The British Humanist Association (BHA) has challenged the suggestion that Christianity and Christian traditions are being pushed to the margins of British society, and argues that Christianity still holds an unequally privileged and powerful position which in fact still fails to reflect the diverse nature of Britain today.
On Wednesday 5 December, MPs will debate the 'Impact of Christianophobia on communities', an issue raised by Mark Pritchard MP, a Conservative backbencher, who has said, 'today there appears to be a reluctance by some public bodies and institutions to recognise our nation's Christian heritage and history.'
Hanne Stinson, BHA Chief Executive, said, 'What Mark Pritchard MP sees as 'rising Christianophobia' can actually be seen as a lessening of Christian privilege in society and a growth in equality for those with other religious and with non-religious beliefs, as well as for certain groups such as women and gay people. The Churches can no longer speak for Britain.'
'However', Ms Stinson continued, 'to suggest that Christianity does not still hold a very privileged position in Britain is simply wrong: a third of state funded schools are 'faith' schools, the vast majority of which are Anglican; we still have an established Church with 26 Church of England Bishops sitting as of right in the House of Lords; religious groups have access to assistance and large funds from government which are not available equally to non-religious groups; religious worship - of a mostly or wholly Christian nature - is still compulsory in all state-funded schools; and the list goes on. This privilege for religion - and Christianity in particular - which the majority of the population do not support, is what is unacceptable in our community today. We should be looking to promote equality and not to regain undue status and privileges for any one religion or belief.'
The British Humanist Association (BHA) represents and supports the non-religious. It is the largest organisation in the UK campaigning for an end to religious privilege and to discrimination based on religion or belief, and for a secular state.
For further comment contact Hanne Stinson on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7079 3583.More Articles by Humanists UK ...