Does anyone think the UK should move toward a more secular state? Or do you think that the state preference for Christianity somehow led to a more liberal interpretation of Christianity which is predominant in the UK today?
There exists a National Secular Society in the UK which has a charter of 10 objectives that would be written into a constitution if adopted;
The creation of a just and equitable secular society in Britain
The National Secular Society seeks a society in which religion and the State are distinctly separated, and where human rights always take precedence over religious demands. We would like to see the following ten objectives incorporated into a written, secular constitution
1. There should be no established state religion.
2. The state should not fund religious activities.
3. The state should not fund religious proselytising in any form and the provision of all services using public money should be religiously neutral.
4. The state should not prescribe, proscribe, or amend religious doctrine.
5. The state should not interfere in religious hierarchies, nor interfere in issues strictly related to membership.
6. No action by the state should have the primary effect of engaging in religious practice.
7. No state action should have the primary effect of restricting religious practice.
8. The state should not express any religious beliefs, or in any publication, speech, or other implement of state power such as currency, sworn testimony, oath of fealty to the state, or endorsements of national pride. The state should not imply any derivation of authority from any religious authority, nor should it express temporal supremacy in relation to religious belief or practice.
9. Political leaders should not express religious preferences in the course of their duties.
10. No religion or denomination should have the power to prescribe, proscribe, or amend civil or common law.
1. I agree.
2. I agree.
3. I agree.
4. I think most religious groups would agree with this one.
5. Again, i think most religious groups would agree.
6. Difficult - what about state funerals?
7. I think most would agree, a definition if religion would be required.
8. Very difficult, especially since tradition plays a large part in state functions.
9. Not sure this is workable, it does seem to infringe on peoples rights to express their beliefs.
10. The most important one in my opinion. I would definitely agree with this last objective.
Objectives 1 & 10 are the main objectives i think. The others are disputable.
[EDIT: *Thanks go to Terry Sanderson of the NSS for granting permission to post the charter in its entirety]