The Irish Census will take place in April and Atheist Ireland wants atheists to admit they’re not religious when the question comes up:
All they’re asking for is some honesty:
Atheist Ireland wants to see accurate answers to the question on religion. The last Census showed 3.7 million Roman Catholics (that’s about 87% of the population) and 186,000 people with no religion (that’s about 4% of the population). We believe the true figure for Roman Catholics is much lower than 87%, and the true figure for people with no religion is much higher than 4%.
We believe that this inaccuracy happens because many people tick their childhood religion out of habit, or tick a religion that they don’t really practice, or let somebody else fill in the answer for them. But you won’t write in your childhood home address unless you still live there. So don’t write in your childhood religion unless you still really practice it.
As far as I can tell, there’s no box for “atheist” so you’d have to fill it in under “Other Religion”… I know some of you oppose that philosophically, but if that’s what it takes to get the point across, do it.
Why bother doing this at all?
If we get a falsely very high figure for Roman Catholics, and a falsely very low figure for people with no religion, it makes it more likely that the State will discriminate against people of other religions and nonreligious people when providing these services.
… careless answers to the question of religion will have an impact on the allocation of State resources, and on the political lobbying power of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland…
No doubt that a more accurate headcount would swing the numbers in our favor.