British Social Attitudes survey finds most people have no religion, just 41.7% are Christian
(Trad: La encuesta de la British Social Attitude encuentra que hay más personas sin Religión; solo un 41.7% son Cristianos)
June 17th, 2014
The 31st annual British Social Attitudes survey (BSA), published yesterday, has found that 50.6% of the population saying they have no religion (up from 47.7% last year), with just 41.7% regarding themselves as Christian (the lowest ever figure). The survey was published on the same day as David Cameron reiterated his claim that Britain is ‘a Christian country’. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has pointed to the survey as showing this is not the case.
In his foreword to the programme for yesterday’s all prayer breakfast, David Cameron wrote ‘I believe very deeply that we should be confident in Britain about our status as a Christian country… Greater confidence in our Christianity can also inspire a stronger belief in our work as politicians to get out there and make a difference to people’s lives – and it should inspire our support for churches and faith organisations in the vital work they do in our society and around the world. Whatever our political parties and whatever our disagreements these are values we share.’
However, not only did the latest BSA survey show the lowest ever figure for Christianity, it also found 76% thinking that being Christian is not an important element of being British, up from 68% in 1995.
BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘It is highly ironic that the same day the Prime Minister repeats his claim that Britain is a Christian country, the new British Social Attitudes survey shows that most people are not religious – with a lower proportion being Christian than ever before. The truth of the matter is that we are a diverse society bringing together individuals and influences from Christian, other religious and non-religious backgrounds and that diversity is something that we should celebrate. Trying to label the whole nation with one religion fosters alienation and division.
‘It is time that the Government wakes up to the policy implications of this and stops giving bishops privileged places in the House of Lords, stops funding ever more religious schools and requiring every school that is not religious to have a daily act of Christian collective worship.’
For further comment or information, please contact Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs at email@example.com or on 0773 843 5059 or Andrew Copson, Chief Executive at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07855 380 633.
The BSA survey was conducted last year and asks ‘Which religion or denomination do you consider yourself as belonging to?’ 50.6% responded by saying No religion, 41.7% Christian (comprising 16.3% Anglican, 8.8% Roman Catholic and 16.6% other Christian), 4.6% Muslim, 1.5% Hindu, 0.5% Jewish, 0.4% Buddhist, 0.3% Sikh and 0.4% other non-Christian. The latest BSA figures can be found at http://www.britsocat.com/ and http://www.bsa-31.natcen.ac.uk/
Read extracts from David Cameron’s latest comments: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10905469/Cameron-tells-MPs-Christianity-can-make-politicians-good.html
In April the BHA organised a letter from over 50 public figures challenging the Prime Minister’s previous claim that Britain is a Christian country: https://humanism.org.uk/2014/04/20/nobel-laureates-campaigners-peers-philosophers-broadcasters-authors-write-open-letter-challenge-prime-ministers-christian-country-claim/
The BHA has also produced an infographic seeking to answer, ‘Is Britain a Christian country?’ http://humanistlife.org.uk/2014/04/28/infographic-is-britain-a-christian-country/
The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.
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British Social Attitudes:
The 31st Report
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Reino Unido prohíbe enseñar Creacionismo en escuelas financiadas con fondos públicos
LONDON, June 18: educación pública Religión
El jueves, el Reino Unido amplió su prohibición de la enseñanza del Creacionismo de todas las escuelas del Estado, a todas las escuelas del Estado, así como las escuelas semi-privadas y academias gratuitas.
La decisión significa que ninguna escuela en el Reino Unido puede enseñar el creacionismo o cualquier otro dogma "anti-científico", sin perder la totalidad de sus fondos, ya que estarían violando "el requisito de toda academia y escuela gratuita, de proporcionar un currículo amplio y equilibrado".
De acuerdo con un comunicado de prensa de la Asociación Humanista Británica (BHA), las nuevas reglas "exigen expresamente que los alumnos se les enseñe acerca de la Teoría de la Evolución, y evitar que los fideicomisos de la academia enseñen 'creacionismo' como un hecho científico."
Ni siquiera el Diseño Inteligente - la teoría seudo-científica de los creacionistas estadounidenses que desean importar creencias bíblicas en las aulas de las escuelas públicas - se puede enseñar, ya que "creacionismo" se define por la nueva norma como "toda doctrina o teoría que sostiene que los procesos biológicos naturales no pueden dar cuenta de la historia, la diversidad y complejidad de la vida en la Tierra y, por tanto, rechazan la teoría científica de la evolución. "
Como señaló Richy Thompson, la razón de este cambio fue que "todo joven tiene derecho a una educación de alta calidad, amplia y equilibrada. Esto incluye, biología, donde la evolución es un tema central y es vital para entender cómo la vida humana llegó a ser. Por otro lado, las ideas como el creacionismo no se les debe enseñar como científicamente válidos por la sencilla razón de que no son ".
Teaching creationism as scientifically valid now banned in all UK public schools
UK government: "The requirement on every academy and free school to provide a broad and balanced curriculum … prevents the teaching of creationism as evidence based theory in any academy or free school.”
By JC Sevcik | June 18, 2014 at 7:37 PM
LONDON, June 18 (UPI) --The United Kingdom has banned the teaching of creationism as scientifically valid in all schools receiving public funding.
The government released a new set of funding agreements last week including clauses which specifically prohibit pseudoscience.
"The parties acknowledge that clauses 2.43 and 2.44 of the Funding Agreement [which preclude the teaching of pseudoscience and require the teaching of evolution] apply to all academies. They explicitly require that pupils are taught about the theory of evolution, and prevent academy trusts from teaching 'creationism' as scientific fact," one clause reads.
The funding agreement defines creationism as "any doctrine or theory which holds that natural biological processes cannot account for the history, diversity, and complexity of life on earth and therefore rejects the scientific theory of evolution," and goes on to note that this idea is rejected not only by the scientific community but most mainstream churches as well.
"It does not accord with the scientific consensus or the very large body of established scientific evidence; nor does it accurately and consistently employ the scientific method, and as such it should not be presented to pupils at the Academy as a scientific theory," the agreement states.
The funding agreement notes that the discussion of beliefs about the origin of the Earth including creationism are permitted in religious education "as long as it is not presented as a valid alternative to established scientific theory."
The British Humanist Association has been lobbying against the instruction of creationism since 2011 with its Teach Evolutionism, Not Creationism campaign.
The BHA is currently celebrating the UK government's declaration that "the requirement on every academy and free school to provide a broad and balanced curriculum ... prevents the teaching of creationism as evidence based theory in any academy or free school."
"We believe that this means that the objectives of the campaign are largely met. We congratulate the Government on its robust stance on this issue," said BHA Head of Public Affairs Pavan Dhaliwal in a statement on the organization's website.
The United Kingdom's position on creationism in the classroom and public discourse is an interesting parallel to the United States', where celebrity scientist BIll Nye engages in public debate about the validity of creationism and two states, South Carolina and Missouri, saw anti-evolution bills proposed in the last month.
Government bans all existing and future Academies and Free Schools from teaching creationism as science
June 18th, 2014
The Government has changed the rules to preclude all Academies and Free Schools, both those that already exist and those that will open in the future, from teaching pseudoscientific ideas such as creationism as scientifically valid. The changes have been made through extending an explicit ban to all future Academies and Free Schools, but also by clarifying that it believes the requirement to teach a broad and balanced curriculum means no existing Academies and Free Schools can teach pseudoscience either. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has welcomed the news as representing a significant step towards achieving one of its longstanding policy goals.
In 2012 the Government precluded all future Free Schools (i.e. those not already open) from teaching pseudoscience as science and required them to teach evolution, as well as requiring them to promote British values. However it decided not to extend these requirements to Academies, and these changes did not apply to Free Schools that already existed.
But in March the Government extended all of these rules to future stand-alone Academies (i.e. those not part of a multi-Academy trust that do not already exist), as well as introducing new rules to stop religious discrimination in Free Schools from extending beyond the areas of admissions, employment, RE and assemblies (i.e. into areas such as other parts of the curriculum, uniform or food policies).
Now the Government has also extended these rules to future Academies that are part of multi-Academy trusts, meaning all future Academies are covered by them. But in addition it has also introduced new clauses for Church Academies helpfully clarifying the meaning of creationism and the fact that it is a minority view within the Church of England and Catholic Church, but also stating that ‘the requirement on every academy and free school to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, in any case prevents the teaching of creationism as evidence based theory in any academy or free school.’
In other words, in the Government’s view, if an Academy or Free School teaches creationism as scientifically valid then it is breaking the requirement to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. As every Academy and Free School has this requirement in its funding agreement, the implication of this interpretation is that no Academy and Free School, existing or future, can teach pseudoscience.
BHA Head of Public Affairs Pavan Dhaliwal commented, ‘In 2011 our “Teach evolution, not creationism” campaign called for enforceable rules saying that creationism cannot be presented as a valid scientific theory in any publicly-funded school. Now the Government has extended such an explicit rule to all new Academies and Free Schools and made it clear that it believes that existing rules mean that no Academy or Free School can teach pseudoscience.
‘Coupled with the fact that maintained schools must follow the national curriculum, which from September will include a module on evolution at the primary level – the other thing we called for – we believe that this means that the objectives of the campaign are largely met. We congratulate the Government on its robust stance on this issue.
‘However, there are other ongoing areas of concern, for example the large number of state financed creationist nurseries, or the inadequate inspection of private creationist schools, and continued vigilance is needed in the state-funded sector. We will continue to work for reform in the remaining areas, but are pleased that the vast majority of issues are now dealt with.’
For further comment or information, please contact Richy Thompson at email@example.com or on 020 7324 3072.
In full, the new Church Academy clauses state that:
23E) The parties acknowledge that clauses 2.43 and 2.44 of the Funding Agreement [which preclude the teaching of pseudoscience and require the teaching of evolution] apply to all academies. They explicitly require that pupils are taught about the theory of evolution, and prevent academy trusts from teaching ‘creationism’ as scientific fact.
23F) ‘Creationism’, for the purposes of clauses 2.43 and 2.44 of the Funding Agreement and clause 23E above, is any doctrine or theory which holds that natural biological processes cannot account for the history, diversity, and complexity of life on earth and therefore rejects the scientific theory of evolution. The parties acknowledge that Creationism, in this sense, is rejected by most mainstream Churches and religious traditions, including the major providers of state funded schools such as the [Anglican] [Catholic] Churches, as well as the scientific community. It does not accord with the scientific consensus or the very large body of established scientific evidence; nor does it accurately and consistently employ the scientific method, and as such it should not be presented to pupils at the Academy as a scientific theory.
23G) The parties recognise that the teaching of creationism is not part of prevailing practice in the English education system, but acknowledge that it is however important that all schools are clear about what is expected in terms of the curriculum which they need to provide. The parties further recognise that the requirement on every academy and free school to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, in any case prevents the teaching of creationism as evidence based theory in any academy or free school.
23H) The Secretary of State acknowledges that clauses 2.43 and 2.44 of the Funding Agreement, and clauses 23E and 23G above do not prevent discussion of beliefs about the origins of the Earth and living things, such as creationism, in Religious Education, as long as it is not presented as a valid alternative to established scientific theory.
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