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Editor’s Welcome

Our main theme this month is the human body and to what extent we have autonomous control and rights over it. Evolution has taken hundreds of millions of years to create the human body and, although it is a marvel of bio-engineering, we have a complicated relationship with it. Our contributors this month have provided perspectives on a range of topics including eating, exercise, bodybuilding, cosmetic surgery, circumcision, fashion, obesity and the ills of the National Health Service. The human body is, or should be, a core subject in the humanist curriculum and I hope you will find our articles this month stimulating and informative.

Dorset Humanists got itself into a bit of trouble at the end of January when my scheduled talk on Israel was cancelled, following complaints to the venue based on perceptions of the talk arising from the publicity. The wording of the publicity, for which I take responsibility, provoked the ire of the local Palestine Solidarity Campaign. This same group has come to national prominence for loudly protesting outside the home of Bournemouth MP the Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood for his alleged “complicity in genocide”. The House of Commons itself descended into chaos after the Speaker tried to protect Members from outside threats. This all raises very serious questions about democracy, free speech, and civil liberties. You can read more in my news report about the incident.

Owing to the generosity of both humanists and Christians, six African gay and lesbian refugees have made substantial progress towards freedom from persecution, and resettlement in a more liberal country. Please read my update – and if you can donate any amount to help the remaining fourteen refugees in this group that would be amazing.

If you like our articles, please share them on social media. Humanistically Speaking is a volunteer-produced, passion-fuelled, grassroots humanist magazine and we'd love to reach as many people around the world as possible. Thank you for your encouragement and support.

David Warden

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