Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Help us get the Bishops out the Lords!

British Humanist Association e-bulletin special: Help us get the Bishops out the Lords!

Help the BHA get the Bishops out the Lords!
What's going on?
You may have seen that the Government has now published their new proposals for House of Lords reform, proposing to retain Bishops. You can read the White Paper at

Unfortunately, Government proposes in its White Paper to retain the right of Bishops to sit in Parliament and even to give the Church new powers to decide precisely which Bishops will represent them.

The British Humanist Association has now stepped up its campaign to lobby Parliament, in order to get rid of the reserved places for Bishops sitting in the House of Lords, however that chamber is reformed - and we need your help!

What's the problem?
The UK is the only democratic country to give seats in its legislature to religious representatives as of right. We want a reformed chamber so that Bishops no longer sit as of right in the House of Lords.
The presence of Church of England in the House of Lords entrenches a privileged position for one particular branch of one particular religion that cannot be justified in today's increasingly diverse and increasingly non-religious society. It is at odds with the aspiration of a more legitimate and representative second chamber.
It is not simply a matter of deep principle that unrepresentative Christian leaders should not sit in the Lords; they are able to (and often do) exert disproportionate influence on democratic law making that often will not represent the view of ordinary Anglicans, let alone the rest of the population
(less than 6% of the population attend Church and this figure is declining year on year).

What can be done?
You can support the BHA's campaign to remove the right of Bishops to sit in the Lords by emailing your MP at our specially designed campaigns site at On that site you will also find more detailed information about why it is vital that pages you will also find more information

If you are a member of a political party, get in touch with your Local Party and get involved in the policy making process for the next election manifesto.

Send a response to the white paper with a short email to Use the arguments found at

Thank you for your help with our campaign.

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