Government deletes advice about studying atheism and humanism

DoE-130pxThe UK Government Department for Education (DfE) has deleted references to non-religious beliefs such as atheism or humanism in November 2014 advice about ‘improving spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of pupils’. The DfE has also excluded non-religious belief studies of Religious Education (RE) at GCSE and ‘A’ level in their draft syllabus documents.

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Queen will reflect on her faith in Xmas message

queen-at-xmasOn Christmas Day 2015, the Queen will “use her traditional annual speech, [given since 1952], to reflect on her personal faith as well as her belief in the continuing role of Christianity at the centre of British life, despite rising secularism.” She will “deliver her most Christian Christmas message yet” says the Daily Mail.

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1 in 10 British Muslims agree: ‘Organisations that publish images of Prophet Mohammad deserve to be attacked’

ComRES Poll of UK Muslims, February 2015

todayBetween 23rd January  and 20th February 2015, 1000 British Muslims were asked by COMRES what they thought about British Society and cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. The poll asked British Muslims two questions:

    • 1)  ‘Do you agree or disagree with these eight statements about British society…? (Table 5)
    • 2) ‘Do you agree or disagree with these six statements about cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad …?’ (Table 14)

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Church “has duty” to discuss politics, creationist Bishops say

The established church’s controversial unofficial election manifesto “Who is my neighbour? A Letter from the House of Bishops to the People and Parishes of the Church of England for the General Election 2015”, whether not one agrees with its conclusions, is founded on a false premise:-

Followers of Jesus Christ believe that every human being is created in the image of God. But we are not made in isolation. We belong together in a creation which should be cherished and not simply used and consumed. This is the starting point for the Church of England’s engagement with society, the nation and the world. All that we say here follows from this.

Human beings are not created or made; they have evolved. There is no creation; there are the laws of physics and there is evolution.

It is astonishing that, when every Church of England bishop claims to have long-since accepted evolution as a fact, the House of Bishops is still blatantly using the language of creationism.

It should also be noted that this “Pastoral Letter” is addressed to the “People and Parishes of the Church of England” – not to the public at large – and the People and Parishes of the Church of England are a dwindling and increasingly irrelevant rump.

Charlie Hebdo Killings

Atheists in the United Kingdom and around the world condemn the killings of journalists and cartoonists at the Paris based magazine Charlie Hebdo on 7th January 2015. This was a religiously motivated attack to avenge insults to the prophet Muhammad through his depiction in cartoons.

Visit the Atheism UK Charlie Hebdo page for UK and world-wide comments about the issues. Visit our forum to discuss with members of Atheism UK.

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Non-religious belief-based marriage: legislation deferred

The government’s long-awaited response, to its consultation on marriage according to the usages of belief organisations, was published this week. A “belief organisation” is:-

An organisation whose principal or sole purpose is the advancement of a system of non-religious beliefs which relate to morality or ethics.

The response was to defer any legislation, and to refer the matter to the Law Commission for a broader review of the law concerning marriage ceremonies.