On Wednesday May 13, 2009 at a monthly board meeting a brilliant idea occurred to the board members of Sidmennt, the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association. We implemented it in less than 36 hours and have been getting praise from around the world!
The new session of the Althing, the Icelandic Parliament, is always opened with the Members of Parliament going into the main cathedral in Reykjavik which is next door to the Parliament building and sitting through a mass conducted by the Bishop and other ministers of the Icelandic Lutheran state church. Afterwards they all parade out of church and into the House of Parliament. After the Icelandic government collapsed recently and elections were held, the new government was established on Sunday May 10th and Parliament was convened on Friday May 15th. Sidmennt decided to offer a secular alternative to the traditional mass and we invited every Member of Parliament to attend a thought provoking short talk right across the street given by one of our celebrants who is a philosopher, on the subject of the importance of ethics in politics.