The Scottish Campaign

The Humanist Society of Scotland shares the aims of the British Humanist Association and is proud to support the Census Campaign.

In Scotland, the Census question is different but our answer is the same: if you’re not religious, for god’s sake say so!

In Scotland, religious groups are already asking for privileged positions in public life that could directly affect the rest of society – and they won’t hesitate to put Census data to work in their support:

Pressure for multiple school assemblies:  religious groups continually ask for separate assemblies.

Teaching of religious ideas beyond Religious Studies classes:  intelligent design is already making inroads into the curriculum.

Demands for funding of faith schools:  Scottish religious groups are looking at the English system with envy, and are expected to ramp up their demands for state funding.

Blood and organ donation:  religious groups often remind their adherents about prohibitions on donation. 

Resourcing of patient support services:  some hospitals already pay for religious patient support services, and religious groups are demanding yet more resources.

Pressure to keep adoption within religious-cultural/ethnic groups: Children are happiest when they are part of a loving, stable family. The ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds of prospective parents should not be held against them when seeking to adopt children from different backgrounds, but some groups oppose this.

Funding of social services:  religious organisations are the second biggest providers of social services in Scotland, and are extensively state funded. As the cuts bite, they may argue for a bigger share of resources. 

Defence of separated communities:  minority religions demand funding for their own cultural institutions, excluding ‘outsiders’ and discouraging integration into the wider society.

Competition for funding amongst social inclusion programs: the more money goes to religious-cultural projects, the less there is to help those in real need, like refugees and asylum seekers.

Pressure for exclusionary arts funding: religious-cultural groups ask for funding for arts projects intended only for their own audience. 

Demands for exclusive use of facilities:  conservative religious-cultural groups have lobbied for exclusive use at designated times of swimming pools and sports centres. 

Support for informal legal systems:  census data could be used to support the hidden legal systems of religious organisations, like Sharia or Canon Law, denying people (especially women) access to the common law.

Pressure against local licensing and retail applications:  conservative religious-cultural organisations often mobilise their adherents to oppose applications, skewing the fairness of the process.

Visit the Humanist Society of Scotland website for more information.

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4 Responses to The Scottish Campaign

  1. Megan says:

    Sally, in the American mid-west (and I know, I live in Minnesota) there is a seperation of church and state. In our public schools (which are the same as your state schools, I suppose) there is no mention of God whatsoever, except for the pledge every morning. It has the line “one nation under God” and any one can choose not to say it. If you want to send your child to a faith school (and I may decide to) you have to pay for it.

    I do not know anyone personally who belongs to a religion forbidding organ donations or blood transfusions, and I know at least a dozen same-sex couples who have successfully adopted children.

    Just to clear that up! :)

  2. Tony says:

    Wow Sally G, you must not read much news, in a lot of the above cases the Religious groups have recently lost ground, but they continue to Lobby.

    But only recently the Catholic adoption agencies have been forced to consider sames sex marrages for adoption, here in the UK. And it is only a few years ago that they would not consider anyone outside the faith, many would gladly go back to those days.

    Recent case of gay couple being turned away from a B&B, wanted there homophobia upheld in the eyes of the law. If I ran a bus company and refused to pick up Christians what would happen to me, so why should these people be treated any diffferently.
    Would not call it art myself but preasure groups of Faith did not want the “Jerry Springer Oprah” to be shown.

    Religious groups are probably the greatest force stopping the “right to die with dignity” campaign making further progress.

    Mixing religion schools are proven to reduce tensions between but constantly blocked by religious groups in both Ireland and Scottland, where they could really be used to great effect.

    Think I have covered most of the above from the top of my head, if you want links then spend a few hours on the BBC.

  3. Sally G says:

    I don’t mean for this to sound disbelieving, antagonistic, or bombastic, but I’m finding this page a tough pill to choke down.

    I mean, really? Seriously? How the heck have I not heard about this? It sounds like something I’d expect to hear from the American Mid West, not Scotland, for goodness sake.

    So that this page doesn’t sound like, well, “inflammatory, fundamentalist, evangelical, proselytising hyperbole”, can you link us to some external references to back up these statements?

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