Is “For God’s Sake” Offensive?

BBC Breakfast 06 March 2011 With Caspar Melville of The British Humanist Association: www.humanism.org.uk The 2011 Census Campaign census-campaign.org.uk http : Campaigners are urging members of the public who are not religious to say so in the national census. For only the second time, the 10-yearly survey will include an optional question about religious belief. Some secular groups, including the British Humanist Association, say the question is skewed and may overstate the extent of religious affiliation. The campaign slogan was changed to drop the words “for God’s sake” after advice from advertising regulators. Poster campaign The secular groups want people who are not religious to tick the box saying “No religion” on the census. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has unveiled a series of posters on buses and billboards across the country. Using the slogan “Not religious? In this year’s census, say so”, they hope to persuade people to think carefully about which option to tick on the census form, which is being delivered to every household in the country this month. The question about religious belief allows respondents to choose from several possible answers, including “No religion”, “Christian”, or “Hindu”. But BHA chief executive Andrew Copson believes the wording of the question in the last census resulted in 72% of people being classed as Christians – a figure which is much higher than other surveys. “Instead of asking, ‘Do you have a religion and if so, what

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