There’s a few letter-writing resources in our Campaigns Tools section. Here’s a few letters to local press we’ve spotted or been sent from around the country this week.
I AMwriting as a supporter of the British Humanist Association (BHA).
I would like to encourage all Sentinel readers to think carefully about the question on religion in the upcoming 2011 Census. The results of the question are used by government, local authorities and service providers to decide how to run services and create policies. Many people in the last Census ticked the Christian box yet do not hold Christian beliefs, go to Church or identify as Christian in any meaningful way. Ticking Christian, rather than No religion, has the effect of vastly overestimating religious belief and this has influenced central and local government policy.
If the 2011 Census creates a similarly result, it may lead to further discrimination against non-religious people and greater privileging for religious groups and individuals. [Continues]
Many people in the last Census ticked the ‘Christian’ box when they did not hold Christian beliefs, go to Church or identify as Christian in any meaningful way. By ticking ‘Christian’, rather than ‘No religion’, this has influenced central and local government policy. This has led to an increase in divisive and discriminatory faith schools, (which the majority of the population are against), huge amounts of money for ‘faith groups’ in local areas and the appointment of ‘faith advisors’ to government departments.
I strongly urge readers who do not practise or strongly identify with any particular religion to tick the ‘No Religion’ box in the Census in March 2011. [Continues]
Andrew Rome offers ‘proof’ in his recent letter that society is overwhelmingly religious. But our everyday experience shows that the figures he quotes are nonsense, and I would invite anyone to test it by polling their workmates. I suspect that even Mr Rome, in his more lucid moments, is aware that the proportions he quotes are, to say the least, suspect.
How does this disparity between fact and fiction come about? It’s about the way the question is asked – usually at the population census.
The ‘religion’ question is phrased in such a way as to be taken as a ‘which religion were you born into?’ inquiry. In answering THAT, most people might, understandably, tick the ‘Christian’ box.
But the answer makes no sense.
We usually engage our critical minds when adult, and eventually confine God to same realm as Santa and the tooth fairy. [Continues]
Sir – Bob Forster intemperately makes it clear in his letter this week that he disagrees with my wish for state-supported schools to be free of divisive religious indoctrination and that he does not agree that it is good that the theme of this year’s (very successful) town and gown Think Week (www.thinkweek.co.uk) is “Towards a Secular State”.
He asks why do so many families choose faith schools? One answer is that often, as in the case of my children and grandchildren, it is the only local state school — a Church of England school for historical reasons only.
Let us hope that non-religious people will make their modern views clear by ticking the No Religion box in the census next month. [Continues]