Tuesday, February 14, 2012

When militant is anything but

The UK is by and large a secular society with an underpinning of religion based more or less on the Judeo-Christian faith.This wasn't always the case, in times past the Church had a lot more powers and influence hence the Bishops sitting in the House of Lords and it may change in the future if people turn to a religion of some sort or another. But, at the moment, religion plays a very much reduced roll in the life of the majority of the people of the UK, births, deaths and marriages tends to be the only times people will turn up and as Christenings and official marriages are somewhat on the wane, not so much even then. However what secularists aren't generally is militant against those who believe, though many have a distaste at the activities of some religions, either those who keep knocking at your door, or those who support blowing up people, but mostly we ignore them and in a few cases pity them, but we don't tend to plot or plan anything against them, live and let live being pretty much the secular way.
British society is under threat from the rising tide of “militant secularisation” reminiscent of “totalitarian regimes”, a Cabinet minister will warn on Tuesday.
In an historic visit to the Vatican, Baroness Warsi will express her “fear” about the marginalisation of religion throughout Britain and Europe, saying that faith needs “a seat at the table in public life”.
In an article for The Daily Telegraph, the Cabinet Office minister says that to create a “more just society” Britons must “feel stronger in their religious identities”.
The minister, who is also chairman of the Conservative Party, says: “My fear today is that a militant secularisation is taking hold of our societies. We see it in any number of things: when signs of religion cannot be displayed or worn in government buildings; and where religion is sidelined, marginalised and downgraded in the public sphere.
“For me, one of the most worrying aspects about this militant secularisation is that at its core and in its instincts it is deeply intolerant. It demonstrates similar traits to totalitarian regimes – denying people the right to a religious identity because they were frightened of the concept of multiple identities.”
It seems very strange to have a follower of the Religion of Peace telling us that "this militant secularisation is that at its core and in its instincts it is deeply intolerant" when militant secularists have yet to fly planes into buildings, blow up tube trains and buses, set off nail bombs in caf├ęs, (dis)honour kill women, blow up tourists, groom and rape underage girls and call for the death of anyone they think has insulted their (non)religion or its founder. Yes you get militant atheists (who are not secularists as denial of a God is not the same as indifference) such as that guy who went to court to stop prayers being said at council meetings in Bideford, but on the whole militant atheists don't tend to get violently aggressive towards religion, they simply use existing laws to pander to their prejudices.
One of the things that causes problems for religion in the UK is that the majority of us don't like to be told how to live their lives and want as little interference in it as possible, this is why numbers at churches are falling, why Islam is so brutal to anyone thinking of leaving and uses family and peer pressure to hold onto its members, it's also pretty much why people are no longer interested in politics, they're just another set of people telling us how to live our lives after all.
What I think Warsi and other religionists fear is that secularists actually will start to become militant and behave like religionists and there's more of us than there are of them...
I have no problem in people believing as they like, however I just wish they'd accord me the same respect.

2 annotations:

Durotrigan said...

Spot on! I'm growing tired of hearing these nonsensical terms "militant secularist" and "militant atheist". Being both a secularist and an atheist doesn't make me want to order anyone to give up their beliefs (although admittedly, I do feel sorely tempted when it comes to Islam), and there's no way that I'd ever advocate violence to further my cause. Who is advocating violence in the name of Richard Dawkins? Nobody, to the best of my knowledge.

The invention of these terms is a cunning ruse employed by people like Warsi who wish to impose religious dogma on the rest of us. Muslims generally side themselves with Christians on this score because they see aligning themselves with these 'dhimmwits' as being strategically useful. When Warsi thus says that she thinks Christianity ought to play a larger role in public life, what she's really attempting to do is to open the door to allow Islam to make greater inroads into our public life and society. Christianity, Buddhism and paganism can happily co-exist with a secular state, whereas Islam cannot. Aye, now there's the rub!

Durotrigan said...

I also meant to say that although I'm a member of the National Secular Society, I thought that it was a petty waste of the organisation's time to bring the case in Bideford. All that was required was the option for the councillor in question to opt out of prayers should he so desire.

I want to see the NSS take on rather more serious matters, such as removing special exemptions for Shariah, not wasting money on relatively irrelevant matters such as council prayers. It's hardly a resounding success for secularism is it, when considering that this ruling does nothing to prevent the ongoing Islamisation of our country and the creation of yet more Muslim faith schools?