Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

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Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby Bulworthyproject » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:44 pm

The automatic seats in the House of lords given to bishops, mean that the already prodominantly male legislature has a section reserved exclusively for men. We've both signed the following petition to get this discussed in parliament.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/42117
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Re: Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby oldjerry » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:22 pm

Sorry but this motion is predicated upon the existence of an unelected second chamber,can't really accept that.
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Re: Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby demi » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:06 pm

oldjerry wrote:Sorry but this motion is predicated upon the existence of an unelected second chamber,can't really accept that.



What? I don't understand that.

I have heard about this though. Seats shouldn't be reserved for any religious leaders. Religion shouldn't be involved in politics.
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Re: Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby demi » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:11 pm

I tried to sign it but apparently i already have. i think it was also posted on facebook by the british humanist association.
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Re: Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby Bulworthyproject » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:06 pm

oldjerry wrote:Sorry but this motion is predicated upon the existence of an unelected second chamber,can't really accept that.


We sometimes have to check our watches to make sure that we really are in the 21st century.
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Re: Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby diggernotdreamer » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:35 pm

It's a wonder you don't have to tug your forelock at the aristocracy any more.

Ireland is supposedly a secular country but you can't buy a drink on Good Friday or Christmas day in case you upset the catholic church
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Re: Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:15 pm

demi wrote:Religion shouldn't be involved in politics.


I disagree. Strongly, in fact. Anyone with an opinion - however arrived at - has the right (perhaps the duty) to be involved in politics. The last thing we need is a political system that fails to include all facets of human nature, human failings and human sentiment.

Religions (and I include atheism & the worship of science in my broad personal definition and I don't really care if other people don't) transcend national boarders and political dogmas. The desire of politicians to impose secular systems arises from a fear of this supranational quality that might just undermine them. If those sods fear "it", I would hesitate to get rid of "it", whatever "it" might be.

In any case, until there is true reform and an elected second chamber,this dicking around the edges is meaningless, not that it concerns me these days.
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Re: Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby MKG » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:21 pm

I understand your position, Jon - but I disagree. Religion, as far as I'm concerned, should not be allowed to rear its ugly head in any walk of life, let alone politics. It's dangerous. But that isn't the problem. We have allowed ourselves to be hedged into a situation in which we say "This is the law - unless your religious beliefs say otherwise" and that is, to put it bluntly, stupid.

We have a law against discrimination against women - yet we allow religious organisations to override it. We have a law against discrimination against homosexuals - yet we allow religious organisations to override it. We have a law against sexual predation upon children - yet we allow a religious organisation to sweep that under the carpet. I could keep going.

And now we have an unelected second chamber which enshrines religious hypocrisy within a political dinosaur. The answers to both of those problems seem obvious to me.

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Re: Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby oldjerry » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:13 am

I'm loath to butt in here,as you guys tend to shed light,whereas I'm dead thread fred,but aren't you both coming to the same conclusion from different sides?(although at a level unsurpassed since Copplestone vs. Russell).

Question : What is Politics? Best answer (for me) Politics ,in any sense, is about power.
Organised religion (as opposed to belief) is about the same thing.
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Re: Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:45 am

And there's the rub. I believe around 30 million people in the UK and rather more than that in France profess to hold a religious belief. Clearly most of these people are not misogynistic, homophobes who countenance child abuse, so excluding their views from the political sphere on those basis is unreasonable - they have as much right to political expression and representation as everyone else.

We also have laws regarding freedom of belief and expression, though these days - increasingly - these are under attack from the same political wings that would lay claim to being champions of tolerance. Liberty and equality make for uneasy bedfellows.

At the moment, in countries such as Spain, Portugal, Greece and - to a lesser extent - France social cohesion is being maintained largely by the efforts of religious charities. In places where state social security systems have effectively collapsed and politicians have failed, they're there, rearing their ugly heads, feeding people and providing emergency shelter to people who would otherwise be freezing to death and cluttering up public spaces.

Here in France, the Fondation Abbé Pierre is the organisation driving the agenda on homelessness. Happily for those who have nowhere to go, Abbé Pierre [url](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abb%C3%A9_Pierre[/url]) reared his ugly head, got himself elected and made politician's lives hell until they did something.

How much reporting do we see on these activities? I think we might miss these people if they weren't sticking their oars in.

So, I'm afraid that we will probably have to agree to disagree. All constituencies of belief - secular, religious and fence-sitting - include people whose behaviour and attitudes are unpleasant; excluding entire sections of society from the political sphere based on the activities of these few is self-evidently unjust.
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Re: Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:55 am

oldjerry wrote:I'm loath to butt in here,as you guys tend to shed light,whereas I'm dead thread fred,but aren't you both coming to the same conclusion from different sides?(although at a level unsurpassed since Copplestone vs. Russell).

Question : What is Politics? Best answer (for me) Politics ,in any sense, is about power.
Organised religion (as opposed to belief) is about the same thing.


Sorry - my post crossed with yours. I think you're right - politics is essentially about power, but I can also see that politics is also a battle between moral stances. Some clothe themselves with the cloak of religious moral superiority, some with secular moral superiority and dedicated followers of each will seek to exclude the other as they jockey for position, slinging mud as they go, while the majority of us - reasonable, tolerant and mostly looking for a quiet life just get on with things as best we can.

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Re: Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby gregorach » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:30 am

People with religious views (of whatever stripe) of course have every right to be involved in politics, and to try and have their views represented by the political process, just as people who come by their views by any other means do. What I have a great deal of trouble with is granting special privileges to specific religious views or institutions - as is case with the Lords Spiritual.

Jon, you seem to think that religious and secular points of view are opposed - this is absolutely not the case. In fact, the origins of secular thinking lie in non-conformist religion. The core idea of secularism is that the state should not privilege one particular religious viewpoint over all others. Secularism is not about atheism, it's just about equal treatment of all. The problem with the Lords Spiritual is not so much that they exist at all, it's that they only represent one specific religious viewpoint - that of the Church of England. Of course, to expand them to cover all religious viewpoints equally is obviously impractical, so the only reasonable solution is to get rid of them.
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Re: Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby demi » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:39 am

Religion in politics is dangerous. Just look at the woman who died in Ireland after being refused an abortion when she was miscarrying because the catholic church have power in deciding the laws of the country and they conciser abortion of a bundle of cells as murder which you will go to hell for. That women died of blood poisoning from the decaying fetus inside her which was completely preventable. Her waters had broken and the fetus was dying and there was nothing they could to to save the pregnancy. She was forced to suffer in pain, emotional and physical, for over a week before she died. Religion is wrong and should not influence society. People can believe whatever they want but they should not dictate how society works. Religion should be a personal thing, it should not be forced on the entire population. The most ironic thing about this was she wasn't even Catholic, she was Hindu.


Here is something about blasphemy laws, religion again playing damaging roll in politics: http://humanistfederation.eu/european-c ... hemy-laws/


AND DON'T GET ME STARTED ON FAITH SCHOOLS!!!!
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Re: Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby magicguitarman » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:18 pm

Leaving the disturbing gender imbalance this helps to perpetuate to one side for now and with the caveat that I totally disagree with the idea of an unelected second chamber I have to pick up on something here.

I have nothing against those with religious beliefs being involved in the political system, and I am sure that no one else does either really. but I think it is the idea that they are involved by default that is the worrying part. If you have a bishop, a rabbi or any other form of religious leader fairly elected into a position of political power then that's fine. No problem with that at all. But having them there simply because of their job isn't something I countenance.

Oops I'm back to the unelected house again! Oh well!
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Re: Seats reserved exclusively for men in the House of Lords

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:20 pm

gregorach wrote:Jon, you seem to think that religious and secular points of view are opposed - this is absolutely not the case. In fact, the origins of secular thinking lie in non-conformist religion. The core idea of secularism is that the state should not privilege one particular religious viewpoint over all others. Secularism is not about atheism, it's just about equal treatment of all.


A fine ideal, but one that is increasingly not delivered in practice. Certainly here, secular institutions more and more see their role as being to attack religious ones. This is not some sort of paranoia on my part - I am not a badged up member of anything - just observation.

Demi - what you need to understand is that personal religious belief influences personal political belief. The two can not be separated. Saying that religion is wrong and should not be allowed to influence society is meaningless. Where freedom of belief is permitted (and frankly even where it isn't), religion and society are fused together. Forcing people to all think the same way has been tried often enough and it always ends up getting messy.

Of course, one of the reasons that the Lords Spiritual have been allowed to endure is that it ensures that the Anglican church toes a pretty much neutral line. The last thing any of the political parties wants is an organisation with 26 million members getting all militant on them.
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