The chosen method was a one-day Citizens’ Forum involving 51 people. A Citizens’ Forum is a unique approach which combines qualitative techniques with deliberation to enable citizens to give informed opinions and recommendations on complex issues.That sounds a whole lot like the "discussion group" approach that is so tried and tested as a means of "modernising" institutions of various types in order to fit a pre-determined agenda. Once you have people in groups, peer pressure ensures that the overall result will be a statement of what is generally perceived to be accepted opinion.
While this is not a quantitative exercise, and the findings are indicative rather than conclusive, there were a number of common themes coming from different table discussions and a high level of consensus and consistency which lends weight to the findings and provide a firm foundation for the conclusions reached in this report.
The weighty, firm, high level, consistent consensus (only indicative, mind you) was that:
Some people perceive that receiving spiritual guidance is a benefit itself to followers of a religion. However, the inherent benefits of promoting religion are questioned by those who do not have religious beliefs. There is a general concern about the amount of public benefit provided by charities that only engage with a particular religious community especially given current concerns about community cohesion.Actually, no. The still substantial proportion of the UK population that attend Christian Churches would not perceive religious charities simply in terms of "spiritual guidance." Christians in the UK give nine time more to charity than the average and they generally understand that religion contributes to the public benefit not only in terms of material and observable results but also in the improvement of the individual and therefore of society.
Nor do most people without religious beliefs necessarily question the amount of public benefit provided by religious charities. Many atheists and agnostics accept that religion is basically a good thing and helps the community. The TV-induced delusion that religion has "caused all the wars" evaporates in the face of the benefits that Churches bring to their local communities.
Then consider this rider to the above quotation:
Participants felt that there was a need for charities for the promotion of religion to reach out to the wider community, without proselytizing to them.Where on earth did that word "proselytizing" come from? Would it not be more honest simply to say that religious charities should not be involved in preaching the gospel? In the modern UK with its increasing "dictatorship of relativism", you may preach about healthy eating, non smoking, global warming, and recycling. But the teaching of Christ - that's proselytizing.
Christians in the UK should be aware that the new legal requirement for religious charities to prove that they offer a material "public benefit" betrays a dogmatic secularism that denies the value of religious faith in itself. The London-based anti-religious clique that is directing public policy would like to see religious charities judged solely in terms of material results because they hate our Christian moral teaching. This is essentially what the new Charities Act is about: it is just one more step in the implacable secularist agenda of modern Britain.