Welcome to Dorset Humanists

Dorset Humanists is a welcoming group for humanists, atheists and agnostics who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. We meet in Bournemouth for informative and enjoyable presentations, debates and discussions on a wide range of subjects including ethics, science, religion, philosophy, politics, our environment and much more. We also organise regular social events.

BHA Humanist Manifesto 2010 General Election - Let’s get humanist voices heard in the run-up to the election!

The British Humanist Association (BHA), to whom Dorset Humanists are affiliated, have both local and national humanist manifestos for the 2010 general election.

The BHA national manifesto, which includes 10 Doorstep Questions, talks about:

  • Human Rights
    • ... We want a government that will help to make human rights a tool in protecting people from oppression and discrimination...
  • Faith schools
    • ... We believe that the interests of neither society nor children are best served by state-sponsored sectarian education...
  • Equality
    • ... We want a government that does not privilege the demands of religious people over the needs and rights of others...
  • Local Issues
    • ... We want local authorities not to champion exclusive ‘interfaith’ work ...
  • Ethical Issues
    • ... We want a government that uses scientific evidence when debating changes to laws regarding abortion and human tissues and uses reason when deciding policy on controversial issues...
  • Religion and Education
    • ... We want RE to be radically reformed so that it teaches objectively about both religious and non-religious perspectives, such as Humanism...
  • Constitutional Reform
    • ... We want a secular state. By this we mean a state where public institutions are separate from religious institutions and treat all citizens impartially regardless of their religious or nonreligious beliefs...
  • Public Services
    • ... We want a government that will guarantee that all contracted organisations that deliver a service are banned from proselytising...

The BHA local manifesto includes 7 Doorstep Questions and says Humanists want:
    • Councils that will give equal recognition to religious beliefs and non-religious beliefs (such as Humanism) as defined in the Human Rights Act and Equality Act 2006.
    • Councils that will end privileges for ‘religion or belief.’
    • Councils that will uphold freedom of conscience and religion and oppose bullying by religious groups.
    • Councils that will support local community schools and stop the expansion of faith-based and sectarian schools.
    • Councils that will keep religious privilege and discrimination out of delivery of statutory public services.
    • Councils that will remove the pro-religious bias in schools and the education system more generally.
    BHA say "Many members and supporters have been asking us recently what questions they should ask their candidates in the upcoming local and national elections. So, we thought it would be an excellent idea to publish manifestos for the upcoming local and general elections, which you can use to ask candidates the kind of questions we need answering. What do they think the government's policy should be on faith schools? What do they think about exemptions for religious organisations from aspects of equality legislation? Would they vote to retain or remove bishops from the House of Lords? Are they in favour of councils contracting with faith groups to deliver public services? View all 17 Doorstep questions in the national and local BHA manifestos.

    We all know how vocal the religious lobby is - and that politicians often feel pressured to support and accommodate those views on matters such as faith schools or public ethical issues, even if that religious perspective is largely unshared by the rest of the constituency. We also know that non-religious voices and concerns are often not heard, but that if they were we could see real changes to policies that affect us all. Support for democracy and political participation at local and national levels is core to humanist thinking and we have a lot of issues where we need to make our voices heard!"

    What local and national issues do you think are important to discuss in Dorset?

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