In December the British Government blocked the legal recognition of humanist marriages because it was seen as a ‘fringe’ issue. Andrew Copson of the British Humanist Association called this decision an insult, pointing out that ‘under this government, Scientologists have been added to the list of religions that can perform legal marriages, joining Spiritualists, the Aetherius Society (which believes in aliens and that the Earth is a goddess), and dozens of other religions. To describe the legal recognition of humanist marriages as a “fringe” issue insults the many couples – much larger in number than these many small religious groups – whose planned marriages next year will not be able to go ahead if Number 10 blocks this change.’ Continue reading
I got my copy of New Humanist in the post today and in the editorial there is a section titled ‘The side of the angels?’ that opens with
Even if you’re not the kind of person who picks fights with religion, it can sometimes be hard to avoid confrontation. On so many issues arising in our secular society, religion seems to be on the wrong side. Though we didn’t plan it this way this issue highlights many debates in which religious voices seem to be standing in the way of rational arguments and human rights … in all these cases, rather than seeing religion as the root cause, it might make more sense to view it as part of the cluster of archaic beliefs and social mores that need to be revisited and, where appropriate, disposed of because they don’t measure up to our contemporary view of what constitutes reasonable moral behaviour.