Humanists alter census posters
Humanists have altered a planned poster campaign aimed at influencing Census responses on religion after being advised they could be offensive.
Posters due to go on buses around the country with the slogan "If you're not religious, for God's sake say so" have been changed to "Not religious? In this year's census, say so", by the British Humanist Association (BHA).
The association said it had altered the wording after advice from the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) that the original wording had the potential to cause "widespread" and "serious offence".
The posters will be displayed from Friday on more than 200 buses in London, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Birmingham, Cardiff and Exeter.
Three posters planned for display at railway stations with the original wording have been refused by companies owning the advertising space who viewed them as too likely to cause offence and will now be circulated online, the BHA said.
Andrew Copson, BHA chief executive, said: "This censorship of a legitimate advert is frustrating and ridiculous.
"The blasphemy laws in England have been abolished but we are seeing the same principle being enforced nonetheless."
The BHA is urging people who are not religious to tick the "no religion" box on March 27, Census Day.
The 2001 Census included a voluntary question on faith for the first time. The findings showed 41 million Christians in Britain in 2001, making up almost three-quarters of the population, or 72%.
People with no religion formed the second largest group, at 15% of the population. About one in 20, or 5% of the population, belonged to a non-Christian religious denomination. Around four million people, or 7.7%, chose not to answer the question.