The Humanist Society of Scotland (HSS) has launched a “Good Without God” campaign to coincide with the Pope’s visit to Scotland today. The group is highlighting the massive growth in the number of Scots who reject all religion in favour of Humanism; for example, HSS predict that Humanist weddings, which were only made legal in Scotland in 1995, will this year outnumber Catholic weddings. HSS hopes that the “Good Without God” campaign will encourage more people to identify as Humanists and show the government that the majority of Scots are secular.
On Monday 13th September, TV crews and radio and print journalists joined HSS members for the unveiling of a “Good without God” billboard in Glasgow, where the Pope will be speaking this Friday.
Juliet Wilson unveils the Humanist billboard
HSS Convenor Juliet Wilson told reporters that, “Although the Pope is welcome to visit Scotland as an individual, the Humanist Society of Scotland opposes the state visit because he actively opposes democracy and human rights.
“We know from last week’s Theos poll that 80% of Scots agree with us, and we know that fewer than 80,000 people will travel to see the Pope in Glasgow.
“Today, more and more citizens of Scotland identify with humanist values. Since humanist weddings were made legal in June 2005, our membership has grown by over 700%. We predict that in 2010, our celebrants will conduct more weddings than the Catholic Church.
“Our campaign says, “2 million Scots are Good Without God”, because that’s the official figure, but we believe the true figure to be much higher. In 2009, Asma Jahangir, The UN Special Rapporteur on Faith and Belief, estimated that 66% of the population is non-religious.
“We want to tell the Pope and the government that they are out of step with majority opinion – not just in Scotland but in the UK.
“As well as the poster, we’ve set up a site, http://www.goodwithoutgod.org.uk where people can join our campaign, and when the Census comes next February, we’ll remind them to put a big tick in the ‘No religion’ box.
“As we say, ‘if you’re not religious, for god’s sake say so!’
“Then will we be able to show the government that the deference they show to religious groups is out of all proportion to their real support.”