Today, UK residents are returning census forms. This brings issues: how to summarise the work of a minister; whether to admit a 'religious' affiliation; whether to describe myself as British, Northern Irish, or both; and whether all the data will be left on a train by a government official, and sold to direct mailing companies by someone enterprising, for the next 50 years.
But more importantly, overall, it raises the question of what information the government sees as key to understanding the residents of the kingdom. So I wanted to provide them with a Question and answer for the Q17 (intriguingly blank on the form) - this would sum things up far better than the answers I've filled in:
Q. What is your only comfort? (Now wouldn't that be a fantastic census form question?)
A. (Mine, anyway.) That I, with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yes, that all things must be serve my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, from now on, to live for him. [Heidelberg Q&A1].
(Sure, I'll pay to Caesar what's Caesar's, but they have my tax info already, and make regular use of it.)