I have often thought that humanists and other non-theist groups, don’t play the role they could in New Zealand society. Out last census revealed that just under 50% of New Zealander’s now describe themselves as Christian (Is New Zealand a Christian nation?), while 32% ticked the ‘No Religion’ box (Trends in religious belief in New Zealand). There must be a lot of humanists out there and they just don’t get represented in our social organisations.
I therefore was intrigued with the recent launch of the Conservative Humanist Association at the 2008 UK Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. It seems to me that there is scope for similar participation of humanist and similar organisations in New Zealand’s political parties. And why not? I am sure religious organisations are consciously participating in political parties. They are certainly participating in the general political arena.
Professor Dawkins’ participation in this conference also appealed to me because, as he pointed out, he had never voted Tory. This shows a refreshingly open-minded approach to politics.
It’s worth watching the videos below of Dawkins’ short presentation at the launch as he presents a summary of what humanists might like to achieve politically. I think it’s summed up in his comment: “We don’t necessarily want to be against religion, we want religion to know its place”.
Shane Greer interviews Prof. Richard Dawkins & Jeff Peel (04:57 min)
Shane Greer interviews Prof. Richard Dawkins & Jeff Peel at the launch of The Conservative Humanist Association at The Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham 2008
See also what the British Humanists are getting up to with their Atheist Bus Campaign.