The 2011 National Census is over!
The bunting is down, the paper forms have been sent off, the online versions have been clicked on, and all of the campaigns urging people to tick the “No Religion” box have ended…..haven’t they?
Well, no! Although Atheism UK’s Don’t Believe It? Don’t Tick It Campaign, was initially inspired by the National Census it was always intended to have a wider purpose, just look at the opening lines of the campaign description:
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.
This is the point we want to make. Many people still tick the “Christian” box when they aren’t actually Christian. Some people think that they have to call themselves Christian because of some of the reasons mentioned above. What we are trying to achieve with this campaign is to change attitudes. Get people to realise that they don’t have to call themselves Christians, or get to realise that they actually aren’t Christains and that it is OK not to have a religion. We would also encourage those that don’t have a religion and don’t believe in gods or supernatural powers that oversee their lives to come out and call themselves atheists.
So while surveys and questionnaires keep coming out and asking people what their religion is, and whilst non-believers keep ticking the Christian/Muslim/Jewish boxes, we at Atheism UK will keep urging people…
Don’t Believe it? Don’t Tick It!
Jo Johnson, Conservative MP for Orpington has called for Parliament to end prayers at the start of sessions of the House of Commons because Britain is no longer “an overwhelmingly Christian country.”
Whilst he hasn’t called for disestablishement of the Church of England (he was quite adamant about that), as we at Atheism most certainly do, this is certainly a step in the right direction.
…and don’t forget our current project to collate the religious views of all of our MPs which can be found here. If your MP has not replied to our survey, why not write to him/her as a constituent and ask them to respond. Suggested wording and copies of the questionnaire are also available from our site.