“Democracy can never flourish if the workings of a state or the major influences within that society are not secular.” *
It should be every person’s right not to follow, or for that matter to be able to follow a religion or belief system of their choosing. It must wholly a personal issue. As soon as religions try to indoctrinate, coerce or oppress people then liberty is lost.
Unfortunately in undemocratic Britain we still have institutionalised religion. Despite its influence declining the C of E still has connections with government. Parents are allowed to brain-wash their children and get state help with that brain-washing through the religious school system.
My big fear is that with the cuts in public services the only charities that are well funded enough to take up any of the slack will be religious based ones. My even bigger fear is that, as part of the Big Society, Tories will turn a blind eye or even encourage religious groups to provide services and proselytise. Vulnerable people will be at the mercy of god-botherers of all shapes and perversions. Liberty for the disadvantaged will not be an option.
*a quote by me on Twitter on 14/3/11