Given that today I have been formally invited to finally visit the Bridgend Christian School (https://bridgendgreens.wordpress.com/?s=Bridgend+Christian+School), it is opportune timing for the Guardian to publish this article: http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/jul/03/religion-toxic-brand-cities-atheism
Looked at more closely, though, and one lesson to emerge is the absolute centrality of religion in today’s politics. The cities where ‘religion’ is the most completely toxic brand – Brighton and Norwich to name two – are also those where green politics are likely to be strongest, and where a strong sense of ethical obligation to the world and to humanity is easiest to appeal to. This may not be theistic, and it certainly isn’t arranged around the worship of one Father God – but it’s not atheist either. A distrust of ‘religion’ often goes alongside a strong belief in ‘spirituality’ and an interest in alternatives.
The article also gives a link to a new census data visualisation tool from Oliver O’Brien at UCL’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, shows ‘no religion’ hotspots in Brighton, Bristol and Norwich; while Bradford and Leeds are clearly split and Liverpool keeps the faith (See http://www.theguardian.com/cities/datablog/gallery/2014/jul/03/where-atheists-live-maps-uk-godless-cities-religion-census-data-viz).
Dark blue areas indicate at least 39.5% there said they had no religion. Bright red means fewer than 10% gave that answer.
The map for Cardiff looks like this:
The message seems clear enough. The Green Party’s rational take on life is more likely to get through to people in more irreligious wards than strongly religious ones. Should this be part of our targeting strategy?