Spiritualists in the UK had been worried by rumours spread by individuals about government directives that could – or indeed – would block Spiritualist websites. We dispel those rumours.
The Principal Minister of the New Spiritualists’ Society has been in correspondence with the Government of the United Kingdom, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, since someone informed us that there was a growing concern among those who described themselves as Spiritualist or spiritual that our websites would be blocked by portal providers as a result!
Having trawled through all the information, both printed newspaper and internet promulgated,and having seen a petition antagonistic to monitoring websites that was using a journalist’s rather jumbled article that mentioned the blocking of those deemed ‘esoteric’ to rally those spiritual and Spiritualist to its cause, the unconvinced Reverend Lyn contacted the Prime Minister, The Right Honourable David Cameron MP, for clarification.
The Prime Minister directed her query made on behalf of the New Spiritualists’ Society to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport. A member of the Ministerial Support Team has confirmed Rev Lyn’s original argument that the generally innocuously spiritually oriented and religiously inclusive Spiritualist websites would not fall foul of any governmentally generated directives basically aimed at protecting children from pornographic and other potentially damaging websites with its considered response.
The Department has stated through the person so designated thus:
‘I’d like to clarify the Government’s position on parental internet controls. In his speech on the 22nd July, the Prime Minister announced a set of new measures for the internet industries to help parents keep their children safe online.
From the end of this year, when new customers set up a broadband account, they will be prompted to set up parental controls. If a customer repeatedly clicks ‘yes’ to get through the set-up quickly, filters will be automatically selected. Parental controls are easy to for the account holder to change, so customers who do not want filters can simply switch them off.
The Government is clear that parents are responsible for their children’s activity online but Government and industry have a role to ensure they have access to the information and tools they need to keep their children safe. We are also alive to the need to protect freedom of expression and legitimate content by guarding against over-blocking and we will ask the internet industries and charities to progress this issue.
I also note that members of your congregation may be concerned about the classification of ‘esoteric’ material. While Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees the right to hold a particular belief, it is a qualified right. This means that any manifestation of one’s beliefs may be subject to legitimate restrictions, such as limitations that are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
The Government believes that the right to freedom of opinion and expression is a vital component of a free democratic society. We have a long tradition of freedom of speech in the United Kingdom; however, we have been clear of the need to balance the right to freedom of speech with adequate protections.’
Naturally we support those clearly defined sentiments as we know that in this earthly world there are many who make it an even more difficult place to live in in peace and harmony and with the basic right, in the magical British Isles in this particular instance, to the quiet enjoyment of their homes without affront of all its peoples from the cradle to the grave – and beyond! We can look forward to viewing this website for a long time to come!