Review – Liz Lutgendorff – Before there were Skeptics, there were Secularists

Liz Lutgendorff

Liz Lutgendorff

We had the very great pleasure of being given an account of the history of scepticism by Liz Lutgendorff of The Pod Delusion fame, who is currently researching the history of secularism for her PhD.

Liz, who is arguably the foremost expert on this subject, described the exploits of early secularists in the nineteenth century, such as Charles Bradlaugh, founder of the National Secular Society and the first openly atheist Member of Parliament, as well as other secular activists such as Annie Besant.

Liz talked about the hard work and effort that has been put into secularising Great Britain and ensuring that atheists can enjoy equal access to the law, and she gave us a sobering reminder of how recently some blasphemy laws were enforced in this country and how other countries, like our nearest neighbour, Ireland – the only other country with which we share a land border – have even introduced new blasphemy laws as recently as 2009.

Ben Turner