now: not in my name. And, for the record, I don’t vote for people who kill. Neither do my friends and family." • See Letter by Veronica Collens
Execution "Just call the spade a spade" 17 Junu 2005
  If they were being punished then why do you want to stop this punishment by taking their lives? How long does the hanging process take before the person dies? One minute? Five minutes? And then the punishment ends. Of course if political expediency is the motive behind this new move, then call a spade a spade and stop fooling the population with catchy words like “punishment,” “deterrent” and “shaking in their shoes.” • See Letter by Peter Blankey
Gender "The Draft Gender Policy ... intended to benefit the society as a whole" 10 May 2005
  "... (the policy) is intended to benefit the society as a whole. But there is no doubt that it seeks to do so in part by redressing many of the disadvantages traditionally suffered by women. Ms Yorke Soo-Hon is therefore also guilty of using her status as a successful woman to retard the advancement of other women."

"The judge is therefore guilty of the extremely un-judicial behaviour of attempting to pre-empt public discussion on a wide range of extremely important issues, bound together under the heading of gender, by stridently misrepresenting the contents of a document which she knows most of her listeners will never read." • See Letter by Denis Solomon
Gender "High Court Judge stepped out of her crease" 10 May 2005
  "... I wonder if the people who speak out so vociferously against other people’s life styles, persuasions and personal decisions are closeting away their own insecurities and fears."

"These so called legal minds, who are supposed to be rational, are trying to cripple our freedom of discussion, thinking and choice." • See Letter by Veronica Collens
Gender "It's unfair to deny gays equal rights" 08 May 2005
  "I have no problem if your religious organisation refuses to marry gays if this is in accordance with your church doctrine. In the public domain, however, religious, secular or civil unions should all be referred to as marriage in the Government's marriage registry and in matters of law." • See Letter by Peter Blankey
Gender "Keep your faith to yourself, Justice Soo Hon" 03 May 2005
  "Freedom of speech is not a licence to use public office to promote a private agenda without scientific evidence, reason, or ethical (not religious) principles. I thought a judge's job was to interpret law, not to impose faith or belief in a secular society." • See Letter by Shane Collens
Punishment "Licks! A quick-fix measure meant to bamboozle!" 29 April 2005
  "... a ‘quick fix’ to bamboozle the old, infirm and scared-out of-their-wits-people who ... if they were not so distressed they would realise that they are watching politicians scape-goating their way out of the problem that their small mindedness and high handedness had caused in the first place." • See Letter by Veronica Collens
Education "Maybe it’s time we were done with the school bags" 22 March 2005
"Long ago, someone said, “The answer lies in the schoolbag.” But maybe it’s time we ... take the weight off their shoulders. Get rid of the waste of productive time caused by queues at down town stores for the books on the list. Books that are competitively written and often in questionable English" • See Letter by Veronica Collens


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