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Way In

Against convention

Birmingham City Council was in trouble recently for adopting an internet-monitoring system that prohibited employee access to atheist websites. While Christians content was freely available, atheist pages were not.

The National Secular Society has threatened legal action, citing discrimination, and looks to have a strong case. But it is likely that the Council innocently adopted the pre-existing configurations of its new system, supplied by a British Company but probably originating in the USA.

The list of banned groups is a who's who of Bible belted fears. Sites would be blocked if they contained information on witchcraft or Satanism, occult practices, atheistic views, voodoo rituals or any other form of mysticism (St Teresa of Avila excepted, perhaps).

One can see why a Wiccan might be offended, but we rather feel that it's Christianity that suffers most. Much as access to Christian sites is welcome, we're not sure we like it being granted on the basis of it being a 'conventional religion'.