Don’t believe it? – Don’t tick it!
Have you ever had a form to fill in, part of which asks “What is your religion?” Then, as a result of being asked that question, you tick the box marked “Christian” or “Church of England” or whatever, simply because you were once christened, or think that is simply what you should put, even if you don’t believe a word of it?
Many people have and still do.
In March 2011 the UK Census was undertaken and we at Atheism UK wanted to help get a truer picture of non-belief in the UK. We encouraged people who do not follow any religion or believe in a god to say so and tick the box marked “No religion”. The Census is now over, of course (and we anticipate a drop in the number of people who self-identify as religious), but this campaign continues. It will continue as long as people get sent forms asking them for their religion (usually as part of the Equal Opportunities monitoring process). It will continue all the time those that do not believe in a religion keep ticking the “Christian”, “C of E” or “other religion” box when they don’t actually believe it.
We believe that nobody owes allegiance to a religion simply because the society in which they live claims it is part of the culture, as is the case with Christianity in the UK. Everyone who was christened as a child was too young to understand or object when their parents took them into a church and had water splashed over their heads. We want people to be true to themselves and not to inflate the numbers of religious people who claim irrational faith and beliefs, and demand undeserved privileges because of it.
So here at Atheism UK we say “Don’t Believe It? – Don’t Tick It!” and whenever you are asked your religion, tick the “No religion” box or equivalent.
The more that atheists stand together to be counted, the greater influence we will have to combat the false claims and undeserved privileges of the religious institutions.
So what can you do to help?
- Tick the “No religion” box, or equivalent, yourself and don’t let anyone else complete it for you.
- Talk to your friends and family about it, they may listen to you if they are non-believers and change their minds, too.
- Blog about it. The Internet is a powerful tool in spreading messages such as ours. Entries on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter may encourage others to do the same.
- Come out as an atheist; be proud and be public that you embrace critical and rational thinking.
- Join Atheism UK and make a stand to help all atheists have their voices heard.