Big Brother Watch endorses Census Campaign to remove the 'religion question'
When a group like Big Brother Watch put their weight behind a campaign for privacy, it means that it is a question of protecting our civil liberties and personal freedoms. They observe that the British state has accumulated unprecedented power and the instinct of politicians and bureaucrats is to expand their power base even further into areas unknown in peace time.
Big Brother Watch campaigns to re-establish the balance of power between the state and individuals and families. They look for the sly, slow seizure of control by the state - of power, of information and of our lives.
They have judged that the 'Religion question' in the imminent Census (just four weeks to go) is one of those 'sly seizures'. It is His Grace's view that one's religious adherence is no business of the state at all, and the state is hardly in a position to ask questions about it when they have not defined what they mean by 'religion'.
The 'Mind Your Own *%$#@!! Business' Campaign is a perfectly legitimiate and legal protest to tell the Government that enough is enough. It is time to stop this ever-encroaching data gathering. The Campaign raised a few questions, the most frequent relating to its optional status: the assertion that non-response constitutes a protest.
It does not. Some 4 million people left the question blank in 2001, and they were simply discounted. Non-response is not a protest: it constitutes passive assent to being asked again, and communicates indifference. Today's individual indifference will become tomorrow's state compulsion, with all the requisite fines and threats for non-compliance.
The campaign of the British Humanist Association is one of the most disingenuous and hypocritical they have ever conceived. They began well: with a desire to have the religion question abolished altogether, not least because the data elicited was profoundly flawed. On that point, they agreed with His Grace. But this has turned into a concerted campaign costing thousands of pounds which can only have to effect of skewing the data even more: no other group is campaigning to increase their census showing, and it smacks of desperation. It is apparently their contention that if you are not 'practising' a religion, you are not religious, so you should tick the 'No Religion' box. For them, 'belief' doesn't come into it.
It is quite astonishing that a small pack of atheist-secular-humanists should presume to define religion in terms of what they are not; what they are antithetical to. You cannot trust their definition of 'No Religion' any more than you can trust Richard Dawkins on the efficacy of ancient Daoist philosophical and religious conceptions of yin and yang.
The 'religion question' is profoundly flawed; it can only yield flawed data and so needs to be consigned to the bureaucratic dustbin of the outmoded big state.
When you receive your 2011 Census form, to the religion question, please respond ‘Other’. And then write in: 'MIND YOUR OWN…'.
The Campaign is on Facebook. Please spread the word. And, unlike the BHA, His Grace is not appealing for thousands of pounds to 'raise awareness'.