In which we find a lot of religions to pick from

Another day, another form to fill in. And, with it, an Equal Opportunities form, to make sure my opportunities are being equalised. This one, I thought, had a particularly exhaustive list of religions to pick from:

  • Ă?satrĂº
  • Baha’i
  • Buddhism
  • Christian
  • Druidry
  • Hinduism
  • Islam
  • Jainism
  • Judaism
  • Odinism
  • Paganism
  • Rastafarianism
  • Shamanism
  • Sikhism
  • Wicca
  • Zoroastrianism
  • Other

Never mind that Ă?satrĂº and Odinism are probably at least as similar as Catholics and Unitarians; or that both of those, Druidry, Shamanism and Wicca are all essentially subsets of paganism. My main gripe is: what if you’re not religious? Where’s the “None” option? Or Agnostic, Atheist, Humanist, or anything else vaguely similar? All we’re left with is Other, the grand catch-all. So I proudly ticked “Other” and wrote in “None”,* whilst wondering why, if it’s so important to sort and categorise all the proud followers of Wicca, Druidry or the Æsir,** there isn’t a box for the considerable number of people who don’t believe in any of the above.

* well, actually, “NONE”, because of course all these sort of forms prefer to be filled in in capitals.

** No “Jedi” box either, I noted, despite the success of the census write-in campaigns in various countries.

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3 comments on “Choices”

  1. Taloollah says:

    You should see the equal op forms in Northern Ireland. All they ask is are you catholic or protistant. Sometimes they give you the option of saying neither, other times they dont. Many of the older generation believe you HAVE to be one or the other! Strangely enough it can have a bearing on the recruitment process too.

  2. I’ve never thought of shamanism as a subset of paganism… how would that include indigenous peoples and their forms of shamanism? Or is that just urban shamanism?

  3. Forest Pines says:

    I was under the impression that shamanism is a pantheistic religion; and thus “pagan” in the general sense.

    I’ve only just realised that the form left out “pantheist”. And “Shinto”.

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