Religion and Law round-up – 7th December

A bad week for humanists, opposite-sex civil partnerships and the Marriage Pledge – although there was £15M for church roof repairs

Are humanism and atheism “British values”?

At the end of November the Department for Education published its revised advice on Improving the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils: supplementary information, which is intended for independent schools, academies and free schools. In its predecessor advice in 2013 the DfE stated that

“There are many different actions that schools can take to meet this part of the standard, such as: …Use teaching resources from a wide variety of sources to help pupils understand a range of faiths, and beliefs such as atheism and humanism”,

The updated advice contains no reference whatsoever to atheism or humanism; and on the British Humanist Association’s website Andrew Copson wonders about the reason for the change. And so do we.

Humanist marriage

And while we’re on the subject of humanism, on Monday 1 December the Government gave a non-committal response to a question by Lord Harrison, who asked when they intend to publish their response to their consultation on humanist marriage. The Ministry of Justice consultation Marriages by Non-Religious Belief Organisations was launched on 26 June 2014 and ended on 18 September 2014, with a commitment to publish a response by 1st January 2015 at:

Er . . . that’s it. Continue reading