Last time I had a difficult choice...very difficult, I had to decided if I should put Jedi or not. Since I decided that I can't use the Force or and I don't posses a Lightsaber, I put Pastafarian.
While many people think a census is just the government intruding and trying to find out all it can about it's citizens...well yes. that's true to a part. The Government needs this information so it can provide services, roads, libraries (ok, forget the libraries in the UK) and for understanding what people do for work,health, age ranges, and how they travel. Among the questions asked is about your religion.
It's very simple just not to worry about this question, and think "Well, we have Christmas at home, or we were baptised" and then put Christian in the box without a second thought. If so, you have just given a small boost to Archbishops, lobbyist leaders and everyone who jumps up and down waving a book, and says god is on their side. Those religious leaders then get to say "I represent the views of X% of the population" and this helps them persuade political leaders to maintain the undeserved privileges religions enjoy, and also to do what these religious want, not to do what is right for everyone.
Suggestions from the pulpit can sway votes, and what is the most important thing to politicians? Votes. It would be nice to think that doing the best for their country would be the most important thing...sadly no. Universally, reelection is more important than the public good
Australian results for those who are claiming no religion have been climbing steadily:-
1996: 16.6 per cent
2001: 15.5 per cent
2006: 18.7 per cent
In the 2006 census the top three responses for religious affiliation were Catholic (25.8%), Anglican (18.7%), and No Religion (18.7%). So the amount of people who are learning to think for themselves is increasing, we just need to give them a hint.
This year the the Australian Atheist Foundation have launched their Census No Religion campaign.
In the UK the Humanist Society have launched the Census Campaign for the March 11 Census.
Atheist Ireland have also launched "So be honest to Godless" in the Irish Census on Sunday 10 April.
In the last Irish Census, over a quarter of a million people either ticked the ‘No Religion’ box (186,000), or didn’t answer the question (70,000), or wrote in an answer that isn’t a religion (over 2,000). Overall, that’s about one person in every fifteen. On its own, the ‘No Religion’ figure is the second-largest group after Roman Catholics.
And we believe the real figure is much higher than that. The ‘No Religion’ figure has risen from 1,000 (in 1961), to 7,000 (in 1971), to 39,000 (in 1981), to 66,000 (in 1991), to 138,000 (in 2002) and 186,000 (in 2006). With even normal change, that figure should be higher now. And with the dramatic changes in Irish society since the last Census, the true figure may be much higher.
We hope that the Census results for 2011 will accurately reflect this. You can help to make this happen.I did find it rather surprising that No Religion came second in Ireland, I'm quite sure with all the fresh scandals, such as the Magdalene Laundries, and the amount of child rapists in the church, and how the church spent so much time and effort covering it up, it will grow higher than the 186,00 from 2006.
The Canadian Centre for Inquiry have called for those who are not religious to say so, on the next Census.
This year the message is simple, put NO RELIGION.
One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it. -- Bertrand Russell,