The Hull and East Riding Humanist Group supported the BHA Census Campaign in March/April 2011.

We delivered several hundred campaign leaflets door-to-door locally.

The census data on religion produced by the 2001 census gave a wholly misleading picture of the religiosity of the UK, cutting the number of non-religious people in half.

These are some of the things that census religion statistics have been used to justify in the past:

  • Increase in the number of faith schools
  • The continuation of collective worship in schools
  • The public funding and support of ‘interfaith’ and faith-based organisations above the support offered to secular organisations
  • Suggestions of an increase in the role of faith in Britain under the coalition government
  • The appointments of government advisors on faith
  • Contracting out public services to religious organisations
  • Keeping the 26 Bishops in the House of Lords as of right
  • Continued high number of hours dedicated to religious broadcasting
  • Specific consultation at government and local level with ‘faith communities’ over and above other groups within society
  • Continued privileges for religious groups in equality law and other legislation.

Dignity in Dying are the national campaign and membership organisation advocating greater choice and control to alleviate suffering at the end of life. Niccola Swann from Dignity in Dying gave a talk to our group in February 2011 (our best attended meeting to date with 24 people).

We are also running a campaign to have the well-known Scientist, Humanist and Broadcaster Jacob Bronowski recognised with a commemorative blue heritage plaque at his former home in Cottingham. Jacob Bronowski lived and taught in Hull in 1940 and made the TV documentary the Ascent of Man in the 1973. It is hoped that there will be an annual lecture in memory of Jacob Bronowski in the city.

Hull and East Riding Humanist Group is a supporting organisation of the Hull and East Riding Interfaith. Though we think that the organisation should be given a more inclusive name such as “Religion and Belief Forum” rather than “interfaith”, we think that Humanists should play a part in dialogue with the diverse religious communities in our country. It is important that liberal thinkers of all beliefs unite against the forces extremism.

Humanists have always been closely involved with the development of education throughout the world. The Accord coalition brings Humanists together with religious people across the country to resist the expansion of state-funded religious schools which operate restrictive and discriminatory admissions and employment practices. The Hull and East Riding Humanist Group have hosted two talks focusing on objections to the expansion of faith schools.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.