The gay Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) – this blog’s parent body – has warmly welcomed the findings about religion in the latest British Social Attitudes survey which was published in December 2010.
The British Social Attitudes survey is the primary social research survey in Britain. The annual surveys conducted by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) have continually monitored and interpreted the British public’s changing attitudes towards social, economic, political, religious and moral issues.
As usual, the latest survey asks people whether they regard themselves as belonging to any particular religion and, if so, to which one? When the survey first asked these questions in 1985, 63% of the respondents answered that they were Christians, compared with 34% who said they had no religion (the rest belonged to non-Christian religions). Now, a quarter of a century on, the latest survey has found that only 42% say they are Christians while 51% say they have no religion.
The PTT Secretary George Broadhead commented: “These findings constitute a steady and remarkable turnaround and demonstrate quite clearly that the country has become much less religious and more secular in its outlook. Nevertheless, the powers that be, including politicians and the media (especially the BBC), choose to ignore the findings and continue to give special privileges to the Churches and other religious institutions as if they had overwhelming support.
“Why is it that Anglican bishops sit in the House of Lords as of right, that morning worship of a broadly Christian character is mandatory in state schools, that faith schools are steadily being increased by the government at taxpayers’ expense, and that chaplains provide counselling in our hospitals, prisons and armed forces with no provision made for the majority who are not religious?
“It is high time that politicians and the media took note, not just of these highly significant statistics, but of the words of no less a person that the Queen, our Head of State, when (in a recent speech to the Church of England’s General Synod) she said: ‘It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue and that the wellbeing and prosperity of the nation depend on the contribution of individuals and groups of all faiths and none.’ ”