Rahila Gupta: time to end state funding of religion
None of the main political party manifestos tackle the encroachment of religion on our society. As more and more public spaces are devoured by religious interests creating particular problems for women, Rahila Gupta argues that it is time to end state funding of religion and faith based organisations as service providers.
As the UK election campaign hots up, various voices are bemoaning Christianity’s apparently anorexic state. Pretend social liberals, like David Cameron, are reopening the abortion debate, fudging gay rights and promoting marriage. Anyone propounding secular ideas is being dubbed a fundamentalist, an oxymoron if ever there was one. It’s very interesting that a powerful lobby can make a half-decent case for itself as victim when, under New Labour, it has seen a huge extension of its powers. This is a fat cat with a mouse complex. Minority religions, which have always used the privileges of the Christian church as leverage for greater rights for themselves on the basis of parity, have also grown. This has led to more and more public spaces being devoured by religious interests and created particular problems for women, especially ethnic minority women who are classically at the bottom of the pile.
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]Rahila Gupta: time to end state funding of religion,