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A question for Non-Christians (of course Christian's are welcome as well, but it won't really apply)

Scotland just had their Census it once again includes a question on religion. The decline in Christian believers shocked many in their government, and of course horrified in the Christian Church.

Now, when I worked the Census last year this came up a good bit. But I would like to revisit it for a moment. The Census in the US serves a number of purposes. For one it helps to dictate where funding is allocated out to. It also gives those both in and those running for office an idea of who is voting for them. Including a Religious question gives them a better understanding of how voters feel about everything from Abortion laws, to Healthcare laws, to Education to, Religious Seperation Laws and so on...

Adding a Religion question to the Census not only helps them to identify the basic beliefs and thoughts of the voters but it also aids religious charities, groups and schools to know just what they are facing in the world as well.

Now, I also realize that even without the religion question on the form there were millions upset that they had to fill out the Census anyways. But if we want things like road work and decent schools, it's a must do for 2mins every 10 years... So lets just skip all the "I don't think we should have a Census" answers and actually answer the question I'm posting...

And that question is simple - Should we return the Religion question to the Census? Why or Why not?

Answer Question
 
SabrinaMBowen

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 1:52 PM on Mar. 18, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (22)
  • Sure. It'd be interesting from a statistical and historical perspective to see where we came from and where we are now.
    butterflyblue19

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 1:55 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • No. Those political questions can be researched by the political parties. They raise tons of money for that, among other things.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:56 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • yes, we should... If the politicians had to think about the people who they are representing (it what ever form it may be) there may be increased fairness to laws that are passed. I have no issue with letting the government know that I don't appreciate their religion working in my life...
    Also may keep a few of them from opening their mouths and inserting foot...
    Kaelansmom

    Answer by Kaelansmom at 1:56 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • I just wanted to note that I addressed this to non-Christians simply because at this point charities, schools, government officials and what not all simply do their best to appeal to the assumed majority of Christianity... Not because I felt your opinions were less important...
    SabrinaMBowen

    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 1:56 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • No, it doesn't matter what someones religion is, everyone will still have their own morals and those morals will be different from the neighbors.. When you open the Census up to asking religious questions, it also opens up the extreme possibility for discrimination based upon religions. I do not use my spirituality to vote, nor do I use it as an excuse to agree or disagree with something....My morals, how I view right and wrong have nothing to do with my religion....IF I was a Christian it wouldn't have anything to do with how I voted on a bill for paying taxes.It's also a way to bring in bills based on the "religious" points of view of the area without taking into consideration the religious minorities, personally, I don't want anyones religious beliefs shoved down my throat by passing laws that they do or do not agree with.
    kitchenwitch78

    Answer by kitchenwitch78 at 2:02 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • I am a Christian and I do not think it should be on the census. I do not believe that politicians should be catering their elections based on what they think I want because of what my religious beliefs are, because they're just going to do what they want anyway. I want them to be forced to cater to what is just and ethical and in the best interest of society. Believe it or not I actually appreciate freedom of religion (and in some cases from religion) in this country and I accept that it needs to go both ways and be for everyone.
    kayslay

    Answer by kayslay at 2:10 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • Eh. I don't think it's necessary to have it on the census, but I guess it would be interesting to see the demographic of different beliefs throughout the country if it was on it. There are already other organizations that do surveys and research on different beliefs, and due to the whole separation of church and state thing, I'm just not sure if it's necessary to have it on the census. If it was on there, it would be interesting to see how the population changes over time though. I guess I'm pretty indifferent to it, but I do think people should be allowed to say 'prefer not to answer' if there were questions and they are private about their beliefs.
    pam19

    Answer by pam19 at 2:11 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • actually, you're not required to fill out every question on the census, if you do bother to fill one out. (or that's what i've been told)
    and from a strictly unreligious standpoint, even coming from a xtian, whether to add a religion-question to the census or keep it off would really depend on whether i'm wearing a lobbyist's shoes, IMO. i can see where knowing the basic 'preference' would aid in certain political endeavors. KWIM?
    dullscissors

    Answer by dullscissors at 2:23 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • I don't think it should. A person's religion, Christian or not, is not a clear indicator of where you stand on issues of abortion, certain healthcare laws, etc. Most people just don't fit neatly into a box like that, and so would be misleading. If politicians or private organizations want to know who they are dealing with, they can either do their own surveys or look at one of the billion other surveys out there on people's beliefs. AND If we want our politicians to know what we think, we should get out there and tell them (by voting or in more direct ways).

    The real point of the census is for the government to understand how to distrubute money. The focus should be on what all people need (Christian or not). Of course I realize this is very idealistic, but it would be sad to loose our ideals.
    Sebbiemama

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 2:24 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • It's probably not necessary, but I don't mind answering it. I think it is cool to see what the numbers are. It's kind of like the "out campaign" the more people who say "yes, I am an Atheist" (or any non-Christian religion) without fear or shame, it opens the doors for those who may be afraid to tell people; when people see the numbers rising in their nation, they may feel a little less alone. I know this probably sounds silly, lol. But I always feel encouraged when I see the numbers rising in European countries.

    l.o.v.e

    Answer by l.o.v.e at 2:30 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

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