Prayer Seats for MPs
Did you know that every day the House of Commons is in session, up to 223 MPs can be denied the chance to speak up for their constituents in important debates – just because they do not participate in Christian prayer?
In the Commons, there are only 427 seats for a total of 650 MPs, but those who attend Christian prayers are able to put down a ‘prayer card’ on their seat, which reserves it for the whole day. This means that non-Christian MPs are less likely to get a seat or be selected by the Speaker to take part in the day’s business.
I’m sure you’ll agree that this antiquated and discriminatory practice at the highest level should be scrapped immediately.
With the support of members like you, we are calling for parliamentary prayers to be replaced with inclusive time for reflection.
From Humanists UK website:
In July 2020, in a case brought by six humanist couples, High Court judge Mrs Justice Eady DBE ruled that the failure to provide legally recognised humanist marriages means that ‘the present law gives rise to… discrimination’. She also ruled that, in light of that, the Secretary of State for Justice ‘cannot… simply sit on his hands’ and do nothing. However, she said, given that the Government is currently giving the matter consideration in the form of a review into marriage law by the Law Commission, the Government’s refusal to act immediately can be justified ‘at this time’ and concluded, ‘Although I may deprecate the delay that has occurred since 2015, I cannot ignore the fact that there is currently an on-going review of the law of marriage in this country.’
In response to an email, local MP for the St Ives constituency, Derek Thomas, wrote:
“The Law Commission conducted an initial scoping review of marriage law. It found that the law was badly in need of general reform and that it would not be appropriate to legislate solely for non-religious belief organisations, as this would create further anomalies. The results of the Law Commission’s consultation is finally due to be reported to Government in July of this year.”
So it seems that progress may come, as a result of the Law Commission’s work, when it is published in July 2022.
April 2021 53% of UK non-religious
The British Social Attitudes Survey – April 2021
Some 68% of 18-24 year olds say they belong to no religion,
versus just 18% saying they are Christians.
All state schools are required by law to hold a daily act of collective worship, of a “broadly Christian character.”
26 bishops of the Church of England serve in the House of Lords, but only 12% of the UK population identify as Anglican, down from 15% in 2017.
When will out-dated religious priviledge in the UK be ended?
On March 21st adults will be filling in their census forms.
Cornwall Humanists held a meeting by Zoom last Sunday, on 14th March.
We discussed the leading question about your religion in the census form.
It asks “What is your religion?” – which assumes that you have one.
The unbiased question would ask,
“ Do you have a religion?” and then,
“ If so, which one?”
It was decided to write to local newspapers, to encourage people to answer the question on religion, without being guided to say that they have one, by the way the question is worded.
This matters because census results are one of the elements used to plan policy on health, education and social services.
So, if you are not religious please tick “No religion” on your census form.
Dr Oliver Curry gave the Darwin Day lecture on Friday 12th February.
Dr Curry summarised his findings saying,
“Morality is all about cooperation.”
Dr Oliver Curry
Cooperation can be thought of in seven areas:
1. Kinship – loving your family.
2. Mutualism – loyalty to your group.
3. Exchange – returning favours.
4. Heroism – being brave.
5. Deference – respecting your superiors.
6. Division – sharing resources fairly.
7. Possession – respecting rights to property.
There is a 2019 ten minute Ted Talk by Dr Curry.
He talks about the Science of Morality.
Access his video here.
Humanists UK Podcasts
Chief Executive Andrew Copson speaks to humanists in the public eye about what they believe, to understand more about their worldview and the values, convictions, and opinions they live by.
The first series ran from early June to early August 2020.
A complete list of the interviews can be found here.
The second series began on 12 November 2020 with Leo Igwe, a Nigerian human rights advocate. He campaigns against superstition and child witchcraft accusations. The above link will take you straight to Leo’s conversation with Andrew Copson.
Voltaire Lecture 2019
Adam Rutherford gave the Voltaire Lecture on 24th May 2019.
His lecture was entitled,”How to Argue with a Racist”.
The lecture lasts for about 71 minutes.
With the recent murder of George Floyd in mind, you may wish to find out more.
See and hear the lecture on Youtube.
Every human being is born equal.
Humanism is about showing respect and tolerance for others, thinking for ourselves,
seeking knowledge and justice, and trying to lead and promote happy, decent lives for everyone.
Watch a one-minute video narrated by Stephen Fry here.
You can answer ten questions to see how much your views fit with Humanism.
See the questions here.
52% non-religious – British Social Attitudes Survey
52% of people surveyed were non-religious.
Should the non-religious 52% be represented in law on education, instead of the compulsory, daily, Christian worship imposed on most schools?
Cornwall Humanists do believe in fairness.
See more on the Humanists UK website.
A New Online Course on Humanism
Scientist, writer, and broadcaster Alice Roberts has today launched a new, ‘massive open online course’ (MOOC) on humanism introducing participants to humanists from around the world to hear their stories and explore their beliefs and values.
The course features contributions from well-known scientists, artists, and politicians, as well as humanist campaigners, celebrants, and pastoral carers, including journalist Polly Toynbee, scientist and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili, rock musician Frank Turner, novelist Natalie Haynes, and writer and academic Steven Pinker.
See more on Humanists UK website
Find more information and register for the course at: