Sunday, February 12

Does the UK need Atheist court battles?

It's rare that we have atheist news in the UK. As a whole our country has got used to being a secular country that likes to think of itself as Christian. We tick the box Christian box just because we happened to have been Christened and we put some money in the Salvation Army's charity box last Christmas. 

This week though we got two big atheist headlines at once.  

Firstly, a Judge ruled prayer at local council meetings unlawful, and secondly there is a campaign to keep chaplains in our hospitals

The papers had a field day with it of course, all of them leading with the headlines that were something along the lines of "Christianity under attack". A former archbishop even prophesied a time when police would drag priests from the pulpit for preaching. It all got a bit silly. 

And I find myself torn. In any other country I would be right up there saying "too right!" But in my own homeland... Well, it's just a little different. 

Maybe it's because I was raised Christian, but I have a soft spot for the pomp of organised religion. There is something settling about being asked to bow my head in a moment of prayer, even if I do find myself chuckling at the ridiculous things people pray for. And I love listening to a good old fashioned preacher give a humorous, but completely inoffensive, sermon to his middle-class flock. And I have to wonder, I have to ask, does it really matter?

Is anyone really being hurt by having to sit through a prayer before a meeting? Is anyone the worse off for getting a visit from a hospital Chaplin? Isn't it the British way to just politely smile and laugh about those things you disagree with, instead of getting all uppity and legislative about it?

And then I realise that probably makes me part of the problem. Because all the time people like me keep being tolerant there is nothing to stop Christian dogma from creeping into our schools, our politics, even our homes. Have we become a country that is so so used to Christianity that we fail to seperate it from harmless tradition? Is there even a need to worry about it?

In all of the articles they give the argument that we are a Christian nation, with a Christian majority, but I wonder how true that is. How many people would really be upset if there weren't any prayers at meetings? How many people even really listen to them? I think that there is only a tiny majority of active Christians, the rest just play along. 

And if that is the case is it even something worth worrying about?  I would think that the act of removing prayers serves only to bring people's attention to back to them, and maybe begin to fight for something they had never paid much attention to before. It marginalises the atheists too, as evil people who don't want the Christians to bring their beliefs with them to council meetings or hospitals. It seems like a pointless battle that can't do anyone any good. 

But I'll end the way it started. If this was happening in America, is be all for it. I just wonder if we need that kind of thing just as desperately over here. 

Urgh, I'm so British. Honestly, if it wasn't for my stuff upper lip, I'd be blushing. 

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It Will Come said...

My dear Spiritual Atheist brother, when you have your eyes fixated on the God of a religion, it is impossible to become your spiritual self with the capabilities of directing your humanity around this little planet until it dies. If you remain fixated and ignore your spirit within you will never be a complete and perfect non stresses, non drunk, always unhappy human being. You cannot serve two masters.

Shooter Von Hellblazer said...

Blah blah blah. Don't listen to this person. It's all rhetorical nonsense. Every god claimed is the god of a religion, even if it's the religion of just one person. God is the unprovable, intangible, unsubstantiated placebo that people swallow to give themselves a desired effect, which unfortunately just reinforces the whole belief.

Oh, and it is happening in America.

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