The Birmingham city council has put up blocking software to lock out atheist websites, which is OK — they’ve got to crack that whip and keep their employees focused on the work at hand, of course. Unfortunately, they apparently aren’t doing this to improve productivity, but simply to shut down a point of view some bureaucrat doesn’t like.
The authority’s Bluecoat Software computer system allows staff to look at websites relating to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and other religions but blocks sites to do with “witchcraft or Satanism” and “occult practices, atheistic views, voodoo rituals or any other form of mysticism”.
I’m always peeved at this inconsistent categorization. If you’re going to group undesirable topics under the heading of “Forms of mysticism”, then atheism does not belong there, but Christianity and Islam do, right along with witchcraft, the occult, voodoo, and New Age nonsense. I suppose we could even stretch that category to cover pornography, since it largely seems to consist of imaginary bodies airbrushed and photoshopped into an impossibly ideal form.