Responding to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s remarks on disestablishment, the British Humanist Association (BHA) today reiterated the pressing need for a secular state in the UK.
Hanne Stinson , BHA Chief Executive, said, “While the Archbishop seems in favour of the principle of disestablishment of the Church of England, he does not advocate it in the present climate and he perpetuates the myth that secularists’ secularism springs from anti-religious feeling.”
Ms Stinson continued, “Disestablishment of the Church of England would be a fundamental factor in the creation of a secular state; one in which state institutions are separate from religious institutions and the state is neutral on matters of religion or belief. To have a constitution that neither privileges nor disadvantages individuals on the basis of their religious or non-religious beliefs is vitally important for our increasingly diverse society to live at ease with itself in a spirit of equality and justice – and it is essential if we are all to have full enjoyment of the benefits of human rights, democracy and equality before the law.”
The British Humanist Association represents and supports the non-religious. It is the largest organisation in the UK campaigning for an end to religious privilege and to discrimination based on religion or belief, and for a secular state.
In November 2007, the BHA published a work on secularism. Intended as an intervention in an increasingly topical but polarised debate, ‘The Case for Secularism: a neutral state in an open society’ argues for the secular approach in ways intended to appeal both to humanists and to religious believers and is edited by Professor Richard Norman, emeritus professor of moral philosophy at the University of Kent.
The Case for Secularism can be ordered from the BHA by telephone on 020 7079 3580 at a cost of £5 inc UK postage.
John Austin MP has tabled an Early Day Motion – EDM 342 – calling for Disestablishment of the Church of England – http://tinyurl.com/edm342.
For further comment or information, email Hanne Stinson or call 020 7079 3583.