Religion is a lifestyle choice

Whatever gets you through the day is fine by me, but it is after all a lifestyle choice. Any perceived conflict between religious beliefs and equality are non existant, simply because people cannot choose, their colour, age, disability, sex, or sexual orientation (normally)

The law does not compel you to believe in a superior being, it is your choice, therefore it cannot trump someone else who cannot change themselves to suit a 2000 year old Abrahamic teachings, written at a time when a wheel barrow was state of the art science.

Why is this idea important?

Whatever gets you through the day is fine by me, but it is after all a lifestyle choice. Any perceived conflict between religious beliefs and equality are non existant, simply because people cannot choose, their colour, age, disability, sex, or sexual orientation (normally)

The law does not compel you to believe in a superior being, it is your choice, therefore it cannot trump someone else who cannot change themselves to suit a 2000 year old Abrahamic teachings, written at a time when a wheel barrow was state of the art science.

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.

Teach Atheism in Schools.

Time to get humanity on track after 5,000 years of utterly ridiculous fairy tales. Teach and promote atheism in schools so our children can make an informed choice about all paths open to them within the realm of theology. It is abhorrent to me that instead of basing our syllabus on rational scientific empirical knowledge, we infect our children with lies and profane inaccuracies. Stop polluting young minds and help begin pointing humanity down the road of reason over that of highly contentious and  socially divisive theology.

Why is this idea important?

Time to get humanity on track after 5,000 years of utterly ridiculous fairy tales. Teach and promote atheism in schools so our children can make an informed choice about all paths open to them within the realm of theology. It is abhorrent to me that instead of basing our syllabus on rational scientific empirical knowledge, we infect our children with lies and profane inaccuracies. Stop polluting young minds and help begin pointing humanity down the road of reason over that of highly contentious and  socially divisive theology.

Keep Religion out of State Schools

Followers of different faiths are free to educate there children about their religion out of school hours.  Religious schools are divisive  (look at N Ireland).  How many different religions would need to be catered for to be fair to all minority?  Are parents teaching their children to he hypocrites to get them into a church school because it had a good educational recored?

Why is this idea important?

Followers of different faiths are free to educate there children about their religion out of school hours.  Religious schools are divisive  (look at N Ireland).  How many different religions would need to be catered for to be fair to all minority?  Are parents teaching their children to he hypocrites to get them into a church school because it had a good educational recored?

Living in a secular society

As a humanist, living in a broadly secular society in England today, I believe that collective worship in schools is inappropriate and should be replaced by educational assemblies where everyone can learn something about other people's beliefs, or otherwise, and different cultures to make us a more tolerant and understanding society.

Why is this idea important?

As a humanist, living in a broadly secular society in England today, I believe that collective worship in schools is inappropriate and should be replaced by educational assemblies where everyone can learn something about other people's beliefs, or otherwise, and different cultures to make us a more tolerant and understanding society.

Disestablish the Church of England

 

 

The Church of England has an unnecessary role the governing of the UK. It is the established church in this country, with 26 of her unelected bishops sitting in the House of Lords playing a full role in the business of the upper chamber. They are there neither by merit or competency, nor for that matter politically allegiance. They justify themselves using intellectual moral grounds, and their contribution in debate is clouded by their religious doctrine. 

Why is this idea important?

 

 

The Church of England has an unnecessary role the governing of the UK. It is the established church in this country, with 26 of her unelected bishops sitting in the House of Lords playing a full role in the business of the upper chamber. They are there neither by merit or competency, nor for that matter politically allegiance. They justify themselves using intellectual moral grounds, and their contribution in debate is clouded by their religious doctrine. 

Right to Die – s2(1) Suicide Act 1961

As the law currently stands it is an offence to 'aid, abet, counsel or procure the suicde of another'. 

This has the effect of criminalising those who assists a person, who is physically unable to end their own life, to commit suicide.  As suicide is not illegal and is essentially part of an individuals right to autonomous conduct, this is arguably discriminatory against disabled persons – in particular the terminally ill.

Surely we have the right to die with some dignity?

Why is this idea important?

As the law currently stands it is an offence to 'aid, abet, counsel or procure the suicde of another'. 

This has the effect of criminalising those who assists a person, who is physically unable to end their own life, to commit suicide.  As suicide is not illegal and is essentially part of an individuals right to autonomous conduct, this is arguably discriminatory against disabled persons – in particular the terminally ill.

Surely we have the right to die with some dignity?

Remove all religion from all schools

Schools are places of learning, not indoctrination, so all schools should not have to teach religion, faith schools should be converted to education schools, and religion should be an option to be done instead of a long lunch break – a bit like tennis.

Why is this idea important?

Schools are places of learning, not indoctrination, so all schools should not have to teach religion, faith schools should be converted to education schools, and religion should be an option to be done instead of a long lunch break – a bit like tennis.

Repeal recognition of the Vatican as a Nation State

The anomaly of the Vatican with the Pope as a Head of State, with all the rights as a head of state is no longer acceptable in a Secular European Union.

The Pope as someone appointed by a self selected God has no place in the modern pantheon of Nation states.

The Vatican should not be a delgate organisation to the United nations.

Why is this idea important?

The anomaly of the Vatican with the Pope as a Head of State, with all the rights as a head of state is no longer acceptable in a Secular European Union.

The Pope as someone appointed by a self selected God has no place in the modern pantheon of Nation states.

The Vatican should not be a delgate organisation to the United nations.

Stop state funded schools selecting pupils on the basis of faith.

 

All schools funded in part or in whole by the state should have to accept the vast majority of their pupils on the basis of proximity to the school, or better still on a ‘Fair Bands’ system.   The current system allowing state funded ‘Voluntary Aided’ schools to select their pupils on the basis of faith should be abolished.

Up and down the country, if the best local school is Voluntary Aided, you’ll find aspirational parents making a show of attending the relevant church from the arrival of their firstborn in an effort to get their kids into this school.  In many areas this has created a polarization of pupils between schools; the church schools have the advantage of educating children of predominantly informed and proactive parents, those informed and proactive parents who fail to get their kids into the local church schools tend either to go private or to move to an area where they can afford a home within the catchment of a good non-selective state school (expensive, but cheaper than going independent), leaving neighbouring non-selective schools to struggle to provide a high standard of education without the advantage of having predominantly informed and proactive parents which the faith schools enjoy.  The local non-church schools therefore are attended by a disproportionate number of pupils who don’t come from families with such social capital, including those from ethnic minorities, refugees / new entrants to the UK, children for whom English is an additional language (EAL) and those with parents who aren’t informed enough about education to make an active choice about where their children are educated.  It is self evident that at a certain level of complexity, schools struggle to achieve the best in outcomes.  Even ‘outstanding’ teachers struggle to ensure that every child in their class fulfils their potential when they have to cater for an extremely complex set of needs.  We end up with one extreme of state school with vastly differing value sets, learning needs and aspirations or ‘complex urban schools’; and then the other extreme type of state school, the local Voluntary Aided church school, which brim with the advantages of social capital.   Neither type of school offers a child a social experience that is rounded or representative of our diverse country. 

Finland’s education system has no selection at all (not even independent schools exist); they have their share of poverty and other social problems and with a fully comprehensive school system they achieve outstanding results. Teaching children in accordance with their parents’ religious views in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights does not mean that children of parents with other beliefs should be discriminated against by being excluded from such education. 

The Coalition Government have promised they “will work with faith groups to enable more faith schools and facilitate inclusive admissions policies in as many of these schools as possible.”   They need to take this further and ensure that all schools with any element of state funding will have to select pupils predominantly on the basis of proximity to the school or on the basis of fair banding (which ensures that the school’s pupils are a representative mixture of the abilities of the population).  

If a school wants to select any of its pupils on the basis of faith, then it should be wholly independently funded and not take any kind of state subsidy.   Why should the state be funding schools that select children on this basis?  It would be more ‘Christian’ for a school to support and educate its direct neighbours.

Why is this idea important?

 

All schools funded in part or in whole by the state should have to accept the vast majority of their pupils on the basis of proximity to the school, or better still on a ‘Fair Bands’ system.   The current system allowing state funded ‘Voluntary Aided’ schools to select their pupils on the basis of faith should be abolished.

Up and down the country, if the best local school is Voluntary Aided, you’ll find aspirational parents making a show of attending the relevant church from the arrival of their firstborn in an effort to get their kids into this school.  In many areas this has created a polarization of pupils between schools; the church schools have the advantage of educating children of predominantly informed and proactive parents, those informed and proactive parents who fail to get their kids into the local church schools tend either to go private or to move to an area where they can afford a home within the catchment of a good non-selective state school (expensive, but cheaper than going independent), leaving neighbouring non-selective schools to struggle to provide a high standard of education without the advantage of having predominantly informed and proactive parents which the faith schools enjoy.  The local non-church schools therefore are attended by a disproportionate number of pupils who don’t come from families with such social capital, including those from ethnic minorities, refugees / new entrants to the UK, children for whom English is an additional language (EAL) and those with parents who aren’t informed enough about education to make an active choice about where their children are educated.  It is self evident that at a certain level of complexity, schools struggle to achieve the best in outcomes.  Even ‘outstanding’ teachers struggle to ensure that every child in their class fulfils their potential when they have to cater for an extremely complex set of needs.  We end up with one extreme of state school with vastly differing value sets, learning needs and aspirations or ‘complex urban schools’; and then the other extreme type of state school, the local Voluntary Aided church school, which brim with the advantages of social capital.   Neither type of school offers a child a social experience that is rounded or representative of our diverse country. 

Finland’s education system has no selection at all (not even independent schools exist); they have their share of poverty and other social problems and with a fully comprehensive school system they achieve outstanding results. Teaching children in accordance with their parents’ religious views in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights does not mean that children of parents with other beliefs should be discriminated against by being excluded from such education. 

The Coalition Government have promised they “will work with faith groups to enable more faith schools and facilitate inclusive admissions policies in as many of these schools as possible.”   They need to take this further and ensure that all schools with any element of state funding will have to select pupils predominantly on the basis of proximity to the school or on the basis of fair banding (which ensures that the school’s pupils are a representative mixture of the abilities of the population).  

If a school wants to select any of its pupils on the basis of faith, then it should be wholly independently funded and not take any kind of state subsidy.   Why should the state be funding schools that select children on this basis?  It would be more ‘Christian’ for a school to support and educate its direct neighbours.

strengthen laws on secular state

The rules on the separation of state and religion should be strengthened and enforced as follows:

No person holding office or employment in religious organisations or movements should be allowed to hold office in any branch of government.

The laws of the land must take precedence over religious laws, rules or preferences.

All citizens must be protected from abuse, violence or coercion regardless of age, sex or religion.

Why is this idea important?

The rules on the separation of state and religion should be strengthened and enforced as follows:

No person holding office or employment in religious organisations or movements should be allowed to hold office in any branch of government.

The laws of the land must take precedence over religious laws, rules or preferences.

All citizens must be protected from abuse, violence or coercion regardless of age, sex or religion.

Prayers at public meetings

Please remove the regulation or by-law to say prayers at public meetings, eg council meetings, etc. We live in a secular, pluralist society and our laws and practices should reflect that. 

Why is this idea important?

Please remove the regulation or by-law to say prayers at public meetings, eg council meetings, etc. We live in a secular, pluralist society and our laws and practices should reflect that. 

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.

no act of worship

As a retired secondary headteacher I wish to record my concern that the Daily Act of Worship in schools remains on the Statute book after so many years and continues to present an issue for heads and managers of so many schools. Our present multicultural society is dramatically different from the 'perceived' society of the 1930's and 40's, for which the 1944 Education Act was designed. The notion of a daily, formal Act of Worship for all pupils, with prayers and hymns, is anathema to most educationists ( and certainly to most secondary pupils ) and runs counter to our philosophies of education. Most headteachers believe in the importance of sharing life experiences with all the students, encouraging reflection on core values and building a sense of community within the school. This can be achieved partially through assemblies, which should remain as an integral part of the school's week. Religious Education remains an important part of the curriculum and that is where religious issues are best discussed.

Because the daily  Act of Worship is technically still 'law', its none-appearance in school assemblies can be challenged by individuals whose religious convictions feel that it should be complied with and who are determined to identify those schools who appear to be deliberately flouting the law. That is what happened to me, and it placed the LEA and other heads and Governing bodies in a very difficult postion.

 

Surely it is time to remove this requirement entirely, which is probably more honoured in the breach than in the observance in any case.

Why is this idea important?

As a retired secondary headteacher I wish to record my concern that the Daily Act of Worship in schools remains on the Statute book after so many years and continues to present an issue for heads and managers of so many schools. Our present multicultural society is dramatically different from the 'perceived' society of the 1930's and 40's, for which the 1944 Education Act was designed. The notion of a daily, formal Act of Worship for all pupils, with prayers and hymns, is anathema to most educationists ( and certainly to most secondary pupils ) and runs counter to our philosophies of education. Most headteachers believe in the importance of sharing life experiences with all the students, encouraging reflection on core values and building a sense of community within the school. This can be achieved partially through assemblies, which should remain as an integral part of the school's week. Religious Education remains an important part of the curriculum and that is where religious issues are best discussed.

Because the daily  Act of Worship is technically still 'law', its none-appearance in school assemblies can be challenged by individuals whose religious convictions feel that it should be complied with and who are determined to identify those schools who appear to be deliberately flouting the law. That is what happened to me, and it placed the LEA and other heads and Governing bodies in a very difficult postion.

 

Surely it is time to remove this requirement entirely, which is probably more honoured in the breach than in the observance in any case.

Freedom to elect our head of state

The Queen will not be with us forever.  When she goes it will be time to do away with this ridiculous idea that the best way of choosing a head of state in our meritocracy is who your dad was.

Why is this idea important?

The Queen will not be with us forever.  When she goes it will be time to do away with this ridiculous idea that the best way of choosing a head of state in our meritocracy is who your dad was.

End the requirement for compulsory collective worship in schools

It is right and reasonable that schools should teach pupils about the major religions, to help them better understand the society in which we live. However, the requirement for all state schools to perform a "broadly Christian" act collective worship every day is no longer reasonable in the 21st century. Religious worship is a private matter that parents may teach their children if they wish, but it has no place in the state school system.

Even if a group of non-religious parents wanted to start a school that did not force religious worship on children (which is exactly the sort of "big society" idea that the government supports), under current legislation they would be unable to.

I urge the government to abolish the requirement for collective worship as soon is is practically possible.

Why is this idea important?

It is right and reasonable that schools should teach pupils about the major religions, to help them better understand the society in which we live. However, the requirement for all state schools to perform a "broadly Christian" act collective worship every day is no longer reasonable in the 21st century. Religious worship is a private matter that parents may teach their children if they wish, but it has no place in the state school system.

Even if a group of non-religious parents wanted to start a school that did not force religious worship on children (which is exactly the sort of "big society" idea that the government supports), under current legislation they would be unable to.

I urge the government to abolish the requirement for collective worship as soon is is practically possible.

Scrap collective worship

Collective worship prior to morning assembly which I had to ask my parents to absolve me from makes an assumption that most children are Christian and Church of England.

Why is this idea important?

Collective worship prior to morning assembly which I had to ask my parents to absolve me from makes an assumption that most children are Christian and Church of England.