A group which aims to sideline religion from public life has been given a grant thought to be worth £35,000 by the Equality and Human Rights Commission for its work.
The Commission is funding the British Humanist Association (BHA) to run a series of lectures on the place of religion and belief in human rights and equality.
According to the BHA’s website, one of its aims is to bring about “an end to the privileged position of religion – and Christianity in particular – in law, education, broadcasting and wherever else it occurs”.
The BHA is campaigning for the eradication of faith schools in the UK because it says they are ‘discriminatory’.
The BHA is also an official partner of the atheist bus advertising campaign, which put posters on London buses stating: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”
It recently launched a new recruitment drive, writing to homes across the country asking for help to drive out the “disproportionate influence” of religion.
The letter continues: “With the current Government plans to contract out more public services to religious groups, this influence is set to grow. Our aim is to stop this.”
Part of the Commission’s role is to ensure that people of faith are not subject to discrimination. But its funding of an aggressively anti-religious group like the BHA will cause concern.
The money they have been given will pay for at least three vocal opponents of Christian freedoms to give keynote speeches in locations around the country, aimed particularly at training public sector workers.
The funding is allocated on three grounds: promoting good relations, promoting equality and human rights and supporting the development of legal casework.