Shropshire Humanist Group press release May 2017. Press: For further information, please contact Helen Taylor, 01743 873030 or


Shropshire Humanist Group will be holding a meeting on Thursday 15 June at 7.30pm in University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ.

Blasphemy and freedom of expression – a matter of life and death, by Professor Paul Sturges OBE, Emeritus Professor of Library Studies at Loughborough University

Professor Sturges’ talk will range over the history of the offence of blasphemy in relation to freedom of expression, with examples from some different parts of the world. The examples of blasphemy will include some that would seriously offend religious believers. There will also be accounts of hangings, lashings and horrible murders by people enraged by blasphemy. He will contrast blasphemy laws and their consequences, with laws and international statements on freedom of expression. In the process he will attempt to draw useful distinctions between critical comment, satire, offensive speech and publication, and incitement to hatred, whilst stressing the value of good manners and consideration for others.


About Shropshire Humanist Group

Shropshire Humanist Group, based in Shrewsbury, has a varied programme of topics with interesting speakers, Anyone interested in humanism or in the topics is welcome, but we do ask that you join after attending three meetings.

Our web site is at, and our email address is SHG’s regular programme of speaker meetings takes place on the third Thursday of the month at 7.30 pm.

About the British Humanist Association (BHA):

The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity.We are a charitable company, formed in 1896 and incorporated in 1928.

The BHA is trusted by over 40,000 members and supporters and over 70 local and special interest affiliates to promote Humanism. Our policies are informed with the support of over 130 of the UK’s most prominent philosophers, scientists, and other thinkers and experts and we seek to advance them with the help of over 100 parliamentarians in membership of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group. Our trained and accredited celebrants conduct funerals and other non-religious ceremonies attended by over 800,000 people each year.

What do we want? We want a world where everyone lives cooperatively on the basis of shared human values, respect for human rights, and concern for future generations. We want non-religious people to be confident in living ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity.

What do we do? We promote Humanism, work on behalf of the non-religious, and support those who wish to live humanist lives, including through the provision of humanist ceremonies. We campaign for a secular state, challenge religious privilege, and promote equal treatment in law and policy of everyone regardless of religion or belief. We offer a humanist perspective in public debate, drawing on contemporary humanist thought and the worldwide humanist tradition.

About humanism:

Throughout recorded history there have been non-religious people who have believed that this life is the only life we have, that the universe is a natural phenomenon with no supernatural side, and that we can live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. They have relied on the scientific method, evidence and reason to discover truths about the universe and placed human welfare and happiness at the centre of their ethical decision making.

Today, people who share these beliefs and values are called humanists and this combination of attitudes is called Humanism. Many millions of people in Britain share this way of living and of looking at the world, but many of them have not heard the word ‘humanist’ and don’t realise that it describes what they believe. The British Humanist Association is at

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