Humanist Hypocrisy

Humanists UK is a campaigning organisation for non-theists. It makes rather noble claims about its aims and objectives, which even I, a Christian minister, could support, as found in their ‘basis of action’:

We campaign on the basis of human rights, including the rights of people with religious beliefs, and a humanist view of society. The law upholds freedom of ‘religion or belief’ and the word ‘belief’ in this legal sense includes non-religious worldviews or lifestances such as Humanism. We stand up for the rights of humanists and everyone who lives their life without religion – and because our campaigns are based on the principles of the ‘open society’ and the secular state, they also serve the interests of others whose rights may be being infringed.

Last month, however, Humanists UK responded to a government consultation, saying practices such as confession, fasting, declarations of faith and “attendance on religious courses” could cause “direct harm” to LGBT people and should be forbidden. What happened to campaigning for freedom, including the freedom to hold and practise religious beliefs? This inconsistency is nothing new. In January 2021, they objected to the appointment of evangelical Christian MP Fiona Bruce as the PM’s envoy for religious freedom, despite claiming:

As humanists, we support the right of every person to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be allowed to speak, and believe, as they wish.

Everyone except Christian MPs, it would seem. Humanists UK care as much for my religious freedom as I care for Marmite on toast, which is not at all. 

Image by Barbora Franzová from Pixabay