Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Census Campaign 2011

You may or may not have noticed this recent addition to the top of the sidebar. I don't delve into the world of politics very often, even less so religion but I am just writing a brief post to encourage other bloggers to consider linking to the Census Campaign website (run by the British Humanist Association). This is definitely not an 'anti-religion' issue, the aim of the campaign is to get people to pause and think about what they really believe.
As the website points out:
"In 2001, a highly leading question, "What is your religion?" was added.
By assuming that all participants held a religious belief, the question captured some kind of loose cultural affiliation, and as a result over 70% responded 'Christian', a far higher percentage than nearly every other significant survey or poll on religious belief in the past decade." In spite of vigorous efforts by the Humanist Association this same question will appear in the 2011 census.

So what the campaign is wanting people to do is really consider the nature of their own beliefs, irrespective of their parents, their upbringing, whether they might have been christened or baptised, and asking that if they do not have any personal faith/belief in any kind of deity they should tick the 'no religion' box. Statistics from this census will be used to decide all sorts of political/economic policies over the coming years and a skewed result about the extent of religious commitment would not be a good thing (why it matters here).
They make some interesting arguments (here and here) for the importance of answering the question rather than just ignoring it (it is the only voluntary question) and if you are interested enough they have some blog buttons available (here).

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