The census and religion
A chara, –Will there be a box on the next census for people who don’t believe in either God or atheists? – Is mise,
Sir, – While there seems to be a demand for atheists to be acknowledged on census forms what about agnostics and lapsed agnostics, that is, those of us who have lost interest in whether or not there are any gods? Surely acknowledging lack of belief is as important as acknowledging beliefs? – Yours, etc,
Sir, – With apologies to Mahatma Gandhi who said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians”, but it seems reasonable for Atheist Ireland to seek a census question asking people if they practise a religion. Christianity is not unique in this regard, but clearly most people are no good at religion and need to practise a lot more before getting the hang of it. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Given the many concerns expressed on atheism in the census then perhaps there is a simpler solution for the census. Theism has a clear definition.
The question could be: “Are you a theist? Yes/No. If Yes then please answer the next question of which type of theist you are. If No then please leave the next question blank.”
Theists could happily declare their numbers under their headings and the CSO would still have the comparative data it requires and all those objecting to atheism could be reassured by its absence. – Yours, etc,