Consultancy on religious freedom

The Commonwealth Advisory Bureau are looking for a consultant to prepare a report on religious freedom in the Commonwealth countries, and one the tasks would be to “highlight best practice, including for example the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms”. This Charter is problematic, to put it mildly - one of its clauses says:

“Every person has the right to religious dignity, which includes not to be victimised, ridiculed or slandered on the ground of their faith, religion, convictions or religious activities. No person may advocate hatred that is based on religion, and that constitutes incitement to violence or to cause physical harm.” (charter linked for download here: ).

The second sentence is fine, but the first absurd in its protection of religious sensibilities. If you know of anyone who might want to take this consultancy on, please forward this to them - the job pays 1300+ GBP. Details available here (pdf):

No protection for atheists then…?

None required methinks. When was the last time you felt offended( |-O) because of somebody taking the piss out of your “faith”? Atheism, my child, leaves you immune to a lot of things. :stuck_out_tongue:

The problem is not so much that atheism is not protected, but that religions are.


The term “convictions” would cover atheism, but that does not detract from the undesirability of a law that criminalizes offending or ridiculing persons who hold preposterous views. The vigorous persuit of truth sometimes requires offence and ridicule. A nanny state that protects cranks from exposure because their feelings might get hurt will only stifle debate.

more importantly; give gives a shit?
untill such a time my lack of faith becomes a political/social/career impediment, i am not going to toi-toi anywhere anytime soon.

A new column on this.