As census forms begin arriving on people’s doorsteps, we have secured two flagship billboards in central London to raise awareness of the campaign. Bearing the slogan ‘If you’re not religious, for God’s sake say so’, which encountered censorship elsewhere, the billboard outlines a number of ways in which census data on religion has been used; and urges passers-by, if they are not religious, to say so on the census.
The billboards were booked through an alternative media agency, who evidently did not see the message as having the potential for ‘widespread’ and ‘serious’ offence. Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the BHA, says of the billboard:
‘We are thrilled to be able to reveal this billboard, which outlines the main messages of the campaign. We hope that it will help passers-by realise that the way they answer the census question on religion is vitally important and will have tangible effects on their future lives. We are asking people to be honest and if they are not religious, to say so. Ticking ‘No religion’ means that their voices will be heard and we will have a more truthful picture of what people really believe today, which cannot be misused by government and policy-makers.’
The billboard reads: The Census asks you a leading question: What is your religion? The results from the last Census were used to justify: increasing the number of ‘faith’ schools, keeping unelected Bishops in the Lords, and spending tax-payers’ money on religious organisations. If you’re not religious, for God’s sake says so. In the 2011 Census tick ‘No Religion’.