Tagged: religion

Don’t label children – the billboard campaign

Don't label me

After the Atheist Bus Campaign, people have been asking, “What next?” Now you have an answer; the Billboard Campaign.

Richard Dawkins famously said that there are no Catholic babies, or Protestant babies, or Muslim babies, or Hindu babies – they are all just babies. In the Observer in December 2001 he wrote,

Where we might have said, “Knowing his father, I expect young Cowdrey will take up cricket,” we emphatically do not say, “With her devout Catholic parents, I expect young Bernadette will take up Catholicism.” Instead we say, without a moment’s hesitation or qualm of misgiving, “Bernadette is a Catholic.” We state it as a simple fact even when she is far too young to have developed a theological opinion of her own.

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.

Let’s have an Age of Consent for Religion

I missed this programme but will listen now, via this clip. On Mark Thomas’s BBC Radio 4 Manifesto programme, audience member Laura proposed, to enthusiastic applause:

There should be a minimum age of consent before anyone joins a religion, because the vast majority of religions’ members were put through ceremonies by their parents when they were far too young to know what was going on. And while many of them renounce their faith when they are older, indoctrinating children allows religions to claim more members and more influence than is actually justified.

For the Bank Holiday, if you’ve nothing better to do

Sorry I’ve neglected posting anything for a while, but you could have written something yourself, you know. I’ve been in a codeine-induced stupor, due to severe back pain. No advice thanks; just send chocolate.

So, anyhow, here’s some stuff for the bank holiday.

The hoo-ha over MPs’ expenses has, it seems, led many to become so disillusioned with British politicians that they say they won’t vote. Does that mean they’re happy to delegate any decision-making to those of us who do? Were they among the 38.72% who didn’t vote last time? Maybe, if you don’t vote, you’ve no right to express an opinion about how we’re governed. What do you think?

Nigel FarageOf those who will vote, it’s been forecast that many will vote for one of the smaller parties – maybe UKIP, the BNP or the Greens. Nigel Farage, the MEP who spends all his time telling us why we shouldn’t be in the EU, has been vocal in his criticism of MPs’ expenses, but admits he’s claimed £2 million as an MEP.

The BNP has upset the church with its poster campaign, asking “What would Jesus do?” This seems a little odd, as they wouldn’t want Jesus in the UK if he had a second coming and decided to apply for British citizenship. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are miffed about this, and have advised people not to vote BNP; they don’t think Jesus would vote BNP.

Christian PartyThe Christian Party & Christian People’s Alliance think he’d vote for them. Their manifesto is “based on biblical principles”. They’re been in trouble too; their election broadcast was censored to remove a reference to a mosque that could offend Muslims. It’s going to be hard to choose, isn’t it?

Religion or Belief conference report

The BHA received grant funding from the Equality and Human Rights Commission for a project which aims to increase understanding of the ‘religion or belief’ equality ‘strand’. As part of this, the third in a series of conferences was held in Birmingham on 22nd January this year. We’ve previously posted a report from the Daily Mail, which misrepresented the purpose of this work.

 

With her permission, here is a report on the conference from Alison Rawlinson from Coventry & Warwickshire Humanists, which was published in their newsletter. Alison attended the conference with her husband Mark.