Tagged: religion

The Big Society is “natural territory for the Church of England”

From the National Secular Society, a report on the Church of England’s opportunism as the Government promotes a “Big Society”:

Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: “This is the clearest indication that the Church has been in detailed consultation with the Government about implementing the Big Society idea. Very sensibly, the Church is wary of being used as a means of shoring up the social catastrophe that is coming through the cutting of welfare spending. At the same time, it cannot resist the opportunity to force itself into the lives of those who otherwise are utterly indifferent if not hostile to it.”

Will the 2011 census mislead on religion?

The BHA and the NSS have both campaigned to have the next census, due in March 2011, changed to reflect a more accurate picture of religion in Britain, though their approach has differed.

The NSS says,

The information gained from the religion question — widely thought to have been inaccurate and misleading — is used by government departments when deciding about allocation of resources. Religious groups have used it to justify privileges.

A majority ticked ‘Christian’ in the last census, yet we know that hardly any nominal Christians go to church, belong to any organised religious group, or understand much about the theology of the religion they claim. Many mistakenly think that being Christian is synonymous with being good.

The 2011 census will be the first that we can complete online. Between now and then, secularists like us will be trying to persuade people to think about how they fill in their forms. If you don’t want the church to continue to enjoy all the privileges it currently enjoys at public expense, don’t give them the ammunition. You might begin by adding the link below to your email signature.


Click here for more about the Census Campaign.

Why can’t I own a Canadian?

Something that’s been on the Internet for a while, but maybe you haven’t seen it – how to deal with homophobes who justify their bigotry by quoting the Bible –

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a US radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. On one of her shows she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a US east coast listener, which was posted on the Internet.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

Learning from Northern Ireland

Throughout the current debate about faith schools and the Conservatives’ determination to muck about with our education system so that we have more “academies” run as faith-based independent schools at public expense, the example of Northern Ireland has been conveniently ignored. One of the main reasons why the Troubles lasted so long was because of religious segregation. Those of different faiths or no faith were largely invisible. Several generations of children went to segregated schools, continuing to demonize each other and never mixing.

The integrated schools movement started in 1981 with the foundation of Lagan College, thanks to the efforts of parents who wanted a better way of life for their children. Read more about it on the website of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education, and ask yourselves why so many people in England are determined to move in the opposite direction?

Lord Carey’s upset

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has forecast “civil unrest” as a result of recent court decisions involving Christians. This was in response to Lord Justice Laws’ dismissal of an appeal by a Christian marriage guidance counsellor who was sacked for refusing to give advice to gay couples.

The Guardian reported,

Lord Justice Laws said legislation to protect views held purely on religious grounds could not be justified. He said it was an irrational idea “but it is also divisive, capricious and arbitrary”.

As Stephen Bates noted, Lord Carey was most upset that his suggestion should be dismissed so emphatically.

The end of the world is nigh, or maybe not

Thanks to Catherine Bennett, I’ve learned a new ‘ology – eschatology, literally the study of the last. So, if there’s an eschatology, there must be eschatologists, right? Gosh, they must be fun in the pub. “Oh, hello, what do you do?” “I study the end of the world.” Pause. “Really? How does that happen?” “Well, the dead could be resurrected, or the Devil could be set free, or adultery and fornication will be performed in the open, or …” “Where’s my drink?”