End the requirement for religious broadcasting on the BBC

I would like to end the legal requirement for a percentage of the the BBC's broadcasting time to be spent on religious affairs.  The majority of people do not attend church or other religious establishments and we should not be continuously subjected to news and debate on whether there should be women bishops in the church of England etc.  If the BBC feels that there is a big enough audience for religion they should dedicate a radio station or a TV channel to that subject.  Too much news broadcast time is taken up by church affairs and we should instead be hearing about international news which is much more important.

Why is this idea important?

I would like to end the legal requirement for a percentage of the the BBC's broadcasting time to be spent on religious affairs.  The majority of people do not attend church or other religious establishments and we should not be continuously subjected to news and debate on whether there should be women bishops in the church of England etc.  If the BBC feels that there is a big enough audience for religion they should dedicate a radio station or a TV channel to that subject.  Too much news broadcast time is taken up by church affairs and we should instead be hearing about international news which is much more important.

Overhaul the rules for charities.

Charities are required to be for ‘public benefit’. ‘Public benefit’ is not defined in such a way that the activities of the charity need actually be in the long term interests of society. This is particularly the case for religious charities.

Why is this idea important?

Charities are required to be for ‘public benefit’. ‘Public benefit’ is not defined in such a way that the activities of the charity need actually be in the long term interests of society. This is particularly the case for religious charities.

No state funding for faith schools

It is unfair that some faiths get funding and others don't. Rather than seeking to normalise a chaotic situation – where do we draw the line? would we fund Jeddi schools? What about those teaching hate amongst all the other stuff? – don't fund any. If people are committed to teaching thier children in a faith environment, they should fund their schools themselves – like some (few) already do.

Why is this idea important?

It is unfair that some faiths get funding and others don't. Rather than seeking to normalise a chaotic situation – where do we draw the line? would we fund Jeddi schools? What about those teaching hate amongst all the other stuff? – don't fund any. If people are committed to teaching thier children in a faith environment, they should fund their schools themselves – like some (few) already do.

Repeal charitable status for “the advancement of religion”

I propose that section 2 2 c of Part one of the Charities Act 2006 be deleted.

This section creted a catagory of charity for  "the advancement of religion;"

I propose that the advancement of religion can not be reconcilled with the "public benfit" requirement and therefore should be removed.

Why is this idea important?

I propose that section 2 2 c of Part one of the Charities Act 2006 be deleted.

This section creted a catagory of charity for  "the advancement of religion;"

I propose that the advancement of religion can not be reconcilled with the "public benfit" requirement and therefore should be removed.

Scrap the law that forces all schools to hold an act of (broadly Christian) collective worship every day

Scrap the law that says that all schools must hold an act of (broadly Christian) collective worship every day.

Why is this idea important?

Scrap the law that says that all schools must hold an act of (broadly Christian) collective worship every day.

Replace compulsory Religious Education with compulsory Moral & Ethical Education

Over the years Relgious Education has evolved from being the detailed study of one or more religions to branch out into the study of morality and ethics.

RE, as it stands in its current form still focuses around a select number of religion and within them specific religious viewpoints.  Therefore when studying the ethics of abortion it is presented mainly from a religious perspective placing any other non-religious positions as secondry counter arguments.  This is negative for two reasons: select religious frameworks are presented as primary positions with other religious or non-religious ethical frameworks as secondry disagreements with the primary positions.  This is a distortion created by the fact that religion is the primary concern within the curriculum.

This is an unfair and prejudiced manner of presenting certain ethical frameworks over others in a manner which creates the illusion of discord between many ethical positions.

To progress the natural evolution of RE into ethics the curriculum should be changed to remove the traidtional theologicaly based detailed study of religions.  This way the ethics can be placed as the primary subject of study.  A more diverse range of ethical frameworks can then be studied and discussed alongside each other on equal footings.

Here are a couple of examples:  currently the study on the ethics of abortion would be first presented from the perspective of religious teachings (primarily Abrahamic teachings: Christian, Muslim and Jewish).  Any other ethical frameworks (e.g. humanism) are presented as being in disagreement and as an aside, not as a primary framework.

In ethics the subject matter of abortion would first be presented.  Then the position of different ethical frameworks would be explored: a liberal religious person (Christian, Muslim etc.), a humanist, or conservative religions and athiest (who would both argue from the perspective of family values).

Consider something that encompasses a wider range of perspecitves.  Food ethics would be currently presented as the differences between Christian, Muslim and Jewish.  In Ethics it would explore those ethical frameworks but also Vegetarianism (in both secular and religious) exploring the comonality, plus the Enviromental frameworks or even those proposing GM as a solution to food ethics (starvation etc.)

As you can see from the few examples Moral and Ethical Education is the only way we can teach children in a way that acknowledges the wide range and diversity of moral frameworks in a secular and multi-cultural society while exploring their similarities and differences in a fair and equal platform.

Why is this idea important?

Over the years Relgious Education has evolved from being the detailed study of one or more religions to branch out into the study of morality and ethics.

RE, as it stands in its current form still focuses around a select number of religion and within them specific religious viewpoints.  Therefore when studying the ethics of abortion it is presented mainly from a religious perspective placing any other non-religious positions as secondry counter arguments.  This is negative for two reasons: select religious frameworks are presented as primary positions with other religious or non-religious ethical frameworks as secondry disagreements with the primary positions.  This is a distortion created by the fact that religion is the primary concern within the curriculum.

This is an unfair and prejudiced manner of presenting certain ethical frameworks over others in a manner which creates the illusion of discord between many ethical positions.

To progress the natural evolution of RE into ethics the curriculum should be changed to remove the traidtional theologicaly based detailed study of religions.  This way the ethics can be placed as the primary subject of study.  A more diverse range of ethical frameworks can then be studied and discussed alongside each other on equal footings.

Here are a couple of examples:  currently the study on the ethics of abortion would be first presented from the perspective of religious teachings (primarily Abrahamic teachings: Christian, Muslim and Jewish).  Any other ethical frameworks (e.g. humanism) are presented as being in disagreement and as an aside, not as a primary framework.

In ethics the subject matter of abortion would first be presented.  Then the position of different ethical frameworks would be explored: a liberal religious person (Christian, Muslim etc.), a humanist, or conservative religions and athiest (who would both argue from the perspective of family values).

Consider something that encompasses a wider range of perspecitves.  Food ethics would be currently presented as the differences between Christian, Muslim and Jewish.  In Ethics it would explore those ethical frameworks but also Vegetarianism (in both secular and religious) exploring the comonality, plus the Enviromental frameworks or even those proposing GM as a solution to food ethics (starvation etc.)

As you can see from the few examples Moral and Ethical Education is the only way we can teach children in a way that acknowledges the wide range and diversity of moral frameworks in a secular and multi-cultural society while exploring their similarities and differences in a fair and equal platform.

Make getting married easier and cheaper

 

Getting married is always going to be an expensive and complex affair. Currently though the government of England/Wales imposes sizable additional costs and demands, yet offers very little value or flexibility in return. This is especially true for those who wish to have a civil ceremony.

It is time for the state to reduce its role in marriage. The necessary reforms are all straightforward:

• Make it possible to get married wherever and whenever you want. Currently venues have to apply for complicated licences in order to stage weddings (bizarrely, for example, weddings still cannot be conducted outdoors or after 6pm). This dramatically restricts the available options for those who do not want to get married in a traditional church or registry office setting. This reform would create more competition. More competition would mean increased scope for creativity and lower costs for couples. If we remove the burdensome licensing requirement, then suddenly the wedding market will be flooded with new entrants, providing fresh, cheaper solutions.

• Allow humanist celebrants to conduct weddings in England/Wales (they already can in Scotland), thereby eliminating the state’s stranglehold on proceedings and its bias against atheism. We should similarly allow people of the Muslim and Hindu faiths to have legally binding religious ceremonies (in the way Christian and Jewish couples can).

• Remove the requirement to attend a meeting with the local Registrar and all the associated fees. Most Western countries do not demand this level of intrusive government involvement in marriage. The requirement to register for a Banns is an outdated anachronism. The obligation to pay money to the state for getting married is simply indefensible.  

NB – My friends were charged £87 by Newham Council (where they live) for registering their intention to marry. This involved attending a ridiculous and condescending interview with the local Registrar. The interview cost £20 more because it had to be on a Saturday, since they both work full-time. They were then charged a further c£400 by Cambridgeshire Council (where they got married) in order to have their Registrar attend the venue and conduct the ceremony. The Registrar would not even let them pick their own vows or approve their choice of readings. And on the day she even messed up her lines.  Value for money?

Why is this idea important?

 

Getting married is always going to be an expensive and complex affair. Currently though the government of England/Wales imposes sizable additional costs and demands, yet offers very little value or flexibility in return. This is especially true for those who wish to have a civil ceremony.

It is time for the state to reduce its role in marriage. The necessary reforms are all straightforward:

• Make it possible to get married wherever and whenever you want. Currently venues have to apply for complicated licences in order to stage weddings (bizarrely, for example, weddings still cannot be conducted outdoors or after 6pm). This dramatically restricts the available options for those who do not want to get married in a traditional church or registry office setting. This reform would create more competition. More competition would mean increased scope for creativity and lower costs for couples. If we remove the burdensome licensing requirement, then suddenly the wedding market will be flooded with new entrants, providing fresh, cheaper solutions.

• Allow humanist celebrants to conduct weddings in England/Wales (they already can in Scotland), thereby eliminating the state’s stranglehold on proceedings and its bias against atheism. We should similarly allow people of the Muslim and Hindu faiths to have legally binding religious ceremonies (in the way Christian and Jewish couples can).

• Remove the requirement to attend a meeting with the local Registrar and all the associated fees. Most Western countries do not demand this level of intrusive government involvement in marriage. The requirement to register for a Banns is an outdated anachronism. The obligation to pay money to the state for getting married is simply indefensible.  

NB – My friends were charged £87 by Newham Council (where they live) for registering their intention to marry. This involved attending a ridiculous and condescending interview with the local Registrar. The interview cost £20 more because it had to be on a Saturday, since they both work full-time. They were then charged a further c£400 by Cambridgeshire Council (where they got married) in order to have their Registrar attend the venue and conduct the ceremony. The Registrar would not even let them pick their own vows or approve their choice of readings. And on the day she even messed up her lines.  Value for money?

protecting our tolerant liberal democracy

 

We currently live in a tolerant, liberal western democracy and we need to enshrine the ethos of our State in law in order to protect it from alien/foreign illiberal and intolerant influences. In order to maintain liberties you have to protect them from interference once they are given.

 

The State should be separate from any religion. Secular Human Rights should always 'trump' religious freedoms, 'non-believers' of religions should be protected from interference from religion. In return adherents of religions must be protected by the State from persecution.

 

Rights come with responsibilities to our tolerant, liberal western democracy. A social contract should be created where no individual or section of society can take assistance from the State without giving to the State, allegiance is to the British Nation and continuing it's freedoms. English should be the only language used, in print and spoken communication, by the state and all it's local and national authorities. Hiding ones face in public must be a crime. Refusal to engage in the Social Contract results in removal of voting rights and if applicable a reexamination of whether residence/citizenship is still legitimate. The aim is to stop sections of society from alienating themselves within the mainstream of society and living in cultural ghettos.

Why is this idea important?

 

We currently live in a tolerant, liberal western democracy and we need to enshrine the ethos of our State in law in order to protect it from alien/foreign illiberal and intolerant influences. In order to maintain liberties you have to protect them from interference once they are given.

 

The State should be separate from any religion. Secular Human Rights should always 'trump' religious freedoms, 'non-believers' of religions should be protected from interference from religion. In return adherents of religions must be protected by the State from persecution.

 

Rights come with responsibilities to our tolerant, liberal western democracy. A social contract should be created where no individual or section of society can take assistance from the State without giving to the State, allegiance is to the British Nation and continuing it's freedoms. English should be the only language used, in print and spoken communication, by the state and all it's local and national authorities. Hiding ones face in public must be a crime. Refusal to engage in the Social Contract results in removal of voting rights and if applicable a reexamination of whether residence/citizenship is still legitimate. The aim is to stop sections of society from alienating themselves within the mainstream of society and living in cultural ghettos.