Well said, Sandy, well said said



Agreed with everything she said. Religion has no place in any world government. Those fairy tales needed to be taken out with the trash a long time ago.


Sandy is fab, I’m a big fan, have been for years. She’s spot on about the House of Lords as well, it’s been a source of frustration for years that bishops are atomically “parachuted” in as lords. They should all be properly elected.

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The only real surprise is how few countries fit the bill. Kind of looks like progress, until you realize that a few seats in a parliament are nothing compared to the whole governments that are in the hands of religious zealots. It would be nice to see their self righteous, misogynistic asses get pried out of those seats though :slight_smile: .


It’s not news of course, though Sandy is bang on the money.

Humanists UK

"The UK Parliament automatically awards 26 seats in the House of Lords to bishops of the Church of England. These bishops are able to (and do) vote on legislation, make interventions, and lead prayers at the start of each day’s business.

This is an extremely unusual and anti-democratic set-up, which has a negative influence on the quality and character of British politics. The only two sovereign states in the world to award clerics of the established religion votes in their legislatures are the UK and the Islamic Republic of Iran (a totalitarian theocracy)."

An interesting survey:

" The automatic presence of the bishops in the House of Lords is not just a harmless legacy of a medieval constitution but a present example of discrimination, religious privilege, and undemocratic politics.

We campaign for a secular state with inclusive, shared public institutions so that everyone is treated equally, regardless of religion or belief. As a result, we campaign to see the bishops no longer have an automatic right to seats. If religious representatives wish to be in the House of Lords they should seek to gain representation through the same channels as everyone else. In whatever future package of Lords reform comes before Parliament, we are determined to see these so-called Lords Spiritual removed.

The presence of the Church of England in the House of Lords entrenches a privileged position for one particular branch of one religion. This cannot be justified in today’s society, which is not only multi-faith but increasingly non-religious (the non-religious now comprise 52% of the adult population according to the British Social Attitudes Survey 2018, while a staggering 88% are non-Anglican). It is at odds with the aspiration for a more legitimate and representative second chamber and with affirmation of a plural society.

The public overwhelmingly agrees that bishops should not automatically be granted a right to sit in the House of Lords. A survey conducted by YouGov for the Times found that 62 percent of British adults believe that no religious leaders should have ‘an automatic right to seats’ in Parliament. ‘Only 8 percent of people said the bishops should retain their seats while 12 per cent said leaders from other faiths should be added to sit alongside bishops as Lords Spiritual. The remaining 18 per cent said they did not know.’ More generally, 65 percent think that ‘political figures should keep their religious beliefs cordoned off from their decision making, with just 14 per cent saying the opposite.’"

The HOL currently has 781 sitting members, so 26 is around 3.33%, but nonetheless it’s undemocratic. As of course are hereditary peers. which were abolished in a 1999 act of parliament. Yet there are still 90 sitting hereditary peers, 75 were elected by their fellow hereditary Peers. The Earl Marshal and the Lord Great Chamberlain remained members of the Lords by virtue of the royal offices they held. These peers are referred to as excepted hereditary peers.

"As of September 2022, there are 807 hereditary peers: 29 dukes (including five royal dukes), 34 marquesses, 190 earls, 111 viscounts, and 443 barons (disregarding subsidiary titles).

Not all hereditary titles are titles of the peerage. For instance, baronets and baronetesses may pass on their titles, but they are not peers. Conversely, the holder of a non-hereditary title may belong to the peerage, as with life peers. Peerages may be created by means of letters patent, but the granting of new hereditary peerages has largely dwindled; only seven hereditary peerages have been created since 1965, four of them for members of the British royal family.

As a result of the Peerage Act 1963 all peers except those in the peerage of Ireland were entitled to sit in the House of Lords, but since the House of Lords Act 1999 came into force only 92 hereditary peers, elected by and from all hereditary peers, are permitted to do so, unless they are also life peers. Peers are called to the House of Lords with a writ of summons."


So just to be clear those hereditary peers decide which of them get a place in the HOL, again this is not democratic at all.


So very interesting. I realize I know so little of British politics and the uniqueness of the parliamentary system there.