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AHS Announces New Christian Mission By The AHS

Dear Friends,

After much thought and careful prayer, we are delighted to announce that as of today the AHS will become part of the University and Colleges Christian Federation (UCCF) with a new mission to spread the Good News of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to the four corners of the Earth.

Explaining the move, AHS Pope Rory Fenton said, “Everyone knows that Humanism is just another kind of religion and that we atheists are just hard hearted in the face of God’s love. Jesus died for your sins- did Richard Dawkins die for your sins? How about Andrew Copson? I don’t think so.”

Under the changes, the AHS will have a new, streamlined constitution consisting only of the 10 Commandments. The popular AHS Convention will be replaced with 8 hours of Bible study in Conway Hall, with box sets of noted intellectual William Lane Craig DVD’s playing in the background.

AHS Treasurer Cardinal Matthew Power acknowledged the changes would come as a surprise to many, stating, “Look, the AHS has changed, ok? Many things have changed throughout the 6,000 years of our Earth’s existence, except for people, who were always people and never monkeys. What won’t change is the love of God for His children, or His obsession with sex. That’s what matters”

The move was endorsed by popular celestial vote on Monday night after consultation with “all the angels and saints in Heaven”, said AHS Secretary Sister Ruth Haydock . “Like literally all of them, even the weird ones who help you find lost car keys or cure stubbed toes or whatever. That’s a pretty powerful mandate. Praise Jesus”.

Also, all AHS events will now be segregated by favourite toothpaste brand because faith.

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AHS Newsletter

6th April

AHS joins celebrations of first legal same-sex marriages!

Emma Bell, President-Elect of IASH, reports on the country’s first legally-recognised same-sex marriage.

Last month, the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 came into effect, and on the 29 March the first same-sex marriages in England and Wales took place. Peter McGraith and David Cabreza – partners of 17 years and members of Galha LGBT Humanists – married at Islington Town Hall, London at one minute past midnight and invited well-wishers to celebrate with them at a rally outside. The human rights activist Peter Tatchell (who has campaigned for equal marriage for many years) acted as chief witness. Some members of the Imperial Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (IASH), including me, were fortunate enough to attend the rally.

The atmosphere was jubilant. As midnight moved to meet us people began drifting out of local pubs and bars to join the crowd. We eagerly anticipated the emergence of the happy couple; we cheered as their two young sons waved from an upstairs window, scattered groups began singing ‘Here Comes the Bride’ and a little after midnight someone passed a bag of rice around.

When they did appear, their message to us and the cameras was one of elation, but they took pains to remind us that there’s still a long way to go, that, as Peter put it, “LGBTI rights is not a done deal”. It’s hardly a necessary reminder when three days later thousands of Ugandans march the streets of Kampala in support of the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014.

Same-sex marriage is not the destination. It’s a stepping stone. Today England and Wales, in October Scotland and, hopefully, some day, universal acceptance of LGBTI rights around the world.

Grants available!

Is your AHS society in need of funding to run events? Maybe there’s a speaker you’d love to invite to your campus, but you don’t quite have the cash? Or perhaps you have a large event you would like to run, but need help covering the cost of a room? There are grants available from the AHS to help you meet these costs.

If your society wants to apply for one of these grants, of between £50 and £300, then you can download this form and return it to Matthew, the AHS Treasurer, at treasurer@ahsstudents.org.uk.

The deadline for the next round of funding is the 14th April, so be sure to get your forms in before then; feedback can be given to improve your chances of a successful application. If you would like advice on your application, or more details, Rory and Matthew are both happy to help. Rory can be contacted at president@ahsstudents.org.uk

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Win free plenary tickets to the World Humanist Congress!

This is your reminder that you can win free plenary tickets to this year’s World Humanist Congress in Oxford. The Congress will be on the 8 – 10 August, and will bring together humanists from around the world for three days of talks, debates, and workshops about freedom of thought and expression.

The BHA have given us some plenary tickets to give to our members! The tickets mean you get access to all the large events of the congress, held at the historic Sheldonian Theatre. We want the tickets to make the biggest impact possible, so we want you to tell us in less 200 words why you should go the the Congress.

If you want to apply, send your entry into the AHS President (president@ahsstudent.org.uk). The deadline has now been extended until the 11 April. 

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Apply to be Head of Membership

The AHS is in need of a Head of Membership! As Head of Membership you will be responsible for keeping track of our members, updating committee information and managing the regional Development Officers. It is a very responsible and varied role that gives you an excellent insight into the workings of the AHS. We need someone who is passionate about the AHS and well organised. To apply please email the AHS secretary (secretary@ahsstudents.org.uk) with your CV and 200 words on why you want to be our head of membership by 14 April.

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Letter from the Editor

It was great to hear from Emma this week – congratulations to Peter and David, and to all the other couples now able to get married because of the changes in the law!

As Emma says, this isn’t the destination – recognition of LGBT rights still has a long way to go, in the UK as well as abroad. Many religious groups campaigned vociferously against this law, even after they were reassured they wouldn’t be required to perform same-sex marriages if they didn’t want to (although credit to the religious groups who spoke up for equality, including Liberal Jews, Quakers, and Unitarians).

Furthermore, this law doesn’t allow for full equality – thanks to provisions such as the spousal veto, marriage law is still far from equal for trans people, and in addition, couples currently in civil partnerships don’t currently have any way to convert them into marriages – although this is expected to change in the next few months.

So there’s still some way to go – but as limited as it may be, this is certainly a step forward and an occasion for celebration! Make sure you check out the photos from Peter and David’s wedding on the AHS’s Facebook page.

- Tim

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