Faith Communities Capacity Building Fund
Further to Cranmer's post on Labour's decision to grant taxpayers' cash to the British Humanist Association from funds allocated to 'Faith Communities', His Grace has been forwarded an explanation from Government Ministers:
Faith Communities Capacity Building Fund
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 11 March 2009, Official Report, column 483W, on the Faith Communities Capacity Building Fund, for what reasons the British Humanist Association was funded from the Fund. 
Mr. Khan: The British Humanist Association received £25,000 in order to establish and support a network of grassroots humanists to work and build relationships with statutory bodies and participate in groups that advise local authorities on matters of religion or belief, or encourage dialogue between people with different beliefs. The project aimed to enable local humanists to network with faith and ‘interfaith’ groups and participate in groups convened by local authorities, and thus contribute towards good relations and community cohesion.
The Faith Communities Capacity Building Fund was designed to increase the capacity of all religion and belief communities to engage with each other and with wider society. The guidance notes for the Fund included the following definition:
“For the purpose of this fund, a faith organisation is defined as one where the majority of its members adhere to the same faith. They share a world view or ‘life stance’ that involves a set of moral and spiritual values and beliefs about the nature of life and the world. They will usually, but not always, believe in a god or gods.”
The application was made under the “relationships with local, regional or national Government” category—one of the capacity building categories of the fund. In its application, the BHA described their faith tradition as: “Humanist (though we do not think of ourselves as a ‘faith’, we meet the definition of ‘faith’ given in the guidance)”.
Hansard, 20 April 2009, col. 428W
Well, this is interesting. The Government has helpfully defined what it means by 'Faith Community', and states the essentialist view that such groups 'share a world view or "life stance" that involves a set of moral and spiritual values and beliefs about the nature of life and the world'. To embrace the Buddhists and the Atheists, they specify that there is no necessary belief in a god or gods.
We are in the realms of Wittgenstiein's 'game', for inherent to the polythetic is the assertion that there is no single feature which all have in common.
With this revelation, Cranmer exhorts the Jedi Knight fraternity to make an immediate application. If they are denied funds, they must pursue such malicious and arbitrary religious discrimination through the courts.
In addition, Cranmer exhorts the Scientologists to do the same. The Government has no criteria for assessing the contribution of a 'Faith Community' to the concept of the common good. A group which may be proscribed in Germany (as Scientologists are) is deemed by New Labour to constitute a viable moral world.
Further, it is worth considering what might be the Government response to an application from Hizb ut-Tahrir which certainly has 'a world view or "life stance" that involves a set of moral and spiritual values and beliefs about the nature of life and the world'. They want a global Caliphate and the universal application of shari'a law. They are thereby a 'Faith Community' deserving of a government grant.
Yet 'Faith' money granted to the British Humanist Association for the propagation of a faith which seeks to eradicate faith is perverse. On the basis that it is a valid expression of a coherent 'spiritual world view', it is no different to granting funds to Hizb ut-Tahrir which are designed for the promotion of liberal democracy.
May one not possess a 'world view' which seeks to negate the need to have a world view? May one not have a set of moral values which embraces the anarchic disposition towards fractured amorality?
Statutory and judicial characterisations of religion may wrongly assume that familiar or favoured creeds are real religions, while different or new creeds are either not religions or are only pseudo-religions. The most troubling examples of this deficiency are laws that differentiate between traditional and non-traditional religions or that attempt to differentiate between religions and sects.
By defining the British Humanist Association as a 'Faith Community' Labour have opened a can of worms. Now every sect, cult, splittist, heretic, apostate and schismatic may apply for taxpayers' funds to propagate their world view, for it is 'moral' in a relativist sense. This opens the way for a British 'Falun Gong' or 'Branch Davidian' cult to emerge, financed by the taxpayer, spouting its corrosive gospel with impunity to wreak havoc on society.
Or perhaps that is the British Humanist Association.