Just what we need – religious ‘policy advisers’
It’s tedious, hearing those in Parliament wittering on about “secularism”, when they clearly haven’t a clue what it means. But then, neither do a majority of religious leaders (including Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury) who complain about “aggressive secularism”.
Personally, I’m feeling quite aggressive about the latest threat to secularism; John Denham, the Communities Secretary, has announced that a new panel of religious experts has been set up to advise the Government on making public policy decisions. I’d hoped that that sort of nonsense would have been dropped when Hazel Blears departed, but no.
Exactly what are “religious experts”? Does that mean people who know a lot about religion? I doubt it, or they’d be academics who could tell Mr Denham all about how religions started, how they’ve inspired people to kill one another, and so on. Does it mean very religious people, who have their own interests to consider, such as maintaining their privileges. Does it mean non-elected, self-appointed religious leaders who don’t represent anyone?
The last thing we need is religious bias in public policy decisions. It’s very depressing.
Read what Prof A C Grayling thinks about this, and what Ophelia Benson thinks. I think I’d like to lock John Denham in a room with Prof Grayling, and not let him out until he sees the error of his ways.