A survey carried out by Whitehouse Consultancy has found that 33% of parliamentary candidates contesting marginal seats describe themselves as atheists.
The Green Party (49 percent), followed by Labour (48 percent) was found to have the highest percentages of atheist candidates.
That doesn’t include everybody running — only 225 parliamentary candidates responded to the voluntary survey — but the fact that so many of them can openly admit they don’t believe in God is stunning from this side of the ocean. I’m sure the 33% number is probably an underestimate, too, since there are undoubtedly atheists who prefer to keep their beliefs to themselves.
Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, noted that, “while religious minorities may be under-represented, it is worth noting that non-believers are as well.
“There is only an issue with politicians’ religious beliefs if they try to force their religious views on to others. The last parliament has seen some politicians using their positions to evangelise, which is wholly inappropriate — particularly given how irreligious society is today.”
No, it doesn’t matter what religious label politicians use as long as they’re not legislating their faith… but it would be nice to have elected officials who have a track record of using logic and reason.
Maybe UK readers can give us more insight into these numbers and candidates in the comments.
(Image via Wikipedia)