Friday, February 10, 2012

Secular progress

I was very pleased to read today that Bideford (Devon) council has lost a case bought by an atheist councillor (Clive Bone) and the National Secular Society. The argument was over the policy of that council to start council meetings with a prayer (to the Christian God), being an atheist and being pro-separation of church and state Mr Bone questioned the councils powers to enforce such a practice, claiming that it was discriminatory in nature and an inappropriate ritual. I can see his point, why some Christians feel it necessary to stamp their superstitions and rituals over everything regardless that there are many who don't share those beliefs is arrogant, divisive and somewhat sinister frankly, much like compulsory prayers in schools. In a statement Mr Bone said,

"Religious freedom is an absolute right and so is freedom from religion an absolute right, in my view."

It's fairly predictable to read the religious responses to this decision, bleating about "religious freedom" is the most common complaint, of course to some "religious freedom" means the freedom to impose your dogma on everyone else whether they want it or not. Then we have the apologists who harp on about "why can't everyone just get along", which translated means "why don't those pesky atheists just shut up and stop causing a fuss", I suspect that's exactly what most majorities think when they are accused of unreasonable behaviour by any minority that aren't content to do nothing.

More worryingly, the Bishop of Exeter is saying that he'll be encouraging councils to hold prayers in their meetings, in other words encouraging them to break the law then? Some people just don't have an ethical bone in their bodies, next they'll be moaning about not being allowed to burn witches in council meetings, after all that's part of the Christian "tradition" too isn't it?

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