Wednesday, August 11, 2010


According to an ICM survey, Britain is now the most irreligious country in the world.

63% of us don’t believe in gods.  82% say religion is a cause of harmful division.

According to Johann Hari, that is.  He doesn’t link to the this survey and I can’t find it on the ICM site.  I’ve asked him for a link and I’ll post it if I get one.

Otherwise, it’s a good article.  It talks about the Church of England’s whiny bewilderment about this secularisation:

The Church of England, bewildered by the British people choosing to leave their pews, has only one explanation: Christians are being "persecuted" and "bullied" by a movement motivated by "Christophobia." George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, says Christians are now "second class citizens" and it is only "a small step" to "a religious bar on any employment by Christians".

And then points out some of the many unearned privileges enjoyed by the CofE and other religious groups, including the astonishing religious bias in our education and political systems, the fact that we’re celebrating (and paying for) the pope’s upcoming visit rather than clapping him in irons and the demands by people like George Cary that Christians be allowed special laws.

It’s good stuff, worth reading.  I’d argue that Hari doesn’t go far enough.  For instance, I’d have mentioned the apparent systemic effort to not prosecute those who participate in the monstrous act of female genital mutilation.  I’d have talked about the furore that results when people like Richard Dawkins dare to suggest that burkas are horrible, offensive instruments of subjugation.

There are only two rational attitudes with which to respond to unearned privilege like this: ridicule and disgust.  Let the religious whine that they're being persecuted.  Laugh at them for doing so while spilling the beans about their monstrous activities.  If the survey is accurate, perhaps we won’t have to put up with this injustice for as long as we expected.

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