A modern secular state

Religion does not need the special status it currently enjoys within the British state. Quite rightly, we have laws that ban discrimination on the basis of religion or faith. That is sufficient. We have already abolished the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel in England and Wales, which were long recognised as an anachronism. We should now go further and end the formal establishment of the Anglican Church as the state religion of Britain.

No one should occupy a place in Britain’s legislature on the basis of religious office. There is no objection to holders of religious office being members of either house of Parliament or any other part of government, but they should only win such status through the same democratic processes as everyone else.

We must also repeal or rewrite the laws that require schools to impose a daily act of collective worship upon pupils and we must remove the special privilege given to Christianity within religious education (I understand this to be in the Education Act 1944 as amended by the Education Reform Act 1988 and the School Standards and Framework Act 1998). The removal of anachronistic religious requirements in our education system is a matter of prudent use of funding as well as basic freedoms.
 

Why is this idea important?

Religion does not need the special status it currently enjoys within the British state. Quite rightly, we have laws that ban discrimination on the basis of religion or faith. That is sufficient. We have already abolished the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel in England and Wales, which were long recognised as an anachronism. We should now go further and end the formal establishment of the Anglican Church as the state religion of Britain.

No one should occupy a place in Britain’s legislature on the basis of religious office. There is no objection to holders of religious office being members of either house of Parliament or any other part of government, but they should only win such status through the same democratic processes as everyone else.

We must also repeal or rewrite the laws that require schools to impose a daily act of collective worship upon pupils and we must remove the special privilege given to Christianity within religious education (I understand this to be in the Education Act 1944 as amended by the Education Reform Act 1988 and the School Standards and Framework Act 1998). The removal of anachronistic religious requirements in our education system is a matter of prudent use of funding as well as basic freedoms.
 

Remove religious instruction and worship from state schools

I believe that in a truly multicultural society, religious instruction and worship should be separated from state funded education.  Parents can already choose to raise their child within their own belief system and this should remain a private matter.

Children attending state funded schools (even non-denominational school) are still forced to endure religious instruction and acts of worship (thinly disguised as religious education).  

In my experience, these acts of worship are  exclusively christian.

Of course parents can choose to have their children withdrawn from worship however this causes children to be excluded from other activities such as school assemblies, presentations, etc. as well as being perceived as being "difficult" or "different".

Despite withdrawing my own children from participating in acts of worship, my children have been forced to sing hymns, pray and on several occasions "press-ganged" into re-enacting bible stories.

Children are forced to participate in "Religious and Moral Education" where it is presumed that there cannot be any morality without religion.

In 2010, freedom of religion and/or belief appears to be universally accepted everywhere apart from the classroom…

Why is this idea important?

I believe that in a truly multicultural society, religious instruction and worship should be separated from state funded education.  Parents can already choose to raise their child within their own belief system and this should remain a private matter.

Children attending state funded schools (even non-denominational school) are still forced to endure religious instruction and acts of worship (thinly disguised as religious education).  

In my experience, these acts of worship are  exclusively christian.

Of course parents can choose to have their children withdrawn from worship however this causes children to be excluded from other activities such as school assemblies, presentations, etc. as well as being perceived as being "difficult" or "different".

Despite withdrawing my own children from participating in acts of worship, my children have been forced to sing hymns, pray and on several occasions "press-ganged" into re-enacting bible stories.

Children are forced to participate in "Religious and Moral Education" where it is presumed that there cannot be any morality without religion.

In 2010, freedom of religion and/or belief appears to be universally accepted everywhere apart from the classroom…

Remove the right to have Religious schools

Coming from an ethnic background, I have as a child undergone education in standard government schools and have experienced the natural integration between children of different beliefs and religions into a healthy respect for all. At the same time, have seen how those who attend religious specific schools are unable to integrate into society.  If this government truly wants a peaceful multicultural society, then allow the children of all backgrounds to mix at school.  This is extremely important for the UK.

Why is this idea important?

Coming from an ethnic background, I have as a child undergone education in standard government schools and have experienced the natural integration between children of different beliefs and religions into a healthy respect for all. At the same time, have seen how those who attend religious specific schools are unable to integrate into society.  If this government truly wants a peaceful multicultural society, then allow the children of all backgrounds to mix at school.  This is extremely important for the UK.

Scrap religious education advisory councils etc

Scrap the laws requiring local authorities to have Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education and Agreed Syllabus Conferences (again for RE), and scrap also the law requiring religious education for all pupils (put RE in the national curriculum instead).

And of course scrap the law requiring daily acts of religious worship in all schools – but there is already a separate suggestion for that – http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unnecessary-laws/scrap-law-that-says-school-must-hold-collective-worship.

Why is this idea important?

Scrap the laws requiring local authorities to have Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education and Agreed Syllabus Conferences (again for RE), and scrap also the law requiring religious education for all pupils (put RE in the national curriculum instead).

And of course scrap the law requiring daily acts of religious worship in all schools – but there is already a separate suggestion for that – http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unnecessary-laws/scrap-law-that-says-school-must-hold-collective-worship.