Not sure whether I should be alarmed, puzzled, or pleased – but I find myself agreeing with the British Humanist Association, at least to a certain extent. I found their previous advertising campaign on the side of buses mildly amusing and mildly offensive in equal measure. Their current campaign, though, set to launch in advance of the UK Census next month, makes a reasonable point.
The BHA are concerned that people may tick a box on the question below indicating a historical or inherited religious affiliation rather than an active participation.
In the light of this, they are set to run another bus advertising campaign with the slogan “If you’re not religious then for God’s sake say so.”
Whilst I might query the exact wording, I have to applaud the sentiment. It seems to me that I spend much of my time both in and out of the pulpit arguing the case for active participation in faith rather than historical affiliation with religion. I would far rather that someone who never enters a church ticked “no religion”, than that they ticked “Christian” out of some sense of nostalgic loyalty to the traditions of their forebears. Out of such honesty a clean platform for preaching the Gospel is hewn.
Of course there are many complex issues here, and the shades of meaning in this question may be felt differently by Christians in different traditions. However, an honest appraisal of the religious landscape in the United Kingdom could be helpful to all those of us who seek to contribute to it.
My trouble with buses is that I’m rarely certain about exactly which route goes where – all the while assuming that the driver knows exactly where he or she is going. Where is this advert going, do you think?