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Government appointment of faith advisors attacked as ‘cynical’

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  1. This is sick, dangerous and deeply unfair. Not standing for this. Does anyone know the best course of action to get this madness undone????

  2. Mihangel apYrs 7 Jan 2010, 2:08pm

    so why no-one from the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists, Satanists….?

    Or is faith only those on the approved list?

    As an atheist, I am of course highly suspicious of this coven of cultists

  3. Must be an election coming.

  4. This move is disgusting, pathetic, stupid and transparent. If the government we elect can’t do the job we elect them to do without advice from insane idiots who believe in a fairy tale make believe story that isn’t true, that the majority of people in this country know not to be true, then we need a new government.
    They should apppoint econommists to advise them on the economy – scientists to advice them on global warming – social workers to advise them on parenting – not psychotic morons who believe in an imaginary supreme being that tells them things (THAT NO ONE ELSE CAN HEAR) in their heads when they close their eyes and talk to the themselves (PRAYING). I studied theology for 4 years. It taught me one valuable lesson – god is a concept made up by humans(the masters) to control other humans(the slaves).

  5. Har Davids 7 Jan 2010, 3:05pm

    “Unprecedented wealth of knowledge and experience”: sounds great, but how ‘wordly’ are these people? MP’s sometimes seem to forget who their bosses really are, and they are elected, so who are these religious people, selected by the government, supposed to represent? Sounds like a dirty trick to push more religious issues down the throats of people who never asked for this.

  6. So we now live in a theocracy then!

  7. “For millions of people the values instilled by their faith are central to shaping their behaviour.”
    What about the millions more who don’t give a sh*t about religion?

  8. Weird. WHY? Does the Government think that this’ll win it votes? I don’t want any religious person telling me about parenting and the like, thanks. If I wanted to know anything about that I’d go to an expert. And why the discrimination? Surely the Scientologists et al should be allowed to put in their ‘expertise’ too?

    “We should continually seek ways of supporting and enhancing the contribution faith makes to the decision-making process on the central issues of our time.”

    Unbelievable. What positive contribution could they make? Look at the history of these religions – burning witches, condoning slavery, etc etc.

  9. Are the Tories going to keep this nonsense as well when they get in power in 4 months?

    Stupid idea.

  10. The final straw for my Labour vote! This is undemocratic and an insult to the people (especially gays) who are regularly condemned by religious leaders. The ‘communities’ secretary ought to sit down and have a think about what communities really means. A disgrace

  11. I don’t think that this is as scary as it seems. In fact, it illustrates a desperate government showing as much contempt for the religious as for the rest of us. These names look like community worthies to me whose fans on the ground might be persuaded to turn in a few votes on the basis that their ‘leaders’ are getting a hearing. Cynical and obvious.

  12. I bet they don’t treat them with the same contempt they’ve shown for scientists whom they sack from advisory boards because the government disagrees with established medical research into alcohol & substance abuse and tells them they “should know their place”.

  13. Brian Burton 7 Jan 2010, 6:07pm

    ‘A little Oil in my Lamp keep it burning in the Camp a little oil in my Lamp I Pray’…I wonder if they want a Hymn singer as well? Is there an Organist in the House?

  14. Paul Brownsey 7 Jan 2010, 6:11pm

    This move is testimony to the fact that religious faith is *not* mainstream in the UK today. There was a time when the ranks of those in positions of authority would have been so thoroughly permeated by religious believers that a sort of unofficial application of relgious (especially Christian) values throughout life took place more or less automatically. The fact that the government has set up this panel is an indication that religious belief and practice are the preserve of a fringe.

  15. Pumpkin Pie 7 Jan 2010, 6:39pm

    Morality and ethics should be worked out WITHOUT referral to religion. It worked for us before organised religion – eve before the Ancient Greeks kick-started Western philosophy, humans worked morals out for themselves – and it still works for us now.

  16. theotherone 7 Jan 2010, 7:34pm

    Well if I was going to vote for Labour before I won’t be now…

  17. Why does having strange beliefs entitle anyone to special consideration or an influence on secular society? What an outrage.

  18. 21stCenturySpirituality 7 Jan 2010, 9:55pm

    Recently I attended an interfaith Council Of Faiths meeting which John Denham spoke at. I dont think there is any need to be too worried about this panel, there does seem to be some very sound people on it and this report does say that ‘None of the 13 advisors have any history of faith-based homophobia’. I think it is important that spirituality is given a voice in politics though perhaps this initial step is questionnable. I have e-mailed John Denham to raise some concerns about this panel.

    Dear John Denham,

    I have read today about the government appointment of 13 ‘faith advisors’. While I can see that there are some very worthy appointments on this panel, I am concerned that several faith groups are not represented. I do not see any representation for Buddhists, Unitarians, or Pagans. I dont see any representation of progressive or new spirituality. I am also concerned at the abscence of representatives of lesbian and gay spirituality such as the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement & The Metropolitan Community Church. I feel that this panel would be at a serious disadvantage if these perspectives are not represented, heard or considered by the government. When and where will there voices be heard by the government? Is this panel final? Are there to be no other appointments? Why are these voices not being represented on this panel?

    Rick George
    Publicity Coordinator & Library Supervisor
    Edmund Kell Unitarian Church
    Bellevue Road

    Lets wait and see how he responds.

  19. why not include pagans, wiccans and others plus atheists and anti-theists if they want to be fair? 13 faith advisers sound like another way to get only a select few beliefs into influence/power

  20. 7 Jan 2010, 11:35pm

    In what way, exactly, are secular values inferior to religious ones? Why do people think that if we talk about such things we have to rely on the faiths at all? Are we all in pre-school or what?

  21. Jean-Paul Bentham 8 Jan 2010, 5:45am

    Abi1975 (6):

    You said:

    “So we now live in a theocracy then!”

    Dah! Isn’t your Head of State the Head of the C of E?

    Explain the difference between that and Iran.

    Besides, think of how well impressed Ben16 will be when he comes over next year: he’ll have a shinning example to show Uganda and the rest of the world.

  22. Jean-Paul Bentham:
    The difference is that it is now a few centuries since you got put to death in Britain for offending established religious beliefs or taboos. In Iran it’s still very much on the menu.
    I personally don’t believe that our head of state should be Supreme Governor of the Church of England (he or she shouldn’t be a hereditary monarch either, but that’s another question). With a bit of luck the mad sectarian evangelicals who are taking over the C of E will in any case make Disestablishment inevitable.

  23. Brian Burton 8 Jan 2010, 12:43pm

    What I think is;- This Group of so-called religious advisors will fizzel out like all these other bright ideas kicking around the political spectrum–here today, gone tomorrow!

  24. theotherone 8 Jan 2010, 3:10pm

    we’ve had a government that has funded ‘Faith’ schools, allowed the teaching of creationism, allowed the religious to have opt outs on Equality legislation, passed laws that protect religions and religious people from ridicule or any form of questioning and have now said they want to take advice on policy from the Religious.

    So…this is the Party that l-o-v-e-s Queers is it?

  25. Why is Mr Denham so interested in religion all of a sudden?
    Would it be anything to do with the up and coming election?

    Some interesting comments on the ‘Faith Avisors’ here –

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