Survey shows many Brits want religion kept out of politics

Survey shows many Brits want religion kept out of politics December 27, 2017

A new YouGov poll for the Times has found that a majority of people in the UK want religion kept out of politics and that bishops should not have an automatic right to sit in the of Lords.
According to the National Secular Society, around 1,700 people were questioned about their views on politicians allowing their religious beliefs to influence their political decisions and whether Church of England bishops should retain their guaranteed seats in the legislature.

Sixty-two percent said that no religious clerics should have “an automatic right to seats”. Only eight percent of people said the bishops should retain their seats. Twelve percent said leaders from other faiths should be added to sit alongside bishops as Lords Spiritual and 18 percent said they did not know.
Sixty-five percent of respondents thought that political figures should keep their religious beliefs separate from their decision making, with just 14 percent saying the opposite. The remaining 21 percent chose neither option or said they did not know.
The findings are in line with the recommendations of the National Secular Society’s Manifesto for Change, which urges a fundamental rethink of religion’s public role and specifically calls for an end to automatic seats “as of right” for religious clerics.
Responding the latest survey, National Secular Society chief executive, Stephen Evans, said:

Separating religion from the state would mean our political structures reflect the reality of changing times, but would also ensure every citizen can be treated fairly and valued equally, irrespective of their religious outlook.
Britain is now one of the most religiously diverse and, at the same time, non-religious nations in the world. Rather than burying its head in the sand, the state needs to respond to these fundamental cultural changes and initiate reform.
Given the public support for such reforms, we would encourage politicians of all stripes to find common cause in promoting secularist principles and making sure our public institutions equally welcome and respect those of all faiths and none. Such a change is long overdue.

In January 2018 all MPs will receive a copy of the National Secular Society’s latest report Separating Church and State: The Case for Disestablishment which argues that disestablishment is right both as a basic matter of principle and in order to make the UK more representative of the changing landscape of religion and belief.
It says Prince Charles’s accession to the throne will offer a “particularly opportune moment” to press the benefits of disestablishing the Church of England.

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  • AgentCormac

    And still Teresa My can’t help using her political position to bang on about ‘Christian values’ and ‘Christian heritage’. But I suppose she at least had the decency to acknowledge that there are actually people in Britain of ‘no faith’. Be thankful for small mercies and all that!

  • Darn It

    This change is long overdue. Long overdue. I say no automatic club membership to the House of Lords for the Bishops. Actually I want to go a step further and get rid of the House of Lords altogether. Membership by Cronyism and Privilege are endemic which is deeply unfair. Time for drastic change. This country has no official constitution and its time we had one based upon Humanist and Secular values.

  • StephenJP

    I anticipate that it will not be long before politicians start to realise that there might be votes in curtailing religious privilege. Who will seize the day? Won’t be the Tories, for sure.
    I agree with Darn It. The question is whether we need a second chamber at all. At the moment, the HoC is so incompetent and hidebound that it is incapable of scrutinising the Executive effectively: we need a competent revising body with real expertise. But the Senate (away with the Lords!) should be much smaller than the present HoL, and directly elected.
    I had better stop there as this is a bit of a hobby-horse…

  • RussellW

    Darn it
    Yes, it’s amazing that the obsolete institution has survived. Get rid of the House of Lords and replace it with a democratically elected upper house. No one should have an automatic right to sit in a legislative assembly.

  • 1859

    For a country that prides itself as one of the democratic beacons of the free world, the UK has some of the most archaic and undemocratic traditions imaginable. The HoL for example, has stymied, delayed, overturned, rewritten and obstructed legislation approved in the Commons for centuries, and people are getting increasingly fed up with the undemocratic power exercised by this outdated, unelected club of privileged, pompous dick heads. As has already been said – change is long, long overdue.
    Just look at that over-preening twat Welby on his throne and in his golden robes ! – the self-important, indulgent vanity, the make-believe, theatrical ostentation, the sheer orgy of egotism of these puffed-up canary christians, would make christ himself throw up. It makes me want to shit my pants.

  • Italian Scallion

    Ban “ALL” religions as they serve no useful purpose. Religion is for people with extremely weak minds. If you believe in a daddy guy in the sky, then you’ll believe that I’ll be having tea with the Queen a week from Thursday.

  • barriejohn

    The photo featuring Welby looks like some pantomime – oh, wait a minute, that’s what it is. Am I the only one who sees this likeness?
    Wrong hat, of course!

  • Robster

    Does the Brit. government offer a tax deduction for extremely silly hats, gold robes, dresses and associated outrageous bling? I know, a jobs program?

  • Johan

    That picture of Welby and his acolytes is sinister.

  • Broga

    Welby and co love the play acting. They must try so hard to think that it is serious.

  • L.Long

    Don’t those dimwits read their own book o’BS!?!?!?
    It says not to wear woman’s clothes so why all the dresses???
    I would not want people that st00pid in gov’mint either!!

  • andym

    That had me wondering. Were some men attracted to these priesthoods precisely because it gave them the chance to cross-dress in public, without the shaming which used to go with it? Maybe that’s part of the reason they’re having so much trouble recruiting these days.