Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In which I disagree with Bishop Nick Baines

I'm super busy, but was in a queue so started catching up on blogs I've not had a chance to read. I also wanted to remind everyone about the Census Campaign from the BHA, and saw this criticism of it: Poor stupid people who need to be told what to think. So here's a super quick reply...

It appears the critics haven't quite grasped the campaign. Firstly, the Census Campaign isn't, as the Bishop says "against the ‘religion’ question", but it is actually for the religious question, by encouraging the accurate answering of the question. No one is telling any one what to think, just to answer the question honestly. If you're not religious, for God's sake say so.

Christianity is on the decline in the UK, despite what previous census data has said. However, as Johan Hari has pointed out: Which two nations still reserve places in their parliaments for unelected religious clerics, who then get an automatic say in writing the laws the country's citizens must obey? The answer is Iran... and Britain.

It's no wonder Bishop Baines is critical. It's also a pity he doesn't link to the campaign himself, only via the two posts he links too. I always think it's better to link directly to what you're commenting on, so people can make their own minds up. Kinda funny, given his title...

So, remember, you're not a Jedi, when it comes to the Census, if you're not religious, then say so.

Also, I don't know Nick Baines' opinion on homosexuality, but he seems to come a bit close to defending some bigots. We need a secualr society because if we indulge every religious whim it's every man for himself, given the mutually contradictory nature of the various religions out there. Just because you're religious doesn't mean you get to have a free card to be racist, sexist, homophobic etc etc. Nick Baines writes:
So, if you ‘believe’ that living according to the precepts of Jesus Christ is good or essential, you are supposed to keep your ‘belief’ in the realms of opinion. But, if you ‘believe’ that no negative  judgement should ever be made about any other practice or lifestyle, that is a ‘belief’ that can be given free rein. Is that not weird?
No, it's not weird, and I don't think any one is saying that "no negative  judgement should ever be made about any other practice or lifestyle". People are welcome to their beliefs, but not to be openly bigoted.

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