distant glimmer of democracy. "God saith, ‘Touch not mine anointed’ ",
wrote a Cavalier knight as he reluctantly girded on his sword for the
battle". 1640-1660 English Civil War. Sir Winston Churchill.
Our objective is to ensure that the question or questions about religion in the 2011 Census give an accurate picture of religious affiliation in the UK.
At least 15.5% of the population is non-religious according to the 2001 Census, making this the second largest ‘belief’ group in the UK, being two-and-a-half times as numerous as all the non-Christian religions put together. This figure, however, is by any sensible reckoning far too low. Firstly, the Office of National Statistics itself admits that the leading nature of the ‘religion’ question meant that many people, especially those with a loose (for example, merely cultural) affiliation to a religion, would have identified themselves as religious when they are not [Office of National Statistics (ONS) (2004) ‘Focus on Religion’, 11th October 2004.http://tinyurl.com/2dpnqw ] This is particularly true of those who identified themselves as ‘Christian’. Secondly, a large proportion of those people who identified themselves as affiliated in some sense to a religion in fact have no active involvement.
Apart from the inaccuracy of the data collected on religious affiliation, there are real, practical problems with the use of this data. The Census data on religion says nothing about the actual religious practice, involvement, belief or belonging of the population. However, both central and local government use this data in resource allocation and for targeting equality initiatives. And the figure stating that 72% of the population are ‘Christian’ has been used in a variety of ways, such as to justify the continuing presence of Bishops in the House of Lords, to justify the state-funding of faith schools (and their expansion), to justify and increase religious broadcasting and to exclude the voices of humanists in Parliament and elsewhere.
The Office of National Statistics has written to the BHA telling us that they have done some testing of the question and that their results show that the 2001 Census question on religion should be used again. In light of how the data has been misused, we believe that this is a highly irresponsible decision. In order to strengthen our case, we need evidence that demonstrates the difficulties created by the 2001 Census question.
Therefore, we would be very grateful if you could look out for information in your locality which justifies ‘faith-based’ practices by public bodies based on Census results. Examples of this may include making funding decisions using this data or changes in service delivery or justifying the allocation of resources on the basis of Census data on religion.
If you have any pertinent examples, please let us know so that we can build up evidence showing the misuse of the questionable 2001 data. All information should be sent to Naomi Phillips, BHA Public Affairs Officer,email@example.com by email.
Thank you for your help.
"The truths contained in religious doctrines are after all so distorted and systematically disguised," writes Sigmund Freud, "That the mass of humanity cannot recognize them as truth. The case is similar to what happens when we tell a child that new born babies are brought by the stork. Here, too, we are telling truth in symbolic clothing, for we know what a large bird signifies. But the child does not know it. He hears only the distorted part of what we say, and feels that he has been deceived; and we know how often his distrust of the grown-ups and his refractoriness actually take their start from this impression. We have become convinced that it is better to avoid such symbolic disguisings of the truth in what we tell children and not to withhold from them a knowledge of the true state of affairs commensurate with their intellectual level".
The Guilty: Education UK – Ruination of Britain
‘Quango’s of Religiosity’ UK. Faith Schools and Church Schools. Private Schools and Public Schools. Central Government and Local Authorities. Local Councils. SACRE and NASACRE. Religious Education Council of England and Wales – policy decided in the ‘secret sessions of the medieval courts’. ‘The Power of the Guardians’: ‘Never has so much power been in the hands of so few’ Nobel Prize winner (economics) Amartya Sen. Costing the UK taxpayer – fortunes, in the ‘denial of medieval-ism’ and its appalling inherent ‘traditional’ past. Security Risk. Divisiveness. Self-harming in children and the vulnerable. Sectarianism and so on… Power of Royalty, Church, and State. UK. Unicef, UK bottom of 21 wealthy nations for happiness relationships and health and safety for older children. Why? See, above. UNCRC – UK punitive imprisonment of children and deaths in custody and parents penalised ‘more than ever’ for children’s behaviour – not supported. Esp: Refugee children lack care!
" It is true that we cannot ‘escape History’, since we are in it up to our necks. But one may propose to fight within History to preserve from History that part of man which is not its proper province . . . Modern nations are driven by powerful forces along the roads of power and domination . . . They hardly need our help and, for the moment, they laugh at attempts to hinder them. They will, then, continue. But I will ask only this simple question: what if these forces wind up in a dead end, what if that logic of History on which so many now rely turns out to be a will o’ the wisp?"
Afghanistan: British Forces war dead today at 100. Total war dead (women and children + injuries on all sides?) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7443331.stm Promise to the British people (taxpayers) by the Westminster Parliament (2 years ago) "Not a shot will ever be fired in anger" Dr John Reid. "A will o’ the wisp"!
World War Three – The War On Terror
T. S. Eliot. 1946.
"Justice itself tends to be corrupted by political passion; and that meddling in other people’s affairs which formerly conducted by the most discreet intrigue is now openly advocated under the name of intervention. Nations which once shrank from condemning the most flagitious violations of human rights in Germany, are now exhorted to interfere in other ‘countries’ government – and always in the name of peace and concord. Respect for the culture, the pattern of life, of other people . . . is respect for History; and by History we set no great store." Westminster Parliament UK Defence Secretary Des Browne added no loss could be compensated for, but he remained convinced the campaign was "the noble cause of the 21st century". "A will o’ the wisp"?
Dream on… http://www.britishcouncil.org/home-diversity-areas-of-activity-religion.htm British Council
Professor Amartya Sen – Nobel Prize Winner
The Power of The Guardians
Remove the ‘Guardians’ in the UK (Human Rights Law). The saving from the (medieval – secret) ‘Quango’s of Religiosity’ or the ‘Quango-es of Ideology’ could result in £millions being saved and an awful lot of time; if not – all the wars of hatred and divisiveness!
Never have so few had so much power (buildings – schools, etc., and money) for a medieval pastime!
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£10 million for a Hindu School. UK. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/dec/24/politics.religion
Lady Mallalieu made a powerful case for the right to demonstrate in the area around Parliament, saying: "…. this House is the people’s House, this square is Parliament Square, and it may be very convenient for the authorities to say the demonstration should take place down on the South Bank or elsewhere, but noise and things that are unsightly or things that are inconvenient or irritating to MPs are things which have to be tolerated in a parliamentary democracy. People are entitled to come to their House and express their views to their MPs and that will on occasions lead to difficulties and to people getting fed up and to inconvenience, but it is a small price to pay in my view for parliamentary democracy and freedom of speech."