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.