When can atheists play badminton? Any time of course!

Imagine if access to public sector services was dependent on your religion. 

For example, if your local library was mainly designed to serve Anglican residents, but perhaps opening one afternoon a week for people of ‘all faiths and none’.

Or if there were Christian, Muslim or Jewish health centres, and the one you live nearest didn’t match your religion, so you had to travel further to see a GP.

Perhaps you would love to book a badminton court at your local sports centre but, despite being told atheists are welcome, you could never book a slot because believers were given priority.

Absurd scenarios, aren’t they? Of course, we don’t run public services this way, and even private businesses aren’t allowed to discriminate along religious lines. But why don’t people regard religious selection in schools as equally ludicrous and unfair?

Of course, many people do. Regularly, surveys reveal that support for faith-based admissions is extremely low. A 2018 poll, for example, found that fewer than one in six British adults agree with religious selection in state schools. 

Those supporting these policies often argue that education is a special case, and that faith schools are necessary because parents have the right to choose schools that reflect their religion.

But the majority of people, including many people of faith, are coming to the view that our publicly funded schools should be open to all – equally. They believe that a healthy, inclusive society requires that children from all faith and belief backgrounds – including non-religious ones – are educated together and allowed to develop their own beliefs independently.

If you share those views, please consider signing up to our campaign, and have your voice heard. 

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