Saturday, 5 March 2011
The trouble is that questionnaires only tell you so much. I am reminded of one I was given by my son's Roman Catholic Primary school which asked me if I was "Roman Catholic" "Muslim", "Jewish" "Atheist/ Agnostic" or "Other." I was perplexed as to know quite how to answer this. I asked the receptionist who didn't understand, but suggested I ticked "other", I duly ticked this and wrote down "Christian" in the space provided.
"We want to know which specific religion you are", explained the Receptionist politely.
"But the Church of England is not a religion", I explained, "it is a denomination."
I remained "other" and "Christian".
The BHA wanted to urge us:"If you're not religious, for God's sake say so" but that was deemed offensive by the Committee of Advertising Practice, and so the slogan was changed to "Not religious? Then say so."So now I have another problem: I am a Christian, but by my understanding I'm really not very religious.
And I have met some people who define their faith in very interesting ways, I've even met one who feels he is a postmodern evangelical Christian Sikh as he was born into a Sikh family and feels the faith runs in his bloodstream, converted to Christianity, is evangelical but believes multiple perspectives have validity.
Looks like they'll need some categories saying "other", or maybe just one that says "bloody-minded."